Oldest Bird in the Fleet

 
Old Mar 24, 14, 4:06 pm
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Oldest Bird in the Fleet

This pops up every few years, but I am wondering if there's any way to determine what the oldest bird in the fleet is. Living in Florida I fly the 737-400 a lot, so I'm used to the old aircraft, but last night I was on tail #439 and it seemed especially old (based entirely on my observation of the interior, of course).
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Old Mar 24, 14, 4:39 pm
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Oldest 734 (1988): http://www.planespotters.net/Product...US-Airways.php

Oldest (amazing to think some 320s are older than some 734s with the shape the 734s are in) 320 (1989): http://www.planespotters.net/Product...US-Airways.php

Oldest 752 (1985): http://www.planespotters.net/Product...US-Airways.php

Oldest 762 (1987):
http://www.planespotters.net/Product...US-Airways.php
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Old Mar 24, 14, 4:43 pm
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Originally Posted by sbbutler93 View Post
Oldest 734 (1988): http://www.planespotters.net/Product...US-Airways.php

Oldest (amazing to think some 320s are older than some 734s with the shape the 734s are in) 320 (1989): http://www.planespotters.net/Product...US-Airways.php

Its because those of us who grew up on pre-merger US Airways remember the A320 coming on line courtesy of Stephen Wolf.
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Old Mar 24, 14, 5:28 pm
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Airfleets.net is a good source for a lot of this data, though their histories can occasionally be incomplete, and they don't always immediately catch when a plane has been retired. And "delivery date" can be thrown off by mergers and airline name changes -- you have to click on the plane's MSN to see its history.

In the case of the 737-400s, a little sleuthing suggests that N406US is both the oldest 737 in the US fleet, and the first 737-400 ever delivered (to Piedmont, in 1988).

N439US was delivered in 1990.

I think the oldest plane in the fleet is probably a 757, N901AW. It was delivered to Republic in 1985, and sold to America West in 1987 (NW sold off a bunch of ex-RC 757s after that merger, due to some configuration differences).

The 767s started delivery slightly earlier than the 737-400s, as well; N248AY was delivered to Piedmont earlier in 1988.
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Old Mar 24, 14, 5:51 pm
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Originally Posted by dtremit View Post
I think the oldest plane in the fleet is probably a 757, N901AW. It was delivered to Republic in 1985, and sold to America West in 1987 (NW sold off a bunch of ex-RC 757s after that merger, due to some configuration differences).
It looks like N902AW is older by 13 days.
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Old Mar 24, 14, 6:13 pm
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Don't forget the ex-Henson Dash-8-100s, such as http://www.airfleets.net/ficheapp/plane-dh8-9.htm
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Old Mar 24, 14, 6:17 pm
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Originally Posted by CPRich View Post
It looks like N902AW is older by 13 days.
Yeah, strange -- N901AW started production earlier, but flew later.

N245AY (the older 767) has been put out to pasture, though.
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Old Mar 24, 14, 6:19 pm
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I kind of like the 737-400. It feels like a solid airplane…until it starts the take off roll and you think the overheads are going to fall down. Love the first class seats, though.
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Old Mar 24, 14, 9:10 pm
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Originally Posted by funsmpls View Post
I kind of like the 737-400. It feels like a solid airplane…until it starts the take off roll and you think the overheads are going to fall down. Love the first class seats, though.
True...but when I feel like the overheads are going to shutter off the ceiling, I just reach for the airphone in the armrest and I feel reassured....
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Old Mar 24, 14, 9:51 pm
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Originally Posted by funsmpls View Post
I kind of like the 737-400. It feels like a solid airplane…until it starts the take off roll and you think the overheads are going to fall down. Love the first class seats, though.
They'll be gone this year as I recall, replaced mainly by the remaining A321s US had on order.

I will say that over the years I experienced excellent dispatch reliability from the 737-400 (and the -300, retired not so long ago as well). There's a decent possibility that a recent JAX-CLT flight will be my last on the -400 though.
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Old Mar 25, 14, 5:33 am
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I think HP got some of the Airbuses that had been ordered by Braniff, hence the age of some of those compared to those that were ordered for US by Wolf. PI was the (or one of the) launch customer for the 737-400 IIRC, which explains them being younger than some of the 757/767s, although the oldest 734's have been retired. Right or wrong, it's pretty typical for airlines not to spend money maintaining interiors of planes being retired.

Jim
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Old Mar 25, 14, 10:21 am
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I had my money on the 737-400 or Dash-8. They used to run them BOS-BUF all the time before subbing them out for the Air WI CRJs. This was back when they sued mainline between the two. I think they were actually 737-300s, but were quite dated.

Then again, I'd take an old 737 to the CRJ prison ship any day.... you can at least stand in the bathroom and the seats had cushioning...
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Old Mar 25, 14, 10:56 pm
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Originally Posted by Alphaguy View Post
I had my money on the 737-400 or Dash-8. They used to run them BOS-BUF all the time before subbing them out for the Air WI CRJs. This was back when they sued mainline between the two. I think they were actually 737-300s, but were quite dated.
The last 733s actually stuck around until 2012. To be fair, some were newer than the oldest 734s.
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