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MD80 Engine Placement  
User currently offlineAirWillie6475 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 2448 posts, RR: 1
Posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 4510 times:

I just flew the MD80! I could definitely see how it's regarded as a sweet airplane however why did they have to place the engines right next to the cabin? Further did MD engineers do any tests on the effect of having the engine right next to the windows? This was a standby ticket and unfortunately I got the very last row window, right next to the engine. I couldn't even see anything outside.

I have never experience engine noise as bad as this and the worst part was that it was louder even on idle then the midrange thrust, high thrust was the loudest. My flight was only 40 minutes but they actually use this airplane for 3+ hour flights, that would probably qualify for hearing damage. I was going to ask the F/As how they stand it but thought better of it. I will NEVER get on an MD80 from now on unless I can find better seats.

37 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineTdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 1, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 4493 times:



Quoting AirWillie6475 (Thread starter):
why did they have to place the engines right next to the cabin?

They didn't have too (the 737 and E-jets don't). However, once you choose tail-mounted engines you're pretty much stuck with being next to the cabin on an aircraft that size.

Quoting AirWillie6475 (Thread starter):
Further did MD engineers do any tests on the effect of having the engine right next to the windows?

What sort of effect? They certainly did all the normal flight test stuff, which would have included proving flights, noise measurements, etc.

Tom.


User currently offlineAA737-823 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 5765 posts, RR: 11
Reply 2, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 4435 times:



Quoting AirWillie6475 (Thread starter):
why did they have to place the engines right next to the cabin?

There are several advantages to having the engines NOT screwed to the wings. First of all, it allows you to have an aerodynamically 'clean' wing.
And really, what other place is there? Aside from Honeywell's (PWC maybe??) 707 with test engines mounted on the nose, nothing but the tail is really appropriate.

Also keep in mind that when the MD-80 made its debut, it was quieter back there than the former DC-9 variants and also the Boeing 727s.

The 717 (also a DC-9 variant) and Fokker 70/100 also put engines right there, but due to their having GREAT engines, it's actually perfectly pleasant.

You'll NEVER fly an MD-80 in back again? That's a shame; oh well, more seats for me.


User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17014 posts, RR: 67
Reply 3, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 4426 times:



Quoting AirWillie6475 (Thread starter):
I have never experience engine noise as bad as this and the worst part was that it was louder even on idle then the midrange thrust, high thrust was the loudest. My flight was only 40 minutes but they actually use this airplane for 3+ hour flights, that would probably qualify for hearing damage. I was going to ask the F/As how they stand it but thought better of it. I will NEVER get on an MD80 from now on unless I can find better seats.

When I commuted to work in an MD-8x I liked the last row. It was the first flight of the morning and the drone put me right back to sleep for a nice 40 minute nap. As for hearing damage, it isn't THAT bad.

F/As tend to like the MD-8x because it's perceived as more stable in flight than a 737.

BTW the Mad Dog is remarkably quiet once you get forward of the middle.

Quoting AirWillie6475 (Thread starter):
why did they have to place the engines right next to the cabin? F

Once you've chosen rear mounted engines they're right next to the fuse. No other place for them.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineAirWillie6475 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 2448 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 4385 times:

I seem to not have been clear with my question. There are plenty of rear mounted engines but the DC series seemed to have put the engines so that a good portion of it covers the last few rows windows. Not that bad? Hm...Have you heard an MD80 takeoff? Now imagine being a foot away from those engines for a few hours. I mean my whole seat was literally a massage chair from the vibrations. After we arrived our FA who was traveling with us commented how he'd thought the flight would never end. I definitely felt safe in the airplane though, for an old airplane it felt solid.

User currently offlineImperialEagle From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 2529 posts, RR: 22
Reply 5, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 4380 times:
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Quoting AirWillie6475 (Thread starter):
last row window, right next to the engine

Yeah, those "shrapnel seats" can be pretty loud.
I have a set of Bose headphones to cancel out the noise. Foam ear-plugs are also good, so I always fly with one or the other.



"If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough!"
User currently offlineRoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9580 posts, RR: 52
Reply 6, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 4370 times:

Rear mounted engines definitely have some weight and aero advantages. The 737 was originally studied to have rear mounted engines as well. However the original engines were not conducive to being tail mounted due to their size.

Tail mounted engines do make it louder in the back, but quieter in the front. And afterall, who does they airline care about giving a more comfortable ride to: the standby passenger in the back like someone paying the dirt cheap fare, or the first class passenger who flies weekly on last minute tickets?



If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17014 posts, RR: 67
Reply 7, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 4285 times:



Quoting AirWillie6475 (Reply 4):
There are plenty of rear mounted engines but the DC series seemed to have put the engines so that a good portion of it covers the last few rows windows.

On a CRJ or ERJ, there is no belly hold so luggage goes in the back. On a Mad Dog, there is a belly hold so there is space for seats between the engines. From an operator point of view one can understand how they don't want to waste the space.

Yes it is noisy but certainly survivable. As I said I never really found it that unpleasant.

Quoting AirWillie6475 (Reply 4):
I definitely felt safe in the airplane though, for an old airplane it felt solid.

"for an old plane". If you have been on a.nut forums for a while, you should know that it's not the age that counts. It's the maintenance.  Smile



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlinePGNCS From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 2821 posts, RR: 45
Reply 8, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 4255 times:



Quoting AirWillie6475 (Thread starter):
I could definitely see how it's regarded as a sweet airplane however why did they have to place the engines right next to the cabin?

Well, if they didn't want to put them on the wings for the very valid reasons that others have pointed out, where would you put them? Certainly the airlines and the manufacturer were going to use the cabin volume to seat as many people as possible in the aircraft and avoid wasted space.

Quoting AirWillie6475 (Thread starter):
Further did MD engineers do any tests on the effect of having the engine right next to the windows?

What kind of tests?

Quoting AirWillie6475 (Thread starter):
This was a standby ticket and unfortunately I got the very last row window, right next to the engine.

Which is where standby passengers are frequently boarded on the MD-80 series, as most companies and agents won't assign those seats unless the remainder of the cabin is full. I guess the agent could have refused to let you on. You're a pilot, right? Didn't you bring earplugs? You never know when those things will be handy...

Quoting AirWillie6475 (Thread starter):
high thrust was the loudest.

It normally is.

Quoting AirWillie6475 (Reply 4):
Now imagine being a foot away from those engines for a few hours. I mean my whole seat was literally a massage chair from the vibrations. After we arrived our FA who was traveling with us commented how he'd thought the flight would never end. I definitely felt safe in the airplane though, for an old airplane it felt solid.

Most of us have been in that spot, and given the choice we would also choose other seats as well. I don't know anyone personally who would not sit back there when you wanted to get on, though.

I'm glad that you felt safe: you were.

Quoting RoseFlyer (Reply 6):
Tail mounted engines do make it louder in the back, but quieter in the front. And afterall, who does they airline care about giving a more comfortable ride to: the standby passenger in the back like someone paying the dirt cheap fare, or the first class passenger who flies weekly on last minute tickets?

The JT-8 powered 737's are horrendously noisy behind the wings, too. Like I have said many, many times, every airplane is a compromise and none are perfect in every area, though some come closer than others.

Quoting AirWillie6475 (Thread starter):
I will NEVER get on an MD80 from now on unless I can find better seats.

Oh well, more standby seats for the rest of us...


User currently offlinePilotpip From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 3150 posts, RR: 11
Reply 9, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 4242 times:

Earplugs do wonders when you're sitting in the back of of anything with tail mounted engines.


DMI
User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17014 posts, RR: 67
Reply 10, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 4220 times:



Quoting Pilotpip (Reply 9):
Earplugs do wonders when you're sitting in the back of of anything with tail mounted engines.

I can recommend Etymotic Research plugs/headphones or Shure headphones. Better and cheaper than active noise cancellation.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineJoseKMLB From United States of America, joined May 2008, 493 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 4212 times:



Quoting AirWillie6475 (Thread starter):
I will NEVER get on an MD80 from now on unless I can find better seats.

Say you are a NR and thats the only seat left lets just say 36A or E, I bet you would take it because you have to get to where you are going and if thats the only seat you will just have to deal with it.


