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MD-80 Freighter  
User currently offlineOvrpowrd727 From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 96 posts, RR: 0
Posted (5 years 12 months 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 9086 times:

Why hasn't the MD-80 series ever been tested or successful as a freighter?? it has certainly lasted its competitor's the 727 and 737 in terms of frames in service today and yet it simply wasn't picked up really. Even the 727 was made a freighter and still is right now. Comments anyone

18 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineLexy From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 2515 posts, RR: 8
Reply 1, posted (5 years 12 months 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 9080 times:

Well, techincally the DC-9 is a used as a freighter in some markets. So it is, in part, being used as a freighter.


Nashville, Tennessee KBNA
User currently offlineOvrpowrd727 From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 96 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (5 years 12 months 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 9057 times:



Quoting Lexy (Reply 1):
the DC-9 is a used as a freighter in some markets. So it is, in part, being used as a freighter.

Ok the DC-9 you can argue, you're right i guess but what about the actual 80's series?? no takers?? what would be the downside?? they work for pax


User currently offlineWhappeh From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 1563 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (5 years 12 months 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 9026 times:

They probably aren't big enough to carry the cargo pallets.


-Travel now, journey infinitely.
User currently offlineAVCONSULTANT From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 1360 posts, RR: 3
Reply 4, posted (5 years 12 months 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 9019 times:

The DC-9 is an odd ball freighter with limited capacity in the sense it uses smaller "cookie sheets" or special containers.

Boeing could not develop engineering plans for an MD-80 freighter. The airframe cannot support a door. Someone on here will provide the details.


User currently offlineAirframeAS From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 14150 posts, RR: 24
Reply 5, posted (5 years 12 months 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 8998 times:



Quoting Ovrpowrd727 (Thread starter):
Why hasn't the MD-80 series ever been tested or successful as a freighter?? it has certainly lasted its competitor's the 727 and 737 in terms of frames...

You realize that the D9 has been around a heck of a lot longer than the M80, right??

One theory I have about the M80 not being a freighter aircraft now probably have to do with the economics of the plane. It is expensive to maintain and operate. And the D9 is probably much cheaper to operate than an M80.



A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
User currently offlineLowrider From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 3220 posts, RR: 10
Reply 6, posted (5 years 12 months 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 8946 times:

I have been told that the floor in the MD series is the limiting factor. In order to get suitable density in the load, an entirely new floor would have to be designed, certified, and installed. With all the other options out there for narrowbody freight, there probably just isn't the demand to justify it.


Proud OOTSK member
User currently onlineTZTriStar500 From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 1452 posts, RR: 8
Reply 7, posted (5 years 12 months 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 8791 times:

The main reason the DC-9/MD-80 series has never had significant interest as a converted freighter is because of its fuselage width. It cannot carry the standard 125" pallets like Boeing narrowbodies. It can only handle a 108" in a traditional arrangement unless it the container/pallet is turned longitudinally, but this is a less efficient use of volume.

The company I now do contract engineering for has a customer that is looking at an MD-80 STC freighter conversion, but the containers/pallets will be arranged longitudinally as I described above so they can carry standard size. In this arrangement, an MD-80 can carry 9 125" pallets. I imagine the interest is there again because the airframe is a cheaper alternative to a converted 737-300/-400 and are more available.

I am skeptical it will come to fruition as I don't see a big market, but we'll see. If some entity wishes to fund the development, then at least one will be done. Aerospace engineering design consulting firms such as this live on the business motto that we can design nearly anything you want as long as you are willing to pay for it.

[Edited 2008-09-18 19:28:22]


35 years of American Trans Air/ATA Airlines, 1973-2008. A great little airline that will not be soon forgotten.
User currently offlineOvrpowrd727 From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 96 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (5 years 12 months 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 8661 times:

so thats pretty much it lol, thanks guys

Quoting TZTriStar500 (Reply 7):
Aerospace engineering design consulting firms such as this live on the business motto that we can design nearly anything you want as long as you are willing to pay for it.

well said, i think we have all seen that, especially in the private sector


User currently offlineAtpcliff From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 181 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (5 years 12 months 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 8419 times:

Hi!

I fly a DC-9 freighter. We have -10s and -30 freighters, with large cargo doors cut in the side. We typically carry palletized freight, and they can be awefully big pallets with our doors.

Sometimes we carry other stuff, like marine mammals and cooking show equipment, but most stuff is palletized and loaded with a forklift.

