doulasc
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American Airlines Fleet Of 16 Boeing 747-123s

Mon Jan 30, 2012 11:51 pm

American Airlines took delivery of 16 passenger Boeing 747s.By 1975 half the fleet got converted to
freighters. At that time The 747 was too much plane for American's route system since they were mostly
a domestic carrier. They were used mostly on JFK-LAX/SFO/SJU and I think one was operated from DFW-HNL
or was that a DC-10. In the 1980s when American started to add cities in Europe their 747s could have been
put to good use on those routes. Where did their 747 Freighters fly to? In 1984 Robert Crandall decided
to swap the 747s to Pan Am for their ex-National DC-10s. Last thing Pan Am needed was more 747s flying
half empty.
 
Tan Flyr
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RE: American Airlines Fleet Of 16 Boeing 747-123s

Tue Jan 31, 2012 12:18 am

From the best of my memory, the freighters also plied the JFK- SJU/SFO/LAX routes but also included ORD/DFW/ and maybe BOS.

I'm sure someone with the actual schedules can fill in more.

in the 60's and into a part of teh 70's (before being retired) the 707 freighter fleet called on a number of then"second tier" cities such as CVG,MEM, etc. giving them great air cargo service.

Remember there was no UPS air or Fed-EX yet!
 
rampart
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RE: American Airlines Fleet Of 16 Boeing 747-123s

Tue Jan 31, 2012 12:23 am

Did they not also operate the 747SP at some time? After they got rid of the original 747-100s?

-Rampart
 
Viscount724
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RE: American Airlines Fleet Of 16 Boeing 747-123s

Tue Jan 31, 2012 12:30 am

Quoting tan flyr (Reply 1):
From the best of my memory, the freighters also plied the JFK- SJU/SFO/LAX routes but also included ORD/DFW/ and maybe BOS.

There are AA 747 freighter photos in the database taken at JFK, ORD, MIA, DFW, LAX, SFO, LHR, GIG

The caption of the photo below at LAX says it was departing for DFW and MIA. That photo is dated 1984, the year AA disposed of the 747s.


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Photo © Frank C. Duarte Jr.

 
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RWA380
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RE: American Airlines Fleet Of 16 Boeing 747-123s

Tue Jan 31, 2012 12:35 am

Quoting rampart (Reply 2):
Did they not also operate the 747SP at some time?

The 747sp's were acquired so AA could operate their newly awarded DFW-NRT route, at the time they had no other capable aircraft.
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WA707atMSP
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RE: American Airlines Fleet Of 16 Boeing 747-123s

Tue Jan 31, 2012 3:01 pm

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 3):
Quoting tan flyr (Reply 1):
From the best of my memory, the freighters also plied the JFK- SJU/SFO/LAX routes but also included ORD/DFW/ and maybe BOS.

There are AA 747 freighter photos in the database taken at JFK, ORD, MIA, DFW, LAX, SFO, LHR, GIG
AA 747Fs also served DTW on a JFK-DTW-LAX routing.

The route was mainly to get time sensitive auto parts from Michigan to Ford's assembly plant in Pico Rivera, California, and GM's assembly plants in South Gate / Norwalk and Van Nuys. The Pico Rivera and South Gate factories closed in the early 1980s, and AA ended 747F service to DTW when these plants shut down.

AA originally ordered 16 747s. AA took eight 747s out of service in early 1974, after the 1973 energy crisis. Six 747s were converted to freighters. AA kept two 747Fs, sold a third to Trans Mediterranean of Lebanon, and the other three 747Fs to Flying Tigers. One of the two grounded 747s that were not converted to freighters was eventually returned to service, and was leased to Braniff in 1977/78, in a hybrid BN / AA scheme, and was mainly used on DFW-HNL. The other aircraft was sold to NASA.

AA re purchased the TMA 747F in 1977. In the early 1980s, AA re purchased the three ex-Tigers 747Fs, as partial replacements for AA's 707Fs, which were grounded in 1981.

In 1984, AA replaced their remaining passenger 747s with ex-PA / NA DC-10s. Soon afterward, UPS offered to buy AA's six 747Fs. AA accepted UPS' offer.

