The McDonnell Douglas MD-80 is a series of twin-engine, short- to medium-range, single-aisle commercial jet airliners. It was lengthened and updated from the DC-9. This series can seat from 130 to 172 passengers depending on variant and seating configuration.
The MD-80 series was introduced into commercial service on October 10, 1980 by Swissair. The series includes the MD-81, MD-82, MD-83, MD-87, and MD-88. These all have the same fuselage length except the shortened MD-87. The series was followed into service in modified form by the MD-90 in 1995 and the Boeing 717 (originally MD-95) in 1999.
This section needs additional citations for verification. (July 2015) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Douglas Aircraft developed the DC-9 in the 1960s as a short-range companion to their larger DC-8. The DC-9 was an all-new design, using two rear fuselage-mounted turbofan engines, and a T-tail. The DC-9 has a narrow-body fuselage design with five-abreast seating, and holds 80 to 135 passengers depending on seating arrangement and aircraft version.
The DC-9 family was produced in 2441 units: 976 DC-9s, 1191 MD-80s, 116 MD-90s and 155 B717s.. The 8,000th Airbus A320 was delivered on 1 February 2018. The 10,000th Boeing 737 was rolled-out on March 13, 2018.
The development of MD-80 series began in the 1970s as a lengthened, growth version of the DC-9-50, with a higher maximum take-off weight (MTOW) and a higher fuel capacity. Availability of newer versions of the Pratt & Whitney JT8D engine with higher bypass ratios drove early studies including designs known as Series 55, Series 50 (refanned Super Stretch), and Series 60. The design effort focused on the Series 55 in August 1977. With the projected entry into service in 1980, the design was marketed as the "DC-9 Series 80". Swissair launched the Series 80 in October 1977 with an order for 15 plus an option for five.
The MD-80 is a mid-size, medium-range airliner. The series featured a fuselage 14 ft 3 in (4.34 m) longer than the DC-9-50. The DC-9's wing design was enlarged by adding sections at the wing root and tip for a 28% larger wing. The initial Series 80 first flew October 19, 1979. It was certified as a version of the DC-9.
It was the second generation of the DC-9, originally called the DC-9-80 and the DC-9 Super 80. The design was the second generation of the DC-9 with two rear fuselage-mounted turbofan engines, small, highly efficient wings, and a T-tail. The aircraft has distinctive five-abreast seating in the coach class. The aircraft series was designed for frequent, short-haul flights for 130 to 172 passengers depending on plane version and seating arrangement.
The MD-80 versions have cockpit, avionics and aerodynamic upgrades along with the more powerful, more efficient and quieter JT8D-200 series engines, which are a significant upgrade over the smaller JT8D-15, -17, -11, and -9 series. The MD-80 series aircraft also have longer fuselages than their earlier DC-9 counterparts, as well as longer range. Some customers, such as American Airlines, still refer to the planes in fleet documentation as "Super 80". This model is still flown extensively by American Airlines and Delta Air Lines. Comparable airliners to the MD-80 series include the Boeing 737-400 and Airbus A320.
The first MD-80, DC-9 line number 909, made its first flight on October 19, 1979. Test flying, despite two aircraft substantially damaged in accidents, was completed on August 25, 1980, when the first variant of MD-80, the JT8D-209-powered MD-81 (or DC-9-81), was certified under an amendment to the FAA type certificate for the DC-9. The flight-testing leading up to certification had involved three aircraft accumulating a total of 1,085 flying hours on 795 flights. The first delivery, to launch customer Swissair took place on September 13, 1980.[page needed]
As the MD-80 was not in effect a new aircraft, it continues to be operated under an amendment to the original DC-9 FAA aircraft type certificate (a similar case to the later MD-90 and Boeing 717 aircraft). The type certificate issued to the aircraft manufacturer carries the aircraft model designations exactly as it appears on the manufacturer's application, including use of hyphens or decimal points, and should match what is stamped on the aircraft's data or nameplate. What the manufacturer chooses to call an aircraft for marketing or promotional purposes is irrelevant to the airworthiness authorities. The first amendment to the DC-9 type certificate for the new MD-80 aircraft was applied as DC-9-81, which approved on August 26, 1980. All MD-80 models have since been approved under additional amendments to the DC-9 type certificate. In 1983, McDonnell Douglas decided that the DC-9-80 (Super 80) would be designated the MD-80. Instead of merely using the MD- prefix as a marketing symbol, an application was made to again amend the type certificate to include the MD-81, MD-82, and MD-83. This change was dated March 10, 1986, and the type certificate declared that although the MD designator could be used in parentheses, it must be accompanied by the official designation, for example: DC-9-81 (MD-81). All Long Beach aircraft in the MD-80 series thereafter had MD-81, MD-82, or MD-83 stamped on the aircraft nameplate.
