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Old 02-11-2013, 12:16 PM   #1
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T.m.o.h.!!!!

Stands for "Tooting My Own Horn"!!!

As far as advancement goes at airlines, seniority is everything....literally. Much like real estate is location, location, location...in the airlines it is seniority, seniority, seniority. So advancing at an airline as a pilot really has more to do with patience and perseverance and maybe a will simply to survive in the business. Obviously, you need to be able to fly a plane proficiently. At Continental/United, I was hired as a B737 FO for 3 years(and was subsequently furloughed for 3 years after 9/11) and then was on the 757/767 as an FO for 8 years after that. I was happy to stay in that seat until I was able to hold Captain on any aircraft in IAH. When I was awarded captain on the 737 last year, I was excited about it but not overly so....I should have been. Maybe it was the change in the type of flying I would be doing. Or maybe it was simply going back to the 737 after I had enjoyed the 757/767 so much.

Well last week, we got the awards for the most recent bid and I was able to hold 757/767 captain in Houston!!!! And for this, I am very excited. From a quality of life standpoint, it may have been a mistake(ie worse schedules and the pay is not that much more). But we will have to see. But for now, I am excited as could be!!!

Boeing and FAA certified the 757/767 in "parallel" with the intent of a common pilot interface and a common type rating. So if you get typed on one, you will be given a type rating on the other...with differences training in order to fly "the other". At Continental/United, we fly the two as a common sub base...meaning we are qualified on both and fly both. Who knows when I will go to training...it could be months. But for now, I am excited! We fly the 757-200, 757-300, 767-200, 767-400. Legacy United flies the 767-300.

I think it is interesting to note that Boeing shut down production of the 757 before airlines in this country could really find a niche for it and as the stretched 737s were encroaching on size and mission. And once we did(Continental did...secondary markets in Europe and high capacity low yield markets for the 757-300), there were no more to be had. I think we may be the largest operator of the 757-300 in the world. Pic below is a 757-300 out of Vegas....sexy bitch she is!!!
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Old 02-11-2013, 01:39 PM   #2
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That is one fine looking airplane!
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Old 02-11-2013, 05:39 PM   #3
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Congrats!
This what happens when one works hard and smart, way to go!

What's this got to do with boating?

Oops forgot, now you can buy a bigger boat!
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Old 02-11-2013, 05:42 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebyu View Post
Congrats!
This what happens when one works hard and smart, way to go!

What's this got to do with boating?

Oops forgot, now you can buy a bigger boat!
Hey...I posted in Off Topic!!!!...
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Old 02-11-2013, 07:09 PM   #5
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The 757 was my favorite of all the Boeing models until the 777. I supported the 57 program heavily in the early 80s and flew on a number of test flights including its debut air-to-air photo session with Lacy Aviation. I even got to the point where they taught me to start one although I never got to actually move it under its own power.

For a long time it was the favorite plane of our flight test pilots because it was so overpowered and had handling "similar to our first generation jet fighters" in the words of John Armstrong, the chief pilot on the 757 program.

Unfortuately the 757 was very, very expensive compared to a 737, and when we kept upgrading, stretching, repowering, and ultimately re-winging the 737 to the point where it could fly tran-oceanic (West Coast-Hawaii, for example) the 757 was dead. Airlines could get almost the same flexibility and range with the 737NG but at a "fraction" of the price. The 757 was no longer financially viable as an investment, the orders stopped, and we terminated the program.

British Airways had the largest 757 fleet ever but I believe they may be all gone now. Many were converted to freighters--- a good friend of mine in flight test did a number of the ferry flights of BA 757s from the UK to the company in Texas that did the conversions and he said most of the flights were nighmares because the planes were so beat up with systems failing left and right during the flights.

The 757 is terrific at high altitude/hot airports and many of the airlines that still have them use them in this way.

Today the favorite plane of most of our flight test pilots is the 737 for many of the same reasons they used to prefer the 757.

Ironically, passengers hate the 757 because the airlines jammed them full of seats and that long tube of a cabin is very claustrophobic to some people.

