Im not too sure if ive got the right forum here but here it goes anyway. I was just wanting to ask what people's opinions are on the 737-200. I recently flew to and from Dublin with Ryanair o the 200 and ive gotta say on landing at Dublin i thought we'd crashed. Reverse thrust on and i thought the windows were gonna smash and it seemed like an eternity before we stopped. My opinions of it are that it is a very dodgy, old aircraft but that is only my opinion and i am very interested to see what other opinions people have ofthe aircraft.
PS. Im going to be using the 200 as a training airframe next year as well for a college course so i better not slag it off too much, lol
Well any aircraft can suffer a hard larding, regardless of age. I was a punter on a BA 747-400 landing at LHR last year in a 30 kt crosswind. We hit hard enough to make some of the cabin fittings came down, these things happen, sometimes the poor blighter at the pointy end is having a bad day, sometimes him up above is trying to make life difficult for us.
It is an old aeroplane though and those low by-pass ratio turbojets make a lot of noise and vibration, hence the windows and stuff rattling. Which runway did you land on? If it was 10, chance is they just used idle reverse (which would still make alot of noise and rattling) as the terminal buildings are at the far end of the runway. No point in hammering the reverse thrust and brakes to make the first exit when you can do a slow decel and vacate at the far end of the runway on the last RET and save a few minutes taxi time. This is a very common occurence at Stansted when 05 is in use, lots of people requesting "can we roll to the end" particularly if parking in the C or D culdusacs.
Hope that offers some explanation and relieves the fear you may have had a near death experience.
Nothing wrong with the 737-200. The bucket thrust reversers really are effective and the engines make that lovely crackling noise similar to the Rolls Royce Avons in the Canberra bomber. as the power (in the 737) winds up on take off or in reverse. The heavy landings and sometimes harsh braking are caused by pilot input - not the fault of the aeroplane.
I think a lot of your discomfort stems from a bad weather day, a bad hair day (for the pilot), and probably sitting aft of the wing. There is no doubt the -200 is one powerfully noisy aeroplane! I once sat in the cabin crew seats right down the back and did not expect that level of noise. I looked across at the 2 stewardesses wondering if we were going to be doing an emergency evacuation, and they were sitting there quite happily sign languaging to each other. I once sat halfway down an AA stretched DC9 thingy, and I couldn't believe the peace and quiet- nowhere in the cabin of a -200 came anywhere near.
Not necessarily a 'bad hair day' for the pilot. Not every landing has to be a 'greaser' with the main gear lightly kissing the tarmac. On a wet runway, for example, with the risk of aquaplaing, it is sometimes better to make what is often referred to as 'firm contact'. Holding off in the flare also reduces the amount of stopping distance available.
As far as noise is concerned, sitting behind the wing in a 737 will be noisy in the cabin, whereas the DC9 has its engines mounted at the rear, behind the passenger cabin, hence the low noise.
Good to see some support for the old 732. Nothing compares to that roar from those low slung jets on takeoff - in this age of politically correct noise regs, I always rush out and look up when one goes over my home on T/O. Not many of them in the UK though, but staple regional airliner in Southern Africa.... I was sad to hear that SAA was phasing them out in favour of 'buses - but at least BA/Comair still roaring them around!
Of the 737 variants I've flown, the -200 is by far the easiest to handle and the least upset by turbulence. Gusting severe crosswinds were easy to handle and the spool up time on the old Pratts was so quick compared to the modern CFM's and the like. The fact that they are now getting on in years does not mean they are becoming "dodgy", in fact, aside from the basic airframe, most components have probably been changed several times since they left good old Seattle anyway.
So I wouldn't worry too much if you experienced a bumpy landing, these things happen and you should enjoy the P&W noise, for soon they shall be no more than a distant memory (to those of us 73 drivers with hearing aids anyway!).
I recall flying on FR 737-200s four times. At touch down the reversers were deployed and a mass of noise filled the cabin. Also with the effects of the reversers and the autobrake we where forced forwards out of our seats. I have to say the Ryanair pilots made pretty smooth landings at EIDW and EGCC except from the last time I flew with them due to prevailing bad weather.
Allow me to wallow in nostalgia for a second or two. The 737-200 was the first grunty jet I flew - leaving aside the dainty little single seat Vampire and the F28 Kiddy Cart. As most pilots did (or I assume they did) I tended to over-control on the ailerons on late final approach with the result that we wing waggled all the way down to the flare. Only then did the hard runway stop the rocking and rolling caused by my hamfistedness.
Enter Joe Ziskovsky - the meanest toughest mother of Boeing instructor that ever graced this planet. He told me to hold the control wheel ever so lightly "like you were milking a mouse". It worked like a charm, and a quarter of a century later I give the same advice to my students in the simulator - only in less forceful terms that old Joe Z did.
There was this little island in the Central Pacific where they had lots of money and the obese young bloods got smashed on Australian Foster's Ale and had 1500cc Honda Goldwings and other massive motor bikes.
As we opened up the JT8D-17's to 2.18 EPR in the lovely -200, the ground trembled and spectators put their fingers into their ears. At the same time the passengers would be treated to the sight of an islander head down (no crash-hat) roaring down the island road in his Goldwing 50 yards off our wing-tip as he tried to race us. He would be well ahead by the 80 knot call but we had him by the balls by the 50 tonne VR at flap 10.
Mind you, I always wondered how many of these riders nearly ended up in the Pacific Ocean as they negotiated the 45 degree bend in the road just a few yards from the end of the runway!
Some of my best ever memories are as a pax in the old 732! I used to travel from London to Prestwick every second weekend with ryanair in the -200 and my favorite seat was just behind the wing where I could hear the old JT8Ds whine and roar on takeoff WOW! I also know pilots who fly the 200 and they say it is very easy to fly and flies like a dream!! I have been through all sorts of weather in it and I have never felt as safe on any other aircraft as I do on the 200!! infact I went to Malta lastyear on a A320 and all the way over I was thinking of it's +2.5G max on the wings, what if it hit a sudden updraft?? the bloody wings would be ripped off, what a badly designed aircraft.
Er......I think 2.5g is pretty standard on all modern pax jets. It was a fun machine to operate, not quite as versatile as the Trident (as in full reverse power inflight), but the BA ones were impossible to keep pointed at the runway- always a constant wing waggle to keep lined up. I believe there was some story about the fact BA had autoland in them and the CAA demanded higher power ailerons for some reason- never established if it was true. Now the 747- there is a dream!
the -200 is a great aroplane to fly very demanding if you come from an all EFIS plane. I could recall my training capt saying "flying a 747-400 is like driving a truck flying a 73-200 is like driving a sport car". yes I have learned a lot being in control of this aeroplane,no calculators to help you out you have to handle and be well ahead of the 200.
As a Ryanair pilot I'm very pleased to see this thread on the venerable 200, or 737 Jurassic as some call it! It is the first jet aircraft I have flown and I really enjoy flying it. I feel very fortunate to have been able to start my career on the 200 and to have logged a couple of thousand happy an noisy hours in the book before we retire them.
Pilots in the company who have gone across to the NG may enjoy the glass cockpit and lower workload courtesy of the better autoflight systems, but they all miss the sweet hand flying of the 200! As my first jet it will always be a special aircraft for me!
(Oh and by the way that wasn't my landing in Dublin...honest!)