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1337Delta764
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McDonnell Douglas - Why No 757/767 Rival?

Wed Jan 10, 2007 1:26 am

Why didn't McDonnell Douglas make a rival to the 757 and 767? The MD-80 was McDonnell Douglas's last successful product. The MD-87, MD-11, and MD-90 were all failures. In the early 1980s, Delta was a loyal McDonnell Douglas customer, which is why they chose the MD-88 over the 737-400. If McD made a competitor to the 757 and 767 in the mid-1980s, they perhaps would have gotten some orders. The 757 and 767 were the first Boeing aircraft to be actually ordered by Delta (the 727s and 737 Classics were inherited through buyouts). If McD offered a 757 or 767 rival at the right time, they would have likely gotten an order from Delta.
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scouseflyer
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RE: McDonnell Douglas - Why No 757/767 Rival?

Wed Jan 10, 2007 1:28 am

I don't know but I'm guessing not enough cash in bank to finance an entirely new line?
 
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deltadawg
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RE: McDonnell Douglas - Why No 757/767 Rival?

Wed Jan 10, 2007 1:58 am

I believe part of it was that they really concentrated on military contracts which was part of the reason Boeing wanted them.
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Ferret
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RE: McDonnell Douglas - Why No 757/767 Rival?

Wed Jan 10, 2007 2:07 am

I read about this. If memory serves, they had cash-flow issues with the DC-10 project, as their break-even # of airframes continued to increase to the point that I think they just barely made it over the life of the project. Addtionally, in the mid-70s the DC-10 production was entering full-swing when Boeing began developing the 757/767 projects. McD did propose twin variants of its DC-10 to potential customers. This would have competed against the 767. However, there was little interest shown in the twin project.

The 757 as I recall ended up being an unusual aircraft that was a bit of a compromise rather than a 727 replacement that it was originally planned to be. As such, the MD-80/90 variants did compete as 727 replacements.
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SEPilot
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RE: McDonnell Douglas - Why No 757/767 Rival?

Wed Jan 10, 2007 2:18 am

Quoting Ferret (Reply 3):
I read about this. If memory serves, they had cash-flow issues with the DC-10 project, as their break-even # of airframes continued to increase to the point that I think they just barely made it over the life of the project.

I was under the impression that the DC-10 never did make money, but I could be wrong. I'm quite sure the l-1011 never did.
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rampart
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RE: McDonnell Douglas - Why No 757/767 Rival?

Wed Jan 10, 2007 2:28 am

The classic 20/20 hindsight question.

A couple articles in Airways last year talked about McDD collaborating with Airbus at one point. The DC-10 twin cropped up several times, if I recall. Typical of McDD at the time, they had a hard time funding and committing to something new, and partnerships (i.e. with Japan, Airbus, China) never panned out.

Also at the time, recall that Boeing did not have a L1011/DC10-sized competitor. They ceded that range to McDD and Lockheed (parallels to today?). So, while McDD was competing with Lockheed for market in the mid-size widebody (what they called an "airbus" in the late 60's), Boeing had the large jumbo to itself, and was free to develop the small widebody.

-Rampart
 
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OzarkD9S
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RE: McDonnell Douglas - Why No 757/767 Rival?

Wed Jan 10, 2007 2:31 am

EVERYTHING after the McDonnell merger with Douglas in terms of commercial aircraft was a derivative. There never was much interest on the McD side of things to develop the commercial line compared with military product.
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EXAAUADL
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RE: McDonnell Douglas - Why No 757/767 Rival?

Wed Jan 10, 2007 2:33 am

Good question:


While it is known that the L1011 nearly put Lockheed out of business, what is less widely know is that the DC-10 injured MDD seriously.

By 1978 when the 757 and 767 were being planned, it is unlikey MDD had the cash to develop an entirely new aircraft type...especially given the damage done to the company with the DC-10/L1011 rivalry....Also by 1978, MDD was interested in the MD-80 which had no apparent competition at that time.
 
khobar
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RE: McDonnell Douglas - Why No 757/767 Rival?

Wed Jan 10, 2007 2:36 am

Quoting Ferret (Reply 3):
McD did propose twin variants of its DC-10 to potential customers. This would have competed against the 767. However, there was little interest shown in the twin project.

The DC-10 was originally proposed as a twin-jet, but airlines were concerned with performance issues (engine out, over water routes) and so MD went with a tri-jet. They still clung to the idea of a twin, proposing a shortened DC-10 with two engines to enter service in 1975, but they decided it would then compete against the DC-10 in some cases. Instead, they focused on stretched versions of the DC-10 (up to 40'), eventually building the MD-11, 22'4" longer than the DC-10.

Sure would have been interesting had things worked out differently.
 
Areopagus
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RE: McDonnell Douglas - Why No 757/767 Rival?