British Airways introduced Birmingham (UK)-New Jersey service in the mid-90s using 757s they had reconfigured for longer flights. We did some video worik with them about this service and it was really nice, with great seats, good legroom, etc. But most operators treat them as cattle cars and in survey after survey the 757 was consistently the most unpopular plane out there with passengers. Too bad, really, because as an airplane it's terrific.
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Old 02-11-2013, 07:15 PM   #6
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Toot away, John. That is a great ride, and a big responsibility. Congratulations.
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Old 02-11-2013, 07:55 PM   #7
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Marin, I wouldn't exactly call the 737NG a "trans oceanic' aircraft just because it can fly the 5 hours from the West Coast to Hawaii. I do believe Continental finally found the niche for the aircraft AFTER the program had terminated. And that was secondary markets to Europe out of the New York area and other East Coast airports(ie DC). Delta has since copied that market plan. There is not another aircraft manufactured that can fit that market niche for the price. Also the 757-300 is an ideal aircraft for high capacity low yield markets...like Orlando and Vegas....read vacation destinations. The seat mile costs on a 757-300 are some of the lowest in the industry(airline dependent of course). I honestly don't know how you can say a 757 is any less comfortable than a 737...especially since the fuselage is wider/larger. I have ridden in the back of ours many times and i would prefer to ride on a 757...if not at least for the feeling of being more spacious.

If you want to compare the costs of a 170 seat 737-900 and a 175 seat 757-200 from EWR-FLL, then, yes, the 737 is a cheaper aircraft to operate all other things being equal. But if you want to go from EWR-DUBlin Ireland....The 737-xxx can't make it. And it does not make financial sense to fly a wide body on that route. So a 757-200 is perfect and without compare. I will admit it struggles in the wintertime Westbound against the wind.

FF gets chided on here for his aviation info being a bit dated. I think you fall into that category on this particular topic....ie your info is dated....mid 90s thinking. The market pressures of the past 15 years have forced airlines to find ways for their aircraft to make money...and 757-200s out of NYC to secondary markets in Europe are a perfect fit. Of course these market forces happened near the end or after the 757 was no longer being built.

Ultimately, the 757-200 was "over qualified" for the job being asked of it. A 757-200 going transcon(ie NYC-LAX) with all of the seats full is likely 30,000lbs UNDER MGTOW. All of that extra "room" would be "air" in the fuel tanks or space in the cargo holds. IOW, it was capable of going further(with all seats full) and/or hauling more cargo. So, yes, it will make an excellent freighter because it can haul so much. The 757-300 was the answer to that. You could haul 50 more people and their bags domestically without much increase in costs other than fuel costs to carry the extra weight. But by the time the -300 came around, the fate of the 757 had been sealed. Trust me when I say if we could get our hands on more -300s, we would. That airplane is a money maker for us....or it loses less money...

PS...The combined operation of L(legacy)-UAL and L-CAL is approx 155 757s...not exactly a small collection. We will be parking many of the L-UAL 757s and replacing them with 737NGs and MAX's for the shorter haul markets that you were referring to. But we will be keeping all of the L-CAL 757s and "cherry picking" the L-UAL 757s to keep. The way L-UAL aircraft are equipped is mind boggling and the reason we will be parking them. Almost all of their 757s are not ETOPS and they even possess 777s that are not ETOPS certified....put that in your pipe and smoke it. L-CAL's entire fleet is ETOPS certified excepting our 737-500s...of which we have 8 left and they are gone by the end of the year. Most of our 757-300s are not ETOPS...but that is not their mission. It does not make sense to retrofit their non-ETOPS certified aircraft.

PSS.....the 767-200 is the hotrod of the fleet. I have flown one to FL410 in 12 minutes!!!!! That was going IAH-MCO with all seats full...and a damn near empty fuel tank. We were 120,000lbs below MGTOW. The VSI is on the peg going through FL200 for an average of approx 3500fpm. ATC knew what it could do so they would usually give us an unrestricted climb since they would rather have us up and out of the way. The reason why the 757 is perceived as such a hotrod is what I said above....it was almost always significantly under MGTOW. A 757 at MGTOW has the feeling(and performance) of any other jet transport at MGTOW.
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Old 02-11-2013, 08:22 PM   #8
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A bit of trivia while we are on the subject. What does the "ER" mean as in 737-900ER???

