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jfklganyc
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Worst Looking 737 In The U.S.: 516AU

Fri Sep 08, 2006 4:15 am

I was walking through security at CMH around 11:30 am on 9/7 and glanced to my left as I was leaving the security checkpoint. There is a large window that affords a nice view of the north side of Concourse B; specifically the US Airways gates.

I was absolutely shocked to see one of the worst-looking 737s flying in the United States today. The fuselage was a conglamerate of peeling paint and dirt. Logos were faded and also peeling.

As a crewmember, I would be nothing short of embarrased. It looked like something straight out of a bad movie set in a third-world country.

As a passenger (assuming they don't know much about FAA standards for maintenance) the appearance of the aircraft would make me downright fearful to board.

The aircraft in question is 516AU belonging to US Airways. Any information from someone working for US about this aircraft would be helpful:

Why would a major airline allow an aircraft with such a bad appearance fly?

Is this aircraft scheduled to be repainted anytime soon?

Does US ever clean their aircraft? How often?

On another note, US is trying to brand itself as a LCC such as jetBlue, AirTran, and Spirit. They fly shiny new planes, which is part of their appeal. While one plane should not represent a company, a plane with an appearance of this caliber should not fly.

PJ
 
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rikkus67
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RE: Worst Looking 737 In The U.S.: 516AU

Fri Sep 08, 2006 4:26 am


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These photos taken 6 months apart, show a nearly 20 year old plane in desperate need of a repaint... the large white area next to the cockpit window, is where a star alliance sticker has fallen off, for whatever reason. I would assume with the previous state of US Airways, there was little money to keep up the esthetic appearance of many older aircraft. I would assume that the older aircraft will either get repainted, or perhaps, replaced by some E-jets?
AC.WA.CP.DL.RW.CO.WG.WJ.WN.KI.FL.SK.ACL.UA.US.F9
 
oldeuropean
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RE: Worst Looking 737 In The U.S.: 516AU

Fri Sep 08, 2006 4:28 am

Oh, that really looks terrible.


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Wer nichts weiss muss alles glauben
 
airbusfanyyz
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RE: Worst Looking 737 In The U.S.: 516AU

Fri Sep 08, 2006 4:31 am

My vote goes to N530AU...

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Cheers,
Kaz
 
Go3Team
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RE: Worst Looking 737 In The U.S.: 516AU

Fri Sep 08, 2006 5:04 am

The Hertz plane retired (?) by Ryanair looked worse... Almost looked like a quilt with all of the patches on it.
Yay Pudding!
 
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litz
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RE: Worst Looking 737 In The U.S.: 516AU

Fri Sep 08, 2006 6:30 am

Transport companies, in general, are rather known for letting equipment rot ...

Think about these 737s, AF's general reputation, rustladen freighters (ships), rusty, paint peeling locomotives, etc.

I guess if it's still safe to operate, and gets from point A to point B, they're gonna put appearance on the backburner.

- litz
 
AsstChiefMark
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RE: Worst Looking 737 In The U.S.: 516AU

Fri Sep 08, 2006 6:36 am

Quoting Litz (Reply 5):
paint peeling locomotives

Exactly!  Wink

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=82178
http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=111443

[Edited 2006-09-07 23:37:18]
Red tail...Red tail...Red tail...Red tail...Red tail...Red tail...Red tail...Red tail...Damned MSP...Red tail...Red tail
 
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ramprat74
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RE: Worst Looking 737 In The U.S.: 516AU

Fri Sep 08, 2006 6:42 am

We have many newly painted planes at United that look like that. When you outsource to the lowest bidder. You get what you pay for. You can never match the factory paint jobs from Boeing and Airbus. The last great repaints for us ended when we closed our paint shop at SAMC. We also had some great paint jobs from the Delta Tech-Ops guys in ATL also.
 
wjcandee
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RE: Worst Looking 737 In The U.S.: 516AU

Fri Sep 08, 2006 6:43 am

It looks as if both of these aircraft really haven't become much worse in the last two years; it's as if the adhesion of the previous repaint (over the previous buffed-metal livery) wasn't too good and/or they went through some volcanic ash or something at one point, but haven't deteriorated much since. Eventually, they'll have a major service check, and will be repainted at that time.
 
