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FlyMKG
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Last 727 Built Retired? N217FE

Mon Oct 29, 2012 3:48 am


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Photo © A J Best



The picture shows the final production 727 sitting in Lasham presumably awaiting a new owner. A few questions. Why would FedEx get rid of the newest built 727 ever considering they owned it? "C" check perhaps? Why didn't they donate this aircraft? Certainly a museum or university would appreciate having this piece of aviation history. And finally, does anybody know the future of this aircraft? I hope it's something more than being parted out.

FlyMKG
 
Transpac787
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RE: Last 727 Built Retired? N217FE

Mon Oct 29, 2012 4:24 am

N217FE was one of the 727-200/Adv(RE) models with JT8D-219's on pylons 1 and 3. For some reason, FedEx never much seemed to like the modification, as the RE birds were among the first 727's they retired once 757's started to come on property.

Why they didn't like the RE... I don't know. In any case, I think N217FE was just unlucky, having been selected for the ill-fated RE mod at FedEx. Nothing wrong with the bird itself, certainly not with its age - just had a mod FedEx ended up not liking.
 
Flighty
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RE: Last 727 Built Retired? N217FE

Mon Oct 29, 2012 5:02 am

For context, N217FE was delivered 18 Sept 1984. So it's more than 28 years old.
 
737tdi
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RE: Last 727 Built Retired? N217FE

Mon Oct 29, 2012 5:31 am

Quoting Transpac787 (Reply 1):
Why they didn't like the RE... I don't know. In any case, I think N217FE was just unlucky, having been selected for the ill-fated RE mod at FedEx. Nothing wrong with the bird itself, certainly not with its age - just had a mod FedEx ended up not liking.




I really don't understand this comment. FedEx did not do this mod, the aircraft was purchased in this configuration, IIRC. I worked on a few of these in heavy maintenance and at the time they loved the aircraft. Unlike the Valsan? mods. done post delivery. I could be way off but I swore these last few were delivered new with the mod.

I was also involved in the UPS 727/100 QF mod.s and I do know that they had their problems.

I may just be getting old and my memory fuzzy.
 
Transpac787
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RE: Last 727 Built Retired? N217FE

Mon Oct 29, 2012 5:35 am

Quoting 737tdi (Reply 3):
FedEx did not do this mod, the aircraft was purchased in this configuration, IIRC.

Here is a picture of N217FE in 1987, sporting the original JT8D engines:


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Photo © Johan Ljungdahl



The JT8D-219 mods were done post-delivery in the 90's.
 
737tdi
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RE: Last 727 Built Retired? N217FE

Mon Oct 29, 2012 6:04 am

I know what I was thinking. FedX bought the last 727s already in freighter config. , I'm telling you old age will get your memory. Sorry. They had the Valsan mod. when I worked on them.
 
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tb727
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RE: Last 727 Built Retired? N217FE

Mon Oct 29, 2012 1:58 pm

Quoting FlyMKG (Thread starter):
I hope it's something more than being parted out.

I'm thinking and hoping it will be operated. I know the price tag was higher than expected and it was bought by someone over there rather than a company based here in the US.
Too lazy to work, too scared to steal!
 
wrenchon727
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RE: Last 727 Built Retired? N217FE

Mon Oct 29, 2012 2:36 pm

N207FE was also purchased by this same operator, TAG Aviation did the pre purchase inspections in LAX.
FedEx had the valsan mod done on the aircraft, and the company went bankrupt when N212FE was being moded leaving 4 aircraft not completed N203FE,204FE,211FE&213FE. The a/c had JT8D-217 1&3 & -17 in # 2 pos.
All of the Valsan aircraft except 207 & 217 were leased and went back to the lease company as their leases came up. With 757 coming on line no need to purchase these 727. FedEx seems to have made a little money on 207 & 217 rather than let them sit in VCV. I always liked to see the Tim Taylor Specials they were a rarity at my station.

[Edited 2012-10-29 07:49:00]

[Edited 2012-10-29 07:52:31]
 
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viasa
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RE: Last 727 Built Retired? N217FE

Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:03 pm

This aircraft will be re-registered as N480GE soon: http://www.ch-aviation.ch/portal/aircraft/10543
 
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American 767
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RE: Last 727 Built Retired? N217FE

Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:40 pm

Look at her:


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Photo © Frank Schaefer


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Photo © Teemu Tuuri - FAP


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Photo © Matthew Wallman - Jetwash Images



Isn't she pretty?

Quoting Flighty (Reply 2):
For context, N217FE was delivered 18 Sept 1984. So it's more than 28 years old.

