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B737-112
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Does Anybody Remember America West's Boeing 747's?

Tue Nov 15, 2011 7:21 am

I edited/uploaded another video from the VHS collection and came across something really rare & cool. A ton of plane spotters are probably not aware that HP operated several 747-200's for a short time.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gMRBHC6WCeA

Ryan
 
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ghost77
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RE: Does Anybody Remember America West's Boeing 747's?

Tue Nov 15, 2011 7:53 am

Nice video!!!

Thanks for sharing.

I did knew them but only in pictures.

g77
 
N747PE
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RE: Does Anybody Remember America West's Boeing 747's?

Tue Nov 15, 2011 8:44 am

I had the chance to fly one from PHX to JFK. The takeoff out of Sky Harbor was amazing. Thanks for the happy memories
   
 
Byrdluvs747
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RE: Does Anybody Remember America West's Boeing 747's?

Tue Nov 15, 2011 9:21 am

Quoting B737-112 (Thread starter):
A ton of plane spotters are probably not aware that HP operated several 747-200's for a short time.

I'm not one of them. I used to watch those planes fly in and out of the valley. Too bad they flew almost empty on the Japan routes. HP bit off more than they could chew back then. They would have been better off trying Europe.
The 747: The hands who designed it were guided by god.
 
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n901wa
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RE: Does Anybody Remember America West's Boeing 747's?

Tue Nov 15, 2011 10:16 am

Sure do. I took this in HNL when America West flew them to Japan. Not sure of the year, but I think I took the pic in 1988.
 
ridgid727
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RE: Does Anybody Remember America West's Boeing 747's?

Tue Nov 15, 2011 12:16 pm

Yeah, i remember them flew on one from HNL to Nagoya- there were like only 55 people on board. this was like in 1989 or 90
 
JAAlbert
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RE: Does Anybody Remember America West's Boeing 747's?

Tue Nov 15, 2011 2:20 pm

Yes! When they were first introduced into service (about 1989 I believe) my friend and I took a trip from PHX to HNL on one. It was one of the first flights and it was pretty packed. It was also my first ride on a 747 and my first time to Hawaii. AmWest offered some sort of promotion that we couldn't pass up. I couldn't sleep for days before I was so excited. When we descended into Honolulu, we went through a storm of some sort and I thought the plane was going to come apart. We did a sharp turn over the water in all that turbulence to line up for final descent. I will never forget the view out the window looking down at the choppy sea not far below. It was exhilarating.

My roommate at the time was a flight attendant for AmWest. She said the airline was losing tons of money with the planes.
 
rj777
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RE: Does Anybody Remember America West's Boeing 747's?

Tue Nov 15, 2011 2:36 pm

Did any ever appear in the pre-merger color scheme?
 
emseeeye
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RE: Does Anybody Remember America West's Boeing 747's?

Tue Nov 15, 2011 2:39 pm

I sure do remember them! I flew on one from LAX to PHX. We were told the 747 was being repositioned to PHX and they replaced the flight with it.
 
Braniff747SP
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RE: Does Anybody Remember America West's Boeing 747's?

Tue Nov 15, 2011 2:40 pm

Quoting rj777 (Reply 7):
id any ever appear in the pre-merger color scheme?

In the "Jurasic" or whtever it's called?

I don't think so, no.
The 747 will always be the TRUE queen of the skies!
 
bohica
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RE: Does Anybody Remember America West's Boeing 747's?

Tue Nov 15, 2011 2:55 pm

I remember one time I was non-revving in 1989/1990 when I was trying to get to SFO from PHX. The SFO flight was full and the agent rerouted me through LAS and told me to hurry because the PHX-LAS flight was about to depart. I ran to the gate and onto the jetway. At that moment I wasn't thinking about what type of plane it was. I finally realized I was boarding a 747 when I was halfway down the jetway and noticed the airplane door. I double checked with the F/A when I boarded to make sure the plane was going to LAS and she reassured me it was. There was about 75 people on that flight from PHX to LAS.
 
desertjets
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RE: Does Anybody Remember America West's Boeing 747's?

