MADRID TO AMSTERDAM
It’s throwback Thursday and time to get retro in this 33 year old Boeing 747-251B, bringing those 4 mighty Pratt & Whitney JT9D engines out of storage and dust off that old airframe.
Operated by both Northwest and Kabo Air in its life, this aircraft/ airline combo on this route is not unrealistic as Northwest pilots were often out and about the skies around Amsterdam, sometimes on military charters shifting cargo around the world in this machine, including Kuwait, Tokyo and Africa as well and of course the USA.
We loaded her up with merchandise - a consignment of rubber ducks and other bathroom accessories on their way to Holland. It took a bit of dusting, polishing and hoovering of that old airframe and a fair amount of maintenance for this flight - it’s been stored since it was taken out of service and of course we had to install those 4 engines again, so it was a costly one - well worth it though to see the Queen of the Skies out and about again.
Always willing to admit to mistakes, I noticed a slight lean as we were pushing through 14,00 feet. Although it was flying smoothly and takeoff was smooth, I noted that engine 4 had been missed when firing them up after pushback. That would explain why a bit more oomph was needed with the throttle to get it up to speed, but it handled well regardless. Engine 4 was fired up at around 15,000 and the plane flew straight from then on.
Unlike my ultimate Infinite Flight nemesis that is the 747-400, or “Fuel Burn’osaur” as I call it, this -200 is an absolute joy. Automatic window lighting? A 2020 cockpit? I don’t think so. Grab it by the scruff of the neck and give it some welly, watch and feel the power of those old mechanics once again. I absolutely love it for that.
Departure: LEMD (Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport).
Arrival: EHAM (Amsterdam Airport Schiphol).
Flight time: 2 hours 2 minutes.
Notes: As always, no hard editing was done to the photos, just some personal preference slight changes to the light and contrast and working with what is available – nothing fake added or taken away.
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