J. Wiley
(Aviation Researcher)
11/02/06 04:50 AM
Re: JetBlue Fatigue Experiment


I was in coach for one of those rides. We came across Denver fairly high - you could see the airport way down there. In this instance the pilot brought the center engine to idle, leaving the other two humming along. Hearing one engine winding down got my attention. The rest of the approach was as you describe with flaps, slats, and gear falling out at appropriate times. No throttles - it was awesome. Third engine came back on-line for short final.


That was a fairly common technique because you normally bled number 1 and 3 for the the air conditioning packs and pressurization. It was also fairly common as the Seven Two aged that it became a bit more leaky and sometimes you had to leave one engine up just to keep the cabin from climbing during the descent.

Randy flew the last ones.. the ones with the BIG engines. I flew the 727 which the wimpy -7 engines, the satisfactory -9s and the nice performing -15 enignes as well as intermixes of 7s/9s. Later I got to fly a couple of re-engined 727s where they hung the 200 series JT8D from the MD-80 on the pods. It was essentially adding a 4th engine to the airplane due to the increased thrust.

Many are not aware that there was a proposal by Boeing to do this (re-engine the 727 with JT8D-200 engines). It was the 727-300 proposed to United. It never got off paper and Boeing admitted that getting the #2 engine to breathe properly was a problem. The next proposal to United was a twin engine narrow body which languished for a long time before it caught on.. the 757, another fine flying machine. But the 757 could NEVER slow down like the Mighty Tri-Motor.

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