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Bonanza Air Lines Douglas DC-9-10 Fun Jet


Model ID#:





Fun Jet







H. Davidson

Model Scale:




historical significance

First Albuquerque Visit:    1966

SKU: Model-0270 Categories: ,

Additional Information:

The Douglas DC-9 is an American five-abreast, single-aisle aircraft designed by the Douglas Aircraft Company. It was initially produced as the Douglas DC-9 prior to August 1967, after which point the company had merged with McDonnell Aircraft to become McDonnell Douglas. In 1959, Douglas was interested in producing an aircraft suited to smaller routes. Approval for the DC-9, a smaller all-new jetliner, came on April 8, 1963. The DC-9-10 first flew on February 25, 1965, and gained its type certificate on November 23, 1965.

The DC-9 is powered by two rear-mounted Pratt & Whitney JT8D low-bypass turbofan engines under a T-tail. It has a two-person flight deck and built-in airstairs to function better at smaller airports. The Series 10 aircraft typically have up to 90 coach seats.

The DC-9 family is one of the longest-lasting aircraft in production and operation. Beginning in 1965, the DC-9 was first produced on the final assembly line in Long Beach, California and then later was on a common line with the second generation of the DC-9 family, the MD-80. Following the delivery of 976 DC-9s and 108 MD-80s, McDonnell Douglas stopped production of the DC-9 in December 1982. The last member of the DC-9 family, the Boeing 717, was manufactured until 2006 and a total 2441 aircraft were produced.

Bonanza Air Lines was established in 1945 and based in Las Vegas, Nevada. The carrier flew routes within Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah, and into Mexico from their hubs at Phoenix and Las Vegas. Per the January 4, 1959 Bonanza timetable, the route map indicates that Bonanza had applied for a Las Vegas-Grand Canyon-Gallup-Albuquerque route but this route never came to be. At the time Bonanza was operating all Douglas DC-3 aircraft.

Bonanza did briefly serve Albuquerque during the summer of 1966 on an emergency basis when Trans World Airlines (TWA) was on strike. As TWA was the backbone airline for Albuquerque, the city was crippled without its service. From Albuquerque, Bonanza flew late night flights to Phoenix and Las Vegas using Fairchild F-27’s and Douglas DC-9’s. Bonanza merged with Pacific and West Coast Airlines in 1968 to form Air West and two years later was bought out by Howard Hughes and renamed “Hughes Airwest”. After airline deregulation in late 1978, Hughes Airwest announced plans to serve Albuquerque from both Salt Lake City and Tucson however the carrier decided against its service before it started. In 1980 Hughes Airwest merged with Republic Airlines which in turn merged into Northwest Airlines in 1986. Northwest began serving Albuquerque in 1992 and merged with Delta Airlines in 2010. Delta had been serving Albuquerque since 1983. The original Bonanza routes and hubs were mostly discontinued in the early 1980’s leaving very few remnants of Bonanza to be reflected in Delta Airlines over 40 years later.

The Douglas DC-9 jet was introduced in 1965 to accommodate up to 85 passengers for short range commercial jet air travel. Bonanza Airlines flew their new DC-9s from Albuquerque to Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Phoenix during the TWA mechanics strike in the summer of 1966. The FAA granted Bonanza a temporary extension of routes into Albuquerque during the strike. The route was serviced by aircraft numbers N945L, N946L, and N947L.