Hint: It is not what you think. Our 737-900ERs do not have one single pound of extra fuel capacity!!!
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Old 02-11-2013, 10:17 PM   #9
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In Boeing terminology ER stands for Extended Range. I don't know what different airlines consider the acronym to mean.

So for example the 777-300ER is "extended range," the 777-200LR is "long range,"

The use of the 757 on long, thin routes to secondary cities in Europe and North America is nothing new. BA was doing it in the mid 90s and Gordon Bethune told me in an interview I did with him in the later nineties about Continental's use of the plane to places like Glasgow and Manchester from the east coast.

Lufthansa uses, or used to use, a 737 between Frankfurt and New York or New Jersey. So the plane can do it but the ticket prices have to be up there a bit since the passenger capacity is not large.

Also, while its true the 757 is wider than the 737 it's only about 5-1/2 inches as I recall. So for all practical purposes, they're the same.

And I'm not kidding when I say the 757 was the most despised airplane in the skies by passengers when there were a lot of them flying. These were not our surveys but independent surveys contracted by the travel industry and the airlines.

I remember that for awhile Boeing was really concerned about that and was trying to come up with ways to help mitigate the poor passenger perception of the plane. We did a bunch of video work in support of proposed cabin changes. But in the end there was not much our people could do since the passenger experience is pretty much entirely in the operator's hands.

And today, of course., it doesn't really matter anymore since outside of the premium passengers, the flying public will put up with almost anything if the price is right. Even Michael O'Leary's credit card toilets.


But the thing that really killed the 757, besides the 737, was its price tag. We do some work in support of Boeing Capital, the company's aircraft financing organizations, and I remember hearing discussions about how the 757 was going to have to go several years before it finally did. It was simply too expensive and while it did and does have it's little niche, there were far more cost effective ways of doing almost the same thing with other types of aircraft that have more flexibility and versatility. This was not the airlines talking, it was the banks talking and they call the shots these days.

Airline pilots--- as opposed to our flight test pilots--- vociferously defend whatever plane they happen to be flying as the best thing since sliced bread even if it's a clapped out 737-200 that can barely get out of its own way. I've observed this all over the world, riding in jump seats and talking to pilots of every model flying including Airbus. So it's no surprise at all that John defends the 757. And there's no question it's a great airplane.

But from the perspective of the folks that finance all this stuff it was time for the 757 to go. The same thing happened to the MD-11, particularly the freighter. I had the president of Lufthansa Cargo rail at me for an hour on camera in Frankfurt about how Boeing was making the biggest mistake of its life by killing off the MD-11F.

It was a great plane for LH but apart from them nobody else wanted it. And you can't keep an airline program going no matter how great the plane is if hardly anybody wants it anymore. Such was the case with the 757.
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:48 PM   #10
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Marin, we aren't flying the 757 just for posterity's sake. It is making us money. It is making us money in a market that no other aircraft can do better in. If it didn't, we wouldn't fly it. The difference between BA and Continental is that we are immediately responsible for the performance of our company. BA is subsidized by their government. And I realize it is not a free ride for them but it does cloud the effects the market has on a company that is not immediately tied to the bottom line. I get the reason why the 757 had to go from Boeing's perspective. But I think it's demise would have been delayed had carriers figured out how to use it. This goes for the -300 as well. We just weren't squeezed that much in the 90s by the market...ie fuel...economy...et al.

The 737s going over the North Atlantic were modified with extra tankage. I think Lufthansa was flying FRA to Houston with them. I think they were 737-600s with all first class seats. Like you said, a very expensive seat. Now an A380 is flying that route....somewhat ironic!

"Extended Range" is definitely Boeing speak. But we had a Boeing guy ride along with us during a simulator session. He was saying their inside name for it was "Extended Revenue" and that is the way they had to sell it. Because an empty 737-900ER has no more range than a regular 737-900..and maybe even a bit less assuming the modifications done to it cost weight. The ERs do have greater weights for takeoff and landing and other weights. So what this means that you will be able to carry more people...yes for a longer distance...instead of leaving people/bags behind for fuel. BUT, it also means that you won't likely be limited by landing weight on mid range missions that don't really push the limits of range. So Houston to San Juan,PR is easily within the range capability of either version. But the regular -900 may have issues with landing weight. We deal with this a lot on the -700s as well. So, as you can see, it is not a range issue in some cases. But it is a revenue issue. We want to carry as many people that want to pay for a ticket. Leaving them behind is leaving revenue behind!!

