Topic Author
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Did The 737-400 Bonk?

Sat Jul 08, 2000 10:36 pm

Does anyone know what the story is on that aircraft. I never hear about it, and I never see any American airlines use this plane. With the exception of apple vacations. Can someone tell me what happened to this program? Who knows, maybe it was a real success. I don't know.

RE: Did The 737-400 Bonk?

Sat Jul 08, 2000 10:39 pm

It is an aircraft mainly operated by charter airlines. But in the US, Proair, and US Airways(ugh!) use them.
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RE: Did The 737-400 Bonk?

Sat Jul 08, 2000 11:16 pm

Alaska Airlines also flies the -400.
I'm not dumb. I just have a command of thoroughly useless information.
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RE: Did The 737-400 Bonk?

Sat Jul 08, 2000 11:49 pm

The "734" was / is a hugely successful design, loads of airlines use it - British Airways have used it as the backbone of their European fleet for years.

BTW, this is a new use of the word 'bonk' for me - anyone want to guess what it means in the form of the English language spoken in England? In the context of an aeroplane, it's pretty funny. (I personally have never bonked a machine of any kind.)
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
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RE: Did The 737-400 Bonk?

Sun Jul 09, 2000 1:23 am

"Bonk" is to fail.
When he asked if the 734 'bonked', he wanted to know if it failed.
Get your patchouli stink outta my store!

RE: Did The 737-400 Bonk?

Sun Jul 09, 2000 3:49 am

Aloha operated 737-400s (as well as -300s and -500s) briefly in the Hawaiian Islands, but for some strange reason replaced them with -200s. They use -200s on the pacific island routes and -700s to California.
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RE: Did The 737-400 Bonk?

Sun Jul 09, 2000 10:00 am

The 737-300 was the most popular. Out of roughly 2000 737-300/400/500, about 1100 are -300. About 500 are -400 and about 400 are -500. Who bought and used them has mostly to do with how many seats an airline needed, but I would say that if about 25% of the overall fleet are in this model, it's hard to characterize it as a "failure".


RE: Did The 737-400 Bonk?

Sun Jul 09, 2000 10:18 am

Did you get the word from the Power Bar commercial?

Topic Author
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RE: Did The 737-400 Bonk?

Sun Jul 09, 2000 10:55 am

Yes I did. I thought it would live n things up.
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With US Carriers: Somewhat Boinked

Sun Jul 09, 2000 12:33 pm

One reason the 734 never really took off with most -US based carriers- is the limited range and performance the airplane has, particularly with carriers that have hubs at hot and high locations like Denver, Phoenix, Las Vegas, etc. Carriers targeted (like UAL in 1992) wanted to perform nonstop transcon flights between East and West Coast with an airplane that size but could not with the 734. It was entirely dependent upon which niche a certain carrier operated. The -400 does excellent on short to moderate stage length routes, shuttle routes in particular, but longer routes it just doesnt have the capability without a severe payload restriction. A major reason why is it's wing combined with the extra weight it's hauling.

It's excellent in the regional role', finding homes with launch customer Piedmont/USAir, ProAir (on the verge of going belly up I've heard unfortunately) and Alaska (good sized fleet there). Launch customer Piedmont Airlines ordered quite a bunch of them in the late 80s and planned to operate them on high density short-medium range routes, which is exactly where it's purchaser USAirways operates them today. It didnt seem to take off with the other major US carriers though. You'd think they would have been a shoo-in for Southwest, but they seem content with the -300/-700 and -500 sized airplanes. The -400 would have required extra crew to work and they are sticklers about a very cut and dry operating plan. I have heard the performance issues with the -400 factored in a long time ago particularly for hot and high destinations like Phoenix & LasVegas and the payload penalties played a role. They do have the capability to convert to the -800 on this new order they just placed.

Further footnote regarding performance issues: Friends of mine with connections at BA maintenance claim they werent overly fond of the CFM engines on the -400 though on various issues and it played a role in their decision to opt for the A32X and IAE engine combo.

I've flown on China Airlines 737-400s and thought they were fine overall (it was a light passenger load each time I've flown them) configuration with the fold down monitors. They employed them on mostly short-medium range regional routes however.