Although not certified until October 21, 1987, McDonnell Douglas had already applied for models DC-9-87 and DC-9-87F on February 14, 1985. The third derivative was similarly officially designated DC-9-87 (MD-87), although no nameplates were stamped DC-9-87. For the MD-88, an application for a type certificate model amendment was made after the earlier changes, so there was not a DC-9-88, which was certified on December 8, 1987. The FAA's online aircraft registry database shows the DC-9-88 and DC-9-80 designations in existence but unused.
The second generation (later named MD-80s) was produced on a common line with the first generation DC-9s, with which it shares its line number sequence. After the delivery of 976 DC-9s and 108 MD-80s, McDonnell Douglas stopped DC-9 production. Hence, commencing with the 1,085th DC-9/MD-80 delivery, an MD-82 for VIASA in December 1982, all DC-9s produced were Series 80s/MD-80s.
During 1991, MD-80 production had reached a peak of 12 per month, having been running at approximately 10 per month since 1987 and was expected to continue at this rate in the near term (140 MD-80s were delivered in 1991). As a result of the decline in the air traffic and a slow market response to the MD-90, MD-80 production was reduced, and 84 aircraft were handed over in 1992. A further production rate cut resulted in 42 MD-80s delivered during 1993 (3.5 per month) and 22 aircraft were handed over.[page needed] MD-80 production ended in 1999.
The MD-90 was developed from the MD-80 series and is a 5-foot-longer (1.5 m), updated version of the MD-88 with a similar electronic flight instrument system (EFIS) (glass cockpit), and improved, and quieter IAE V2500 turbofan engines. The MD-90 program began in 1989, first flew in 1993, and entered commercial service in 1995.
Several other proposed variants never entered production. One proposal was the MD-94X, which was fitted with unducted fan turbofan engines. Previously, an MD-81 was used as a testbed for unducted fan engines, such as the General Electric GE36 and the Pratt & Whitney/Allison 578-DX.
The MD-95 was developed to replace early DC-9 models, then approaching 30 years old. The project completely overhauled the original DC-9 into a modern airliner. It is slightly longer than the DC-9-30 and is powered by new Rolls-Royce BR715 engines. The MD-95 was renamed Boeing 717 after the McDonnell Douglas—Boeing merger in 1997.
In February 2010, Aeronautical Engineers Inc. (AEI) based in Miami, Florida announced it was beginning a freighter conversion program for the MD-80 series. The converted aircraft use the "MD-80SF" designation. AEI was the first firm to receive a supplemental type certificate for the MD-80 family from the FAA in February 2013. The first conversion was undertaken on an ex-American Airlines MD-82 aircraft, which was used as a testbed for the supplemental type. The MD-80SF made its inaugural flight on 28 September 2012. AEI is certified to perform conversions on MD-81, MD-82, MD-83, and MD-88 aircraft. The launch customer for the conversion service is Everts Air Cargo. In October 2015, the MD-80SF was approved by the EASA. The first MD-80SF was delivered to Everts Air Cargo in February 2013.