Tue Nov 15, 2011 3:42 pm

Quoting Braniff747SP (Reply 9):
Quoting rj777 (Reply 7):
id any ever appear in the pre-merger color scheme?

In the "Jurasic" or whtever it's called?

I don't think so, no.

The 747s were gone after HPs trip through Ch. 11.... I want to say 1992 at the latest. HNL service continued for a while, I want to say w/ wet leased ATA L-1011s. The 2nd livery was post-bk.... I want to say ~ 1996 when it was revealed.

I remember them well though, a reasonably common sight over the valley around 1990. In the 6th grade my gym class was in the late morning and I regularly saw one on approach to the 26s. A unique sight when compared to the parade of 727s and 737s.


The HP 747s have to go down as one of the stupidest things in modern commercial airline history. I understand the draw of flying to Hawaii but Japan by a teeny tiny little airline.... there were some delusions of grandeur in the corporate offices in Tempe in those days.
Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
 
Clydenairways
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RE: Does Anybody Remember America West's Boeing 747's?

Tue Nov 15, 2011 5:43 pm

I remember one of them in Dublin for a while for Maintainance.
A former KLM Machine if i recall correctly.
 
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WALmsp
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RE: Does Anybody Remember America West's Boeing 747's?

Tue Nov 15, 2011 5:45 pm

Quoting desertjets (Reply 11):
The HP 747s have to go down as one of the stupidest things in modern commercial airline history.

Along with the PSA L-1011s...
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jfritz
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RE: Does Anybody Remember America West's Boeing 747's?

Tue Nov 15, 2011 5:53 pm

Then and now...US operates numerous flights daily to Hawaii out of PHX using 757's...and was looking to start service to NRT from PHX next year. It was a good idea in a bad market that was ahead of its time.
 
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yyz717
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RE: Does Anybody Remember America West's Boeing 747's?

Tue Nov 15, 2011 6:05 pm

Quoting desertjets (Reply 11):
The HP 747s have to go down as one of the stupidest things in modern commercial airline history.

Soon after the 742 fleet was delivered, America West ordered 2 744's! The order was of course later cancelled.
I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
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rikkus67
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RE: Does Anybody Remember America West's Boeing 747's?

Tue Nov 15, 2011 6:29 pm

On a purely esthetic note, the scaled-up livery looked GREAT on the 747's!


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Jalap
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RE: Does Anybody Remember America West's Boeing 747's?

Tue Nov 15, 2011 7:51 pm

One of them showed up in Brussels during the first gulf war. We had loads of military charters passing in those days, mainly United 747's and Evergreen planes.

The HP 747 suddenly showing up definitely was an enjoyable surprise  
I'm not 100% certain it was a military charter, but that would be the only logical explanation.

A clean shot was unfortunately not possible, but I really couldn't look at that plane without making 1 photo!


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LAXdude1023
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RE: Does Anybody Remember America West's Boeing 747's?

Tue Nov 15, 2011 7:52 pm

Where did they fly them?
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PI767
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RE: Does Anybody Remember America West's Boeing 747's?

Tue Nov 15, 2011 8:05 pm

Quoting LAXdude1023 (Reply 18):
Where did they fly them?

They flew between:

Honolulu and Las Vegas
Honolulu and Nagoya
Honolulu and Phoenix
Las Vegas and Phoenix
Las Vegas and New York Kennedy
New York Kennedy and Phoenix
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aztrainer
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RE: Does Anybody Remember America West's Boeing 747's?

Tue Nov 15, 2011 8:06 pm

Quoting LAXdude1023,reply=18Where did they fly them?
:

They flew between PHX and Japan and HNL. They were a huge bust to HP at the time, but it was nice to see the 742 going into and out of PHX insted of the constant 727,737, MD-80's

I wish I could of flown it to HNL as my neighbor worked for HP at the time and he said you could choose your row as nobody was flying them.
 
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NWAROOSTER
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RE: Does Anybody Remember America West's Boeing 747's?

Tue Nov 15, 2011 8:19 pm

Quoting clydenairways (Reply 12):
I remember one of them in Dublin for a while for Maintainance.
A former KLM Machine if i recall correctly.

