KC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 11909 posts, RR: 52 Posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 1654 times:
The MD-80 series was built up until 2001. There are a lot of them out there, including late model airplanes. Would they be a candidate for conversion to freighters to replace the now retiring B-727-200F/CFs?
MEA-707 From Netherlands, joined Nov 1999, 4211 posts, RR: 36 Reply 1, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 1635 times:
No the fuselage is too sleek, it can't fit certain containers which can be fitted into the typical 6 abreast aircraft like DC-8, 707/727/737/757 and A-320.
There were also few cargo DC-9s for the same reason. ABX has them but they transport packages so it doesn't seem to be a problem for them.
As old 757s and to a lesser extent 737s and A-320s will be picked up and converted to freighters, the MD-80 will fill up the void and move on to smaller passenger carriers in developing countries.
nobody has ever died from hard work, but why take the risk?
Srbmod From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 17297 posts, RR: 51 Reply 2, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 1527 times:
Unless someone was to make cans that would fit on the main deck, I doubt you'll see too many cargo MD-80 family a/c. While you would think that ABX would be an ideal candidate for them because they have used the DC-9 (and even the Caravelle back in the early days), that may not be the case. In some cases, some cities have seen the DC-9s replaced with some 767s (ATL is one such city where in the past it was a mix of DC-9s and DC-8s. Now it's a mix of DC-8s and 767s). While the method they use to load the main deck on the DC-9s is unique, it may be a little bit too time consuming in the case of the MD-80 family. While I'm sure a cargo door could be retrofitted (There are DC-9s that have a forward cargo door, some were even ordered as combis), would such a modification be worth the money to pursue? More than likely, as stated in Reply 1, the replacement for the DC-9 freighters (as well as 727Fs) are the 757, 737, and A320 family of a/c. Several airlines have replaced (or in the process of replacing) their older narrowbodied freighters with the 757 or the 737. While there will be plenty of MD-80 family a/c coming onto the market in the next 5-10 years or so (As DL and AA will be in the process of beginning to retire their MD-80 family fleets by this point), some will end up in places like Africa, South America, and Central America, places where many second hand a/c end up at. Most will probably end up having a one-way trip to VCV, ROW, OPF, IGM, or some other boneyard.
BigJimFX From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 321 posts, RR: 0 Reply 5, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 1325 times:
Quoting MCOflyer (Reply 4): Also doesn't the Center of Gravity have something to do with this?
It's still possible if the carrier is smart enough to employ a tail stand, and step loading procedures.
Quoting MEA-707 (Reply 1): No the fuselage is too sleek, it can't fit certain containers which can be fitted into the typical 6 abreast aircraft like DC-8, 707/727/737/757 and A-320.
However I gotta agree with this. FedEx, and UPS use certain containers that fit in the 6 abreast wide aircraft or larger.
DHL/ABX could be different. They have containers that they load through the main door. (Not a cargo door) It is more time consuming, but I've seen no changes. Unless the new 76's they ordered are gonna have a main deck cargo door.
I think the MD-80's are going to have a more successful next life in developing nations, replacing 732's at discount prices!