Tricks of the 727

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llondel
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Tricks of the 727

#1 Post by llondel » Thu Feb 01, 2024 10:51 pm

I came across this today, a video talking about features of the 727. No doubt old news to some on here, but interesting me. Includes the quote "Let's not do that again", in reference to some of the test flying.


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Re: Tricks of the 727

#2 Post by boing » Sat Feb 03, 2024 1:33 am

I had the good fortune to fly the 727 in all three seats, you could actually say four because i acted as Line Check Airman checking out pilots new to the aircraft. This meant I flew as Flight Engineer, Co-pilot, Captain from the Left Seat and Captain from the Right Seat. It was a super pilot's aircraft to fly. It was known to have certain, should we say, no-no's but these were manageable with a little thought and training.
The flap system was, as the video describes, complicated in design but easy to use in practice and very reliable. The major item to note is that in my day 40 flaps were not to be used for landing unless the field length required this the reason being that the power required to carry 40 flap on the approach exceeded many airport noise limits.
All in all the aircraft gave the feeling of rock solid reliability. I surmised that if I had to fly a medium sized aircraft low level into Russian I would rather fly a modified 727 than the Vulcan because it had an IAS limit of around 420 knots which was well above that of the Vulcan.
The bad features were potential mach tuck at high mach numbers/higher altitude and a quite dramatic drag rise if you let the speed fall off on final that required a biggish hand full of power to correct.
The cockpit was large and pretty comfortable with rest rooms immediately behind the cockpit door. A great feature of the rest rooms is that one could be locked from the cockpit ensuring that a crew member did not have to wait in line with the plebs. You waited till the last user departed and locked the door then unlocked it for the crew member !

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Re: Tricks of the 727

#3 Post by Fox3WheresMyBanana » Sat Feb 03, 2024 1:40 am

I surmised that if I had to fly a medium sized aircraft low level into Russian I would rather fly a modified 727 than the Vulcan because it had an IAS limit of around 420 knots which was well above that of the Vulcan.
I'm sure that's the first thought of any airline pilot - how useful would this be for nuking Moscow?

I am reminded of an earlier "world's fastest airliner", the Heinkel 111 ;)))

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Re: Tricks of the 727

#4 Post by boing » Sat Feb 03, 2024 1:57 am

Another comment on the 727. The flight instrumentation was actually quite good though pretty dated. When I converted to the 757/767 types our simulator instructor failed my flight director system during an ILS approach so I simply reverted to raw data and landed. Very serious debrief, I should have gone around, handed control of the aircraft to the co-pilot, run a few checklists and then carried out some fancy display reconfiguration to restore my display. I pointed out to the instructor that even with the failure I still had more information available to me than we had on the 727 under normal conditions.
The flight display of the 727 was good but the autopilot was awful. This was because the flight director system had no drift correction feed, it had to work out is own drift correction by trial and error so the only way you could help it was to hack the drift and have everything set up correctly before you engaged the autopilot which rather defeated the purpose.

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Re: Tricks of the 727

#5 Post by ExSp33db1rd » Sat Feb 03, 2024 6:21 am

Never flew the 727, only the 707 and 747, but last Easter I took two of my grandchildren, the male one learning to fly, to the Aviation Museum at Santa Monica Airport, California. Poking out of the front of the building is the nose section of a 727 ( forget which airline donated it ) and from inside the museum one was allowed to stand at the cockpit door for a look. I introduced myself to the Museum guide, and he removed the tape across the door and allowed my grandson and myself to occupy the pilots seats. It felt like home, albeit with only three throttles ! Very familiar, loved it.

