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What Is So Wrong With The MD-11?  
User currently offlineBh4007 From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 239 posts, RR: 0
Posted (7 years 11 months 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 14584 times:

Am I missing something?? Why are nearly all the MD-11 passenger operators planning or have already retired the MD-11 - its only 16 years old!! All the 744s are still around and they came out 2 years before the MD-11!

This is all I can think of as possible reasons:

Pressure for freight conversions from the likes of FedEx
The fact that it has one two many engines (compared to 777, A330)
Inefficiency
Safety concerns (unlikely)

It may not be the most successful airplane ever but surely it deserves a place in someone's passenger fleet?

Also, surely the engine technolgy was available in the late 80s for the MD-11 to be a twin? Could that have saved it?

[Edited 2006-05-23 21:27:42]

[Edited 2006-05-23 21:28:25]

38 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineJamesbuk From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 3968 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (7 years 11 months 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 14566 times:

Simply because it has 3 engines!
The engine on the tail means that the maintanence cost's are alot higher unlike say the 777,A330 etc were it has 2 engines which are easy to get to therefore quicker maintanence times and less fuel usage.

Rgds --James--



You cant have your cake and eat it... What the hells the point in having it then!!!
User currently offlineYYZflyer From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 3642 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (7 years 11 months 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 14539 times:

Too bad such a good looking plane is going to be retired so early.


Avoid hangovers, stay drunk.
User currently offlineBh4007 From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 239 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (7 years 11 months 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 14511 times:

Quoting Jamesbuk (Reply 1):
Simply because it has 3 engines!

Really? Is that all? Such a shame for an exciting and a looker of an aircraft. I would of thought that it would have been a perfect replacement for Delta's Tri-Stars and Americans DC-10s? (if of course Delta and AA had replaced in the late 80s which probably would have never happened)

[Edited 2006-05-23 21:35:05]

User currently offlineHT From Germany, joined May 2005, 6525 posts, RR: 25
Reply 4, posted (7 years 11 months 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 14511 times:

Most operators felt that they could save money by replacing the MD11 with twinengined a/c (the B777 and A330 that you already mentioned).

Also servicing the center engine turned out to be a major task, due to its high level above the ground.

OTOH, there are pax-carriers that successfully have increased their MD11 presence in recent years with Finnair being one of these.

Also, as you already said, the MD11(F) is quite popular among freight carriers, as it can transport about the same amount of cargo as the older B747F´s but with a considerably lower fuel burn. IIRC, the last models off the line went to LH Cargo ?

-HT



Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
User currently offlineMagyarorszag From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (7 years 11 months 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 14326 times:

Quoting Bh4007 (Thread starter):
What Is SO Wrong With The MD-11?

May I suggest the following discussion.


http://www.airliners.net/discussions...general_aviation/read.main/2535514


User currently offlineBrendows From Norway, joined Apr 2006, 1020 posts, RR: 4
Reply 6, posted (7 years 11 months 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 14326 times:

Quoting Bh4007 (Thread starter):
It may not be the most successful airplane ever but surely it deserves a place in someone's passenger fleet?

MDD had to tweak the MD-11 after EIS to make it reach the intended range and fuel burn. But by that time, important customers like SQ had already cancelled their orders for the MD-11. Later, the A340 was launched, and finally also the 777, and their superior operating economics made the MD-11 less favorable as a passenger jet.

Quoting Bh4007 (Thread starter):

Also, surely the engine technolgy was available in the late 80s for the MD-11 to be a twin? Could that have saved it?

Engines with that kind of thrust weren't available at that time, not until the 777 was launched. Also, MDD didn't have the funds, or the interest to make the necessary investment, to make the MD-11 much more than an upgraded DC-10. They could have done much more (a new wing for example,) but didn't. The MD-11 turned out to be a great freighter, but falling short of the performance targets didn't attract the pax carriers...

Quoting HT (Reply 4):
IIRC, the last models off the line went to LH Cargo ?

I believe that's true.


User currently offlineDAYflyer From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 3807 posts, RR: 3
Reply 7, posted (7 years 11 months 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 14278 times:

Quoting Bh4007 (Reply 3):
Such a shame for an exciting and a looker of an aircraft.

Agreed. Same goes for it's predecessor; I thought the DC-10 was great looking as well.



