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Goodbye MD-11  
User currently offlineJkelley480 From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 127 posts, RR: 0
Posted (14 years 10 months 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 1722 times:

Does anyone else out there think it's a shame that Boeing is stopping production of the MD-11? Is it not an economical aircraft to operate? What do you think about all the bad press regarding the safety of the airplane? I've heard many things, ranging from the horizontal stabilizer being too small to the wings being too weak for the bulk of the airplane. One thing is for sure though: the MD-11 is one of the coolest looking planes in the sky.

17 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineHypermike From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 1001 posts, RR: 5
Reply 1, posted (14 years 10 months 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 1496 times:

Well, if nobody is buying them, why should Boeing continue to make them?

User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29895 posts, RR: 58
Reply 2, posted (14 years 10 months 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 1483 times:

I think Boeing was too quick to kill the MD-11.....They killed it when the worldwide market was down a bit due to the Asian financial crisis a few years back......I think it would have sold ok if Boeing would have been more willing push the aircraft.

User currently offlineSv11 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 163 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (14 years 10 months 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 1476 times:

Its a good cargo aircraft and BA could have easily maintained a 12 aircraft/year production. Maybe it wasn't profitable. But a lot of the passenger MD-11s are going to be converted to cargo. So the MD-11 will be around hauling cargo.


User currently offline767-400ER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (14 years 10 months 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 1452 times:

Its sure is a shame. The MD-11 is one unique plane in the sky being a tri-jet.

I know that the MD-11 was selling well as a cargo plane, with probably more. Lufthansa Cargo wanted to purchase more MD-11F for their fleet, but Boeing said, "No More MD-11s". Im not sure why they chose not to produce more, must be so Lufthansa Cargo can purchase Boeing models instead.

I'll love to Captain an MD-11!


User currently offline747-600X From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 2804 posts, RR: 14
Reply 5, posted (14 years 10 months 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 1424 times:

The -11 will be around for a long time as a freighter aircraft, esp. with Lufthansa since they are just receiving theirs. I won't miss the passenger models, though you're right - they are unique.

User currently offlineShankly From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2000, 1553 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (14 years 10 months 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 1385 times:

Presumably Boeings well documented no to LH indicates that they were making a loss per airframe and could not anticipate with their predictions a break even point, given the further substantial investment an MD-11NG would have required.

Also, Boeings primary commercial objective in purchasing MD would have been an asset strip, not because they liked MD airplanes.

L1011 - P F M
User currently offlineN949WP From Hong Kong, joined Feb 2000, 1437 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (14 years 10 months 3 days ago) and read 1361 times:

With FedEx's determination to grab every one out there and now with Lufthansa's new-found love of the plane, looks like we can expect some kind of bidding war between the two parties for used MD11's in the near future.

User currently offlineAmir From Syria, joined Dec 1999, 1254 posts, RR: 11
Reply 8, posted (14 years 10 months 3 days ago) and read 1351 times:


i think you are mixing two things together it might be because of the mixup between your emotions (plane enthusiast) and business (commercial planes are there to make money!)  

1. Saftey record of MD11
2. Feasability of maintaining the production of the MD11, here you have the cost of production on one hand and the demand on the other, though i don't know the background of Boeings decision i might be simply because demand and offer don't meet anymore. Maybe they are loosing on this porject or they have an alternative project which is more promissing.

One last note, from an emotional side, i do like the MD11 very much and i hope to see them around for years to come, i can't judge about their economics but they can't be bad, airlines like Delta, Swissair and JAL can track their efficiency damn well!

take care

User currently offlineZRH From Switzerland, joined Nov 1999, 5572 posts, RR: 35
Reply 9, posted (14 years 10 months 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 1348 times:

You are right. In two years there will be the 19 SR MD-11 on the market. I am wondering who will buy these good maintained aircrafts.

