PI 737-100s?
Posted by: Scott (---.56.108.194.Dial1.Austin1.Level3.net)
Date: April 13, 2003 04:39PM

Hello Piedmont Personnel:

I wonder if anyone could help me with some Piedmont fleet trivia? I've been searching the Internet for a picture of a PI aircraft that I thought I saw from the Dulles Airport observation deck around 1968-9 (I was 8 years old).

We lived in Reston (only a few miles from IAD) and my favorite leisure activity was standing out on that observation deck at the base of the control tower. Piedmont, Ozark and Southern had "normal" gates right in front of the deck, while all the other carriers were accessed mid-field by the mobile lounges.

I wish I had owned a camera at that age -- but I have many up-close memories of PI Martin 404s, YS-11s, FH-227s and of course 737s. One day a PI gate agent let us tour a 737 - including the cockpit - before loading passengers (ah those were the days).

I could be wrong, but I could swear I saw a Piedmont 737-100 sitting in front of that deck during one of my visits. By that time I new the 737 well, and I remember thinking how short it looked and how there appeared to be fewer windows along the port side of the fuselage. It also looked a bit ridiculous with the elaborate integrated airstairs extending from the rear door in addition to the stairs at the forward door.

Is this a false memory? I can find no record anywhere on the Internet that Piedmont ever flew the 737-100. The only fleet info I can find on this type is that there were a total of 30 manufactured, with 10 going to Lufthansa (so where did the other 20 go?). I suppose it is possible PI leased this aircraft, but never actually owned it. It had full "Piedmont Airlines" red titles which stretched almost from door to door, and the classic navy blue cheatline.

Any help is appreciated!

For what it's worth, I was never a Piedmont employee, but I miss PI too (in addition to inflight meals, airports without metal detectors, etc.. )

Thank you, Scott

Austin, TX


Re: PI 737-100s?
Posted by: Pam Horton (---.hr.hr.cox.net)
Date: April 14, 2003 01:41AM


Piedmont did have some 737-100s that it purchased from United Airlines.

We also had 737-200s with the rear fold out stairs. Since the 737-100/200s were short and fat anyway, the bird looked especially stubby with both sets of stairs extended.

There was only a difference of six feet in length between the two models(three feet both forward and aft of the wing), so it isn't as if there was a great difference in the two.

My hire date as a flight attendant with Piedmont was September 28, 1967, so I was there to see these airplanes.

Hope this helps! :-)

Re: PI 737-100s?
Posted by: Donnie Martin (---.proxy.aol.com)
Date: April 14, 2003 08:54PM

I don't recall Piedmont ever having any 737-100's. We had some new 200's with forward and rear airstairs. The best person to verify this question is Ronnie Macklin!

Re: PI 737-100s?
Posted by: Ronald Macklin (---.proxy.aol.com)
Date: April 14, 2003 11:14PM

My memory say that Piedmont originally ordered the -100 but Boeing offered us -200's at a cheaper price. We took the -200's. The only B-737 -100 that I saw at Dulles was Presidential.
There were no B737-100's owned by Piedmont Airlines I will check with Zeke Saunders. He was part of the original purchase agreement.

Re: PI 737-100s?
Posted by: H. W. Robinson (---.068.popsite.net)
Date: April 15, 2003 08:18AM

Scott, I was With Piedmont from '68 to '74 at DCA/OPS ( Washinton D.C.). What I remember from the ones that we had was that the engine pods were to short and had to go back to Boeing to be lenghtened. The reverst thrusters were too short, and with the flaps down while slowing had a tendency to raise up the aircraft. The retro fit extended the reverse thrusters beyond the flaps. Sorry that's all I know

Mystery ship
Posted by: Scott (---.154.151.180.Dial1.Austin1.Level3.net)
Date: April 15, 2003 08:33AM

Thank you Pam--

Well that's one vote yes and two votes no.

It was only a six foot difference, so I could have been wrong -- but gosh it was short. The tall tail and wide body accentuated this. In all the PI 737 60's livery pics I've collected there seems to be more windows down the side, and more space between the doors and the ends of "Piedmont Airlines". I could also be wrong about the integral rear stairs on this mystery ship -- that I could have witnessed on many of the other PI 737s I enjoyed from that observation deck. Did anyone ever actually use the rear stairs? Seems like a lot of extra weight for so little use.

