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The Fokker Aircraft
Posted by: Steve Lyons (
Date: August 22, 2002 12:47AM

This article if especially for all those who replied to my postings in defense of Boeing aircraft.
If you liked that one, You will LOVE this one!
As Boeing is my all time favorite, it is NOT the only aircraft I have ever loved.
Take the Fokker for example.
Now here, for all you foreign manufacturer defenders.......
is an aircraft totally made in Holland!
Yes, Fokker, the aircraft company that produced the F27 and more importantly for Piedmont lovers......
The F28!
I flew countless miles also on the Fokker F28-1000/-4000 models over the years with Piedmont/USAir.
And I cleaned them, and rode jump seat in them.
I truly Loved the Fokker F28 and F100.
Although the F100 in the USAir fleet (USAir was the only of the two that had those, recieved the first in 1990) was difficult to climb into it's bins, it was not that hard to work them.
Just roll a cart of bags under the belly and stand on it, while the guy inside
slides the bags easily across the hard clear plastic floor liners.
This little jet served us well.
And it's a shame to see them all retired!
Piedmont got it's first in 1984 which were bought from Fokker as rebuilt formerly owned Garuda Airlines jets.
You see, Piedmont owned most of it's fleet. And although today most airlines frown at that and say it isn't cost effective, we need to remember that owning aircraft IS cost effective if you don't change aircraft as often as your Dad trades cars!
Piedmont bought alot of aircraft used! Ooooooo.
Bad word?
Not really. Used 727s from Delta and PSA and All Nippon served us well, very well over the years!
But Piedmont also purchased many F28-4000s NEW.
I have a question for those still at USAirways......
Why did USAirways retire their entire fleet decade old Fokker F100s and then want to turn around and buy Regional Jets?
Let me tell you what is happening in the airline industry that perplexes me.
Tri-Cities, Kinston NC, and simular communities are LOOSING flights that used to be MAINLINE PIEDMONT AIRLINES.
Those are being replaced by commuter code share companies.
I have one answer.......the passengers don't matter anymore.
I read alot on the net, and read about business people who depend on getting from smaller towns to large ones who can no longer ride anything but weed eaters to their hubs cause the big iron doesnt think their town is an important part of their network anymore and is not profitable.
I hear times are changing till it makes me scream!
But know this, major airlines are throwing away customers and running them off to others and effecting the bottom line that way too.
You can make anything look good on paper.
Getting it to work in real life takes vision.
Tom Davis had the vision to serve the smaller communites when no one else would.
It is getting to the point again where no one else will.
History repeats itself.
The future of the airline industry belongs to those who will gladly serve their customers. Period.
All others can file for bankruptcy.

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Re: The Fokker Aircraft
Posted by: H. W. Robinson (
Date: August 22, 2002 05:05AM

0101am edt thur 08/22/02: Steve, You forgot that PI also bought brand new 737s and YS-11As RR engines. In fact PI had some of the 1st 737s, and they had to be sent back to Beoing because of the thrust reversers were too short and with full flaps down gave the a/c a lifting effect on landing, therefore the thrusters were extended further back to eliminate this problem. Also we loaned out some of our pilots to instruct pilots of later carriers on the flight caracteristics of the YS-11As. Enjoy your day, H. W. ( aka Robin ) Robinson

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Re: The Fokker Aircraft
Posted by: Steve Lyons (
Date: August 22, 2002 09:57AM

I remember the folks at TRI mentioning the 737 thrust reversers.
And I had forgotten all about Piedmont getting new 737-200s.
Didn't they get some used ones too? Or did they?

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Re: The Fokker Aircraft
Posted by: Pam Horton (
Date: August 23, 2002 05:01PM


Most of the 737-200s that Piedmont acquired were new. However, there were some used ones, too.

We acquired some 737-100s from United. There wasn't a lot of difference in the models: only an additional three feet, I think, forward and aft of the wing.

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Re: The Fokker Aircraft
Posted by: Steve Lyons (
Date: August 23, 2002 08:52PM

