TrijetsRMissed
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DL MD-88/90 Flightdeck Upgrade Official

Wed Apr 03, 2013 7:27 pm

DL has officially announced plans for the MD-88/90 flightdeck upgrade. This confirms rumor and speculation, (you're welcome  ), and suggests that retirements, (even for the oldest MD-88s), are several years away.

Quote:
ATLANTA, April 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) will outfit its fleet of 182 MD-88 and MD-90 aircraft as well as several flight simulators with standardized, state-of-the-art glass cockpits and GPS navigation that will improve efficiency, reduce environmental impact and position the airline to take advantage of procedural improvements outlined in the Federal Aviation Administration's Next Generation Air Transportation System.
Quote:
Installation of the enhanced flight deck technology across the MD-88 and MD-90 fleet is slated to begin in early 2014 and will be completed by IS&S technicians at Delta TechOps facilities. The process is expected to take approximately two years.
http://m.prnewswire.com/news-release...-management-systems-201297341.html

What is interesting is how the time-frame has been stretched to two full years. At one point, the idea of completing them within eight months was bounced around. IMO, this leads me to believe that the total number of modified aircraft will surpass the current fleet of 182.
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DTWPurserBoy
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RE: DL MD-88/90 Flightdeck Upgrade Official

Wed Apr 03, 2013 7:42 pm

Wonder if this means they want the Saudi MD-90's?
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catiii
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RE: DL MD-88/90 Flightdeck Upgrade Official

Wed Apr 03, 2013 7:57 pm

This was on the FlightOps code-a-phone a few weeks back too:

"Next, I want to touch on big news for the MD88/90 fleet. This week, we finalized the paperwork to begin the cockpit refresh of that fleet, allowing Delta to continue using these fuel-efficient aircraft well into the next decade. The upgrade will include dual FMS, dual GPS and flat panel displays as well as greatly enhanced nav database capacity. Modified aircraft will be able to fly curved RNAV RNP approaches and will have full datalink capability that includes the flight plan, performance and Takeoff Data Uplinks. Additionally, virtually all NextGen capabilities will be supported with this upgraded technology. The installation is scheduled to begin in 2014 with all aircraft modified by the end of 2015."
 
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coronado
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RE: DL MD-88/90 Flightdeck Upgrade Official

Wed Apr 03, 2013 7:58 pm

How different will the 717's be or are they aiming for one type rating, as when NW DC9-10 thru 50 series covered about a 40 seat range?
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BoeingGuy
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RE: DL MD-88/90 Flightdeck Upgrade Official

Wed Apr 03, 2013 8:22 pm

Quoting catiii (Reply 2):
Additionally, virtually all NextGen capabilities will be supported with this upgraded technology.

Does that mean they'll have ADS-B-in capability and display ADS-B traffic with directionality and Flight ID on the Navigation Display?
 
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RE: DL MD-88/90 Flightdeck Upgrade Official

Wed Apr 03, 2013 8:28 pm

Pictures! I need pictures!!
 
catiii
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RE: DL MD-88/90 Flightdeck Upgrade Official

Wed Apr 03, 2013 8:29 pm

Quoting Coronado (Reply 3):
How different will the 717's be or are they aiming for one type rating, as when NW DC9-10 thru 50 series covered about a 40 seat range?

Good question. I'd be itnerested to know if the upgrades give the cockpit all the avionics of the 717, but none of the systems automation.
 
dtw9
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RE: DL MD-88/90 Flightdeck Upgrade Official

Wed Apr 03, 2013 8:40 pm

 
N766UA
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RE: DL MD-88/90 Flightdeck Upgrade Official

Wed Apr 03, 2013 8:49 pm

Quoting dtw9 (Reply 7):
Here you go

Weird! I was expecting something more 717-esque.
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FlyASAGuy2005
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RE: DL MD-88/90 Flightdeck Upgrade Official

Wed Apr 03, 2013 9:09 pm

Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 4):
Does that mean they'll have ADS-B-in capability and display ADS-B traffic with directionality and Flight ID on the Navigation Display?

