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717 Or MD-95?  
User currently offlinedecarlo From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 6 posts, RR: 0
Posted (2 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 10344 times:

This is my first post so if this has been discussed please feel free to redirect me.


I recently flew AirTran from FLL to CMH (N998AT) and it got me wondering.. How different would the 717 be if it had actually come to fruition as the MD-95? As a passenger I find the 717 fun and sporty to fly.. so how would she have turned out if Boeing never came into the picture? Does anyone have any specifics on what Boeing modified or what MD had planed that we never saw?

Thanks for any info!

dEcarlo

21 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offline777STL From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 3610 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (2 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 10286 times:

Huh?

The MD95 and the 717 are the same aircraft, McD was marketing the MD95 before they were bought out by Boeing. Boeing didn't make any changes to the physical aircraft other than to rebrand it to the 717.

I believe there were some rumors of a stretched MD95 at one point, but those obviously never came to fruition.



PHX based
User currently offlineamccann From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 175 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (2 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 10278 times:

I'm not sure what would be different regarding the 717-200. However, I do believe that had Boeing and McDonnell Douglas not joined hands in marriage there would exist today an MD95 stretch. Boeing referred to the MD95 stretch as the 717-300 but cancelled the program because of program scope. A 717-300 (had it included extended range features) would approach the capabilities of Boeing's bread winner, the 737 Next Generation program.


What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. - Ronald Reagan
User currently offlineSASMD82 From Netherlands, joined Mar 2007, 745 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (2 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 10188 times:
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Quoting amccann (Reply 2):
Boeing referred to the MD95 stretch as the 717-300 but cancelled the program because of program scope. A 717-300 (had it included extended range features) would approach the capabilities of Boeing's bread winner, the 737 Next Generation program.

The B717-300 with around 130 seats would be ideal to replace the poor selling B737-600 which has a very high CASM.


User currently offlineamccann From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 175 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (2 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 10125 times:

Quoting SASMD82 (Reply 3):

The B717-300 with around 130 seats would be ideal to replace the poor selling B737-600 which has a very high CASM.

It would have been an ideal alternative to the 737-600 for short range missions. However the major problem regarding the proposed 717-300 (MD 95-50) was its lack of range.

[Edited 2012-02-05 22:29:06]


What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. - Ronald Reagan
User currently offlineghifty From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 891 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (2 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 10011 times:

Quoting amccann (Reply 4):
It would have been an ideal alternative to the 737-600 for short range missions. However the major problem regarding the proposed 717-300 (MD 95-50) was its lack of range.

Is this because the DC-9's wing is meant for short hops? A little bit more capable than a regional jet..



Fly Delta Jets
User currently offlineBurkhard From Germany, joined Nov 2006, 4395 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (2 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 9974 times:

The biggest change would have been that it had been marketed actively and would be a common sight today. Many airliners fly MD95-200, MD95-300 and MD90 variants which now fly A319 and A320. Boeing never understood that if you buy a company you cannot buy its costumors - and gave these 10-15% market share to Airbus for free by ending the line.

User currently offlinedfwrevolution From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 968 posts, RR: 51
Reply 7, posted (2 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 8256 times:

Quoting 777STL (Reply 1):
Boeing didn't make any changes to the physical aircraft other than to rebrand it to the 717.

Not strictly true, Boeing made some modest changes to the systems and suppliers versus the MD-95 program.

Quoting amccann (Reply 2):
Boeing referred to the MD95 stretch as the 717-300 but cancelled the program because of program scope. A 717-300 (had it included extended range features) would approach the capabilities of Boeing's bread winner, the 737 Next Generation program.

My personal take is that for the 717-300 to have succeeded, you would have needed performance compatibility with the 737-700. Setting aside whether Boeing would permit such "internal competition," and my bet is they would, let's think of the logistics involved. At the time, the 737-700 had a brand new wing and higher bypass engines. An engine thrust uprate and a MTOW increase would not have done the job. There was no feasible way to get that aircraft to meet the market's needs short of another overhaul on par with the 737NG program.

Quoting Burkhard (Reply 6):
The biggest change would have been that it had been marketed actively and would be a common sight today.

The opposite would have been true. Are we forgetting Boeing's active efforts to place the aircraft with AA, NW, DL, BA, LH, and the entire Star Alliance group order? To say it wasn't "marketed actively" is a joke. Boeing had more resources in place to actually support the aircraft successfully than MD ever did.


User currently offlineajhYXE From Canada, joined May 2011, 74 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (2 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 7574 times:

Quoting amccann (Reply 2):
I do believe that had Boeing and McDonnell Douglas not joined hands in marriage there would exist today an MD95 stretch.

