KELPkid
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Last Piston Liner Pax Flight (USA?)

Mon Jun 23, 2008 4:35 am

Hi,

Anyone know the last piston liner passenger flight in the USA by a part 121 carrier, what the date was, and what the type was?

I'm guessing, typewise, that it was probably a DC-6.

Thanks in advance for the responses!
Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
 
TSS
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RE: Last Piston Liner Pax Flight (USA?)

Mon Jun 23, 2008 5:00 am

I'm curious about this too. I suspect I'll be surprised by how recently it occurred (in relative terms, since I'm old!  Wink ).
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mark5388916
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RE: Last Piston Liner Pax Flight (USA?)

Mon Jun 23, 2008 6:00 am

Hmmm if you didn't say part 121 I would think there are some in-service with some Part 135 carriers... need to look into it.

Mark
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Lono
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RE: Last Piston Liner Pax Flight (USA?)

Mon Jun 23, 2008 7:49 am

AirNorth had scheduled 121 service until recently with a dc3.... YXY-JNU
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twinotter4ever
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RE: Last Piston Liner Pax Flight (USA?)

Mon Jun 23, 2008 8:07 am

Was going to mention Buffalo airways, but that's entirely in canada. They have numerous rare pistons
 
ImperialEagle
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RE: Last Piston Liner Pax Flight (USA?)

Mon Jun 23, 2008 11:03 am

Well, DL ran -440's into 1970, so EA must have ditched theirs by then also. I don't recall what year EA got rid of their last Connie. SO nixed the Martins in favor of Metroliners (a big pr mistake----their regular pax. were pissed!) by the mid-seventies.
PT ops. their Martins and DC-3's well into the 1980's.

I'm not thinking I remember any -6's after about 1970 or so unless UA ops. a few out in California for local service? I think Mercer was gone by then.
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timz
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RE: Last Piston Liner Pax Flight (USA?)

Mon Jun 23, 2008 5:35 pm

Southern wasn't a "Part 121 carrier"? If they were I'm betting on them.

As I recall UA's end was 1970, all right.
 
xtoler
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RE: Last Piston Liner Pax Flight (USA?)

Mon Jun 23, 2008 5:51 pm

Didn't the old F9 fly Martins into the early '80's until CO took over? Or am I a decade off?
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KELPkid
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RE: Last Piston Liner Pax Flight (USA?)

Mon Jun 23, 2008 6:19 pm

I'm sure Texas International was also in the game pretty late with piston liners as well...
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timz
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RE: Frontier

Mon Jun 23, 2008 6:26 pm



Quoting Xtoler (Reply 7):
Didn't the old F9 fly Martins

Old Frontier, you mean? Offhand I'm guessing their last piston was gone by around 1970. (No Martins-- just Convairs.)

Think TT/TI had pistons after they changed their name?
 
ImperialEagle
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RE: Last Piston Liner Pax Flight (USA?)

Mon Jun 23, 2008 6:36 pm



Quoting Timz (Reply 6):
Southern wasn't a "Part 121 carrier

Yeah, my mind drifted off course and I forgot about that detail----multi-tasking in the morning is not my strong point.
"If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough!"
 
EMBQA
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RE: Last Piston Liner Pax Flight (USA?)

Mon Jun 23, 2008 6:39 pm

Quoting KELPkid (Thread starter):
I'm guessing, typewise, that it was probably a DC-6.

I think you're looking much more current then that. What does Cape Air fly their Cessna 402's..? PBA flew DC-3's into the late 1980's

Quoting Timz (Reply 6):
Southern wasn't a "Part 121 carrier"?

When did the FAA / CAB form the Part 121 regulations..? If some what current, we should use the same standard as ws used back in the prop days.

[Edited 2008-06-23 11:43:24]
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KELPkid
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RE: Last Piston Liner Pax Flight (USA?)

