Northwest 747-200 Retirement Flights

The end of the line is here for the 747-200 at Northwest Airlines and they will all be sent to the desert by the end of the year. The first one left today.

N623US passenger - 11/25 … /KMSP/KMZJ

N624US passenger - 11/27 … /KCOS/KMZJ

N631NW freighter - 12/26 … /KLAX/KMZJ

N632NW freighter - 12/28 … /KORD/KMZJ

N639US freighter - 12/29 … /KLAX/KVCV

N643NW freighter - 12/29 … /KORD/KARG

N644NW freighter - 12/26 … /KORD/KMZJ

Sad day indeed. 747 Classics are all but gone now from the US Legacy carriers. I always wanted to fly on one of those, especially the original -100 series. Are there any charter airlines in the US that still fly the classic 747s in any pax configuration?

No, these were the last two Classic passenger airliners flying based in the US.

I never flew on one either or any 747 for that matter but the 747 imho is the best looking plane ever built.

Some pics,

This A330 came out of storage and flew to KSFO. … /KVCV/KSFO

That was N820NW and I think it was coming out of the paint shop at VCV. All of the 330’s and 747’s were painted in DL colors there. Still have a couple 333’s in nwa colors and think this was one of them although I lost track of what got painted and is still down. ACARS shows it last flying on the 18th so that is about the time needed for paint.

There are two stored 333’s waiting heavy maintenance but they are at MZJ.

Wonder if it did a military charter. Here’s the flight times for the flight mentioned above
NWA9860 28 Nov VCV 0818 SFO 0907

Then the same evening it went back to VCV.
NWA9861 28 Nov SFO 2301 VCV 2351

VCV is not only a storage yard but also a major base for military charters due to the number of military bases in the area.

Last time I was at Mojave there was a row of A320 or 330’s that had been flown there, sealed and put into storage right out of the factory. They had been purchased but never put into service. Air Canada I think.

This is what I think happened.

VCV-SFO 9860
SFO-NRT 0327

NRT-SFO 0326
SFO-VCV 9861

They brought one 333 out of paint (N820NW) and then brought another one (N818NW) back in to get painted. Just swapped them out mid turn at SFO. ACARS shows N820NW on flights 9860/0327 and N818NW on flights 9861/0326. Could have used a spare crew out of SEA or MSP and sent them to VCV to not mess up the normal pilot rotation.

There’s some brand new 777’s there now too waiting for pick up, a Jet Airways 773 and two 777 Freighters for China Southern. Send money.

don’t forget to hear the last Anchorage flight’s from Live ATC on December 26th to LA and Chicago

B742’s are beautiful birds with them NWA colors.

Thanks for the heads up. All the freighters are still flying hard and guess they will continue right to the end. Wonder what the pilots based at ANC will do? There’s a 330 base at SEA or to stay on the 747 would have to commute all the way to DTW. The 747’s rule.


the last regular: … /PANC/KLAX … /PANC/KORD

One of the last:


…and I believe, the last one:

Yeah, that’s it, they are all retired.

The ones at MZJ and VCV may get sold to somebody and fly again.

They one that went to ARG (N643NW) will be broken up and scrapped.

that makes me happy

As Mojave goes, so does the economy. I took these yesterday



Seven Air Canada Airbus (dark tail) with just one flight. Factory to Mojave, been sitting for at least two years.

Very thought provoking pics Frank, thanks.

Awesome pics, thanks.

Never used?

What is the story with those?

Hmmm… Those look like 767’s to me Frank. Do you have the full size pic on you website to get a closer look?