Delta retires last DC-9, oldest plane in US fleet

January 7, 2014 

Delta Air Lines is retiring its last DC-9s, the oldest passenger plane in the fleet of the big U.S. airlines.

The final passenger flight was planned for Minneapolis to Atlanta on Monday evening. McDonnell Douglas delivered the first DC-9s in 1965, and eventually built 976 of them. The plane was noteworthy at the time because it was small enough to fly to airports in smaller cities that had previously been served by propeller-driven planes. The plane flew for Delta, Continental and several smaller regional airlines.

The one slated to fly the final scheduled flight was built in 1978. The final flight prompted dozens of aviation enthusiasts to buy tickets, and they lined up at the window to watch the plane come in from New York.

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