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      Braniff2


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      Post #76331, posted on 07-23-2020 GMT-5 hours    
      Hi everyone,

      I have a question about the original TWA DC-9-14 fleet (not the OZ birds...the original TW fleet).
      Were any of the original TW DC-9's equipped with ventral stairs?

      I remember flying on them in the mid to late 1960's....but we always boarded from the front airstairs...or a jetway. I don't ever remember even seeing their DC-9's with rear stairs deployed.

      Just curious if any of our old time TWAer's could confirm that none of the original fleet of TW DC-9's (delivered 1966ish) were equipped with ventral stairs.

      Thanks in advance.

      Braniff2
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      Jennings


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      Post #76332, posted on 07-23-2020 GMT-5 hours    
      Pretty sure the aft stairs came standard on all DC-9s.

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      Chernoff


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      Post #76335, posted on 07-23-2020 GMT-5 hours    
      Aft airstairs are not standard on all DC-9s. Those without them do have a tailcone that can be ejected and an escape slide.

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      Post #76337, posted on 07-23-2020 GMT-5 hours    
      Hi Jennings and everyone,

      I don't think the aft stairs were standard on the models 10-15. I'm thinking they were only on those baby-9's that had a main deck cargo door (an RC model), like those used by Air Canada and Continental...maybe a few other carriers. I think the intent was to use them as small "combis"; freight up front, and passengers in back using the aft stairs for boarding and deplaning.

      I do remember deplaning from a Continental baby-9 via the aft stairs...and that bird had a cargo door on the main deck.

      Maybe Jodie Peeler (our resident DC-9 expert) can clarify.

      Braniff2
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      Laurent


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      Post #76338, posted on 07-24-2020 GMT-5 hours    
      The answer is right here at Airlinercafé: https://www.airlinercafe.com/page.php?id=396

      "Although it is a VERY common option, not all DC-9's have ventral stairs. Especially early DC-9-10's. Most -10's don't have them, nearly all -30's have them, all -40's and -50's have them."

      Laurent

      So many planes, so little time ...

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      Post #76339, posted on 07-24-2020 GMT-5 hours    
      Quote
      Braniff2 :
      Maybe Jodie Peeler (our resident DC-9 expert) can clarify.



      I'm sorry to disappoint, but the above responses are much better than anything I could offer. Even though my name is on the cover of a book, honesty compels me to admit what I don't know about that aircraft far outweighs what I do know. I think the earlier responses provided the knowledge I couldn't, though, and I thank those who shared that information.

      Jodie Peeler

      "In any dispute the intensity of feeling is inversely proportional to the value of the issues at stake." - Sayre's Law

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      Post #76341, posted on 07-24-2020 GMT-5 hours    
      Hi Laurent and Jodie,

      OK....that is what I suspected. I don't think the original TW birds had the ventral stairs.
      Thank you, Laurent, for finding that statement (I missed it completely!).

      Appreciate all responses.

      Braniff2
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      Post #76348, posted on 07-26-2020 GMT-5 hours    
      Greetings!

      I seem to recall that the first time I rode on a DC-9 (a -10 series on Delta) that I boarded through rear airstairs in MKC going to MEM in March, 1968. That was purely a passenger airplane with no maindeck cargo door. I could be wrong though... The only thing to do is scour all the photos you can find and see if any show a set of rear stairs. Not seeing them is no proof that there aren't any, but seeing them down will probably mean that if that carrier has a homogeneous fleet, then they all have them.

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      Jeff Jarvis

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      Post #76351, posted on 07-26-2020 GMT-5 hours    
      Greetings!

      In making a very quick look at photos, I found a photo of N92S of Southern Airways with aft stairs down. However, Southern bought used baby nines from different sources, so some may have rear stairs while others do not. As I recall, N92S was built for Southern and was a pure passenger airplane.

      I did not find any photos of a Delta series -10 showing rear stairs, so I suspect my memory may be wrong. MKC did not have jetways though, so boarding was always done using stairs.

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      Jeff Jarvis

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      Post #76352, posted on 07-26-2020 GMT-5 hours    
      Correct Southern acquired most of their -10 nines from Eastern and Delta. They did buy six new -15 aircraft with rear stairs N91S N92S N93S N94S N95S and N96S. They had one other -15 they acquired from AVE N48075. Rear stairs on the nine made things difficult when it came to doing maintenance back in the tail.

      Dave
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      Post #76353, posted on 07-26-2020 GMT-5 hours    
      Hi Jeff....and everyone,

      I think you are right. The rear stairs was not just a feature of the RC models. It was totally up to the individual airlines whether they had the baby-9's equipped with them or not; RC or regular pax birds.

      I searched photos of TW, and carriers that bought TW's DC-9 fleet (e.g Midway, TXI, etc.), for any photo's of ventral stairs being deployed....but never found any.

      I'm going to assume TW's original baby-9's didn't have the ventral stairs.

      Thanks everyone for the help.