Among the reasons AA cited for selling their 747Fs was that it was AA's 747F pilots were the airline's most senior flight crew, so salary costs made it hard for AA to earn a profit with the fleet.

Post edited to reflect the aircraft that went to NASA - thank you for the reminder!

[Edited 2012-01-31 07:36:54]
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KELPkid
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RE: American Airlines Fleet Of 16 Boeing 747-123s

Tue Jan 31, 2012 3:12 pm

One of them went on to NASA as the original SCA (Shuttle Carrier Aircraft)   
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cargolex
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RE: American Airlines Fleet Of 16 Boeing 747-123s

Tue Jan 31, 2012 3:18 pm

Quoting WA707atMSP (Reply 5):
One was leased to Braniff in 1977/78, in a hybrid BN / AA scheme, and was mainly used on DFW-HNL.

A funny story about that is recounted in the book Splash of Colors by John Nance.

At the October, 1978, meeting of the Wings Club in New York, Dick Ferris of United bet Harding Lawrence that Lawrence couldn't find a spare 747 for lease by Nov. 1, the start date for BN's SEA/PDX-HNL run, which Braniff had promised the CAB would be run with a 747. The market for 747s had recovered by this time and they were not easy to come by. BN was using it's 747s and didn't have the equipment to do one more route with them.

UA was going to start the same route with DC-8s (a much more rational equipment choice) and disagreed with Braniff's ability to start the service at all, let alone with a 747.

Lawrence said to Ferris "How much do you want to lose?" and Ferris bet him $100.

Al Casey, then chief of American, was sitting just five feet away and urged Ferris not to bet him. As soon as Lawrence and Ferris shook hands, Casey exclaimed "Dick, you damn fool, I told you not to bet him. I just leased him a 747 before dinner!"

Lawrence reportedly endorsed the check over to Ferris' sons.

Of course, we know now that the last laugh was not Braniff's. The route lasted less than ten months and the 747 was usually flown half empty.
 
planespotting
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RE: American Airlines Fleet Of 16 Boeing 747-123s

Tue Jan 31, 2012 3:25 pm

Quoting Cargolex (Reply 7):
Lawrence reportedly endorsed the check over to Ferris' sons.

Of course, we know now that the last laugh was not Braniff's. The route lasted less than ten months and the 747 was usually flown half empty.

That is a great story.

But I think "half full" makes that route out to be even more successful than it actually was ... I believe Nance claimed the aircraft often went out with less than 50 seats filled (no doubt the passengers paid bargain basement prices).
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United727
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RE: American Airlines Fleet Of 16 Boeing 747-123s

Tue Jan 31, 2012 6:22 pm

When discussing this topic, where did the "Columbia 747" from Airport 75 fit in? Was it one of the AA ships in the desert? Anyone know if that flew for AA after that movie was completed?
 
nomadic
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RE: American Airlines Fleet Of 16 Boeing 747-123s

Tue Jan 31, 2012 8:04 pm

Quoting doulasc (Thread starter):
At that time The 747 was too much plane for American's route system since they were mostly
a domestic carrier. They were used mostly on JFK-LAX/SFO/SJU and I think one was operated from DFW-HNL

Since the AA 747s were flying with light loads, they pulled the seats out and replaced them with the first Coach Lounges. They did not do much to increase revenue but were a great markeing tool. For a brief period, most of the major carriers with wide-body aircraft added coach lounges to remain competitive.
 
mbmbos
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RE: American Airlines Fleet Of 16 Boeing 747-123s

Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:09 pm

As far as passenger flights went, I seem to remember a night owl flight that flew LAX-PHX-JFK during the winter months. And I also seem to recall TW directly competing with AA on this route using a 747 or an L10.
 
tonystan
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RE: American Airlines Fleet Of 16 Boeing 747-123s

Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:22 pm

They had some great lounges at the rear of those birds! Didnt they also have a piano bar or something tacky like that?
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eastern747
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RE: American Airlines Fleet Of 16 Boeing 747-123s

Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:23 pm

In the early 70's I flew an AA 747 from IAD-LAX. I never had experienced such a great service before. (except my AF international service around the world). The flight was a dinner service with a "TRADER VIC" theme. For you youngters...google it! It was incrediable, and back then the upstairs was a lounge.......
 
rising
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RE: American Airlines Fleet Of 16 Boeing 747-123s

Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:57 pm

Quoting EASTERN747 (Reply 13):
The flight was a dinner service with a "TRADER VIC" theme. For you youngters...google it!