Mon Jun 23, 2008 6:42 pm



Quoting EMBQA (Reply 12):
What does Cape Air fly their Cessna 402's..?

Okay, I'm gonna say "With round engines" as a new qualifier Big grin

Quoting EMBQA (Reply 12):
PBA flew DC-3's into the late 1980's

Fair enough, but was PBA flying the -3's under part 121?
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timz
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RE: Last Piston Liner Pax Flight (USA?)

Mon Jun 23, 2008 6:42 pm

Somebody better explain what a Part 121 carrier is. I assume it rules out C402s and suchlike?
 
xtoler
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RE: Last Piston Liner Pax Flight (USA?)

Mon Jun 23, 2008 6:43 pm

Yes, old Frontier. I don't know how I got the Convair confused with the Martin. I'm just thinking of an F/A I knew who flies for F9 now, but started way back in the day flying on the Convairs and worked through CO and now with the newer F9. I didn't think there were too many turbo Convairs or am I getting my history backward? I'll have to look it up.

I was also in recurrent F/A training a few years back with an ex Ozark stewardess for real, (and she preferred to be called stewardess) and when she was a young stew flew on Convairs, and I think even DC-3's. Then she went to TWA and flew on 74's, now, if she hasn't retired yet, still flying for Trans States on 145's. The last thing I remember Ozark flying the first time I lived in St Louis were Metroliners, and I think those wound up going to Trans States when Trans States was new. Then again, Metro's are turbos so I guess that doesn't count.

As far as freight goes, I used to see a Convair over by UPS ramp (if I remember right) in PIT.
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EMBQA
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RE: Last Piston Liner Pax Flight (USA?)

Mon Jun 23, 2008 6:45 pm

Quoting Timz (Reply 14):
Somebody better explain what a Part 121 carrier is. I assume it rules out C402s and suchlike?

Nope.. Part 121 is a Scheduled Air Carrier. If Cape Air flies scheduled routes with their 402's they can be Part 121. You can also be Part 121 and never carry a passenger.....FedEx, DHL, UPS.

[Edited 2008-06-23 11:46:14]
"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
 
iRISH251
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RE: Last Piston Liner Pax Flight (USA?)

Mon Jun 23, 2008 6:45 pm

PBA were flying DC-3s around Florida in 1987 with "Eastern Express" branding.
 
timz
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RE: Last Piston Liner Pax Flight (USA?)

Mon Jun 23, 2008 6:52 pm

So we might as well forget "Part 121" and just ask if they're in the OAG?

I forget how late PBA had scheduled DC3s, but it was at least the 1980s all right.
 
EMBQA
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RE: Last Piston Liner Pax Flight (USA?)

Mon Jun 23, 2008 6:54 pm

Cape flies the 402's Part 135... the ATR's 121
"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
 
KELPkid
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RE: Last Piston Liner Pax Flight (USA?)

Mon Jun 23, 2008 6:59 pm



Quoting Timz (Reply 9):
Think TT/TI had pistons after they changed their name?

Mea Culpa, I stand corrected, I thought a CV-600 was a pistonliner, but after looking it up, I found out it was a CV-340 converted to Rolls-Royce Dart power (I previously thought all Convair Dart conversions were CV-680's).
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EMBQA
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RE: Last Piston Liner Pax Flight (USA?)

Mon Jun 23, 2008 7:16 pm

Quoting KELPkid (Thread starter):
Anyone know the last piston liner passenger flight in the USA by a part 121 carrier

There has been no 'last'... looks like they're still flying. Just did a search on the FAA web site and found several DC-6, C-46's etc.... flying Part 121 running around Alaska

[Edited 2008-06-23 12:16:45]
"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
 
xtoler
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RE: Last Piston Liner Pax Flight (USA?)

Mon Jun 23, 2008 7:27 pm



Quoting KELPkid (Reply 13):
Okay, I'm gonna say "With round engines" as a new qualifier

Big, round, loud engines! And no real "tail" pipe!
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tjwgrr
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RE: Last Piston Liner Pax Flight (USA?)

