Age of AAs MD-80 fleet?

 
Old Jun 21, 2005, 10:10 pm
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Age of AAs MD-80 fleet?

Are these planes more than 20 years old? I would assume the converted TWA planes are older.
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Old Jun 21, 2005, 10:22 pm
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Deleted.

Last edited by Aileron; Nov 21, 2008 at 3:23 pm
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Old Jun 21, 2005, 10:27 pm
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When you board, look at the small piece of metal (about 4"x2") that is located inside of the door frame. It will be stamped with the date the aircraft was born. The vast majority of MDs i've seen are from the early 80's.
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Old Jun 21, 2005, 11:10 pm
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Originally Posted by AA2070
When you board, look at the small piece of metal (about 4"x2") that is located inside of the door frame. It will be stamped with the date the aircraft was born.
I think on some of NW's ancient DC-9s, the text is written in heiroglyphics.
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Old Jun 22, 2005, 4:09 am
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Originally Posted by CApreppie
I think on some of NW's ancient DC-9s, the text is written in heiroglyphics.
Indeed, NWA got so tired of criticism when passengers saw the age of the plane that they have removed these date plates from the doorway of the DC-9s.
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Old Jun 22, 2005, 6:30 am
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The oldest would be around 20 years old. TW had some of the last MD80's off the production line, so they are relatively new. Expect the MD80 to be a 30 year airplane.

In any event, as long as they are maintained well, age isn't much of a problem. And while I freely admit that I am biased, I have a high level of confidence in the maintenance of American Airlines' aircraft.
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Old Jun 22, 2005, 6:45 am
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Originally Posted by AAJunkie
Are these planes more than 20 years old? I would assume the converted TWA planes are older.
Actually it's almost the opposite, TWA's MD-80s are in general much newer.

According to planemad.net AA (and TWA's) MD-80s were delivered between 1983 and 1999. AA's MD-80s were all delivered between 1983 and 1992. About half of TWA's MD-80s were delivered between 1983 and 1988 and the other half between 1993 and 1999, including the last MD-80 produced.
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Old Jun 22, 2005, 6:50 am
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Actually AA's first MD-80 was just ahead of TWA's first MD-80 on the production line, but N901TW went into service almost a month ahead of N203AA in the Spring of 1983 and TW flew 103 MD-80s that went to AA.

Here is a URL that describes the average age of AA's MD-80 fleet as 15.8 years about 4 months ago. Click on MD-80 for specific aircraft.
http://www.aerotransport.org/php/go....re=79916&luck=
As pointed out, most of the TW MD-80s are newer than their AA counterparts with 24 of the last MD-80s going to AA. Just prior to those deliveries and a few years after AA had taken delivery of their last MD-83, TW took delivery of 15 overwater MD-80s, as well as a couple of year-old AS birds. Almost all TW MD-82s are in the desert with the exception of the former OZ aircraft. A few TW MD-83s also have found their way into the desert, as have the former Swiss Air MD-82s (N921-929TW with one of the Swiss A/C even older than the first AA MD-80).

As was pointed out, some of the NW DC-9s were delivered as early as 1965 and 1966 and they are still flying. I read in a DC-9 book that Douglas had predicted from stress tests that they could safely fly twice as many hours as have the recently retired high time aircraft.

My perception of the TW MD-80 fleet was that they were maintained better by TW than AA did for their fleet. One of the promos by TW indicated they shampooed the seats at least every two weeks! One of the TW aircraft built in 1984 that is listed in the above data base as being in the desert had 63,070 hours on the airframe. TW had a practice of selling their 727s when they reached about 65,000 hours. Some of the high time DC-9s had over 100,000 hours, and are still flying for NW and other airlines. Based on this data, it appears that AAs MD-80 fleet could go on for another 20 years if they still remained economical to fly. TW had developed a plan for replacement of their MD-80 fleet that included introducing almost new AS MD-80s as replacements for some of their older A/C, but AA canceled these orders.
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Old Jun 22, 2005, 6:55 am
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Post MD-80 info of interest

May 4, 1983 saw American's first MD-80 delivered (MD-82 N218AA.) A number of TW MD-83s seem to be in storage.

You can see the MD-80 production list, starting with page 2 in order of delivery date (page 1 and some of page 2 includes those ordered, not built.)

