The Douglas DC-9, which emerged in the 1960s and went on to spurn the stretched and very popular McDonnell Douglas MD-80 series of aircraft, was once popular across Europe as a regional airliner working the trunk routes across the continent.
It was found in significant numbers among the fleets of airlines like Alitalia, Austrian Airlines, Finnair, Iberia, JAT, KLM, SAS and Swissair, while in Britain the only airline to operate it was British Midland Airways.
Today very few survive, and even the MD-80s are nearly all gone.
So, where can you see a DC-9 in Europe? Try these:
Amsterdam Schiphol, Netherlands
The forward fuselage of DC-9-32 N929L (47174/286) can be found in the Planes@Plaza shopping area before security at Amsterdam Schiphol airport. It is associated with an aviation-themed shop and you can pay to go into its cabin. It wears KLM colours, but actually flew for Delta, Ozark Air Lines, and TWA during its active life.
Madrid Barajas, Spain
You’ll find this former Iberia DC-9-32, EC-BQZ (47456/580) positioned between terminals 1 and 2 at Madrid Barajas airport, visible behind the access roads outside the terminals. It wears a colourful livery, reflecting its use as a classroom for visiting children.
Another DC-9 preserved in Spain is EC-CGO (47640/734), a DC-9-32 which formerly flew with Aviaco and Iberia. Only the forward fuselage remains, but it is on display and open to the public at Malaga Airport’s Museo Aeronautico in Iberia colours.
Milan Malpensa, Italy
The Volandia Park & Museum of Flight outside Milan’s Malpensa Airport is home to a Douglas DC-9-32 (plus a McDonnell Douglas MD-82).
It is MM62012 (47595/709), formerly used as Italy’s presidential transport aircraft which flew various heads of state and even the Pope.
Stored at this airport is 4L-GNN (47657/787) and 4L-GNL (48134/980), both DC-9-51s formerly flown by various European airlines and, most recently Sky Georgia. They are unlikely to fly again.
The majority of surviving Douglas DC-9 aircraft today can be found in Africa, Central and South America, with a number of ground trainers also scattered across the United States and Canada.
It is thought the only active passenger-carrying examples can be found in Kenya.