Browsing Tag: MD-80

N557AN, an MD-82 spotted at MCI in 2013.

N557AN, an MD-82 spotted on the ramp at MCI in 2013.

Love them or hate them, American’s MD-80s are on the way out. This should not come as a shock as we’ve known for years the day was eventually coming. But late last month American Airlines announced details for the MadDog’s final day of operations. Mark your calendars, folks. September 4 is the day the “Super 80s” carry passengers off into the sunset one last time.

When I mention the upcoming retirement to friends, the majority of responses are positive. It seems the general consensus is that these DC-9 descendants have overstayed their welcome in the AvGeek and frequent flyer worlds. While few folks seem willing to admit they will miss the MD-80s, I fully expect it will only be a matter of time. For decades the MadDogs were ubiquitous. Airports just won’t be the same without them.

No matter how we feel, these retirement dates tend to sneak up on us. The official final flight on September 4 is sold out, but there remain many options to get out for a goodbye flight, including many options on the final day of operation…

Wings of pride arrives home at the downtown KC Airport

This morning, I had the honor of welcoming an iconic piece of aviation history back home to Kansas City, MO. I watched the event unfold while standing on the roof of what was once an early Trans World Airlines (TWA) stronghold.

Looking into the sky, I could see a tiny red speck on the horizon that slowly grew into a beautiful red/white MD-83 (reg: N948TW). It was something unique, and certainly not common at the Charles B. Wheeler downtown airport (MKC).

Wings of Pride N948TW

Soon one of the most iconic (albeit nearly forgotten) planes to grace the Trans World fleet landed and taxied to within a few yards of TWA’s first headquarters in Kansas City, and former office of Howard Hughes himself.

The TWA Wings of Pride, after 27 years of service across the world, had finally reclaimed its greatest livery and arrived back to the birthplace of its former airline, courtesy of TriStar History and Preservation and their patrons.

Delta Boeing 757 in retro livery and MD-80 in its retirement livery - Photo: Delta Air Lines

Delta Boeing 757 in retro livery and DC-9-50 in its retirement livery – Photo: Delta Air Lines

An excerpt from the Delta Flight Museum Blog by Tiffany Meng…

It’s not very often we add new aircraft to the Museum’s fleet, so yesterday was a special day. With the help of a great Delta and DOT group, Ship 608, a Boeing 757-200 painted in its original livery, and Ship 9880, a DC-9-50 wearing its retirement livery, were brought over to the Museum from the Technical Operations Center across the airport.

Ship 608 being towed - Photo: Delta Air Lines

Ship 608 being towed – Photo: Delta Air Lines

In the 1940s, the Museum’s Historic Hangars 1 & 2 were Delta’s regular maintenance hangars and were on Atlanta Airport property. Over the years, the airport has moved a few times, staying within the general area. In the 1980s, Woolman Place road was built and that severed the hangars from airport property. Therefore, moving Museum aircraft to and from the airport is never easy. It takes a lot of coordination between Delta, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Homeland Security, Landmark Aviation, DHL, and FedEx.

See additional photos and continue reading this story at the Delta Fight Museum Blog…