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1337Delta764
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If The MD-11 And MD-90 Succeeded...

Thu Aug 31, 2006 8:43 am

If the MD-11 and MD-90 succeeded, where would McDonnell Douglas be today? The MD-11 and MD-90 were poor sellers, the MD-11 suffered from performance not reaching what McDonnell Douglas thought, and the MD-90 having inferior performance to the Airbus A320 and (at the time, upcoming) Boeing 737-800. Delta, originally a loyal McDonnell Douglas customer, started to lose trust in them after the MD-11 and MD-90 entered service. Delta in the end chose to switch to the Boeing 777-200ER for high capacity international routes, and the 737-800 as the 727 replacement.

If the MD-11 and MD-90 succeeded, perhaps McDonnell Douglas could of had a wider product range. The MD-XX and MD-12 might have been launched, as well as a true DC-10 replacement, which Delta would have likely purchased as their L-1011 replacement.
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FLALEFTY
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RE: If The MD-11 And MD-90 Succeeded...

Thu Aug 31, 2006 9:35 am

In short, I think MACDAC would have merged with Boeing, anyway.

The Clinton Administration was encouraging major aerospace firms to merge to reduce the number of "mouths" to feed out of the defense budget. The pre-merger, MACDAC had long been more of a defense, rather than a commerical aerospace firm. Boeing needed MACDAC's defense contracts to achieve "critical mass" and they had the cash and market value to be the survivor. Hence the deal was done.

Even if MACDAC had sold the MD-90 and MD-11 in huge numbers, it would have not stopped the merger. However, their production lines in Long Beach would have kept humming much longer.
 
cricket
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RE: If The MD-11 And MD-90 Succeeded...

Thu Aug 31, 2006 8:06 pm

Ifs and Buts, well we can all conjecture what might have happened, but fact is that McD didn't survive and the MD-11 and MD-90 commercial failures contributed to that. I personally think that three engined commercial aircraft were on the way out and even if the MD-11 had succeeded, the 777 would have still stolen its thunder. The MD-90 is another issue altogether. But, lots of things might have happened, we never know...
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MEA-707
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RE: If The MD-11 And MD-90 Succeeded...

Thu Aug 31, 2006 8:27 pm

The main mistakes were already made before launching the MD-11 and MD-90. They should have developed a wide body twin and maybe a six abreast 150 seater airplane by the early 80s instead of warming over the DC-9 and DC-10 again and again. They didn't offer a true aircraft family anymore, and even the most loyal customers who bought whatever MDD came up with, like KLM, Alitalia, Delta and SAS, started to turn to other manufacturers who WERE building what they needed.
Anyway, since the 1970s MDD was short of money (or the owners didn't try hard enough to finance it) to do a new plane from scratch, designing big planes has gotten so expensive there is no place for more then two, so the only way MDD would have survived was keeping Airbus marginal, which might have only been possible if they designed three new great aircraft families by the 1980s.
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gregtx
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RE: If The MD-11 And MD-90 Succeeded...

Thu Aug 31, 2006 11:16 pm

There was no way in hell either could have exceeded--neither were economically viable and were eaten by the competition.

This should be in the hobby section.
 
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yyz717
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RE: If The MD-11 And MD-90 Succeeded...

Fri Sep 01, 2006 1:32 am

Quoting MEA-707 (Reply 3):
The main mistakes were already made before launching the MD-11 and MD-90. They should have developed a wide body twin and maybe a six abreast 150 seater airplane by the early 80s instead of warming over the DC-9 and DC-10 again and again.

Good point. Very true.

Regarding each product line alone though, the M11 could have been made into a family of airliners with an M11-stretch taking capacity up to the 744 range. Or, alternately, the M12 should have been launched. Similarly, the M90 should have been built with 738/A320 range/payload performance in mind, along with a smaller M90-lite for shorthauls with engine commonality (the M95 had different engines), or alternately a family of M95 airliners up to the M80 capacity level. This would have still left a gap in the 170-300 seat capacity range and MDD would have still needed a smaller M11-twin or similar.