SAS333
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RE: Worst Looking 737 In The U.S.: 516AU

Fri Sep 08, 2006 9:25 am

Guess what, Air France has the same appearance, not pealing...just dirt.
 
neednewairport
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RE: Worst Looking 737 In The U.S.: 516AU

Fri Sep 08, 2006 9:31 am

US is in the process of repainting their entire fleet. Now that summer flying is done the schedule will be boosted and the first 737's in the new paint job are already coming online.
 
PanAm747
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RE: Worst Looking 737 In The U.S.: 516AU

Fri Sep 08, 2006 9:33 am

Thankfully that was not the paint job selected for the new USAirways...can you imagine what the fleet would look like after a Phoenix and Las Vegas summer?

Poor N530AU and N516AU would look like new!!
Pan Am:The World's Most Experienced Airline - P(oor) S(ailor's) A(irline): San Diego's Hometown Airline-Catch Our Smile!
 
freedom747
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RE: Worst Looking 737 In The U.S.: 516AU

Fri Sep 08, 2006 9:40 am

Delta Tech-Ops....finest in the world...(thanks RampRat74)
 
FL370
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RE: Worst Looking 737 In The U.S.: 516AU

Fri Sep 08, 2006 9:46 am

Black color paint chip real easily! my old car was black and it always chipped. but on a plane, i never imagined that.


fl370
 
FlyingTexan
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RE: Worst Looking 737 In The U.S.: 516AU

Fri Sep 08, 2006 9:51 am

Quoting RampRat74 (Reply 7):
You get what you pay for.

Exactly. Just like an el cheapo paint job on a car. Some places forget to roll up the windows.

 splat 
"Wouldn't your boss like to fly home nonstop at 4:30 on a Friday afternoon?" -Airline Exec to Congressional Staffer
 
n917me
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RE: Worst Looking 737 In The U.S.: 516AU

Fri Sep 08, 2006 10:45 am

I have seen some really nasty 737's from US at PHL. I would be embarrased to fly the "ghetto" aircraft. If the outside is that bad.. what soes the inside look like?
 
EMBQA
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RE: Worst Looking 737 In The U.S.: 516AU

Fri Sep 08, 2006 11:19 am

Quoting RampRat74 (Reply 7):
We have many newly painted planes at United that look like that.

Last I knew the same company was painting for both UAL and US.
"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
 
CO738
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RE: Worst Looking 737 In The U.S.: 516AU

Fri Sep 08, 2006 11:41 am

Uhh Ohhh better get MAACO! With MAACO's new Ambassador paint system we can have your plane primed and painted in just a few days for just only $295.95! (depending on the aircraft)
If only you could install an air horn on a plane...
 
Amazonphil
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RE: Worst Looking 737 In The U.S.: 516AU

Fri Sep 08, 2006 11:46 am

Quoting Oldeuropean (Reply 2):

The raydom on this 737 is almost to the point that it could be illegal. There is a periodic maintenance moisture check on the inside of the dome and with the paint chipped away on the nose here, it could be out of limits. Only a veryyyy minut scratch is permitted on our(CO's) raydomes and when we do the moisture check, it can't go over a certain limit...if it does, has to come off (for overhaul or at least repainted)and be replaced with a fresh one.

