Inside Red Bird III


Images – Nicole Blaszcyk

This is the plane the Red Wings will use for travel in 2011-12.

Given the amount of travel an NHL club does throughout the year, this beautiful new bird should serve as a competitive advantage. Having a comfortable sanctuary 30,000 feet above sea level is essential for dealing with West Coast trips, late-night postgame flights and those dreaded time changes.

Note: While this is our new team plane, it isn’t exactly new. The jet was once used by Midwest Express. That being said, nearly every aspect of the plane has gotten a complete makeover.

You can follow Jake Duhaime on Twitter at @jakeduhaime

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About Jake Duhaime

Social Networking Manager for the Detroit Red Wings
This entry was posted in Detroit Red Wings. Bookmark the permalink.

44 Responses to Inside Red Bird III

  1. Gary Myers says:

    With all the collectible items for the Red Wings, how come we have never been offered a REDBIRD plane collectible? Also, what seat does the octopus sit in during playoffs? GO WINGS!!!!

  2. Judi says:

    Beautiful Plane, it looks very comfortable. Cant wait for the games to start 🙂

  3. yzrmen says:

    Sweepstakes winner gets a trip on a 4 game west coast sweep on Red Bird III with players and hallway/bench view!!!!! Just sayin’!
    Think about it boys!
    Yzrmen out!

  4. Max says:

    How do we enter the contest? That would be awesome!

  5. christheopther says:

    where does the stanley cup go? since we will have to cart it around after this year…

  6. BlakeS says:

    What is it a uh DC-9?

  7. First Class Baby only way to travel! Go Wings!!!

  8. Doug says:

    looks great, now wheres the restuarant… hopefully not in the back.

  9. GoWings! says:

    Sorry, but… lame. Where is the Wings logo? Red leather chairs? Why does the outside color scheme include the color blue?
    A lost opportunity to make a cool, fun team plan with the team’s colors, logos, etc. Let’s get at least a little creative people!
    Generous Mr. I, please consider throwing in a just a little more coin to do it right and update that team bird with some spirit!
    Those wings (and the Red Wings) should fly proud!

  10. Robbi LeRoy says:

    Where are the Red Wing and Tiger logos? Red Bird II had them both painted on the outside of the plane. I hope they will be added before the season starts! Go Wings!! It’s going to be a great year!

  11. hockeychick13 says:

    DD would like to know if you will give rides. 🙂

  12. Bill Brown says:

    I’m sure some logo and customization work will be done. Give them time, it’s brand new!
    Agree a really cool thing, consistent with the Red Wings tradition, would be for a fan to get a ride on the plane. I’m not sure I would like a fan on a team trip, however. Take up space, knock the routine off, etc. I’m for allowing players some privacy when they leave the ice.

    • Jay says:

      @bill, while the plane is brand new to the wings, it was built in 1981 and delivered to Swiss Air, it then spent 5 years with Scandanavian Air, and Midwest got it in 2000.

      The wings have had it since early March.

  13. mark says:

    how bout taking buses or commercial flights…and pass the savings down to the ticketholders in one of the states with the worst economies…

    • Greg says:

      Commercial flights simply aren’t available when the wings need them, from various locations around the country. Additionally all teams charter flights this this very reasons. Could you imagine all the team but the red wings chartering flights? I’d imagine not many high profile players wouldn’t be interested in signing with the red wings. (3am commercial flights just don’t exists from San Jose to Detroit at that hour)

      Delta charters a large number planes for teams in various sports, particularly the NBA. When the NBA season starts and stops the planes are reconfigured for their various flying duties. Why the red wings have opted not to use Delta or another company allows the plane to be used and rented for other purposes. Which very well might give the team another source of revenue and keep or lower ticket prices.

  14. Russell Hayward says:

    Can’t wait

  15. Kathy Smith says:

    They deserve the best of everything!!!

  16. Bobby says:

    Will this plane be able to make it to the west coast without needing to refuel? It’s pretty rediculous how the old plane couldn’t make it and needed to refuel. More unnecessary fatigue on the players.

    • Jay says:

      @ bobby, it depends, boeing says it has a range of 1500-2700mi (depends on weight, engines, etc.) but the lower end estimate is based on commercial service (150 or so people, luggage, etc). I would guess the range would be closer to the 2700mi number maybe 2500mi, but if there are stong headwinds going west, they still may need to stop for fuel.

      • Bobby says:

        @ Jay; Ya I noticed on the way home they didn’t have to stop and figured it was because of the jet stream. The jet stream can’t make much more than a 10-15% difference so hopefully this plane can get 2-300 more miles of range and they can make it to LA without stopping. Hopefully next year we will be in the east and won’t have to go out as often.

  17. Jerry says:

    At first I thought Madano was just being a cry baby with his complaining about having to stop and refuel for all West Coast trips but then I began to see his point about the extra fatigue and time away from family. The Wings have to travel farther and more extensively then any other team in the league when you consider their record of making the post season and they should have a modern long range aircraft. Sadly, Red Bird III still falls short. This plane is already thirty years old and no where near as nice as the modern Boeing 757’s used by other teams in the league that is also why the airlines have been getting rid of these inefficient relics.

    • Jay says:

      @jerry. your first response was correct, I just looked at the fuel stops and most are only about 1/2 hour (usually in lincoln, NE). They still make it back in under 5 hours.

      • Jerry says:

        1/2 hour average for refueling when all goes well and no winter weather delays or deicing time but that does not include the decent, land and taxi time and then taxi, takeoff, and climb time too. But more importantly it is also about safety and comfort, this is a thirty year old aircraft and old aircraft suffer much worse safety and reliability records then newer more modern designs with modern all glass cockpit avionics. This particular aircraft was retired from service by the Midwest Airlines in mid 2008.

        • Jay says:

          @jerry, I do confess, I did cherry pick April (good weather) days for the refueling time, however, I do stand by my statement that west-coast to DTW (or PTK) is still about 5 hrs. While I also agree the HUD/glass cockpit is safer, I assume this has several aftermarket avionics added (TCAS, GPWS, etc.) Also,I don’t feel its accurate to say these have a “much worse” safety record then newer planes. Many of the accidents and safety issues that plague this model are related more to having been operated by 3rd world transport companies that do not use the regimented maintainence we do here in North America. I would not be surprised if this plane just came off a heavy check.

  18. James says:

    It looks just like an MD-87. I’m working on one right now and everything about it matches this one. I wish i could have had the chance to do the interior. I would have tricked it out more then that for the boyz!! Looks good tho..

  19. James says:

    From the work i’ve done on the MD-87 here where i am this plane is built like a tank. I was impressed by the fuselage and all the structure of the aircraft. I work on all types of planes and this one is very well built. I design custom interiors in private jets and have been on many and this is a pretty clean plane but not near the interior we do here. I think it’s great our Wings are travelling in comfort. They deserve all the comfort they can get with all of the grueling schedules there put through. Thanks for the pictures Jake. :O)

  20. Steve says:

    As long as they win, who cares?

  21. Jim Schoensee says:

    The whole country is in the midst of a double dip recession, but no way is that going to stop any sports team from spending the big $$ for their team’s comfort and convenience. It’s free enterprise, and the American people support their entertainment because they must have it. I’m just sayin’……………

  22. Diki Burns says:

    Well then i think all of those greed mongers in Congress and the Senate and that includes the big shot need to lead by example. The Red Wings did buy a used plane and if you notice the seats don’t look all that comfy to me and I heard their other plane was getting pretty clunky. I don’t think I want my Favorite team in all of sports to take any chances up in the sky, they take enough on the ice. Go Red Wings!.

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