Yes, they were former KLM 747-200s. Unfortunately after they left America West they went to the desert and were ultimately scrapped.   
Procrastination Is The Theft Of Time.......
 
futureatp
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RE: Does Anybody Remember America West's Boeing 747's?

Tue Nov 15, 2011 8:22 pm

I can remember when HP first operated them out of PHX in T-3. I was just a kid at the time (Dec 1989 im pretty sure it was) and watched one of those leave. That thing hardly used any runway and I was shocked at it. The HP 737s and other aircraft were all rolling past T-3 (departing from the east on rnwy 25) while the 747 was airborne at the old Dyne Air hanger (approx where WN D gates are now in PHX). Needless to say, on a Vegas run  

Then I can remember after they were withdrawn one was parked for several months on a taxi way near T-4.

What many of you don't know is that HP had 2 747-400s on order and several 767s (not sure what variants) for a brief time in the late 80s early 90s. All were canceled at or before the outbreak of the first gulf war. I threw out the article about the Boeing wide body orders and the plans for a pacific expansion ten years ago so but even Australia was in the works. I now wish I kept it, was a USA today or maybe a Wall St. Journal article. My dad worked in an investment company at the time and ran across the article and saved it for me be due to I had an infatuation with planes and we flew America West a lot to visit grand parents in PHX
 
deltaflyertoo
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RE: Does Anybody Remember America West's Boeing 747's?

Tue Nov 15, 2011 8:37 pm

Quoting futureatp (Reply 22):
What many of you don't know is that HP had 2 747-400s on order and several 767s (not sure what variants) for a brief time in the late 80s early 90s. All were canceled at or before the outbreak of the first gulf war. I threw out the article about the Boeing wide body orders and the plans for a pacific expansion ten years ago so but even Australia was in the works. I now wish I kept it, was a USA today or maybe a Wall St. Journal article. My dad worked in an investment company at the time and ran across the article and saved it for me be due to I had an infatuation with planes and we flew America West a lot to visit grand parents in PHX

They were 767-300ERs that HP had a bunch on order in addition to as you mentioned the 747-400s. It was also during this time they had an order for 100+ A320s on the books. Indeed they were hell bent on being a major and their original founder would speak to how they wanted PHX to mirror ATL as a major hub for the west.
 
HBIHLtoEZE
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RE: Does Anybody Remember America West's Boeing 747's?

Tue Nov 15, 2011 8:37 pm

I've dug one up from my slide collection, taken in '89...


America West Airlines Boeing 747-206B; N533AW, November 1989 by Aero Icarus, on Flickr



Airliners [email protected]LAS;01.08.1995 by Aero Icarus, on Flickr

There was still one stored at LAS in basic HP colours in August 1995 (negative scan from a Kodak film) -

in my opinion one of the greatest looking 747s,

always good to remember those moments of aviation history

many cheers

HBIHL

[Edited 2011-11-15 12:51:22]
Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life.
 
Byrdluvs747
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RE: Does Anybody Remember America West's Boeing 747's?

Tue Nov 15, 2011 8:54 pm

Does anyone know of or have any interior cabin photos of the HP 742's? I have only seen one pic of the FA's posing inside the plane.
The 747: The hands who designed it were guided by god.
 
ORDJOE
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RE: Does Anybody Remember America West's Boeing 747's?

Tue Nov 15, 2011 9:56 pm

I suppose back then everyone had to fly the 747 for the prestige, probably similar thinking why braniff got the 747.
Does anyone know how many classes of service were on this plane. I would think it would be Economy and Buisiness (or domestic first class) or was it 3 cabin.
 
Jalap
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RE: Does Anybody Remember America West's Boeing 747's?

Tue Nov 15, 2011 10:05 pm

Quoting ordjoe (Reply 26):
I suppose back then everyone had to fly the 747 for the prestige, probably similar thinking why braniff got the 747.

It would be hard to believe that this would still be the case in the late 80's, early '90's.
 
Mainliner
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RE: Does Anybody Remember America West's Boeing 747's?

