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pwm2txlhopper
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What was FedEx using for long I ternational Routes prior to introduction of MD-11?

Mon Nov 15, 2021 6:12 pm

Prior to the introduction of the MD-11 to the fleet, I’d like to know what FedEx was flying on long international routes, say mid-late 1980s and early 1990s?

Was the DC-10-30 their primary long range fleet during this time? Or was the A300 also used? (I don’t know when the A300 arrived in their fleet) I do remember their 747-100/200 from Flying Tigers merger, but I recall there weren’t many of those frames in the fleet and they were gone by 1995. Last time I saw one was in MEM in summer 1994.

Also, were the 727s ever used to points in Central America, or Northern South American countries within range from MEM? I know they went into Mexico from MEM.
Last edited by pwm2txlhopper on Mon Nov 15, 2021 6:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.
 
UA444
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Re: What was FedEx using for long I ternational Routes prior to introduction of MD-11?

Mon Nov 15, 2021 6:16 pm

The DC-10s did a lot of Asia and Atlantic flying.

Keep in mind, there was a lot more tech stops and not as big of a network back in the day as there is now.
 
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pwm2txlhopper
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Re: What was FedEx using for long I ternational Routes prior to introduction of MD-11?

Mon Nov 15, 2021 6:18 pm

UA444 wrote:
The DC-10s did a lot of Asia and Atlantic flying.

Keep in mind, there was a lot more tech stops and not as big of a network back in the day as there is now.



Would like to know when the DC-10’s were essentially limited to Domestic services for the most part? Or at least to short routes within a few hours of MEM.
 
bigb
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Re: What was FedEx using for long I ternational Routes prior to introduction of MD-11?

Mon Nov 15, 2021 6:54 pm

FedEx also had the old Flying Tigers 742Fs
 
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Spacepope
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Re: What was FedEx using for long I ternational Routes prior to introduction of MD-11?

Mon Nov 15, 2021 7:48 pm

Yep, DC-10s, and the 747s did some work overseas too.

 
WayexTDI
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Re: What was FedEx using for long I ternational Routes prior to introduction of MD-11?

Mon Nov 15, 2021 8:45 pm

pwm2txlhopper wrote:
UA444 wrote:
The DC-10s did a lot of Asia and Atlantic flying.

Keep in mind, there was a lot more tech stops and not as big of a network back in the day as there is now.



Would like to know when the DC-10’s were essentially limited to Domestic services for the most part? Or at least to short routes within a few hours of MEM.

Per AirFleets, FedEx had 747-100s up to 1/1/1995 (MSN 20013) and 747-200s up to May 1996 (MSN 20827).
 
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barney captain
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Re: What was FedEx using for long I ternational Routes prior to introduction of MD-11?

Mon Nov 15, 2021 9:20 pm

pwm2txlhopper wrote:
Also, were the 727s ever used to points in Central America, or Northern South American countries within range from MEM? I know they went into Mexico from MEM.


I rode the jumpseat in a fedex 727 in the mid 90's (1995 iirc) that started in MEM and made stops in MIA, CCS and MAO before ending in CPQ north Sao Paulo Brasil.
 
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UPlog
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Re: What was FedEx using for long I ternational Routes prior to introduction of MD-11?

Mon Nov 15, 2021 9:56 pm

Keep in mind the FedEx international network was minimal until the Flying Tigers merger in 1989.

For example to Europe, it was a single DC-10 service to London that commenced in 1985, while the first Asia service was a flight to Japan in 1988.
 
cedarjet
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Re: What was FedEx using for long I ternational Routes prior to introduction of MD-11?

Mon Nov 15, 2021 10:23 pm

UPlog has beaten me to it but I concur, FedEx was USA-only until 1989, when they merged with post-WW2 fly-by-night maniacs turned global cargo giant, the mighty FLYING TIGER LINE. FedEx would never have been able to build something on that scale in a timeframe that made the effort worthwhile, whereas Flying Tigers had been well-established in Kai Tak, Frankfurt, Sydney etc for decades and delivered global reach on a plate. FedEx paid a billion dollars for it, a huge aviation heritage. Honorable mention for Seaboard World who themselves were taken over by Flying Tigers circa 1980, whose 747s were maybe the most beautiful ever.