Our last trip was 9 pallets, weighing about 9000 lbs. (YIP-MMTC-LRD-SDF-YIP).

cliff
KYIP



TRY. It's all you have control over, and it's what God wants.
User currently offlineStgs1988 From Denmark, joined Sep 2007, 59 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (5 years 12 months 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 8307 times:

US Air Force has a couple


http://airforcemedicine.afms.mil/sg_...ire/aug_03/C9FinalMissionPHOTO.jpg

Cheers


User currently offlineAirframeAS From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 14150 posts, RR: 24
Reply 11, posted (5 years 12 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 7505 times:



Quoting Stgs1988 (Reply 10):

That is a D9, not an M80. The curvature of the tail is a dead giveaway.



A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
User currently offlineConvairNut From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 38 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (5 years 12 months 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 6257 times:

Like TZTriStar I also work at an engineering firm that does P-to-F conversions and the MD-80 idea was broached about 6 years back. Affordable & robust are the MD-80's strong points but as has been mentioned, standard pallets cannot fit so interlining becomes a hassle; another sore point with engineering was that the aft-most pallet position would be almost unusable unless you wanted to penetrate the fuselage taper and add aerodynamic blisters to accomodate the aft corners of the pallet.


My Hovercraft is filled with eels!
User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25311 posts, RR: 22
Reply 13, posted (5 years 12 months 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 6001 times:



Quoting Atpcliff (Reply 9):
I fly a DC-9 freighter. We have -10s and -30 freighters, with large cargo doors cut in the side.



Quoting Atpcliff (Reply 9):
I fly a DC-9 freighter. We have -10s and -30 freighters, with large cargo doors cut in the side. We typically carry palletized freight, and they can be awefully big pallets with our doors.

101 DC-9s were built with a main deck cargo door, including 24 DC-9-15s (almost all for CO if memory correct) and 77 DC-9-30s, including 36 for airlines, 24 for the USAF, and 17 for the US Navy.


User currently offline413X3 From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 1983 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (5 years 12 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 4609 times:

Cliff, how is USA Jet doing with the economic slowdown especially in the auto industry, and that awful crash a few months back?

User currently offlineSeaBosDca From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 5465 posts, RR: 6
Reply 15, posted (5 years 12 months 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 4528 times:



Quoting TZTriStar500 (Reply 7):
I imagine the interest is there again because the airframe is a cheaper alternative to a converted 737-300/-400 and are more available.

Is this still true after recently announced service cuts by US airlines that will lead to many 737 Classics being retired? For the reasons mentioned above, all else equal, it seems that freight operators would prefer 737 Classics. More of them are going to be available than anticipated.


User currently onlineTZTriStar500 From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 1452 posts, RR: 8
Reply 16, posted (5 years 12 months 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 4380 times:



Quoting SeaBosDca (Reply 15):
Is this still true after recently announced service cuts by US airlines that will lead to many 737 Classics being retired? For the reasons mentioned above, all else equal, it seems that freight operators would prefer 737 Classics. More of them are going to be available than anticipated.

I think this will just mean that there are more 737 Classics for conversion to the customers who want them and are willing to pay the conversion cost and lease/ownership price. I'm no value expert, but I don;t think the 737 Classic will lose much value with more being available. The MD-80 has a lesser residual value than a 737 Classic and has a higher fuel burn if I am not mistaken, so I think it still will be the cheaper alternative.

On a related note, I was told that the customer is very interested in proceeding with the conversion and reportedly has a customer for 12 so we may see an MD-80 freighter after all if they can finance the prototype, STC, and conversion costs.



35 years of American Trans Air/ATA Airlines, 1973-2008. A great little airline that will not be soon forgotten.
User currently offlinePnwtraveler From Canada, joined Jun 2007, 2241 posts, RR: 12
Reply 17, posted (5 years 12 months 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 4355 times:

Back in the day did AC Cargo ever have a DC9 cargo jet? I seem to vaguely remember seeing one at the old AC Cargo building beside Old Terminal One. Loved seeing the DC8 both the original and re-engined series 70 versions.

User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25311 posts, RR: 22
Reply 18, posted (5 years 12 months 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 4326 times:



Quoting Pnwtraveler (Reply 17):
Back in the day did AC Cargo ever have a DC9 cargo jet? I seem to vaguely remember seeing one at the old AC Cargo building beside Old Terminal One. Loved seeing the DC8 both the original and re-engined series 70 versions.

Yes, AC bought 8 DC-9-15RCs from CO in 1972-73. They were convertible passenger/cargo aircraft with a main-deck cargo door. AC used them in both passenger and cargo service. They weren't operated very long. Most if not all were sold to Air Florida. Five left AC in 1977 and the other 3 by 1981.


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Photo © Trevor Ogle



AC also bought one DC-9-32F from Overseas National Airways in 1973. It was operated as a freighter for 4 years and was sold to Southern Airways in 1977.


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Photo © Gary Vincent



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