Yep.

Quote:
new equipment will align the MD-88/-90 fleet with the rest of Delta’s fleet and provide a more standardized cockpit while incorporating functions such as ADS-B and Data Link.
What gets measured gets done.
 
PIEAvantiP180
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RE: DL MD-88/90 Flightdeck Upgrade Official

Wed Apr 03, 2013 9:17 pm

Does anybody know at the dollar amount per aircraft this is going to cost DL?
 
ahdharia
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RE: DL MD-88/90 Flightdeck Upgrade Official

Wed Apr 03, 2013 9:52 pm

I was under the impression that MD-88's and MD-90's already had glass cockpit? I thought that was another major difference between those and the DC-9 series aircraft.

"MD-88’s began arriving at Delta with Ship 909 (N909DL) in December 1987. Delta placed its first MD-88 into service on January 5, 1988. As compared to the early MD-82’s, the MD-88 had an updated “glass cockpit” with digital displays powered by cathode ray tubes (CRTs). This advanced avionics package eventually allowed Delta crews to shoot Category 3 instrument approaches."
Source: http://blog.delta.com/2012/04/30/25-years-of-maddogs/

Now I know these will be more modernized supporting GPS/new FMS/ADS-B. Just reading the article, to me it implies that they are just now getting glass instead of the glass cockpits being upgraded.
 
dtw9
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RE: DL MD-88/90 Flightdeck Upgrade Official

Wed Apr 03, 2013 9:57 pm

Quoting PIEAvantiP180 (Reply 10):
Does anybody know at the dollar amount per aircraft this is going to cost DL?

$300,000 per ship was the number kicked around a while ago
 
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ssteve
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RE: DL MD-88/90 Flightdeck Upgrade Official

Wed Apr 03, 2013 10:10 pm

What's the ROI? Fuel savings? And maintenance savings?
 
dtw9
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RE: DL MD-88/90 Flightdeck Upgrade Official

Wed Apr 03, 2013 10:14 pm

Quoting SSTeve (Reply 13):
What's the ROI? Fuel savings? And maintenance savings?

From the above posted link

Due to the lighter weight of the new equipment, Delta will see an immediate improvement in fuel economy while long-lasting benefits from the new flight decks include reductions in CO2 emissions by 80 million pounds annually and a 50 percent decrease in the aircraft noise footprint once NextGen procedures are fully implemented. The standardized flight decks will improve situational awareness for flight crews and are expected to increase operational flexibility, simplify maintenance and improve dispatch and on-time reliability.
 
MD88Captain
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RE: DL MD-88/90 Flightdeck Upgrade Official

Wed Apr 03, 2013 10:19 pm

The main driving factor is the database of the original FMS. It is small compared to the proliferation of SIDs, STARs, Charted Visuals, RNAVs, GPSs, LDA's, etc now required to loaded on every plane. I read somewhere that DFW ate up like 17% of the FMS memory. So, it's an operationally needed upgrade and a big improvement over the original equipment.

No the 88/90 will not be a common category with the 717.

[Edited 2013-04-03 15:22:02]
 
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Boeing717200
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RE: DL MD-88/90 Flightdeck Upgrade Official

Wed Apr 03, 2013 10:24 pm

Quoting catiii (Reply 2):
This week, we finalized the paperwork to begin the cockpit refresh of that fleet, allowing Delta to continue using these fuel-efficient aircraft well into the next decade.


Discussing the MD-80 and describing it as fuel efficient in one sentence. That's some serious MD Kool-Aid right there.
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DeltaB717
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RE: DL MD-88/90 Flightdeck Upgrade Official

Wed Apr 03, 2013 10:44 pm

Quoting N766UA (Reply 8):
Weird! I was expecting something more 717-esque.

Yeah I'm with you... I read the press release in my email this morning (Aussie time) and my immediate thought was 717... apparently not!!
 