      Braniff2
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      Post #76356, posted on 07-27-2020 GMT-5 hours    
      Douglas tended to take "customer satisfaction" to considerable levels in aircraft configuration, and the DC-9 was no exception: presence or absence of the rear airstair, size of the galley door, any number of things could differ depending on what a particular airline or customer wanted. (See also "DC-8-61/63 window-and-door configuration.") There are stories of how all of this complicated fleet integration when airlines merged or otherwise added secondhand airframes to their fleets, and how equipment from one aircraft wouldn't always work on another. As is so often the case, the safest thing a modeler can do is find an individual aircraft they're interested in and research the daylights out of it!

      Jodie Peeler

      "In any dispute the intensity of feeling is inversely proportional to the value of the issues at stake." - Sayre's Law

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      Post #76357, posted on 07-27-2020 GMT-5 hours    
      I worked for a repair station in the late 90's that did a c-check on a VIP DC-9-14 that was former TWA airplane that DID NOT have aft airstairs.

      David

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      Post #76361, posted on 07-27-2020 GMT-5 hours    
      Greetings!

      There was one thing I recall that happened sometime in the 1970's if I'm not mistaken. For some reason, I think it was an Air Canada DC-9-32, and the aircraft suffered a rupture in the rear pressure bulkhead, I think due to corrosion cracks. They lost pressurization, but nobody was injured or hurt, and it resulted in an AD on any DC-9 that did NOT have the rear airstairs, but those that did have the rear stairs were not affected because the area was much more strongly reinforced for the large door associated with rear stairs. At least, I think that was how it went...

      Does this ring a bell with anyone?

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      Jeff Jarvis

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      Post #76362, posted on 07-27-2020 GMT-5 hours    
      Greetings!

      I found it in an NTSB report. It can be accessed at: https://www.fss.aero/accident-reports/dvdfiles/US/1979-09-17-US.pdf

      It was due to fatigue cracking, and it had showed up on Xray inspections during the last overhaul, but was somehow missed by the inspectors at the time. Subsequently, 2 others of the 43 Air Canada DC-9-32 airplanes were found to have cracks as well. The airplane had over 26,800 cycles on it at the time. And, one Flight Attendant got a bump on her head and barked her shin when she fell on the floor while picking up passenger trays when the decompression occurred.

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      Jeff Jarvis

      God's "Curse" to aviation!

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      Post #76363, posted on 07-28-2020 GMT-5 hours    
      Quote
      norherman :
      They had one other -15 they acquired from AVE N48075.



      Hi Dave!

      Is AVE Avensa in Venezuela, or someone else?

      Best regards,
      Jeff Jarvis

      God's "Curse" to aviation!

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      Post #76366, posted on 07-28-2020 GMT-5 hours    
      Jeff! I think that is correct. Have not confirmed it. The APB or aft pressure bulkhead on the DC-9 Has many AD's attached to them. The a/c without the aft stairs was lesser of the two. Both style Dc-9's could go over 100,000 cycles with inspections or replacement of the APB which could have been done in house. The Air Canada plane had a crack under the catwalk and got missed. If I'm correct the cracked open up on a flight to Bos. Want to say it blew the tail cone off.


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      Post #76368, posted on 07-28-2020 GMT-5 hours    
      I recommend the book
      McDonnell Douglas Dc-9 (Great Airliners Series, Part 4)
      by Terry Waddington as a very good source.

      Contains a full production list incl. first customers and remarks (ventral airstairs YES or NO).

      Jennings take a look in the book!

      Sven

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      Post #76369, posted on 07-28-2020 GMT-5 hours    
      Hi everyone,

      WOW!!....this is great stuff!
      Thank Norherman for that piece of info on the ex-TW DC9. I think it would be safe to say if one didn't have the stairs...then probably the whole TW fleet of 14's didn't have them.

      I might be mistaken...but the AC DC-9-32 that had the pressure failure somewhere between Boston and Halifax (?), and blew the tail cone off...was also the DC-9-32 that later burned up on the runway at CVG while flying from DFW to YYZ. I believe one of the suspected ignition sources for the fire was a wiring splice during the repair of the pressure incident. That may have been discarded as a cause later, but I vaguely remember hearing that theory put out there.

      Anyway, thank you so much for all the info! This kind of technical info is fascinating!

      Thanks again

      Braniff2
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      Post #76373, posted on 07-28-2020 GMT-5 hours    
      Hello Braniff2, Sven and Dave!

      Yes, in checking later on in a production list the DC-9-32 that burned up in CVG was the same airplane, CF-TLU (or later C-FTLU) and the flight of the APB failure was Boston to Yarmouth, NS. The NTSB report I mentioned above is not long, but pretty concise and makes for interesting reading. It includes a photo showing the damage to the bulkhead from inside the cabin. The theory of the wiring splice being involved in the fire sure sounds plausible...

      Sven, I have that book and did not think to check it, but I'll look through it now!

