The last US Airways Boeing 767 flight, ready to go – Photo: Justin Cederholm | NYCAviation
This story was written by Justin Cederholm for NYCAviation.com
Another chapter in the long history of US Airways was closed this past Thursday as they operated the final flight of their Boeing 767-200ER. N252AU, which originally joined the USAir fleet in May 1990 as N652US, would be the aircraft to do the honor for today’s final flight. The morning started at Philadelphia’s gate A18 with flowers adorning the gate area and a table full of fresh fruit, drinks, and pastries for guests on this special flight. Flight 767 departed Philadelphia (PHL) bound for Charlotte (CLT) at 9 a.m. with a full load of passengers and a dozen or so aviation enthusiasts looking to be a part of this final flight. The short, uneventful hop down to Charlotte was greeted with a water canon salute from Charlotte’s Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting (ARFF) team.
US Airways employees celebrate the final 767 flight – Photo: Justin Cederholm | NYCAvation
Inside Charlotte gate D13 was decorated with balloons, a table draped with a ‘Happy Retirement’ table cloth and two retirement cakes for the Boeing 767. The final crew posed for photos and cake was distributed. Shortly thereafter boarding began for the final segment of Flight 767 back to PHL. At least two dozen enthusiasts and employees were on board this final fight which had roughly 100 open seats. Flight 767 departed CLT at noon for the final hour-long flight back to its hub. The light load of passengers allowed us to congregate in the aft coach cabin to reminisce on past flights on the 767 and discuss new aircraft joining the fleet of the “new” American Airlines. Before landing the pilot gave a speech on the history of the 767, its significance in the industry, and its history within the airline.
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People line up at the ever-popular “Windsock” at Paine Field – the 767-2C is just about to begin its maiden flight
9:40 am on a wet and grey Sunday morning in Seattle saw the first flight of an aircraft with a tumultuous history. This wasn’t a 787 or the A350, this was a Boeing aircraft that has not had much in the way of press in recent times. However, in the past that was a different story.
The first 767-2C, the prototype that will lead to the beginning of the KC-46 program took to the air for the first time. With it, over 12 years of history will see the USAF’s new tanker project finally start to fly.
The first 767-2C exits the runway in Everett due to a malfunction in the telemetry control. It was able to get back to the planned flight departure a few minutes later.
The first flight of the 767-2C is not technically a KC-46 Pegasus tanker, but the first of four aircraft destined for the testing of this unique aircraft. A hybrid aircraft of sorts,- made up of the fuselage of a 767-200, the wings of a -300ER, and then throw in the cockpit of Boeing’s latest aircraft, the 787, and you have this almost frankensteinish aircraft that will perform, what some think of as, the most unnatural of airborne feets, refueling other aircraft mid-flight.
Boeing’s history, not only with tankers but with this program alone, could fill page after page. Let’s try and condense it down, shall we?
If you are a fan of the Boeing 767, this video might make you a bit sad.
Qantas Airways is in the process of retiring their final 767-300ERs and the TV show 60 Minutes produced a story following VH-OGG from Australia over to Victorville Airport (VCV), home of probably the most famous airliner graveyard. Many times the main-stream media drops the ball when it comes to stories like this, but I have to admit that they did a pretty darn good job!
VH-OGG first flew at Paine Field on November 27, 1990. It was delivered to Qantas on December 12th of the same year and served with the airline for its entire life — up until now. The aircraft even sported a special Planes livery from Disney on the fuselage for a while.
Condor Boeing 767-300ER being worked on in their maintenance facility
With Condor Airlines being a smaller, low-cost carrier, it is not a huge surprise that their on-site maintenance facility at Frankfurt Airport (FRA) is quite small (well, in comparison to others like Lufthansa Technik).
Just because the hangar might not have the volume of other locations, it is a place where the job gets done. Ensuring that aircraft are checked and safe is no easy task, but a very important one.
Condor’s facility at FRA is able to work on one Boeing 767 at a time — and they only work on their 767s and 757s there. Condor sublets out the work done on their Airbus aircraft at other facilities around Europe.