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Cross757
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Stapleton (DEN) History Help

Mon Sep 10, 2007 12:43 am

Hello Everyone,

Having spent some wonderful childhood years growing up in Denver I was very sad to see Stapleton airport close. My parents would take my brother and I out to the 94th Aero Squadron restaurant on the south side of the airport for dinner every now and then, but all my brother and I wanted to do was stand out on the grass lawn behind the restaurant next to the fence and watch the two parallel streams of landing lights stretching out to the east as far as we could see on approach to 26L/26R. UA 727's and DC-10's, CO DC-9's, Frontier 737's, ah, the memories!

Anyway, as a hobby I'm starting to collect as much historical information about Stapleton as I can. I know there have been previous threads on this subject, and I have searched most/all of the website links contained therein. I even have an old Stapleton Airport Guide from about 1979 or so at home that contains a map of the terminal, etc. However, what I am looking for now is information regarding the airfield layout of Stapleton through the years from about the mid-1950's through the start of the jet-age through the mid-1980's. I have been able to view an airfield diagram from one website from around the 1940's (from the Abandoned and Little Known Airfields website, which is awesome....sorry, don't know how to post the link) and the time right before Stapleton closed, but nothing in between. So, I am curious to know the following:

1. From the 1950's through the 1980's, what was the airfield layout at Stapleton? How many runways did the airport have? Lengths? Orientation? (I think the parallel east-west runways were there from early on).
2. When was what would become runway 17R/35L built? I know the bridges had to be built over what would be I-70.
3. When was runway 17L/35R built?
4. From old aerial photographs, it appears there used to be a runway oriented roughly 12-30. True? How long was it?

Certainly the golden age of jet travel had just as much of an impact on Stapleton as it did on every other major airport, with the need for longer runways, etc, so I would just like some history on how Stapleton evolved to meet the needs of more modern aircraft as the years passed.

Any information would be much appreciated, and feel free to share some of your favorite Stapleton memories as well!

Thanks!

Cross757
 
DIA
Posts: 3053
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RE: Stapleton (DEN) History Help

Mon Sep 10, 2007 12:53 am

What are you, writing a book?  Smile

Try this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stapleton_International_Airport mainly for the other links supplied.

I've been associated with Stapleton for a long time now...great airport...and have many memories akin to yours, including the 94th Aer Squadron!

I'll see what else I can dig up...

Cheers
Ding! You are now free to keep supporting Frontier.
 
OPNLguy
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RE: Stapleton (DEN) History Help

Mon Sep 10, 2007 1:14 am

Quoting DIA (Reply 1):
the 94th Aero Squadron!

Are there any of these left around the country? DAL used to have one on the east side of the field, but it was razed to make room for the Signature FBO. I think I recall them at STL and MIA, but don't know if they're still there. Any others/

Edit:

Looks like the STL is gone, but there are still others..

http://www.specialtyrestaurants.com/...ng_corporate_banquet_aviation.html

[Edited 2007-09-09 18:18:07]
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
OceansWorld
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RE: Stapleton (DEN) History Help

Mon Sep 10, 2007 1:18 am

Quoting Cross757 (Thread starter):
How many runways did the airport have?

Four, or two pairs of parallel runways. One pair had a separation of 900 feet, and the other 1600.

Quoting Cross757 (Thread starter):
Lengths?

The longest being 12,000 ft

Quoting Cross757 (Thread starter):
Orientation?

Two North-South and two East-West.

[Edited 2007-09-09 18:21:37]
 
OceansWorld
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RE: Stapleton (DEN) History Help

Mon Sep 10, 2007 1:41 am

Quoting Cross757 (Thread starter):
How many runways did the airport have?

This is the runway configuration I've known for Stapelton. I may be wrong, but I believe the north is is towards the top of the picture. At least I remember departing DEN on a UA DC-10 and having a very short taxi time from the lower concourse to the closest vertical (on the picture) runway.


http://www.aviationphotographs.net/S...ort/MarvinBerryman1/marvin-001.jpg
 
PanAm747
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RE: Stapleton (DEN) History Help

Mon Sep 10, 2007 1:44 am

On a side note, if you google map the city of Denver and switch to "Satellite", you will see the remnants of Stapleton still visible.

There are also some great pictures of Stapleton after its closure at http://www.airchive.com/SITE%20PAGES/PLANE-DIA.html
Pan Am:The World's Most Experienced Airline - P(oor) S(ailor's) A(irline): San Diego's Hometown Airline-Catch Our Smile!
 