Correct me if I am wrong, but if memory serves me correct.......
There were 118 seats on the 737-200 before the first class was added, and
112 or 108 after first class was put in.
Am I right on that.
And if so.....didn't all the 737-100/-200 have the same seating.
If they did, then the -100 models would have been a little more cramped.
I never noticed any difference if so.
I traveled mostly on 737-200, 727-200, F28 and Henson Dash 7s and 8s over the years.
A very few times on 767s and none on the Piedmont Airlines prop craft.
The props were all gone when I came on board in '84, except for the commuter planes of course.
737-200 brought me home more than all other types combined so I am very familiar with them.
I thought my First flight as a paying passenger in 1982 was a 727-200, but in retrospect, I didn't know the diff between -200 and -100 that time.
Don't remember a side door, but didn't look on the starboard side.
It was an old PSA 727, that I am sure of on flight 59 03-08-82.
Ya see, I am very detailed in memory.
It wasn't till I was hired on in '84 that I learned the diff between -200 and -100.
Evidently, the -100 babies didn't get produced long from reading about them.
Boeing made a very popular jetliner in the 737 altogether.
I remember ops telling me when I worked forms that most of the Piedmont 737s were upgraded to the JT8D-15s which were considered ADV advanced!
-9s were not so powerful.
I also noticed that Boeing stopped producing the 737-300s and -400s as well as the -500s when they started making the -600/-700/-800/-900.
(-600 being an upgrade for the -500, -700 an upgrade of the -300, -800 being an upgrade of the -400 and so on.
That's why I am so defensive of Boeing aircraft.
They are what I "grew up with".
And they are like my "living room" to me.
I even slept on them during flight. THAT's how comfortable and trust worthy a plane they are.
I LOVE aircraft trivia......
If you remember anymore, please pass it along my way!


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Re: The Fokker Aircraft
Posted by: Pam Horton (
Date: August 24, 2002 02:48AM

The first configuration on the 737-200s was what was called a standard seating arrangement. There were 90 seats, with a 2x3 configuration. They were "executive" size seats. Very comfy. The first 3x3 configuration was for 112 seats. The extra row was added later to make 118.

When Piedmont installed First Class, the arrangment was 8 F/C and 102 in coach. It made for a comfy arrangment with a decent amount of foot and knee room even in coach.

The few 737-100s that came from United had the same number of seats as the others. It was just slightly more cramped.

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Re: The Fokker Aircraft
Posted by: Steve Lyons (
Date: August 24, 2002 06:05AM

Thanks, that brings back memories just reading your posting.
I could actually SEE interiors from all those flights I took over the years.
Of course, I can never forget the first trips I took.
And the first time I ever met a flight crew on board on the ramp of the TRI.
I was our training week and we were invited on board to meet the crew.
I thought I was in heaven!
Oh, it's so painful how I miss that!
I wish I could do it ALL over again!

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Re: The Fokker Aircraft
Posted by: Pam Horton (
Date: August 25, 2002 03:24AM

Most of the old time Piedmont people would like to have the chance to do it all over again. :-)

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Re: The Fokker Aircraft
Posted by: Bill Fleming (
Date: August 27, 2002 01:24AM


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Re: The Fokker Aircraft
Posted by: H. W. Robinson (
Date: August 27, 2002 10:43AM

I'll sign up for a new PI. Just retired, but not dead. PI DCA OPS '68 to '73. See Y'all

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Re: The Fokker Aircraft
Posted by: Dave Wiebe (
Date: September 04, 2002 01:51AM

I'll never undestand why a regional jet is more attractive to US Airways than a mainline jet. When US pulled mainline flights out of TRI, ERI, SBN, TOL, FAY, ILM, AVL, and YUL, they lost customers. I realize why US does what it does with regard to demand--it's the law of the industry, but why lose loyal, lifelong customers (particularly in ERI) over two or three jets? US Airways' capacity reductions since March have been primarily about the bankruptcy filing. Anything before that was rash, short-sighted, decisions. Herb Kelleher himself said in "NUTS," the book about Southwest's service, culture, and philosophies, about furloughs and capacity cuts, "It never entered our minds. Our philosophy very simply is that it is a very short-term thing to do. If your focus is on the long term, the well-being of your business and its people, you don't do it." Take care.

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Re: The Fokker Aircraft
Posted by: Steve Lyons (
Date: September 04, 2002 08:19PM

Quoting from Dave Kelleher is a terrific very intelligent thing to do!
He is one of my Heros!
We knew in TRI years ago when I still worked there that US was trying to work out an excuse to close that station and alot of smaller ones.
It wasn't pretigious enough.
Would you believe that in 1984, we had over 20 Jet flights a day?
On planes like (3) 727s a bunch of 737-200 flights and several F28 flights?
We did.
We also has non stops to ATL, GSO, as well as ORD.
After a few years, everything was hubbed out of CLT and PIT.
That was a shame.
I know this area has had job losses and industry closings and all.
But this area still deserves Jet service and still could validate it IF we had someone like Southwest in here that cares more about filling up jets than caring what big cities they served.
In 1989, in the spring, when I was in CLT, it was common place to steal a 737-200 from a CLT-TRI flight when a plane going to JFK or FLL or MIA was broke for example and cancel the TRI flight.
That is one of the things that happens to customers in smaller cities.
They get treated like second class and then leave for someone else.
You probably already know all this.
Just validating your customer always comes first philosophy.
TRI was one of the first and best stations.
I'd rank it against any out there for it's people.
Oh, how I miss the people I once worked with!