PIEAvantiP180
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RE: DL MD-88/90 Flightdeck Upgrade Official

Wed Apr 03, 2013 11:20 pm

Quoting dtw9 (Reply 14):

But none of that spells out what the actual % of fuel a given flight might save. My own guess is that it has to be no less then 2.5-4% on the high side in order for this 300K mod to have any kind of ROI.We know a winglet mod runs about 500K for a 3-5% fuel saving per flight.
 
UA735WL
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RE: DL MD-88/90 Flightdeck Upgrade Official

Wed Apr 03, 2013 11:33 pm

Quoting Boeing717200 (Reply 16):

What, you think DL is going to cultivate the idea that its aircraft are INefficient?


Besides, the Maddog is efficient... if you compare it to say, a 707...  Big grin

[Edited 2013-04-03 16:41:36]
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ssteve
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RE: DL MD-88/90 Flightdeck Upgrade Official

Wed Apr 03, 2013 11:56 pm

Quoting PIEAvantiP180 (Reply 18):
But none of that spells out what the actual % of fuel a given flight might save. My own guess is that it has to be no less then 2.5-4% on the high side in order for this 300K mod to have any kind of ROI.We know a winglet mod runs about 500K for a 3-5% fuel saving per flight.

Because I just learned it through Google, I'm clearly now an expert, but it's not just the weight savings, but RNAV as referred to in the Delta press release:
http://www.faa.gov/news/fact_sheets/news_story.cfm?newsid=8768
 
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1337Delta764
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RE: DL MD-88/90 Flightdeck Upgrade Official

Wed Apr 03, 2013 11:59 pm

Quoting ahdharia (Reply 11):
I was under the impression that MD-88's and MD-90's already had glass cockpit? I thought that was another major difference between those and the DC-9 series aircraft.

"MD-88’s began arriving at Delta with Ship 909 (N909DL) in December 1987. Delta placed its first MD-88 into service on January 5, 1988. As compared to the early MD-82’s, the MD-88 had an updated “glass cockpit” with digital displays powered by cathode ray tubes (CRTs). This advanced avionics package eventually allowed Delta crews to shoot Category 3 instrument approaches."
Source: http://blog.delta.com/2012/04/30/25-years-of-maddogs/

Now I know these will be more modernized supporting GPS/new FMS/ADS-B. Just reading the article, to me it implies that they are just now getting glass instead of the glass cockpits being upgraded.

The MD-88s and MD-90s as they are now have a partial glass cockpit, where there is a mix of CRTs and analog gauges. The new cockpits will be a full glass cockpit with LCDs.

EDIT: Here is what the cockpit currently looks like:

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Photo © Ryan Richter - Rocky Mountain Aviation Photos



[Edited 2013-04-03 17:03:25]
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BoeingGuy
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RE: DL MD-88/90 Flightdeck Upgrade Official

Thu Apr 04, 2013 1:01 am

Quoting UA735WL (Reply 19):
Besides, the Maddog is efficient... if you compare it to say, a 707... Big grin

Yep, PSA was one of the first airlines to phase out their 727s and go with MD-80s for better fuel efficiencies back around 1984. At the time, the MD-80 was state of the art in fuel efficiency.
 
N243NW
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RE: DL MD-88/90 Flightdeck Upgrade Official

Thu Apr 04, 2013 1:19 am

Quoting catiii (Reply 2):
The upgrade will include dual FMS, dual GPS and flat panel displays as well as greatly enhanced nav database capacity. Modified aircraft will be able to fly curved RNAV RNP approaches and will have full datalink capability that includes the flight plan, performance and Takeoff Data Uplinks. Additionally, virtually all NextGen capabilities will be supported with this upgraded technology.

Very nice. This looks to be very similar to what AA's been doing with the 757s and 767s. AA uses IS&S displays too. I wonder if DL will also go with Honeywell's Pegasus as the FMS of choice...