Quoting MEA-707 (Reply 3):
They didn't offer a true aircraft family anymore, and even the most loyal customers who bought whatever MDD came up with, like KLM, Alitalia, Delta and SAS, started to turn to other manufacturers who WERE building what they needed.

It's amazing how fiercely loyal some carriers were to MDD in addition to the above. I'd add Aeromexico, Finnair, Japan Air System, Swissair, Austrian, American to the loyalty group also, although perhaps not exclusively.

Perhaps the BIGGEST mistake MDD made was not competing against the 762 and A310 in the early 80's. A D10-twin with 2 crew would have spawned a family of small widebodies which would have filled out the MDD family of airliners. By not building a small wide twin, MDD forfeited this market completely.
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FlyKev
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RE: If The MD-11 And MD-90 Succeeded...

Fri Sep 01, 2006 2:14 am

Quoting 1337Delta764 (Thread starter):
If the MD-11 and MD-90 succeeded, perhaps McDonnell Douglas could of had a wider product range. The MD-XX and MD-12 might have been launched, as well as a true DC-10 replacement, which Delta would have likely purchased as their L-1011 replacement.

The MD-12 was actually planned to look like the A380 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McDonnell_Douglas_MD-12
And the MD-94x also never happened.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McDonnell_Douglas_MD-94X

Sadly, it never happpened.

Kev.
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aeroweanie
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RE: If The MD-11 And MD-90 Succeeded...

Fri Sep 01, 2006 5:17 am

Douglas merged with McDonnell in 1967. The McDonnell family had grown used to doing business with the US government, where they had a guarenteed profit and low risk. The risk and costs of developing and certifying the DC-10 shocked them. After this experience, they vowed to never launch a new aircraft after the DC-10 got its TC. Despite good business cases, the ATMR and the MDXX weren't launched. These could have given the A320 a run for its money and could have killed the 737. They tried but failed to sell half of Douglas to Taiwan to launch the MD12. As a result, there were only derivatives - the MD11, MD80, MD90 and MD95 (717). The end was in sight even before they merged with Boeing.
 
D950
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RE: If The MD-11 And MD-90 Succeeded...

Fri Sep 01, 2006 5:46 am

The Boeing MD-90 is an advanced mid-size, medium-range airliner that serves the needs of travelers and airlines today and well into the 21st century. The aircraft, one of the quietest large commercial jetliners in the skies, belongs to the twinjet family of aircraft that started with the DC-9 and includes the Boeing 717 and MD-80.

Following its launch in November 1989, the MD-90 first flew on February 22, 1993. After FAA certification in late 1994, the first delivery was made to launch customer Delta Air Lines in February 1995. The aircraft entered revenue service in April 1995.

The MD-90 was designed to be technically and economically competitive by incorporating many cost-effective technologies. It offers an advanced flight deck, including an electronic flight instrument system (EFIS), a full flight management system (FMS), a state-of-the-art inertial reference system, and LED dot-matrix displays for engine and system monitoring.

The MD-90 is powered by two International Aero Engines V2500 engines designed to be more fuel efficient as well as environmentally friendly by greatly reducing emission and noise levels.

The MD-90 retains the popular five-abreast interior arrangement and offers travelers high comfort levels and low interior noise levels. The passenger-pleasing innovation features wide seats, fewer center seats and more aisle and window seats.

Other features of the MD-90 include an advanced interior design, vacuum lavatories, new electrical and auxiliary power systems, an upgraded digital environmental control system, lightweight carbon brakes with digital anti-skid system, and significant improvements to the aircraft hydraulic system.

The MD-90 has an overall length of 152 feet, 7 inches (46.5 m) and a wing span of 107 feet, 10 inches (32.87 m). The fuselage provides a cargo volume of 1,300 cubic feet (36.8 cu m). Long-range cruising speed is Mach 0.76, or approximately 500 mph (812 km/hr).

