Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Survival of the leanest (and meanest ?).


The Boeing 737-100 entered service in 1968 and was the smallest variant of the 737 series. The 737-200 was an extended-fuselage replacement for the 737-100. There are no 737-100s in service today. The 737-200s are also being phased out due to poor fuel efficieny, high noise emissions, and high maintenance and operating costs, but quite a few are still used in "second tier" and cargo operations. Later versions of the 737 (300/400/500/600/700/800/900) with better performance and fuel efficiencies are still  with the airlines, making the 737 a huge commercial success for Boeing.

Boeing 737-100
Dassault Mercure-100. Note the Pratt & Whitney JT8D powerplant, also used on the 737-100/200.
The Dassault Mercure was touted as a replacement for the Boeing 737 and McDonnell Douglas DC-9. It was, in fact, the worst failure of a commercial airliner in terms of number of aircraft sold, mainly due to its low operating range. Extremely modern tools for the time were used for the development of the Mercure. The Mercure was larger and faster than the 737, and was certified for CAT3A all-weather automatic landing. Air Inter, a French domestic air carrier, was the only airline that purchased these aircraft (about 10). An attempt to develop a Mercure-200 with better performance was abandoned due to lack of financing. All Mercures were retired from service in 1995, with an impressive 360,000 flight hours, 44 million passengers carried in 440,000 flights, no accidents, and a 98% in-service reliability.

No comments:

Post a Comment