Tue Nov 15, 2011 11:08 pm

Quoting futureatp (Reply 22):
What many of you don't know is that HP had 2 747-400s on order and several 767s

I read somewhere that HP also ordered 25 A300-600R's in addition to the 763's, but haven't heard anything else about it. Anyone know if this is true?
Every flight counts.
 
Type-Rated
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RE: Does Anybody Remember America West's Boeing 747's?

Tue Nov 15, 2011 11:20 pm

I would imagine that HP had these outfitter with standard class seating.

I was surprised by seeing one at ORD around 88' or so. It was next to my departing flight on UA. It was at a UA gate (old UA concourse before the new building) I figured it must have been a charter because up to that time, the only place I ever saw HP was at MDW with 737's. It sure did look nice!
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JAAlbert
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RE: Does Anybody Remember America West's Boeing 747's?

Tue Nov 15, 2011 11:22 pm

What type of seating did they have on the upper deck? I seem to think it was economy - I'm sure I would've made an inspection of the plane while flying to HNL.
 
FilAmAirlines
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RE: Does Anybody Remember America West's Boeing 747's?

Tue Nov 15, 2011 11:35 pm

http://www.psa-history.org/awa/index.html

The website above elaborates a bit on the bust route known as PHX-HNL-NGO.
America West wanted to fly to NRT but were denied airport slots and flew to NGO instead. I'm still curious of the seat plan and cabin photos of the America West 747s.

Were the 747 PHX-HNL route and other 747 flights really losing money for America West or is it only the flights to/from Nagoya?
I don't always fly, but when I do, it's on the friendly skies of United or Delta's care that gets me there.
 
Viscount724
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RE: Does Anybody Remember America West's Boeing 747's?

Tue Nov 15, 2011 11:36 pm

Quoting NWAROOSTER (Reply 21):
Quoting clydenairways (Reply 12):
I remember one of them in Dublin for a while for Maintainance.
A former KLM Machine if i recall correctly.

Yes, they were former KLM 747-200s.

They were among the oldest 747-200s, from KLM's first batch of 7 742s delivered in 1971 (KLM the 742 launch customer). Those first 7 KL 742s were PW-powered which was then the only engine available. When the GE CF6 became available, KL switched to GE for all of their subsequent 747s.

PH-BUA (N531AW at America West) was the first 742 delivered in January 1971 (the 2nd built).


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deltaflyertoo
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RE: Does Anybody Remember America West's Boeing 747's?

Wed Nov 16, 2011 12:16 am

Quoting Mainliner (Reply 28):
I read somewhere that HP also ordered 25 A300-600R's in addition to the 763's, but haven't heard anything else about it. Anyone know if this is true?

Yes, that is sourced in a book called Modern Commercial Airliners published in 1987. That is actually a misprint. It was supposed to be 25 A320s and not 25 A300s.
 
N1120A
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RE: Does Anybody Remember America West's Boeing 747's?

Wed Nov 16, 2011 12:25 am

Quoting WALmsp (Reply 13):
Quoting desertjets (Reply 11):
The HP 747s have to go down as one of the stupidest things in modern commercial airline history.

Along with the PSA L-1011s...

The PSA L-1011s were actually a great move initially. They got killed by the fuel crisis. One could argue that the BAC-146s were a dumber move, but even those had their place. The real idiot move was merging with USAir.

Quoting ordjoe (Reply 26):

I suppose back then everyone had to fly the 747 for the prestige, probably similar thinking why braniff got the 747.

Actually, it was more about the range. Not many planes could fly the distances needed at the time. Remember that HP really wanted PHX-NRT but wasn't approved for it.

Quoting FilAmAirlines (Reply 31):
Were the 747 PHX-HNL route and other 747 flights really losing money for America West or is it only the flights to/from Nagoya?

HNL-NGO was the real loser, and PHX-HNL apparently did ok, but I can't imagine the Continental US transcons were majorly profitable. Perhaps LAS if they marketed it right.
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gegtim
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RE: Does Anybody Remember America West's Boeing 747's?