The MD-90-30, with a maximum takeoff gross weight of 156,000 pounds (70,760 kg), will carry 155 passengers, in a typical mixed-class interior arrangement, approximately 2,400 statute miles. The MD-90-30ER increases the maximum gross weight to 166,000 pounds, providing a range increase to 2,500 statute miles, or, with the addition of a 565-gallon auxiliary fuel tank, an increase to 2,750 statute miles.

With a takeoff thrust of 25,000 pounds, the MD-90-30 can use runways as short as 5,000 feet (1,524 m) on a typical 550-statute-mile (885 km) operation with a full passenger load. At the maximum takeoff gross weight, the MD-90-30 requires only 7,100 feet (2,165 m) of runway. A 28,000-pound optional takeoff thrust rating is available for operators in need of special takeoff performance

So what the hell happened?
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dw747400
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RE: If The MD-11 And MD-90 Succeeded...

Fri Sep 01, 2006 7:18 am

Quoting MEA-707 (Reply 3):
They should have developed a wide body twin and maybe a six abreast 150 seater airplane by the early 80s instead of warming over the DC-9 and DC-10 again and again.

I'm always fascinated by how some manufacturers can keep updating a product to keep it competitive (look at the 737 family) while others can't do so. The 747 has been through several major incarnations, with dramatic updates in the -400 and -8 series. How come some projects are more readily modernized, while others seem to have been destined for failure?

Of course, the three engines of the MD-11 probably have something to do with it's difficulties, but what about the MD-90? Of course it has flaws inherent in its design, like structual complexity in the tail, but were these so much more dramatic that the design should have just been written off?
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N231YE
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RE: If The MD-11 And MD-90 Succeeded...

Fri Sep 01, 2006 7:34 am

Quoting MEA-707 (Reply 3):
The main mistakes were already made before launching the MD-11 and MD-90. They should have developed a wide body twin and maybe a six abreast 150 seater airplane by the early 80s instead of warming over the DC-9 and DC-10 again and again.

The funny thing is, that the original DC-10 design was to be a twin widebody. This was back in the mid '60s, and had McDonnell Douglas stayed with the original design plan, the DC-10 would have come before the A300, and would have been the world's first twin widebody. The original DC-10 design, if built, could have prevailed over the 767 due to a decade long head start.
 
texfly101
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RE: If The MD-11 And MD-90 Succeeded...

Fri Sep 01, 2006 7:48 am

Quoting FLALEFTY (Reply 1):
The pre-merger, MACDAC had long been more of a defense, rather than a commerical aerospace firm. Boeing needed MACDAC's defense contracts to achieve "critical mass" and they had the cash and market value to be the survivor. Hence the deal was done.

Yes, McD was mainly a defense firm by that time. The commercial side had been starved of development cash and McD was depending on defense contarcts for cash flow. And in the end, that proved to be their achilles heel. If you look at their performance in defense contarcts during the 80's and 90's, you'll find a contentious management style that constantly was underpeforming such as on defense contracts like the A-12 and the C-17. It took a huge political effort to keep the C-17 from being cancelled. When the A-12 suffered the same problems, the Pentagon/Navy decided enough is enough and cancelled it. The court battles that happened as a result are legendary and just recently were settled. Boeing took on that as part of the deal. McD didn't get another major contract after that cancellation. Always being late and then back charging for changes while pointing fingers at the military program bosses who then have to account for cost over runs doesn't endear you to the people who say who gets what. Their subsequent performance grades got them hit in the selection processes. They even lost the sole source Tomohawk contract in the mid 90's even tho the selection team chose for McD as the superior bid and McD made the better bird. The Pentagon and politicols made the selection against McD. And that was the straw that broke their back. After that, they turned around and entered serious merger negotiations with Boeing, which culminated with the deal in '98. It was McD's financial management that the military had enough of. Boeing needed the Phantom Works, which still had a lot of military fans as they were the equals of the Skunk Works and that brought a lot of military work to Boeing, hence we now have the Boeing F-15, F-18, and C-17, all of which were McD designs. The military wanted Boeings management style with McD's expertise. They got what they wanted. And we have the current status of the Big Three which isn't working out too bad. Just my view of what happened as I was at McD during those years.
 
jfk777
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RE: If The MD-11 And MD-90 Succeeded...