This section needs to be updated.(August 2017)
The MD-80 series has been used by airlines around the world. Major customers have included Aerolíneas Argentinas, Aeroméxico, Aeropostal Aerorepublica, Alaska Airlines, Alitalia, Allegiant Air, American Airlines, Aserca, Austral Líneas Aéreas, Austrian Airlines, Avianca, China Eastern Airlines, China Northern Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Air System (JAS), Korean Air, Lion Air, Martinair Holland, Pacific Southwest Airlines (PSA), Reno Air, Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS), Spanair, Insel Air, Swissair, Trans World Airlines and Meridiana.
American Airlines was the first US major carrier to order the MD-80 when it leased twenty 142-seat aircraft from McDonnell Douglas in October 1982 to replace its Boeing 727-100. It committed to 67 firm orders plus 100 options in March 1984, and in 2002 its fleet peaked at more than 360 aircraft, 30 % of the 1,191 produced. It will remove all of its MD-80s by 2019, replacing them with 737-800s.
Due to the use of the aging JT8D engines, the MD-80 is not fuel efficient compared to the A320 or newer 737 models; it burns 1,050 US gal (4,000 l) of jet fuel per hour on a typical flight, while the larger Boeing 737-800 burns 850 US gal (3,200 l) per hour (19% reduction). Starting in the 2000s, many airlines began to retire the type. Alaska Airlines' tipping point in using the 737-800 was the $4 per gallon price of jet fuel the airline was paying by the summer of 2008; the airline stated that a typical Los Angeles-Seattle flight would cost $2,000 less, using a Boeing 737-800, than the same flight using an MD-80.
Midwest Airlines announced on July 14, 2008, that it would retire all 12 of its MD-80s (used primarily on routes to the West Coast) by the fall. The JT8D's comparatively lower maintenance costs due to simpler design help narrow the fuel cost gap.
This section includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (July 2015) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Dimensions: The basic "long-body" MD-80 versions (MD-81, MD-82, MD-83, and MD-88) have an overall length of 147 ft 10 in (45.06 m), and a fuselage length of 136 feet 5 inches (41.58 m) that is 4.62 m longer than the DC-9-50 and 13.5 m longer than the initial DC-9, the Series 10. Wingspan was also increased by 4.4 m in comparison with earlier DC-9s at 107 feet 10.2 inches (32.873 m). The aircraft's passenger cabin, from cockpit door to aft bulkhead, is 101 feet 0 inches (30.78 m) long and, as with all versions of the DC-9, has a maximum cabin width (trim-to-trim) of 123.7 inches (3.14 m).
Powerplant: The initial production version of the MD-80 was the Pratt and Whitney JT8D-209 18,500 lbf (82 kN) thrust powered MD-81. Later build MD-81s have been delivered with more powerful JT8D-217 and -219 engines.
APU: All versions of the MD-80 are equipped with an AlliedSignal (Garrett) GTCP85-98D APU as standard, which is located in the aft fuselage.
Flight deck: The MD-80 is equipped with a two crew flightdeck similar to that on the DC-9 from which it evolved. Later models could be equipped to a higher specification with EFIS displays in place of the traditional analogue instruments, TCAS, windshear detection, etc. An EFIS retrofit to non-EFIS equipped aircraft is possible.
Undercarriage: All versions of the MD-80 are equipped with a tricycle undercarriage, featuring a twin nose unit with spray deflector and twin main units with rock deflectors. The MD-80T, developed for the Chinese, differs in that the main units are each fitted with a four-wheel double main bogey undercarriage to reduce pavement loading.[page needed]
Aerodynamic improvements: From mid-1987, new MD-87-style low-drag "beaver" tail cones were introduced on all series of MD-80s, reducing drag and improving fuel burn. Some operators have been modifying the old DC-9-style cones on earlier-build MD-80s to the new low-drag style. Scandinavian Airlines System has done this, citing the improved economics and cosmetics from the modification.[page needed]
The MD-81 (or as it was originally known the DC-9 Super 81 or DC-9-81) was the first production model of the MD-80, and apart from the MD-87, the differences between the various long-body MD-80 variants is relatively minor. The four long-body models (MD-81, MD-82, MD-83, and MD-88) only differ from each other in having different engine variants, fuel capacities, and weights. The MD-88 and later build versions of the other models have more up-to-date flight decks featuring for example EFIS.
