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Post #69902, posted on 04-11-2018 GMT-5 hours
(Early 1968 Boeing illustration w/planned 114in cargo door-Gregory Galik Coll.)
"Any community with an airstrip 5,000ft. long will join the principal cargo terminals of the world. For the first time, jet-fast cargo pick-ups and drops on a feeder route system will unite smaller cities with the main streams of commerce"..........Douglas DC-9 Srs 10 Jet Trader 1965 Brochure.
It would be the introduction of the 1st generation of 'Short-haul' Twin-jets that would bring an interesting development of the 'convertible' passenger-cargo airliner. Having been around since the early post-WW2 period, it had been a mostly long-haul market and with the 'booming sixties' just beginning, would the new local service soon-to-be Jet operators join in?
BAC One-Eleven RAF 1963 Proposal
Being first gave the new One-Eleven an early opportunity in the U.S. market and had the CAB not interfered,
a large number of U.S. locals were ready to sign up other than the actual Braniff, Mohawk, American & Aloha orders. Bonanza,Frontier,Hawaiian & Ozark all had actual orders or Letters-of Intent placed by 1963.
A 'Convertible' airline One-Eleven option though was not available 'officially'. In 1963, BAC proposed to the RAF a number of proposals including a VIP aircraft, as well as a personnel transporter, causality evacuation and radio operator/navigator trainer. A 100in. cargo door was featured w a strengthened floor which could take loads up to 75lb/sq ft. or up to 100lb/sq ft. over it's outer sections.
In the British airline system, there was little interest in a 'Convertible' One-Eleven as the idea of putting a 'barn door' on a sleek new jet was not proper. Most British airlines preferred to keep cargo flights separate, using propliners. When Sir Freddie Laker wanted to order the VC-10 with a cargo door, he was quoted a price 'double' the actual costs in hopes that he would change his mind! He didn't and he got his doors for the actual price.
The One-Eleven was configured for a normal 3+2 interior (79) passenger arrangement.
During 1963-64, none of BAC's prospective customers had any interest in a 'convertible' option, so it remained a worldwide military proposal until early in 1965. BEA was looking for a new cargo aircraft and came close to ordering the still unnamed 'convertible' One-Eleven. In the end, BEA would eventually choose the Argosy. Oddly, it wasn't until Boeing announced the 737-100C in April 1965, that BAC got serious about a 'convertible' One-Eleven.
The rather long winded "Passenger/Freighter" name was adopted and the BAC sales team got to work. Potential P/F customers were identified as Air Afrique, Air Congo, Indian Airlines, THY, UTA, VASP & Varig.
Since the One-Eleven was first of the Big 3 'Short-haul' jets, it did have one major drawback as a 'Freighter'. Unlike the DC-9 Srs 10 Jet Trader, it could not fit the 88 X 108 pallet in a 'combi' arrangement, as it precluded the walkway to the cockpit. The smaller 88 X 100 would have to be used. In an all-cargo arrangement, the 88 X 108 could be carried the long way. With (2) 88 X 108 pallets, (39) passengers could be carried which likely would he have been the most common 'combi' arrangement.
(VC-10 East African Interior-BAE)
The One-Eleven P/F cargo system was similar to the type used on British United and East African's VC-10, which required the seats to be removed and then the longitudinal rollers and ball-bearing type transfer
plates had to be manually installed over the seat rails.
This One-Eleven vs 737 comparison shows the limitations of the types of pallets that the One-Eleven P/F
The One-Eleven P/F 100in. cargo door was another issue that would have caused annoyances to the potential airline's handlers!
In 1966, BAC joined a number of U.S. manufacturers in the USAF CX-2 Aeromedical proposal. The One-Eleven 417EJ would have carried (30) stretcher patients or (40) sitting with a range of 2,000 miles using the RR Spey -25's. It probably never had an actual chance but it was another opportunity to show some One-Eleven versatility.
Though both the One-Eleven and DC-9 could not have a 3+3 seating arrangement, the so called Douglas 'Double-Bubble' sides would give the DC-9 Jet Trader a slight advantage, so that the 88 X 108 pallet could be carried in a 'combi' arrangement, whereas the One-Eleven P/F could not.
By 1967, BAC was including their "Passenger-Freighter" option in sales brochures but by that the window was closing on potential sales.
BAC had made inroads in Africa with an Air Congo One-Eleven lease and a planned Nigeria Airways lease that fell through at the last minute. This was apparently enough of a threat that Sud Aviation created the 11R Caravelle.
This was enough to take away One-Eleven P/F orders, as both Air Congo & Air Afrique chose the Caravelle 11R....
It would be Mohawk Airlines that would come closest to using the One-Eleven in a Nighttime utilization.
Beginning in 1967, Mohawk began a pair of overnight U.S. Mail flights from New York City to Upstate New York. It also happened that there were a number of Upstate factories that supplied the U.S. automakers with small precision parts and these were included in the overnight service to Detroit.
