First and second generation jet airliners are getting rarer and rarer these days. It makes me incredibly sad, but at least for the time being we have these airports which are still great for catching old smokeys in action.
You’ve gotta love FedEx. They keep old birds flying. But they also have many new aircraft coming on line, such as the B777F which are replacing the older types.
For the time being, you can head to their Memphis, TN, base to catch quite a few classic DC/MD-10 aircraft coming and going each day. Depending on whether you consider A300-600 and A310-300 aircraft to be old or not, you can also see those. Also, as the airline is bringing in lots of second-hand B757 freighters, it’s another one I’ll leave you to decide on whether they’re an old jet or not!
Last time I visited Jakarta’s main CGK airport, it was still a hub for B727’s, B737-200’s, DC-9’s, DC-10’s and F-28’s. It was incredible, and great for filling lots of gaps in my log book from the 80’s and 90’s.
Today there are not many of these types around. More prevalent are MD-80’s and B737-300/400’s, which are becoming classics. Sadly the A320 and 737NG are now more dominant.
Tehran Mehrabad, Iran
Iran’s sanctions have meant its many airlines are forced to use older types in passenger service. The famed Saha Air B707 no longer fly. But for the time being at this domestic airport you’ll see Yak42’s, B727-200’s, MD-80’s, A300B2/B4’s, A310-200’s and a few other Russian types. Sadly the TU-154 and IL-62 aircraft no longer fly passengers in Iran.
Pyonyang, North Korea
Air Koryo, the national carrier or North Korea, still operates a number of classics from its Pyonyang base. These include TU-154’s, TU-204’s, IL-18’s, and IL-62’s. Regular enthusiast tours travel to the country and take in flights on all of these types. You can also fly in from Beijing and arrange domestic flights.
Detroit Willow Run Airport
The original Detroit Airport is now mainly a cargo hub. Whilst the number of classic types operating here has declined, you can still see older B727’s, B747-100/200’s, DC-9’s, and Lockheed Electras around the place regularly.