As with many I remain skeptical as to the potential for the MD-80 as a freighter due to its narrow fuselage and contour limitations which forces use of the smaller ULDs and also the models lower efficiency compared models such as the Boeing 737.
Goldenshield From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 5649 posts, RR: 15 Reply 1, posted (10 months 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 11109 times:
Quoting LAXintl (Thread starter): As with many I remain skeptical as to the potential for the MD-80 as a freighter due to its narrow fuselage and contour limitations which forces use of the smaller ULDs and also the models lower efficiency
Why? UPS, and many other cargo carriers seemed to have no problem using the DC-8.
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I have always though the MD-80 would make a good replacement for aging DC-9 freighters. Also, with such a low aquisition price, it would be a good competitor to the 737 classic freighters. I'm guessing with the right set-up you could carry more cargo in a MD-80F versus a 733F.
CODC10 From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 2298 posts, RR: 7 Reply 7, posted (10 months 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 10799 times:
Everts does a lot of non-standard and oversize hauling, so perhaps the Mad Dog is well-suited for their operation. Acquisition costs are dirt-cheap and, once converted, the -80s will have a capacity and operating cost advantage over the DC-9 freight conversion, which Everts already has in service.
I agree, however, that the MD-80 won't ever become a mainstream freighter, especially now that ABX no longer operates DC-9s with their specialized containers.
yyz717 From Canada, joined Sep 2001, 16125 posts, RR: 57 Reply 8, posted (10 months 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 10710 times:
Quoting LAXintl (Thread starter): As with many I remain skeptical as to the potential for the MD-80 as a freighter due to its narrow fuselage and contour limitations which forces use of the smaller ULDs and also the models lower efficiency compared models such as the Boeing 737.
I agree. AEI may only need a small number to break even though.
Quoting LAXintl (Thread starter): Miami based Aeronautical Engineers Inc (AEI) holds orders for 20 conversions and will deliver its first converted aircraft (ex AA c/n 49470) to Everts Air Cargo of Alaska later this month.
I wonder who the 20 are destined for (other than Everts).
Panam, TWA, Ansett, Eastern.......AC next? Might be good for Canada.
LAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 23533 posts, RR: 50 Reply 9, posted (10 months 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 10610 times:
Sure certainly the MD-80F feed stock acquisition cost is going to be lower then a 737-300/400, but in general cargo carrying capability the 737 can run circles around the MD-80.
For example using the standard pallets the MD-80 carries only 8 (with contour restrictions) while the 737-300F can do 9 and 737-400F 11.
For some niche operators the MD-80 might indeed be fine if they can use the smaller ULDs, but for the bulk of the industry the model is not very attractive, similar to how the DC-9 took a back seat to models like the 727 for freight operators.
Quoting yyz717 (Reply 8): I wonder who the 20 are destined for (other than Everts).
Couple news stories I have seen say "undisclosed customers". Not sure why its hush hush.
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lightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 11950 posts, RR: 100 Reply 12, posted (10 months 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 10043 times:
I'm happily surprised at these conversions. I didn't think the maddogs had the economics. I'm glad to be proven wrong.
Quoting ltbewr (Reply 11):
Just goes to prove how well engineered Mad Dog aircraft were that they are worth converting.
But I'm assuming someone figured out a low cost conversion as the payload limits will reduce the value of the airframes. I expect the 734 and later the 738 to be very popular freight conversions.
Quoting LAXintl (Reply 9): in general cargo carrying capability the 737 can run circles around the MD-80.
Hence why I'm surprised. But I'm a happy surprised.
Quoting LAXintl (Reply 9): the MD-80 carries only 8 (with contour restrictions) while the 737-300F can do 9 and 737-400F 11.
IMHO it will be the larger 737s (-4, and sometime in the future the -8) that make up the bulk of the converted fleet.
Quoting yyz717 (Reply 8): AEI may only need a small number to break even though.
I expect 20 would be enough. Kudos to them for finding the niche.
As the OP link notes: wondering if the MD-80’s lower acquisition and conversion costs, and reputation for ruggedness, would balance the somewhat narrower fuselage and lower fuel efficiency when compared to the 737 Classic family with which it would compete.
I think we've found a freighter for seasonal service. Which begs the question, is the acquisition/conversion cost low enough for FedEx for seasonal use?
B757forever From United States of America, joined May 2010, 352 posts, RR: 2 Reply 14, posted (10 months 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 9881 times:
Quoting ltbewr (Reply 11): Just goes to prove how well engineered Mad Dog aircraft were that they are worth converting.
