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Silver Birds

Updated: Aug 14, 2022

My latest acquisition has arrived and sits on its display shelf. The model in question is an American Airlines 767-200 by Dragon Wings. When I started collecting, I didn’t think I was going to be building fleets of airlines other than Viasa. But as the collection follows its natural course, some fleets of other airlines are starting to appear.

AA not only was the most prominent international airline in Venezuela for many years, but it also was one of the airlines in which I traveled the most as a kid in the 1990s and 2000s. No wonder a noticeable concentration of silver birds has formed in my modest collection.

Since the downfall of Pan Am up until the sanctions of 2019 AA’s 727-200s, 757s, A300s, 767s, and 737-800s were staples of CCS’s traffic. You had to be lucky to find the international terminal without at least one silver bird parked somewhere. During its peak AA was offering five daily flights to MIA as well as single daily services to JFK, SJU and DFW.

From the mid to late nineties AA also offered a daily flight between Miami and Maracaibo. Service started around 1995/96 on 727-200s, but it only lasted about a year initially. Service was restored around 1998 with 737-800s and was eventually upgraded to 757s in early 2006. Eventually, Maracaibo was downgraded again to a mix of 737-800 and A319s, and the frequency significantly reduced shortly before the sanctions of 2019.

The first time I visited the U.S. was on board an AA 727-200 in 1994. On a flight that took us from Caracas to Miami, where we boarded a second AA 727-200 to continue our journey to Houston.

A300s and 767s were generally seen covering JFK.

Dragon Wings 767-200 N301AA, Gemini Jets 727-200 N718AA

Dragon Wings 767-300 N351AA, Gemini Jets 727-200 N718AA

Aeroclassics A300-600 N80058

727s were the workhorses between MIA and CCS, eventually replaced by 737-800s.

Dragon Wings 727-200 N866AA (front), Gemini Jets 727-200 N718AA (middle)

NG Model 737-800 N955AN, Dragon Wings 737-800 N951AA (Astrojet colors)

NG Model 737-800W N936AN

757s covered every single AA route out of CCS.

NG Model 757-200 N645AA, Dragon Wings A300-600 N59081

My AA fleet:

The 747-100 is completely outside of my collecting criteria, but it is one of those models that can fit in any collection. The great American jumbo wearing the livery of an airline proud to bear the name.

The MD-11 is also one of the outsiders of my collection, but I got it on a visit to the C.R. Smith Museum in DFW, so it passes as a souvenir. I did get to see them at MIA, so it also brings some memories back.

While the MD-80s never visited Venezuela, I flew on them a few times between Miami and Houston, and I always found these “advanced DC-9s” to be very cool.

Left: Gemini Jets N573AA, Right: Dragon Wings N473AA

Because you can’t have too many 727-200s…

Left: Gemini Jets N718AA, Right: Dragon Wings N866AA

Another very small criterion of my collection, besides the visitors of Venezuela, includes the domestic traffic of the Houston skies of the nineties, this is really where the AA MD-80s fit in my collection. So, I am thinking that some American Eagle ATRs and ERJs would nicely fill in some of the empty spaces on those shelves, if I can find them of course…

While snapping these pics I also realized that maybe is time to look for a wingletted 757. Up until recently winglets were a bit too modern for my collection, but as priorities get fulfilled new models can be considered. Unfortunately, this means a new loop of the never-ending cycle of chasing sold-out models that I did not get when released because they did not attract me at the time. Oh well, it would be too boring otherwise.

Jorge A. Zajia


Oscar Garcia
Oscar Garcia
Mar 27, 2022

Excelente blog JAZ, te felicito por esta impresionante colección. Saludos y gracias por compartir


Leonardo Mello
Leonardo Mello
Mar 27, 2022

Fantastic models! These silver bullets were so beautiful. Nice to see that Dragon Wings had a good release run of AA birds!


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