User currently offlinePrebennorholm From Denmark, joined Mar 2000, 6642 posts, RR: 54
Reply 10, posted (14 years 10 months 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 1345 times:

But all this doesn't explain why many airlines sold their only few years old passenger MD-11's to freighter conversion and bought new Boeings and Airbusses - 767, 777, 330, 340 and such.
Doesn't anybody know why they disappear so fast as passenger planes? Swissair for instance sold all their MD-11's last year to - I think FedEx - for gradual delivery over the next few years.

Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs, Preben Norholm
User currently offlineShankly From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2000, 1553 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (14 years 10 months 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 1328 times:

I am not sure you have to look too hard as to why Swissair is dumping their 11's.

Sometimes airlines need to make quick decisive fleet decision if they want to keep their pax and sharehoders happy and stay profitable. Loyalty to a manufacturer or type is not likely to be part of such a decision.

L1011 - P F M
User currently offlineAKelley728 From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 2194 posts, RR: 5
Reply 12, posted (14 years 10 months 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 1312 times:

Once Delta has their TriStar fleet replaced with the 767-400 they are going to start replacing their MD-11 fleet with more 764s or 777s.

Also, don't forget about VASP. Since they're in bankruptcy now their MD-11s will be on the auction block soon by their creditors. Although they were poorly maintained, I'm sure there will be a buyer if the price is right.  

Does anybody know American's MD-11 plans?

User currently offlineKWI From Kuwait, joined Apr 2000, 156 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (14 years 10 months 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 1307 times:

hi all
i too think that it will be a great shame to see such a beautiful aircraft go through cargo conversions less than 10 after they were made. there are DC-9's flying around since the 60's (i know they will be replaced)but they ave ben flying for 35 years or so. does anybody know about KLM's plans for their MD-11s, i haven't heard of them looking for their replacement.


User currently offlineTeahan From Germany, joined Nov 1999, 5310 posts, RR: 60
Reply 14, posted (14 years 10 months 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 1293 times:

SR's MD11's are going to FED EX A deal has allready been decided. The MD11 bus my favourite plane!  

Jeremiah Teahan

Goodbye SR-LX MD-11 / 6th of March 1991 to the 31st of October 2004
User currently offline787 From Italy, joined Jan 2000, 292 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (14 years 10 months 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 1284 times:

I think that the airplanes lasted for a long time, and have done their best, but for the purpose of dying off it would be best because of their age.  

787 Italia - Io, il comandante dell'aria
User currently offline767-400ER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (14 years 10 months 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 1256 times:

American's plane on the MD-11 is that they have sold all of them to FedEx for I think some money and hush kits for their 727s.

They will gradualy replace them with their 777-200IGWs.


User currently offlineTrintocan From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2000, 3272 posts, RR: 4
Reply 17, posted (14 years 10 months 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 1209 times:

While the MD-11 may have been a great plane in of itself, it has had such a short production life for several reasons. When MD launched the type in 1986, it did so on pre-existing orders and neither Boeing nor Airbus had a new 300-350 seat jetliner available. As a result, MD felt it advantageous to keep its lead by deriving the new jet from the DC-10 which, of course, takes less time than creating a new design. Unfortunately, derivative designs often suffer from the weaknesses of the parent aircraft and hence the MD-11's initial failure to deliver the performance which American in particular desired.

With American's disappointment in the planes came a slowing of sales and, before major enhancements could be installed, Boeing had launched the 777 and Airbus the A330/A340. Both types were all-new and offered significantly upgraded technology, including fly-by-wire and composite components. Significantly, too, especially in the Triple 7's case, was the development of new high-powered engines which single-handedly made trijets obsolescent - why have the extra fuel consumption and noise of 3 engines when 2 could handle the job? Airbus tackled the issue differently by offering the same airframe in 2 versions, namely the mid-range twin A330 and the ultra-long-range quad A340, which enabled airlines to standardise their mid to long-range fleets.

Alas, as a result of all of this the MD-11 became THE casualty and most new orders went to the newer planes, followed by AA and SR selling off their fleets to FedEx. The MD-11 will survive for many years as a freighter and in so doing may well push the DC-10 into early retirement by being quieter and more efficient. Unfortunately, though, this is indeed the end for MD's last widebody.


Hop to it, fly for life!
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