FedEx flew the 747s into the 1990s although only painted one of them. They even kept the DC-8-73s for a year or two, and none painted alas. I think initially they were replaced by a bunch of second-hand DC-10s before the MD-11s came along. Btw Flying Tigers had a passenger division operating 747 charters and FedEx kept that going for a year or two, fully FedEx branded passenger operation.

Read all about it with these books
Flying Tiger Memories
https://theairlineboutique.co.uk/FLYING ... ORIES.html
and Tiger 747
https://theairlineboutique.co.uk/Tiger-747.html
 
UA444
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Re: What was FedEx using for long I ternational Routes prior to introduction of MD-11?

Mon Nov 15, 2021 10:33 pm

WayexTDI wrote:
pwm2txlhopper wrote:
UA444 wrote:
The DC-10s did a lot of Asia and Atlantic flying.

Keep in mind, there was a lot more tech stops and not as big of a network back in the day as there is now.



Would like to know when the DC-10’s were essentially limited to Domestic services for the most part? Or at least to short routes within a few hours of MEM.

Per AirFleets, FedEx had 747-100s up to 1/1/1995 (MSN 20013) and 747-200s up to May 1996 (MSN 20827).

There are photos of FX 742's at Kai Tak in 1997
 
69bug
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Re: What was FedEx using for long I ternational Routes prior to introduction of MD-11?

Wed Nov 17, 2021 4:03 am

Was working for a ground-handler in SIN which handled Tigers and later on Fedex. We only had DC-10-30s coming to the region. the 747s which we did see were mainly charters, one memorable charter was for 2 B747s to carry oil-fighting equipment to Kuwait post the first Gulf War.

The DC-10-30s were tails 301-315, of which 301-305 had a small lower deck fwd door (LD3 only). Ok if the planes were operated as planned but last minute swaps from large to small door (or vv) would require a lot of re-loading of ULDs. Later on Fedex bought some aircraft off Sabena and these were tails 320-322, these were popular with jumpseaters as they had more seats in the galley, 4 instead of 2. These were replaced with MD11s sometime around 1993 I think.

Later on around 1995 they based some A310s in Subic Bay to do regional flights to SIN/KUL/BKK/PEN. Slightly better maintenance wise but not easy to get in decent trim as the rear was just too short.

bug
 
69bug
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Re: What was FedEx using for long I ternational Routes prior to introduction of MD-11?

Wed Nov 17, 2021 4:12 am

When we eventually got MD-11s in SIN, Fedex had only 5 or 6 of them and it seemed that N601 and 602 were not well liked by the crews. We had to do the crew wake-up calls and most of them would ask which aircraft they would be operating and if we told them 601/602 they usually groaned.

These 2 aircraft were used by MDD in the development programme and once the airplane was certified they were sold to Fedex. They were not that bad in that they did not breakdown as much but maybe not as good from the pilots perspective.

bug
 
LTEN11
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Re: What was FedEx using for long I ternational Routes prior to introduction of MD-11?

Wed Nov 17, 2021 7:21 am

For the majority of international freight/parcels, it would've gone on other carriers as general cargo. Fedex just didn't have the international reach, or volumes back then to warrant flying their own aircraft to most destinations.
 
HPRamper
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Re: What was FedEx using for long I ternational Routes prior to introduction of MD-11?

Wed Nov 17, 2021 9:59 am

69bug wrote:
Was working for a ground-handler in SIN which handled Tigers and later on Fedex. We only had DC-10-30s coming to the region. the 747s which we did see were mainly charters, one memorable charter was for 2 B747s to carry oil-fighting equipment to Kuwait post the first Gulf War.

