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B73NG Vs MD80  
User currently offlineBrucek From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 263 posts, RR: 0
Posted (6 years 12 months 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 3200 times:

I'm interested in the relative economics of the B73NG and the MD80 series of aircraft. If I was to consider an aircraft in the NG series that carried a similar amount of pax to one on the MD80 series (and I'm not sure which models of each type that would equate to each other), what would the comparative fuel consumption be? I know that issues such as aerodynamics and empty weight play into this, as well as the more obvious engine type.

I see a post:
Ecconomics Of MD80 VS B737-300 (by Sbe727 Aug 6 2004 in Civil Aviation)

but no replies/info.

Thanks- Bruce.

28 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinePilotboi From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 2366 posts, RR: 9
Reply 1, posted (6 years 12 months 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 3200 times:

Well I'm not sure if your also looking for running costs...obviously the MD-80 takes a lot more to maintain then the 737NG because if it's age.

User currently offlineAAR90 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 3474 posts, RR: 47
Reply 2, posted (6 years 12 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 3200 times:

AA does not release specific details (at least not "that" specific) but claims the 738 fleet's operating costs average approx. 30% less than MD80 fleet for the same flight(s).


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User currently offline727forever From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 793 posts, RR: 5
Reply 3, posted (6 years 12 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 3209 times:

Difficult comparison. Two different airplanes from different generations. These are my thoughts and they are just observations.


MD-80
pro's:
- Cheaper to aquire
- Cruise fuel burn roughly 5,600 - 6,000 lbs./hr
- Passenger Comfort

con's:
- More maintenance
- much higher fuel burn in climb
- max altitude is 37,000' - getting higher would allow for better fuel econ.
- shorter expected engine life


737NG
pro's:
- Longer range
- Better short field performance
- Quiet
- Much longer engine life
- Lower fuel burn in the climb with better climb performance

con's:
- Expensive to aquire
- 73G fuel burn is 5,600 - 6,000 lbs/hr with fewer passengers
- 738 fuel burn is slightly higher until it can burn off weight and climb


727forever



727forever
User currently offline1337Delta764 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6559 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (6 years 12 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 3224 times:

Quoting 727forever (Reply 3):
- Passenger Comfort

I would have to disagree, especially if you are in FC. While some people prefer the 2-3 layout, I am not one of those people. The 737NG also has a more pleasing interior than the MD-80 with its large, modern overhead bins and curved ceiling. Delta and American have installed overhead bin extensions on their MD-80s, but only the bins on the side with three seats are able to fit larger rollaboards. Not to mention, many 737NGs are equipped with IFE, a feature that does not exist on any MD-80 in the world.



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User currently offlineSAS330GOT From Sweden, joined May 2004, 252 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (6 years 12 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 3224 times:

With SAS I know that they compare their 73NG with their MD:s all the time and they actually cost pretty much the same to operate. The difference in the higher fuelconsumption and MX for the MD:s is eliminated in the much higher leasing cost of the 73NG. So in the end they cost pretty much the same to run. I saw a calculation for a ARN-GOT leg and the difference is actually more or less negligable. With the "green-final" they're doing with the NG:s now I guess the difference will be bigger but they still only do that for maybe 20% of the flights into ARN as it is.

So on a seat-mile basis for SAS the two types are comparable in terms of operating cost. This will change as the MD fleet gets older though. And that's when SAS will be looking at new planes. My guess is that it will happen with in 2-3 years depending on fuelprices etc.

cheers!


User currently offlineMicstatic From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 780 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (6 years 12 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 3224 times:

Quoting 1337Delta764 (Reply 4):
While some people prefer the 2-3 layout, I am not one of those people.

I agree with most of your post. But I'm curious how anybody could prefer 3-3 over 2-3???



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User currently offlineBrucek From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 263 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (6 years 12 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 3224 times:

Quoting 727forever (Reply 3):
Difficult comparison. Two different airplanes from different generations. These are my thoughts and they are just observations.

Thanks for the discussion everyone. I'm somewhat surprized at the similar economics in cruise as far as fuel consumption goes. The inefficiencies of the MD80 engines must increase exponentially with thrust.

Quoting SAS330GOT (Reply 5):
So on a seat-mile basis for SAS the two types are comparable in terms of operating cost. This will change as the MD fleet gets older though. And that's when SAS will be looking at new planes. My guess is that it will happen with in 2-3 years depending on fuelprices etc.

Once again quite surprizing for me.

Quoting 1337Delta764 (Reply 4):
Not to mention, many 737NGs are equipped with IFE, a feature that does not exist on any MD-80 in the world.

Are there reasons beyond the fact that it makes little sense to invest capital into an aging aircraft, that IFE is impossible for a MD80?

Thanks again. Bruce.


User currently offlineAlexPorter From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (6 years 12 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 3224 times:

Quoting Micstatic (Reply 6):
I agree with most of your post. But I'm curious how anybody could prefer 3-3 over 2-3???

Cabin width. Less curvature at the windows and an overall greater feeling of space, but you're right when it comes to just the seating itself. 2-3 means one less middle seat, but the cabin is a smaller cabin.


User currently offlineChris133 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 303 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (6 years 12 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 3224 times:

Quoting 1337Delta764 (Reply 4):
I would have to disagree, especially if you are in FC. While some people prefer the 2-3 layout, I am not one of those people. The 737NG also has a more pleasing interior than the MD-80 with its large, modern overhead bins and curved ceiling.

I would have to agree with you. Every MD-80 that i have been on has been cramped for me (yes i know its all in how they are laid out but so are the 73Gs). Flying form DFW to BUR was torture not being able to move my legs.


User currently offline1337Delta764 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6559 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (6 years 12 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 3224 times:

Quoting Brucek (Reply 7):
that IFE is impossible for a MD80?

Why would it be impossible to install IFE on an MD-80? Iberia used to have IFE on their MD-87s, but removed it for weight reasons. It woudn't make any sense that the MD-87 can support an IFE system but not the MD-82/83/88, as their electrical systems probably aren't very different.



The Pink Delta 767-400ER - The most beautiful aircraft in the sky
User currently offlineLMP737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (6 years 12 months 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 3224 times:

Quoting Brucek (Reply 7):
Are there reasons beyond the fact that it makes little sense to invest capital into an aging aircraft, that IFE is impossible for a MD80?

There's nothing to stop installation of IFE on an MD-80. It's been done on the MD-90 for airlines like Saudia and I believe SAS. Prior to 9-11 AA was looking at installing IFE on it's MD-80 fleet, however all plans were scraped after 9-11.


User currently offlineRSBJ From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 152 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (6 years 12 months 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 3224 times:

Quoting 727forever (Reply 3):
73G fuel burn is 5,600 - 6,000 lbs/hr with fewer passengers

Our 737-700W's burn 4300# per hour at .79M and FL 400 or 410 with full passengers and 3.75 hours of fuel on board during cruise. May want to double check your source.



I fly really fast and take a lot of chances.
User currently offlineAAR90 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 3474 posts, RR: 47
Reply 13, posted (6 years 12 months 3 days ago) and read 3224 times:

Quoting Brucek (Reply 7):
Thanks for the discussion everyone. I'm somewhat surprized at the similar economics in cruise as far as fuel consumption goes. The inefficiencies of the MD80 engines must increase exponentially with thrust.

I would think the numbers are highly suspect. IIRC, during my MD82/83 days the only time I recall seeing less than 6,000#/hr was just prior to descent (less than one hour of level cruise flight). OTOH, the only time AA 738s are above 6,000#/hr is the first hour after level-off on a heavy-weight transcon. The normal DFW-(wherever) flight will have <5,600#/hr immediately upon level-off. Often less than 5,000#/hr just prior to descent.

Quoting Brucek (Reply 7):
Once again quite surprizing for me.

Should not be surprised. The analysis was not of "operating" costs, but rather "ownership" costs. Lease payments are a huge expense that is not part of a plane's operating costs

Quoting Brucek (Reply 7):
Are there reasons beyond the fact that it makes little sense to invest capital into an aging aircraft, that IFE is impossible for a MD80?

Nothing more than not spending hundreds of millions of dollars for something the vast majority of your customers really do not value very much -- see:AA Update: MD-80 PEDs And Cashless Test

Quoting RSBJ (Reply 12):
May want to double check your source.

I'll second that.  Wink



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User currently offline2H4 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 8955 posts, RR: 60
Reply 14, posted (6 years 12 months 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 3224 times:
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Quoting 1337Delta764 (Reply 4):
IFE, a feature that does not exist on any MD-80 in the world.

Well, that used to be true:



 Wink


2H4




Intentionally Left Blank
User currently offline727forever From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 793 posts, RR: 5
Reply 15, posted (6 years 12 months 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 3224 times:

Quoting AAR90 (Reply 13):
I would think the numbers are highly suspect. IIRC, during my MD82/83 days the only time I recall seeing less than 6,000#/hr was just prior to descent (less than one hour of level cruise flight). OTOH, the only time AA 738s are above 6,000#/hr is the first hour after level-off on a heavy-weight transcon. The normal DFW-(wherever) flight will have <5,600#/hr immediately upon level-off. Often less than 5,000#/hr just prior to descent.

As was said earlier, these are just observations from riding home up front. As always, performance numbers vary greatly based upon altitude, weight, and speed. Aircraft in the DC-9 family can see a jump of 300 lbs/hr/eng just to increase from Mach .76 to .78, thus accounting for differences. Numbers aside, the point is the same.

727forever



727forever
User currently offlineAAR90 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 3474 posts, RR: 47
Reply 16, posted (6 years 12 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 3224 times:

Quoting 727forever (Reply 15):
As was said earlier, these are just observations from riding home up front.

My observations are from 3 years flying MD82/83, 1 year flying MD90 and 7+ years flying 738... all on the same routes, times, etc.

Quoting 727forever (Reply 15):
As always, performance numbers vary greatly based upon altitude, weight, and speed.

Correct, which is why I mentioned these observations were on the same routes, times, etc. About as close to a real-world comparison as can be found.

Quoting 727forever (Reply 15):
Aircraft in the DC-9 family can see a jump of 300 lbs/hr/eng just to increase from Mach .76 to .78, thus accounting for differences.

Understood. In normal AA ops, MD80 optimum cruise is approx. .76M while 738 optimum cruise is approx. .78M. My figures are based upon the fact that the majority of the time we fly optimum cruise speeds.

Quoting 727forever (Reply 15):
Numbers aside, the point is the same.

What "point" is that?

Quoting 727forever (Reply 3):
MD-80
- Cruise fuel burn roughly 5,600 - 6,000 lbs./hr

737NG
- 73G fuel burn is 5,600 - 6,000 lbs/hr with fewer passengers
- 738 fuel burn is slightly higher until it can burn off weight and climb

Your MD80 numbers are on the low side (average AA hub-west coast flight) while your 738 numbers are beyond the high side (while still carrying more pax & cargo).

The only "point" that can be made is the 737NG series has lower operating costs than MD80 series. AA estimates ~30% cheaper to operate (excludes ownership costs --lease/loan payments).



*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!
User currently offlineUlfinator From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 315 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (6 years 12 months 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 3224 times:

So I have been working with some of the finance director's from Alaska Airlines looking at the difference in the MD-80 and the 737-800 for a grad school paper. The US DOT has operations costs per airline, per aircraft type for all of the US airlines. Here is some of the costs per seat miles that I came up for from 2006 for Alaska Air.





















Category MD-80 737-800
52780 - Total Direct Maintenance - Flight Equipment (000) $0.0105 $0.0017
51451 - Aircraft Fuels (000) $0.0360 $0.0234
51230 - Pilots And Copilots (000) $0.0077 $0.0063


I am doing a bunch more analysis around the AS replacement of MD-80 with the 737-800 (their preferred growth vehicle at this point) and will have more later on.


User currently offlinePhishphan70 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 265 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (6 years 12 months 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 3224 times:

Quoting AAR90 (Reply 16):
My observations are from 3 years flying MD82/83, 1 year flying MD90 and 7+ years flying 738... all on the same routes, times, etc.

so i'm going to believe you over basicly anyone. not only because you have experience in multiple MD series aircraft and the 73NG(jealous by the way  Wink), but also because i personally didn't believe the MD's to have anything close to "a wash in running costs." 30% cheaper sounds about right to me.


User currently offlineTrijetsRMissed From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 2364 posts, RR: 7
Reply 19, posted (6 years 12 months 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 3224 times:
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I leave the exact numbers to the experts, but there is no question the 737NG is cheaper to operate than the MD-80, has better fuel efficiency, and better range. Just as the MD-80 had topped the 727 years before, the later generation aircraft is superior. Now if you matched the MD-80 with the 737 classic, you'd find that the MD-80 is the bread winner in pretty much everything but payload.