Wed Nov 16, 2011 12:47 am

I never flew on the HP 747, but I flew on the 737-200 that they called "Christine." It had previously belonged to an African airline and in one situation gunman stormed the aircraft after it had landed and killed the crew. The aircraft was supposedly haunted.
 
ebj1248650
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RE: Does Anybody Remember America West's Boeing 747's?

Wed Nov 16, 2011 1:02 am

I recall the America West 747s and thinking they were making too big a jump too soon. As it turned out, that was exactly the case. Was the expansion idea stupid? Perhaps, in retrospect, but they had high hopes and their hopes didn't materialize. I suspect their U.S. operations were successful enough to cause management to believe they could gamble on something as big as the 747 and maybe, just maybe, come out on the winning end.
Dare to dream; dream big!
 
747400sp
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RE: Does Anybody Remember America West's Boeing 747's?

Wed Nov 16, 2011 1:23 am

I remember an American West 747 landed at LAX, in 1990 or 1991. I was playing on the play ground at my Elementary school, and I saw a 747 turning after coming from over the Pacific Ocean. I saw that it was one of American West 747s, and it landed on runway 24. I do not know where they could park that thing, because at LAX, American West used terminal 1, which is not wide body friendly at all. US Airways could barely fit there 767 200 at terminal 1, let along a 747.
 
Mainliner
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RE: Does Anybody Remember America West's Boeing 747's?

Wed Nov 16, 2011 1:32 am

Quoting deltaflyertoo (Reply 33):
Yes, that is sourced in a book called Modern Commercial Airliners published in 1987. That is actually a misprint. It was supposed to be 25 A320s and not 25 A300s.

Thanks, that's the book I have!
Every flight counts.
 
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pwm2txlhopper
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RE: Does Anybody Remember America West's Boeing 747's?

Wed Nov 16, 2011 1:57 am

Quoting B737-112 (Thread starter):
I edited/uploaded another video from the VHS collection and came across something really rare & cool. A ton of plane spotters are probably not aware that HP operated several 747-200's for a short time.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gMRBHC6WCeA

Ryan

I've been a subscriber on your YouTube channel for a year or so. Love the videos! Every time I check in, you've uploaded even more. How much footage do you have? You've got to run out sometime!

I'd just watched this video a few hours ago when I saw the thread. I never knew the one behind the Youtube videos was an A.net member!
 
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B737-112
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RE: Does Anybody Remember America West's Boeing 747's?

Wed Nov 16, 2011 2:12 am

pwm2txlhopper, thanks so much for subscribing! Airliners.net was one of the first sites that I ever favorited, in fact I've been registered here for almost 12 years. This site is the greatest source of updated aircraft info out there!
 
USAirALB
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RE: Does Anybody Remember America West's Boeing 747's?

Wed Nov 16, 2011 2:25 am

I believe they had F/J/Y on the aircraft.
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AR385
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RE: Does Anybody Remember America West's Boeing 747's?

Wed Nov 16, 2011 2:48 am

Actually, I have a 1/400 model of N534AW

I believe some credit has to be given to HP. Early in 1989 America West Airlines decided to fly to Hawaii and Japan. The only available airplanes they could find were four 747-206Bs from KLM with P&W engines ehich the the first four of a batch of 7 KLM received starting in 1971, as has been said.

Unfortunately they could not get route authority for NRT, so they had to fly to NGO. This started in November 1989. Probably if they could have gotten NRT things would have turned out differently. But in reality servicos did not work as planned and in 1992 services were suspende and the airframes either returned or parked.

You also have to keep in mind that the first Gulf War must have played a role in these routes not working. And obviously, utilizing them on domestic sectors were a money bleeder.

I can also imagine that while acquisiton costs must have been low, maintenance must have been through the roof.
 
fanofjets
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RE: Does Anybody Remember America West's Boeing 747's?

