Info on the 732 Combi's

Old Sep 29, 05, 2:13 pm
  #1  
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Info on the 732 Combi's

I love these planes. I thought I'd share a few tidbits about them...

1. AS numbers their 732's with the series 730-749 tailnumbers.

2. Aircraft 741 is the only one without rear airstairs. To facilitate pax use, a set of air stairs will be driven up to the aircraft.

3. 741 doesn't have airstairs because many years ago, a ramp agent in SCC (Deadhorse/Prudhoe Bay) attempted to break them free of the frozen ground with a forklift and managed to break them in the process. They were never replaced.

4. Some of these planes have a skidplate on the front nose gear and blowers below the engine intakes. The blowers provide downward air to minimize the chances of the engines sucking up gravel and debris when using less than good runways.

5. It takes about an hour to reconfigure one of these planes from cargo to passenger load. The seats are all kept on pallets and they are rolled onto the plane and the pallet is secured to the floor. They use the same securing mechanisms that the cargo containers (aka igloos) use. It's a really cool set up.

6. In 2006 AS plans to start phasing out the 200 series combi's and begin replacing them with 400 series combi's.

7. When flying out to bush communities these aircraft sometimes carry empty water jugs which are then filled at the remote station and used to provide ballast on the return.

8. The use of these planes is the only way that AS can afford to service many of the communities that they do. It wouldn't be economically feasible to fly just cargo or just pax to some of the destinations.

9. These planes carry LOTS of US Mail.

10. The "igloo" containers that carry freight on these aircraft have shuttled animals as large as horses, bears, and even a few walruses.

Here's a great picture of the old workhorse:
http://www.airliners.net/open.file/179564/M/

Last edited by eastwest; Sep 29, 05 at 2:18 pm Reason: added link to photo
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Old Sep 29, 05, 3:14 pm
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Originally Posted by eastwest
I love these planes. I thought I'd share a few tidbits about them...

1. AS numbers their 732's with the series 730-749 tailnumbers.

2. Aircraft 741 is the only one without rear airstairs. To facilitate pax use, a set of air stairs will be driven up to the aircraft.

3. 741 doesn't have airstairs because many years ago, a ramp agent in SCC (Deadhorse/Prudhoe Bay) attempted to break them free of the frozen ground with a forklift and managed to break them in the process. They were never replaced.

4. Some of these planes have a skidplate on the front nose gear and blowers below the engine intakes. The blowers provide downward air to minimize the chances of the engines sucking up gravel and debris when using less than good runways.

5. It takes about an hour to reconfigure one of these planes from cargo to passenger load. The seats are all kept on pallets and they are rolled onto the plane and the pallet is secured to the floor. They use the same securing mechanisms that the cargo containers (aka igloos) use. It's a really cool set up.

6. In 2006 AS plans to start phasing out the 200 series combi's and begin replacing them with 400 series combi's.

7. When flying out to bush communities these aircraft sometimes carry empty water jugs which are then filled at the remote station and used to provide ballast on the return.

8. The use of these planes is the only way that AS can afford to service many of the communities that they do. It wouldn't be economically feasible to fly just cargo or just pax to some of the destinations.

9. These planes carry LOTS of US Mail.

10. The "igloo" containers that carry freight on these aircraft have shuttled animals as large as horses, bears, and even a few walruses.

Here's a great picture of the old workhorse:
http://www.airliners.net/open.file/179564/M/
RT to OME Oct. 12-13, 05. May be my last chance to ride one of these beasts, dammit
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Old Sep 29, 05, 6:34 pm
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Great info, always wondered about N741AS! I too will miss them.
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Old Sep 29, 05, 7:31 pm
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Thats cool information. I have not had the chance to fly in a Combi, but i would surely like to try it.
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Old Sep 29, 05, 10:36 pm
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I love working flights on those puppies.. it's ugly on the inside but amazingly flexible for our intra-Alaska flights...

Having the ability to adjust the configuration within an hour is just perfect... but the 200 a/c are long in the tooth. The -400s being converted will not have the Quick Change option... they will be set for a specific number of seats and a specific number of igloos. But will be more comfortable with larger overhead bins and a nicer interior in general. One -400 will be cargo only.

The -200s are old and beat up but man are they fun to fly. Kinda like working in a timewarp..