Fri Sep 01, 2006 8:58 am

The MD-11 was alright having sold about 200 planes. Only if the MD-12 had been built. The MD-11 failed by some circunstances that were perhaps "BAD LUCK" Singapore Airlines was going to order the airplanes if it could have flown with a certain load from Singapore to Paris, it couldn't so SIA ordered A340-300 then replaced by 777. My favorite MD-11 case study is Delta, they operated a flight from LAX to HKG; Even on a good the MD-11 had a hard time making it from LAX all the way to HKG. Taipei was often visited on these flights for a fuel top off.
 
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LTU932
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RE: If The MD-11 And MD-90 Succeeded...

Fri Sep 01, 2006 11:03 am

Quoting Jfk777 (Reply 12):
Singapore Airlines was going to order the airplanes if it could have flown with a certain load from Singapore to Paris, it couldn't so SIA ordered A340-300 then replaced by 777.

I thought SQ already had the MD-11 on order when they found out that it didn't meet the peformance MD promissed and that SQ's cancellation would be a major blow to the MD-11 programme.
 
GQfluffy
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RE: If The MD-11 And MD-90 Succeeded...

Fri Sep 01, 2006 3:23 pm

Quoting Yyz717 (Reply 5):
M11-stretch taking capacity up to the 744 range. Or, alternately, the M12 should have been launched.

That would've nailed the coffin shut long before the merger...

Quoting D950 (Reply 8):
So what the hell happened?

You yourself pointed it out...lack of range...no fleet commonality...too little...too late...
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aeroweanie
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RE: If The MD-11 And MD-90 Succeeded...

Sat Sep 02, 2006 1:50 am

Quoting N231YE (Reply 10):
The funny thing is, that the original DC-10 design was to be a twin widebody. This was back in the mid '60s, and had McDonnell Douglas stayed with the original design plan, the DC-10 would have come before the A300, and would have been the world's first twin widebody. The original DC-10 design, if built, could have prevailed over the 767 due to a decade long head start.

No, it started life as a trijet. American Airlines' (Frank Kolk) spec called for a twin, but Douglas responded with a trijet, as did Lockheed.
 
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RE: If The MD-11 And MD-90 Succeeded...

Sat Sep 02, 2006 3:31 am

Quoting AeroWeanie (Reply 15):
No, it started life as a trijet. American Airlines' (Frank Kolk) spec called for a twin, but Douglas responded with a trijet, as did Lockheed.

As I recall, Eastern and United wanted tri-jets instead of a twin, both for safety and rendundancy. UA was concerned about flying out of DEN, EA concerend with overwater issues in the Caribbean. In any event the trijet prevailed. Remember, the reliability of the high-bypass engines was not what it was today, indeed in 1968 it was a relatively untested technology.
 
N231YE
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RE: If The MD-11 And MD-90 Succeeded...

Sat Sep 02, 2006 9:59 am

Quoting AeroWeanie (Reply 15):
No, it started life as a trijet. American Airlines' (Frank Kolk) spec called for a twin, but Douglas responded with a trijet, as did Lockheed.

No, that is incorrect. As described in McDonnell Doulgas, Volume II: "Under the initial leadership of George Worley, the Douglas team first concentrated its efforts on twin-engined designs, as requested by American Airlines...Thereafter Doulgas began to favor a three-engined configuration with US intercontinental range partially as a result of a survey of other potential customers which indicated that a twin-engined aircraft would not be required by most airlines until at least 1975, and partially due to concern over engine-out performance at the hot and high Denver Stapleton Airport-a major point on the network of United Air Lines, potentially the largest customer for the proposed aircraft" (276).

So to correct your post, it did start life as a twin.

Francillon, Rene J. McDonnell Doulgas Aircraft Volume II. Annapolis:Naval Institute Press, 1990.

While on the topic, I should also add that McDonnell Douglas still hung on to the twin-DC-10, which became the DC-X-200, but later abandoned it in the Mid '70s due to the fact that it would compete with the already existent DC-10-10.