(1967 Mohawk Ad)
The 'Night Cap" Jet flights also offered discount rates to a few stops on the routes and these turned out to be quite popular with College students. These flights lasted into 1971 but ended just prior to the Allegheny merger.
(BAC-Bill Demarest Coll.)
It wasn't until the One-Eleven 475 in the 1970's that BAC created a true 'Quick-Change' interior and an enlarged cargo door (120in.) but in the end there were just (3) converted for the Oman Air Force and a single ex-LACSA 400 was converted in 1979 for Rolls-Royce's Turbo-Union to transport engines for the Panavia military jet.
In the end the One-Eleven 200-400's were the most efficient to operate of the Big 3 up to the 800 mi. range but it was to be a failure in the niche 'Combi' short-haul Jet market......
Douglas DC-9 Srs 10F Jet Trader-1965
The 'Combi' option was built into the DC-9 from the beginning though it wasn't originally planned with the actual 136in. cargo door!
(Douglas 1965 Ad)
As the 2nd Short-haul Jet, the DC-9 did have clear advantages over the One-Eleven. Having just put into service the DC-8 'Jet Trader', Douglas had already invested in the 'combi' market. The 'Double-Bubble' construction would turn out to be a key factor in the DC-9 'combi' sales, as unlike the One-Eleven P/F, the DC-9 Jet Trader could take the 88 X 108 pallet on a mixed arrangement as the 'Double-Bubble' sides created just enough room for the required walkway.
Though Douglas would have the largest of the Big 3 cargo doors, at 136in., surprisingly the orignal cargo door was to be 119in., the same as used in the orignal CX-2 DC-9 Srs 10 proposal!
As with the One-Eleven, the DC-9 was configured for the typical 3+2 seating arrangement with a 1st Class 2+2.
The planned DC-9 Jet Trader began with enthusiasm in March 1964, when Continental Airlines order (12) 'Convertible' DC-9 Srs 10's! They originally planned to use the normal system of the DC-8 Jet Trader but instead were advised that both Douglas and Boeing had begun work on a 'Quick-Change' concept for the hoped for United Airlines order (which of course got with the 727C and the 737-200). The $40 million order seemed to confirm the idea of a new short-haul 'combi' Jet market. Continental was planning for full utilization for their DC-9's with night cargo flights as well as mixed passenger/cargo daytime service.
Though the Srs 10 was 10ft. longer than the One-Eleven, the actual floor width was exactly the same. The "Double-Bubble" would give the potential operator enough walkway to carry the 88 X 108 pallet.
One of the interesting combinations that Continental planned was to use a divider in 1st Class so that smaller pallets could be carried.
Probably not something that the more expensive 1st Class passengers thought they were paying for!!
The new 'QC' system for a potential Douglas DC-9 Srs 10 customer was not cheap, adding $200,000 to the normal $3.1 million price tag.
The aluminum base added 2.4in. to the passenger seat height. The added weight for a Srs 10 QC (Rapid-Change) was approximately 3,400lbs.
(Boeing-Robert Dubert Coll.)
As was mentioned earlier, the DC-9 was limited to a 2+3 arrangement. The larger 88 X 125 pallet could be placed sideways but required a specially shaped version to clear the hat rack and contoured ceiling.
In November 1965, Trans-Texas Airlines became the 2nd airline to see the future of Short-haul 'combi' Jets, when they ordered (5) DC-9 Srs 10 MC's (Mixed Cargo/Multi-Change).
(Douglas-March 1966 Brochure)
Though they were similar looking with the same 136in cargo door, they were a one-off design created by TTA's President and his Son. Instead of a 'QC' system, the seats were folded forward and the floor area by the door was flipped over with rollers on the revers side.
So called 'Uni-Space' Convertible Cargo seats were already manufactured for the larger Jetliners but this would be the first time on a new Twin-Jet (more on the TTA DC-9MC in the upcoming TTA 727 "LS")
The 'Folding' seats would remain in the normal floor seat rails unlike the 'RC' palletized sates.
With (17) DC-9Srs 10 Jet Traders on order by the end of 1966, the Short-haul Jet 'combi' utilization concept look quite promising but as it turned out it was not a success for Douglas or the (2) Airlines!
Continental did use the DC-9RC Jet Traders for about 1-yr, according to Continental employees and then used as normal all-passenger DC-9's for the rest of their time with the airline. Hughes Airwest, which acquired most of them in the early 70's actually removed the cargo door mechanisms to save weight! TTA reportedly NEVER used them in any 'combi' arrangement. According to TTA employees the DC-9MC cargo door was only opened once and that was unintentionally during a landing (luckily it became just slightly ajar!) The DC-9Srs 10 Jet Trader did a bit better the the One-Eleven but it also a disappointment....
