qantas777
Posts: 390
Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2000 7:52 am

What's Wrong With The MD-11?

Thu Jun 27, 2002 3:32 am

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.
 
Captain.MD-11
Posts: 657
Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2001 7:03 am

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

Thu Jun 27, 2002 3:39 am

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?
 
LMP737
Posts: 4810
Joined: Wed May 08, 2002 4:06 pm

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

Thu Jun 27, 2002 4:02 am

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.
Never take financial advice from co-workers.
 
B747-4U3
Posts: 617
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2002 8:08 am

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

Thu Jun 27, 2002 4:05 am

It is a shame because I really like the MD 11.
 
brons2
Posts: 2462
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2001 1:02 pm

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

Thu Jun 27, 2002 4:29 am

the MD-11 is fly by wire...
Firings, if well done, are good for employee morale.
 
LMP737
Posts: 4810
Joined: Wed May 08, 2002 4:06 pm

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

Thu Jun 27, 2002 4:35 am

Brons2:

No, the MD-11 is not fly-by-wire.
Never take financial advice from co-workers.
 
JBirdAV8r
Posts: 3454
Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2001 4:44 am

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

Thu Jun 27, 2002 5:19 am

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
 
jwenting
Posts: 9973
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2001 10:12 pm

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

Thu Jun 27, 2002 5:25 am

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
 
LMP737
Posts: 4810
Joined: Wed May 08, 2002 4:06 pm

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

Thu Jun 27, 2002 6:20 am

JbirdAV8r:

Which airline was it?
Never take financial advice from co-workers.
 
brons2
Posts: 2462
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2001 1:02 pm

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

Thu Jun 27, 2002 6:49 am

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.
 
nikonF100
Posts: 254
Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2000 3:21 am

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

Thu Jun 27, 2002 7:13 am

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?

 
brons2
Posts: 2462
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2001 1:02 pm

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

Thu Jun 27, 2002 7:20 am

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.
 
LMP737
Posts: 4810
Joined: Wed May 08, 2002 4:06 pm

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

Thu Jun 27, 2002 8:03 am

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.
Never take financial advice from co-workers.
 
MD88Captain
Posts: 1224
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2001 9:50 am

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

Thu Jun 27, 2002 8:18 am

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.
 
woodsboy
Posts: 899
Joined: Sat Mar 18, 2000 5:59 am

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

Thu Jun 27, 2002 8:22 am

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.
 
FDXmech
Posts: 3219
Joined: Sun Mar 19, 2000 9:48 pm

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

Thu Jun 27, 2002 11:21 am

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.
 
IFlyADesk
Posts: 307
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2001 6:36 am

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

Thu Jun 27, 2002 11:36 am

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...
 
seagull
Posts: 334
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2001 5:58 pm

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

Thu Jun 27, 2002 12:02 pm

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.