North Carolina Newspapers

    The newest member of the fleet, the first production model of the new generation Boeing 737-
400, being christened by Piedmont founder Ttom Davis upon delivery of the aircraft at GSO.
on the inside
simulators “take off’
to new CLT facility
if someone said “PDID,”
what would you do?
on-time performance:
a year in review
Volume 39, number 8 September 1988
First 737-400 delivered to
The new Dash 400, pictured here during the delivery ceremonies at the Boeing factory in Seattle,
and four more just like it will begin operating in 14 of Piedmont’s markets from coast to coast in
In June 1986, Piedmont proudly announced that
it had placed the first airline order for a new gen
eration of the Boeing 737 aircraft—the 737 Series-
400 twinjet. The first production model rolled off
the Boeing assembly line last January, and upon
completion of an extensive flight testing program,
the Federal Aviation Administration awarded the
Dash 400 a type certificate in early September.
On September 15, the first of the shiny new
members of the Boeing 737 family ever delivered
taxied up to Gate 40 at Piedmont Triad Interna
tional Airport—right on schedule—to a round of
applause from employees and well-wishers.
The newest member of the fleet, bearing the
name “Thomas H. Davis Pacemaker,” was also
greeted by Piedmont’s founder and long-time
chairman Tom Davis and his friends and family.
Highly efficient, comfortable and “physically
attractive to our passengers,’ ’ aircraft number
N406US is the first of the 737-400’s ordered.
Eight more Dash 400’s will be delivered to Pied
mont before year-end.
On board for the historic delivery flight were
close to 70 Piedmont officials, guests and a group
of select news reporters from throughout the
Piedmont and USAir system. Its crew included
Captains C.D. McLean and Jim Sifford and GSO-
based Flight Attendants Mary Lynette Flowers,
Johanna Bell, and Ellen Sanderson.
The 737-400 is a twin-engine, transcontinental-
range jet, quite similar in appearance to the 737-
300 which preceded it. However, the Dash 400 is
about 10 feet longer and seats 18 additional coach
passengers for a total of 146 in dual-class config
uration, eight in first class and 138 in coach.
The new aircraft is equipped with high bypass
CFM56-3 engines and is one of the quietest and
most fuel-efficient jetliners available today. It
shares many of the advance-technology features
that were introduced with the Series 300 aircraft,
including a computerized flight management sys
tem, efficient wind design, greater use of weight-
saving materials, and state-of-the-art avionics.
“It’s a new baby, it will be treated as such. But
we will be flying it as a workhorse,’’ Tom Schick,
Piedmont’s president and chief operating officer
said during the delivery ceremonies at the Boe
ing Company factory in Renton, Washington.
Shortly thereafter, the aircraft lifted off for the
nonstop delivery flight to GSO.
Following installation of a 500-gallon auxiliary
fuel tank and inflight entertainment systems at
Piedmont’s Greensboro maintenance facility, the
new Dash 400 and three more just like it were to be
rapidly placed in revenue service. Delivery dates for
aircraft numbered N407US, N408US and N409US
were September 21, 27 and 28, respectively.
Effective with the October 1 schedule, the first
four Dash 400s may be spotted in 14 of Piedmont’s
vcirious markets from coast to coast: AVL, BOS,
PBI, PHX, SAN. The remaining five Dash 400’s due
this year are scheduled for delivery on October 19
and 31; November 14 and 22; and December 23.

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