After yesterday's farewell by American Airlines to the MD-80, my own personal journeys on the DC-9 family felt like an interesting Throwback Thursday topic. For such a popular family it seems odd that I only flew on these aircraft about 20 times, an artifact of having grown up near Chicago and then living near San Francisco, both major hubs for United which never flew DC-9s.
For the purposes of this post, "DC-9" covers all models listed as a DC-9 on their type certificate, including what are commonly known as the MD-80 series, plus the MD-88 (a DC-9-82 or -83 with an EFIS "glass" cockpit but officially an MD-88), and the subsequent derivatives powered by newer engines than the Pratt & Whitney JT8D (the MD-90 and 717-200).
Today's Featured Map starts with my first DC-9 flight, from Los Angeles to Eugene with Hughes Airwest, shown in their banana yellow. Subsequent flights from Eugene (to Portland) came after their merger into Republic and those short flights are in Herman's teal. A Pittsburgh to Chicago flight on US Air (after my United flight cancelled) is bright red. Next was Miami to Pittsburgh on Eastern, in Caribbean Blue. My first flight on an MD-80 was in 1989, and despite being to Dallas (from Albuquerque) it was on a Delta MD-88 (dark red); I flew a Delta MD-88 again a decade later, to Atlanta. Next trip to DFW on an MD-80 was again not on American but on Continental, from Chicago via Houston (yellow). A few trips between the San Francisco Bay Area and Seattle were on Alaska Airlines MD-80s (green).
Finally, in 1999, I flew one of American's versions—on a former Reno Air MD-90-30, followed a few months later by an MD-87. 19 years ago yesterday I flew on my first American Airlines MD-80 (N207AA, a DC-9-82). Six subsequent flights on AA MD-80s included a flight on N9402W, one of the ex-TWA aircraft assembled in Shanghai. My AA flights are the bright red paths with California at one or both ends. None of my DC-9 flights on AA involved Dallas!
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Karl L. Swartz.
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