Some real classics as seen at New York's La Guardia in 1977.

Some real classics as seen at New York's La Guardia in 1977. Click for larger.

You might be an airline nerd if you spent a good chunk of your time looking at random photos of classic airliners on the internet. Well, I happen to do just that more than I want to admit. Every once in a while I come across one that really moves me for one way or another and I want to share.

I just love this photo with the Allegheny DC-9 (N964VJ) parked next to the Braniff International Boeing 727-100 (N301BN) and next to a Southern DC-9. I think the best part are the Boeing 737 and 727 in different United Airlines livery.

The Boeing 737 is in the Friend Ship livery and the Boeing 727 is in the newer tulip livery, that matches the United service truck. Also notice the Allegheny tug is sporting their “new” livery that was then used on USAir after their purchase.

A special thanks to George Hamlin for taking this photo and letting me use it.

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF & FOUNDER - SEATTLE, WA. David has written, consulted, and presented on multiple topics relating to airlines and travel since 2008. He has been quoted and written for a number of news organizations, including BBC, CNN, NBC News, Bloomberg, and others. He is passionate about sharing the complexities, the benefits, and the fun stuff of the airline business. Email me:
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drew V

What a great historical picture! Gotta love the air stairs!!!!

John D

That is a cool picture – thank you for sharing it. I flew many hours on the 727-100 series, but Allegheny DC-9-30’s were the birds I flew most.

Great (semi)old shot. Note the airstairs, roll-up stairs and all of ONE JetWay, eevn at LGA. -C.

Heh, I guess “old” is relative!


I remember climbing the rear air-stairs on United 727’s out of Monterrey to LAX. Now that was a great plane. Of course that was back when cigarette smoke wafted through the plane, playing cards and nuts were handed out and everyone had a cocktail.

I dunno. Is that the good ‘ol days? 🙂



Ignorance was bliss back then. 🙂

Wow, what a beautiful sight. A moment frozen in time.

David: Thanks for using, and glad that you enjoyed. This was likely shot at the beginning of another early morning business trip, as a non-rev. A shame the location is no longer avaiable.

So, you’re a real nerd if you can trace an aircraft’s pedigree through its registration (“November” number). I used to enjoy going through DTW or MSP and check out the DC-9s on the ramp. I saw a number of those birds that were operated by Republic (of course), Hughes Airwest, Southern, and North Central.

I like your photo here because it also reminds me of the times I was able to use the rear stairs on the 727s and DC-9s at airports that had no jetways.

Thanks for the shot.

Bring back the old United livery!

Yep, i love the air stairs too =)

Yep, i love the air stairs too =) brings back memories!

The Southern Airways DC-9 brings back memories for me, used to see them at JAX and flew with them several times. Also remember the Braniff International Flying Colors from the years I lived in OKC, flew BI many times. I like the two different United logos (I have to admit, it’s a bit disorienting for me now to see planes in Continental colors with UNITED emblazoned across the side).

Re; Air stairs. I remember going with my late grandmother to the airport for the first flight she ever took in her life. It was on a United 727, JAX-ATL at the old Thomas C. Imeson Airport in JAX. My father and I were allowed onto the plane without tickets (which tells you how long ago this was, sometime in the mid-1960s) to help her up the back airstairs and into her seat.

Now that is “classic”, what a awesome photo! I was a UA employee for ten years and love the classic photos!

Mark W….UA has painted a Airbus A-320 in the “Stars and Bars” N475UA. Looks amazing. Go to for photos. G

Not that is not a great site, but you can also find photos on (aka 🙂 )

Photos of the reveal:

Photo of front window being cleaned:


Eric Spencer

Thanks for posting these…as an old pilot, I have an affinity for old airlines (and airliners), and this photo is awesome.

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