How long with Northwest fly the DC-9s?

PhatAJ2008

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Saw on a website they have 130+ of those old birds still flying..
 

TrafficInSight

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Don't knock it, it's paid for.
 

PhatAJ2008

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not knocking it at all... I love flying those old birds
 

TrafficInSight

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PhatAJ2008 said:
not knocking it at all... I love flying those old birds
I know :) It was a roundabout way of saying that they'll keep flying them as long as they can since buying new planes would put them in a worse position probably :)
 

PhatAJ2008

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I don't understand T-Gates... I'm interested in older aircraft such as the DC-9, DC-10, and 727s that the Airlines used/still fly. How are questions about airline aircraft DISTURBING on a flight info board? If my post looked DISTURBING to you, you were free to NOT read it. I made it very clear what my topic was in my post.
 

TrafficInSight

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Oh, snap!
 

Av8rPHX

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Heh, looks like he also has posted another airlinets.net type thread entitled "DC-10"
 

PhatAJ2008

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I guess when you have nothing better to do, rediculing other posters' messages on a message board is what it was meant for too.. Oh well
 

pilotyip

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There was an article a couple years ago about how smart NWA was in keeping its DC-9's. The article said: Since they are all paid for, they do not have to fly certain number of flights per day to break even on fixed cost. They can fly at only the variable cost of the flight and this gives them a lower break even load factor. This keeps the cycles down and extends their useful life. As they approach a heavy check, they seem to be parking them. This also allows them to keep unscheduled spares at their hubs to substitute in case of maintenance problem.
 

awacs941

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I agree with T.. search on google or here before you ask questions. That was a airliners.net thread :)

Brian
 

NuGuy

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pilotyip said:
There was an article a couple years ago about how smart NWA was in keeping its DC-9's. The article said: Since they are all paid for, they do not have to fly certain number of flights per day to break even on fixed cost. They can fly at only the variable cost of the flight and this gives them a lower break even load factor. This keeps the cycles down and extends their useful life. As they approach a heavy check, they seem to be parking them. This also allows them to keep unscheduled spares at their hubs to substitute in case of maintenance problem.

Heyas all,
Pilotyip is correct. Actually, one of the things driving retirement is a very expensive AD on the aft pressure bulkhead. It comes due at 100,000 cycles. As DC-9s reach this limit, they are retired and parted out, because compliance with the AD, known as the "aft bulkhead mod" is too expensive to make sense. I know that NWA tech ops has researched several different variants of the mod, and none can be done economically.

But, the good news is that NWA went on a DC-9 buying spree in the 90's, and the average in the fleet is quite low cycle considering the airframe age. Fletchas information about the 2014 retirement date is correct, at least officially.

Nu
 

EagleRJ

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What's even more amazing is that NW still operates about a dozen DC-9-10s! When were those built? Early '60s?
 

NuGuy

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Heyas T-gates,

Actually, most of the -10s had build dates around 63. The oldest -30s are around 67 or so. The -50s are around 76-78.

They work great though, and almost never break. But when they do, I've seen them swap out generators and starters in less than 20 minutes. I haven't had a show stopper MX problem in a long, long time.

The hardest part for NWA is actually the instrumentation. It's impossible to find parts for those old ADIs and HSIs. Tech ops has their own re-man facility for re-building the boards and such, but there is only so much you can do as these components are ridiculously complicated with tiny motors and actuators. The few "no $hit, its broken" cancellations I've had have been mostly due to this.

The autopilots are suprisingly reliable, however, mostly due to the fact that pilots have right of refusal of an aircraft with an inop AP (along with generators, APUs and pressurization systems). That keeps MX motivated to keep them fixed.

Most of the real DC-9 bugaboos that annoyed other operators were fixed during the great overhaul of the 80s-90s, where NWA stripped each -9 to the bone and basically rebuilt them from the ground up.

Most, if not all of the wiring was replaced in the electrical system, microswitches were replaced with proximity sensors for the gear, the fuel gauges were replaced with digital units, digital ADCs replaced the old analog units, solid state battery chargers replaced the old units, and a spiffy digital pressurization controller replaced (in most aircraft) the old pneumatic system (you can tell which birds have these by the outflow valve...the new system has a single, rectangular door).

Nu
 

bafanguy

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It's hard to beat an old DC9 for reliability and simplicity. It was like putting on an old pair of your favorite sneakers...felt right.


An airplane as simple as I am...gotta love that.
 

F16TJ

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NuGuy said:
Most of the real DC-9 bugaboos that annoyed other operators were fixed during the great overhaul of the 80s-90s, where NWA stripped each -9 to the bone and basically rebuilt them from the ground up.

Nu
Plus, NWA also re-did the interiors on most, if not all, of the -9's and they are quite nice. Flew on you guys in May (-9) and I was impressed with how nice they are on the inside. Now if they could just do a make over on those old noise makers spewing soot out the a$$ end...;)
 

V1Cutt

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A NWA Captain once told me that when they retire the last Airbus, the crew will come home from the desert in a DC-9
 
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