Regards
If it ain't Boeing, I ain't goeing!
 
flyusairways
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RE: Worst Looking 737 In The U.S.: 516AU

Fri Sep 08, 2006 12:04 pm

Good news! Just saw N530AU last weekend at ORF with all of the worn spots painted over.  Smile
I guess US Airways is trying to make them look a little nicer.
I've sent a picture of it to myaviation--I'll post it as soon as they get it on the site.
All nonstop flights are direct, but not all direct flights are nonstop!
 
andrewuber
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RE: Worst Looking 737 In The U.S.: 516AU

Fri Sep 08, 2006 12:23 pm

Ship 530 was definately in bad shape:


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I'd rather shoot BAD_MOTIVE
 
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DL_Mech
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RE: Worst Looking 737 In The U.S.: 516AU

Fri Sep 08, 2006 12:26 pm

Every Airline during livery changes gets planes that look like this.
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Quoting RampRat74 (Reply 7):
We also had some great paint jobs from the Delta Tech-Ops guys in ATL also.

The reason they looked so good is that UA's inspectors were very tough. Several planes had sections that were repainted more than once.

In the end,we painted several 741's,742's,744's and one 767, N612UA.
This plane is built to withstand anything... except a bad pilot.
 
EMBQA
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RE: Worst Looking 737 In The U.S.: 516AU

Fri Sep 08, 2006 12:33 pm

Quoting Dl_mech (Reply 21):
Every Airline during livery changes gets planes that look like this.

Yea, I was going to add... don't just jump on US. I've seen some sad look Delta planes as well. There was a thread running last year about 'The Spirit of Delta'. She was looking really sad before getting the new livery...after the special Olympics scheme. Huge sections of missing paint.
"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
 
PlanenutzTB
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RE: Worst Looking 737 In The U.S.: 516AU

Fri Sep 08, 2006 12:54 pm

I understand the financial crunch at many airlines, but the condition of these planes sends a bad message to the flying public about aircraft maintenance. If an aircraft looks like it has poor maintenance, it may scare passengers from feeling safe flying on them.

It's similar to a dirty restaurant; do I gamble on getting food poisoning eating in one?
I am extraordinarily patient, provided I get my own way in the end.
 
USADreamliner
Posts: 1211
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RE: Worst Looking 737 In The U.S.: 516AU

Fri Sep 08, 2006 1:35 pm

Well, we found some candidates for extreme makeover!


usadreamliner
 
aviatortj
Posts: 1694
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RE: Worst Looking 737 In The U.S.: 516AU

Fri Sep 08, 2006 1:59 pm

When I was up on N441US, it wasn't looking its best. On the inside, the old style interior was made up for with TOP NOTCH service. Besides, outside appearance doesn't mean anything once you're in the plane.


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JBLUA320
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RE: Worst Looking 737 In The U.S.: 516AU

Fri Sep 08, 2006 2:07 pm

Despite the fact that some US Airways planes are sort of dodgy on the outside, I've never experienced anything less than excellence from the crews inside-- and that is what counts!

JBLU
 
Cubsrule
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RE: Worst Looking 737 In The U.S.: 516AU

Fri Sep 08, 2006 2:19 pm

I wonder if there was a batch of bad repaints during heavy checks at some point. Have a look at N532AU:


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(For the record, this repaint was done between January and August of 2004, as I saw it in August in the bad paint)

N530AU


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Happened sometime between January, 2003 and August, 2004

N516AU


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This one's just a 5 month difference, from March, 2004 to October.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
Eirjet
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RE: Worst Looking 737 In The U.S.: 516AU

Fri Sep 08, 2006 2:35 pm

Quoting JFKLGANYC (Thread starter):
Why would a major airline allow an aircraft with such a bad appearance fly?

Maybe it is planned for the new paint scheme - Other than that if the plane is in sound operating condition and meets all required standards there's no reason why it cant be in the air..

Quoting JFKLGANYC (Thread starter):
On another note, US is trying to brand itself as a LCC such as jetBlue, AirTran, and Spirit. They fly shiny new planes, which is part of their appeal.

Another appealing element of LCC's is there low overheads, to allow for cheaper fares...  Smile

Quoting Go3Team (Reply 4):
The Hertz plane retired (?) by Ryanair looked worse... Almost looked like a quilt with all of the patches on it.

