Posted by Tom on Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Boeing has recently announced that production on the final 717 has commenced. There are two reasons that I feel this is the end of an era.
The first is that this jet, which is to be delivered to Airtran, will be the final aircraft to ever be produced at Boeing's Long Beach, CA facility. This facility has produced many aircraft which have changed the aviation world forever, such as one of the most important aircraft of all time, the DC-3. Other aircraft that were produced at the Long Beach facility include the DC-9, DC-10, MD-11, and the MD-80.
The second reason that I feel this is the end of an era is that this aircraft will be the last aircraft related to the DC-9 ever sold. The DC-9, MD-80, and the 717 are aircraft that are very important aircraft in the fleets of many airlines, even though they are aging. Northwest Airlines operates a very large fleet of DC-9's. American Airlines has over 233 MD-80's in its fleet. Delta Airlines operates 136 MD-80's and MD-90's. Airtran operates 84 717's currently, with 4 more on order. Hopefully these great aircraft will continue to serve airlines for many years to come.
So, to McDonnell Douglas, all the wonderful employees at Long Beach, the DC-9, and the Boeing 717, I say:
So long, and thanks for all the planes!