American Airlines keeps a single MD-80 for training
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In case you hadn’t heard, American Airlines has just retired its fleet of MD-80 aircraft, sending a whopping 26 airplanes to Roswell, N.M.’s aviation boneyard in a single day. And while much fanfare was made for the final event.
It turns out that there’s still a single MD-80 hanging around — tail number N9677W — which will be used to train crews on de-icing. While that’s not the most glamorous way for such a historic airplane to go, it’s certainly better than where the rest of its brethren have ended up. That is, of course, except for two special aircraft, currently located in Tulsa, with plans to move them to a museum in the future.
American Airlines’ love affair with the MD-80 is no secret, as the plane revolutionized short-haul flying for the airline, a testament to which AA kept faith, never repainting the planes away from their original, brushed metal livery. The company has owned almost every iteration of the MD-80, with its first flight with the aircraft taking place way back in 1983.
It makes me glad to know that there’s at least one MD-80 still out there, even if I can’t fly it. And if I ever miss it? Well, there’s always time for a visit to Tulsa.
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