Quoting 727forever (Reply 3):
- shorter expected engine life

The recent STL incident aside, the JT8D-200 series are very reliable with a long shelf life.

Quoting 1337Delta764 (Reply 4):
Not to mention, many 737NGs are equipped with IFE, a feature that does not exist on any MD-80 in the world.

This is a bit irrelevent, like the seating. There are 737NG operators, such as KL and WN that feature no IFE..



There's nothing quite like a tri-jet.
User currently offlineTdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 20, posted (6 years 12 months 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 3224 times:

Quoting TrijetsRMissed (Reply 19):
Quoting 727forever (Reply 3):
- shorter expected engine life

The recent STL incident aside, the JT8D-200 series are very reliable with a long shelf life.

It's true that the recent JT8D's are very reliable and store for a long time, but their on-wing time between shop visits is shorter than recent CFM56-7's. I think that's the point 727forever was trying to make.

Tom.


User currently offlineBrucek From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 263 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (6 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 3181 times:

Quoting Ulfinator (Reply 17):
Category
I am doing a bunch more analysis around the AS replacement of MD-80 with the 737-800 (their preferred growth vehicle at this point) and will have more later on.



Quoting Ulfinator (Reply 17):
So I have been working with some of the finance director's from Alaska Airlines looking at the difference in the MD-80 and the 737-800 for a grad school paper. The US DOT has operations costs per airline, per aircraft type for all of the US airlines. Here is some of the costs per seat miles that I came up for from 2006 for Alaska Air.



Quoting Ulfinator (Reply 17):
am doing a bunch more analysis around the AS replacement of MD-80 with the 737-800 (their preferred growth vehicle at this point) and will have more later on.

This is very interesting information, I hope you can post more over your grad paper research. And good luck!

Quoting AAR90 (Reply 16):
My observations are from 3 years flying MD82/83, 1 year flying MD90 and 7+ years flying 738... all on the same routes, times, etc.



Quoting AAR90 (Reply 16):
The only "point" that can be made is the 737NG series has lower operating costs than MD80 series. AA estimates ~30% cheaper to operate (excludes ownership costs --lease/loan payments).

Some more interesting info, thanks. Your stats seem to confirm the general data presented in this thread.
I only fly C172's on instruments, but have read up a bit on the MD80 cockpit and how one is flown. I assume that flying the Mad Dod vs the NG is like night and day? The MD seems to be a very busy trip from a pilot's POV.

Thanks again everyone for info supplied here. Sorry this reply is so late.

Bruce.


User currently offlineAirframeAS From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 14150 posts, RR: 24
Reply 22, posted (6 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 3175 times:

Quoting 727forever (Reply 3):
Difficult comparison. Two different airplanes from different generations.

 checkmark  You cannot compare both aircraft side by side like that.



A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
User currently offlineAAR90 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 3474 posts, RR: 47
Reply 23, posted (6 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 3030 times:

Quoting Brucek (Reply 21):
I assume that flying the Mad Dod vs the NG is like night and day? The MD seems to be a very busy trip from a pilot's POV.

No... more like twilight and day.  Wink Yes, the MD (even the MD90 w/FMS) is very busy from a pilot perspective.



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User currently offlineFanoftristars From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 1608 posts, RR: 5
Reply 24, posted (6 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 3007 times:

So I'd be curious to know what Delta's numbers are on their MD-90s vs 738s. Both seat 150 (except the new transcon 738) and both fly similar missions, although the 738 gets more transcon missions.

Anyone care to guess the difference in operating costs for these two? I'm guessing the maintenance on the MD-90 is more costly, but other than that, they seem to be quite equal...



"FLY DELTA JETS"
25 Post contains images SEPilot : Just to be totally picky, if you have engines on an MD-80 wing I think you have problems....
26 Lrdc9 : Good joke. But just maybe I'm biased, but you got to love DC-9 series, ex. M80, M90, B717
27 Boeing7E7 : About 6 months ago, AA reported these costs: Aircraft: MD-80 737-800 Crew: $614.00 $768.00 Hull: $365.00 $383.00 Maintenance: $617.00 $330.00 Other: $
28 AAR90 : The MD90 is ever so slightly faster in cruise, but at an ever so slightly higher fuel flow. Means that the break-even point is somewhere around 60-75
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