      You know, every time we ride on a jet airliner and we are pressurized at cruise altitude, without even thinking about it, we are riding inside a BOMB of monstrous energy trying to escape any way it can, and its potential catastrophic failure effects are just beyond belief. Look at the Comet 1 disasters to imagine the power, or look at cyclones. In all my years of flying, I never thought much about it while at work, and that is really a good thing! Mother Nature hates everything that is not in equilibrium.

      Braniff2, my apologies for getting off the subject (hijacking the thread) with the trivia!

      Best regards,
      Jeff Jarvis

      God's "Curse" to aviation!

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      Post #76377, posted on 07-28-2020 GMT-5 hours    
      Hi Jeff!

      No problem!!!....you always bring interesting insight to the subjects we are discussing!!

      It does make you wonder about the aging aircraft situation. I remember when I worked at Braniff2, I was standing at the window of MCI along with some of the BN2 management team that had been in KC for meetings. We were watching our 737 pull into the gate wearing the "Reebok" paintjob. One of the Sr. Execs (Dick James) muttered a comment about how that paintjob sure advertised all the skin doublers that were necessary for that series of 737 (an ex AirCal POS). Those ships came out of the same batch as the Aloha 737 that blew its top over Hawaii only a few months earlier. Yet another good reason to ditch that hideous paintjob. My understanding is that the DC9 series required FAR fewer patches as it aged.

      Always feel free to bring new info to the discussion...even if slightly off topic.

      Braniff2
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      Post #76378, posted on 07-28-2020 GMT-5 hours    
      Greetings!

      Thanks to Sven (PRIDEbird) mentioning the Terry Waddington book, I went through my copy and found the production list at the rear of the book. As Sven mentioned, it lists the A/C with and without ventral stairs. The Delta, Eastern and TWA series -14 airplanes did not have any rear stairs, nor did the Eastern or Northeast -31 airplanes or the Air Canada -32, but Delta had the rear stairs on their -32 airplanes.

      I suspect that my memory of boarding a Delta DC-9 through rear stairs at MKC must have been my first ride on a DC-9-32 which was also from MKC to MEM just as it was on the baby nine some months earlier. I do recall that an Eastern DC-9-14 from DAB to JAX had the noisiest, grabby, chattering brakes I ever encountered on any DC-9!

      In addition to the stairs, the list in the book also includes what model engines the airplanes were delivered with (JT8D-1, JT8D-5, etc.) from the factory.

      I agree with Sven, it is a very good book for the money I paid in 1998. Since it is now out of print, it may be a challenge to find, but it has a lot of interesting little tidbits about design and production. The Great Airliners Series was edited by Jon Proctor, and they were all well done and worthy of any library collection of airliner books.

      Best regards,
      Jeff Jarvis

      God's "Curse" to aviation!

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      Post #76393, posted on 07-30-2020 GMT-5 hours    
      Good morning !

      Funny you brought up the Air Canada fire in CVG. Jeff you should get a kick out this. Well the wings off that Air Canada jet ended up on another plane. Ozark lost a -30 in Sioux Falls SD when the right wing came in contact with a snow plow. Well the wings of the Air Canada plane were mated to the fuselage of the Ozark a/c. Work was done in Dothan AL. The a/c ended up in the Republic/NWA fleet Company number 981, tail number N994Z serial number 47097. The FAA chased that a/c for years with paperwork question or inspections. It was finally retired when Delta parked all the -30s. I can't say I have read or heard of any other DC-9 getting its wings replaced. Ah the old days when companies fixed things.

      Dave
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      Post #76397, posted on 07-31-2020 GMT-5 hours    
      Hi Dave!

      Yeah, you are quite right... That is very interesting! Years ago I know that DC-3/C-47 and their ilk had their wings replaced, but I never heard of it being done on a jet airliner until now.

      The Air Canada airplane was a DC-9-32, but most Ozark airplanes were DC-9-31 series, and there are some big differences. I don't know specifically what they might be structurally, but the DC-9-31 had a lower ZFW because of wing center section differences and some DC-9-32 airplanes had fuel dump capability, while some did not, but the DC-9-31 definitely did not. The way Douglas built airplanes, the wing was built tip to tip with the fuselage sitting in it, so the differences might have resulted in some strange one-off airplane limitations, etc. From what I saw in the book, 47097 was a Northeast DC-9-31 without rear stairs that Delta got rid of quickly after the merger because they were not compatible with the Delta DC-9-32 fleet.

      Do you, by chance, know any of the details? Dothan is a big contractor for outside maintenance by many airlines including my former employer.

      Best regards,
      Jeff Jarvis

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      Post #76399, posted on 08-01-2020 GMT-5 hours    
      Good Morning!

      You are correct Jeff. Other then the Regs No. there were no external differences. No fuel dump. All paperwork. A/C flew well other a few bugs when we first received the plane, it was a good one. Most of the republic fleet of -30 a/c were the -31 series.

      Dave
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