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UltimateDelta
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WN 737-700 Blister?

Sat Sep 25, 2010 5:56 pm

So today I was at OMA picking someone up, and one of the planes I saw was a Southwest 737 with a visible blister on top, sort of like the satellite antenna on B6 and VX planes (it was N458WN). As far as I know, WN doesn't have satellite TV or anything like that, so what was it for? Is it related to the new wi-fi system, or something else?

Here's a picture:
http://i892.photobucket.com/albums/ac122/YX58712/IMG_4561.jpg
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NWADC9
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RE: WN 737-700 Blister?

Sat Sep 25, 2010 6:24 pm

It's for Wi-Fi. Only a handful of the Southwest birds have 'em.
Flying an aeroplane with only a single propeller to keep you in the air. Can you imagine that? -Capt. Picard
 
WNCrew
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RE: WN 737-700 Blister?

Sun Sep 26, 2010 5:22 am

Quoting NWADC9 (Reply 1):
It's for Wi-Fi. Only a handful of the Southwest birds have 'em.

CORRECT! We're retrofitting -700's daily, with an expected 40-50 to be done by years end. That doesn't really put a dent in our some 300+ -700s but as I understand it they're doing it as fast as they can.
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
QANTAS747-438
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RE: WN 737-700 Blister?

Sun Sep 26, 2010 8:54 am

WN is using a company called Row 44 for our internet/Wi-Fi. Row 44 is a satellite based internet system, whereas most other carriers use a ground based system. From what I gather, the satellite based one requires different hardware and that's the reason that the blister is so large on a WN jet, when compared to other airlines.

An added tidbit for those interested: The FAs have to do little to nothing for the service to work. It automatically turns on once the plane has reached 10,000 feet and automatically shuts off at around 4,000 feet, I think. There's a control panel in the aft galley that the FAs have access to, but I'm not sure what it does other than show that it's on or not.

Quoting WNCrew (Reply 2):
CORRECT! We're retrofitting -700's daily, with an expected 40-50 to be done by years end. That doesn't really put a dent in our some 300+ -700s but as I understand it they're doing it as fast as they can.

Yeah, they're really moving! For September they've done tail numbers: 455, 458, 930, 425, 244, 454, 247, 287, 457, 239, 291, 456, and 487.

October is getting tails: 491, 493, 492, 495, 281, 433, 428, 294, 929, 250, 916, 932, 253, 285, and 256.

I don't know if there's any pattern in which they're installing the Wi-Fi. I do notice that they're 200, 400, and 900 tail numbers. No 700 tail numbers.
My posts/replies are strictly my opinion and not that of any company, organization, or Southwest Airlines.
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: WN 737-700 Blister?

Sun Sep 26, 2010 11:46 am

Just curious....Any numbers as to the Increased drag by this Installation.What performance penalty will take place?
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QANTAS747-438
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RE: WN 737-700 Blister?

Sun Sep 26, 2010 6:34 pm

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 4):
Just curious....Any numbers as to the Increased drag by this Installation.What performance penalty will take place?

Not that I've heard. That's the only thing on this process that WN hasn't talked about. I heard a few rumors that there was significant drag on them and that is one of the reasons WN was testing it for so long. Whatever the results were, WN must be happy with it as they're doinng the whole -700 fleet.
My posts/replies are strictly my opinion and not that of any company, organization, or Southwest Airlines.
 
unattendedbag
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RE: WN 737-700 Blister?

Mon Sep 27, 2010 2:40 am

Quoting UltimateDelta (Thread starter):
Southwest 737 with a visible blister on top, sort of like the satellite antenna

link to a news article about it from Jan. '08

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...ht-internet-trial-by-end-year.html
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mrskyguy
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RE: WN 737-700 Blister?

Mon Sep 27, 2010 4:30 am

Quoting QANTAS747-438 (Reply 5):
Not that I've heard. That's the only thing on this process that WN hasn't talked about. I heard a few rumors that there was significant drag on them and that is one of the reasons WN was testing it for so long. Whatever the results were, WN must be happy with it as they're doinng the whole -700 fleet.

Any word on the classics, or will they not be retrofitted with the R44 antenna? If memory serves me correctly, WN engineering told me that this section is the weakest section of the 733's fuselage.
"The strength of the turbulence is directly proportional to the temperature of your coffee." -- Gunter's 2nd Law of Air
 
QANTAS747-438
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RE: WN 737-700 Blister?

Mon Sep 27, 2010 6:57 am

Quoting mrskyguy (Reply 7):
Any word on the classics, or will they not be retrofitted with the R44 antenna? If memory serves me correctly, WN engineering told me that this section is the weakest section of the 733's fuselage.

As of now, no, the -300s will not get WiFi. Signs are starting to point towards the -300s going away so I don't expect them to ever get it. Heck, not even all the -300s are getting winglets!

As for the weak section on the -300, I haven't heard that and don't know anything about it.
My posts/replies are strictly my opinion and not that of any company, organization, or Southwest Airlines.
 
WNCrew
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RE: WN 737-700 Blister?

Wed Sep 29, 2010 6:04 am

Quoting QANTAS747-438 (Reply 8):
As of now, no, the -300s will not get WiFi. Signs are starting to point towards the -300s going away so I don't expect them to ever get it.

Yet I love how that's never mentioned in any of the communication. It's always "fleetwide" and "across the entire fleet" etc etc but it sounds like somebody might already know that's not the case.
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.

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