All of the above is not emotionally driven. It is market driven. The market just wasn't as critical then as it is now. Would the 757 still be around?? Probably not. Because little ole Continental would not have been enough...or Delta. We have enough of them I guess. The L-UAL 757s fit your description up above....beat up!!!

Is the 757 a better airplane than the 737? From a pilot and engineering standpoint, absolutely. It has better and more redundant systems. a better flight control system. A better FMS. The 757/767 is better than the 737 just like the 777 is better than the 757 just like the 787 is better than the 777. But like you said, the 737 cannabalized the 757's market.

Now for the emotional side....yes, the 757 is one of the best looking airliners in the sky...and most pilots would agree on that one...likely you included. And it is a wonderful flying airplane. There is nothing that tugs at the heartstrings about the 737. It did not earn the nickname FLUF for nothing(Fat Little Ugly F****r). As an aside, I almost named my Prairie 29 FLUF....it was a 29ft boat with a 12ft beam!!!...except it was a handsome boat. The only version in the bunch that resembles any kind of 757-like performance is the 737-700. Same engines, less weight....in very much the same vain as the 767-200. The -900ERs loaded up are pigs...just like most airliners at heavy weights. Luckily the engine manufacturers authorize tons of thrust to get us off the ground and away from the Earth where we can reduce to climb power and lumber skyward....

Somewhat unrelated...our new 737NG simulators are absolutely amazing. They are no longer hydraulic, but electric. All motion is immediate and there is no "squishy" feel to the motion. A rejected take off with the autobrakes applying max brake pressure is down right frightening. One would be injured if not strapped in!

But to give the 737 it's due....it is an excellent aircraft. I would just rather go to my seat and stowing my bags while standing upright...not bending over banging my head and elbows every time I turn or move....I guess that is an emotional thing because nobody cares about the comfort of the pilot!!..
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Old 02-12-2013, 12:42 AM   #11
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Never heard the "extended revenue" moniker here. Likely it's some departmental saying somewhere in the company. Sort of like how some people say ETOPS stands for "engines turning or passengers swimming." But "Extended Range" and "Long Range" are the official meanings of the acronyms. Lord knows I've used them enough times in sales and marketing efforts.

But the "extended revenue" label is certainly accurate, isn't it?

I wasn't trying to imply that the operators who still have 757s aren't doing well with them. It's a testimony to a now very old airplane that they are still so viable. And I agree, they are very good looking although that's a bit of a happy accident as the only way to fit the 767 flight deck into the thing was to droop the nose. Boeing at the time did not believe in asymetrical or drooped noses (a la Douglas) and there was something of a knock-down, drag-out over doing it. But the goal of a common type rating won the day and the 757 ended up a very good looking plane, although I don't like the stretch from an aesthetic viewpoint.

And I absolutely hate the 757's landing gear, as does every Boeing pilot I know who's flown them. It is like landing on a set of unsprung 4 x 4s. Even a smooth runway will beat your brains out, particularly up front. Boeing Field does not have the world's best runway surface and taking off and landing in a 757 was the definition of "loosen your back teeth."

I asked about this time and time again, from engineers to John Armstrong, the program's chief pilot. And none of them had much of an answer except to say it was the penalty of those long gear legs and and overly stiff struts.

The next program I was heavily involved with was the 777 and in total contrast its gear is fantastic. John Cashman, the 777's chief pilot, told me it was damn near impossible to make a hard landing in terms of what was felt inside the plane.

Condor was one of the first operators to get the 757-300 and we did a project with them over in Frankfurt. At that time their all-tourist vacation package flights to places like Palma de Mallorca operated with very short turnaround times and they were really concerned that the stretched 57 would screw that up. But they came up with a boarding process that at the time was so proprietary they wouldn't let us film it. Between that and the powered floors they had put in the baggage holds they actually turned the plane in 30 minutes.

I would never have believed it possible but we filmed two turns in Stuttgart and from doors open to pushback was 30 minutes both times. Amazing to watch.

