Re: New Aircraft: what's cooking?

From:         kls@ohare.Chicago.COM (Karl Swartz)
Organization: Chicago Software Works, Menlo Park, California
Date:         01 Jun 95 05:01:02 
References:   1 2 3 4
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>I can still remember the groans myself and other agents would make
>when we would see one of [United's] two SP's ...

United had ten 747SP-21s (ex-Pan Am) and one 747SP-27 (also from Pan
Am, but built for Braniff), though the lone -27 left several years ago
and the others were retired over the past several years until only two
were left by last summer.  The last flight was UA 59 IAD-SFO on October
20th, operated by N145UA, the only one to get the new Malevolent Skies

As for reliability, the 747-122s and -123s don't seem to do too well
for IAD either.  United had two 747s (a -100 and a -238B) operating
SFO-IAD and return about 45 minutes apart for the last several years,
but it seemed to be an extraordinary event for both to operate as
scheduled -- sometimes the -100 would be cancelled outright, sometimes
one would operate with a -238B (not necessarily the one so scheduled)
while the other got a smaller aircraft, either a 747SP or DC-10.  I
have observed whole weeks go by without a single day in which both of
these flights used the scheduled equipment.

>Rumor has it that these SP's were part of the acquisition of
>Equipment from PAN AM

It's more than rumor.  They were acquired with the February, 1986
acquisition of Pan Am's Pacific Division, along with six TriStar 500s
(L-1011s), all but one of which are now flying for Delta.

>though United completely overhauled the aircraft, it was still
>plagued with numerous problems.

That's odd, as I've never heard anything but good about them from
other United folks, except for the -27 which the pilots hated because
it was *very* different and forced them to lug along a lot of extra

Karl Swartz	|INet
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		|Snail	2144 Sand Hill Rd., Menlo Park CA 94025, USA
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