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Difference Between MD-80, 81, 82....  
User currently offlineUniTED From Germany, joined Jan 2004, 312 posts, RR: 0
Posted (10 years 3 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 6169 times:

Hi everyone!

I was wondering what the differences between the MD-80 models are. I know that the MD-87 is shorter, but are there any visual differences in all the other MD-80 models?

All comments are welcome! (except for B. v A.)  Laugh out loud

11 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineMd11lover From Switzerland, joined Oct 2003, 444 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (10 years 3 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 6125 times:

I ve also wondered about that myself. Somehow i have a hard time differentiating them. The only ones i know for sure are the MD90 cause its super long and the DC9 cause its super short.  Smile


User currently offlineCanadianNorth From Canada, joined Aug 2002, 3388 posts, RR: 9
Reply 2, posted (10 years 3 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 6088 times:

MD-81... Basic strech of the DC-9 into the DC-9-80 or MD-80
MD-82... Basicaly an MD-81 with uprated engines for better perfromance/range
MD-83... Pretty much n MD-82 with even more powerful engines and some extra fuel capacity
MD-87... the socalled "short" version of the MD-80, featuring a shrink of the fuse for thinner routes
MD-88... n MD-80 with better engines, new flt deck, modified cabin and more range
MD-90... a slight strech of the MD-80 featuring a completly new set of engines

hope this helps...

What could possibly go wrong?
User currently offlineSafetyDude From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3795 posts, RR: 15
Reply 3, posted (10 years 3 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 6073 times:

Thanks for this bringing this up, and thanks for answering. I too have often wondered about the differences.


"She Flew For What We Stand For"
User currently offlineUniTED From Germany, joined Jan 2004, 312 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (10 years 3 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 6073 times:

Jeepers, I just realized that probably most people on this site might not know!!! The world may never know the difference!  Laugh out loud


User currently offlineUniTED From Germany, joined Jan 2004, 312 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (10 years 3 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 6052 times:

Thanks, CanadianNorth!

I guess there's no visual difference that is obvious on the outside. But thanks for the info, James!


User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11151 posts, RR: 59
Reply 6, posted (10 years 3 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 6012 times:

Let me clarify a few things. The MD-88 was a program offered for Delta to install a new glass flight deck on its MD-82s. The program was only offered for MD-82s.

It's simply an MD-82 flight deck upgrade.

The MD-90 featured many new improvements. In addition to being stretched and being powered by new, quieter, more powerful, more fuel efficient IAE V2500s, it included the same glass cockpit of the MD-88. The plane was also made with some newer, lighter composite materials. It also had larger fuel capacity for increased range. MD offered the MD-90ER, but as far as I know, no airline ever ordered any.


"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
User currently offlineKaiGywer From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 12163 posts, RR: 36
Reply 7, posted (10 years 3 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 5942 times:
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Even though they might look alike, the MD80 series and the MD90 are two totally different planes when it comes to parts. Very few parts will fit both, while most in the 80s series are interchangeable.

911, where is your emergency?
User currently offlineAZMD80 From Italy, joined Nov 2003, 290 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (10 years 3 months 22 hours ago) and read 5852 times:


Probably there is a visua difference between the different MD 80 series.
With the MD 87 production the rear "cone" of the fuselage was sobstituited by a "knife cone". This improvement was made on all the Md 80 production since them.


User currently offlineBucky707 From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 1028 posts, RR: 3
Reply 9, posted (10 years 3 months 18 hours ago) and read 5783 times:

Actually, even though there are some big differences between the 80 and 90, there are a lot of common parts.

User currently offlineElwood64151 From United States of America, joined Feb 2002, 2477 posts, RR: 6
Reply 10, posted (10 years 3 months 17 hours ago) and read 5725 times:


Several of the MD-80s had the "beaver tail" you are referring to. I've seen many names for it, but "beaver tail" is the only one I've seen from MDD/Boeing. In any event, after 1986, airlines had the option of adding the beaver tail to all but the MD-81. At NJ, our MD-83 and MD-87s all had this feature. All of our MD-82s had the conical tail. However, I've seen AA MD-82s with the "beaver tail" as well.

Outwardly, it is nearly impossible to tell the difference between an MD-81, -82, -83, or -88. The MD-90 is longer, has larger engines, and IIRC it has the high-top tail seen on the MD-87 and 717.

I would also like to clarify for anyone out there with the misconception that the 717 was simply a short MD-90. That is not the case. The 717 went back to the original DC-9-30 and -40 series and completely rebuilt them with the most advanced technology marketably available. The 717 is a completely new aircraft compared to the MD-80 or MD-90.


Those who fail to learn history are doomed to repeat it in summer school.
User currently offlineMD80Nut From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 892 posts, RR: 9
Reply 11, posted (10 years 3 months 16 hours ago) and read 5678 times:

After MDD introduced glass cockpits on the MD88, many airlines wanted them and had their MD82s and MD83s upgraded to them or delivered from the factory with them. The AA MD82s and MD83s I've been able to see up front had glass cockpits.

cheers, Ralph

Fly Douglas Jets DC-8 / DC-9 / DC-10 / MD80 / MD11 / MD90 / 717
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