I concur, flew that a/c from DUB to UK, and to look at you'd think the a/c was going to break into pieces.....

Eirjet
Aviation has a 100% record, we've never left one up there......
 
flyguy595
Posts: 52
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RE: Worst Looking 737 In The U.S.: 516AU

Fri Sep 08, 2006 2:37 pm

Well I think AA has theme beat theres hardly ever any paint on their planes.  Smile
 
PlanesNTrains
Posts: 7189
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RE: Worst Looking 737 In The U.S.: 516AU

Fri Sep 08, 2006 2:46 pm

Quoting AsstChiefMark (Reply 6):
Quoting Litz (Reply 5):
paint peeling locomotives

Exactly!

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=82178
http://www.railpictures.net/viewphot...11443

Those Santa Fe warbonnet GE's really looked like crap after a while. I have a photo of one that looks like half the red had peeled completely off.

GE also had a batch of units that BNSF got that faded horribly very quickly. It goes to show that even manufacturers sometimes get it wrong.

-Dave
-Dave
 
Azul320
Posts: 257
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RE: Worst Looking 737 In The U.S.: 516AU

Fri Sep 08, 2006 2:54 pm

Not too bad for an airline that went through two bankruptcies recently and is still around. I reckon the paint on those Independence jets is still fresh.
Excuse me, while I kiss the sky
 
jasond
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RE: Worst Looking 737 In The U.S.: 516AU

Fri Sep 08, 2006 4:05 pm

Quoting PlanenutzTB (Reply 23):
understand the financial crunch at many airlines, but the condition of these planes sends a bad message to the flying public about aircraft maintenance. If an aircraft looks like it has poor maintenance, it may scare passengers from feeling safe flying on them.

It's similar to a dirty restaurant; do I gamble on getting food poisoning eating in one?

Fair point, I can tolerate a dirty aircraft if I know the maintenance is top notch and there is the old expression "Never judge a book by its cover". In some cases though you can tell an awful lot about a book by its cover and I'm surprised some airlines evidently let the outward appearance of their aircraft degrade to such an extent, sends a bad message indeed to the paying, flying public.
 
BlazingCessna
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RE: Worst Looking 737 In The U.S.: 516AU

Fri Sep 08, 2006 7:45 pm

The US Scareways 734's I flew on in May had that just out of storage in the desert smell to them. Hell the one I flew from CLT-BNA had some interior trim missing! You could see the insulation batting. Did I mention the left engine quit on final?  eyepopping   scared 
Flown on:722, 731, 732, 742, 752, 763, DC8, DC9, DC10, A300, A319, A320, A330, PIC on C172, PA28R, D55, A36, DC3
 
N270FT
Posts: 78
Joined: Tue May 31, 2005 8:32 am

RE: Worst Looking 737 In The U.S.: 516AU

Fri Sep 08, 2006 9:33 pm

Quoting N917ME (Reply 15):
If the outside is that bad.. what soes the inside look like?

just as bad lol, the last one I went on you could see dowin into the cargo hold.

The airbus's are generally nicer though.

AW
 
DMAJ7TH
Posts: 38
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2006 6:04 am

RE: Worst Looking 737 In The U.S.: 516AU

Fri Sep 08, 2006 9:42 pm

i just joined a.net not that long ago. this represents one of these real interesting threads that you guys start. i love it!

when i was very young my parents would take me to the airport (which was about the best thing in the world!) and i used to stare at the planes parked at the gate. for some reason, i thought it was the coolest thing in the world when an airplane would show wear and tear on it. it added this kind of realism that the picture books i had at the time didnt present. i remember rushing home and trying to draw what i saw. at age 6, i would draw these airplanes, complete with exhaust stains and radome chippings because it was what i saw. the adults in my life that would look at these pictures thought i had autism - to be able to draw pictures with that amount of detail - when i just thought it was cool!

