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Would AA Have Bought The MD-90?  
User currently offlinetsugambler From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 302 posts, RR: 0
Posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 2814 times:

If McDonnell Douglas had stayed independent, do you think that AA would have started upgrading its MD-80 fleet to the MD-90, or would it have gone ahead and switched to the 738 regardless? What if the MD-90 had been launched with an all-glass cockpit--would that have made any difference?

9 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineDfwRevolution From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 912 posts, RR: 51
Reply 1, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 2794 times:

AA placed their first order for the 737-800 before the Boeing-MD merger and after the MD-90 had been on the market for years. I think its safe to say they weren't interested.

User currently offlineYflyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 944 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 2733 times:

Besides that, didn't AA actually inheret some MD-90s from Reno Air, which ended up getting scrapped?

User currently offlinetsugambler From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 302 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 2723 times:

What would you say was the main reason for their apparent disinterest? The performance of the MD-90, the costs of the MD-90 vs. the 738, or perhaps because they didn't view McDonnell Douglas as having a viable future?

User currently offlineClipper136 From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 311 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 2688 times:

AA operated the MD-90 for a short time when they absorbed RenoAir.

IIRC they had ordererd the 738 by then.


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User currently offlineAmerican 767 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 3648 posts, RR: 12
Reply 5, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 2611 times:

Quoting Clipper136 (Reply 4):
AA operated the MD-90 for a short time when they absorbed RenoAir.

MD-87 also.

Quoting Clipper136 (Reply 4):
IIRC they had ordererd the 738 by then.

They did. IIRC, it was already back in 1996 they showed an interest for the NG737. They ordered initially the 737-800 to replace the 727-200 then still in service.

The 738 has probably better economics than the MD-90, even Delta who ordered and operated the MD-90 switched to the 738 afterwards. The MD-90 didn't do well.

Quoting tsugambler (Reply 3):
The performance of the MD-90, the costs of the MD-90 vs. the 738, or perhaps because they didn't view McDonnell Douglas as having a viable future?

I would say all of that. For the same reason, they quickly phased out the MD-11 (they ordered 50 and took delivery of only 19 of them) in favor of the 777.

Ben Soriano



Ben Soriano
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15444 posts, RR: 26
Reply 6, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 2509 times:

Quoting tsugambler (Reply 3):
The performance of the MD-90, the costs of the MD-90 vs. the 738, or perhaps because they didn't view McDonnell Douglas as having a viable future?

Probably performance. The MD-80 was good, but I think that the MD-90 just needed more performance, probably in the form of a better wing. Like other later McDonnell Douglas commercial designs, they just didn't do enough to make it a winner.

Quoting American 767 (Reply 5):
The 738 has probably better economics than the MD-90, even Delta who ordered and operated the MD-90 switched to the 738 afterwards.

Maybe, but I doubt that the difference was huge, since the MD-90 was almost 3,000 lbs lighter than the 737-800 and 5,000 lbs lighter than the A320, though it lacked the performance of either. There are definitely routes where the MD-90 could have at least performed on par with the others, but not enough to make it a real success.

Quoting American 767 (Reply 5):
For the same reason, they quickly phased out the MD-11 (they ordered 50 and took delivery of only 19 of them) in favor of the 777.

The MD-11 was just a dog when it came out. It was just too little, too late.

The 717 was a different story, but there were factors working against it too, though I think that had McDonnell Douglas survived they could have made it a success.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineFlyASAGuy2005 From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 7004 posts, RR: 11
Reply 7, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 2434 times:

Quoting American 767 (Reply 5):
The 738 has probably better economics than the MD-90, even Delta who ordered and operated the MD-90 switched to the 738 afterwards. The MD-90 didn't do well.



I remember reading a very good article last year about Delta, the MD90 and the 738. In a nutshell, it had a lot to do with the many, many hiccups the 90 fleet saw when they first came out. It was an MTC dog if i'm not mistaken and it caused a lot of headaches for Delta. if this was not the case, we may very well be seeing close to 70 or 80 MD90s in the Delta fleet today.

From what I can gather, the 90 was to be the backbone of that segment of the fleet with the 738 servicing longer routes.



What gets measured gets done.
User currently offlineLMP737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 2273 times:

Quoting tsugambler (Thread starter):
If McDonnell Douglas had stayed independent, do you think that AA would have started upgrading its MD-80 fleet to the MD-90, or would it have gone ahead and switched to the 738 regardless? What if the MD-90 had been launched with an all-glass cockpit--would that have made any difference?



After American's experience with being a launch customer for the MD-11 and F100 there was no way they were going to be the guinie pig for the 90. When the problems Delta had with their MD-90's that pretty much sealed the fate for any possible AA MD-90 order. An all-glass cockpit ala Saudi MD-90 actually would have worked against Douglas. Doing so would have increased flight crew training and maintenance costs for carriers like Delta and AA.

Quoting FlyASAGuy2005 (Reply 7):
I remember reading a very good article last year about Delta, the MD90 and the 738. In a nutshell, it had a lot to do with the many, many hiccups the 90 fleet saw when they first came out. It was an MTC dog if i'm not mistaken and it caused a lot of headaches for Delta.



Delta had options for 115 MD-90's. With all the problems they had with them they choose not to exercise those options. If Douglas had done a better job with the MD-90 it is possible that AA might have ordered it.


User currently offlineSEPilot From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 6676 posts, RR: 46
Reply 9, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 2212 times:

Quoting American 767 (Reply 5):
Quoting tsugambler (Reply 3):
The performance of the MD-90, the costs of the MD-90 vs. the 738, or perhaps because they didn't view McDonnell Douglas as having a viable future?

I would say all of that. For the same reason, they quickly phased out the MD-11 (they ordered 50 and took delivery of only 19 of them) in favor of the 777.

MD was not willing to put enough money or effort to make truly competitive airliners. This was thanks to McDonnell; the last clean-sheet design they did was the DC-10, which was started before the merger (and screwed up by McDonnell after the merger). Boeing and Airbus had both totally eclipsed them by the early 90's, and the disastrous experience AA had with the MD-11 and Delta had with the MD-90 was the proof. After that neither of them were going to buy another MD plane, especially a new, untested one. And by this time the 777, A320, and 737NG were outclassing anything MD could offer.



The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
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