The DC-10-30s were tails 301-315, of which 301-305 had a small lower deck fwd door (LD3 only). Ok if the planes were operated as planned but last minute swaps from large to small door (or vv) would require a lot of re-loading of ULDs. Later on Fedex bought some aircraft off Sabena and these were tails 320-322, these were popular with jumpseaters as they had more seats in the galley, 4 instead of 2. These were replaced with MD11s sometime around 1993 I think.

Later on around 1995 they based some A310s in Subic Bay to do regional flights to SIN/KUL/BKK/PEN. Slightly better maintenance wise but not easy to get in decent trim as the rear was just too short.

bug

Very interesting stuff. We still have some of those 10-30s, in fact even with peak upcoming 320 is scheduled to be sent to VCV on 11/23.

Those regional SE Asia flights are now operated mostly with 767/757 but stopping over at CRK or MNL, no more Subic.
 
Fixinthe757
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Re: What was FedEx using for long I ternational Routes prior to introduction of MD-11?

Wed Nov 17, 2021 11:36 am

WayexTDI wrote:
pwm2txlhopper wrote:
UA444 wrote:
The DC-10s did a lot of Asia and Atlantic flying.

Keep in mind, there was a lot more tech stops and not as big of a network back in the day as there is now.



Would like to know when the DC-10’s were essentially limited to Domestic services for the most part? Or at least to short routes within a few hours of MEM.

Per AirFleets, FedEx had 747-100s up to 1/1/1995 (MSN 20013) and 747-200s up to May 1996 (MSN 20827).


They had them longer than that. I began working on commercial aircraft in Apr 96, my first was a FedEx 747-200, N639FE. I worked a couple more into 97. They had 5 at that time.
 
69bug
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Re: What was FedEx using for long I ternational Routes prior to introduction of MD-11?

Fri Nov 19, 2021 1:17 am

Fixinthe757 wrote:
WayexTDI wrote:
pwm2txlhopper wrote:

They had them longer than that. I began working on commercial aircraft in Apr 96, my first was a FedEx 747-200, N639FE. I worked a couple more into 97. They had 5 at that time.


Tigers (and later Fedex) had a few 747s with the JT9-70A.. these were N811-815FT and I believe they were previously with Seaboard World and came in during the merger (takeover/buyout) These engines looked like GE CF6s, even from close up. It was only when you saw the eagle on the cowls that you did a double take. Apart from the cowls it was pretty much similar to the normal JT9s..loved to drink oil...

bug
 
Fixinthe757
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Re: What was FedEx using for long I ternational Routes prior to introduction of MD-11?

Sat Nov 20, 2021 11:26 am

69bug wrote:
Fixinthe757 wrote:
WayexTDI wrote:


Tigers (and later Fedex) had a few 747s with the JT9-70A.. these were N811-815FT and I believe they were previously with Seaboard World and came in during the merger (takeover/buyout) These engines looked like GE CF6s, even from close up. It was only when you saw the eagle on the cowls that you did a double take. Apart from the cowls it was pretty much similar to the normal JT9s..loved to drink oil...

bug

639FE and the other 4 they had at the time, sorry i cant remember all the tail numbers, this was 1996 ya know, all had the -70s on them. Again i worked on three of them. Probably the ones youre referring to, just renumbered when they went to FedEx
 
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foxecho
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Re: What was FedEx using for long I ternational Routes prior to introduction of MD-11?

Sat Nov 20, 2021 2:26 pm

barney captain wrote:
pwm2txlhopper wrote:
Also, were the 727s ever used to points in Central America, or Northern South American countries within range from MEM? I know they went into Mexico from MEM.


I rode the jumpseat in a fedex 727 in the mid 90's (1995 iirc) that started in MEM and made stops in MIA, CCS and MAO before ending in CPQ north Sao Paulo Brasil.


Worked that line in Memphis around 96 or so I thought it was awesome they sent a 727 that far.... I cannot imagine how you did the jumpseat to Brazil, I could barely deal with it MEM JFK!! :lol:

Andrew
Retired FX/DL JFK MEM MCI SYR ABQ
 
F27500
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Re: What was FedEx using for long I ternational Routes prior to introduction of MD-11?

Sat Nov 20, 2021 4:06 pm

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