SFOJFK
Posts: 58
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RE: Stapleton (DEN) History Help

Mon Sep 10, 2007 1:48 am

This should help:

Only 4 locations left.

http://www.the94thaerosquadron.com/

Quoting OPNLguy (Reply 2):
Quoting DIA (Reply 1):
the 94th Aero Squadron!

Are there any of these left around the country? DAL used to have one on the east side of the field, but it was razed to make room for the Signature FBO. I think I recall them at STL and MIA, but don't know if they're still there. Any others/

Edit:

Looks like the STL is gone, but there are still others..

http://www.specialtyrestaurants.com/....html
 
RyDawg82
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RE: Stapleton (DEN) History Help

Mon Sep 10, 2007 2:26 am

Cross,

Thanks for the great topic. Stapleton was an amazing place full of memories for me as well. You said you have reviewed the links found in other posts, so I won't re-type those. I will put this one in though full of photos, its link recently changed and some of the posts and other websites will misdirect you:
http://aviationphotographs.net/StapletonAirport/stapletonairport.html

Also, I don't know of the top of my head the information you are looking for; however, you might want to see if you can get your hand on a book call "Denver International Airport: Lessons Learned" (ISBN: 978-0071581844). It has been years since I have looked thru this book, but I seem to recall it having some history on Stapleton, the problems with the facility, and what was done to help mitigate problems until Denver International opened. The book is spendy, I checked to see if the Tattered Cover bookstore in Denver had it, but it is showing out of print. Before getting it on amazon, I would highly recommend seeing if the Denver library has a copy to see if it even has some of the information you are after.

I look forward to reading the answers to these questions,
Ryan

Edit:
Per this Stapleton flyer , "A new 13,200' runway is being built.....and will be completed in 1971"

Also per this flyer there was some sort of runway aligned to approximately 12/30. Dunno how long it lasted or if there was any sign of its existence.

[Edited 2007-09-09 19:49:10]
 
floorrunner
Posts: 187
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RE: Stapleton (DEN) History Help

Mon Sep 10, 2007 3:45 am

Try this link

http://oldterminals.topcities.com/denver.html

hope it is helpful
 
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SLCUT2777
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RE: Stapleton (DEN) History Help

Mon Sep 10, 2007 5:15 am

Quoting PanAm747 (Reply 5):
On a side note, if you google map the city of Denver and switch to "Satellite", you will see the remnants of Stapleton still visible.

Much of the old Stapleton site is being re-developed, and this redevelopment in turn is helping to pay off the bonding required to build DIA:

What Stapleton looked like 4 years prior to closure in 1991

Same image and year, but at a larger scale showing DIA under construction.

What the Stapleton site looks like now.
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timz
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RE: Stapleton (DEN) History Help

Mon Sep 10, 2007 6:16 am

In the 1950s Denver had runways at about 45-degree intervals all the way around--one of each as I recall. I'll check. Until I do check, I'll guess the first 17/35 was built around the time jets appeared and the second one in the early 1970s.
 
airbusaddict
Posts: 226
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RE: Stapleton (DEN) History Help

Mon Sep 10, 2007 7:14 am

the overview of the airport terminal kind of reminds me of Charlotte/Douglas Airport, does anyone else see it?
Finally F9! FSD-DEN 7-4-2011
 
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jsnww81
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RE: Stapleton (DEN) History Help

Mon Sep 10, 2007 10:29 am

Regarding runway development:

The first major north-south runway opened in 1962 (the original 17-35). This included the bridges over Interstate 70 and Sand Creek. The second parallel runway was originally scheduled to open in 1971, but protests from the city of Aurora led to the runway being completely relocated - the original plan was a runway exactly parallel to 17-35, but as a compromise it was moved north of Interstate 70. It finally opened in 1976.

The third north-south runway opened in the mid-1980s, for commuter traffic.
 
IADCRJ
Posts: 328
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RE: Stapleton (DEN) History Help

Mon Sep 10, 2007 10:47 am

Quoting Cross757 (Thread starter):
Any information would be much appreciated, and feel free to share some of your favorite Stapleton memories as well!

Here is an excellent link for you that should answer most if all of your questions regarding Stapleton. There are a couple of sublinks at this site with TONS of old photos and some info. of Stapleton. IMOP, this site and it's subsites are as close to as bible for Stapleton Enjoy and hope this site will help.


http://oldterminals.topcities.com/denver.htm
 
IADCRJ
Posts: 328
Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2005 3:25 am

RE: Stapleton (DEN) History Help

Mon Sep 10, 2007 12:39 pm

Quoting IADCRJ (Reply 13):
Quoting Cross757 (Thread starter):
Any information would be much appreciated, and feel free to share some of your favorite Stapleton memories as well!

