boeingguy1
Posts: 395
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2006 4:31 am

The MD-8X/9X Series

Mon Jul 03, 2006 11:14 am

Hey guys,

With some of the frantic calls from some a.net members wanting AA and DL to replace their MD-8/9X series of aircraft, I ask you... is it really that more expensive?

Example... DL's MD-88s are almost as old as some A320s flying around today... arent the fuel costs around the same?

The MD-90 operates with the same IAE engines on som varients of the A320... so what gives?

Personally, maybe some of AA's older models need to be replaced, but are the MD-80s really the gas guzzlers some A.NET members point them out to be?
"...Gatwick South!? Id rather crash in Brighton!"
 
MaxQ2351
Posts: 321
Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2006 6:41 am

RE: The MD-8X/9X Series

Mon Jul 03, 2006 11:32 am

Quoting Boeingguy1 (Thread starter):
but are the MD-80s really the gas guzzlers some A.NET members point them out to be?

No, they really aren't. When they were brand new, they were leaps & bounds ahead of the competition in "gas mileage".......competition being the 707, 727, and the such.

The MD-90's I'm sure are noticeably more efficient than the MD-80s, but the MD-80's are still not all that bad. With regard to AA's MD-80's.....all of their MD-83's came off the line with the JT8D-219's, and they have since upgraded all of their MD-82's with the JT8D-219's also. More power for the same pounds per hour burn as the -217.

Since AA has over 300 Super 80's, they know they're going to have to hang on to them for a long time. Their youngest bird is....7 years old now I think. Built in 1999 and delivered to TWA. Anyhow, as discussed on previous boards, AA has discussed possibilities for increasing the efficiency of the Super 80 fleet. The easiest modification they are currently fitting the fleet with is the "flat" tail cone (aircraft in foreground):

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Photo © Dennis Wong



How that's more efficient?? I don't know!! It just is!! Maybe swing over to Tech/ops to find out why. The other modification idea that has been tossed around is, of course, winglets. But the feasibility of retrofitting over 300 aircraft?? Judge for yourself. Maybe if AA could swing a deal with Boeing to winglet-retrofit some of their Super 80's if they are one of the launch customers for....Y3 I think it is (737-1000???)

-Max
The 777-200LR......2 engines 4 longer haul
 
COERJ145
Posts: 1140
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 7:22 am

RE: The MD-8X/9X Series

Tue Jul 04, 2006 2:20 am

Quoting MaxQ2351 (Reply 1):
How that's more efficient?? I don't know!! It just is!! Maybe swing over to Tech/ops to find out why.

I'm not from tech ops, but I think the flat head reduces drag, while increasing fuel efficiency by 1-3%. Anyone know if the flat head could be accomedated on NW DC9s?
 
dutchjet
Posts: 7714
Joined: Sat Oct 14, 2000 6:13 am

RE: The MD-8X/9X Series

Tue Jul 04, 2006 2:49 am

The MD80 family of airplanes are not as fuel effecient as the newer offerings from Boeing and Airbus, but their fuel burn is not excessive and the operating costs of the MD80 remain within an acceptable range. Of course, fuel costs are only one part of an airline's operating costs for any given flight.

But, if fuel costs remain at the very high levels that we are currently seeing, or if they go even higher, the fact that the MD80 is not the most fuel effecient narrow body around becomes a more important issue.

AA has a huge MD80 fleet and DL has a huge MD88 fleet.....it will take years and years for DL and AA to replace these aircraft, not to mention billions and billions of dollars. Most expect both DL and AA to take more 738s in a few years time (once finances permit) and most expect that both airlines will replace the majority of their respective MD80 fleets with the successor to the 737NG or A32X......as both are loyal Boeing customers, it will likely be the Boeing Y1 that is selected.
 
COERJ145
Posts: 1140
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 7:22 am

RE: The MD-8X/9X Series

Tue Jul 04, 2006 2:54 am

Quoting Dutchjet (Reply 3):
DL has a huge MD88 fleet

Not really, DL's MD80 fleet is a bit more than a third of AA's MD80 fleet(115 vs. 327 a/c). Their MD80 fleet size is comparable to NW's DC9 fleet(about 115 a/c each).
 
dutchjet
Posts: 7714
Joined: Sat Oct 14, 2000 6:13 am

RE: The MD-8X/9X Series

Tue Jul 04, 2006 2:57 am

Quoting COERJ145 (Reply 4):

Not really, DL's MD80 fleet is a bit more than a third of AA's MD80 fleet(115 vs. 327 a/c). Their MD80 fleet size is comparable to NW's DC9 fleet(about 115 a/c each).

115 airplanes is a huge fleet of airplanes in my world.

327 airplanes is simply an enormous fleet.

 Smile
 
Parabolica
Posts: 74
Joined: Thu Mar 30, 2006 2:15 am

RE: The MD-8X/9X Series

Tue Jul 04, 2006 3:10 am

Good Afternoon Gentlemen

I too have been puzzled by the trashing the MD-8x/9x gets here on a.net. In my former life, I flew AMS - MPX each week, usually on the KLM service using the wide variety of 737's they operate. However, due to booking and availability I was frequently put on an Alitalia MD.

In my opinion, the Douglas product was unbelievably more civilized compared to it's Seattle counterpart. The DC handled the inevitable turbulance over the Alps much better, appeared to climb faster, had a wider and more comfortable interior and most importantly of all, was significantly quieter.

The A318/9/20/21 is visibly from this century compared to both of those old soldiers, but man what a rattle trap. What is that intermittent noise that comes from below just before engine start up? Deploying and stowing flaps, opening the undercarriage doors, and of course engine noise are very high compared to the old DC.

Of course it (the A320) is a vastly more efficient and modern airliner, uncomparable really, but I can't help but think it makes airlines happier than passengers. When I get a chance to sit on a DC-9 and its progeny, I am a happy person, even if it costs me a bit more. Damn sexy looking thing too.

P-
oh please let there never be cell phones in airliners...
 
rikkus67
Posts: 1144
Joined: Fri Jun 09, 2000 11:34 am

RE: The MD-8X/9X Series

Tue Jul 04, 2006 3:59 am

With the vast amount of MD-8X in the US legacy fleet, would it not be to some advantage to re-engine the aircraft? UPS did this with their fleet of 727-100's, and I am sure a more modern RR Tay engine could be made stage IV noise compliant, let alone other engine choices....


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Photo © René Gilbert


original P&W engines......................

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Photo © Andy Vanderheyden


re-engined with RR
AC.WA.CP.DL.RW.CO.WG.WJ.WN.KI.FL.SK.ACL.UA.US.F9
 
dutchjet
Posts: 7714
Joined: Sat Oct 14, 2000 6:13 am

RE: The MD-8X/9X Series

Tue Jul 04, 2006 5:21 am

Quoting Rikkus67 (Reply 7):
With the vast amount of MD-8X in the US legacy fleet, would it not be to some advantage to re-engine the aircraft?

Re-engine projects for the MD80 have been talked about with no clear answer. The first issue is whether there is an appropriate engine out there to use for a re-engine project. The second issue is cost; re-engine projects are very expensive as not only new engines are required, usually many of the airplanes systems have to be updated or reworked to accommodate the new powerplants. Most of the MD80s in service are already 15 to 20 years old....its unclear if a big investment into the airframes makes much sense. As you probably know, there have been very few re-engine projects carried out - the DC8 Super 60/70 project was probably the most successful, but it was clear that the DC8S would have a long "second-life" hauling cargo which is why the investment made sense.

As mentioned, the MD80 is not a fuel guzzler but its not as effecient as the A32X or 737NG models....only if fuel prices remain at this very high level or go even higher would a re-engine project even be considered.....and in the long run, my guess is that the airlines would instead find a way to acquire new airplanes instead of investing into the older MD80s.
 
rikkus67
Posts: 1144
Joined: Fri Jun 09, 2000 11:34 am

RE: The MD-8X/9X Series

Tue Jul 04, 2006 7:26 am

Does anyone know what the Dee Howard conversion cost ended up being for UPS per airframe?

Other successful re-engining programs included the Convair 240-340-440 series from piston to turboprop, also the lackluster powerplant switch from turboprop to jet undertaken by Dornier on the 328 (new builds, not rebuilds...)
AC.WA.CP.DL.RW.CO.WG.WJ.WN.KI.FL.SK.ACL.UA.US.F9
 
dutchjet
Posts: 7714
Joined: Sat Oct 14, 2000 6:13 am

RE: The MD-8X/9X Series

Tue Jul 04, 2006 7:31 am

Quoting Rikkus67 (Reply 9):
Does anyone know what the Dee Howard conversion cost ended up being for UPS per airframe?

Its a good question, I always wondered if the UPS 721 project made any financial sense in the long run.....or would have UPS been better off acquring new or second hand 733s (for example) for freighter conversion.
 
boeingguy1
Posts: 395
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2006 4:31 am

RE: The MD-8X/9X Series

Tue Jul 04, 2006 9:51 pm

Well the DL MD-88s are relatively young, as are their MD-90s....
"...Gatwick South!? Id rather crash in Brighton!"
 
moman
Posts: 708
Joined: Tue Aug 10, 2004 7:17 am

RE: The MD-8X/9X Series

Tue Jul 04, 2006 11:18 pm

The MD80s get a bad rap unnecessarily; I believe a lot has to do with the lack of IFE that customers complain about.

Considering that AA has put a larger priority on international routes as of late, an aircraft replacement for the Mad dogs seems to be a very low priority. AA's press releases have said that retiring the oldest MD80s was an efficiency move; since they had increased seats and dropped unprofitable routes they no longer need the jets. If there was the demand at the right price, AA would keep the birds flying.

All this fleet replacement, and he-said, she-said is just gossip. I would judge the average AA Captain to have as much knowledge about fleet replacement as the IT worker in AA headquarters. Managment has never acknowledged a fleet replacement is being considered and briefly hinted at a re-engine study.

AA will be flying Mad dogs in 2020 (at least I hope!)
AA Platinum Member - American Airlines Forever
 
sulman
Posts: 1963
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2004 5:09 am

RE: The MD-8X/9X Series

Tue Jul 04, 2006 11:21 pm

Quoting Parabolica (Reply 6):
The A318/9/20/21 is visibly from this century compared to both of those old soldiers, but man what a rattle trap. What is that intermittent noise that comes from below just before engine start up? Deploying and stowing flaps, opening the

Hydraulic PTU?

Sounds like a dog barking.
It takes a big man to admit they are wrong, and I am not a big man.
 
Parabolica
Posts: 74
Joined: Thu Mar 30, 2006 2:15 am

RE: The MD-8X/9X Series

Wed Jul 05, 2006 1:28 am

Quoting Sulman (Reply 13):
Sounds like a dog barking.

javascript:;

Thats it exactly. I was struggling to think of a good analogy.

Again, no doubts whatsoever as to which one is the better machine, but I suppose one way they made it so efficient is by skimping on sound insulation.
oh please let there never be cell phones in airliners...