I believe that MD would not exist at all had they not merged with Boeing. They seemed to be in serious trouble then and I don't believe they could have survived the last 15 years independently. Had they been quick in bringing the MD-95 to market perhaps they would have developed a stretched variant but I do not think it would have reached high production numbers (even if there was sufficient demand).



Saskatchewan Roughriders, 2013 Grey Cup Champions! "GO RIDERS GO!"
User currently offlineseabosdca From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 5393 posts, RR: 4
Reply 9, posted (2 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 7478 times:

Quoting ajhYXE (Reply 8):
I believe that MD would not exist at all had they not merged with Boeing.

   They would have been in liquidation. Boeing was the only potential buyer and, by the end, MD was not a functional concern. A dead-in-the-water MD-90, a niche MD-95, and an MD-11 that was selling only to cargo operators were not going to fund the all-new product lineup MD needed to compete with A and B.


User currently offlineckfred From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 5216 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (2 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 7213 times:

When McDonnell and Douglas merged, the McDonnell family wound up with control of the company. So, as new programs came along, the model numbers switched from DC (Douglas Commercial) to MD. So, the DC-9 Super 80 became the MD-80. The widebody that derived from the DC-10 was the MD-11, and not the DC-11.

The true irony is when you step aboard an MD-80. If you look at the builder's plate, located on the upper left-hand side of the L1 door, it says Douglas Aircraft Company, and the plane will should as a DC-9-80 (or 82 or 83 or 88).


User currently offlinebueb0g From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2010, 642 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (2 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 5213 times:

Quoting ckfred (Reply 10):
When McDonnell and Douglas merged, the McDonnell family wound up with control of the company. So, as new programs came along, the model numbers switched from DC (Douglas Commercial) to MD. So, the DC-9 Super 80 became the MD-80. The widebody that derived from the DC-10 was the MD-11, and not the DC-11.

The true irony is when you step aboard an MD-80. If you look at the builder's plate, located on the upper left-hand side of the L1 door, it says Douglas Aircraft Company, and the plane will should as a DC-9-80 (or 82 or 83 or 88).

Congrats on winning the unrelated post of the week award



Roger roger, what's our vector, victor?
User currently offlinesrbmod From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (2 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 5080 times:

Quoting 777STL (Reply 1):
I believe there were some rumors of a stretched MD95 at one point, but those obviously never came to fruition.
Quoting SASMD82 (Reply 3):
The B717-300 with around 130 seats would be ideal to replace the poor selling B737-600 which has a very high CASM.
Quoting amccann (Reply 4):
It would have been an ideal alternative to the 737-600 for short range missions. However the major problem regarding the proposed 717-300 (MD 95-50) was its lack of range.

The problem with the 717-300 was that AirTran (as well as several potential new customers) wanted it to have the range of the MD-82/83/87/88, which would have put it right up against Boeing's 737NG lineup. Boeing wasn't going to have any of that and offered a stretch that had the same range as the 717-200. In hindsight, Boeing may have made a mistake there, as one of the rumored customers was AA (They looked at it as an MD-80 replacement.) and perhaps had things gone a certain way, AA would have been replacing their MD-80s with 717-300s instead of a mix of 737 Max and A320 NEO.


User currently offlinegigneil From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 16347 posts, RR: 85
Reply 13, posted (2 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 4879 times:

Quoting 777STL (Reply 1):
Boeing didn't make any changes to the physical aircraft other than to rebrand it to the 717.

That's incorrect. The 717 has major systems changes vs what the MD-95 would have been, not the least of which are different hydraulic systems and a totally new electrical system.


NS


User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15730 posts, RR: 26
Reply 14, posted (2 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 4052 times:

Quoting decarlo (Thread starter):
How different would the 717 be if it had actually come to fruition as the MD-95?

Not that much. A few subsystems, but likely not enough to effect a major change in the prospects of the plane.

Quoting amccann (Reply 2):
A 717-300 (had it included extended range features) would approach the capabilities of Boeing's bread winner, the 737 Next Generation program.

I would have been more efficient on shorter flights, but the performance in terms of range and payload would have come nowhere close. Even the 717 HGW had a range of only 2000 NM or so, and a stretched version would likely have had even less. It could have been a decent plane for European carriers, but even they seemed to have no problems buying larger 737s and A320s.

Quoting ghifty (Reply 5):
Is this because the DC-9's wing is meant for short hops? A little bit more capable than a regional jet..

Basically, but it had one huge handicap in that it could never be sold as a regional jet to be flown by regional crews. Even with some extra seats that would in many cases make it less attractive than CRJs or E-Jets.

Quoting ckfred (Reply 10):
The true irony is when you step aboard an MD-80. If you look at the builder's plate, located on the upper left-hand side of the L1 door, it says Douglas Aircraft Company, and the plane will should as a DC-9-80 (or 82 or 83 or 88)

Actually only up to the -87 was it certified as a DC-9. The MD-88 actually was the MD-88 and not the DC-9-88.

Quoting srbmod (Reply 12):

The problem with the 717-300 was that AirTran (as well as several potential new customers) wanted it to have the range of the MD-82/83/87/88, which would have put it right up against Boeing's 737NG lineup.

That might not have been a good idea for AirTran, as they would still have had issues reaching the West Coast.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineRoseflyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9595 posts, RR: 52
Reply 15, posted (2 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 3930 times:

Quoting gigneil (Reply 13):
Quoting 777STL (Reply 1):
Boeing didn't make any changes to the physical aircraft other than to rebrand it to the 717.

That's incorrect. The 717 has major systems changes vs what the MD-95 would have been, not the least of which are different hydraulic systems and a totally new electrical system.

Were those actually related to Boeing? Other than on the purchasing/supplier side where they had new contracts and negotiating power, there wasn't much crossover between the Boeing and McDonnell Douglas design teams. Engineering in Everett & Renton did not work on the 717 in any appreciable amounts that I know of.

Boeing Puget Sound and Boeing Long Beach have remained very separate entities. It wasn't until about 2005 when they really started working together when Boeing Everett realized they could "outsource" overflow work to Long Beach and force the Long Beach engineers who had experience on the 717 & C-17 to use the Puget Sound processes. Significant amounts of work were done by Long Beach on the 787 and 747-8, but that wasn't really the case when the 717 was being designed. I have no doubt that patents and specific architecture experience was sought and transferred, but I don't think there were major design changes.

Do you know what major system changes were influenced by Boeing or are you stating that there were major changes between the 717 and MD-95?



If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlineFLALEFTY From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 462 posts, RR: 3
Reply 16, posted (2 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 3385 times:

Quoting seabosdca (Reply 9):
Quoting ajhYXE (Reply 8):
I believe that MD would not exist at all had they not merged with Boeing.

   They would have been in liquidation. Boeing was the only potential buyer and, by the end, MD was not a functional concern.

I'm sorry guys, but that is not true. McDonnell-Douglas, prior to the Boeing merger, was strong in the defense business but fading in the commercial business; Boeing was strong in commercial, but weaker in defense. The post-merger Boeing became more balanced in commercial and defense and better suited to ride out the ups and downs of the two markets. However, even if MD had gotten completely out of the commercial business, their defense business was more than robust enough to survive independently.

As for the MD-95/B-717, Air Tran really wanted the B-717-300, but also wanted it to be able to connect their Atlanta hub to the Left Coast. Boeing balked at this due to the amount of redesign required to the B-717 airframe to make the range nut. But with Airbus in the hunt offering A319/A320s, Boeing gave Air Tran a sweet deal for 73Gs, with "near-complementary" upgrades to the 738, if they needed them in the future.


User currently offlineNWAROOSTER From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 1081 posts, RR: 3
Reply 17, posted (2 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 2914 times:
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Quoting FLALEFTY (Reply 16):

I'm sorry guys, but that is not true. McDonnell-Douglas, prior to the Boeing merger, was strong in the defense business but fading in the commercial business; Boeing was strong in commercial, but weaker in defense. The post-merger Boeing became more balanced in commercial and defense and better suited to ride out the ups and downs of the two markets. However, even if MD had gotten completely out of the commercial business, their defense business was more than robust enough to survive independently.

You hit the nail on the head. Boeing wanted McDonnell Douglas's defence contracts as Boeing was weak with them.
Boeing did not have a big interest in McDonnell Douglas's commercial aircraft markets.   


User currently offlineamccann From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 175 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (2 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 2870 times:

Quoting dfwrevolution (Reply 7):

My personal take is that for the 717-300 to have succeeded, you would have needed performance compatibility with the 737-700. Setting aside whether Boeing would permit such "internal competition," and my bet is they would, let's think of the logistics involved. At the time, the 737-700 had a brand new wing and higher bypass engines. An engine thrust uprate and a MTOW increase would not have done the job. There was no feasible way to get that aircraft to meet the market's needs short of another overhaul on par with the 737NG program.

I believe Boeing would not permit such internal competition. Logistics would not have been an issue, at the time (the early 2000s) there were plenty of engineers on hand to complete the (re)work and the McDonnell Douglas supply chain was not dismantled. Boeing has proved before that it can work multiple derivatives and programs at one time (757 and 767) (787 and 747-8F/I). Continued below...

Quoting ajhYXE (Reply 8):
I believe that MD would not exist at all had they not merged with Boeing. They seemed to be in serious trouble then and I don't believe they could have survived the last 15 years independently. Had they been quick in bringing the MD-95 to market perhaps they would have developed a stretched variant but I do not think it would have reached high production numbers (even if there was sufficient demand).

I should have been more careful with my original answer. I was answering in response to the original question...

Quoting decarlo (Thread starter):
so how would she have turned out if Boeing never came into the picture?

... and disregarding the existence of the McDonnell Douglas company.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 14):
I would have been more efficient on shorter flights, but the performance in terms of range and payload would have come nowhere close. Even the 717 HGW had a range of only 2000 NM or so, and a stretched version would likely have had even less. It could have been a decent plane for European carriers, but even they seemed to have no problems buying larger 737s and A320s.

... continued from above. Keeping in mind that the use of the 737 as a mid to long(ish) haul platform is a relatively recent phenomenon the performance of the 717 was comparable (if not, better than) the performance of the 737 over short haul flights. It was not until the 757 program closed that the 737 was widely used as the mid to long(ish) haul platform. You are correct in that the 717 hauls less payload (weight wise) than the 737, however it is rare for high frequency and quick turn domestic flights (service objective of the 717) to carry a significant amount of payload (other than passengers).

[Edited 2012-02-06 19:25:03]


What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. - Ronald Reagan
User currently offlinedEcarlo From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 6 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (2 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 2024 times:

Quoting gigneil (Reply 13):
Quoting 777STL (Reply 1):
Boeing didn't make any changes to the physical aircraft other than to rebrand it to the 717.

That's incorrect. The 717 has major systems changes vs what the MD-95 would have been, not the least of which are different hydraulic systems and a totally new electrical system.


NS

Thanks gigneil! These are the types of changes I am curious about..

dEcarlo

[Edited 2012-02-06 21:12:36]

User currently offlinejeb94 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 599 posts, RR: 5
Reply 20, posted (2 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 1886 times:

The one big issue with the MD-95 was the wing. It is nearly identical to the wing the DC-9-30 has. There are a couple minor modifications, gap seals between the leading edge and slats, an access panel in the top of the leading edge for better access to the slat drive, and such, but essentially identical. Its a very advanced wing for its time and still very efficient for the short hops its designed to do. The range issue comes from the fact that the wings are also the fuel tanks. The aircraft simply can't carry enough fuel to go as far as most customers want. This brings up the other issue. Its range isn't much different from RJs. Its capacity is more but due to its size, mainline pilots would fly it at mainline wages. Boeing was marketing it as an RJ but it was much too big to fit within pilot union scope clauses. In many ways the aircraft came out much too soon. Here is a replacement for all the old DC-9s in the world but the DC-9s were still going strong at the time and most were wholly owned by their operators. Why spend $25 mil US+ per copy to replace them when the routes they'll fly aren't long enough to make it up in fuel savings based off of the fuel prices of that time. Now, it would be a good choice but its not available and all of the jigs have been destroyed, not to mention the final assembly building is gone now.

As for the MD-80 being a DC-9, that's true except for the MD88. The data plates on the 88 say MD88. Its the only true MD80 per the data plates. The rest are all DC-9-8x, including the 87s.

[Edited 2012-02-06 21:41:45]

User currently offlinewoodsboy From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 1031 posts, RR: 3
Reply 21, posted (2 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 1862 times:

As with stretches of the MD-80, the stretch of the MD-95 would have easily had more range by simply adding additional fuel tanks in the belly. I don't see how this would have been such a huge deal, Alaska Airlines operated a number of MD-82s with aux tanks that gave them superior range over the 737-400 and the only planes that could be used on the mid 1990s Russian Far East service out of Anchorage. The MD-80s all had the same wing, if I'm not mistaken.....so all their range improvements came from belly tanks.

The 717 would have been an excellent existing platform for Boeing to "grow", its operating economics would have been better on a CASM basis than the A-318/ A-319. By now, improvements over the original 717-200 would probably have made it very attractive over the Bombardier C-Series and larger E-Jets. One of the clear advantages would have been that the 717 would be part of an existing aircraft family instead of a new niche type.


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