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Dragon Wings 717s: Boeing's Unwanted Baby?

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  • Dragon Wings 717s: Boeing's Unwanted Baby?

    The MD-95 or 717 as it was rebranded is a great little plane which was unlucky not to gain a larger share of the marketplace. Certainly better suited to its role than an A318 or 737-600 it suffered from the general malaise at MDD and not having a family of airliners around it. Later competition from Embraers E-jets and the larger CRJs eventually did for it and only 156 were built. Yet for those airline's who bought it it has proven a great workhorse especially for Hawaiian on its high utilisation / cycle intra-island routes. Air Tran and Midwest's fleets have passed on and QantasLink, Volotea, Hawaiian and now Delta have pretty much hoovered up all the available units. It is perhaps the last airplane in the 100-110 seat range built as a mainline unit (rather than an upscaled regional jet).

    In 1:400 the 717 is quite well represented. To date there have been 33 examples made. The breakdown is:

    Dragon Wings: 7
    Phoenix: 10
    Gemini Jets: 16

    Having said that there has been quite a lot of repetition. For example there are 9 Hawaiian Airlines examples all effectively the same (except the reg) and 3 TWA in the interim AA colours.

    There appear to be 3 moulds - Dragon's and 2 that have been shared by Gemini and Phoenix. The odd thing is that it appears as if they came up with a new mould around about 2007 used it three times (ids 9702, 9908, 18312) and then reverted back to the original mould. The original mould certainly does seem superior as the other one though having no seam around the wing appears to sit rather oddly nose downward and have large wheels. I can't do a real comparison as I only own 2 717s and both are on the Dragon mould.

    I rather like this mould and in fact its probably DW's finest narrowbody jet in my opinion. The Gemini mould looks good but sometimes appears a bit snoopyish in the nose and the undercarriage looks a bit odd. Not that I wouldn't get the Gemini version.
    Here are my two DW B717s:

    Hawaiian Airlines & TWA Boeing 717s by rstretton, on Flickr


    Hawaiian Airlines & TWA Boeing 717s by rstretton, on Flickr

    Hawaiian Airlines & TWA Boeing 717s by rstretton, on Flickr

    Hawaiian Airlines & TWA Boeing 717s by rstretton, on Flickr

    Hawaiian Airlines & TWA Boeing 717s by rstretton, on Flickr

    Hawaiian Airlines & TWA Boeing 717s by rstretton, on Flickr

    Hawaiian Airlines & TWA Boeing 717s by rstretton, on Flickr

    Anyway despite there being 33 releases and not many operators there are some surprising gaps in the output. Most notably:

    TWA Delivery Colours


    Air Tran Delivery Colours


    Blue1


    AeBal


    Turkmenistan (not that I care for their scheme)



    --
    http://yesterdaysairlines.weebly.com/

  • #2
    Boeing was too hasty in closing down the 717 line and they probably regret it as it along with its contemporary the F-70/100 turned out to be workhorses.

    Comment


    • #3
      Here are some more shots my pair and their history:

      In late 1998 TWA signed a massive order for 50 Boeing 717s, 50 A318s and 25 other A320 family aircraft. The 717s were designed to operate on short-haul high frequency routes replacing old DC-9s. TWA’s first 717, N401TW, was delivered in February 2000, however by the end of the year TWA’s financial state was dire and in April 2001 the airline was acquired by AMR. TWA operated its last flight in December and the 30 717s delivered were returned to Boeing Capital shortly afterwards. N2427A was the third to last aircraft delivered (on 28th September 2001) and by May 2002 was operating with QantasLink as VH-VQH. Between May 2004 and May 2006 she was with Jetstar latterly as VH-YQH but by May 2007 was in QantasLink colours again as VH-NXM with National Jet Systems and now Cobham Aviation.

      Trans World Airlines Boeing 717-200 by rstretton, on Flickr

      Trans World Airlines Boeing 717-200 by rstretton, on Flickr

      Trans World Airlines Boeing 717-200 by rstretton, on Flickr

      In the mid 1990s Hawaiian’s inter-island fleet consisted of ten DC-9-51s and when looking for a replacement the airline stayed true to Douglas and ordered the MD-95. By the time of the first delivery this had become the Boeing 717 and Hawaiian received its first aircraft in March 2001 with a further twelve arriving by the end of that year. Two aircraft were sold to Air Tran in 2004 but with the failure of competitor Aloha Hawaiian has been able to expand its fleet and five second-hand examples have been added from 2008 onwards. N477HA the third aircraft delivered is still in service and named ‘Apapane’.

      Hawaiian Airlines Boeing 717-200 by rstretton, on Flickr

      Hawaiian Airlines Boeing 717-200 by rstretton, on Flickr

      Hawaiian Airlines Boeing 717-200 by rstretton, on Flickr
      --
      http://yesterdaysairlines.weebly.com/

      Comment


      • #4
        II wouldn't mind seeing some fantasy liveries
        --

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        • #5
          I still love that 717. End of an era.

          Comment


          • #6
            I've heard that Delta is very happy with them.

            I've never flown in one but the engine spool up/down is one of my favorites.

            I have some ValuJet MD-95 promotional folder from McDD around here somewhere.. if I find it I'll post a picture.

            Comment


            • #7
              Too bad the 717 eliminated the rear stairs. I always thought it was so cool at tarmac deplane airports to be able to deboard twice as fast.

              Comment

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