Mon Jun 23, 2008 7:36 pm



Quoting EMBQA (Reply 23):
There has been no 'last'... looks like they're still flying. Just did a search on the FAA web site and found several DC-6, C-46's etc.... flying Part 121 running around Alaska

Everts and Northern Air Cargo round piston engine a/c may be part 121, but I'm almost certain they don't fly paying passengers, only freight and fuel tankering.
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Tango-Bravo
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RE: Last Piston Liner Pax Flight (USA?)

Mon Jun 23, 2008 9:46 pm



Quoting Timz (Reply 9):
Think TT/TI had pistons after they changed their name?

Almost -- but not quite... The name change from Trans Texas airlines (TTa; aka Tree Top airlines Wink) to Texas International took effect in 1969. All of TTa's "round engine" (piston-powered) Convair 240s had been converted to turboprop-powered Convair 600 standards by the end of 1968.
 
isitsafenow
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RE: Last Piston Liner Pax Flight (USA?)

Tue Jun 24, 2008 1:03 pm



Quoting KELPkid (Reply 21):
I found out it was a CV-340 converted to Rolls-Royce Dart power (I previously thought all Convair Dart conversions were CV-680's).

Hmm..... I always thought the 600 was a converted 240..... boarding stairs behing co-pilot, not pilot, like the 340 and 440. Some 340's may have had darts. I dont know that one.

safe  scratchchin 
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Viscount724
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RE: Last Piston Liner Pax Flight (USA?)

Tue Jun 24, 2008 10:42 pm



Quoting KELPkid (Reply 21):
Quoting Timz (Reply 9):
Think TT/TI had pistons after they changed their name?

Mea Culpa, I stand corrected, I thought a CV-600 was a pistonliner, but after looking it up, I found out it was a CV-340 converted to Rolls-Royce Dart power (I previously thought all Convair Dart conversions were CV-680's).

Not quite. You have some of the numbers wrong. The CV-600 was a CV-240 with R-R Darts. The CV640 was either a -340 or 440 with R-R Darts. By far the most common turbioprop conversion of the Convarliner was the CV-580 which was either a -340 or -440 with Allison 501s. There was no Allison 501 conversion for the -240 as the engines were too powerful for the smaller/lighter -240 airframe

As a sidenote, there was also a CV-540 with British Napier Eland turboprops but only a few were built before R-R bought Napier and cancelled the Eland engine program. Allegheny Airlines had two -540s and after the engine was cancelled they converted the aircraft back to the original piston -340 configuration. There were also 13 -540s built under license by Canadair for the Royal Canadian Air Force (the last new Convairliners built and the only ones factory-built with turbine engines). They were converted to -580s with Allison 501s (the RCAF referred to them as CL-66 Cosmopolitan).
 
Viscount724
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RE: Last Piston Liner Pax Flight (USA?)

Tue Jun 24, 2008 11:23 pm

Several sources say the last 4-engine scheduled piston service by a major U.S. carrier was a TWA L749A from JFK to St. Louis and Kansas City on April 7, 1967, using the aircraft below.


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Sources also say that when TWA retired its last L1649A converted freighter a month later on May 11, 1967 (last flight EWR-Kansas City) it made TWA the first all-jet major U.S. carrier.

However other sources say the last scheduled passenger Constellation service in the USA was a Western Airlines L749A (inherited from their merger with Pacific Northern) from JNU to FAI on November 26, 1968, well over a year after the TWA April 7, 1967 flight mentioned above. But Western possibly wasn't considered a "major" carrier then.
 
isitsafenow
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RE: Last Piston Liner Pax Flight (USA?)

