Lets Get An Airliner for Founders' Plaza!

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Lets Get An Airliner for Founders' Plaza!

Postby ZuluLima on Tue May 13, 2014 2:16 pm

Brainstorming Thread to discuss possibilities of having a retired airliner acquired and displayed at Founders' Plaza. Welcoming all feedback regarding:

> Do you want such a thing?
> Which type/livery would be best for the location?
> Who would be willing to donate one?
> What would be the acquisition cost if donation is not available?
> What funding options are there?
> Where, exactly, would it fit?
> Selling this idea to the airport board
> Which department is even in charge of Founders? Contact info?
> Do any of us have contacts in any organization that could help?

I'll do some research later and post what I can find if anything. In the meantime, your honest opinions please.
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Re: Lets Get An Airliner for Founders' Plaza!

Postby PlanoTXWX on Tue May 13, 2014 3:04 pm

Wonder if there are records that go back to the beginning of DFW? I say find out who landed the first plane at DFW to begin "official" business. Was it a 727? Livery wise...I say the American Astrojet would look great. Finding someone to donate a plane will be easy, imho, but getting it moved, painted and on a pole will be hole 'nother story.
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Re: Lets Get An Airliner for Founders' Plaza!

Postby RicHicks on Tue May 13, 2014 3:13 pm

There are development plans for Founders Plaza already in place (not to throw water on the campfire). Not sure how this would fit in with these "guidelines".

http://www.dfwairport.com/cs/groups/pub ... 092746.pdf
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Re: Lets Get An Airliner for Founders' Plaza!

Postby RicHicks on Tue May 13, 2014 3:24 pm

An alternative option: talk to the dealership at the corner of Texan Trail and 114/121 and have them add it to their property
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Re: Lets Get An Airliner for Founders' Plaza!

Postby PlanoTXWX on Tue May 13, 2014 3:45 pm

RicHicks wrote:There are development plans for Founders Plaza already in place (not to throw water on the campfire). Not sure how this would fit in with these "guidelines".

http://www.dfwairport.com/cs/groups/pub ... 092746.pdf


Wow, first time I've seen this doc. Looks like an ambitious, costly plan that would certainly bring out lots of visitors. A plane-on-a-stick would fit nicely, but I can't imagine this plan ever being approved in our tight budget climate.

Probably not the car dealership, but maybe the local government(Grapevine?) placing a plane at the intersection of 121/114/Texan Trail would be a place to start. A plane at Founders may have limited viewers, but up the street at 121/114 it would be seen by thousands daily.
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Re: Lets Get An Airliner for Founders' Plaza!

Postby ZuluLima on Tue May 13, 2014 7:19 pm

PlanoTXWX wrote:Wonder if there are records that go back to the beginning of DFW? I say find out who landed the first plane at DFW to begin "official" business. Was it a 727? Livery wise...I say the American Astrojet would look great. Finding someone to donate a plane will be easy, imho, but getting it moved, painted and on a pole will be hole 'nother story.


Tried a quick search for the first jet, but only found references to the Concorde that was flown in to inaugurate. I think 727 would be about the largest type to reasonably expect for this project. In my mind it's an ERJ-140 sitting out there.

As for a donation being easy, I disagree, but you never know, it could end up being just that. You are quite correct about the moving costs. If we could go to the airport with aircraft in hand, maybe they would take care of that side of things. Also, (2 birds as they say) if the aircraft is donated straight from retirement then flight costs and painting may or may not be an issue if it is donated in acceptable condition.

Poll about poles: Who thinks it should be mounted and who thinks it should be on gear? I vote on gear (keep it low).

RicHicks wrote:An alternative option: talk to the dealership at the corner of Texan Trail and 114/121 and have them add it to their property


I would have great misgivings about letting a dealership have anything to do with this, or having it displayed anywhere other than the immediate vicinity of Founders.

RicHicks wrote:There are development plans for Founders Plaza already in place (not to throw water on the campfire). Not sure how this would fit in with these "guidelines".


