N703BA Final Flight?


#1

A company called Universal Asset Management had purchased N703BA (cn 27109, ln 19) destined to be the first 777 ever to be broken up. Here is what must be the airframe’s final flight to Walnut Ridge, AR on December 10th.

flightaware.com/live/flight/N703 … /KMZJ/KARG


#2

Old (?) British AW aircraft and look out for N702BA (27108/17) bought by Aircraft Solutions LLC and likely to end its days at Walnut Ridge.

By comparison, do a search (airliners.net) for VH-XBA a restored Qantas B707 that is how old…go figure! Those things were built for and deserve longevity, even with a bit of help from the restorers. Beautiful.

BR IN (UK)


#3

It all has to do with cost of maintenance vs. cost of the sum of the plane’s parts. If someone feels that the cost to repair the plane or maintenance it back into flying condition will cost more than they can get for the plane’s scrap, guess what happens to it? Usually this happens when the plane is approaching a heavy D-check or something similar.

Thankfully someone felt the historical value of the 707 justified the added cost to constantly keep it airworthy.


#4

My understanding, and I hope it’s correct, is that once it reaches Australia it will no longer fly. I’m all for historical aircraft being flown; however, I’m against historical aircraft of which there are only one or two around, from being flown often. Look at what happened to the restored Boeing 307.


#5

Yes, I’m pretty sure that this was sort of its farewell tour before entering a museum, where it won’t be flown anymore.

I agree completely with you, though; it’s nice to see them flying around, but the last thing you want to see is one crash, which is basically just as bad as scrapping one of the old birds.


#6

[quote=“damiross”]
*
Because you fear falling aluminum or the loss of an historic aircraft?

Static displays suck*, period, full stop.

If an aircraft is airworthy, then it deserves to be flown, even if only once or twice a year, regardless of risk.

Given the general ambivalence among the US population for history in general, and aviation history in particular, I’d like to see as many historical aircraft as possible touring the US on a year round basis.

I deeply appreciate the aircraft we have at the museum for folks to gaze upon, but I have to admit that I’m just as deeply saddened when I stop to think that all of them are grounded for good.

$.02[/quote]


#7

I’m all for flying them. As with flying any aircraft, check the fuel level and other basics of airmanship should be observed. Perhaps guys with nick names like “Buzz” shouldn’t be chosen to fly them.


#8

[quote=“JHEM”]

[quote=“damiross”]
*
Because you fear falling aluminum or the loss of an historic aircraft?

Static displays suck*[/quote]

, period, full stop.

If an aircraft is airworthy, then it deserves to be flown, even if only once or twice a year, regardless of risk.

Given the general ambivalence among the US population for history in general, and aviation history in particular, I’d like to see as many historical aircraft as possible touring the US on a year round basis.

I deeply appreciate the aircraft we have at the museum for folks to gaze upon, but I have to admit that I’m just as deeply saddened when I stop to think that all of them are grounded for good.

$.02

Did I say NEVER flown? I said “not flown often,” which would fit into your once or twice a year.

If you think about it, an aircraft in its element is just a dot in the sky. How many of you can honestly say you can tell that the aircraft above you is a 707 when it’s at its cruising altitude (i.e. its element).

It’s a lot easier to examine an aircraft in a static display then it is when it is operating. Try examining its wheels or flaps or whatever when it is operating. Ever try examining an jet engine up close when it’s operating? You’re in for one helluva wind![/quote]


#9

Don’t mine offense where none was intended Dave.

Sorry, I won’t rise to that bit of hyperbolic pedantry.

The airborne arrival and departure of historic aircraft at your local FBO or airport is just as important as the ability to plumb their depths.

Until you experience e.g. Aluminum Overcast making a low and slow pass directly overhead you can’t fully appreciate the aircraft.


#10

Fly them, but fly them with the understanding that they are a part of our collective history.

I will never forget the day I was working as a student in Cornwall ON and I heard a sound I had NEVER heard before, the sound of four merlins attached to an Avro Lancaster ( movie and TV not withstanding ). I had walked up and down and through static displays, but the sound and sight of that aircraft flying 1000 ft above my head made a lasting impression.

Watching a P-38, Spitfire or Mosquito do a barrel role is simply irrisponsible. Leave those manuvers to more modern airframes. Once it hits the ground, that piece of history is gone for good.


#11

Ooopps! I think using VH-XBA was a bad example as it is indeed a lovingly restored one off that will enter static display in Oz.

I understand the concept of spare parts being worth more than the whole frame itself with associated maintainance costs - early A320’s going that way already inc an ex BAW example at Kemble in the UK.
The key point was the scrapping of a 777 frame (our throwaway society?) when you still have, for example, Daks, some Electras and even a few 707’s plying their trade commercially long after what you might consider the best-by date.
I believe a few caravelles (remember those?) did some interesting cross border night work in the not too distant past (late 90’s) in XA- land. Now, one of those on a flypast would get yer’ attenshun.
IN (UK)


#12

Two factors in play here. As for the Dakota’s /DC-3’s and Electras, you have a very solid aeronautical design that were overbuilt for their given mission. Add 20% more material because you are unsure of design limitations or to offset errors with your slide rule. So these airframes are around because they do not fatique if never stressed and are easy to service.

Supply and demand are at play with the 777. Since there are no scrapped examples, parts are expensive, so as was said above there comes a time when the value of the materials in an airframe exceed the expense of keeping it in the air. As more 777’s get mothballed, parts will become cheaper and the thresh hold of servicability will rise. Why we still see many 747-100 and 200’s, because there is a desert full of spares to keep them in the air.


#13

I see 747’s and 707’s (KC-135’s) all the time. It’s easy to tell them apart from the ground by the shape of their wings, size, etc… Some planes are a little tough to identify but I can usually spot enough color to id the airline (Southwest is the easiest).[/quote]


#14

You can honestly say that if you see a dot in the sky at FL370 (that’s 37,000 feet or over 5 miles) or, quite often, much higher, you can tell it’s a 747 or a KC-135 or A 737 with your naked eyes? Even if you are using binoculars you would still just be able to make out the aircraft unless you had a very powerful pair.[/quote]


#15

My sense is that anyone (or group) who restores an old plane understands quite well the balance of their historic importance, their ‘fragility’ and the need to actually take them to where people can see and appreciate them. It costs them a fortune to restore and is a true labor of love as many of the parts need to be hand fabricated.

I’ll never forget my first student cross-country flight, to Oshkosh. When I called the tower, they called traffic 12 o’clock, 8 miles, my altitude, opposite direction: B17! It was a hazy day and I couldn’t see it at first, but when it emerged from the haze and passed a mile off of my wing, it was a thing of beauty.

Go to Oskosh for one of the AirVenture events and you’ll see WWII planes looking like they just rolled out of the factory.


#16

I saw this one @ FL320.

http://flightaware.com/live/flight/SWA963/history/20061217/2348Z/KGEG/KPDX/tracklog
I see alot of Southwest flights between PDX-GEG and vice versa. When I look them up on here they are at 240-360. The afternoon sun here really illuminates them nicely. Last week I saw a 747 at altitude but could not find it on FA. I assumed it was going into SEA/BFI/PAE but there were no arrivals that matched. It was probably going to Anchorage.

Yesterday I was skiing at 6000’ and a C-17 went over my head at 9000’ on a regular route they fly. I saw that! The same ski area is also on a Navy bombing route where A-6’s fly between Whidbey Island NAS and Boardman, OR. They pop over the top of the mountain, fly down the bunny hill, full speed, upside down and then roll back up right. Its always shocking because you see it but you don’t hear anything until they’ve shot down the valley.