Note: Nine years ago today, Delta Air Lines formally emerged from bankruptcy protection; and this article is the ninth of a series of articles which I first wrote nine years ago today.
I was eagerly anticipating taking a tour of the Delta Air Lines Technical Operations Center. There have been many times when a flight on which I was a passenger would be number three or four for take-off and I would be staring out the window wondering exactly what they did in there.
At 1400 hours, I was able to find out. Granted, we were told that three hours of a typical tour of the facility was being condensed into one hour, but I did not mind. It was an opportunity to get a glimpse of the technical operations behind the scenes at Delta Air Lines.
Delta Air Lines aircraft, sporting now-obsolete livery and waiting to be serviced, sit nearby between an active runway and the Technical Operations Center hangars as they jealously look on to all of the attention that ship 638 has garnered on that day, April 30, 2007. Be thrilled, fellas. Just remember: you could have been displaying US Airways livery instead. Photograph ©2007 by Brian Cohen.
A Delta Air Lines McDonnell Douglas MD-88 aircraft begins its take-off on the runway located nearest to the Technical Operations Center hangars at the airport in Atlanta. Photograph ©2007 by Brian Cohen.
Photograph ©2007 by Brian Cohen.
Photograph ©2007 by Brian Cohen.
This photograph was taken in the Delta Air Lines Technical Operations Center. Note how each blade is numbered and sorted. Photograph ©2007 by Brian Cohen.
I have no witty explanation for this photograph, other than I thought it was cool. I realize that I Delta poor excuse to you for not providing a better description for this photograph, and I apologize. Photograph ©2007 by Brian Cohen.
Here are the two most recent liveries compared side-by-side. What do you think? Photograph ©2007 by Brian Cohen.
This is not the typical TUG vehicle that tows an aircraft. Rather than pulling and pushing it while attached to the front landing gear of an aircraft, it uses its “arms” on either side to gently grab snugly onto and around the actual fuselage of the aircraft to tow it instead. Candlelight, bubble bath and dinner at a fancy restaurant are NOT included. Photograph ©2007 by Brian Cohen.
Here is a photograph of the tail of ship 638, proudly sporting the new look of Delta Air Lines on its tail. The two-tone “widget” appears as though it is taking off towards the northeast, implying motion. Photograph ©2007 by Brian Cohen.
This is an actual photograph of the cockpit of ship 638, the aircraft used for Delta Air Lines flight 9998. The picture was taken in the afternoon while the aircraft was parked in the hangar after the bankruptcy emergence festivities had concluded for the day on April 30, 2007. Photograph ©2007 by Brian Cohen.
Did you know that approximately 53% of its engine business is for other customers, with the remaining 47% devoted exclusively for Delta Air Lines?
Not Included in the Original Article
Apparently, I let the photographs do the talking when the original article of what was to be only my first visit to the Technical Operations Center of Delta Air Lines was first posted nine years ago today. I have plenty of photographs from my multiple visits to the Technical Operations Center and may post them in a future series of articles — and you are more than welcome to ask questions.
Another view of the tail of Ship 638 sporting its new livery — but from a different, more dramatic angle. All photographs ©2007 by Brian Cohen.