User currently offlinePGNCS From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 2821 posts, RR: 45
Reply 12, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 4162 times:



Quoting JoseKMLB (Reply 11):


Quoting AirWillie6475 (Thread starter):
I will NEVER get on an MD80 from now on unless I can find better seats.

Say you are a NR and thats the only seat left lets just say 36A or E, I bet you would take it because you have to get to where you are going and if thats the only seat you will just have to deal with it.

 checkmark 


User currently offlineMax777geek From Italy, joined Mar 2007, 538 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 4100 times:



Quoting AirWillie6475 (Thread starter):
I just flew the MD80! I could definitely see how it's regarded as a sweet airplane however why did they have to place the engines right next to the cabin?

To fly the airplane, my best guess.

Quoting AirWillie6475 (Thread starter):
Further did MD engineers do any tests on the effect of having the engine right next to the windows? This was a standby ticket and unfortunately I got the very last row window, right next to the engine. I couldn't even see anything outside.

Apply for a boeing or airbus next. That's very unlikely you'd get one of those wing seats. Cheap, but how loudly, my dear.

Quoting AirWillie6475 (Thread starter):
I have never experience engine noise as bad as this and the worst part was that it was louder even on idle then the midrange thrust, high thrust was the loudest.

Trust EPR working properly.

Quoting AirWillie6475 (Thread starter):
My flight was only 40 minutes but they actually use this airplane for 3+ hour flights, that would probably qualify for hearing damage.

That would probably be the first time in md80 history.

Quoting AirWillie6475 (Thread starter):
I was going to ask the F/As how they stand it but thought better of it. I will NEVER get on an MD80 from now on unless I can find better seats.

MD80 fans will be very sorry of this.


User currently offlineKELPkid From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 6369 posts, RR: 3
Reply 14, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 4089 times:

Anyone ever sat between the engines? If ever there was a bird that could use engine synchronizers, it was the DC-9's/MD-80's. To this day, I still have the sound of slightly out-of-synch engines in my head...WAAAAAAWWWWWWAAAWWWAAWWWWWAAAAAAHHHHHH  hypnotized 


Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
User currently offlineAirWillie6475 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 2448 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 4080 times:



Quoting KELPkid (Reply 14):
Anyone ever sat between the engines? If ever there was a bird that could use engine synchronizers, it was the DC-9's/MD-80's. To this day, I still have the sound of slightly out-of-synch engines in my head...WAAAAAAWWWWWWAAAWWWAAWWWWWAAAAAAHHHHHH hypnotized

See I'm not crazy....


User currently offlineKELPkid From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 6369 posts, RR: 3
Reply 16, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 4076 times:



Quoting AirWillie6475 (Reply 15):
See I'm not crazy....

The 727 solved the problem by not having seats between the engines  Wink



Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
User currently offlineTSS From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 3068 posts, RR: 5
Reply 17, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 4047 times:



Quoting KELPkid (Reply 14):
Anyone ever sat between the engines? If ever there was a bird that could use engine synchronizers, it was the DC-9's/MD-80's. To this day, I still have the sound of slightly out-of-synch engines in my head...WAAAAAAWWWWWWAAAWWWAAWWWWWAAAAAAHHHHHH  hypnotized   

 rotfl   rotfl   rotfl 
I have sat between the engines on an MD-80, and I know exactly what you mean!
Thanks for giving me my best laugh today!  bigthumbsup 



Able to kill active threads stone dead with a single post!
User currently offlineLMP737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 4034 times:



Quoting KELPkid (Reply 14):
Anyone ever sat between the engines? If ever there was a bird that could use engine synchronizers, it was the DC-9's/MD-80's.

The MD-80 has N1/N2 sync.


User currently offlineEx52tech From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 559 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 4030 times:



Quoting KELPkid (Reply 14):
Anyone ever sat between the engines?

I always sat in the back when my kids were little, that WA WA WA WA WA put them right to sleep, and most flight attendants go gaga over the little ones.



"Saddest thing I ever witnessed....an airplane being scrapped"
User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25106 posts, RR: 22
Reply 20, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 4016 times:



Quoting PGNCS (Reply 8):
The JT-8 powered 737's are horrendously noisy behind the wings, too. Like I have said many, many times, every airplane is a compromise and none are perfect in every area, though some come closer than others.