I was never a fan of the 767. Nothing to do with the plane itself--- it's a great one--- but it's boring at least aesthetically.

However...... I did change my tune somewhat recently after flying between Seattle and Beijing a few times on Delta. They have some 67-3s that have been retrofitted with the -400 interior (so it's like a 777 inside), winglets, and the absolute best business class cabin configuration and seat comfort on the planet. If I could fly that plane everywhere we go from here on I would never fly another airline.

Does United have 737s with the new Sky Interior? I've flown on a bunch of them now in Norway and China and the new interior makes a huge difference in the stand-up room in the cabin and the spacious feel of the whole plane. Plus the bins are actually larger than the bins in the "stock" interior. The most amazing thing to me about the Sky Interior is that we waited so long to do it.
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Old 02-12-2013, 01:30 AM   #12
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Strangely, I have no problem with the gear and smooth(ish) landings. Maybe it is because we mostly flew the -300s out of Houston and a heavier airplane is usually easier to land(they don't float). I have heard the 777 is a dream in that regard.

And yes, all of our new deliveries have the Sky Interior. It is pretty cool. And I will agree with you on the 767 aesthetics....although I do believe the -400 to be a very good looking airplane....and about the most un-intuitive to land. But most people get the hang of it...pretty scary with the ones that don't...
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Old 02-12-2013, 01:32 AM   #13
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"sexy bitch she is!!! "
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I love it when you airplane guys talk dirty.
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Old 02-12-2013, 02:29 AM   #14
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I have never flown in a 57-3. All my time riding around and shooting in them was in 57-2s. And mostly pretty light ones at that. So I'm sure you're correct in that a fully-loaded -3 would not be so wholloped by those stiff struts.

I produced and directed a little video several years ago for our Customer Service folks about the problem 57 operators world-wide were having with the overwing slide compartment door coming open in flight. The slide would not inflate and deploy but it would be pulled off its arm and out the door by the slipstream and either trail alongside the fuselage beating the crap out of it or would simply depart the plane and land in someone's back yard.

The operators blamed the design but after a lengthy investigation it was found that the whole problem stemmed from the operators' maintenance folks not closing the door properly. One guy would do it from on top of the trailing edge of the wing and he sometimes could not push hard enough all stretched out like he was to cause all the latches to fully lock even though it looked from the outside like they had.

So the plane would fly around for awhile--- sometimes a long while--- with only one latch fully locked. The right vibration could cause the other latch to come undone and the door would open and out would come the slide.

We had stopped production of the 57 by then and the only one we have here is the number one 57 that we use as a flying testbed for military projects. Being a -2 it has no overwing exits. So the Customer Service people asked American if we could do the shooting on one of their 57s in their maintenance hub in Tulsa (I think it was Tulsa, anyway. Somewhere in Oklahoma.)

American didn't buy 57-3s so I don't know why their 57s had overwing exits on them unless they were -3 lease-backs. And frankly I don't remember if the two planes we used were -2s or -3s. Maybe later -2s have an overwing exit although I've never seen one that did.

It was an interesting project showing the wrong and right ways to close the compartment door. We even inserted a little camera into the latching mechanism inside the wheel well to show why the latch wouldn't catch if you didn't push correctly on the door.

The cure for the problem was very simple--- put a second mechanic on a ladder behind the wing to push squarely on the door. End of problem.

The video went out to every 57 operator on the planet along with whatever Service Bulletin was written up about the "fix." Last time I heard the incidents of the overwing slide compartment door coming open in flight had ceased.

But the next time you do a walkaround on a 57, take a second look at that overwing slide door on each side of the plane and make sure it looks good and closed.
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Old 02-12-2013, 02:39 AM   #15
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I know I said extended revenue but I meant to say enhanced revenue!!!
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Old 02-13-2013, 03:48 PM   #16
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Congrats , very nice to see hard work recieving some pay off.
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Old 02-13-2013, 09:06 PM   #17
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Congrats as well!

(Don't let any sour-puss types who choose to wallow in negativity bring you down...they can be 'ignored' if need be )
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Old 02-14-2013, 02:37 PM   #18
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Thanks guys!!!!
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