Agreed. I also think the low acquisition cost plus the ability to cheaply maintain the aircraft (much in the same manner as Allegiant) by using retired / continued time parts making the economics even more attractive.
PHX787 From Japan, joined Mar 2012, 6574 posts, RR: 16 Reply 16, posted (10 months 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 9165 times:
Surprised this took this long to get off the ground but I'm hoping to see some of the cargo players at CVG order some of these. The MD-80s roar like a tiger on takeoff and are an impressive sight..... but I wonder how far they can go on fuel...
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dtw9 From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 1128 posts, RR: 2 Reply 19, posted (10 months 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 9014 times:
Quoting Newark727 (Reply 18): It makes sense since there are so many MD-80 series aircraft kicking around, but a lot of them are getting on a bit in age, I wonder about how many are still in the "sweet spot" in terms of usage
Well the first one is 26 years old, so I would say there's plenty of frames around that would be good candidates for conversion.
Interesting quote from your link: A 737-400 typically costs between $3.25 million and $4 million, while MD-80s sell for $750,000 to $800,000. A 737-400 conversion, which AEI also offers, itself costs $2.7 million to $2.8 million, compared with $2.35 million for the MD-82 it just finished.
So a 734SF is $6M+ while the MD-80 is a mere $3.1M+ or about half the cost. I really do wonder if that is low enough to be purchased for seasonal use by FedEx or UPS...?
MCOflyer From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 8602 posts, RR: 13 Reply 23, posted (10 months 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 8463 times:
I would imagine that an existing DC-9F operator might be attracted to these. It boils down, which a/c will make the most profit: The 733/4F or the MD80F as far as decision time. USA Jet has a MD83 F on order per wikipedia. While I said in my earlier post the MD80 is a good competitor, I still believe the best option in the market is the 733F/ 734F. Maybe more expensive, but I believe those extra pallets it takes will offset the extra cost.
727forever From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 792 posts, RR: 5 Reply 24, posted (10 months 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 8235 times:
Quoting PHX787 (Reply 16): Surprised this took this long to get off the ground but I'm hoping to see some of the cargo players at CVG order some of these. The MD-80s roar like a tiger on takeoff and are an impressive sight..... but I wonder how far they can go on fuel...
The range really depends on how heavy of a payload she is required to carry. A fully loaded -83 or -88 can fly for 3.5 hours plus :30 minute alternate and reserve. Mid weights, say 25-30k payload, will see about 5 hours, and light weight, say 10-15k payload could see 6 hours. This assumes being able to climb straight to optimum altitude and stepping to maintain optimum. It is a pretty similar profile to what the 727's are currently flying. The big difference is any operator wishing to cut their fuel burn in half with and MD-80SF will have to accept the addition of the smaller LD containers in their system.
25 Deltal1011man: Also believe the JT8D has some of the lowest OH cost of any engine out there. Also real good time between OH
26 LAXintl: According to G4 its cheaper to simply scrap a timed out JT8D-200's and replace it with another used one versus spending money on overhauls. So beside
27 Darksnowynight: Actually, that photo is demonstrating the usage and effectiveness of tire chines in deflecting water away from the engines. This is harder to see giv
28 woodsboy: Everts likely wont be operating the MD80Fs into gravel runways, all of the major airports they serve in Alaska such as Barrow, Bethel, Dillingham, Kot
29 AndyEastMids: http://www.ainonline.com/aviation-ne...8/first-md-80-freighter-set-fly-us Quote: "Everts plans to use its MD-80 in the lower 48 states of the U.S."
30 SpaceshipDC10: Yes, but the important thing to know is how many cycles, and while we are at it, how many hours in the air ?
31 FlyDeltaJets: I thought that there was some sort of bar on the back of the nose tire to prevent that sort of thing from happening.
32 captainstefan: It's more of a custom mudflap-cage device, and there are similar (but less obvious) device on the main gear as well. I assume for use on unimproved/g
33 727forever: The MD-80 does have very robust spray deflectors that are a combination of metal and rubber. The deflectors are strong enough to deflect both liquid
34 dtw9: Wouldn't take more than a day to find 100 good candidates. Plenty of mid-cycle /mid-hour MD-80 airframes out there. As an example, most of the MD-80'
35 FWAERJ: G4 is no longer buying old MD-80s for new service - all future in-service aircraft for G4 will be A319/A320s with CFM56 engines and 757s with Rolls R
36 SpaceshipDC10: I believe you, My remark was more intended as an answer to the notion people have very often regarding the number of years since the airframe was bui
37 SSTeve: There are some interior photos here: http://tinyurl.com/byz5wm2 I find myself wondering what determines whether the sidewalls are bare aluminum girder