Not to worry, these aircraft are renewed periodically (I've flown on much older aircraft relatively recently, like DH-89 Rapide and DC-3.) A "C" check is very intensive, a thorough refurb of the vitals. From American's "Fleet Profile" page:

"C" Checks
The "C" check is the most thorough type of maintenance work performed by American. The airframe - virtually the entire aircraft - goes through an exhaustive series of checks, inspections and overhaul work. It is performed at either of Americans heavy maintenance and engineering centers in Tulsa, Oklahoma or the Alliance Maintenance Facility in Fort Worth, Texas. There are different levels of "C" checks depending on the type of aircraft. These include:

Narrowbody "C" Checks
American does two types of "C" checks on its narrowbody planes. The first is a "Light C" check, which occurs approximately once a year. It requires approximately 2,100 man-hours and three days to accomplish. Every fourth "Light C" check becomes a "Heavy C" check. This check requires 20,000 - 30,000 man-hours and takes from three to five weeks to accomplish.

(Hmm, the page still lists MRTC seat pitch for a number of aircraft.)
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Old Jun 22, 2005, 8:29 am
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Originally Posted by Life_Platinum
My perception of the TW MD-80 fleet was that they were maintained better by TW than AA did for their fleet. One of the promos by TW indicated they shampooed the seats at least every two weeks!
We shouldn't confuse interior cleanliness with aircraft maintenance. Do you have any reason to believe that the TW MD-80 fleet was better maintained mechanically than the AA fleet?
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Old Jun 22, 2005, 10:13 am
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I'm sure someone will flame this, but it's a "fact." Or at least I've heard it enough times from AA maintenance folks, including maintenance management, to believe it to be true.

The 747 SP's that AA operated briefly to NRT were leased from TWA. Part of the lease agreement (or it could've been a purchase...can't remember) was that TWA perform the heavy maintenance on the 747 SP's....and they did. And each time they returned from heavy maintenance at TW, they promptly spent several days in TUL getting fixed by AA before AA would put them in service.

As for the MD-80's. And I've seen this first hand... while TW had some of the latest planes off the MD-80 line, that doesn't mean they were in great shape. Trust me when I say that a number of these aircraft were literally beaten all to h*ll and back. I'm not talking about seat covers and soiled carpets. I'm talking about a lot of heavy duty wear and tear.
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Old Jun 22, 2005, 12:54 pm
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Originally Posted by flyastrojets
I'm sure someone will flame this, but it's a "fact." Or at least I've heard it enough times from AA maintenance folks, including maintenance management, to believe it to be true.

The 747 SP's that AA operated briefly to NRT were leased from TWA. Part of the lease agreement (or it could've been a purchase...can't remember) was that TWA perform the heavy maintenance on the 747 SP's....and they did. And each time they returned from heavy maintenance at TW, they promptly spent several days in TUL getting fixed by AA before AA would put them in service.

As for the MD-80's. And I've seen this first hand... while TW had some of the latest planes off the MD-80 line, that doesn't mean they were in great shape. Trust me when I say that a number of these aircraft were literally beaten all to h*ll and back. I'm not talking about seat covers and soiled carpets. I'm talking about a lot of heavy duty wear and tear.
They flew the 747SP to LHR shortly after taking over the routes from TWA in 1991.

I was trying to think which airlines in Europe still operated the MD80 - most have gone long ago. I think that Scandinavian adn Alitalia come to mind. They may be beautifully maintained but they are rather old tech aren't they? Firly high fuel costs I would imagine compared witht the newer 737/Airbus products. I'm just surprised that AA have not traded them all against 737s in the interests of fleet rationalisation given their relationship with Boeing.
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Old Jun 22, 2005, 12:58 pm
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Originally Posted by PUCCI GALORE
I'm just surprised that AA have not traded them all against 737s in the interests of fleet rationalisation given their relationship with Boeing.
Well, that was the long-term plan, but September 11 and over $10 billion of losses since 2001 intervened and disrupted the plan.

Lack of extra cash has derailed that plan. Perhaps for many, many years.
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Old Jun 22, 2005, 1:06 pm
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Originally Posted by PUCCI GALORE
I'm just surprised that AA have not traded them all against 737s in the interests of fleet rationalisation given their relationship with Boeing.
Keep in mind that AA has more than 330 MD-80s in active service (isn't that more planes than the entire British Airways fleet?).
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Old Jun 22, 2005, 1:10 pm
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Originally Posted by MiamiBeach
Keep in mind that AA has more than 330 MD-80s in active service (isn't that more planes than the entire British Airways fleet?).
Oh here we go again.....AA better than BA!
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