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What's Wrong With The MD-11?  
User currently offlineQantas777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 484 posts, RR: 1
Posted (12 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 2808 times:

Just thinking to myself and I realize that many carriers are taking their MD-11's out of their fleets. I am wondering why this is, since it is a pretty new aircraft. I know that it's not that good in terms of performance and its a mx nightmare at times, but still? I see this jet leaving airlines like I see DC-9's leaving airlines.

17 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineCaptain.md-11 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 704 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (12 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 2791 times:

I think this has been discussed quite a few times recently. If you run a search you should be able to find the answers you require, more than what I can provide you with anyway.

1. The MD-11 promised so much, efficient flying, glass cockpit etc But it was not successful when it joined AA and seemings that they were the major lauch customer, the signs were not good! By the time MD had fixed the performance issues etc the 777 and A340/A330 were better options for fleet expansion for the worlds' airlines.

MD-11P RIP  Crying



Twins,twins, everywhere.... but where are the three holers?
User currently offlineLMP737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (12 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 2761 times:

The problem with the MD-11 was the band-aid approach MD took torwards building it. Instead of designing a more efficient wing they took the old one and threw winglets on it. Instead of using fly-by-wire they kept the old cable-pulley system. Instead of updating their production facilities they kept things as is.

End result, an airplane that did not meet it's performance goals.

If I remember correctly the first MD-11 was 4000lbs over weight.


User currently offlineB747-4U3 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2002, 990 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (12 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 2749 times:

It is a shame because I really like the MD 11.

User currently offlineBrons2 From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3013 posts, RR: 4
Reply 4, posted (12 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 2722 times:

the MD-11 is fly by wire...


Firings, if well done, are good for employee morale.
User currently offlineLMP737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (12 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 2711 times:

Brons2:

No, the MD-11 is not fly-by-wire.


User currently offlineJBirdAV8r From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 4490 posts, RR: 21
Reply 6, posted (12 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 2684 times:

Fly-by-wire or not, this **** airplane, which I was supposed to fly on for the first time a week ago, suffered "hydraulic failure" at the gate in DFW. The flight was cancelled, and this caused me to sit 2 hours in the terminal (the terminals are terrible for picture-taking, by the way) waiting for a flight to CVG instead of ATL, giving me a grand total of 19 minutes to make the connection home. Barely made it by running.

Good riddens to the More Death 11!

It's joked among AA techs that the MD-11 should have been named the "Scud", because no one knows where it might land!!

Jonathan



I got my head checked--by a jumbo jet
User currently offlineJwenting From Netherlands, joined Apr 2001, 10213 posts, RR: 18
Reply 7, posted (12 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 2669 times:

The MD-11 is not a bad aircraft, it's just relatively expensive to fly and maintain compared to the 777 and A330.
Combine that with a limited support base now that it's no longer in production (and never was produced in large numbers in the first place) and it makes sense to replace them earlier than originally envisioned.



I wish I were flying
User currently offlineLMP737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (12 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 2629 times:

JbirdAV8r:

Which airline was it?


User currently offlineBrons2 From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3013 posts, RR: 4
Reply 9, posted (12 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 2606 times:

LMP737: DL is the only carrier that flies them domestic anymore.

Also, the Boeing web site lists the MD-11 as having fly by wire, so I don't know where you are getting your info. Perhaps they are mistaken??




Firings, if well done, are good for employee morale.
User currently offlineNikonF100 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (12 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 2595 times:

No matter what anyone says, American effectively killed the MD-11 program. The first planes didn't meet range specs, Douglas offered PIPs which corrected the problem. However, American kept insisting that the plane had problems, when most, if not all the problems were corrected by the PIPs. The MD-11 provided exceptional payload capacity. Example, a flight Dallas-Santiago could leave with more than enough cargo and max passengers + gas, and still be under MGTOW by 30,000 lbs!

JBird--

Have you ever flown any other plane before and had mechanical problems? How about the L1011? I seem to recall you being a big fan of the L1011, yet that plane was delayed, or cancelled more than any other airplane in Delta's fleet. You certainly would rather find out about a hydro problem on the ground than in the air, right? And if you don't like the MD-11, why on earth did you book a leg on it?



User currently offlineBrons2 From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3013 posts, RR: 4
Reply 11, posted (12 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 2585 times:

Nikon: perhaps (ironically) the plane would have been more efficient for passenger ops if they hadn't had given it so much payload, assuming they could have made the plane lighter.


Firings, if well done, are good for employee morale.
User currently offlineLMP737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (12 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 2553 times:

Brons2:

Sorry the MD-11 is not a fly-by-wire aircraft. I checked the Boeing website to see if their info was in error. There was no info there stating the MD-11 was a fly-by-wire aircraft.


User currently offlineMD88Captain From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 1330 posts, RR: 20
Reply 13, posted (12 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 2543 times:

The Engines are FBW. The flight controls are not. In fact the Boeing Manual calls the throttles "resolvers". Basically the throttles are big reostats. Gotta love those engineer minds. Resolvers. Geez.

User currently offlineWoodsboy From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 1031 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (12 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 2538 times:

Niiccee....condem a plane because it had hydrolic failure at the gate! I am sure no Boeing or Airbus ever suffered such a failure.

At any rate, the MD-11 did go on to meet performance goals after the fixes in the early days were applied. It was stated that the MD-11 had the same old wing...well, it doesnt, it was a new wing that was not shared with the DC-10.

Luftahnsa has experienced excellent operational reliability with their MD-11Fs, I dont know statistics for other operators but LH has a sizeable fleet and they have worked very well for them. They were certainly an improvement over the 20+ year old 747-200s that although they are excellent airplanes, suffer from the increased MX and less efficiency that any 20 year old airplane would.

I dont think MD-11s are leaving fleets because of reliability or efficiency problems in general. There arent any more new ones and most of the existing fleets are small so as airlines move toward fleet standardization, they move away from the types that arent available anymore and are in demand for freighter conversion.

One reason that the MD-11 freighter was a success is because of the high payload and long range. It is also the most efficient freighter out there with exceptional lift and operating economics. It was overbuilt for a passenger airliner but well suited as a freighter.


User currently offlineFDXmech From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3251 posts, RR: 34
Reply 15, posted (12 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 2458 times:

The Engines are FBW. The flight controls are not. In fact the Boeing Manual calls the throttles "resolvers". Basically the throttles are big reostats. Gotta love those engineer minds. Resolvers. Geez.

The throttles are connected to the "throttle resolvers" but I've never heard the throttles called resolvers.
While we're on the subject. I could never understand the listing of, lighter weight, as one advantage of FADEC engines.
The FADEC computer (ECU actually) on each engine weighs a ton (exaggeration).




You're only as good as your last departure.
User currently offlineIFlyADesk From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 309 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (12 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 2445 times:

NikonF100 is certainly correct. AA Bad-mouthed M11 performance from the beginning. Their pilots had a hand in it as well, for cockpit documentation issues. However, they were never interested in the Cruise Performance Improvement Packages (CPIP) that DAC offered in the mid-90s, such as deflected T/O ailerons, drooped cruise ailerons, etc, (A1 package). Nor were they ever interested in increasing their TOWs up to what was the max (then) of 618K. The TOWs later increased to 625.5K, but by then they (AA) had already decided to dump them and sell them to FX. The MD-11ERs (just a handful of them) have a RW of 633K and a TOW of 630.5K. (Or something like that)

The cargo carriers love the M11F now because they have had the MTOW, MZFW, and MLW increased to suit their requirements.

Three groups killed the MD-11:

1. Douglas Marketing Department.
2. American Airlines.
3. Boeing-Seattle.

End of story...


User currently offlineSeagull From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 340 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (12 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 2431 times:

The MD-11 is actually very reliable if you maintain it (why do you think that FedEx -- the company that cares about reliability more than anyone else--loves it?).

The flight controls are actually a hybrid FBW. There are full time FBW inputs to improve stability regardless of mode, and the autopilot control is strictly FBW in all modes, although some control surfaces are back-driven in some autopilot modes.


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