One Nation Under God
User currently offlineKLMCedric From Belgium, joined Dec 2003, 810 posts, RR: 22
Reply 8, posted (7 years 11 months 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 14259 times:

There also seem to be a lot of tech problems with M11's.
I did the AMS-YUL flight yesterday with the A332 because the MD11 who
normally should have operated it was in the hangar due to a technical
malfunction. And that's only one of the many stories I've heard.
Also when I worked for SN, they also had a lot of problems with their M11's.
And yet KLM seems to want to hold on to them for many years to come.
I wonder if it's because they like them so much, or it's because they are paid
for?


User currently offlineMarkHKG From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 960 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (7 years 11 months 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 14241 times:

Quoting Bh4007 (Thread starter):
Safety concerns

What impact do you guys feel the Swissair Flight 111 crash had on the MD-11 program? For some reason I keep feeling that the crash played an instrumental role in its downfall...



Release your seat-belts and get out! Leave everything!
User currently offlineGritzngravee From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 128 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (7 years 11 months 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 14211 times:

It's called ETOPS!!!! When the FAA and JAA certified two engine aircraft for oceanic routes there was no reason for Tri Jets it basically started the demise for L-1011's and MD-11's. Why pay more money for extra maintenance and fule for one extra engine when you can have two engines do the same thing at a cheaper cost? The 777 killed them and all of the other 2 engine widebodies followed.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ETOPS


User currently offlineMagyarorszag From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (7 years 11 months 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 14197 times:

Quoting MarkHKG (Reply 9):
What impact do you guys feel the Swissair Flight 111 crash had on the MD-11 program? For some reason I keep feeling that the crash played an instrumental role in its downfall...

It was too late to have an impact on the program. Boeing announced in June 1998 the end of the production of the MD-11. SR111 happened some three months later.

[Edited 2006-05-23 22:54:05]

User currently offlineSeanp11 From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 290 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (7 years 11 months 1 day ago) and read 14081 times:

Quoting Bh4007 (Reply 3):
Really? Is that all? Such a shame for an exciting and a looker of an aircraft. I would of thought that it would have been a perfect replacement for Delta's Tri-Stars and Americans DC-10s? (if of course Delta and AA had replaced in the late 80s which probably would have never happened)

Isn't that what they bought the MD-11 for in the first place? and it fell short of performance targets, and both airlines went far enough to replace them with 777s.


User currently offlineBALandorLivery From UK - England, joined Jan 2005, 360 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (7 years 11 months 1 day ago) and read 14063 times:

Think it didn't perform as good as was expected in range/fuel burn but not sure.

User currently offlineEx_SQer From United States of America, joined Apr 2002, 1435 posts, RR: 5
Reply 14, posted (7 years 11 months 23 hours ago) and read 13895 times:

Quoting MarkHKG (Reply 9):
What impact do you guys feel the Swissair Flight 111 crash had on the MD-11 program? For some reason I keep feeling that the crash played an instrumental role in its downfall...

SQ's change of mind over its intended MD11 order was the first major blow to the program. The subsequent problematic EIS did not help either.


User currently offlineAmerican762 From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 175 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (7 years 11 months 17 hours ago) and read 13651 times:

Its all up there. 3 engines was originally designed for flights that needed the range, but not the capacity of the 747's. Hence the L-1011, DC-10s, MD-11.


Pan Am has a place of its' own. You call it the world, we call it home.
User currently offlineAirbusA346 From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2004, 7437 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (7 years 11 months 14 hours ago) and read 13474 times:

Quoting HT (Reply 4):
the last models off the line went to LH Cargo

This is the last passenger MD-11 built:


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Lauri Huima


OH-LGE

This is the last MD-11F built for LH Cargo MD-11F


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Patrik Hjortberg
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © AirNikon


D-ALCN

Tom.



Tom Walker '086' First Officer of a A318/A319 for Air Lambert - Hours Flown: 17 hour 05 minutes (last updated 24/12/05).
User currently offlineBR715-A1-30 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (7 years 11 months 12 hours ago) and read 12777 times:

How long did AA keep their MD-11s.. IT seems like they got them in 1993 or 94 and got rid of them in 01 or 02.

User currently offlineDC3CV3407AC727 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 314 posts, RR: 2
Reply 18, posted (7 years 11 months 10 hours ago) and read 11914 times:

it is a beautiful ship to behold,thank God, FedEx,and UPS keep that flame kindled in the USA.


the rumble of round engines is like music to me,likewise the thunder of thr JT8D
User currently offlineTockeyhockey From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 947 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (7 years 11 months 9 hours ago) and read 11473 times:

i love how in every thread on the md-11, someone brings up the SJC-NRT route issue. as if a single, somewhat narrow route for one airline was the demise of an entire production line.

