Ssides From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 4059 posts, RR: 23 Posted (9 years 10 months 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 2956 times:
I was reading another series of posts concerning the differences of MD-80s and -90s, and realized that MD-80 production ceased in the late 80s/early 90s. It will be a decade or so before this happens, but what will happen to AA's MD-80 fleet (300+ planes, I think) when these jets get too old to fly? What will be a good replacement? Any predictions?
ATA L1011 From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 1361 posts, RR: 7 Reply 2, posted (9 years 10 months 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 2911 times:
Actually MD-80 Production didnt end until 1999(because this product along with the MD-90 was competing directly with Boeings own 737-800/900) and it was delivered to TWA (I worked for TWA at that time), its hard to say what will replace them. Most likely it will be more 738's , it will be years upon years before we see the last M80 leav the fleet. I will be well into middle age,lol!
Journal of Aerospace and Defense Industry News Dec. 29th, 1999
Boeing delivers last ever MD-80 to TWA
In ceremonies attended by more than 1,000 employees, government officials and other guests Dec. 21 at the Boeing plant in Long Beach, Calif., Trans World Airlines, Inc., took delivery of the last MD-80 to come off the twinjet production line.
The airplane marks the 26th MD-80 delivered to TWA this year. In February, TWA will begin taking deliveries of the new 100-passenger Boeing 717 as the airline continues to rejuvenate its fleet. TWA has placed firm orders for 50 717s and has options for 50 more.
The final MD-80, an MD-83 model featuring non-stop range of approximately 2,880 statute miles, brings to 102 the number of MD-80 twinjets operated by TWA. The airline also flies DC-9s and Boeing 727s, 757s and 767s.
During the ceremonies, Long Beach Mayor Beverly O'Neill christened the last MD-80 "Spirit of Long Beach" in honor of all the men and women who have built MD-80s for two decades at the Long Beach facility.
Boeing announced in May 1998 that it would phase out production of the MD-80, as well as the MD-90. The last MD-90 is scheduled for delivery early next year. Both airplanes are produced on the same Long Beach final assembly line.
TWA's MD-83 is configured in the airline's new Trans World First arrangement, including 20 first-class seats. Overall, the airplane cabin will seat 142 passengers. The airplane is painted in TWA's distinctive new livery featuring a golden globe on the forward fuselage. The MD-83s are powered by two Pratt & Whitney JT8D-219 engines.
"This day is especially historic because TWA has now come full circle," said William F. Compton, TWA's president and chief executive officer. "Ironically, not only is TWA taking delivery of the last MD-80 twin-engine jet to be made by the former McDonnell Douglas work force, but in 1933, TWA took delivery of the first twin-engine transport airplane, the DC-1, made by a predecessor of McDonnell Douglas, the Douglas Aircraft Company. TWA's DC-1 was the only one of its kind ever made." Jim Phillips, vice president and general manager of the Boeing Long Beach Division, expressed similar views.
"It is fitting that TWA is the airline accepting this last, historic MD-80 because it is this very airline that helped the Douglas Aircraft Company define the DC-1, the airplane that helped to pioneer comfortable and profitable passenger service," Phillips said.
The MD-80 is one of the most successful airplane programs in commercial aviation history. Douglas Aircraft, McDonnell Douglas and Boeing delivered 1,191 MD-80s from 1979 to 1999. More than 1,180 are still in service with more than 50 domestic and foreign airlines.
The first MD-80, then known as a DC-9 Series 80, or Super 80, made its initial flight on Oct. 18, 1979. Less than a year later, on Sept. 13, 1980, Swissair took the first delivery. The airplane entered passenger service the following month. TWA took delivery of its first MD-80, an MD-82, on April 18, 1983.
The MD-80 is the quiet, clean and modern successor to the popular DC-9. The company produced 976 DC-9s from 1965 to 1982.
Ssides From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 4059 posts, RR: 23 Reply 3, posted (9 years 10 months 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 2824 times:
I'm glad to hear the MD-80s will be around longer than I originally thought. I especially love the 2-3 seating configuration -- that's my main beef against the 737 and 757; I hate the 3-3 configuration.
Elwood64151 From United States of America, joined Feb 2002, 2477 posts, RR: 7 Reply 4, posted (9 years 10 months 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 2781 times:
Ssides: That MD-80 was originally intended as a 727-100 replacement. It was about the same size, pax-wise, but much more efficient with only two engines and two pilots.
The thing is: There really is no "replacement" aircraft for the MD-80. The 737-700/800 are the closest in scale and purpose, but they very different in terms of operations and economics. There will be a great deal of trouble for all airlines that wish to "switch" from MD-80s to 737NGs. However, such changes have happened in the past (look at UA and its 737s and A320s, or with all airlines trying to find a 727-200 replacement).
For those few brave enough, the 717-200 will be sufficient for the MD-87, but until a 717-300 (and possibly -400) is built, there will be no real direct replacement for the MD-80. The likelyhood is that these two models will never be produced, and so we will see the end of the DC-9 line with the few 717-200s built.
But personally, I'm hoping that AA wakes up soon and realizes those F.100s are going to start costing a lot of money to fix, since parts will be in very short supply. It would make sense, then, for them to order the 713. Ditto with NW and its DC-9s.
Those who fail to learn history are doomed to repeat it in summer school.