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cosyr
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RE: DL MD-88/90 Flightdeck Upgrade Official

Thu Apr 04, 2013 1:50 am

i know the MD-88's are the newest varient of the MD-80's, but what makes them so much better for Delta, than the MD-82/83's that AA and everyone else deemed too fuel inefficient? Those JD9's are still based on 20 years older engine technology than the IAE's.
 
PSU.DTW.SCE
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RE: DL MD-88/90 Flightdeck Upgrade Official

Thu Apr 04, 2013 1:51 am

Quoting SSTeve (Reply 20):
Because I just learned it through Google, I'm clearly now an expert, but it's not just the weight savings, but RNAV as referred to in the Delta press release:
Quoting PIEAvantiP180 (Reply 18):
But none of that spells out what the actual % of fuel a given flight might save. My own guess is that it has to be no less then 2.5-4% on the high side in order for this 300K mod to have any kind of ROI.We know a winglet mod runs about 500K for a 3-5% fuel saving per flight.

The ROI for this project involves many different aspects than winglet mods.

The benefits of the winglet mods are almost entirely attributed to reduced fuel consumption (costs).

The benefits of the MD88/MD90 flight deck mod fall into multiple aspects, and fuel savings is likely a much smaller component. Dispatch relability is likely a very significant component as there should be less maintenance delays versus older CRT displays. Training costs likely factor in. Weight reduction and associated reduction in fuel burn. Improved aircraft performace and reduction in overall fuel burn. Safety and regulatory compliance, less quantifyable to hard numbers, but that does factor into the decision-making process.
 
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RE: DL MD-88/90 Flightdeck Upgrade Official

Thu Apr 04, 2013 2:01 am

Quoting Coronado (Reply 3):

I'm pretty sure the 717 is a DC-9 type rating. Just differences training required. Similar to 737-3/4/500 being the same as 737NG. But I could be wrong. I do know that delta put the 717 on a separate bid category. But that is due to the way DL pay structures are worded in the contract. Saves the company money to have them separate.
 
lucky777
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RE: DL MD-88/90 Flightdeck Upgrade Official

Thu Apr 04, 2013 2:04 am

Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 22):
Yep, PSA was one of the first airlines to phase out their 727s and go with MD-80s for better fuel efficiencies back around 1984. At the time, the MD-80 was state of the art in fuel efficiency.

It's definitely going against the grain as it relates to Delta's 2 main competitors, UA/AA. Within 3-5 years Delta will be the sole legacy carrier with a huge fleet of Mad Dog's going up against a far more efficient fleet of narrowbodies being flown by AA/UA.

It's interesting how Delta's overall fleet strategy is diametrically opposite of AA and UA. While AA and UA have large orders for both narrowbody and widebody aircraft from Boeing and Airbus (UA 737-900ER and MAX, and A350 and 787)
AA of course already has a large fleet of 777-200s to go along with their new 777-300ER's and has a huge order for A321/319s and 737 MAXs (not sure about the US Airways A350 order) Delta meanwhile, is pretty much using the same philosophy on its international fleet as is its domestic fleet...which is to fly their 747's and 767-300s into the foreseeable future.
 
wjcandee
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RE: DL MD-88/90 Flightdeck Upgrade Official

Thu Apr 04, 2013 2:57 am

ABX Air was one of IS&S's first customers for their glass panel upgrade, which ABX put on its 767-200s. It took a while for the IS&S solution to catch on more broadly, but they hung in there and it's nice to see that it's paying off for them. On the 757/767, it makes so much sense since the IS&S solution replaces a whole bunch of LRUs with one unit and some LCDs.
 
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RE: DL MD-88/90 Flightdeck Upgrade Official

Thu Apr 04, 2013 3:42 am

Well, AA & UA will be carrying financing costs on their new fleet as well, and that cost won't be insignificant. DL seems to have a philosophy of milking every ounce of milk from their cows, and it seems like its an efficient use of capital. Whether it ends up being an efficient use of fuel is something we'll find out longer term. I'll be intrigued to see the profit margins of UA, AA, and DL over the next five years.
 
