What's Wrong With The MD-11?

Sun Aug 01, 1999 11:48 pm

I hear that alot of airlines are getting rid of their MD-11s. Why? Is it because of the Swissair crash. It certainly can't be that they're getting old, the MD-11 is 9 years old, it's just a baby! Why are these airlines getting rid of them? What's wrong with the MD-11?

DL 604
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Joined: Wed Jul 14, 1999 1:15 pm

RE: What's Wrong With The MD-11?

Mon Aug 02, 1999 12:26 am

...Most of the airline people I've talked to says they like the MD-11. As a longtime MD-11 watcher here at SJC, it was well liked and never had a very serious incident, tho there were some delays at the beginning when American Airlines started flying SJC-NRT. They started using the 777 now, on May 1,1999 out of SJC. I think the economics is the biggest factor. Overall it is a very beefy plane, but I think it may be a number of factors all added up, plus the freighters company's snap the MD-11's up like hotcakes when they become available anyways. If you were to read the NTSB page and check the incident/accident page, you'll find similar reports on what happend to the Swissair MD-11 to be very common with all types of aircraft with no crash. Though I am no expert, I don't feel the MD-11 is any different than the rest of the planes, just maybe a few more highly publicized incidents than the rest. It's also the media, they love to harp on things ad-nausem. Don't belive everything you read.
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RE: What's Wrong With The MD-11?

Mon Aug 02, 1999 3:31 am

The key thing that brought the MD-11 out of favor with the major airlines is mainly economic. When the MD-11 was going thru flight testing the range and fuel-burn rates were shown as vry promising. Airline like AA and Delta were looking for ranges like that to be truely competitive on trans-pacific routes. When the MD-11 entered service it turned into a real pain for the airlines. The range/fuel-burn give to the airlines from McDD on the MD-11 were it was higher than what the airlines were experiencing in operation. Well now airlines like AA and Delta had already jumped on the MD-11 bandwagon (mainly beacuse it was comming out earlier and was based on proven airframe than it main competetor the 777). So when airlines started to really complain about the range/fuel-burn and McDD finally got a fix in the works for the problem it was too late. AA for example stopped it orders and had to wait in line for the 777 (which was out now and lived up to it projected specifications). The only saving grace for the MD-11 was that Federal Express loved the plane and with all the airlines in the process of getting rid of them Fed Ex started buying more (Mostly ex-AA and other airlines) and converting them into cargo carryiers.

If anyone this is wrong this is how I heard it so don't kill me...I'm only human after all.
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RE: What's Wrong With The MD-11?

Mon Aug 02, 1999 4:19 am

Yes... it was a VERY thirsty aircraft.

Jack M
Posts: 6633
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 11:10 am

JWM AirTrans

Mon Aug 02, 1999 8:07 am

Actually, the MD-11 not nearly "a VERY thirsty aircraft" as compared to many earlier aircraft such as the B747-200, L1011, DC-10, ... It was just not quite as efficient as the 777 and A340.

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