Sllevin From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 3376 posts, RR: 6 Reply 6, posted (9 years 10 months 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 2655 times:
I don't think there's any replacement soon. Heck, it could be the A319NG for all we know, when the time comes. Maybe Lockheed will get back into the commercial business
I suspect that AA is not going to be in a position to replace the MD-80's for a long, long time. There should be no issues with Stage IV compliance, so they could easily be around 20 years more (especially those less than 10 years old today).
Just remember when it comes to "the right airplane" it's really more important that your airline is doing "the right thing." Southwest flies 737 on primarily short routes, and AA would kill to have costs within 1 cent/mile of Southwest's. Flying the 737-700 instead of the 717 isn't going to be the braking issue.
As a further aside, remember that AA, while they use the MD-80's well, still would like to pare down the fleet and ultimately replace some airframes with the 737, which can operate ORD-West Coast (which the MD-80 cannot).
Sllevin From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 3376 posts, RR: 6 Reply 11, posted (9 years 10 months 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 2346 times:
Ah, perhaps it's just the Bay Area that it can't quite make (it's another 110nm farther).
I'm still surprised, though, that they'd use it on those runs. CO uses the MD-80 SJC-IAH from time to time, but it's been weight-restricted on more than one occassion, even going eastbound. 1700sm in an MD-80 has certainly got to be close to the edge of its range. (whereas, pursuant to my previous comment, it would be a walk in the park for a 737NG).
PSU.DTW.SCE From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 6875 posts, RR: 29 Reply 19, posted (9 years 10 months 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 2071 times:
AA routinely flew ORD-West Coast with the MD-80's (-83's) prior to taking delivery of the 738's. They flew ORD-SAN,LGB,LAX,SJC,SFO,PDX,SEA with MD-80's among other larger aircraft. However as the 738's offer a superior product (comfort, IFE, newer look) than the MD-80 and are more efficient on longer mid-con routes. AA no longer flies the MD-80 from ORD to LAX, SJC, or SFO, mainly for competive reasons. Remember, they are going right up against UA in ORD. AA stated that the 738's will be used in mainly key business routes out of ORD, mainly be used as a 727-200 replacement in MIA, and to handle thinner trans-con routes (Smaller than 752).
The MD-80's will still be around for a long time. They are still very economical to operate. Several of the TWA MD-80's will be parked as leases expire. Some will be configured to AA specs while many will not. This all depends on the fallout of the STL reductions and where AA decides to increase flying at their other hubs, or not.
The replacement will mostly be 737NG's. AA has over 400 options in the next 15 years. Currently only -800's exist but the -700's are a likely candidate too. We're still talking many years out from now though.
Dutchjet From Netherlands, joined Oct 2000, 7864 posts, RR: 58 Reply 21, posted (9 years 10 months 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 1979 times:
With AA's huge 737NG order and options package, it was generally assumed that, over time, the 737NG family would replace AA's F100s, MD80s, 72S aircraft, with AA eventually operating all members of the 737NG family...at least, that was the plan, but so much has happened in recent years, its hard to say.
In a few years time, if AA (and the other US airlines) can figure out a way to make money again, look for AA to place a follow up 737NG order, likely a mix of 73Gs and 738s, to begin the MD80 replacement program; AA's MD80 fleet is huge, and the replacement process will take at least 15 years to complete from whatever date it begins.
Deltaflyertoo From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 1589 posts, RR: 1 Reply 23, posted (9 years 10 months 20 hours ago) and read 1793 times:
I have one question regarding the 737NG and AA and all airlines for that matter:
ALthought the MD-80 can't do transcon, it has proven itself to be very reliable on medium and short haul routes. If AA did replace it w/ 737NGS, aren't those too heavy and inefficient for the short routes out of DFW, to say IND, STL, MSY, ATL, IAH etc. etc. Yes, I know the plane will fly those routes some day, but only as a continuation of a longer flight.
Same w/ UAL's Airbuses, would they really be efficient to replace all the routes the airline has 737s on?
My point is, the market for the 737NG and Airbus is lucrative, but IMO, the plane only makes sense on the longer haul routes. I can't imagine AA having replacing its entire MD-80 fleet w/ 737NGs. I think 10 years from now a new next generation 120-140 seater designed only for 1000NM or less flights will be built by Airbus and Boeing. Perhaps a 737-800SR (short range).
Tan flyr From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 1847 posts, RR: 0 Reply 24, posted (9 years 10 months 19 hours ago) and read 1741 times:
Another thought..although a long shot.....when the day of finally putting that list of frames to build at Renton, I hope the 757 line has survived long enough that AA can build on its fleet of 752's and order some 753's for some of the hi density markets. The 753 is a cool ship!
Remember another thing....look how much life NW is getting out of those DC-9's...AA could run a number of the MD-80s thru the shop and get an extra 5 or more years out of them. Maybe P & W will have a fix for stage 4, or an improved engine that meets 4 and squeezes more flight out of every gallon of fuel by then.
My bet..you'll see those MD-80's on the property for 15-18 years yet. Don't count any original Douglas product out too early....
Look...up in the sky..4 contrails....its a DC-8!!!!!
25 Elwood64151: Interesting that MD-80s will not meet Stage-IV, since when they were introduced they were among the quietest aircraft in the world. Perhaps the CFM-56
26 Cloudy: My point is, the market for the 737NG and Airbus is lucrative, but IMO, the plane only makes sense on the longer haul routes. ----- The A320 and 737NG