Here is another good site, if you are at all interested in some of the Airline's routes and scheadules out of Stapleton:

http://www.departedflights.com/index.html
 
rampart
Posts: 1800
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2005 5:58 am

RE: Stapleton (DEN) History Help

Mon Sep 10, 2007 12:45 pm

Quoting OceansWorld (Reply 3):
Two North-South and two East-West.

A short third N-S runway opened later in Stapleton's life, west of the existing ones and north of I-70, IIRC.

-Rampart
 
Cross757
Topic Author
Posts: 233
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2007 1:32 pm

RE: Stapleton (DEN) History Help

Mon Sep 10, 2007 12:56 pm

First of all, thanks to all of you so far for the great information and the additional links...looks like I tapped the right resource by posting this thread! Thanks!

Quoting DIA (Reply 1):
What are you, writing a book?

Not a half bad idea, actually...maybe make it a "memoir" style book where people can add their own memories of a truly great airport...

Quoting OPNLguy (Reply 2):
Are there any of these left around the country?

Wasn't there one at Montgomery Field in San Diego, too? The one in Denver burned down at some point before April 1993. Amusing anecdote: I was on business in Colorado Springs in April of 1993 and had some extra time, so I drove to Denver on a Friday night in hopes of having dinner at the 94th Aero Squadron one last time. After 30 minutes driving around the neighborhood on the south side of the airport, I was pulled over by a Denver police officer who wanted to know what I was doing (I had been circling the block very slowly). I told him I was looking for the restaurant, and he pointed to the empty lot across the street and said, "Well, it used to be right there!" Rats...there was no point rebuilding it, of course, as DIA would be opening is less than two years.

Quoting RyDawg82 (Reply 7):
Also, I don't know of the top of my head the information you are looking for; however, you might want to see if you can get your hand on a book call "Denver International Airport: Lessons Learned" (ISBN: 978-0071581844).

Great suggestion, thanks! I have seen this book...ironically at Tattered Cover as well (before they moved from Cherry Creek). The construction of DIA and the controversy surrounding it are a whole other story! Beautiful airport, though...and still my favorite to fly through. I always fly on United via DEN, but I take the bridge across to Concourse A and then take the train to Concourse B, because the view from the bridge at sunrise with the tails of the Frontier jets and the mountains to the west in the background is amazing...

Quoting Floorrunner (Reply 8):
Try this link

http://oldterminals.topcities.com/denver.html

hope it is helpful

Awesome link, and it helped greatly...thanks!

Quoting SLCUT2777 (Reply 9):

If you look at the first satellite photo, I can make out what appears to be the remnants of a runway oriented NW-SE. Look at the threshold of runway 35L, and you can see the faint remains of some pavement running diagonally to the southeast. It crosses where the parallel taxiway on the east side of 17R-35L intersects runway 07-25 and then ends at the parallel taxiway on the north side of runway 08R-26L. I think this is the mystery runway I am looking for information about.

Quoting Timz (Reply 10):
In the 1950s Denver had runways at about 45-degree intervals all the way around

Great info as well, thanks. Looking again at the first photo from SLCUT2777's post, follow the taxiway on the south side of runway 08R-26L (from the FBO area) to the east. It makes a prominent turn to the north/northeast and continues across 08R-26L and the parallel taxiway and then across 08L-26R...could this be a portion of a former runway as well? Thoughts?

The Stapleton Airport Guide I have indicates that the parallel taxiway on the east side of 17R-35L was once used as a commuter/general aviation runway.

Quoting Jsnww81 (Reply 12):
The first major north-south runway opened in 1962 (the original 17-35). This included the bridges over Interstate 70 and Sand Creek. The second parallel runway was originally scheduled to open in 1971, but protests from the city of Aurora led to the runway being completely relocated - the original plan was a runway exactly parallel to 17-35, but as a compromise it was moved north of Interstate 70. It finally opened in 1976.

The third north-south runway opened in the mid-1980s, for commuter traffic.

Precisely some of the information I was hoping for...thanks!

Does anybody know of any aerial photographs of Stapleton from the 1950's through the 1970's?