Wed Nov 16, 2011 4:44 am

The aircraft were as follows:

N531AW, formerly PH-BUA, Mississippi
N532AW, formerly PH-BUB, Danube - Donau
N533AW, formerly PH-BUC, Amazon - Amazone
N534AW, formerly PH-BUD, Nile - Nijl

The first three aircraft were scrapped in Arizona; the fourth went on to lease to Garuda Indonesia and, for a short while, appeared in TWA's final scheme until that airline went belly up. I flew aboard PH-BUA and PH-BUC many times and have fond memories of those aircraft, so much so that I purchased a 1/500 scale model of PH-BUA in the delivery colors, my favorite.

PH-BUA served as a terrorism practice frame for a while, as shown in these two pictures:

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Photo © Saul Loeb



Very sad to see, as I remember that aircraft when she was brand new!

The other two PW-powered ex-KLM 747-206s eventually went on to Corsair (after a short lease with Garuda) and enjoyed a slightly longer life:

F-GNLA, formerly PH-BUE,
F-GPJM, formerly PH-BUG, Orinoco

These birds lasted until 2002/2003, some three decades after rolling off the line at Everett. I also flew PH-BUE several times.

PH-BUF, Rhine River - Rijn was one of the two 747s involved in the terrible ground collision at Tenerife.
The aeroplane has unveiled for us the true face of the earth. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery
 
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B737-112
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RE: Does Anybody Remember America West's Boeing 747's?

Wed Nov 16, 2011 5:29 am

Epic reply fanofjets, thanks!
 
phatfarmlines
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RE: Does Anybody Remember America West's Boeing 747's?

Wed Nov 16, 2011 6:01 am

Where did the 747's park at PHX when HP was at Terminal 3, & later Terminal 4 when it opened in 1990?
 
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RWA380
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RE: Does Anybody Remember America West's Boeing 747's?

Wed Nov 16, 2011 7:08 am

The Hawaii flights were almost, always full between the mainland and Hawaii, I took them several times, HNL-LAS flights had many Hawaiians heading on vacation, onboard service was decent, on time performance was not.The oven doors in the galleys, had the KLM & Logo on 'em.

I do know, when they expanded to Japan, the loads were abysmal HNL-NGO-HNL. No brand recognition, and lack of marketing to the Japanese for Hawaii vacations was the big problem with their lack of success. HP would have had the same struggle had they obtained NRT slots instead, just to a lesser degree.

No one would want the out of the way routing NRT-HNL-PHX, then connect onwards, with only 4 frames, delays often snow balled down line, It was a good try, and got to enjoy the 747's flying out of LAS, PHX & HNL, LAS-PHX, what a fun hop with less than 100 paxs, and a little fuel, great take off with the lights of Vegas glaring brightly below the wings of the big bird.
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yyz717
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RE: Does Anybody Remember America West's Boeing 747's?

Wed Nov 16, 2011 9:22 pm

Quoting ebj1248650 (Reply 36):
I recall the America West 747s and thinking they were making too big a jump too soon. As it turned out, that was exactly the case. Was the expansion idea stupid? Perhaps, in retrospect, but they had high hopes and their hopes didn't materialize. I suspect their U.S. operations were successful enough to cause management to believe they could gamble on something as big as the 747 and maybe, just maybe, come out on the winning end.

Agree completely with your analysis. Combined with probably a great deal on 4 identical but used 742's and they thought they could not lose.

Quoting Mainliner (Reply 28):
I read somewhere that HP also ordered 25 A300-600R's in addition to the 763's, but haven't heard anything else about it. Anyone know if this is true?

AmWest ordered neither the 763 not the A300-600R. They did order 14 734's and 15 A318's both of which were cancelled.
I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
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RE: Does Anybody Remember America West's Boeing 747's?

Wed Nov 16, 2011 9:40 pm

Quoting fanofjets (Reply 43):
F-GNLA, formerly PH-BUE

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RE: Does Anybody Remember America West's Boeing 747's?

Wed Nov 16, 2011 10:02 pm

Quoting deltaflyertoo (Reply 33):
Remember that HP really wanted PHX-NRT but wasn't approved for it.

What really boggles my mind is how they thought they could make money flying that route, when UA, NW, JL, etc. already had plenty of connecting opportunities. Not just from LAX, SFO, SEA and HNL, but beyond NRT to the rest of Asia.
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