FedEx announced earlier this month that it would begin to retire a considerable portion of the older widebody aircraft in its fleet. The announcement from the express carrier came on the heels the completion of its phase out of the 727-200F, which ceased flying for the Memphis giant earlier this month after more than 30 years of service. Included in the accelerated retirements are the A310F and the MD-10-10F/-30F. Five MD-10-10Fs and an equal number of A310-200Fs were retired in May, while future retirements will be accelerated for 47 more MD-10-10Fs, 16 A310-200Fs, and 13 MD-10-30Fs.
This MD-10-10F, N365FE (msn: 46601), named “Joey” (nearly all FedEx airplanes are named after the children of employees) is the oldest widebody in FedEx’s fleet.
Delivered to United Airlines in July of 1971, “Joey” was the sixth DC-10 ever built and the second oldest active DC-10 in the world, with the original Orbis Flying Eye Hospital (line number 2) being the only older and still extant example of the type.
Only a handful of MD-10-10s were built after 1980, and it lacks the range and payload capability of the later -30 variant. In light of growing maintenance costs and persistent high fuel prices the retirements aren’t so surprising.
FedEx has continued to purchase 757s for freighter conversion to replace the 727, and later this year will begin taking delivery of the first of the 46 new-build 767-300ERFs it ordered from Boeing in 2011-2012.
“Joey” is seen here on the famous “Canarsie Climb” – an actual term used by ATC – out of New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport, departing off of Runway 31L. The maneuver involves an immediate hard left turn after departure and sometimes a circle back over the airport at 5000 feet depending on where the aircraft is headed.
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