TSS
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RE: DL MD-88/90 Flightdeck Upgrade Official

Thu Apr 04, 2013 4:05 am

Quoting PSU.DTW.SCE (Reply 25):
The benefits of the MD88/MD90 flight deck mod fall into multiple aspects, and fuel savings is likely a much smaller component. Dispatch relability is likely a very significant component as there should be less maintenance delays versus older CRT displays. Training costs likely factor in. Weight reduction and associated reduction in fuel burn.

I'll buy the other listed benefits, but if the reduction in weight with the upgrade was enough to measurably affect fuel burn wouldn't that also negatively affect the cg of the aircraft since all the weight being removed would be coming out of the nose of a rear-engined plane?
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TheRedBaron
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RE: DL MD-88/90 Flightdeck Upgrade Official

Thu Apr 04, 2013 4:18 am

Quoting Boeing717200 (Reply 16):
Discussing the MD-80 and describing it as fuel efficient in one sentence. That's some serious MD Kool-Aid right there.

That made me laugh. since I was thinking along the same lines....Mad Dogs efficient?

I guess Delta with that huge fleet will re-engine them with next gen super fans and then later with the Flux capacitor....

Regards TRB
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Max Q
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RE: DL MD-88/90 Flightdeck Upgrade Official

Thu Apr 04, 2013 4:57 am

Quoting Prost (Reply 29):


Well, AA & UA will be carrying financing costs on their new fleet as well, and that cost won't be insignificant. DL seems to have a philosophy of milking every ounce of milk from their cows, and it seems like its an efficient use of capital. Whether it ends up being an efficient use of fuel is something we'll find out longer term. I'll be intrigued to see the profit margins of UA, AA, and DL over the next five years.

By any measure DAL has it right, they are investing 50 % less than UA in new Aircraft over the next decade or so while far out performing UA in profitability.



The MD's may not be the most fuel efficient Aircraft out there but I bet they are mostly paid for.


That buys a lot of jet fuel..
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PSU.DTW.SCE
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RE: DL MD-88/90 Flightdeck Upgrade Official

Thu Apr 04, 2013 12:14 pm

Quoting TSS (Reply 30):
I'll buy the other listed benefits, but if the reduction in weight with the upgrade was enough to measurably affect fuel burn wouldn't that also negatively affect the cg of the aircraft since all the weight being removed would be coming out of the nose of a rear-engined plane?

Whatever weight reduction is likely minimal, atune to removing extra catering carts or magazines.
 
FlyASAGuy2005
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RE: DL MD-88/90 Flightdeck Upgrade Official

Thu Apr 04, 2013 4:12 pm

Quoting TSS (Reply 30):
I'll buy the other listed benefits, but if the reduction in weight with the upgrade was enough to measurably affect fuel burn wouldn't that also negatively affect the cg of the aircraft since all the weight being removed would be coming out of the nose of a rear-engined plane?

I would say it'll be pretty negligible. At least when it counts (when there are people on board). The 88s/90s are inherently nose heavy with pax onboard which is why they're loaded from back to front. With a light load and almost no bags/cargo, you're either going to fill up F or put some sand in the forward bin.

They can almost always acheive the balance they need by moving people to the forward cabin. The only time I saw ballast was if they came in as a ferry.

The 9-50s are the exact opposite when it comes to loading although it's not a extreme as the 88.

[Edited 2013-04-04 09:54:26]
What gets measured gets done.
 
Logos
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RE: DL MD-88/90 Flightdeck Upgrade Official

Thu Apr 04, 2013 4:49 pm

Quoting Max Q (Reply 32):
The MD's may not be the most fuel efficient Aircraft out there but I bet they are mostly paid for.


That buys a lot of jet fuel..

Exactly. A lot of factors go into operating cost, fuel being only one of them. Delta has done very well on those other factors (most notably acquisition cost) and thus stays competitive with everyone paying for newer metal as a result.

