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MD-88 Single Engine Taxi  
User currently offlineDelta07 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 96 posts, RR: 0
Posted (10 years 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 4099 times:

I have had this on my mind for awhile now and was wondering if anyone, particularly DL pilots, would have the answer.

A while back, I was going from ATL to SAT on an M80 and as we were taxiing out to 26L, there were several aircraft ahead of us. I generally like to sit near the rear by the engine to hear the sound, plus it has a hypnotic buzz at cruise. Anyway, I looked out the window and noticed that the right engine was not running and we were taxiing with only the left engine.

Once we started getting closer to 26L, I looked out the window again back at the engine and I heard it start and saw the fan start.

The aircraft was fairly full and we had to wait quite awhile to take off, did the pilot do this to save fuel or what. I had heard that it's harder to steer an aircraft with only one engine running.

Any insight on this would be great. Thanks  Smile


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18 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineQantasA332 From Australia, joined Dec 2003, 1500 posts, RR: 26
Reply 1, posted (10 years 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 4076 times:

I had heard that it's harder to steer an aircraft with only one engine running.

It certainly is harder due to the asymetrical thrust, but at low speeds that wouldn't really be an issue. I think the second engine wasn't started until later just to save a bit of fuel, or maybe to reduce noise for whatever reason...

Cheers,
QantasA332


User currently offlineArmitageShanks From UK - England, joined Dec 2003, 3552 posts, RR: 15
Reply 2, posted (10 years 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 4065 times:

I seem to think they did that on my Delta MD-88 from Houston to Atlanta. I also saw a few CO 737's with only one engine running during taxi.

User currently offlineDeltaGuy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (10 years 3 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 4047 times:

Pretty common practice...the Operating Manual states "Single engine taxi unless operational needs dictate otherwise"...so if you're at A concourse, and have to get all the way down to Rw 26L, single engine will save alot of fuel...especially with an airline that's trying to slim down gas costs...

DeltaGuy  Smile


User currently offlineFutureualpilot From United States of America, joined May 2000, 2598 posts, RR: 8
Reply 4, posted (10 years 3 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 3918 times:

Ive had it happen on the -80s too, although most recently on an AA MD-83 in STL.

I was thinking about the asymmetrical thrust of one engine taxying and wouldnt it be less significant than an airliner with wing mounted engines because the -80 engines are nearer the center of the fuselage?



Life is better when you surf.
User currently offlineDeltaGuy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (10 years 3 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 3906 times:

Actually, it's most jet airliners that I can think of...except the 747 lol. Some airports (LGA) you cannot use single engine, as using only one would make ALOT of jetblast to make that breakway power...

Aircraft use a decent amount of fuel while holding short on the ground, and saving any little bit will add up to millions across the fleet....also, judicious use of the APU is important...saves money on gas and cycles on the powerplants...

DeltaGuy


User currently offlineQantasA332 From Australia, joined Dec 2003, 1500 posts, RR: 26
Reply 6, posted (10 years 3 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 3896 times:

Was thinking about the asymmetrical thrust of one engine taxying and wouldn't it be less significant than an airliner with wing mounted engines because the -80 engines are nearer the center of the fuselage?

The asymmetrical thrust of a one-engine-running aircraft with rear-mounted engines is certainly less significant than that of an aircraft with wing-mounted engines (after all, torque = force X lever arm  Laugh out loud). It is definitely still there, though...I'll let you find the appropriate data and calculate the difference...

Cheers,
QantasA332


User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 16908 posts, RR: 67
Reply 7, posted (10 years 3 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 3865 times:

And if you want easy evidence of what QantasA332 just said about asymmetrical thrust, compare the size of an MD-80 tail with the size of a 737 tail. Both need to keep the plane from yawing if an engine fails, but there is much less torque with the engines closer to the centerline.


"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineB747skipper From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (10 years 3 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 3854 times:

Fuel economy is the only reason to do this...
Jet engines really do not require "warm-up", except in some extreme cold conditions (oil)...
In a 747 we start the "remaining engines" at least 3 minutes before T/O.
xxx
With the 747, in my PanAm days at JFK, FRA or LHR, taxi on 3 or even 2 engines was frequent. I remember being number... something like 40 or 50 for takeoff. Out of JFK, late evening departures for Europe. Sometimes the taxi time did exceed 1 hour. Once at JFK, I also had to return to gate to refuel.
xxx
Do not believe that a tail mounted engine does not have much asymmetrical trust. Even on a MD-80, loss of engine at low speed on the takeoff roll, it is impossible to stay on the runway unless the remaining engine is immediately retarded. There is a VmcG for these airplanes... even if it is lower than airplanes with wing mounted engines, but there is one...
xxx
Happy contrails  Smile
(s) Skipper


User currently offlineLMP737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (10 years 3 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 3802 times:

If you are doing a single engine taxi it's always a good idea to have the APU up and running. If the IDG decides to quit on you your APU gennerator will take over. Much better option than having the airplane go dark and emergency power kicking in.

User currently offlineJetguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (10 years 3 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 3747 times:

In the bizjets we fly we do quite a bit of single-engine taxiing. However, most of the time it's after we land, not usually done before takeoff. The reason isn't for fuel savings, but rather to reduce brake wear and keep the taxi speed down. Even at idle thrust, we can really build up quite a head of steam if we're not careful. We have the option of using the TRs, but even those have limitations. On extended taxis, it's just simpler to shut down the RH engine (after the 3 minute cool down period) and bring it in on one engine.

Jetguy


User currently offlineQantasA332 From Australia, joined Dec 2003, 1500 posts, RR: 26
Reply 11, posted (10 years 3 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 3725 times:

Do not believe that a tail mounted engine does not have much asymmetrical trust. Even on a MD-80, loss of engine at low speed on the takeoff roll, it is impossible to stay on the runway unless the remaining engine is immediately retarded.

Yes asymmetrical thrust of a rear-engine aircraft is certainly still existent (and very forceful, I'm sure), but for the same amount of thrust as a wing-mounted jet, the yawing moment is considerably less, for the reason I stated in my previous post...it's certainly significant, but less.

Cheers,
QantasA332


User currently offlineCRFLY From Costa Rica, joined Jan 2004, 197 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (10 years 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 3631 times:

Same happened to me in a 757 at MIA... We had to wait 15 mins. on the taxiway for the gate, which was busy with another 757 that was departing late, and #1 they shut down the plane, waited 5 mins, turn on Engine #1 and taxied to the Gate with #2 turned off... Cool practice to save fuel...
On the other hand we pushed back one month ago from DFW with trust reversers... weird, huh? It was a MD-80 with AA gain so it was veerrryyy noisy...



With Age comes Wisdom...
User currently offline747ENG From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2004, 25 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (10 years 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 3617 times:

Never mind the single engine taxi, what about a No engine taxi, using only the APU !!

Down in Maputo several years ago, there was the usual gaggle of Antonov 26s etc.

Working in the hangar one day, one was always aware when one of those things started its APU. When the APU was loaded for engine start (Pneu) the noise (residual thrust) increased to a level louder than a BAC 1-11 at take off. APU located in rear or nacelle.

Then the noise become increasingly louder, as the aircraft taxied passed the hangar with both props stationary but the APU was providing thrust.

I daresay the aircraft was only repositioning, no doubt lightly loaded for parking, but seemed incredibly weird, and absoloutely deafening


User currently offlineFlyingbronco05 From United States of America, joined May 2002, 3840 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (10 years 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 3571 times:

Anyway, I looked out the window and noticed that the right engine was not running and we were taxiing with only the left engine.

Not saying you are wrong, but is it even possible to see the engine turning while taxiing and in flight?


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Photo © Bruce Leibowitz




Never Trust Your Fuel Gauge
User currently offlineQantasA332 From Australia, joined Dec 2003, 1500 posts, RR: 26
Reply 15, posted (10 years 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 3566 times:

...but is it even possible to see the engine turning while taxiing and in flight?

Yes, it certainly is -- engine running = blurred fan blades, engine not running = distinct/seperate fan blades. The only reason the they (the fan blades) aren't blurred in the photo you refered to is that the view is that of a camera, and thus one fraction of a second of time is captured. If you were simply looking out of the window yourself, it woud definitely be blurred...

Cheers,
QantasA332


User currently offlineDelta07 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 96 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (10 years 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 3564 times:

Yes, it is possible. If you torque your body just right like Bruce Leibowitz did to get the picture you can see the blades of the fan just past the front "guard ". The first time I looked they were not moving, then the second time, I heard the engine start and saw the blades start spinning. Believe me, it's hard to do and you have to get the right seat just in front of the engine and the aircraft facing toward the sun but its possible. I got cramp in my neck trying to see but it was fun Big grin

By the way, thanks for posting that pic. I was looking for it the other day when I posted this. Thanks  Smile



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User currently offline747ENG From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2004, 25 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (10 years 2 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 3475 times:

Boys,

I think a small point of correction

Frozen in a pic or not, the "blades" you are looking at are the fixed inlet guide vanes, not the first stage compressor blades. They are behing the guide vanes

In cruise the N1 spool is probably turning around 4000 RPM so you would need a very fast camera to stop that in mid flow.

Sitting in the right seat, from stationary you would notice the fan spool up initially until it quickly became a blur The best giveaway would be the noise as it is directional on spool up too


User currently offlineBR715-A1-30 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (10 years 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 3454 times:

When I fly FL and we taxi to Runway 3-2 for takeoff, we run on one engine until we get close to the runway (since the taxi time is so long). If we go to Runway 1-4, The Captain will start both engines before taxiing.

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