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Retire The MD11s.!?  
User currently offlineDELTA15 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 617 posts, RR: 4
Posted (15 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 1606 times:

Recently ive read about airlines wanting to retire their md11s. Why are they doing this? Most of them are under 10 years old. Are they poorly made planes? Why are airlines doing this?

Ive heard that American, Delta, swissair, and others are considering doing this. WHY?

12 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlinePeter From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 570 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (15 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 1555 times:

I would bet that its because these airlines don't have alot of MD-11s, so if they got rid of the MD-11s and replaced them with 777s or A340s, their fleets would be simpler. Its too bad, though, the MD-11 is a really nice plane.

User currently offlineModesto2 From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 2898 posts, RR: 5
Reply 2, posted (15 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 1542 times:

Correct me if I'm wrong but American has sold its MD-11 fleet to FedEx. And Delta has 15 MD-11s. As far as I know, they will continue flying. However, they may be eventually phased out with 777s?

User currently offlineAvion From Bouvet Island, joined May 1999, 2205 posts, RR: 6
Reply 3, posted (15 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 1540 times:

Swissair has 19 Md11s and will phase them out from 2002. That is the normal procedure to sell the plane after 12-15 years at swissair.


User currently offlineAleksandar From Serbia, joined Jul 2000, 3241 posts, RR: 31
Reply 4, posted (15 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 1524 times:

I think it has something to do with fuel consumption. Those planes were not as good as factory was promising. That is why some airlines, like Singapore Airlines, decided not to buy them although they had placed firm orders for MD-11

User currently offlineBlink182 From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 5499 posts, RR: 14
Reply 5, posted (15 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 1524 times:

I think it is insane for the airline's to retire an airplane that is this young and that has gotten good reviews from passengers(i am one for example who loves the MD-11) but it came out at a bad time and it is sad that the A330 and 777 have come to replace it, and wasn't the 777 developed to replace the DC-10? but i think AA and delta should hang on to them for the high density european routes and put most of the 777's in asia and for the mean time,AA is flying the MD-11 out of Europe.
bye MD-11 we will miss ya  

Give me a break, I created this username when I was a kid...
User currently offlineN863DA From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 48 posts, RR: 5
Reply 6, posted (15 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 1509 times:

To say that the MD-11 fell short of performance specs is somewhat of an understatement. It was something like 500nm short in range - a hell of a lot - which meant that the primary routes that Delta (and others) wanted the aircraft for - Atlanta-Tokyo, and Dallas - Tokyo for AA, could not be flown without the addition of a fuel tank in the lower-deck cargo area.

MDC offered a correction program and retrofit for already-built aircraft, and from then on new aircraft met specifications, give or take. But the damage was done with the early performance shortfall.

Swissair was also affected by the shortfall, but because their MD-11s were so spacious, the aircraft could still fly their routes - albeit by loading more fuel than originally anticipated.


N 8 6 3 D A

User currently offlineSKYTEAM From France, joined Nov 2009, 0 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (15 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 1478 times:

Man, That is sad!!!!! I love the MD-11. I hope Delta keeps the MD-11 for a long time.

Seems like everyday their are less, and less Tri-Jets.


User currently offlineTupolev154B2 From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 1332 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (15 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 1461 times:

Probably yes because twin jets can do their jobs more economically; again, please correct me if I'm wrong.

User currently offlineSteman From Germany, joined Aug 2000, 1479 posts, RR: 7
Reply 9, posted (15 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 1452 times:

Another important MD11 operator, Alitalia, is planning to replace them with 10 B777-300er.

User currently offlineMbmbos From United States of America, joined May 2000, 2734 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (15 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 1405 times:

I also remember reading something about difficulty in repairing composite surfaces. Apparently, large portions of the tail are constructed from composites that are time-consuming to fix.

User currently offlineJumboClassic From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 315 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (15 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 1395 times:

Another reason for the early retirement from passenger service is that the MD-11s proved to be very efficient freighters, which probably brings the second-hand price up quite a bit.

User currently offlineWoodsboy From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 1042 posts, RR: 2
Reply 12, posted (15 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 1385 times:

It is true that early versions of the MD-11 did not meet the MD promises of range and payload, however with the addition of winglets (this occured before delivery) performance was enhanced. A later, but not much later fix was the retrofitting of an additional fuel tank in the belly which allowed the MD-11s to have a range comparable to that of the longest long range A340s/777s and 747-400s. This improvement was not only offered as a retrofit but on new build MD-11s as well. Delta lists their MD-11s range at 7,360 nm, thats 360nm more than their 777-200s at 7,000nm. So the MD-11ER outranges the 777-200ER.

The main factor for replacing MD-11s is that there arent any more available. Existing fleets cannot be augmented by new aircraft of the same type. The MD-11 will certainly remain in service for many years to come as it is a very efficient aircraft for hauling cargo. There are 200 MD-11s out there which is not a tiny number of aircraft so dont be surprised if FedEx snaps up many more of them as they come up for sale or return to leasors. I expect Lufthansa will also buy additional second hand MD-11s to augment their new-build fleet of 14 aircraft. There are still 2 new build MD-11Fs to be delivered to Lufthansa in the next six months, after those deliveries, thats the end of the MD-11 production line and likely the end of the tri-jet era.

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