Re: Is the 747-100 really "too" old ?

Date:         01 Mar 97 02:44:59 
From:         kls@ohare.Chicago.COM (Karl Swartz)
Organization: Chicago Software Works, Menlo Park, California
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>NASA Johnson Space Center acquired 747-100s to be Shuttle Carrier
>Aircraft (SCA).  The first SCA, 905, acquired in the mid-70s, was
>purchased from American Airlines ... The second SCA, 911, was
>acquired a few years ago.  Although I don't remember the source
>(an airline is all I remember) ...

While 905 is a -100 (a 747-123, to be precise), 911 is a 747SR-46,
the short-range, high-cycle version for the Japanese domestic market.
It was acquired from "Boeing Equipment Holding Company" in October,
1988, six months after they had purchased it from Japan Air Lines,
the original owner.  (Sounds like it had been a trade-in.)

>In both cases, the aircraft were perfectly fine mechanically and no
>where near the end of their structural lives.  They were, however,
>near the end of their economic lives as airliners.

905 was nowhere near the end of its economic life as an airliner.  It
was the 8th (of 16) 747-123s in American's fleet, and was sold to NASA
in 1974, before it had even reached its 4th birthday.  The five 747-123s
which immediately preceded it are still in airline service today, flying
for United, and the oldest of those is scheduled to be the next-to-last
747-100 in United's fleet, with a planned retirement date of February,
2000.  That's over 26 years of economic life past when NASA acquired
905.  Another 747-123 is still flying passengers for Virgin Atlantic,
and seven fly freight for UPS.  Only two are out of service; they were
last operated by Pan Am and have been stored since 1991.

--
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