I appreciate all of the inputs so far. One of my favorite memories from flying out of Stapleton was from the early 80's. My family was flying DEN-BOI on a UA 727. The winds must have been strong out of the east because departures were running off 08L/08R. I believe we taxied down the length of runway 07, crossed the end of 26R, then west on the parallel taxiway on the north side of 08R-26L all the way back to the other end, and joined a long line of aircraft waiting to depart from 08R. When it was our turn for departure (I was sitting at a window seat on the left side of the plane), I remember looking back down the taxiway to the east and seeing what must have been 20-25 aircraft lined up waiting as we had: 727's, DC-9's, a few DC-10's, as far as the eye could see. I'm sure frequent flyers/busines travelers didn't care for the long wait, but as a kid, it was awesome! That was aircraft spotting at it's best!
 Big grin
 
OceansWorld
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RE: Stapleton (DEN) History Help

Mon Sep 10, 2007 6:36 pm

Quoting Rampart (Reply 15):
A short third N-S runway opened later in Stapleton's life, west of the existing ones and north of I-70, IIRC.

See below.

Quoting Jsnww81 (Reply 12):
The third north-south runway opened in the mid-1980s, for commuter traffic.

Yep, I forgot it, but I indeed saw it on an airport chart. How long was it ? 5000ft ?
 
timz
Posts: 6580
Joined: Fri Sep 17, 1999 7:43 am

RE: Stapleton (DEN) History Help

Tue Sep 11, 2007 3:21 am

DEN was originally all east of Ulster St, and all south of the Union Pacific of course. The original N-S runway did actually run N-S (unlike the later runways 17-35) about 1200 ft E of Ulster St-- so it had to be cut as soon as they started expanding the terminal eastward. Looks like the south end was at

http://www.topozone.com/map.asp?lat=...um=nad27&u=4&layer=DRG&size=s&s=50

The diagram from sometime around 1941 shows the N-S runway 7000 ft, the runway that later became 8L 5200 ft, and the NW-SE runway 7000 ft. The NE-SW runway was under development, to be 6400 ft. This was all east of Ulster, and presumably west of Havana.

In 1955-59 about as above, except they had added 8R-- even in 1955 it was 10000 ft, so Havana had been shifted eastward, and the airport boundary had been shifted west a quarter-mile or so.

I didn't measure carefully, but if you were standing on Montview Blvd about 100 ft E of Syracuse St you'd be in line with runway 3/21, which ran about 42-43 degrees east of true north. Its centerline passed 50-100 ft SE of the intersection of the centerlines of 8R and 35.

As for 12/30-- if you have the topo map, see that railroad (now removed) branching NWward from the UP main at Sandown? It's straight for maybe 3/4 mile, to

http://www.topozone.com/map.asp?lat=...n=-104.90984&datum=nad27&layer=DRG

If you extend that straight SEward across the airport, you'll pass along the SW edge of runway 12/30 at its NW end and along the NE edge of the runway at its SE end. Pretty close, anyway. Also, if you have the topo, the centerlines of 12/30 and 8L intersect on the east edge of the map, or maybe 50 ft W of it.

In July 1965 runway 12 was 7389 ft, 8L was 5325 and 8R was 10010, along with the new 17/35 at 11500 ft. The original 17/35 was of course closed, along with 3/21, and runway 12 was closed by 1/66.
 
timz
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Joined: Fri Sep 17, 1999 7:43 am

RE: Stapleton (DEN)

Tue Sep 11, 2007 3:56 am

A small aerial of DEN in the 1950s (?)-- looks like 8R under construction

http://www.coloradoaerialphoto.com/images/stapleton49.jpg

And maybe you've seen the 1941? chart by now at

http://www.aviationphotographs.net/S...irport/TheEarlyYears/early-079.jpg

(don't forget to enlarge it to full screen)

[Edited 2007-09-10 21:07:22]
 
Cross757
Topic Author
Posts: 233
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2007 1:32 pm

RE: Stapleton (DEN) History Help

Tue Sep 11, 2007 8:56 pm

Quoting Timz (Reply 19):

Thank you for all of the outstanding information, and for the links. If I take DIA's suggestion and write a book on the subject, rest assured I will be picking your brain for more info  Wink ! Many thanks again...
 