This psuedo-sighting would have been spring or summer of 1968, so Piedmont had just acquired the 737. Maybe this aircraft was flown briefly - maybe only temporarily? On lease from Boeing until another -200 was made available for permanent delivery? I could be wrong.

I was fascinated by the 737 - something about it looked so cool. This particular one was sparkling clean so it must have been brand new (no reverse thrust residue yet). It was a very impressive sight up close like that - I remember my father even commented on it. I can still smell the exaust. That was a great observation deck.

I'll keep watching this board for any new clues to the mystery. And again, it's very possible I'm wrong!

Regards, Scott

Reverse thrusters
Posted by: Scott (---.154.151.180.Dial1.Austin1.Level3.net)
Date: April 15, 2003 08:41AM

Thanks H.W.

Wow I thought the reverse thrusters were shorter at first, but I always figured I just didn't notice correctly. Hard to believe that was 35 years ago. I won't use the cliche about winged time...

Regards, Scott

Re: PI 737-100s?
Posted by: Steve Lyons (---.chartertn.net)
Date: April 15, 2003 05:00PM

That is a common memory for me, standing at the observation deck in the 60s, 70s and 80s, watching Piedmont Jets and props.
Of course, the most predominant was the 737, but the 727 was a more elusive eye candy. I remember making special trips out the the airport in 1982-1983 JUST to see them. Even from my college dorm we would trek at night.
Then when I myself became a Piedmont Employee in Oct 1984, the 737 and 727 soon became my livingroom.
I spent so much time on them that they were home to me.
That's why it is such a shame to see them retired.
Of course, we all remember when PI got their first 737-300s and -400s.
How proud we all were, and they were such a treat to fly on.
From that moment on, though loving the -200s just as much, I tried to book nonrev on the -300s as much as I could.
Those days are behind us. Now USAirways has only the 737-300s and 737-400s. Though Airbus are said to be good aircraft by many, I can't help but believe that they would be better off getting more 737s, in the versions of the new -700 and -800, even -900s.
And personally, I believe that if Piedmont had continued onward, they would have chosen the Boeing 717-200s as well as a mainstay in the regional markets.
I will always hold dear to my memories! :)


Re: PI 737-100s?
Posted by: Pam Horton (---.hr.hr.cox.net)
Date: April 15, 2003 08:18PM


Those rear stairs did get used fairly often.

Way back when we only had one or two stations with loading bridges. If we were running a little late, we would both deplane and emplane through both doors. I can remember turning around a 737 in RIC one afternoon in seven minutes. We were full in and full out. We used both doors and just flew.

The 737-100s were purchased from United Airlines. They were not part of any purchase order from Boeing. I don't remember how many there were, but there were a few. I am thinking here two or three. I remember that one of the tail numbers was 049U. That was UA's original registration number and Piedmont wasn't about to pay a bunch of money to reregister two or three airplanes purchased from United Airlines.

Piedmont did have a few 737-100s, though. I remember sitting in recurrent training and the six foot difference in length being explained to us.

Re: PI 737-100s?
Posted by: kermit oakley (---.tnt1.winston-salem.nc.da.uu.net)
Date: April 15, 2003 11:22PM

Piedmont never owned a B737-100 aircraft. and thats the truth!!!

Re: PI 737-100s?
Posted by: Steve Lyons (---.chartertn.net)
Date: April 17, 2003 12:58AM

Re: quick turnarounds.....

Pam, I remember quick turnarounds very very well.
We called some of them at TRI......single engine stops...
The captain would stay on board of course, keeping the right side, non passenger boarding side engine going........while shutting off just the left engine where passengers boarded. We would get them all off and back on in a matter of minutes.
Of course, this was alot easier on the 727s at TRI, which by that time, if in a big hurry would not use the rear stairs on these turnarounds due to rear engine noise, but would instead have us pull up the front mobile air stairs (all forward stairs had been removed to add addl seats) and they would leave the rear engines going on the 727s for a quick turnaround when needed. It was alot easier with Fokker F28s, just drop the forward stairs and you were good to go.
This was not something that USAir was willing to do on a normal day.
Now occasionally we would get an old Piedmont crew as Captain on a jet after the merger and could still do this. But it was not accepted proceedure for USAir who wanted to do everything (by the book).
USAir also did not like "flagstops". Everybody remember those?
I just love remembering this stuff! Now this is something to light up this message board for a while! LOL


Mystery Ship
Posted by: Scott (---.154.149.25.Dial1.Austin1.Level3.net)
Date: April 17, 2003 06:58AM

Hi Pam,

I don't know, you present a pretty convincing argument! Why would they have even mentioned the -100 in recurrent training if PI didn't have any?