So any 727 still airworthy is definitely more than 28 years old! Most 727s still flying today (2012) must be at least 30.
Ben Soriano
 
n471wn
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RE: Last 727 Built Retired? N217FE

Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:46 pm

She is going to TAAG
 
FlyMKG
Topic Author
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RE: Last 727 Built Retired? N217FE

Mon Oct 29, 2012 8:32 pm

Quoting tb727 (Reply 6):
I know the price tag was higher than expected

Care to share how much they wanted for it?

FlyMKG
 
727LOVER
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Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2001 12:22 am

RE: Last 727 Built Retired? N217FE

Mon Oct 29, 2012 9:36 pm

Quoting Flighty (Reply 2):

But, because this plane has been flying freighter for its entire life, wouldnt it have way less cycles?
"We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope." - Martin Luther King, Jr.
 
3DoorsDown
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RE: Last 727 Built Retired? N217FE

Tue Oct 30, 2012 2:14 am

Just to show how old I am, I started at Boeing in August 1984, one month prior to this baby rolling out. I remember all the people standing around at the last 727 roll out ceremony crying, and I was thinking, WTH, it's just an airplane. Now that I put a lot of years in on the other 7's, I completely understand.  
 
MHTripple7
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Joined: Fri Feb 29, 2008 12:17 am

RE: Last 727 Built Retired? N217FE

Tue Oct 30, 2012 3:33 am

Quoting n471wn (Reply 10):
She is going to TAAG

TAAG Angola? I seriously doubt it. What's your source?
 
United727
Posts: 351
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2010 1:26 am

RE: Last 727 Built Retired? N217FE

Tue Oct 30, 2012 3:40 am

Quoting wrenchon727 (Reply 7):
All of the Valsan aircraft except 207 & 217 were leased and went back to the lease company as their leases came up.

These were the only two remaining a/c of the FE B727 Valsan sub-fleet, FE felt it was not cost effective to only maintain those two within that sub-fleet and thus sold from FE to TAG.

Quoting wrenchon727 (Reply 7):
TAG Aviation did the pre purchase inspections in LAX.

Both were purchased by Tag in the UK and are expected to continue service there. Information given to me by a highly trusted FE MX in IND. 217FE will more than likely remain flying for many years.
 
n471wn
Posts: 1717
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2003 12:23 am

RE: Last 727 Built Retired? N217FE

Tue Oct 30, 2012 3:21 pm

Quoting MHTripple7 (Reply 14):
TAAG Angola? I seriously doubt it. What's your source?

Sorry as I meant TAG
 
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7BOEING7
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Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2012 5:28 pm

RE: Last 727 Built Retired? N217FE

Mon Nov 05, 2012 3:16 am

Quoting 3DoorsDown (Reply 13):
Just to show how old I am, I started at Boeing in August 1984, one month prior to this baby rolling out. I remember all the people standing around at the last 727 roll out ceremony crying, and I was thinking, WTH, it's just an airplane. Now that I put a lot of years in on the other 7's, I completely understand

Flew the B-2 (second Boeing flight) on this back in May '84. Fun airplane to fly except for the landings but that was probably a really hot topic here 30 years ago.
 
Viscount724
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RE: Last 727 Built Retired? N217FE

Mon Nov 05, 2012 10:03 pm

Quoting FlyMKG (Thread starter):
Why didn't they donate this aircraft? Certainly a museum or university would appreciate having this piece of aviation history.

In my opinion the first one built has more historic significance than the last. Fortunately the first 727 has been preserved. After 27 years with UA it was donated in 1991 to the Museum of Flight at BFI. Currently being restored.
http://www.museumofflight.org/aircraft/boeing-727-022
 
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Spacepope
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Joined: Tue Dec 28, 1999 11:10 am

RE: Last 727 Built Retired? N217FE

Mon Nov 05, 2012 10:20 pm

Quoting United727 (Reply 15):
These were the only two remaining a/c of the FE B727 Valsan sub-fleet, FE felt it was not cost effective to only maintain those two within that sub-fleet and thus sold from FE to TAG.

And it makes sense too, since then they get to eliminate an entire engine type (and spares holdings) from their inventories. UPS did a similar thing with the JT8D post 9/11 with the retirement of the 722 fleet, since all their 721s had Tays.
The last of the famous international playboys
 
United727
Posts: 351
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2010 1:26 am

RE: Last 727 Built Retired? N217FE

Mon Nov 05, 2012 10:33 pm

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 18):
Currently being restored.
http://www.museumofflight.org/aircra...7-022

With the way things are going up there, it'll probably be "in the process of being restored" for the next 30 years. That plane need a siginicant amount of work to get it airworthy again and flown South to its "final resting place".

Quoting Spacepope (Reply 19):
And it makes sense too, since then they get to eliminate an entire engine type (and spares holdings) from their inventories.

Agreed, but still sad seeing them leave one way or the other.

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