Performance: Standard maximum take-off weight (MTOW) on the MD-81 is 140,000 lb (64,000 kg) with the option to increase to 142,000 lb (64,000 kg). Fuel capacity is 5,840 US gallons (22,100 L), and typical range, with 155 passengers, is 1,565 nmi.[page needed]
Announced on April 16, 1979, the MD-82 (DC-9-82) was a new MD-80 variant with similar dimensions to those of the MD-81 but equipped with more powerful engines. The MD-82 was intended for operation from 'hot and high' airports but also offered greater payload/range when in use at 'standard' airfields. American Airlines is the world's largest operator of the MD-82, with at one point over 300 MD-82s in the fleet.
Originally certified with 20,000 lbf (89 kN) thrust JT8D-217s, a -217A-powered MD-82 was certified in mid-1982 and became available that year. The new version featured a higher MTOW (149,500 lb (67,800 kg)), while the JT8D-217As had a guaranteed take-off thrust at temperature of up to 29 degrees C or 5,000 ft (1,500 m) altitude. The JT8D-217C engines were also offered on the MD-82, giving improved Thrust specific fuel consumption (TSFC). Several operators took delivery of the -219-powered MD-82s, while Balair ordered its MD-82s powered by the lower-thrust -209 engine.[page needed]
The MD-82 features an increased standard MTOW initially to 147,000 lb (67,000 kg), and this was later increased to 149,500 lb (67,800 kg). Standard fuel capacity is the same as that of the MD-81, 5,840 US gal (22,100 L), and typical range with 155 passengers is 2,050 nmi (3,800 km).[page needed]
The MD-82 was assembled under license in Shanghai by the Shanghai Aviation Industrial Corporation (SAIC) beginning in November 1986; the sub-assemblies were delivered by McDonnell Douglas in kit form.[page needed] China had begun design on a cargo version, designated Y-13, but the project was subsequently cancelled with the conclusion of the licensed assembly of the MD-82 and MD-90 in China. In 2012, Aeronautical Engineers Inc. performed the first commercial freighter conversion of an MD-82.
The MD-83 (DC-9-83) is a longer range version of the basic MD-81/82 with higher weights, more powerful engines, and increased fuel capacity.
Powerplant: Compared to earlier models, the MD-83 is equipped with slightly more powerful 21,000 lbf (93 kN) thrust Pratt and Whitney JT8D-219s as standard.
Performance: The MD-83 features increased fuel capacity as standard (to 6,970 US gal (26,400 L)), which is carried in two 565 US gal (2,140 L) auxiliary tanks located fore and aft of the center section. The aircraft also has higher operating weights, with MTOW increased to 160,000 lb (73,000 kg) and MLW to 139,500 lb (63,300 kg). Typical range for the MD-83 with 155 passengers is around 2,504 nautical miles (4,637 km). To cope with the higher operating weights, the MD-83 incorporates strengthened landing gear including new wheels, tires, and brakes, changes to the wing skins, front spar web and elevator spar cap, and strengthened floor beams and panels to carry the auxiliary fuel tanks. From MD-80 line number 1194, an MD-81 delivered in September 1985, it is understood that all MD-80s have the same basic wing structure and in theory could be converted to MD-83 standard.[page needed]
In January 1985 McDonnell Douglas announced it would produce a shorter fuselage MD-80 variant, designated MD-87 (DC-9-87), which would seat between 109 and 130 passengers depending upon configuration. The designation was intended to indicate its planned date of entry into service, 1987.
Dimensions: With an overall length of 130 ft 5 in (39.75 m), the MD-87 is 17 ft 4 in (5.28 m) shorter than the other MD-80s but is otherwise generally similar to them, employing the same engines, systems and flight deck. The MD-87 features modifications to its tail, with a fin extension above the tailplane. It also introduced a new low drag "beaver" tail cone, which became standard on all MD-80s.
