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727glasair
Topic Author
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Western Airlines DC-10 "Spaceship"

Wed Feb 20, 2019 12:08 pm

As a boy and then as a teenager I flew fairly often on WAL. They had some character named Wally Bird claiming they were "the only way to fly". In fact, my very first widebody flight was on their DC-10 Spaceship from PDX to SEA....amazing, such heavy hardware on a 29 minute flight time like that! Looking back, Western had a fascinating route structure and airplanes. For example, I flew their 707-320B....or is it called 720B?....from LAX to HNL....I recall that jet had some real take-off power if needed!
Also, I flew on their 737-200 to Sheridan, WY. That was a unique offering....a 737 into Sheridan? Really enjoyed that, inspired me to get my pilot license!
 
SpaceshipDC10
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Re: Western Airlines DC-10 "Spaceship"

Wed Feb 20, 2019 12:20 pm

727glasair wrote:
I flew their 707-320B....or is it called 720B?


It's either one or the other and they had both of 'em.





What's your question about the Spaceship?
 
727glasair
Topic Author
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Re: Western Airlines DC-10 "Spaceship"

Wed Feb 20, 2019 12:27 pm

Was wondering about WAL's routing of the DC-10....and remarking about how much things have changed. Also I think they had one DC-10-30 and deployed it to LHR....
 
Max Q
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Re: Western Airlines DC-10 "Spaceship"

Wed Feb 20, 2019 12:29 pm

727glasair wrote:
As a boy and then as a teenager I flew fairly often on WAL. They had some character named Wally Bird claiming they were "the only way to fly". In fact, my very first widebody flight was on their DC-10 Spaceship from PDX to SEA....amazing, such heavy hardware on a 29 minute flight time like that! Looking back, Western had a fascinating route structure and airplanes. For example, I flew their 707-320B....or is it called 720B?....from LAX to HNL....I recall that jet had some real take-off power if needed!
Also, I flew on their 737-200 to Sheridan, WY. That was a unique offering....a 737 into Sheridan? Really enjoyed that, inspired me to get my pilot license!



Outstanding name ‘spaceship’ a double entendre implying the high technology of the space program in that era and the ‘space’ of that new wide body
 
Max Q
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Re: Western Airlines DC-10 "Spaceship"

Wed Feb 20, 2019 12:32 pm

And an outstanding movie scene in ‘Commando’ with a Western DC10 is Arnold Schwarzenegger’s escape through the nose gear well as it rotates for departure!
 
SpaceshipDC10
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Re: Western Airlines DC-10 "Spaceship"

Wed Feb 20, 2019 12:41 pm

727glasair wrote:
Was wondering about WAL's routing of the DC-10....(...). Also I think they had one DC-10-30 and deployed it to LHR....


The DC-10-30 was brought in to serve the short-lived DEN-LGW. As I recall it, the flight originated at LAX. Later, after the route to LGW was cut, it was flown LAX-HNL-NAN in cooperation with and full livery of Air Pacific. It looked beautiful.

The other DC-10s were mostly flown from SAN, SFO, LAX, SEA, ANC and YVR to HNL and in between these cities. Later you'd find them on LAX-MIA too. They even appeared on a very short-lived and unsuccessful HNL-ANC-LGW service.
 
SpaceshipDC10
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Re: Western Airlines DC-10 "Spaceship"

Wed Feb 20, 2019 12:45 pm

Max Q wrote:
And an outstanding movie scene in ‘Commando’ with a Western DC10 is Arnold Schwarzenegger’s escape through the nose gear well as it rotates for departure!


There's that, but also, at the moment he boards the aircraft, you can see the DC-10 is the one in hybrid livery.
 
727glasair
Topic Author
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Re: Western Airlines DC-10 "Spaceship"

Wed Feb 20, 2019 12:55 pm

My friend, captain Marty Foy, told me the thrust reversers were generally 'not very effective' on the '10.....
 
PHXANTHEM
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Re: Western Airlines DC-10 "Spaceship"

Wed Feb 20, 2019 1:23 pm

For many years, Western operated a DC-10 MSP/LAX/HNL, it’s was flight 501 westbound, 500 east.
 
BravoOne
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Re: Western Airlines DC-10 "Spaceship"

Wed Feb 20, 2019 1:45 pm

WAL had both the B720B and the 707-320C. No 320B;s FWIW. The DC10-10's were operated pretty much throughout the systems larger cities along with one DC10-30 that was a former ANZ aircraft. I flew the DC10's for about four+ years out of SLC tp HNL/OGG with stops in SAN, LAX and SFO. Occasional flights to SEA/ANC along with ORD/DFW as well. Great times for sure.
 
