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Western Airlines Boeing 727-200


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Western Airlines

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historical significance

First Albuquerque Visit:    1981

SKU: Model-0628 Categories: ,

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The Boeing 727 is a narrow-body airliner that was developed and produced by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. After the heavier 707 quad-jet was introduced in 1958, Boeing addressed the demand for shorter flights from smaller airports. On December 5, 1960, the 727 was launched with 40 orders each from United Airlines and Eastern Air Lines. The first 727-100 rolled out on November 27, 1962, first flew on February 9, 1963, and first entered service with Eastern on February 1, 1964.

The only trijet aircraft to be produced by Boeing, the 727 is powered by Pratt & Whitney JT8D low-bypass turbofans below a T-tail, one on each side of the rear fuselage and a center one fed through an S-duct. The Boeing 727 design was a compromise among United Airlines, American Airlines, and Eastern Air Lines for each of the three had developed requirements for a jet airliner to serve smaller cities with shorter runways and fewer passengers.

Western Airlines began operations in 1926 as Western Air Express and was based at Los Angeles, California. The carrier grew to become a legacy United States airline with routes linking many larger cities in the western U. S., Alaska, and Hawaii as well as serving many smaller communities in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. Western was the first carrier to serve Albuquerque in 1929 and 1930 as a stop on a route between Los Angeles and Kansas City and again in 1931 through 1934 as a stop between Denver and El Paso. In 1945 the carrier had applied for a route between Salt Lake City and Albuquerque making multiple stops but this route was awarded to Monarch Air Lines which later became Frontier Airlines. In 1958 Western applied for routes from Albuquerque to Fort Worth and Dallas, Texas as well as to Las Vegas and Los Angeles. Western continued to apply for service to Albuquerque through the 1970’s while airlines were still regulated by the Civil Aeronautics Board (C.A.B.) but it was not until the airline deregulation act of 1978 that the carrier was finally able to return to the city.

After 47 years, service was resumed on October 25, 1981 with flights from Albuquerque to Houston, Las Vegas, and San Francisco using Boeing 727-200 aircraft. Western reached a height of ten flights per day at Albuquerque on the March 1, 1983 schedule. Boeing 737-200’s were soon added to the Albuquerque schedule, replacing all the 727’s by late 1985, and new generation 737-300’s came online in early 1986. Western Airlines merged into Delta Airlines on April 1, 1987 ending a 61 year career for the airline.

Western Airlines returned to Albuquerque on October 25, 1981 and used the Boeing 727-200 aircraft to serve the city with four flights per day.