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.
-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
-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.
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???)