I agree. I always found the last few rows on all the types I've flown on with rear-mounted engines (DC-9, MD-80, 727, Fokker 28/70/100, Caravelle, BAC-111, VC-10) to be quieter than the last few rows of the 732, 707 and DC-8 where you got the effect of the jet blast. They were especially loud on takeoff.


User currently offlineKELPkid From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 6369 posts, RR: 3
Reply 21, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 3989 times:



Quoting LMP737 (Reply 18):


The MD-80 has N1/N2 sync.

I have a feeling that you can dispatch with the synchronizer inop then, as I have experienced non-synchronized engines in the Mad Dog  Smile



Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
User currently offlineMax Q From United States of America, joined May 2001, 4431 posts, RR: 19
Reply 22, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 3970 times:

The -80 has N1 / N2 synch but it takes a little care by the Pilots to operate properly, in cruise flight, first you synchronize the N1's, then turn on the synch, you must have the synchronization
exact before you activate the switch.



The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
User currently offlineLMP737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 3913 times:



Quoting KELPkid (Reply 21):
I have a feeling that you can dispatch with the synchronizer inop then, as I have experienced non-synchronized engines in the Mad Dog

Yes, it's an MEL item. Maybe that's AirWillie expereinced.


User currently offlineJetstar From United States of America, joined May 2003, 1644 posts, RR: 10
Reply 24, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 3905 times:
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Quoting RoseFlyer (Reply 6):
Rear mounted engines definitely have some weight and aero advantages. The 737 was originally studied to have rear mounted engines as well. However the original engines were not conducive to being tail mounted due to their size.

The B-727 uses the same engines as the B-737 100/200 series, the P&W JT8 engines so there would not have been any problem with the size of the engine, also both airplanes basically share the same diameter fuselage.

The only possibility I can think of that Boeing in deciding not to go with the T tail configuration in the B-737 then ran into problems with the engines in a rear mounted configuration would have affected the airflow over the conventionally mounted horizontal stabilizer so they went with the wing mounted engine .


I believe in today’s FAR Part 25 Air Transport Category certification requirements, you can not place the engines rotor burst area next to the passenger compartment or any pressurized area, that’s why the CRJ and ERJ engines are farther aft. This also applies to biz jets are well as long as they are certified under FAR 25.

All the MD series airplanes are certified under amendments to the original DC-9 type certificate, so they are not required to conform with the new requirements.


25 ImperialEagle : Funny you should mention that because I find the same situation exists on the 764 especially if the aircraft is very heavy (which they usually are th
26 Starlionblue : Indeed. The MD-81 to MD-87 are in fact DC-9-81, DC-9-82, DC-9-83 and DC-9-87. The later variants are MD-88, MD-90-30 (I think it is 30) and 717 but a
27 AA757MIA : I love those seats and the WAAAWAAAWAAAWAAWAAAH!!!
28 Viscount724 : The T-tail and rear-mounted engine layout also results in a longer aircraft which may have implications for airport gate and hangar space etc. The sh
29 Post contains links PGNCS : Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 28): The T-tail and rear-mounted engine layout also results in a longer aircraft which may have implications for airport ga
30 PGNCS : Yes it does; some DC-9's have a sync indicator to aid in adjusting the throttles as well. The MD-80 synchronization system is generally good, but is
31 TZTriStar500 : This is not correct. From FAR 25.903: (d) Turbine engine installations. For turbine engine installations-- (1) Design precautions must be taken to mi
32 SXDFC : Hey I remember seeing a "Fokker F-100NG" on the forms not to long ago, I wonder how quiet it will be sitting in the back of one of those .
33 JoseKMLB : I love the noise on the ramp but the most thing I liked is when we had to do an airstart with the air bottle not the huffer. Start number 1 or 2 with
34 DocLightning : My favorite seats are the ones as far forward as you can get. When you go for T/O you can't even hear the engines. It feels like an invisible hand is
35 Ebs757 : I've sat next to the engines a few times non-reving on the S80... its certainly not fun but nothing really to complain about and least your getting th
36 Starlionblue : The invisible hand of either Mr. Pratt or Mr. Whitney.
37 ANITIX87 : I was, admittedly, right on the wing, but I went to the rear of the plane to use the lav and didn't notice any huge difference flying EWR-ZRH on the
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