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Did The DC-9 Ever Have A Flight Engineer?

Thu Oct 18, 2007 2:07 pm

So thats my question. My crew and I were overnighting in Montreal last night talking aviation and this question popped up. Did the DC-9 ever have a 3 man cockpit? If it did not why was the Douglas Company able to produce a 2 man cockpit yet other aircraft such as the 727 carried a flight engineer as well?
My crew and I are all pretty sure it was only a 2 man operation but the question still remained  Smile


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RE: Did The DC-9 Ever Have A Flight Engineer?

Thu Oct 18, 2007 2:30 pm

I seem to remember that some US airlines did fly the a/c with a three man crew, but there was not a three man flight deck, as such. Dont ask me where I read that....it might have been DL, or NE.

I think the DC-9 came under some weight limit and could be flown with a two man straight away, the 737, being slightly larger and heavier was touch-and-go for the three-man layout, IIRC.

Perhaps someone with a little more knowlage could clarift if the DC-9 was ever operated with 3 men. There certainly were not any FE pannels in any DC-9 though.

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RE: Did The DC-9 Ever Have A Flight Engineer?

Thu Oct 18, 2007 2:40 pm

As far as i know DC-9's never had a three man cockpit but some airlines used to keep a third pilot on some of their routes in the jump seat inside the cockpit.
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RE: Did The DC-9 Ever Have A Flight Engineer?

Fri Oct 19, 2007 12:54 am

It's based on the type certificate and aircraft weight. Aircraft built with weights in excess of 80,000 lbs generally needed an FE. Of course, the DC-9 weighed a little more than that, so I guess it's just based on the type certificate.

[Edited 2007-10-18 18:06:41]
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RE: Did The DC-9 Ever Have A Flight Engineer?

Fri Oct 19, 2007 1:29 am

At the time the DC-9 was launched the FAA had a 80,000 MTOW restriction on 2 pilot operations. Douglas was offering two different MTOW versions of the DC-9-10,one for U.S. operators at 77000 MTOW and one for overseas operators at 83000 MTOW. They also had a contingency plan for 3-man operations in case the FAA didn't lift the weight restrictions. However on April 21st 1965 the FAA abolished its weight restrictions and the 3-man crew became mute. Boeing too had originally set the MTOW of the 737 at 79000 because of these restrictions.
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RE: Did The DC-9 Ever Have A Flight Engineer?

Sat Oct 20, 2007 4:28 am

NO, THE DC-9 WAS NEVER FLOWN WITH A THREE MAN CREW, but the 737 was, by UA, and WA, and perhaps the original Frontier, and its 3 man crew is what kept it behind Douglas in the original twin jet sales contest. The 737 production was almost discontinued because of it, and only after it was lifted, and the "advanced" models came out, did the 737 sales pick up, eventually passing the DC-9.

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