So, maybe this isn’t one of the holy grails of boombox collecting nor is it made by one of the big name boombox manufacturers. I don’t think it was ever used in a music video either. But, the Montgomery Ward Airline also known as the Gen-3996 is actually a pretty cool box. Airline was the house brand of Montgomery Ward and I believe were manufactured by a company in Taiwan.
Not a lot of flashy chrome and overall it’s a little subdued but definitely has a unique look to it. If you saw one laying on the side of the road you’d know what it was right away. Check out the cool knobs…
Those LED’s light up green and red to add a Christmasy effect to the box. It has some features too! AM, FM SW1, SW2, SW3 and a red LED signal strength meter. The sound comes out of 16cm woofers and 5cm tweeters and the single cassette has full auto shut off. Unfortunately it doesn’t have a Line in so no playing your iPod through unless you mod it.. I guess quite a few people agree with my assessment of its coolness because one recently sold for over $200 which isn’t bad for a boombox you’d probably laugh at before you saw it.
8 thoughts on “Montgomery Ward Airline”
Hello, I have one of this model. Tuner is of average sensitivity. Cassette deck sounds incredible, with punchy bass and crisp treble. Maybe one of the better cassette sections on a boombox. Output power is about 5W/Ch RMS on batteries, and about 8W/Ch RMS when plugged in. Since these are “true” power figures, this box is decently loud. Build quality is high, with a beefy power transformer and good quality components, but those little switches seen on the front panel are a weak link. They switch multiple sections of the circuit, and when they get dirty, the boombox goes bonkers. Of special note: I collect boomboxes, and the “stereo wide” feature on this box is one of the best I have ever heard. As you mention, I was initially attracted to the unique looks (part “street” box, part shortwave desk radio) and had to have it.
When I was a teenager 1982 I wotked a summer job for Maryland Parks and Recreation and saved enough money to buy an Airline , priced at 299.99 315.00 with taxes from Montgomery Ward department store. Great radio that was stolen from my Storeage unit in FYetteville NC. WHAT A LOSS. I would love to replace it with a perfect condition Airline.
Hello, I’m John and would like nothing more than to replace the Montgomery Ward Airline. If you know someone who has a pristine condition perfectly working model please contact me. I will pay a finders fee. God Bless.
Love the Montgomery Ward Airline. Please contact me if you know of one for sale. I will pay finders fee.
I had a airline boom box hmu at firstname.lastname@example.org
John Kelly did you ever find a MW Airline?
I’ve got a Montgomery Ward Gen 3997 and can not find much information about it.
I’m interested in selling it but do not know the price point.
Do not laugh at this boombox. It is manufactured by Shin-Shirasuna Electric Corp. under their brand SILVER.
This company manufactured Harman Kardon radios and TVs in the 80’s. Google the names Harman Kardon ST868 and Silver ST-858.
So this is a VERY COOL boombox.