I've got thousands of airport memories collected since age 6 (which was a long, loooooooong time ago :o) but for some reason that partucular one has always stood out among a few others. Like I wrote earlier, it was an impressive sight. If my father was still around I could ask him about it (he was a plane nut too).

I know there's a way to research this, I just haven't figured it out yet. Someone publishes a yearly fleet list (talk about mundane details.. ). I think Airliners Magazine might know who that was.

Pam I love that 7 minute turn around story. I would love to have seen that! You know what would be heaven right about now? To walk out on a tarmac somewhere and climb up the stairs of a real Piedmont 737 (we're talking time tunnel kind of stuff here). And then I'd like to smell the Columbian coffee brewing as we board the Braniff International BAC-111 or 727-100 (sorry Piedmont, but that's another great memory). I remember BI always played Muzak-type stuff as we boarded and deplaned ("Percy Faith and his Orchestra") -- did Piedmont do that too? It seems funny now looking back.

The first person who can produce a picture of a Piedmont 737-100 should get some kind of prize, don't you think? And no cheating with Photoshop :o)


Re: PI 737-100s?
Posted by: Donnie Martin (---.proxy.aol.com)
Date: April 17, 2003 03:39PM

I beleive the confusion about the 737-100 may go back to the 727's.
The first two jets we had were 727-100's which one 68650 had a midair collision after departing AVL on Jul. 19, 1967 killing everyone aboard both planes. I remember the 049U A/C and it was a 200 version. Ronnie Macklin a VP of PI maintainance has already confirmed that we did not ever fly a 100 in passenger service.

Re: PI 737-100s?
Posted by: Donnie Martin (---.proxy.aol.com)
Date: April 17, 2003 03:51PM

Speaking of quick turnarounds, I have a Jan. 15, 1961 Passenger schedule that shows a three, yes 3 minute stop on flight 40 in Lynchburg. Flight 40 went from Winston-Salem to Washington with a 4 min. stop in ROA, 3 min. stop in LYH and a 4 min. stop in CHO. It departed INT at 0715, arrived in DCA at 0912 and the fare from INT to DCA was $21.65

Re: PI 737-100s?
Posted by: Steve Lyons (---.chartertn.net)
Date: April 17, 2003 05:43PM

Now, I don't know.....but would it be possible that Piedmont considered those -100s -200s once the engines and seats had been upgraded to more seats and better -9 or -15 engines.
Just a long short folks!
Like I said, I don't know personally. Just guessing.
I mean, a -300 is obviously different than a -200, but some of those supposed -200s were awfully short and cute eh?

On the turnaround of 3 mins.....OK, that tops anything I can remember.
I give, you one upped us :)

And the Muzac.....yes Piedmont had that on several planes, I can attest to having it on some 727-200s that I remember as overnighters at TRI in which we listened to while we cleaned them!


Re: PI 737-100s?
Posted by: RILEY CARPENTER (---.triad.rr.com)
Date: April 17, 2003 07:15PM


Re: PI 737-100s?
Posted by: Ronald Macklin (---.proxy.aol.com)
Date: April 17, 2003 10:25PM

Kermit Oakley's and Riley Carpenter's messages are correct
.Ronald Macklin

Re: PI 737-100s?
Posted by: Ronald Macklin (---.proxy.aol.com)
Date: April 18, 2003 12:05AM

There were only thirty B-737-100's. Twenty one went to Lufthansa and one became the airplane at NASA.
United never had any B-737-100's.
United's original order was for 75 B-737-200's.
N9049U was a leased aircraft and the people that owned it did not want to change the N number. All the other aircraft we bought from United, Western and others had their N number changed to a PI number.

Re: PI 737-100s?
Posted by: RILEY CARPENTER (---.triad.rr.com)
Date: April 18, 2003 02:16PM


Re: PI 737-100s?
Posted by: kermit oakley (---.tnt1.winston-salem.nc.da.uu.net)
Date: April 18, 2003 11:32PM

After the fact I wish that when our ID pictures were made someone
would have saved the extra picture that was taken and put into a
piedmont document that we could now buy or something.GONE WITH
THE WIND!!!!!! kermit

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