to this day i get a kick out of dirty airplanes (unless its my own - then i hound on line service to clean the darn thing!) the absolute best dirty airplanes were the delta's 727's, with the original widget scheme, right before they retired them. absolutely gorgeous!
 
soon7x7
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Joined: Thu May 04, 2006 10:51 am

RE: Worst Looking 737 In The U.S.: 516AU

Fri Sep 08, 2006 10:44 pm

A while back US Airways tried waterborne paint when the new fleet colors arrived.The paint was not compatible with the primer used and the result was rapid peeling, flaking,etc.To correct this the peeled areas were repainted in a patchlike fashion and that remained the base coat still to be seen today.In the eighties Genaral Motors did much the same thing, that is why you would see camaros that had the appearence of having been sanded on the upper surfaces.
 
deltadc9
Posts: 2790
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RE: Worst Looking 737 In The U.S.: 516AU

Fri Sep 08, 2006 10:48 pm

Quoting AsstChiefMark (Reply 6):
Exactly!

Totally off topic, but I have noticed that a great number of Santa Fe (No I cant yet call them BNSF) locos have AC units with different paint scemes on them. Far mor than most other railroads.

Quoting CO738 (Reply 17):
Uhh Ohhh better get MAACO! With MAACO's new Ambassador paint system we can have your plane primed and painted in just a few days for just only $295.95! (depending on the aircraft)

Screw that, Earl Scheib will do it for 99.95!

Back on topic. Planes must be pretty hard to paint, humidity and temprature must be hard to control over the entire process, as well as surface preparation on such a large area. It cant be easy to maintain consistancy.
Dont take life too seriously because you will never get out of it alive - Bugs Bunny
 
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jfklganyc
Posts: 4369
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RE: Worst Looking 737 In The U.S.: 516AU

Fri Sep 08, 2006 10:54 pm

"A while back US Airways tried waterborne paint when the new fleet colors arrived.The paint was not compatible with the primer used and the result was rapid peeling, flaking,etc.To correct this the peeled areas were repainted in a patchlike fashion and that remained the base coat still to be seen today.In the eighties Genaral Motors did much the same thing, that is why you would see camaros that had the appearence of having been sanded on the upper surfaces."

That's very interesting. I guess they aren't going that route again?????

PJ
 
AirlineBrat
Posts: 489
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 7:40 am

RE: Worst Looking 737 In The U.S.: 516AU

Sat Sep 09, 2006 12:51 am

Looks like some of the Orient Thai 747's I spotted while I was at BKK.
I'm leavin on a jet plane. Don't know when I'll be back again....
 
flyboyaz
Posts: 2077
Joined: Sat Sep 13, 2003 11:32 am

RE: Worst Looking 737 In The U.S.: 516AU

Sat Sep 09, 2006 1:00 am

I'm excited to see what the 737's will look like in the new scheme. HP 737's will be the first ones to get the new paint job...but the old US planes will be too.
Catch a ride on a smile!
 
OPNLguy
Posts: 11191
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 1999 11:29 am

RE: Worst Looking 737 In The U.S.: 516AU

Sat Sep 09, 2006 1:01 am

For a short, very short period of time (the duration of two flights SAT-LAX and LAX-PAE) this one was probably the ugliest...


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Of course, it came out of the barn looking like this:


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ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
jetdeltamsy
Posts: 2688
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RE: Worst Looking 737 In The U.S.: 516AU

Sat Sep 09, 2006 2:03 am

Quoting JFKLGANYC (Thread starter):
As a passenger (assuming they don't know much about FAA standards for maintenance) the appearance of the aircraft would make me downright fearful to board

What a ridiculous comment.

That aircraft is no less airworthy than the newest planes in their fleet.
Tired of airline bankruptcies....EA/PA/TW and finally DL.
 
KELPkid
Posts: 5247
Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2005 5:33 am

RE: Worst Looking 737 In The U.S.: 516AU

Sat Sep 09, 2006 2:10 am

Quoting PlanesNTrains (Reply 30):
Those Santa Fe warbonnet GE's really looked like crap after a while. I have a photo of one that looks like half the red had peeled completely off.