880dc8707
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Re: Western Airlines DC-10 "Spaceship"

Wed Feb 20, 2019 2:20 pm

Flew WA 10's in F - LAX SEA but WX diversion to PDX
Rtn SEA LAX flew right over a still smoking Mt St Helens (1980)
Service was spectacular, Breakfast was like eating in a nice restaurant
 
DesertAir
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Re: Western Airlines DC-10 "Spaceship"

Wed Feb 20, 2019 2:26 pm

I flew one of Western's DC-10s from LAX to MEX in 1986.
 
Prost
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Re: Western Airlines DC-10 "Spaceship"

Wed Feb 20, 2019 4:19 pm

Waiting for a flight to YVR when the DC-10 was new, there was a seat map with DC-10 spaceship. I was about 6 or 7, and the seat map showed stubs where the wings were, so they looked like the fins of a rocket.

Imagine my disappointment that I wasn’t actually boarding a spaceship. DAMN YOU WALLY BIRD!
 
MrBretz
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Re: Western Airlines DC-10 "Spaceship"

Wed Feb 20, 2019 4:39 pm

I flew BOS to/from SLC on a Western DC-10 a few times. It was in the late 80s, I think.
 
mga707
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Re: Western Airlines DC-10 "Spaceship"

Wed Feb 20, 2019 4:42 pm

MrBretz wrote:
I flew BOS to/from SLC on a Western DC-10 a few times. It was in the late 80s, I think.


Had to be prior to April of 1987. That is when the Delta merger took place.
 
SpaceshipDC10
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Re: Western Airlines DC-10 "Spaceship"

Wed Feb 20, 2019 5:39 pm

DesertAir wrote:
I flew one of Western's DC-10s from LAX to MEX in 1986.


I believe MEX was part of the Spaceship network from very early on. One was even lost there 40 years ago, or so.
 
MrBretz
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Re: Western Airlines DC-10 "Spaceship"

Wed Feb 20, 2019 5:40 pm

mga707 wrote:
MrBretz wrote:
I flew BOS to/from SLC on a Western DC-10 a few times. It was in the late 80s, I think.


Had to be prior to April of 1987. That is when the Delta merger took place.


That must be right. As I recall, it happened soon after my trip. I should have looked it up before posting. In any case, the flight from Boston was late. I missed my connection and spent the night near the SLC airport.
Last edited by MrBretz on Wed Feb 20, 2019 5:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
georgiabill
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Re: Western Airlines DC-10 "Spaceship"

Wed Feb 20, 2019 5:44 pm

WA also flew their DC-10'S MSP-SFO-HNL-SFO-MSP in the late 70'S. Morning flight MSP-SFO and redeye SFO-MSP
 
BN747
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Re: Western Airlines DC-10 "Spaceship"

Wed Feb 20, 2019 6:00 pm

I flew a on a Western DC-10-10 from SLC-JFK-SLC for the short period of time that they pulled that off. I also photographed one at MIA in the early 80s.
Many WA trips on 737s, 727s and a few on 707.720 aircraft - never a bad ride with Western.

BN747
 
CFWAD
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Re: Western Airlines DC-10 "Spaceship"

Wed Feb 20, 2019 6:08 pm

Was YVR Western's only Canadian destination? Or did they ever serve YYC or YEG?

Seem to recall the only write off of one their "Spaceships" was the landing accident in MEX.

Crazy to think what was then served with w/ a DC10 widebody is now served with a Q400! (SEA-PDX).
 
BoeingGuy
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Re: Western Airlines DC-10 "Spaceship"

Wed Feb 20, 2019 6:19 pm

WA also flew the DC-10 LAX-MIA-FLL. I believe they also flew them into NAS at one time.

Pretty sure WA served YYC also.
 
georgiabill
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Re: Western Airlines DC-10 "Spaceship"

Wed Feb 20, 2019 6:22 pm

I believe LAX-MIA was 2x morning departure and redeye departure from LAX for a peroid of time in the late 70'S and early 80'S. Yes both NAS and FLL were served by WA DC-10'S. Will get flight numbers as soon as I dig out old schedules.
 
SpaceshipDC10
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Re: Western Airlines DC-10 "Spaceship"

Wed Feb 20, 2019 6:31 pm

CFWAD wrote:
Was YVR Western's only Canadian destination? Or did they ever serve YYC or YEG?



See here: https://flic.kr/p/s9W8sB
 
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ClassicLover
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Re: Western Airlines DC-10 "Spaceship"

Wed Feb 20, 2019 6:59 pm

Max Q wrote:
And an outstanding movie scene in ‘Commando’ with a Western DC10 is Arnold Schwarzenegger’s escape through the nose gear well as it rotates for departure!