User currently offlineClassicLover From Ireland, joined Mar 2004, 4599 posts, RR: 24
Reply 20, posted (7 years 11 months 9 hours ago) and read 11428 times:

I'm flying on the Finnair MD-11 on 23 April next year  Smile Booked the flight today. I'm really looking forward to riding the aircraft and trying Finnair's new flat bed Business Class. The aircraft are supposed to be in service with AY until the A350s come in 2012... at this stage anyway!


I do quite enjoy a spot of flying - more so when it's not in Economy!
User currently offlineBAe146 From United States of America, joined Aug 1999, 161 posts, RR: 3
Reply 21, posted (7 years 11 months 7 hours ago) and read 10452 times:

Quoting DC3CV3407AC727 (Reply 18):

it is a beautiful ship to behold,thank God, FedEx,and UPS keep that flame kindled in the USA

Don't forget Gemini Air Cargo, and World Airways!


User currently offlineMig21UMD From Australia, joined Feb 2005, 262 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (7 years 11 months 7 hours ago) and read 10270 times:

Quoting Gritzngravee (Reply 10):
It's called ETOPS!!!! When the FAA and JAA certified two engine aircraft for oceanic routes there was no reason for Tri Jets it basically started the demise for L-1011's and MD-11's.

Another interesting question to ask would be if ETOPS was never certified would have Airbus and Boeing made there own version of a tri jet and would an independent MDD still be around today?

The MD11 along with the DC10 and the 727 are just beautiful looking machines!



Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you long to return
User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 16908 posts, RR: 67
Reply 23, posted (7 years 11 months 7 hours ago) and read 10228 times:

Quoting HT (Reply 4):
Also, as you already said, the MD11(F) is quite popular among freight carriers, as it can transport about the same amount of cargo as the older B747F´s but with a considerably lower fuel burn. IIRC, the last models off the line went to LH Cargo ?

As was shown above the last ones went to LH Cargo. I heard a rumor they wanted more.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineAirbazar From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 7871 posts, RR: 10
Reply 24, posted (7 years 11 months 7 hours ago) and read 10181 times:

Same reason why the A342 didn't sell well: It never performed as advertised.

25 Gritzngravee : My grandfather (RIP) told me a saying a long time ago: "If, ifs and buts were candy and nuts everyday would be Christmas!" Point is, there is no reas
26 FLALEFTY : The MD-11 suffered from several issues: It was a derivative design that was too rooted in the notorious, DC-10. It was developed during a transitional
27 YULWinterSkies : Not so sure about that. The MD11 first flew in 1989 (?), the largest twins at the time were the A300-600R and 767-300ER, and they were significantly
28 Magyarorszag : The first AA MD-11 was delivered in Feb 1991. The last aircraft was operated sometime at the end of 2001.
29 Jamesbuk : Obviously not just that but if you ask me I'd say thats one of the leading contributions to its ending Rgds --James--
30 Warreng24 : Remember that that third engine is just difficult to get to in terms of repairs and for checks. The 727 and L-1011 also have the same problem. You bas
31 Bmacleod : Yes, but imagine if MDD had developed a twin-jet airliner...the 777 market probably would have suffered and MDD would have lasted longer.
32 Post contains images QXatFAT : My best fight experiance was on a RG MD-11 The face is for the MD-11 and for RG. I really wish these birds were around more. They are my #1 favorite b
33 Starlionblue : Indeed. Also the tail is much closer to the ground. You don't need giant cranes. Assuming a lot of things, yes. But they had neither the money nor th
34 Bmacleod : Well they do own Swiss which recently retired their MD-11s. I'm sure they have a few still parked.
35 Post contains images Captain.MD-11 : The MD-11 is simply the most beautiful aircraft in the skies today (now that Concorde has said goodbye.) In many ways the MD-11 was quite advanced.I r
36 ClassicLover : SIN-LHR on AY one way in Business Class - 900 GBP. One way! Bargain! I am doing it in April (I like to plan ahead). You can also do it from BKK. Go o
37 Post contains images Captain.MD-11 : I'm lucky in that I can only pay 10% of the full fare, eg LHR-HKG rtn in J works out at around 270 GBP. I will buy a cheap standby rtn on AY somewhere
38 Post contains links Starlionblue : To continue this thread with "Child of MD-11" http://www.airliners.net/discussions/tech_ops/read.main/155510/
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