Powerplant: The MD-87 was offered with either the 20,000 lbf (89 kN) thrust JT8D-217C or the 21,000 lbf (93 kN) thrust -219.
Performance: Two basic versions of the MD-87 were made available with either an MTOW of 140,000 lb (64,000 kg) and MLW of 128,000 lb (58,000 kg) or an MTOW of 149,000 lb (68,000 kg) and an MLW of 130,000 lb (59,000 kg). Fuel capacity is 5,840 US gal (22,100 l), increasing to 6,970 US gal (26,400 l) with the incorporation of two auxiliary fuel tanks. Typical range with 130 passengers, is 2,370 nmi (4,390 km) increasing to 2,900 nmi (5,400 km) with two auxiliary fuel tanks.
Cabin: The MD-87 provides typical mixed-class seating for 114 passengers or 130 in an all economy layout (five-abreast 31 in and 32 in seat pitch). The maximum seating, exit limited, is for 139 passengers.
The MD-88 was the last variant of the MD-80, which was launched on January 23, 1986 on the back of orders and options from Delta Air Lines for a total of 80 aircraft.
The MD-88 is, depending on specification, basically similar to the MD-82 or MD-83 except it incorporates an EFIS cockpit instead of the more traditional analog flight deck of the other MD-80s. Other changes incorporated into the MD-88 include a wind-shear warning system and general updating of the cabin interior/trim. These detail changes are relatively minor and were written back as standard on the MD-82/83. The wind-shear warning system was offered as a standard option on all other MD-80s and has been made available for retrofitting on earlier aircraft including the DC-9.
Delta's earlier delivered MD-82s were upgraded to MD-88 specifications. When McDonnell Douglas was asked why these aircraft were MD-88s and not MD-82s, they said the customer, Delta Air Lines, thought its specification was sufficiently different to warrant a new designation. MD-88 deliveries began in December 1987 and it entered service with Delta in January 1988.
Performance: The MD-88 has the same weights, range, and airfield performance as the other long-body aircraft (MD-82 and MD-83) and is powered by the same engines. MDC quotes a typical range for the MD-88 as 2,050 nmi (3,800 km) with 155 passengers. Range with 155 passengers is increased to 2,504 nmi (4,637 km) with two additional auxiliary fuel tanks (similar to the MD-83). According to a Wall Street Journal article published March 9, 2015, "pilots and other safety experts have long known that when the MD-88's reversers are deployed, its rudder...sometimes may not be powerful enough to control deviations to the left or right from the center of a runway...safety board investigators, among other things, are looking to see if this tendency played any role in the crash.." referring to the crash of Delta Air Lines Flight 1086 at New York City's La Guardia Airport in March 2015.
This section needs additional citations for verification. (October 2012) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
McDonnell Douglas revealed at the end of 1990 that it would be developing an MD-80 improvement package with the intent to offer beginning in early 1991 for delivery from mid-1993. The aircraft became known as the MD-80 Advanced. The main improvement was the installation of Pratt & Whitney JT8D-290 engines with a 1.5 in larger diameter fan and would, it was hoped, allow a 6 dB reduction in exterior noise.
Due to lack of market interest, McDonnell Douglas dropped its plans to offer the MD-80 Advanced during 1991. Then in 1993, a "mark 2" MD-80 Advanced version reappeared with the modified JT8D-290 engines as previously proposed. The company also evaluated the addition of winglets on the MD-80. In late 1993, Pratt & Whitney launched a modified version of the JT8D-200 series, the -218B, which was being offered for the DC-9X re-engining program, and was also evaluating the possibility of developing a new JT8D for possible retrofit on the MD-80. The engine would also be available on new build MD-80s.
