DL021 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 11454 posts, RR: 73
Reply 1, posted (10 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 7449 times:
Very simply....very, very simply...I am certain others will elaborate further.
It came on the market just before large long range twins came out and enjoyed better operating efficiencies.
The cargo operators like them because of their excellent thrust to weight ratios which allow them to take off with serious loads. They were also available on the market relatively cheap for a while, although the values have lev Veelled off.
GARUDAROD From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 1554 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (10 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 7412 times:
Personally, I love flying on the MD-11, but that may have to do with
being involved with the plane from the design stage.
The MD-11F actually has more useable volume space than the B747F.
It turns out it is the ideal aircraft for small package carriers like FEDEX
and UPS, where volume is more critical than total mass weight.
Laxintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 28018 posts, RR: 50
Reply 3, posted (10 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 7348 times:
The MD-11 disappointed many carriers as it failed to deliver on promised fuel burn / range estimates.
MDC launched many performance improvement packages, however these basically brought the aircraft up to only baseline performance promises with little chance for growth via heavier or larger versions.
At the same time Airbus and Boeing were very busy pushing their new A340 and B777s which all offered future growth potential via sub versions.
The MD-11 managed to become quite popular amongst cargo airlines as the aircraft provides a unique weight/space combination that has been attractive to both package freighter airlines like Fedex and regular cargo airlines like Lufthansa.
The MD-11 while somewhat a quirky plane managed to fill needs of several airlines like Swissair and Finnair, however failed atvother like American Airlines. Overall I suspect the MD-11 was simply too little, too late. If the aircraft had been available maybe 5 years prior in the early/mid 80s, its faith might have been very different as could the faith of the A340 and B777 programs been. The weak financial picture of MDC lead the company to produce a very conservative aircraft at a very late stage.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
AA737-823 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 6215 posts, RR: 10
Reply 5, posted (10 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 7080 times:
They got the 'nits' worked out, but it took a while. By that time, Delta had cancelled their remaining orders (at the cost of the 'cancellation' fines in the order contract) and American IIRC took no options and didn't take all of their firm orders, either. They ended up with only 19 MD-11s, while they had intended to replace all the DC-10-30s with the MD-11-30s.
Additionally, Bill, it's not good business to work out the kinks AFTER you fail to meet promises. If you agree to build me a car that seats six and gets 26 mpg, and then when it's actually built only gets 20 mpg, why should I owe you any money, or continued business? The MD-11 failed in range, and also in fuel burn. The AA flights to Tokyo quickly learned (in the matter of a week, I have heard) that the plane was nowhere NEAR capable of what it was "capable of doing." Sure, it's a nice thing to fix the problem later, but it does me no good if, in the meanwhile, I have a lemon of an airplane. A plane that can't fly form point A to point B without ditching in the Pacific isn't a very useful plane, is it?
The whole thing was a blunder. Too bad too- I love flying on them. Best flight I ever had was AA MIA-DFW in a M11.
Konstantinos From Greece, joined Jun 2001, 389 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (10 years 10 months 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 6635 times:
Just like laxintl mentioned, a conservative aircraft. I also enjoyed flying on the MD11. I think it's an aircraft made to curry people, unlike other aircraft that try to crump every one in like sardines. Very smooth flying and very good landings. The take off is excellent too. You really get to feel the power on take off.
Ltbewr From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13692 posts, RR: 17
Reply 8, posted (10 years 10 months 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 6521 times:
Perhaps there are other issues too. One is that center 3rd engine, it is difficult to service vs. wing mounted engines. There have been many posts hers about the difficulty of maintining that tail engine. There is also the extra costs of that 3rd engine vs. haveing only 2 on a 777. The demand for such aircraft has really been replaced by the 777, 767, and the trends in the last 15 years toward more frequency with of smaller a/c's in many international services.