The museum also have a cockpit from a T-33 jet trainer, which I flew as part of my RAF training with the RCAF - a great day for the grandchildren ( and me ! )

Santa Monica Airport was once the home of the Douglas Aircraft Corp. and a magnificent DC-3, Dakota, is parked outside along with a statue of Donald himself - with his dog ! The exhibits inside are worth a visit, too. The stupid, and I make no excuse for my language, Santa Monica Council have managed to get the FAA to agree that they can close the airport completely in a couple of years, they have already shortened the runway so that local near millionaires can't land their private jets there, 'cos the NIMBYS, who moved into residence nearby in full knowledge of the existence of the airport, complained about the noise, and possible death from a crashing jet. The SMO Council claim that they are going to convert the land into a public park, for "Everyones" enjoyment. Yeah ! Right ! Watch the many high rise, rate paying, apartment buildings take up the space in the next few years.

I have a bumper sticker proclaiming " I LOVE Santa Monica Aiport" and also one attached to the suitcase that I will carry with me for a short visit next week. Stuff 'em.

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Re: Tricks of the 727

#6 Post by tango15 » Sat Feb 03, 2024 10:02 am

Poking out of the front of the building is the nose section of a 727 ( forget which airline donated it ) Fedex exS. And fwiw, I share your views re the gentrification of the airfield. Similar to what happened at Chicago with Meigs Field*. I imagine those who run our municipalities these days have not yet caught up with the fact that civilian aircraft at least, are so much quieter nowadays.

*The airport was destroyed in an unannounced operation in which then-Mayor Richard Daley ordered heavy equipment to gouge Xs across the runway in April of 2004, while there were still light aircraft parked there. The move was widely condemned but never reversed.

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Re: Tricks of the 727

#7 Post by unifoxos » Sat Feb 03, 2024 11:42 am

I used to love them as a pax - while all the muppets were queuing up to get out of the front door, I would quietly slip out of the rear one and beat most of them to immigration.
Sent from my tatty old Windoze PC.

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Re: Tricks of the 727

#8 Post by Rwy in Sight » Sat Feb 03, 2024 1:28 pm

unifoxos wrote:
Sat Feb 03, 2024 11:42 am
I used to love them as a pax - while all the muppets were queuing up to get out of the front door, I would quietly slip out of the rear one and beat most of them to immigration.
Let alone the view when using the rear staircase

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Re: Tricks of the 727

#9 Post by G-CPTN » Sat Feb 03, 2024 3:06 pm

How feasible would it be to exit the rear door wearing a parachute?

Would the usual altitude pressure restrictions apply?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D._B._Cooper

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Re: Tricks of the 727

#10 Post by boing » Sat Feb 03, 2024 3:59 pm

The DB Cooper incident occurred before my move into this area but it was only a few miles north of us. The most recent report, from several years ago, is that money suspected as being part of his heist was found on the banks of the Columbia river so the mystery continues. Whether Cooper accidentally parachuted into the Columbia or whether the money was intended as a clever diversion, who knows?
I don't think the rear exit was ever intended for use in flight by design. After the Cooper incident a vane operated lock was added to the door mechanism so that the door could not be opened in flight.
The external retracting door was not part of the pressure vessel, that function was carried by a standard exit door at the rear of the fuselage.
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Re: Tricks of the 727

#11 Post by PHXPhlyer » Sat Feb 03, 2024 4:18 pm

G-CPTN wrote:
Sat Feb 03, 2024 3:06 pm
How feasible would it be to exit the rear door wearing a parachute?

Would the usual altitude pressure restrictions apply?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D._B._Cooper
An FO that I flew with was a skydiver and she and her boyfriend often went to Boogies (skydiving events where the organizers bring in exotic aircraft to jump out of) and she got to jump out of a 727 via the back stairway.

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Re: Tricks of the 727

#12 Post by G-CPTN » Sat Feb 03, 2024 4:43 pm

Would've been easier with a Hercules.

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Re: Tricks of the 727

#13 Post by Ex-Ascot » Sun Feb 04, 2024 8:33 am

The military looked at the VC10 for HALO, jumping out of the cargo hold. In the simulation engine numbers 3&4 intake flows overtook the gravitational pull.
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