Archie Bunker
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RE: With US Carriers: Somewhat Boinked

Sun Jul 09, 2000 1:32 pm

you had to put that airbus comment in the end...    
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RE: Definition Of "bonl"

Sun Jul 09, 2000 10:37 pm

Pardon me if I'm wrong, but I thought "bonk" was the act of hitting something, like, "I bonked my sister on the head." Or it could mean that it hit a wall in regarding to sales and wasn't very successful, which I think is wrong, because it had good sales for a simple stretch of the classic 737-300. Of course, the MD-88 was and always will be superior to it.

RE: Did The 737-400 Bonk?

Sun Jul 09, 2000 10:56 pm

Looks like asking Did the 737-400 Bonk? only amuses those of us who live in the UK  
I didn't know what kind of perverted stuff I was going to find when I opened this thread, It did cross my mind there might be some appalling doctored photo of a 737...
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RE: Did The 737-400 Bonk?

Mon Jul 10, 2000 2:44 am

Bonk DOES mean to hit something, but it has more than one use (see prior message.)
I was a bit confused myself when I first heard the word bonk in that context.
Get your patchouli stink outta my store!
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The Use Of The Word Bonk

Mon Jul 10, 2000 3:21 am

Naw, I'm not British, yet I was quite amused by the use of the word bonk, even in the powerbar commercial, I was amused, because 'bonk' doesn't mean fail where I come from. And if used in the same sentence as sister, it also has to include the word West Virginia.   Just kidding folks.
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RE: Did The 737-400 Bonk?

Mon Jul 10, 2000 6:47 am

Yes, obviously not all on this side of 'the Pond' are familiar with(or exposed to) terms used in Britain. It helped being attached to a Brit unit in Cyprus, and also enjoying British humour...However, it can be used in context of hitting someone..."I bonked them over the head".
Getting back to the topic, as mentioned before, it didn't really fail - it doesn't mean because "Big Name" carriers(BA exempt) didn't purchase it, it was a failure. Again look at the percentage built. It just didn't fit in with the requirements of those airlines. It fit in with plenty of others:
Aer Lingus
Air Belgium
Air Berlin
Air Europa
Air Nauru
Air Vanuatu
Alaska Airlines
Aloha Airlines
British Airways
British Midland
Carnival Air Lines
China Airlines
CSA- Czech Airlines
Futura International Airways
Garuda Indonesia
Instanbul Airlines
Japan Airlines
Lauda Air
Malaysia Airlines
Malev - Hugarian Airlines
Myanmar Airways
Olympic Airways
Royal Air Cambodge
Royal Air Maroc
Sun Express
Thai Airways International
Turkish Airlines
US Airways
Virgin Express
Phew! That's alot of airlines for a 'failure'
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RE: Did The 737-400 Bonk?

Mon Jul 10, 2000 8:45 am

Sabena, Qantas, US Airways, Lauda, KLM, and Aeroflot aren't big names?  
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RE: Did The 737-400 Bonk?

Mon Jul 10, 2000 9:16 am

Qantas operate 22 of the -400 aircraft type.

I also was a little concerned at the terminology used. One could have come back with the response "only if the B737-300 was in for a Shag?"

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Mon Jul 10, 2000 9:20 am

I was only saying that in retrospect that it(BA) was mentioned in an earlier thread and going by the originators comment "I never see any American airlines use this plane..exception of apple vacations" Perhaps to some people, these are not "Big Name" airlines.(I've noticed here in North America, some people only know what they see - American, Delta, United, Air Canada, for example) Also, I'll admit I may have tried to send it off too quick as when I was listing the airlines, I did notice quite a few national, or "Big Name"(as some may refer to them) airlines and neglected to change the earlier part of the message...sorry...
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RE: Did The 737-400 Bonk?

Mon Jul 10, 2000 1:41 pm

A model selling 500 examples could hardly be considered a failure but in the case of the 737-400 competition with the A320 was certainly a factor which restricted its sales. The A320, which first flew at about the same time as the 734, offers higher levels of technology (fly-by-wire) and greater range; it can easily handle transcontinental flights. It is also faster but has a significant weight penalty compared to 734. For these reasons, particularly that concerning its updated technology, the A320 won out in terms of overall orders. MD did not offer a direct competitor until 1993 when the MD-90 came out and that fared even more miserably, with only some 150 built. Again the technology issue seemed to dominate plus the general shift away from T-tailers.

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