Tue Jun 24, 2008 11:44 pm

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 30):

I have to second this about the TWA connies. I was working for TW when the last flight came in with pax.. N6020C. If I remember right, the flight terminated at STL, then TW ferried it to MKC with TW people on board. A day or so later it was ferried to MCI and that was that.
TW continued a couple of piston freightersL1649's as you posted until I thought June of
1967, but you may be correct at May. In May I was working for BN at MKC.
Great memories in 1967....................
safe   

[Edited 2008-06-24 16:45:07]
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Viscount724
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RE: Last Piston Liner Pax Flight (USA?)

Wed Jun 25, 2008 12:03 am



Quoting Isitsafenow (Reply 31):
TW continued a couple of piston freighters L1649's as you posted until I thought June of 1967, but you may be correct at May.

You may well be right re the June/67 date for TW's last L1649 freighter service. I found the photos below dated June 1967 of the aircraft that other sources say operated the last flight but refer to the May date.


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timz
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RE: Last Piston Liner Pax Flight (USA?)

Fri Jun 27, 2008 11:39 pm



Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 30):
Several sources say the last 4-engine scheduled piston service by a major U.S. carrier was a TWA L749A from...

United's DC-6/DC-6B flight to Elko-Ely lasted until at least 1969-- probably 1970-- before being replaced by a Frontier CV580.
 
srbmod
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RE: Last Piston Liner Pax Flight (USA?)

Sat Jun 28, 2008 11:38 am



Quoting ImperialEagle (Reply 5):
Well, DL ran -440's into 1970, so EA must have ditched theirs by then also. I don't recall what year EA got rid of their last Connie.

Eastern retired their last Connie in 1968. They retired the DC-7s by 1965.
 
Viscount724
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RE: Last Piston Liner Pax Flight (USA?)

Sat Jun 28, 2008 11:32 pm



Quoting Timz (Reply 29):
Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 30):
Several sources say the last 4-engine scheduled piston service by a major U.S. carrier was a TWA L749A from...

United's DC-6/DC-6B flight to Elko-Ely lasted until at least 1969-- probably 1970-- before being replaced by a Frontier CV580.

Yes, looks like those sources referring to TWA as the last major U.S. carrier operating piston equipment are wrong. I found two sources (quoted below) mentioning UA as operating their last DC-6B flight February 28, 1970.

Except for a few DC-6's that were first leased and then sold to Delta, and a few lost in accidents, all the Sixes remained in service until 1968, when there were quickly replaced by B737-222's beginning on April 28, 1968. All but three aircraft were removed from service by Thanksgiving of that year; however, three DC-6B's, N37572, N37577, and N37581 soldiered on for another year and a half flying the SLC-ELY-EKO-RNO-SFO route with the last flight taking place on February 28, 1970.


One note regarding United's retirement of the DC-6. The final flight (Trip 837) was flown February 28, 1970, with a graceful night landing in San Francisco. The trip actually originated in Salt Lake City with scheduled stops at Elko and Reno, Nevada. The equipment was DC-6B N37581.
 
Tango-Bravo
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RE: Last Piston Liner Pax Flight (USA?)

Sun Jun 29, 2008 12:33 am



Quoting Srbmod (Reply 30):
Eastern retired their last Connie in 1968. They retired the DC-7s by 1965.

Interestingly, U.S. airlines generally retired their newer DC-7s before their older Connies and DC-6s. Due to their complex turbo-compound engines, the DC-7 was a more maintenance-intensive -- and less reliable -- type than the DC-6 and earlier Connie types that had conventional (non-turbocharged) piston engines. Likewise, for the same reason, the last Connies to be retired by TWA were their earlier "short" Connies, whereas their later Super Connies and Starliners were the first to go when the jets came into service in significant numbers.

Also, the speed advantage of the DC-7 over the DC-6 and the Super Connie/Starliner over the "short" Connie had become meaningless with the introduction of jets, which made the reliability and maintenance cost issues first and foremost in the decisions of U.S. major airlines to retire newer, more advanced 4-engine pistonliners before their slower, older counterparts.

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