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      JEE3


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      Post #41867, posted on 03-17-2012 GMT-5 hours    

      For pre-delivery inflight photo fans, the introduction of the 727-200 in late 1967, didn't quite cause any 'buzz' in regard to the early customers. Most of the inflights were shown in ailrline employee newsletters and most often a local newspaper. It wouldn't be till the World-Wide-Web era, that most of these 'forgotten' photos were to be re-discovered (had been looking 40+ yrs for the above United 727-222 color that recently turned up, on a Russian-website!) The early customer pre-delivery photos will be shown a bit later.
      For United Airlines, the first (3) yrs of their 727-022's (1964-66) featured some interesting alterations that were gradually introduced.
      Though this early United 727 was used in this instance for some Boeing 727 PR photos and doesn't include all the United markings, it does show a nice close-up of the darker Blue that was used for the first (18-20) deliveries. From the beginning, United 727's had an unpainted tail rudder and this area of NMF would increase as the dreaded exhaust/soot build-up began in the rear (D)
      The original '727 Jet Mainliner' titles (B) couldn't have been placed in a worse area! They would be moved to the side of the #3 engine in 1966 before disappearing completely, ending the 'Main Liner' era that began in 1936. The 'Boeing 727' titles with thin outlined numbers would be moved to the engine nacelles in '66 as the White paint was removed. The only problem was the outlined '727's would be barely visible against a NMF background. United's 'airline spotter' friendly LARGE Reg numbers were only to last with the first (18-20 N7018U verified), then were reduced a bit and moved to the upper fuselage.
      Color in-service photos of these early 727's are really rare! (this [1] from 'Sparky's collection). A few interesting items up front are the window stripe 'break' for the United shield and how the Gold stripe does not extend to the nose! The 'United' titles would be stretched out with the 1st upcoming alteration.
      (I believe it was the "D.B. Cooper" NWO 727 Parachute highjacking that ended the use of the rear airstairs?)
      In 1965, some of the early delivery A/C (N7006U shown) were beginning to be re-painted in the 1st alteration, as well as the new factory-deliveries. The most obvious change is to the lighter Blue paint and the new 'curve' at the nose. The engine nacelles are still White in '65. The new '727 Jet Mainliner' and 'Boeing 727' tittles are interestingly missing! The small United Shield oval has been added to the lower nose and the 'United' titles have been placed further apart.

      This 1966 PR photo for the 1st United 727-022QC ([20] QC's ordered [5] canceled-[14] C's delivered in '67) shows the (2) missing '727 Jet Mainliner' and 'Boeing 727' (on NMF engines) titles. This 1966 alteration also introduced the newly unpainted area at the rear.
      (this 1967 photo shows the '727 Jet Mainliner' titles already are gone.)
      The original Gold stripe on the tail shows up nicely in this photo. Note how the 'Boeing 727' outlined numbers hardly a visible!

      This John F. Ciesla photo shows the 1965 vs 1966 alterations. The Black door outlines were added in '66 and the United 'Shield' in front of the titles have been removed, allowing the titles to be moved forward slightly (the "N" had been previously in the r/s door.) By the time the first United 727-222 was ready for delivery in May 1968, United had been though quite a bit of alterations.
      Back to those early 727-200 pre-delivery photos......One reason that there was no 'buzz' with the inflights was that all the early customers were already 727-100 users and this was a stretch and not a 'new' A/C type. Little was spent on 727-200 advertising by the respective airline PR departments. They just wanted to get these great 727-200's into service as fast as they could!
      First up, was Northeast Airlines with an order for (11), the 1st -295 going into service in December 1967 (N1640 is shown in the pre-delivery photo session). Look at all that Yellow at the rear, soon to be soot covered!
      The 2nd airline to take delivery of the -200 was National Airlines.
      As related in "LS" #161, National's timing was off just a bit, as N4730 was ready for delivery. The 'Sun King' was 'officially' adopted but all the materials were not ready, so Boeing was authorized to paint National's 1st -235 in the now obsolete "N" scheme! (Hoping someday (1) of the members will put (2) sheets together and create the only "N" 727-235?) The inflight photo session would be held off until May 1968, after Boeing started applying the new "Sun King" color scheme (N4744-[25] ordered).
      Pacific Southwest Airlines would be the last of the 1967 deliveries as N528PS is shown on it's pre-delivery photo session.
      The PSA -214 (16) ordered, is a perfect example of the apparent lack of interest even in the PR departments. This image is better than the (1) that's used on the PSA tribute website! You might think they would have found a nice color photo from the session somewhere?
      American Airline's 1st -223 (N6800) of the (41) A/C order is shown in early 1968.
      Beautiful photo, unfortunately seldom seen in 1968! My friend Chuck Gowing just found it a few years ago. Doomed to never be seen after April 1969, when the 'classic' Red/White/Blue scheme was introduced (if I recall, the last (10) of the (41) were in the new colors).
      Finally, some 'buzz' in March 1968!
      Being the first 'new' 727 customer, the Air France PR Department made some effort to send out photos to newspapers and magazines and the Air France 727-228's were seemingly appearing everywhere! It's interesting paint scheme (the NMF #3 engine) was pretty sharp in '68 and through the early '70's). I remember saying to myself during this period " can you publish someone else's please!" Air France's order for (10) was the smallest of all the early airlines.
      Trans World Airlines also got the 1st of (24) in March '68 (N12301).
      Theirs was (1) I was anxiously looking forward to seeing in 1968. Some nice banking shot with the Cascade Mountains in the background.....Not quite! TWA leased (4) early -200's from National & NE in early '68. This photo was used in the 1970 TWA published book on their history.
      Which brings us back to the top image, the rare color inflight of United's 727-222 (N7620U-May 1968) All of United's (28) order had the extra door on both sides. As far as I know, these were unique to United Airlines (can someone add more info?)