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Re: The Fokker Aircraft
Posted by: Pam Horton (
Date: September 09, 2002 09:36PM

TRI was an excellent station. I was sorry to see mainline pull out of there.

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Re: The Fokker Aircraft
Posted by: pjet580 (
Date: August 08, 2003 11:23PM

PHF had some mainline service as well from PI, AL, UA and NA. Once deregulation took hold NA was the first to leave followed by AL, then PI, and finally UA. When PI left PHF I was heartbroken. No more would I see the proud Bluebird taxiing in and out of my little airport. After moving to PHX with my family in 1980 it excited me when PI announced they would begin service to SAN and CLT. Alas, it was short-lived as USAir acquired PI almost as soon as that announcement was made. PI was a link to my youth and now I spend a fair amount of time in hoping to meet and talk with those who flew PI, and those fortunate individuals who actually worked for this fine airline. Anyone who wishes to talk about the good ol days especially referring to the FH-227s and YS-11As please feel free to email me at

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Re: The Fokker Aircraft
Posted by: Bill Owens (
Date: February 12, 2004 07:15PM

The original 737's had 94 seats and, I believe -3 engines. Remember the table in the front of the right hand row of seats? Also, they had 3 by 2 seats, 3 seats on the right side of the aisle and 2 seats on the left side. The middle seats on the right side were considerably larger than the aisle and window seats.

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Re: The Fokker Aircraft
Posted by: Donald Selover (
Date: March 22, 2004 11:44PM

Although I never saw any of the Jets here in New Bern (EWN) all of the
props were . The F-27 series was an unusual bird, but I liked it just the same. It and the YS-11s Had a distinctive sound all their own. The only thing we have here now is the Dash-8-200s and 300s of U.S. Air Express.

I see a lot of photos of F-27s on and wonder if there are any of the ones that flew for Piedmont still operational. I still wish someone would start a museum of Piedmont Airlines with examples of all the aircraft that were used.

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Re: The Fokker Aircraft
Posted by: Steve Lyons (
Date: March 23, 2004 02:31AM

When we worked D concourse in CLT, the EWN flights for Henson the Piedmont regional airline were all Dash-7s.
I loved the Dash 7. It was a change from the big jets I usually flew on.
It ran the TRI - CLT run late at night before returning to EWN and HHH.
It was one of the best riding all around prop aircraft ever.

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Re: The Fokker Aircraft
Posted by: Ronald Macklin (
Date: April 04, 2004 12:39PM

There were no B-737-100's at Piedmont. United did not have B-737-100 aircraft.
The first B-737's had JT8D-7 engines.

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Re: The Fokker Aircraft
Posted by: Phil Coley (
Date: April 05, 2004 04:24AM

Yep, perhaps people have basic and advanced confused. No 100's at PI, just the heavy basics with low power -7's. They did come to United first without tailpipe extensions and early config reversers. At least the switches were pointing the right way. The Lufthansa -100's had every cockpit switch throw backwards. Really confusing in the standard Boeing world. I did like the Fokker. Better bird than the Airbus for sure. (Didn't care for the fiberglass bypass duct on the early Spey engine though). Still see the old F-28s in SEA with Horizon livery.

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Re: The Fokker Aircraft
Posted by: Chip (
Date: April 15, 2004 02:36AM

I understand that the F-27 and FH-227 aircraft had a pneumatically operated landing gear system versus hydraulic. Is this correct? If so, I have a lot of stupid questions to ask:

1. Where did the pneumatic pressure come from (bleed air from the engines, compressed nitrogen bottle, or what)?

2. What was the operating pressure?

3. Did all of the actuators in the L/G system, including the uplock/unlock and downlock actuators operate pneumatically, or just the retract cylinders?

4. Did the nose and MLG landing gear doors operate by pneumatic actuators, or by mechanical linkage to the struts?

5. Was doing L/G ops in the hangar more of a royal pain in the butt-hocks on this bird than on other aircraft?

6. Did operational aircraft of this type have a higher incidence of those embarrassing "oopcidents" with the landing gear than other aircraft?

7. Why did the Fokker/Fairchild-Hiller aerospace engineers choose this type of system instead of a hydraulically operated one?

8. And what about the primary and secondary flight controls, as far as the type power they were driven by?

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