GE also had a batch of units that BNSF got that faded horribly very quickly. It goes to show that even manufacturers sometimes get it wrong.

-Dave

This happened after the Santa Fe switched to a more environmentally friendly paint on later Warbonnet deliveries...I believe they used DuPont Imron paint (same thing used on GA airplanes-I have no idea what the airlines used). Imron, IIRC, is pretty close to just being a plastic coating.
Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
 
remcor
Posts: 307
Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2006 9:25 am

RE: Worst Looking 737 In The U.S.: 516AU

Sat Sep 09, 2006 2:15 am

Quoting Jetdeltamsy (Reply 44):

What a ridiculous comment.

That aircraft is no less airworthy than the newest planes in their fleet.

I think his point was that for that average person the paint is an indication of how well they maintain their aircraft. If you see a car with a crappy paint job you might think that the person that owns it might not maintain it that well. With an airplane it's even worse because one reason they paint it in the first place is it's marketing.
 
CruzinAltitude
Posts: 407
Joined: Thu May 06, 2004 5:02 pm

RE: Worst Looking 737 In The U.S.: 516AU

Sat Sep 09, 2006 2:16 am

Quoting OPNLguy (Reply 43):
For a short, very short period of time (the duration of two flights SAT-LAX and LAX-PAE) this one was probably the ugliest...

Of course, it came out of the barn looking like this:

Yup, Still damn ugly
 
KELPkid
Posts: 5247
Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2005 5:33 am

RE: Worst Looking 737 In The U.S.: 516AU

Sat Sep 09, 2006 2:21 am

Quoting OPNLguy (Reply 43):
For a short, very short period of time (the duration of two flights SAT-LAX and LAX-PAE) this one was probably the ugliest...

It looked like you guys had "Silver Two" in the making...by the way, I've noticed Silver One (when I've been a pax on it) is painted sort of a greyish color. I guess you didn't want to fly it over to AFW and have your cross-town, Wright Ammendment "buddies" polish 'er up for you  Wink
Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
 
OPNLguy
Posts: 11191
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 1999 11:29 am

RE: Worst Looking 737 In The U.S.: 516AU

Sat Sep 09, 2006 2:26 am

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 48):
It looked like you guys had "Silver Two" in the making...by the way, I've noticed Silver One (when I've been a pax on it) is painted sort of a greyish color. I guess you didn't want to fly it over to AFW and have your cross-town, Wright Ammendment "buddies" polish 'er up for you

IIRC, it was discovered that the bare metallic finish was more costly to keep up, hence the change over to paint. Got to save $$$ where you can...

BTW, in case anyone was wondering, that ragged-looking bird above wasn't carrying passengers--just the two pilots as it stopped in LAX on the way SAT-PAE. Had to go on that route since it was limited to 10,000 feet, and the minimum enroute altitudes (MEAs) on a straight shot SAT-PAE would have exceeded 10,000.
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
KELPkid
Posts: 5247
Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2005 5:33 am

RE: Worst Looking 737 In The U.S.: 516AU

Sat Sep 09, 2006 2:59 am

Quoting OPNLguy (Reply 49):
BTW, in case anyone was wondering, that ragged-looking bird above wasn't carrying passengers--just the two pilots as it stopped in LAX on the way SAT-PAE. Had to go on that route since it was limited to 10,000 feet, and the minimum enroute altitudes (MEAs) on a straight shot SAT-PAE would have exceeded 10,000.

Were there MX issues with the aircraft as well? I wouldn't think a lack of paint would restrict you to non-pressurized altitudes...
Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
 
OPNLguy
Posts: 11191
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 1999 11:29 am

RE: Worst Looking 737 In The U.S.: 516AU

Sat Sep 09, 2006 3:02 am

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 50):
Were there MX issues with the aircraft as well?

Yes. They do more than paint jobs at PAE....  Wink
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.

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Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos