Posts: 119
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Goodbye MD-11

Fri May 05, 2000 10:36 am

Does anyone else out there think it's a shame that Boeing is stopping production of the MD-11? Is it not an economical aircraft to operate? What do you think about all the bad press regarding the safety of the airplane? I've heard many things, ranging from the horizontal stabilizer being too small to the wings being too weak for the bulk of the airplane. One thing is for sure though: the MD-11 is one of the coolest looking planes in the sky.
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RE: Goodbye MD-11

Fri May 05, 2000 10:51 am

Well, if nobody is buying them, why should Boeing continue to make them?
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RE: Goodbye MD-11

Fri May 05, 2000 10:57 am

I think Boeing was too quick to kill the MD-11.....They killed it when the worldwide market was down a bit due to the Asian financial crisis a few years back......I think it would have sold ok if Boeing would have been more willing push the aircraft.
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RE: Goodbye MD-11

Fri May 05, 2000 11:05 am

Its a good cargo aircraft and BA could have easily maintained a 12 aircraft/year production. Maybe it wasn't profitable. But a lot of the passenger MD-11s are going to be converted to cargo. So the MD-11 will be around hauling cargo.


RE: Goodbye MD-11

Fri May 05, 2000 11:43 am

Its sure is a shame. The MD-11 is one unique plane in the sky being a tri-jet.

I know that the MD-11 was selling well as a cargo plane, with probably more. Lufthansa Cargo wanted to purchase more MD-11F for their fleet, but Boeing said, "No More MD-11s". Im not sure why they chose not to produce more, must be so Lufthansa Cargo can purchase Boeing models instead.

I'll love to Captain an MD-11!

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RE: Goodbye MD-11

Fri May 05, 2000 1:24 pm

The -11 will be around for a long time as a freighter aircraft, esp. with Lufthansa since they are just receiving theirs. I won't miss the passenger models, though you're right - they are unique.
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RE: Goodbye MD-11

Fri May 05, 2000 9:50 pm

Presumably Boeings well documented no to LH indicates that they were making a loss per airframe and could not anticipate with their predictions a break even point, given the further substantial investment an MD-11NG would have required.

Also, Boeings primary commercial objective in purchasing MD would have been an asset strip, not because they liked MD airplanes.
L1011 - P F M
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RE: Goodbye MD-11

Fri May 05, 2000 10:53 pm

With FedEx's determination to grab every one out there and now with Lufthansa's new-found love of the plane, looks like we can expect some kind of bidding war between the two parties for used MD11's in the near future.
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RE: Goodbye MD-11

Fri May 05, 2000 11:23 pm


i think you are mixing two things together it might be because of the mixup between your emotions (plane enthusiast) and business (commercial planes are there to make money!)  

1. Saftey record of MD11
2. Feasability of maintaining the production of the MD11, here you have the cost of production on one hand and the demand on the other, though i don't know the background of Boeings decision i might be simply because demand and offer don't meet anymore. Maybe they are loosing on this porject or they have an alternative project which is more promissing.

One last note, from an emotional side, i do like the MD11 very much and i hope to see them around for years to come, i can't judge about their economics but they can't be bad, airlines like Delta, Swissair and JAL can track their efficiency damn well!

take care
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RE: N949WP

Fri May 05, 2000 11:30 pm

You are right. In two years there will be the 19 SR MD-11 on the market. I am wondering who will buy these good maintained aircrafts.
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RE: Goodbye MD-11

Fri May 05, 2000 11:36 pm

But all this doesn't explain why many airlines sold their only few years old passenger MD-11's to freighter conversion and bought new Boeings and Airbusses - 767, 777, 330, 340 and such.
Doesn't anybody know why they disappear so fast as passenger planes? Swissair for instance sold all their MD-11's last year to - I think FedEx - for gradual delivery over the next few years.
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
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RE: Goodbye MD-11

Sat May 06, 2000 12:52 am

I am not sure you have to look too hard as to why Swissair is dumping their 11's.

Sometimes airlines need to make quick decisive fleet decision if they want to keep their pax and sharehoders happy and stay profitable. Loyalty to a manufacturer or type is not likely to be part of such a decision.
L1011 - P F M
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RE: Goodbye MD-11

Sat May 06, 2000 2:01 am

Once Delta has their TriStar fleet replaced with the 767-400 they are going to start replacing their MD-11 fleet with more 764s or 777s.

Also, don't forget about VASP. Since they're in bankruptcy now their MD-11s will be on the auction block soon by their creditors. Although they were poorly maintained, I'm sure there will be a buyer if the price is right.  

Does anybody know American's MD-11 plans?
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RE: Goodbye MD-11

Sat May 06, 2000 2:11 am

hi all
i too think that it will be a great shame to see such a beautiful aircraft go through cargo conversions less than 10 after they were made. there are DC-9's flying around since the 60's (i know they will be replaced)but they ave ben flying for 35 years or so. does anybody know about KLM's plans for their MD-11s, i haven't heard of them looking for their replacement.

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RE: Goodbye MD-11

Sat May 06, 2000 3:14 am

SR's MD11's are going to FED EX A deal has allready been decided. The MD11 bus my favourite plane!  

Jeremiah Teahan
Goodbye SR-LX MD-11 / 6th of March 1991 to the 31st of October 2004
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RE: Goodbye MD-11

Sat May 06, 2000 3:56 am

I think that the airplanes lasted for a long time, and have done their best, but for the purpose of dying off it would be best because of their age.  
787 Italia - Io, il comandante dell'aria

RE: Goodbye MD-11 (To AKelley728)

Sat May 06, 2000 9:36 am

American's plane on the MD-11 is that they have sold all of them to FedEx for I think some money and hush kits for their 727s.

They will gradualy replace them with their 777-200IGWs.

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RE: Goodbye MD-11

Sun May 07, 2000 2:35 pm

While the MD-11 may have been a great plane in of itself, it has had such a short production life for several reasons. When MD launched the type in 1986, it did so on pre-existing orders and neither Boeing nor Airbus had a new 300-350 seat jetliner available. As a result, MD felt it advantageous to keep its lead by deriving the new jet from the DC-10 which, of course, takes less time than creating a new design. Unfortunately, derivative designs often suffer from the weaknesses of the parent aircraft and hence the MD-11's initial failure to deliver the performance which American in particular desired.

With American's disappointment in the planes came a slowing of sales and, before major enhancements could be installed, Boeing had launched the 777 and Airbus the A330/A340. Both types were all-new and offered significantly upgraded technology, including fly-by-wire and composite components. Significantly, too, especially in the Triple 7's case, was the development of new high-powered engines which single-handedly made trijets obsolescent - why have the extra fuel consumption and noise of 3 engines when 2 could handle the job? Airbus tackled the issue differently by offering the same airframe in 2 versions, namely the mid-range twin A330 and the ultra-long-range quad A340, which enabled airlines to standardise their mid to long-range fleets.

Alas, as a result of all of this the MD-11 became THE casualty and most new orders went to the newer planes, followed by AA and SR selling off their fleets to FedEx. The MD-11 will survive for many years as a freighter and in so doing may well push the DC-10 into early retirement by being quieter and more efficient. Unfortunately, though, this is indeed the end for MD's last widebody.

Hop to it, fly for life!