The 18,000 lbf (80 kN) to 19,000 lbf (85 kN) thrust -218B engine version shares a 98% commonality with the existing engine, with changes designed to reduce NOx, improve durability, and reduce noise levels by 3 dB. The 218B could be certified in early to mid-1996. The new engine, dubbed the "8000", was to feature a new fan of increased diameter (by 1.7 in), extended exhaust cone, a larger LP compressor, a new annular burner, and a new LP turbine and mixer. The initial thrust rating would be around 21,700 lbf (97 kN). A launch decision on the new engine was expected by mid-1994, but never occurred. The MD-80 Advanced was also to offer a new flight deck instrumentation package and a completely new passenger compartment design. These changes would be available by retrofit to existing MD-80s, and was forecast to enter service by July 1993.
The MD-80 Advanced was to incorporate the advanced flight deck of the MD-88, including a choice of reference systems, with an inertial reference system as standard fitting and optional attitude-heading equipment. It was to be equipped with an electronic flight instrument system (EFIS), an optional second flight management system (FMS), and light-emitting diode (LED) dot-matrix electronic engine and system displays. A Honeywell wind-shear computer and provision for an optional traffic-alert and collision avoidance system (TCAS) were also to be included. A new interior would have a 12% increase in overhead baggage space and stowage compartment lights that come on when the doors open, as well as new video system featuring drop-down LCD monitors above.
The lack of market interest for the MD-80 Advanced during 1991 led McDonnell Douglas to drop its plans for the development.
The MD-90-30 is a stretched variant with two more powerful V2500 engines. The MD-90ER extended range version was also offered.
The MD-95 was developed as a replacement for the earlier DC-9-30. After McDonnell Douglas and Boeing merged it was renamed and produced as the Boeing 717.
There were 404 MD-80 series aircraft in service as of July 2016, with operators including Delta Air Lines (113), American Airlines (47), Allegiant Air (40), LASER Airlines (10), Bulgarian Air Charter (10), Far Eastern Air Transport (8), Zagros Airlines (8), Kish Air (7), and other carriers with smaller fleets.
|1-class seats||155Y @32-33" (max 172)||130Y @31-33" (max 139)|
|2-class seats||143: 12J @ 36" + 131Y@ 31-34"||117: 12J+105Y|
|Length||147 ft 8 in (45.01 m)||130 ft 4 in (39.73 m)|
|Wing||107 ft 8 in (32.82 m) span, 1,209 sq ft (112.3 m2) area|
|Tail height||29 ft 7 in (9.02 m)||30 ft 4 in (9.25 m)|
|width||131.6 in / 334.3 cm fuselage, 122.5 in / 311.2 cm cabin|
|Cargo||1,253 cu ft (35.5 m3)
-83/88: 1,013 cu ft (28.7 m3)
|938 cu ft (26.6 m3)|
|Empty weight||77,900–79,700 lb (35,300–36,200 kg)||73,300 lb (33,200 kg)|
|MTOW||-81: 140,000 lb (63,500 kg)
-82: 149,500 lb (67,800 kg)
-83/88: 160,000 lb (72,600 kg)
|140,000–149,500 lb (63,500–67,800 kg)|
|Max cruise||Mach 0.8 (472 kn; 873 km/h)|
|Range[a]||-81: 1,800 nmi (3,300 km) @ 137 pax
-82: 2,050 nmi (3,800 km) @ 155 pax
-83/88: 2,550 nmi (4,720 km) @ 155 pax
|2,400–2,900 nmi (4,400–5,400 km)|
|Takeoff[b]||7,200–8,000 ft (2,200–2,400 m)||7,500 ft (2,300 m)|
|Fuel||5,850 US gal (22,100 L) -83/88: 7,000 US gal (26,000 L)|
|Engines (×2)||Pratt & Whitney JT8D-200 series|
|Thrust (×2)||18,500–21,000 lbf (82–93 kN)|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to McDonnell Douglas MD-80/MD-90.|
|McDonnell Douglas DC-9|
|McDonnell Douglas MD-80|
|McDonnell Douglas MD-90|
|McDonnell Douglas MD-95 (Boeing 717)|
|McDonnell Douglas DC-10||McDonnell Douglas MD-11|
|= Piston-engined||= Narrow-body jet||= Wide-body jet|