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MD-11 Customers

Fri Aug 18, 2000 1:13 pm

Is it just my opinion or do passenger airlines not seem to be happy with their MD-11's? Many are being sold and converted in cargo planes. Why?
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RE: MD-11 Customers

Fri Aug 18, 2000 1:19 pm

If you ask this to airlines probably they tell you is a reason of operating costs: a trijet is more expensive than a bigtwin or than a CFM56 four engines planes.
This could be true but in my opinion you must consider a bit of fashion: the MD-11 resembles too much to the old DC-10 while today you are almost forced to have B777 and A330/340 in your fleet if you want to be considered a modern airline! If you consider also that the glorious (?) MD-11 is no more in production...
Anyway this is just my opinion and I could be wrong...
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RE: MD-11 Customers

Fri Aug 18, 2000 1:25 pm

Very true. American Airlines sold their MD-11s to FedEx and bought 777s to replace their trijets. Keep in mind however, that Delta still operates a fleet of 15 MD-11s, in addition to their seven 777s. But Delta won't be taking delivery of any more MD-11s while they will be expanding their 777 fleet.
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RE: MD-11 Customers

Fri Aug 18, 2000 1:29 pm

The same is for Alitalia: they will keep thei MD-11 for some years while the long haul fleet will be probably upgraded with B777-300ER. It's quite sure that Alitalia MD-11 will be replaced by B777-200 once they will turn options into firm orders
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RE: MD-11 Customers

Fri Aug 18, 2000 1:46 pm

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RE: MD-11 Customers

Fri Aug 18, 2000 2:39 pm

I believe some of the issues with the MD-11 was that in initial models performance was not up to expectations... which was later fixed in the MD-11ER model. Basically McDonnel Douglas lacked capital to fully develop the MD-11 to its full potential. Despite being the first of the new generation long-haul jets out it had the least success. However it has been proven to be a competant freighter... the tri-jet airframe is just naturally a bit beefier. FedEx, Korean Cargo, Eva Air Cargo, and Lufthansa Cargo have all been large users of MD-11F's.
Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
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RE: MD-11 Customers

Fri Aug 18, 2000 4:37 pm

This nor really true. Swissair for example is very happy with their 19 MD 11. There are two other reasons why they will replace them with A 340-600 till 2004. They want to have a young fleet and because of commodality an all Airbus fleet. I think also KLM and Finnair are happy with the MD 11.
By the way, it is obvious that Delta couldn't get more MD 11 because they are not built anymore.

RE: MD-11 Customers

Fri Aug 18, 2000 5:12 pm

Why American Airllines is getting rid of all MD-11's??
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RE: MD-11 Customers

Sat Aug 19, 2000 2:02 am

Most of these have already been mentioned, but just to sum it up (in order of importance IMHO):

1. The MD-11 is out of production and airlines have to change to another type if they want to expand.

2. The initial design was below expectations, and even if it was corrected quickly by MDC it still left airlines suspicious (wrongly so).

3. MDC didn't have the capital to offer everything from a 737 to a 747 like Boeing and Airbus do. Fleet commonality is a big thing.

4. The MD-11 has a worse safety record than it deserves. Most of the crashes weren't really because of techical issues.

On a more positive note, it's still a great plane and airlines that already have it would probably be happy with it if it weren't for reason 1.

Too bad it didn't catch on. Maybe then we'd even have MDC left! Not just Boeing and Airbus, damnit...
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RE: MD-11 Customers

Sat Aug 19, 2000 8:15 am

According to Air International magazine, the reason why the MD-11 was less successful than anticipated (besides the range issue) was the fact in 1992 that we started seeing 180-minute ETOPS certification for wide-body twins, which made the reason for having the three-engine MD-11 superfluous. Also, the fact that the A340 demonstrated ranges much longer than the MD-11 also really cut into MD-11 sales.

Today's 777-200ER, A330-200 and A340 are now plying the routes that would normally be province of the MD-11. Is it small wonder why Boeing is continuing to have good sales of the 777?
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RE: MD-11 Customers

Sat Aug 19, 2000 11:33 pm

The MD-11 is a great aircraft with one problem..performance. An AA MD-11 F/O informed me that it never met the fuel consumption specs that it was sold on. About 5-7% greater fuel burn than expected. Thats why AA scheduled its 777's on its' Tokyo flights as soon as they did. I would assume that other carriers will eventually sell/trade them on 777's or A-340's in the years ahead after they fulfill their role at each carrier.

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RE: MD-11 Customers

Sun Aug 20, 2000 12:24 am

Delta Air Lines was one of the first, along with American Airlines to figure out that the MD-11 had serious performance problems. Since the time from their first introduction, Delta has outfitted their MD-11s with some special performance increasers. They have the Super-Long-Range MD-11s that can fly ATL-NRT with no problem. Delta's will be inservice fr another 5 years, but after that they will begin to be disposed of and replaced by new 777s.
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RE: MD-11 Customers

Sun Aug 20, 2000 12:52 am

It is impossible to say that the MD11 has a worse safety record than it deserves! Bollocks. A type could be said to have a worse reputation, but the actual accident rate is not something chosen by a hard-to-please jury. Even if a type has a lot of aircrew error accidents (say, the 727 or A320 in the early days, or the Caravelle), that doesn't happen cos pilots are lemmings, it's because they are more easily led into making mistakes in that cockpit than in another. The MD11 landing accidents are the result of a too-small tailplane and a terrible lack of inherent stability. While certain types (727 and A320 early ops, even dare I say it the DC10) have had an undeserved reputation, no aircraft has ever had an undeserved statistical record. How could that be possible?

The fact is that the MD11 - unlike any other commercial transport - has little or no natural stability in descent and finals, requiring constant correction all the way down (like balancing a baseball bat on the palm of your hand) - that is why there have been three or four serious landing accidents involving aircraft written off and passengers killed. Don't forget uncommanded slat extension during cruise (two passengers killed on a Chinese MD11) and insulation which is highly flammable (Swissair inflight fire, 228 killed). The MD11 is a dreadful mistake and the sooner it's gone the better. On the plus side it has nice overhead bins and I like the shape of the windows. That's all, otherwise it's a piece of sh*t.
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
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RE: MD-11 Customers

Sun Aug 20, 2000 5:28 am

I´ve flown many times on the MD-11 and I love it. Anyway many airlines are disposing of their MD-11`s or converting them to all cargo aircraft.
One of the reasons is, that the MD-11 hasn´t met it´s performance criterias. So MDD was forced to develop as many as 4 PIP´s (Performance Improvement Package) to meet the initial criterias, or to do some penalty payments to the airlines.
Another factor is, that the MD-11 was available long before the B777, or the Airbus 330/340 took off for their maiden flight. For this some airlines didn´t have a real choice and they were very sophisticated about the aircraft´s performance and it´s promised derivatives (MD-11X).
For as long as the MD-11 is flying in it´s all pax version I´ll be on board and enjoy every trip on this genius aircraft

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