(Boeing Illustration -Early 1968-Gregory Galik Coll.)
Being the last of the Big 3 would have mostly benefits for Boeing, though according to a retired Boeing engineer, they were expecting much less in sales due to it's late entry. Privately, 200-250 in sales was expected. Having the similar Boeing family fuselage clearly gave the 737 the clear edge in the 'combi' market!
(Boeing 737C Brochure-1970)
July 24, 1966 would be the 'Official' joining of the 1st 737!
As far as the planned 737C with a "QC" system, Boeing had begun work on that in 1964, building a 2/3 fuselage at Renton.
In the early development of the 737C, Boeing was anticipating only limited airline interest and began the project as only for the 737-100C with a 114in. cargo door.
(Boeing Wien Air Alaska Proposal-Wien Coll.)
With the smaller front fuselage, Boeing knew that by putting on a 114in. door they could avoid costly re-engineering as the 707/727 door wouldn't fit as the shorter 737 fuselage crown interfered!
Unfortunately for Boeing, they had yet to meet up with Ray Petersen of Northern Consolidated Airlines and Sigurd Wien of Wien Air Alaska. Both Presidents held out for a '707 door' and would not order the first 737C's unless they got their way! They did place their respective 737-200C orders even as late as ealry 1968, Boeing was still hoping not to have to create a brand new 134in. 737 door!
In 1966, Boeing joined in the USAF CX-2 proposal with the 737-100M which used the 114in. cargo door.
Of course we know Douglas won the C-9 contract though strangely with a late change to the Srs 30 which was considered too large and not allowed in the original CX-2 proposal!
The 737 would be the only one of the Big 3 to have a 3+3 passenger arrangement.
Though most 737 airlines used the more common 3+2!
The 737 'combi' would turn out to be the undisputed 'King' of the Short-haul Jets. No other could fit the 88 X 125 pallet sideways, though only in an all-cargo configuration.
The 737C could take most the the amazing variety on pallets. The 737-200C sold well in Alaska and Canada, though in the end it was still a small niche market, just (24) 737C's sold by 1972. The 737's palletized QC seats were similar to the DC-9's Jet Trader.
The 737 would benefit from the 'QC' engineering that Boeing had begun in 1964, mostly for the United 727QC concept. Though Northwest Orient took delivery of the 1st 727QC, they decided not to purchase the 'QC'-system which added about 6,400lbs on a 727C. For smaller 737 operators special "QC' equipment had to be purchased and hangar storage space for the palletized seats was needed. For the smaller local service airlines it was costly but needed in some market with outpost towns as in Alaska/Canada. The one drawback was the ALPA's mandate that the 737 be operated with a 3-man cockpit crew. This did add to the airline's cost and began to be changed in the late 1970's by most ALPA member carriers.
Indiana's Lake Central placed the first 737C order in May 1966 but soon after, it was followed by Northern Consolidated and Wien Air Alaska, who would merge as Wien Consolidated before taking deliveries.
After those, were a number of Canadian airlines; Pacific Western, Nordair & Transair. Then a trio a European airlines followed; Lufthansa, Britannia & Aer Lingus. Mozambique's DETA would close out the initial group of 737-200C orders in 1969. In the early 1970's Africa would be the next market for the 737 'combi' sales.
(Rodger Cook Coll.)
In our research, we came across this Boeing diagram for Pacific's 727-293 order. The plans are dated November 1966 and show some kind of tail rudder! We have never seen this before, so maybe some of the members here might have some info?
Boeing was quite concerned about passenger appeal on flying a 'Freighter' and orignally had planned to leave the the 2-edge windows off of their 134in. cargo door, as Douglas has done. After some discussions, they felt that Douglas has made a mistake, making the DC-9 cargo door more noticeable, so Boeing added back in the 2 edge windows though they had to be 'pinched-in' but it would create an 'unbroken' window-line!
(Douglas DC-9 Jet Trader Brochure-1965)
In the end, the hoped for new 1960's Short-haul Jet Passenger/Cargo market never did develop. No doubt manufacturers used it as a way to make the new jets more cost effective to the Locals by increasing utilization hours but as one airline executive was quoted; "Airlines make money when they put 'fannies' in seats!!"
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Post #69903, posted on 04-11-2018 GMT-5 hours
Interesting and I see you have used one of my illustrations (the USAF 1-11) from a book I illustrated a few years ago. Would have be polite to have, at the very least, credited the artist and where you got these from. I suppose these days nobody bothers to check or cares!
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Location: Stratford, CT.
Occupation: Police Officer (retired)
Post #69904, posted on 04-11-2018 GMT-5 hours
Please let me know how I should credit it or if you wish I will remove it. Honestly did not see any artist credit as I found it online....All the uncredited comparison illustrations were done by a retried Boeing engineer who assists us but wishes to remain anonymous but we always credit when we have one to use. Thanks!