Topic Author
Posts: 157
Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2006 4:59 am

Airliner speeds

Mon Nov 09, 1998 5:50 am

This morning I was looking through some airliner specs and was suprised to find that the DC-10 is the fastest widebody ever built, even faster than the MD-11, 747 or A340/330. I was wondering why haven't widebodies got faster over the years instead of getting slower. I would think that the evolution of aircraft design would make these newer designs faster.
Does anyone have an explanation? maybe fuel consumption has something to do with it?


RE: Airliner speeds

Mon Nov 09, 1998 6:46 am

Actually the DC-10 is not the fastest, atleast in normal cruise. The 747 and L-1011 both cruise faster than the DC-10.

Yes, it has everything to do with fuel consumption why the planes have gotten slower instead of faster. The new generation of high bypass turbofan engines are just most economical when not pushed to the speeds of the older planes.
Posts: 955
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 2:59 am

RE: Airliner speeds

Mon Nov 09, 1998 6:58 am

True, widebodies with the exception of the 747 have slowed down over the years. The old Convair 990 Coronado was the fastest ever, but it drunk fuel like a marathon runner drinks Gatorade. When the price of jet fuel rose during the oil shortages, those planes were quickly put into retirement.

However, some planes have become faster. The old 737-200 cruises at Mach .72, but the new 737-600-700-800 cruise at Mach .78.