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DC9-21: Why No 717-100

Tue Nov 12, 2002 8:37 am

Ok, I know the answer would probably be Economics, but if McDD produced the DC9-21 for only 1 customer and 10 frames, why won't boeing produce a 717-100 for a customer. Basically all they would have to do is take a -200 and take a section out and voila. Any thoughts??
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RE: DC9-21: Why No 717-100

Tue Nov 12, 2002 8:45 am

Nowadays certification requirements are a lot more stringent. As for Boeing we are incredibly lucky that the 717 is still in production, considering the close size of the 737-600. The days of heavy customer influence, such as with the 707-138, are gone. Customer input is used through the design phase, the 'Working Together' bit, but unless significant orders (read Airtran or Qantaslink) can be obtained the RJs (EMB, CRJ etc.) will continue to rule the lower end of the market.
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RE: DC9-21: Why No 717-100

Tue Nov 12, 2002 8:52 am

The DC-9-21 was not a new design. It was basically a DC-9-10 with some improvements such as more powerful engines & leading edge slats. Hence, the development cost of the -21 was minimal as it had the same basic fuselage as the -10.

A 717-100 (aka 711) would be a entirely new fuselage....hence would require a more expensive development & certification. Although, Boeing would probably launch the aircraft with a sizeable order.

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RE: DC9-21: Why No 717-100

Tue Nov 12, 2002 9:00 am

Isn't the -21 a combination of the fuselage of the -10 and the wing of the -30 or -50 (if there is a diff.)?

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RE: DC9-21: Why No 717-100

Tue Nov 12, 2002 4:09 pm

Douglas persued the -21 because there was thought that there was a larger market for it. Specifically, it was designed around the shorter runways of the time. But as fast as the plane was developed, people ended up lengthing runways, even in Japan, and the idea kind of fizzled.

Douglas was willing to launch with limited orders, especially from a good customer like SAS. If they made or lost money is unknown. However, overall, one has to remember that Douglas (and post merger McDD) always lived on the financial ropes, so using them as a guideline for a profitable business would be unwise.  Smile


RE: DC9-21: Why No 717-100

Tue Nov 12, 2002 5:36 pm

Godbless - to answer your question I was told that a 20 series, was a 10 series fuselage with 30 series wing... leading edge flaps difference... the 10 had a "hard wing" like these DC9 pilots say...
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RE: DC9-21: Why No 717-100

Tue Nov 12, 2002 7:00 pm

MDD was famous to develop or customize planes for each airline.
By doing this, you just increase development, certification and production costs.
And the final result ???
MDD doen't exist anymore.
That's very sad, but today, the world is runned by finance, not customer care or creativity
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RE: DC9-21: Why No 717-100

Tue Nov 12, 2002 7:18 pm

In addition to slats,the -30 wing also had a longer span.
Just for the record: Boeing 717 is the model designation for the KC-135 Stratotanker series.When the MD-95 was redesignated 717,Boeing gave it the -200 suffix and started to refer to the KC-135 as the -100.
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RE: DC9-21: Why No 717-100

Tue Nov 12, 2002 7:23 pm

A 717-100 (aka 711) would be a entirely new fuselage...

Why is that? Can't they just shorten the fuselage by a few frames?

I think it would be an interesting idea - They could create a 75-90 pax version which could compete with Embraer, and take up the slack of BAe dropping their RJ line. There MUST be a lot of airlines out there that could use aircraft in the 75-105 pax region, which two versions of the 717 could fill nicely. The 717 is wonderfully efficient, and is one of the highest technology planes in the air. It looks like a DC-9, but is nothing like it under the skin.

It would also put Boeing, for better or worse, into a market segment they have never been in - the sub-100 seat jet business. I don't think that Airbus could create a A317 to compete - the A318 already looks damned wierd.

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RE: DC9-21: Why No 717-100

Tue Nov 12, 2002 10:39 pm


The problem is with certification and development costs. If Boeing were to get firm orders for, say, 50 of the 711, the might do it. But right now, the CRJ-700/900 and the larger ERJ-145 (and the larger variant the designation of which escapes me at the moment) are filling the market for a 70-90 seat aircraft.

Also, landing fees would probably be higher for the 711 than the CRJ-900, so unless someone is looking for fleet commonality requirements (say FL looking to operate its own JetConnect service instead of Air Wisconsin operating it), then I could see Boeing developing the 711, 712ER, and maybe even a 713 in addition to the current (and only) 712. But right now, FL and the other 712 customers seem happy with what they have.

Oh, one more thing: The current 717-200 used to be the MD-95-30. The MD-95-10 was going to fill this market. Boeing looked at the in-production CRJ and the upcoming ERJ and decided not to try to compete with them. The MD-95-50, what would now be called the 717-300, was on the board and I assume is waiting for an airline to give Boeing a firm order, though it's unlikely this will happen any time soon.
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RE: DC9-21: Why No 717-100

Wed Nov 13, 2002 1:22 am

The DC-9-21 also had larger, more powerful engines from the -30.
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RE: DC9-21: Why No 717-100

Wed Nov 13, 2002 3:52 am

Another thing that comes to mind is weight, and balance. Back in the days of yore, Douglas had actually toyed with a DC-9-5, a shorter version of the -10. But one of the 'killer' issues was engine weight, and shortening the fuselage would have caused some balance issues, and they might have had to ballast the aircraft (not bad for flying, but balast is essentially dead weight, an anathema for an airline).

I wonder if the 717, with the much larger BR715 engines, might not also have issues if you shortened it up. I know that Travis (the AirTran F/A) has alluded to using ballast in lightly loaded 717's -- that issue might just be worse if you shorten the fuselage.

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RE: DC9-21: Why No 717-100

Sat Nov 16, 2002 6:34 am

The design for the 717-100 would most likely still be powered by the BR-715 powerplant, just derated some more (the versions of it on the 717 are derated from the baseline engine). The BR-710 (powerplant used on the G-V, the G500, the G550, the Global Express, the Nimrod MRA4, and the Tu-334-120) has also been mentioned as a potential powerplant for as well.

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