The same Trader Vic's that United currently uses?

http://www.united.com/page/article/0,6722,52836,00.html
If it doesn't make sense, it's because it's not true.
 
BryanG
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RE: American Airlines Fleet Of 16 Boeing 747-123s

Tue Jan 31, 2012 11:30 pm

I can definitely confirm the DFW-HNL flights. I can remember flying an AA 747 on that route back in late 1982 or early 1983.

I was about four years old at the time, but even at that age I knew exactly how to distinguish a 747 from others.
 
SmithAir747
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RE: American Airlines Fleet Of 16 Boeing 747-123s

Tue Jan 31, 2012 11:56 pm

Quoting tonystan (Reply 12):
They had some great lounges at the rear of those birds! Didnt they also have a piano bar or something tacky like that?

Yes, American actually did have a piano bar in zone 5 of the main deck of the 747s. The "piano" was a Wurlitzer electric piano, not a standard acoustic piano (the Wurlitzer was probably better able to withstand the stress of takeoffs, touchdowns on landing, and other stresses, than a regular piano). The Wurlitzer, I think, was fastened down somehow or incorporated into the structure of the lounge/bar fittings.

SmithAir747
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JFKPurser
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RE: American Airlines Fleet Of 16 Boeing 747-123s

Wed Feb 01, 2012 12:08 am

AA 747-123s (as well as UA's -122s) were the only 747s delivered with lower deck galleys, one forward and another aft of the wing.

Quoting EASTERN747 (Reply 13):
In the early 70's I flew an AA 747 from IAD-LAX. I never had experienced such a great service before. (except my AF international service around the world). The flight was a dinner service with a "TRADER VIC" theme. For you youngters...google it! It was incrediable, and back then the upstairs was a lounge.......

As a young unaccompanied minor in the early 1970s, I flew AA's 747s (with piano bar) often from LAX to IAD. What a thrill that always was. I encountered the same FA's on my outbound and return legs one trip. I'm certain that I wound up working with many of the same ladies as a new hire based at LAX in the 1980s!
 
cargolex
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RE: American Airlines Fleet Of 16 Boeing 747-123s

Wed Feb 01, 2012 12:51 am

Quoting BryanG (Reply 15):
I can definitely confirm the DFW-HNL flights. I can remember flying an AA 747 on that route back in late 1982 or early 1983.

I could be wrong, but I believe AA only did DFW-HNL direct after the BN bust. Before that, I think this flight had a stopover at LAX. BN's marquis service in the 70's was DFW-HNL on the 747 and it was the last service BN 1 ever operated.
 
UPS Pilot
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RE: American Airlines Fleet Of 16 Boeing 747-123s

Wed Feb 01, 2012 1:52 am

Quoting tan flyr (Reply 1):

Ah UPS air did exist just didn't have airplanes in the 70's yet.




 
WA707atMSP
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RE: American Airlines Fleet Of 16 Boeing 747-123s

Wed Feb 01, 2012 1:54 am

Quoting Cargolex (Reply 18):
Quoting BryanG (Reply 15):
I can definitely confirm the DFW-HNL flights. I can remember flying an AA 747 on that route back in late 1982 or early 1983.

I could be wrong, but I believe AA only did DFW-HNL direct after the BN bust. Before that, I think this flight had a stopover at LAX. BN's marquis service in the 70's was DFW-HNL on the 747 and it was the last service BN 1 ever operated.

AA began DFW-HNL nonstops, with 747s, in June, 1981, about 11 months before BN shut down.

AA went 2x daily in the summer of 1982.
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