Now that is a good find. Keep in mind a few things however. 1. That is just a study of criteria, not a master-plan. 2. I agree that a plane would add nicely to their vision. 3. None of the original "cheap" enhancements have even been added to FP yet. Now is the perfect time to get something done, while there is space and time. 4. That was quite a pie-in-the-sky vision of the FP area. Reminds me of this:

Image

I don't expect either to happen.

So I take it no one will be up in arms should this plan proceed? If anyone else will take this seriously, I will as well, and we will at the very least find out whether this is possible. As someone who has spotted and worked at the airport for years I feel like this would be a great way to contribute something substantial to the aviation scene here. It would also be quite a coup for this website and its small but growing band of members. Founders is perhaps my favorite place in the metroplex, and it REALLY should have a plane (and restrooms, but I digress).
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Re: Lets Get An Airliner for Founders' Plaza!

Postby RicHicks on Tue May 13, 2014 7:32 pm

FYI I was not serious. And as to having a mock aircraft so close to future perimiter taxi ways I am pretty sure it will be a no from the airport board.
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Re: Lets Get An Airliner for Founders' Plaza!

Postby ZuluLima on Tue May 13, 2014 8:21 pm

Too late, they beat us to it! ...just kidding, this is a size reference showing an ERJ and MD-80:

Image

RicHicks wrote:FYI I was not serious. And as to having a mock aircraft so close to future perimiter taxi ways I am pretty sure it will be a no from the airport board.


Not serious refers to the dealership thing right? Doesn't matter, all ideas are valid in brainstorming. As for the "mock" aircraft, it isn't mock, and it wouldn't have to be on land allocated to the taxiway, etc. As with anything else, proximity is (mostly) irrelevant; beyond the fence is beyond the fence. The above illustration shows a viable positioning of aircraft well clear of controlled areas.
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Re: Lets Get An Airliner for Founders' Plaza!

Postby Greg on Tue May 13, 2014 9:16 pm

Thanks Zulu Lima for starting this topic, great discussion so far. I've thought for the past year or two that it would be great to park an old AA Super 80 at Founders, glad to see others now discussing it. Seems to me there is plenty of space in the grass north of UPS and would be out of the sight lines of approaching or departing aircraft on 18/36.

Certainly AA has plenty of S80s that are being retired, with no real hope of flying again. Of course, most of these I guess are owned not by AA but leasing companies. If AA had a few old ones in their possession that were to be retired, they could easily park it at DFW and later it could be put into position at FP. Sit it on some poles about 3-5 feet above ground. I realize of course there is a lot more to it than simply parking and towing it over. However, there have been a handful of S80s and other planes (FedEx 727s) donated to various outfits in recent years. Good PR and probably a tax write-off. They could call it an external exhibit of the CR Smith Museum.

A 727 would be cool, but really they have been out of the mix for well over 10 years, probably not as easy to procure as a S80.

I also think the S80 (in classic livery) is the most fitting, given its prominence in AA history, and as AA is the dominant carrier at DFW, it seems to be perfect. After all, how many of us have sat at both the old and new FP and cursed the never ending line of S80s that come in front of our cameras? Certainly more of these available than other aircraft?

After acquisition and install costs, budget would be needed for lighting if used... what else? It would really just sit there? Maybe some paint every now and then.

As for the airport PDF on FP plans, that is interesting, but what are the chances? Looks like the focus now is on developing the south end for commercial use. I'd be happy with a few restrooms at FP, a lunch truck is fine but I don't much care either way. Fix the static binoculars maybe too.

Finally, while we are at it... off topic a bit, but let's add an "international style" Dallas / Fort Worth lighted sign on top of Terminal D... like you see at AMS, FRA, NRT and other airports.
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Or, How About Modern Art Instead?

Postby PlanoTXWX on Wed May 14, 2014 8:05 am

Why not find an artist that will place parts of a plane(even cast in bronze) in ways that it looks like a plane? Have the Tail our toward 114, a wing tip tilting up in the center island and maybe the nose area over toward UPS. It would look nice from the air, and the parts if cast correctly could be used as ares for tables...
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