Cheers,
Dave in Orlando
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TrijetsRMissed
Topic Author
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RE: DL MD-88/90 Flightdeck Upgrade Official

Fri Apr 05, 2013 4:10 am

Quoting lucky777 (Reply 27):
Quoting Prost (Reply 29):
Quoting Max Q (Reply 32):

For DL,there will be many comparisons to AA and UA's fleet strategy - both on the net and in the media.

But the reality is, for AA and UA's strategy to be proven superior, (from a pure business perspective), both will need out-perform DL significantly in profitability. If DL is on-par AA/UA profitability - then it is a net-win for DL, given that it doesn't have the massive financing/debt for all new aircraft. If DL exceed AA/UA (which has been the trend lately), then DL is far beyond in the driver's seat.   
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TrijetsRMissed
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RE: DL MD-88/90 Flightdeck Upgrade Official

Fri Apr 05, 2013 4:45 am

Quoting Boeing717200 (Reply 16):
Discussing the MD-80 and describing it as fuel efficient in one sentence. That's some serious MD Kool-Aid right there.

Thanks for the laugh.   But you'd be surprised - given the probable longevity. Let's say DL outfit the youngest frames with the Super 98 package.... If you compare a full aerodynamic and flightdeck mod frame up against an original DL 1987 MD-82's numbers, there would be a notable difference in fuel burn.

Quoting PIEAvantiP180 (Reply 18):
But none of that spells out what the actual % of fuel a given flight might save. My own guess is that it has to be no less then 2.5-4% on the high side in order for this 300K mod to have any kind of ROI.

You are not going to get the hard numbers on a public forum, unless they are first divulged by either the client or vendor. It is expected that DL will earn net return in the millions, within 2-3 years of installation. Basically, post-2017 it's all gravy. It will be even better for the MD-90.

Quoting cosyr (Reply 24):

i know the MD-88's are the newest varient of the MD-80's, but what makes them so much better for Delta, than the MD-82/83's that AA and everyone else deemed too fuel inefficient?

Although some data has changed, I posted the answer to this question in a related thread from last year. I hope you find it helpful.

"In regards to the MD-80 series, DL’s MD-88 fleet is generally superior in performance and operating costs. The MD-88s have all of the final upgrades that were offered by McDonnell Douglas through the life of the MD-80 program.

This includes:

-JT8D-219s
-reduced drag screwdriver tail-cone
-low-drag flap hinge fairings & pylon fairings
-EFIS digital glass cockpit
-upgraded interior/wider aisle
-composite materials

From ship 912/913 and on, all were built with greatest number of composite panels. This is something than cannot be improved with a mod on other frames. For this reason, when it is time to retire the fleet, the first batch of original MD-82s, (see profile photo), will exit first."

Quoting PSU.DTW.SCE (Reply 25):
Dispatch relability is likely a very significant component as there should be less maintenance delays versus older CRT displays.

   Indeed. And as part of the maintenance, it is also about parts. Replacement MD-88 EFIS flight-deck parts will become especially scarce in five years, as the majority of the ~1,200 MD-80's built were not up to the EFIS standard. Now, DL has an active vendor (independent of Boeing, which is key), that can supply support infrastructure for these modern flightdecks.

As long as IS&S are in business, DL are in good shape on that end.

Quoting xjet (Reply 26):
m pretty sure the 717 is a DC-9 type rating. Just differences training required.

Technically, the 717 is on the DC-9 type rating. And technically, just training differences are required. But the training requirements are so stringent, that a single pilot pool would not be operationally efficient or economical. In another words, at present, you can not operate the MD-88/90/717 in a single category through regular rotation. Too much back and forth training would be required, as enforced by the FAA. It is by design.

I would be surprised if we ever see the MD-88/90/717 on a single category. I think DL will build up superior economies-of-scale for each type, making it a non-issue, while capitalizing on the 717's lower labor costs.
There's nothing quite like a trijet.

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