RyDawg82
Posts: 835
Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2001 8:30 am

RE: Stapleton (DEN) History Help

Wed Sep 26, 2007 7:11 am

Heyas,

Just wanted to bring up this letter I found will diggin thru the Stapleton Photo's site....Outlines the decommissioning of Runway 12-30...Not sure if you saw it or not.... Ryan


http://www.aviationphotographs.net/StapletonAirport//GilBliss1/bliss-027.jpg
 
AirEMS
Posts: 625
Joined: Mon May 17, 2004 6:34 am

RE: Stapleton (DEN) History Help

Wed Sep 26, 2007 8:14 am

Quoting Cross757 (Thread starter):
94th Aero Squadron restaurant

It was a sad day when it burned down!

Did TWA ever have a hub at Stapleton?

-Carl
If Your Dying Were Flying
 
rampart
Posts: 1800
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2005 5:58 am

RE: Stapleton (DEN) History Help

Wed Sep 26, 2007 11:07 am

Quoting AirEMS (Reply 22):
Did TWA ever have a hub at Stapleton?

Yes, they attempted a small hub in the early and mid 80's. Route map seen at Airchive (see entry fo 1981):
http://www.airchive.com/SITE%20PAGES/TIMETABLES-TWA.html

They shared D concourse with Frontier. Image, 4 hub airlines (well, more like 3.3) at one confined airport!

-Rampart

[Edited 2007-09-26 04:09:24]
 
FlyHoss
Posts: 534
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 12:20 pm

RE: Stapleton (DEN) History Help

Wed Sep 26, 2007 12:45 pm

Quoting Rampart (Reply 15):
Quoting OceansWorld (Reply 3):
Two North-South and two East-West.

A short third N-S runway opened later in Stapleton's life, west of the existing ones and north of I-70, IIRC.

-Rampart

Yes, that runway was 18/36.

I believe that nobody has yet mentioned 7/25. It was a short commuter or general aviation runway north of 8L/26R and also east of the ramp to the east of the terminal (see the first photo in reply 9). It was also used as a taxiway to get to 26R.

So, at the end of Stapleton's days, there were two sets of triple parallel runways; 3 north-south and 3 east-west.
A little bit louder now, a lil bit louder now...
 
Cross757
Topic Author
Posts: 233
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2007 1:32 pm

RE: Stapleton (DEN) History Help

Wed Sep 26, 2007 6:03 pm

Quoting FlyHoss (Reply 24):
I believe that nobody has yet mentioned 7/25. It was a short commuter or general aviation runway north of 8L/26R and also east of the ramp to the east of the terminal (see the first photo in reply 9). It was also used as a taxiway to get to 26R.

The only traffic I ever saw land on 25 were commuter aircraft, and even then I think it was restricted to STOL types due to its length (only 4500' or so)...I think I once saw a Dash-7 land on 25 (can't remember the airline). Due to the location/height of the control tower and the terminal building, aircraft could only takeoff on 07 and land on 25.

Anyone else ever see any planes land on 25 or takeoff on 07?
 
RyDawg82
Posts: 835
Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2001 8:30 am

RE: Stapleton (DEN) History Help

Wed Sep 26, 2007 7:13 pm

Quoting Cross757 (Reply 25):
Anyone else ever see any planes land on 25 or takeoff on 07?

I can recall flying into DEN from BFF numerous times back when operated by YV B1900 C and D's...You would generally cut across the new airport and turn about a 5 mile final...Landing on 25 was interesting as it was just such a small, narrow runway. Usually was followed with a high-speed taxi to the A+ gates.

Ryan
 
jimbobjoe
Posts: 465
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2001 2:04 pm

RE: Stapleton (DEN) History Help

Wed Sep 26, 2007 8:48 pm

Quoting SFOJFK (Reply 6):
Only 4 locations left.

http://www.the94thaerosquadron.com/

For some reason that link only shows 4. The restaurant's parent site shows 6 (missing are STL's and CMH's.)
 
FlyHoss
Posts: 534
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 12:20 pm

RE: Stapleton (DEN) History Help

Thu Sep 27, 2007 1:59 am

Quoting Cross757 (Reply 25):
The only traffic I ever saw land on 25 were commuter aircraft, and even then I think it was restricted to STOL types due to its length (only 4500' or so)...I think I once saw a Dash-7 land on 25 (can't remember the airline). Due to the location/height of the control tower and the terminal building, aircraft could only takeoff on 07 and land on 25.

Anyone else ever see any planes land on 25 or takeoff on 07?

I worked for two operators for a span of nearly 9 years that frequently used runway 7/25. The Dash 7s belonged to Rocky Mountain Airways (which also used Twin Otters); RMA became part of Continental Express now known as ExpressJet. Other than a few employees, I can't think of any other RMA "remnants."
A little bit louder now, a lil bit louder now...

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