Agreed, I love that scene... and inside the DC-10, such as the cabin, the doors that go into the ceiling... and apparently how you can access the cargo hold from the lower galley. It's really well done!
 
JOSEMEX
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Re: Western Airlines DC-10 "Spaceship"

Wed Feb 20, 2019 7:16 pm

I flew one of them ACA-LAX in 1974, when I was a little kid. We boarded via airstairs and that's the first time I realized that GE made airplane engines (and not only home appliances)
 
727glasair
Topic Author
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Re: Western Airlines DC-10 "Spaceship"

Thu Feb 21, 2019 3:33 am

Yes, Nassau was served from LAX. Was there a super short leg MIA-FLL ??
 
PSAatSAN4Ever
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Re: Western Airlines DC-10 "Spaceship"

Thu Feb 21, 2019 5:12 am

Western Airlines flight #2605 was an oddity - I can find no reference to any widebody service to Mexico City either before or after the accident, nor any red-eye flights. Considering also that in the 1970's four digit-numbered flights were extremely rare, indicating something else about the schedule and service were unique.

http://www.departedflights.com/timetables2.html

In my trips to LAX as a child in the early 1970's, I always looked forward to seeing Western Airlines - the iconic giant W that became the cheatline, with the simple but elegant "Western" on the tail in black and white. Simple, yet very bold and attention-grabbing. And it was equally amazing on both the DC-10 and the 727-200:

 
Max Q
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Re: Western Airlines DC-10 "Spaceship"

Thu Feb 21, 2019 9:02 am

ClassicLover wrote:
Max Q wrote:
And an outstanding movie scene in ‘Commando’ with a Western DC10 is Arnold Schwarzenegger’s escape through the nose gear well as it rotates for departure!


Agreed, I love that scene... and inside the DC-10, such as the cabin, the doors that go into the ceiling... and apparently how you can access the cargo hold from the lower galley. It's really well done!




Classic, before disembarking in that unusual manner Schwarzenegger dispatches one of the bad guys, leaving him in a seat with his hat over his face


‘Don’t disturb my friend, he’s dead tired’
he says to a flight attendant, great stuff



Btw, in addition to the DC10, the L1011 and B767 also have doors that open vertically
Into the roof
 
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ClassicLover
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Re: Western Airlines DC-10 "Spaceship"

Thu Feb 21, 2019 7:28 pm

Max Q wrote:
‘Don’t disturb my friend, he’s dead tired’
he says to a flight attendant, great stuff

Btw, in addition to the DC10, the L1011 and B767 also have doors that open vertically
Into the roof


I can quote lines from that movie, it's so good. I've seen it many times.

Indeed, but I think Commando was the first movie I saw which opened my eyes that the doors could do that. I wonder why they don't do that these days.
 
ILNFlyer
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Re: Western Airlines DC-10 "Spaceship"

Thu Feb 21, 2019 8:50 pm

I flew a WA 727 from MSP to LAS about 1981.
 
SpaceshipDC10
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Re: Western Airlines DC-10 "Spaceship"

Thu Feb 21, 2019 9:05 pm

I think they should have used red for the tail titles instead of dark blue.

 
Max Q
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Re: Western Airlines DC-10 "Spaceship"

Fri Feb 22, 2019 2:13 am

ClassicLover wrote:
Max Q wrote:
‘Don’t disturb my friend, he’s dead tired’
he says to a flight attendant, great stuff

Btw, in addition to the DC10, the L1011 and B767 also have doors that open vertically
Into the roof


I can quote lines from that movie, it's so good. I've seen it many times.

Indeed, but I think Commando was the first movie I saw which opened my eyes that the doors could do that. I wonder why they don't do that these days.



It was a fine flick, I like the flying scenes with the Grumman Amphibian as well


I think those vertically opening doors went away due to their weight, complexity and the space their tracks took up in the sidewalks and crown area



There was an interesting thread on it here a while back
 
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malaysia
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Re: Western Airlines DC-10 "Spaceship"

Fri Feb 22, 2019 6:39 am

MD-11 had vertical doors too, but I am curious about someone saying commando had a hybrid livery. I was watching the movie again and it looks like the regular Western White version like others. But as a child I kinda got mixed up thinking it was ConWest DC-10 until I had to see it again years later. since the corny International Airport movie was made same year? That did have a giant C decal placed before the W over a Western DC-10 along with the tail lettering as well in International Airport, however Commando had approval to use Western, not a fake airline.

Anyone know where the airport scenes were filmed of the Western Dc-10 taking off along with him boarding it, since it shows a World DC-10 next door, but looks too green to be LAX? I know the terminal scenes are LAX, and of course no Marsh at end of runway for him to jump into, he would end up jumping into sand dunes instead if it was LAX.

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