columba
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MD 90 Vs A320 And 737NG

Sat Apr 29, 2006 10:48 pm

Yesterday I have seen a Nordic MD 90 and I was wondering if Boeing did not take over MDD would the MD 90 have stand a fair ground against the A320 and 737NG.
What are your thoughts on that ?
It will forever be a McDonnell Douglas MD 80 , Boeing MD 80 sounds so wrong
 
BDL2DCA
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RE: MD 90 Vs A320 And 737NG

Sat Apr 29, 2006 10:59 pm

Since the MD-90's range is only 2400 statute miles, it would not have the same transcon capabilities as the 737NG or the 320 series. That might limit its appeal, since it would not be able to do northeast-to-California runs.
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S12PPL
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RE: MD 90 Vs A320 And 737NG

Sun Apr 30, 2006 12:16 am

I think the M90 is a totally different airplane than the 737NG's, or the A320. They, I think, are designed for different markets.
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AA737-823
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RE: MD 90 Vs A320 And 737NG

Sun Apr 30, 2006 12:25 am

The MD-90-30 also has wing issues... they're too small for the airplane. Douglas couldn't spend the money to develop a better wing. Which is unfortunate- it's a decent wing for the MD-80. But for the larger and heavier MD-90-30, it's just too small. The plane can't reach it's cruising altitude when fully loaded with pax and fuel, particularly on a hot day. BIG HONKIN' engines help, but not once your off the runway at Salt Lake or Denver.

I think it's a good plane, but the 737NG is certainly more capable, and the A320 probably is, too.
 
worldtraveler
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RE: MD 90 Vs A320 And 737NG

Sun Apr 30, 2006 2:26 am

On a per seat basis, the MD90 is competitive with other aircraft but it doesn't have the performance capabilities of the other two. That was the sad story of most McDonnell Douglas aircraft - the company couldn't spend the money to keep pace with Boeing and Airbus although they certainly knew what had to happen.
 
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lightsaber
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RE: MD 90 Vs A320 And 737NG

Sun Apr 30, 2006 2:44 am

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 3):
BIG HONKIN' engines help, but not once your off the runway at Salt Lake or Denver.

Every plane needs big Honkin' engines.  Wink  bigthumbsup 

But AA737-823 hit the nail on the head, the MD-90 has performance issues. The wing is too small, it requires a lot more hanger time than the MD-80 (why? I don't know, but it does.) Also, for some reason the V2533-D5 had some major teething issues. Probably due to the MD-90 being the launch customer for the 33K variant, but I've heard scuttlebut it had to do with a slight asymetrical inlet profile due to nacelle/aircraft interaction. However, on this I speculate. It was a problem solved before my time, so please don't take this as anything else but speculation and rumor.

Think about it, the MD-80 requires 18k to 22k of thrust (or was it 18k to 21k?). On the other hand the MD-90's shipped with 27k to 33k! The required thrust increase was greater than the expected from the weight increase. Thus, it screams overloaded wing...

Sad that that the MD's died off due to the launching the MD-11 and MD-90 with wing loadings that were way too high for the technology of the time.  Sad Obviously the shrunk 717 (MD95) has no such issue.  spin 

Quoting BDL2DCA (Reply 1):

Since the MD-90's range is only 2400 statute miles, it would not have the same transcon capabilities as the 737NG or the 320 series. That might limit its appeal, since it would not be able to do northeast-to-California runs.

 checkmark  but you're comparing to today's versions of the 737 and A320. When the MD90 was launched, its range was competitive and was just good enough for ATL-LAX (hence DL's order). But the reliability and operations kept DL and others from ordering more.


Lightsaber
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BDL2DCA
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RE: MD 90 Vs A320 And 737NG

Sun Apr 30, 2006 3:10 am

Quoting Lightsaber (Reply 5):
When the MD90 was launched, its range was competitive

Considering the 320 series aircraft were out at the time, I'd say its range was not competitive. Otherwise, we might have seen an AC or UA order for the M90, rather than the 32S.
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RE: MD 90 Vs A320 And 737NG

Sun Apr 30, 2006 3:50 am

Quoting BDL2DCA (Reply 6):

Considering the 320 series aircraft were out at the time, I'd say its range was not competitive. Otherwise, we might have seen an AC or UA order for the M90, rather than the 32S.

First, most customers do not need trans-contenental range. Do you think Easyjets A319's are equipped for 3,000+nm trips? While I don't know the details, I bet if the MD-90 was more fuel efficient and reliable it would have been competitive for the orders.

You're also comparing to the A320-200 circa 1989; so yes, it was available and had longer range, but that was back when Airbus was having trouble convincing customers to go fly by wire...

The MD-90 entered service in 1993, with orders that predated the A320-200. So I can agree with you on AC or UA. But recall that the 733 was still very popular and the 737NG didn't leave the factory until 1997. So until then there was a window.

Recall that single isle coast to coast "point to point" really didn't start taking off until 2000 when AA, WN, UA, B6 and others really got into the fray. So I accept that Airbus, AC, and UA led the pack. But the mindset of airlines would have allowed great MD-90 sales until about 1996 if it had been reliable. But its initial entry into service was so poor it killed the airframe more so than range. With reliability or even meeting promised operational performance, DL would have bought more MD-90's. Maybe AA? IIRC they ordered the 737-800 in 1998. I'm not saying the MD-90 would have been a category killer. Obviously not. I'm just arguing range wasn't what truely killed it. It was poor economics.

So while I don't dispute for some airlines the MD-90 wasn't competitive, for hubbing airlines pre 737NG with large MD-80 or DC-9 fleets, the MD-90 could have been competitve at its range. But again, fuel burn and reliability ended any interest in the type. But in the last seven years we've gone from diversified fleets with aircraft optimized for each mission to fleet commonality. We've gone from hubs being king to "point to point." The need for frequency is much better recognized (it was noted then, but not as all consuming as today). There has been a nice change in mindset in the industry. But maybe this comes from my love of reading history and looking into how mind sets change with time.  spin 

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qqflyboy
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RE: MD 90 Vs A320 And 737NG

Sun Apr 30, 2006 11:30 am

I remember QQ advertising the MD-90 as the most fuel efficient and quietest aircraft available when it was released. I never knew of a range issue... we used to fly the 90 from RNO to ATL and back. Seems like a decent range to me. I knew the wing was an issue. From a flight attendant perspective, I loved that plane. It was SO quiet inside... much, much quieter than and MD-80.
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RE: MD 90 Vs A320 And 737NG

Sun Apr 30, 2006 4:14 pm

Quoting S12PPL (Reply 2):
I think the M90 is a totally different airplane than the 737NG's, or the A320. They, I think, are designed for different markets.

Actually, it was designed as a direct competitor
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md90fan
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RE: MD 90 Vs A320 And 737NG

Mon May 01, 2006 7:50 am

Quoting Lightsaber (Reply 7):
Maybe AA? IIRC they ordered the 737-800 in 1998

They acquired MD-90's thru the merger with QQ and eventually dumped them.

Also the MD-90 had the glitches with the software and suffered from being rushed into production by McDD.  Sad

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