      As a fan of inflights, I always thought the 727-200 got shortchanged a bit. With the new 'Wide-bodies' being planned and being ordered, the 727-200's never had the excitement of some others, although it turned out to be the 1st of the 1,000 A/C stretch models. I guess I'll always have my Mohawk 727-254 airbrush to look at and wonder?.........John3 (Thanks to "Sparky", Flight International.com, Avia -Dejavu/crimso.msk.ru, WilliamDemarest.com, Airliners.net & Chuck Gowing/Airlinecolors.com. Photographers: John F. Ciesla & Bill Armstrong).

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      Metropolitan2


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      Post #41874, posted on 03-17-2012 GMT-5 hours    
      Thanks for another informative document. Most appreciated. Keep up the good work!!
      All the best,
      Harry B.

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      Post #41878, posted on 03-17-2012 GMT-5 hours    
      Another great history lesson!

      As a kid, I used to fly on the UA 727-100's from MKC to EWR & LGA frequently from 1965 to 1974. I always thought the UA 727's looked great with the curved white nose treatment. They looked very impressive when taxiing to the active at MKC.

      JEES3....do you know when UA used (switched) the "shield" badge on the nose to use the "looping" underline instead of the circle? I remember several 727's had this treatment. I'm not sure if this was an "oddball" variation applied to a handful of 727's....or was this at one time the standard nose badge.

      Any help in clarifying this would be appreciated.

      Great work......AGAIN!

      Thanks!

      Braniff2

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      Post #41879, posted on 03-17-2012 GMT-5 hours    
      As far as I know, this type only appeared on the early DC-8's and all 720 deliveries! Sounds like maybe when they did the first 1965 727 repaints, they must have had some 720-style around to use? Or maybe they were used on some factory-delivered 727's during the '65-'66 alterations. If your observations were around '65-'66, could be the key in explaining that one........ Excellent observation!!!! As you can see in some of the "LS" story photos, United wasn't a stickler on details......Now all we need is a photo!!


      John

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      Post #41885, posted on 03-17-2012 GMT-5 hours    
      AH!...thanks!
      I can confirm that some of the 727-100's definitely had the "looping lines".....but don't have a photo to prove it. (I vaguely recall N7007U may have had it.....can't swear to it though. that would suggest that some very early builds that style if correct). At MKC, you had to walk out to the plane which was parked nose-in. I remember walking right past it and I it looked better than the circle (this would have the white nose style.)

      Oh well...one of those little mysterys.

      Braniff2
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      Post #41900, posted on 03-18-2012 GMT-5 hours    
      If it was N7007U that would make total sense. Now you have me looking at United 727 pics again! Nothing better than a color scheme mystery!!!!Thanks for adding another layer to the story........




      John

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      Post #41903, posted on 03-18-2012 GMT-5 hours    

      As usual with this stuff it turns out there is more to the story! All the 720's were NOT delivered with this DC-8 original style nose shield. I just found a 1962 photo of N7219U that clearly has the oval design (Nov. '61 del.) The 1st United Caravelle had the oval type (June '61), so it is for sure that sometime in the Summer/Fall of '61 the factory-delivered 720's began arriving with the United oval shield. I'm wondering if United used some of the now extra 'loop' shields and put what they had on some of the 1965 727 re-paints? It appears this style shield was very short-lived (1959-mid '61), then reappeared on a few 727-022 1965 re-paints (N7001U-N7018U).
      Love these mysteries!


      John