FYI the -200s were equipped with gravel skids to prevent damage from gravel being picked up by the tires (think metal mudflaps - minus the chrome plated female outline thankyouverymuch ) as well as a vortex dissipater (that tube sticking out under the engine nacelle) to prevent gravel from being sucked into the engine on takeoff/landing. I think that all our runways are now paved so they have supposedly removed the gravel skids to reduce drag.
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Old Sep 29, 05, 10:48 pm
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Originally Posted by Alaska F/A
I think that all our runways are now paved so they have supposedly removed the gravel skids to reduce drag.
Some of them still have the skids. I know that at least one runway still isn't paved -- Red Dog!
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Old Sep 29, 05, 10:58 pm
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What about the interior?

Nice of you to share all of these fun and interesting trivia tidbits. Now I'm curious to know if anybody has photos of the interior/seats etc. I'd be interested to see them....probably won't get the chance to fly in one before 2006.
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Old Sep 29, 05, 11:05 pm
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Will the 734 Combis have first class on them? Since the number of seats is fixed instead of flexible, is it anything AS has considerded? Be nice to upgrade the next time I go to BRW
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Old Sep 30, 05, 9:49 am
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Originally Posted by Robt760
Nice of you to share all of these fun and interesting trivia tidbits. Now I'm curious to know if anybody has photos of the interior/seats etc. I'd be interested to see them....probably won't get the chance to fly in one before 2006.
I'll try to get some photos in a couple of weeks
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Old Sep 30, 05, 10:20 am
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some 732 picts

These are great, enjoy:

inflight:
http://www.airliners.net/open.file?id=881851

backside of engine:
http://www.airliners.net/open.file?id=845739

interior empty (ingloos/seats slide in):
http://www.airliners.net/open.file?id=459420

interior w/ seats. note bulkead, small hatch on left. ingloos are infront:
http://www.airliners.net/open.file?id=415580

awesome takeoff:
http://www.airliners.net/open.file?id=531562

N740AS in Ketchikan:
http://www.airliners.net/open.file?id=312079

N743AS at Red Dog:
http://www.airliners.net/open.file?id=142329

N741AS unloading igloos:
http://www.airliners.net/open.file?id=018145

beautiful Juneau landing:
http://www.airliners.net/open.file?id=087952

loading igloos in Anchorage:
http://www.airliners.net/open.file?id=179564

poor old N746AS:
http://www.airliners.net/open.file?id=547987

old N743AS:
http://www.airliners.net/open.file?id=748704
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Old Sep 30, 05, 1:04 pm
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Originally Posted by beaver
These are great, enjoy:
poor old N746AS:
http://www.airliners.net/open.file?id=547987
Isn't N746AS back in service?
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Old Sep 30, 05, 3:03 pm
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Originally Posted by jwright
Isn't N746AS back in service?
746 is back in service! This aircraft, originally acquired from Mark Air, was retired for awhile but no more.

A couple other tidbits:

AS 737-200's use the Pratt&Whitney JT8D Turbojet Engine. This engine is a variant of the engine used by the Navy's A-6 Intruder Attack Aircraft. It made it's commercial debut on the 727.

The engine originated as the J52 on the A-6 Intruder.

The JT8D variant has been used on the 727, 737-100/200, and on the DC-9.

A second generation JT8D-2 is used on the MD-80.

An afterburning version of the original JT8D engine powers the Swedish Saab Viggen Fighter Jet.

The JT8D is being used by the US Military to replace older TF33 engines in various AWACS and JSTARS surveillance aircraft. (Both of those are based on the 707 airframe.)
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Old Sep 30, 05, 4:25 pm
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I got my one, and probably only, flight on an AS 732 combi last year, flying ANC-FAI. It was a fun experience all around, especially sitting next to an Alaskan native returning to her remote village from a week's vacation to Anchorage. That day the aircraft was in an all passenger configuration, and I sat up front on the left side, right in the middle of the cargo door.
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Old Sep 30, 05, 7:14 pm
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I knew I had read it somewhere... In an article in the company site, they talk about fuel efficiency and steps taken to try and reduce fuel burn.

One of the things done (which didn't pan out) is:

"Flight operations also has looked at a number of ideas in recent months that have not panned out. One is removing the gravel guards from 737-200 jets, now that every airport Alaska Airlines serves is paved. “Our analysis showed that the cost of removing the guards exceeded estimated fuel savings,”"


I've never done a Red Dog flight but I thought I had heard that all of our fields were paved...
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Old Sep 30, 05, 10:25 pm
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I started to question myself so I looked it up. At this point Noatak (Red Dog) is still gravel.

http://www.airnav.com/airport/PAWN
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