Wed Jan 10, 2007 3:09 am

There is an interesting study by Dave Gillett, Strategy in the Commercial Aircraft Industry in the United States: A comparison of Decisionmaking by McDonnell-Douglas and Boeing Aircraft Companies from 1977-1983. I squirreled away a copy when it was freely available at http://www.ndu.edu/library/ic6/94-F-02.pdf, but that page no longer exists. Google leads to its availability online at Storming Media for $20.95.  Sad

Here is a part of the summary:
McAir's strategic vision was that of a Defense company that had diversified into the commercial market. McAir, made most of its profits from Defense related business. At first it was willing to take risks. It invested heavily in the DC-10 and had failed to become profitable. Against this background, it refused to risk its entire net worth to develop a new transport in the late 70s and early 80s. As a result, its market share would eventually shrink from 25 percent to 15 percent. Boeing, on the other hand, was primarily a commercial aircraft manufacturer. Obviously, Boeing had a much higher tolerance for risk. Moreover, it had also learned from past errors. It learned to control costs and analyze the market. Once it completed these two tasks, it had the confidence to risk the company to stay in the market. Boeing would retain most of its 60 percent market share and continue to be the world's leader in the commercial transport market.
 
bmacleod
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RE: McDonnell Douglas - Why No 757/767 Rival?

Wed Jan 10, 2007 3:34 am

The closest McDD came to a 757 competitor was the MD-90. The 767 was already facing stiff competition from the A310 and there was just no room for McDD to enter.

This aside from the fact that no resources (financial and infrastructure) were available for them for a project of that magnitude.
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1337Delta764
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RE: McDonnell Douglas - Why No 757/767 Rival?

Wed Jan 10, 2007 3:39 am

Quoting Bmacleod (Reply 10):
The closest McDD came to a 757 competitor was the MD-90. The 767 was already facing stiff competition from the A310 and there was just no room for McDD to enter.

I wouldn't call the MD-90 a 757 competitor at all. It was designed to compete with the A320, and failed at it. With the 737-800 in the works, more airlines either chose the A320 or waited for the 737-800. After Boeing bought out McDonnell Douglas, the MD-90 was doomed as it was internal competition with the 737-800.

If MD were to make a 757 competitior, the narrow DC-9 fuselage would have been inappropriate for such a design. It would have also required a longer wingspan.
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RE: McDonnell Douglas - Why No 757/767 Rival?

Wed Jan 10, 2007 3:44 am

Quoting 1337Delta764 (Thread starter):
The 757 and 767 were the first Boeing aircraft to be actually ordered by Delta (the 727s and 737 Classics were inherited through buyouts).

Well, not exactly. DL did place orders fro, and take deliveries for B-727-200ADVs in the 1970s. They also operated 4 (IIRC) B-747-100s in the early 1970s, that they ordered from Boeing, as well as some B-720Bs they ordered in the 1960s. Going back to the 1930s, DL also ordered and operated some B-247s.
 
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RE: McDonnell Douglas - Why No 757/767 Rival?

Wed Jan 10, 2007 3:52 am

MacDac proposed a number of aircraft in the 1970s in the 757/767 size range.

The first proposal, in the mid 1970s, was a joint venture with Dassault to update the Dassault Mercure, with new engines and an updated wing. Nothing ever came of this proposal, and the DC-9-80 largely supplanted it.

When the DC-9-80 was launched, MacDac also offered an even longer DC-9-60, with CFM 56 engines, that also didn't find any buyers.

A third proposal, in the late 1970s, was the ATMR, "Advanced Technology, Medium Range" twinjet. This 757 sized aircraft would have had a 2x2x2 seating arrangement in coach. Delta's order for 60 757-200s in 1980 effectively killed the ATMR.

The final proposal was for a 150 seat aircraft that would have been built jointly with Fokker, the "MDF150". This aircraft, which would have had two underwing engines, and an F.28 like tail, found no buyers, and was cancelled in 1982.
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RE: McDonnell Douglas - Why No 757/767 Rival?

Wed Jan 10, 2007 4:39 am

Quoting 1337Delta764 (Thread starter):
Why didn't McDonnell Douglas make a rival to the 757 and 767? The MD-80 was McDonnell Douglas's last successful product. The MD-87, MD-11, and MD-90 were all failures. In the early 1980s, Delta was a loyal McDonnell Douglas customer, which is why they chose the MD-88 over the 737-400. If McD made a competitor to the 757 and 767 in the mid-1980s, they perhaps would have gotten some orders. The 757 and 767 were the first Boeing aircraft to be actually ordered by Delta (the 727s and 737 Classics were inherited through buyouts). If McD offered a 757 or 767 rival at the right time, they would have likely gotten an order from Delta.

 checkmark  For DL the 752 was their successor to the DC-8, and was actually a twin engined 707. I can't figure out myself why McDD never did something similar with the DC-8. The 767 was something entirely new and was indeed the first "real" entirely new acquisition from Boeing since Mr. C.E. Woolman always wanted to deal with Douglas first, then usually Curtis. Most of the 727s came from their mergers with Northeast in 1972 and Western in 1987. Similarly their recently retired 737 classics (732, 733) most of the more recent ones came via Western in the late 1980s.
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