bh4007
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What Is So Wrong With The MD-11?

Wed May 24, 2006 4:25 am

Am I missing something?? Why are nearly all the MD-11 passenger operators planning or have already retired the MD-11 - its only 16 years old!! All the 744s are still around and they came out 2 years before the MD-11!

This is all I can think of as possible reasons:

Pressure for freight conversions from the likes of FedEx
The fact that it has one two many engines (compared to 777, A330)
Inefficiency
Safety concerns (unlikely)

It may not be the most successful airplane ever but surely it deserves a place in someone's passenger fleet?

Also, surely the engine technolgy was available in the late 80s for the MD-11 to be a twin? Could that have saved it?

[Edited 2006-05-23 21:27:42]

[Edited 2006-05-23 21:28:25]
 
jamesbuk
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What Is So Wrong With The MD-11?

Wed May 24, 2006 4:28 am

Simply because it has 3 engines!
The engine on the tail means that the maintanence cost's are alot higher unlike say the 777,A330 etc were it has 2 engines which are easy to get to therefore quicker maintanence times and less fuel usage.

Rgds --James--
You cant have your cake and eat it... What the hells the point in having it then!!!
 
YYZflyer
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What Is So Wrong With The MD-11?

Wed May 24, 2006 4:32 am

Too bad such a good looking plane is going to be retired so early.
Avoid hangovers, stay drunk.
 
bh4007
Posts: 225
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What Is So Wrong With The MD-11?

Wed May 24, 2006 4:33 am

Quoting Jamesbuk (Reply 1):
Simply because it has 3 engines!

Really? Is that all? Such a shame for an exciting and a looker of an aircraft. I would of thought that it would have been a perfect replacement for Delta's Tri-Stars and Americans DC-10s? (if of course Delta and AA had replaced in the late 80s which probably would have never happened)

[Edited 2006-05-23 21:35:05]
 
HT
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What Is So Wrong With The MD-11?

Wed May 24, 2006 4:34 am

Most operators felt that they could save money by replacing the MD11 with twinengined a/c (the B777 and A330 that you already mentioned).

Also servicing the center engine turned out to be a major task, due to its high level above the ground.

OTOH, there are pax-carriers that successfully have increased their MD11 presence in recent years with Finnair being one of these.

Also, as you already said, the MD11(F) is quite popular among freight carriers, as it can transport about the same amount of cargo as the older B747F´s but with a considerably lower fuel burn. IIRC, the last models off the line went to LH Cargo ?

-HT
Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
 
Magyarorszag
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What Is So Wrong With The MD-11?

Wed May 24, 2006 5:30 am

Quoting Bh4007 (Thread starter):
What Is SO Wrong With The MD-11?

May I suggest the following discussion.


http://www.airliners.net/discussions...general_aviation/read.main/2535514
 
brendows
Posts: 801
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What Is So Wrong With The MD-11?

Wed May 24, 2006 5:31 am

Quoting Bh4007 (Thread starter):
It may not be the most successful airplane ever but surely it deserves a place in someone's passenger fleet?

MDD had to tweak the MD-11 after EIS to make it reach the intended range and fuel burn. But by that time, important customers like SQ had already cancelled their orders for the MD-11. Later, the A340 was launched, and finally also the 777, and their superior operating economics made the MD-11 less favorable as a passenger jet.

Quoting Bh4007 (Thread starter):

Also, surely the engine technolgy was available in the late 80s for the MD-11 to be a twin? Could that have saved it?

Engines with that kind of thrust weren't available at that time, not until the 777 was launched. Also, MDD didn't have the funds, or the interest to make the necessary investment, to make the MD-11 much more than an upgraded DC-10. They could have done much more (a new wing for example,) but didn't. The MD-11 turned out to be a great freighter, but falling short of the performance targets didn't attract the pax carriers...

Quoting HT (Reply 4):
IIRC, the last models off the line went to LH Cargo ?

I believe that's true.
 
DAYflyer
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What Is So Wrong With The MD-11?

Wed May 24, 2006 5:38 am

Quoting Bh4007 (Reply 3):
Such a shame for an exciting and a looker of an aircraft.

Agreed. Same goes for it's predecessor; I thought the DC-10 was great looking as well.
One Nation Under God
 
klmcedric
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What Is So Wrong With The MD-11?

Wed May 24, 2006 5:40 am

There also seem to be a lot of tech problems with M11's.
I did the AMS-YUL flight yesterday with the A332 because the MD11 who
normally should have operated it was in the hangar due to a technical
malfunction. And that's only one of the many stories I've heard.
Also when I worked for SN, they also had a lot of problems with their M11's.
And yet KLM seems to want to hold on to them for many years to come.
I wonder if it's because they like them so much, or it's because they are paid
for?
 
Markhkg
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What Is So Wrong With The MD-11?

Wed May 24, 2006 5:42 am

Quoting Bh4007 (Thread starter):
Safety concerns

What impact do you guys feel the Swissair Flight 111 crash had on the MD-11 program? For some reason I keep feeling that the crash played an instrumental role in its downfall...
Release your seat-belts and get out! Leave everything!
 
gritzngravee
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What Is So Wrong With The MD-11?

Wed May 24, 2006 5:48 am

It's called ETOPS!!!! When the FAA and JAA certified two engine aircraft for oceanic routes there was no reason for Tri Jets it basically started the demise for L-1011's and MD-11's. Why pay more money for extra maintenance and fule for one extra engine when you can have two engines do the same thing at a cheaper cost? The 777 killed them and all of the other 2 engine widebodies followed.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ETOPS
 
Magyarorszag
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What Is So Wrong With The MD-11?

Wed May 24, 2006 5:52 am

Quoting MarkHKG (Reply 9):
What impact do you guys feel the Swissair Flight 111 crash had on the MD-11 program? For some reason I keep feeling that the crash played an instrumental role in its downfall...

It was too late to have an impact on the program. Boeing announced in June 1998 the end of the production of the MD-11. SR111 happened some three months later.

[Edited 2006-05-23 22:54:05]
 
seanp11
Posts: 281
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What Is So Wrong With The MD-11?

Wed May 24, 2006 6:20 am

Quoting Bh4007 (Reply 3):
Really? Is that all? Such a shame for an exciting and a looker of an aircraft. I would of thought that it would have been a perfect replacement for Delta's Tri-Stars and Americans DC-10s? (if of course Delta and AA had replaced in the late 80s which probably would have never happened)

Isn't that what they bought the MD-11 for in the first place? and it fell short of performance targets, and both airlines went far enough to replace them with 777s.
 
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BALandorLivery
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What Is So Wrong With The MD-11?

Wed May 24, 2006 6:24 am

Think it didn't perform as good as was expected in range/fuel burn but not sure.
 
Ex_SQer
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What Is So Wrong With The MD-11?

Wed May 24, 2006 8:02 am

Quoting MarkHKG (Reply 9):
What impact do you guys feel the Swissair Flight 111 crash had on the MD-11 program? For some reason I keep feeling that the crash played an instrumental role in its downfall...

SQ's change of mind over its intended MD11 order was the first major blow to the program. The subsequent problematic EIS did not help either.
 
american762
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What Is So Wrong With The MD-11?

Wed May 24, 2006 1:20 pm

Its all up there. 3 engines was originally designed for flights that needed the range, but not the capacity of the 747's. Hence the L-1011, DC-10s, MD-11.
Pan Am has a place of its' own. You call it the world, we call it home.
 
airbusA346
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What Is So Wrong With The MD-11?

Wed May 24, 2006 4:08 pm

Quoting HT (Reply 4):
the last models off the line went to LH Cargo

This is the last passenger MD-11 built:


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Lauri Huima


OH-LGE

This is the last MD-11F built for LH Cargo MD-11F


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Patrik Hjortberg
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © AirNikon


D-ALCN

Tom.
Tom Walker '086' First Officer of a A318/A319 for Air Lambert - Hours Flown: 17 hour 05 minutes (last updated 24/12/05).
 
BR715-A1-30
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What Is So Wrong With The MD-11?

Wed May 24, 2006 6:54 pm

How long did AA keep their MD-11s.. IT seems like they got them in 1993 or 94 and got rid of them in 01 or 02.
Puhdiddle
 
DC3CV3407AC727
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What Is So Wrong With The MD-11?

Wed May 24, 2006 8:40 pm

it is a beautiful ship to behold,thank God, FedEx,and UPS keep that flame kindled in the USA.
the rumble of round engines is like music to me,likewise the thunder of thr JT8D
 
tockeyhockey
Posts: 880
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What Is So Wrong With The MD-11?

Wed May 24, 2006 9:27 pm

i love how in every thread on the md-11, someone brings up the SJC-NRT route issue. as if a single, somewhat narrow route for one airline was the demise of an entire production line.
 
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ClassicLover
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What Is So Wrong With The MD-11?

Wed May 24, 2006 9:32 pm

I'm flying on the Finnair MD-11 on 23 April next year  Smile Booked the flight today. I'm really looking forward to riding the aircraft and trying Finnair's new flat bed Business Class. The aircraft are supposed to be in service with AY until the A350s come in 2012... at this stage anyway!
I do quite enjoy a spot of flying - more so when it's not in Economy!
 
BAe146
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What Is So Wrong With The MD-11?

Wed May 24, 2006 11:08 pm

Quoting DC3CV3407AC727 (Reply 18):

it is a beautiful ship to behold,thank God, FedEx,and UPS keep that flame kindled in the USA

Don't forget Gemini Air Cargo, and World Airways!
 
mig21umd
Posts: 267
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What Is So Wrong With The MD-11?

Wed May 24, 2006 11:25 pm

Quoting Gritzngravee (Reply 10):
It's called ETOPS!!!! When the FAA and JAA certified two engine aircraft for oceanic routes there was no reason for Tri Jets it basically started the demise for L-1011's and MD-11's.

Another interesting question to ask would be if ETOPS was never certified would have Airbus and Boeing made there own version of a tri jet and would an independent MDD still be around today?

The MD11 along with the DC10 and the 727 are just beautiful looking machines!
Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you long to return
 
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Starlionblue
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What Is So Wrong With The MD-11?

Wed May 24, 2006 11:29 pm

Quoting HT (Reply 4):
Also, as you already said, the MD11(F) is quite popular among freight carriers, as it can transport about the same amount of cargo as the older B747F´s but with a considerably lower fuel burn. IIRC, the last models off the line went to LH Cargo ?

As was shown above the last ones went to LH Cargo. I heard a rumor they wanted more.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
airbazar
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What Is So Wrong With The MD-11?

Wed May 24, 2006 11:30 pm

Same reason why the A342 didn't sell well: It never performed as advertised.
 
gritzngravee
Posts: 120
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What Is So Wrong With The MD-11?

Thu May 25, 2006 12:24 am

Quoting Mig21UMD (Reply 22):
Another interesting question to ask would be if ETOPS was never certified would have Airbus and Boeing made there own version of a tri jet and would an independent MDD still be around today?

My grandfather (RIP) told me a saying a long time ago: "If, ifs and buts were candy and nuts everyday would be Christmas!" Point is, there is no reason in saying "but" and "what if this and what if that." Technology is progeressive, demand from the market required a drastic change you cannot live in the stone age forever. If it costs less to maintain and fuel an aircraft the same size as any tri jet, with one less engine I think anyone with basic mathematic skills can figure out which aircraft needs to stop flying on passenger service.
 
FLALEFTY
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What Is So Wrong With The MD-11?

Thu May 25, 2006 12:46 am

The MD-11 suffered from several issues: It was a derivative design that was too rooted in the notorious, DC-10. It was developed during a transitional period (the mid-late 1980s) for both engine and avionics design and suffered from severe "growing pains" as a result. Thanks to ETOPS, its prime, intended service area, the Trans-Atlantic market, had been diced-up by cheaper, 763s and A310s. Singapore's much-publicized MD-11 order cancellation hurt the plane's reputation. American and Delta struggled with the MD-11's initially-poor dispatch reliability. Then came superior-performing planes such as the 777 and A330.

The MD-11 reminds me of the DC-8-60 series - Both were derivatives that extended the viability of previous-generation designs, but neither represented the state-of-the-art. And it's ironic that both aircraft eventually became favorites of cargo carriers.
 
YULWinterSkies
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What Is So Wrong With The MD-11?

Thu May 25, 2006 12:51 am

Quoting Bh4007 (Thread starter):
Also, surely the engine technolgy was available in the late 80s for the MD-11 to be a twin? Could that have saved it?

Not so sure about that. The MD11 first flew in 1989 (?), the largest twins at the time were the A300-600R and 767-300ER, and they were significantly smaller than the MD11. Only in 1993 the 330-300 came out (largest twin ever built at this time), it was NOT a long-range airliner. In 1995, the 777-200A came out (even larger twin), again, it was NOT a long-range airliner. The first twin with a range comparable or exceeding the range of the MD11 and of comparable size, was the 777-200ER, which came out in 1997 (IIRC), ~ 8 years after the MD11 if my estimations are right.
That was probably the time it took for the engines manufacturers to be able to develop an engine with sufficient power, efficiency, etc to carry a MD11-sized monster on >10,000 km...

Also, as the MD11 was a derivative of the DC10, cost of development of a twin-engined MD11 would have been MUCH higher, and it would probably have been available only a few years after. Marketing decisions probably had a lot to do with that too (cf the current troubles of the A350 program... = when is it best to invest money, and how much money is it best to invest? A double question which definitely can't be answered with certitude)
When I doubt... go running!
 
Magyarorszag
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What Is So Wrong With The MD-11?

Thu May 25, 2006 1:10 am

Quoting BR715-A1-30 (Reply 17):
How long did AA keep their MD-11s.. IT seems like they got them in 1993 or 94 and got rid of them in 01 or 02.

The first AA MD-11 was delivered in Feb 1991. The last aircraft was operated sometime at the end of 2001.
 
jamesbuk
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RE: What Is So Wrong With The MD-11?

Thu May 25, 2006 1:17 am

Quoting Bh4007 (Reply 3):
Bh4007

Obviously not just that but if you ask me I'd say thats one of the leading contributions to its ending

Rgds --James--
You cant have your cake and eat it... What the hells the point in having it then!!!
 
warreng24
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RE: What Is So Wrong With The MD-11?

Thu May 25, 2006 2:09 am

Remember that that third engine is just difficult to get to in terms of repairs and for checks.

The 727 and L-1011 also have the same problem. You basically have to take the entire tail apart to remove the third engine!

You need a crane to get to it, or a scissor lift. It can't be easily worked on from the ground like the wing mounted engines.

The DC-9's and MD-80's have similar issues, but you don't have to take the tail part to get to the engine.

Aside from the MX issues, the 3 engine configs SUCK a lot of fuel. Three engines were great back in the days where ETOPS wasn't as popular (or reliable) as today. Now with the ETOPS 180 and 207 rules, you basically eliminate most of the over-seas routes the tri-jets used to operate.
 
bmacleod
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RE: What Is So Wrong With The MD-11?

Thu May 25, 2006 3:22 am

Quoting YULWinterSkies (Reply 27):
cost of development of a twin-engined MD11 would have been MUCH higher

Yes, but imagine if MDD had developed a twin-jet airliner...the 777 market probably would have suffered and MDD would have lasted longer.
"What good are wings without the courage to fly?" - Atticus
 
QXatFAT
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RE: What Is So Wrong With The MD-11?

Thu May 25, 2006 4:00 am

My best fight experiance was on a RG MD-11  Sad The face is for the MD-11 and for RG.

I really wish these birds were around more. They are my #1 favorite bird next to the Q400.
Don't Tread On Me!
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: What Is So Wrong With The MD-11?

Thu May 25, 2006 4:28 am

Quoting Warreng24 (Reply 30):
Remember that that third engine is just difficult to get to in terms of repairs and for checks.

The 727 and L-1011 also have the same problem. You basically have to take the entire tail apart to remove the third engine!

You need a crane to get to it, or a scissor lift. It can't be easily worked on from the ground like the wing mounted engines.

The DC-9's and MD-80's have similar issues, but you don't have to take the tail part to get to the engine.

Indeed. Also the tail is much closer to the ground. You don't need giant cranes.

Quoting Bmacleod (Reply 31):
Quoting YULWinterSkies (Reply 27):
cost of development of a twin-engined MD11 would have been MUCH higher

Yes, but imagine if MDD had developed a twin-jet airliner...the 777 market probably would have suffered and MDD would have lasted longer.

Assuming a lot of things, yes. But they had neither the money nor the powerplant at the correct time.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
bmacleod
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RE: What Is So Wrong With The MD-11?

Fri May 26, 2006 11:21 pm

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 23):
As was shown above the last ones went to LH Cargo. I heard a rumor they wanted more.

Well they do own Swiss which recently retired their MD-11s. I'm sure they have a few still parked.
"What good are wings without the courage to fly?" - Atticus
 
Captain.MD-11
Posts: 657
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RE: What Is So Wrong With The MD-11?

Sat May 27, 2006 12:31 am

The MD-11 is simply the most beautiful aircraft in the skies today (now that Concorde has said goodbye.)

In many ways the MD-11 was quite advanced.I read somewhere that flightcrew that have gone from flying the MD-11 to flying the 737NG say its like stepping back in time  Smile

They had their faults, we all know about the enconomic issues and the way it likes to keep pilots on their toes etc but they are a fantastic freighter and a joy to fly on imho.


A big thank you goes out to Finnair, KLM and Varig for keeping her in pax service.

That reminds me, I must book a oneworld fare and get on an AY one sooner rather than later.
Twins,twins, everywhere.... but where are the three holers?
 
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ClassicLover
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RE: What Is So Wrong With The MD-11?

Sat May 27, 2006 1:07 am

Quoting Captain.MD-11 (Reply 35):
That reminds me, I must book a oneworld fare and get on an AY one sooner rather than later.

SIN-LHR on AY one way in Business Class - 900 GBP. One way! Bargain! I am doing it in April (I like to plan ahead). You can also do it from BKK. Go on, you know you want to!
I do quite enjoy a spot of flying - more so when it's not in Economy!
 
Captain.MD-11
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RE: What Is So Wrong With The MD-11?

Sat May 27, 2006 4:32 am

I'm lucky in that I can only pay 10% of the full fare, eg LHR-HKG rtn in J works out at around 270 GBP. I will buy a cheap standby rtn on AY somewhere with my other half, she understands my love for the MD-11 so she won't mind a quick detour in HEL Big grin

900 GBP is not bad though one way.
Twins,twins, everywhere.... but where are the three holers?
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: What Is So Wrong With The MD-11?

Thu Jun 01, 2006 1:42 am

To continue this thread with "Child of MD-11" http://www.airliners.net/discussions/tech_ops/read.main/155510/
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo