Tarantine
Topic Author
Posts: 207
Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2000 12:53 pm

MD-11's Junk?

Tue Oct 31, 2000 1:11 pm

Hi, just wondering why the MD-11 is un popular as a passenger aircraft & popular as a freighter. I know that there are performance issues that were orig. promised my MDC. Is this plane expensive to use? It seems that the MD-11F is more popular than the 747-400F. Most major users of the MD-11 for passenger use seem to want to get rid of it. Why? But Fed Ex & other freight carriers love it.
 
modesto2
Posts: 2669
Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2000 3:44 am

RE: MD-11's Junk?

Tue Oct 31, 2000 3:48 pm

I know Delta and American are unhappy with its performance. I think they are concered with its range, or lack thereof. Additionally, the third engine adds cost. And finally, I'm sure they're trying to simplify their fleets. Both airlines operate the 777 and I know Delta would like to eventually operate only the 737, 757/767 and 777. If you do a search, you can find out why it's a good freighter.
 
Fokplanes
Posts: 68
Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 9:13 pm

RE: MD-11's Junk?

Tue Oct 31, 2000 4:42 pm

What I have heared from mecanics working for Dutch airline Martinair the MD11 has a poor dispatch reliability. There are constant (small) technical problems which causes a lot of flights to be delayed. If you fly passage you have a big problem: You have to arrange an alternative flight, accommodation etc etc. In short: an airline has to make a lot of costs. If you operate the MD11 as a freigher you will not have to make the cost as mentioned above.

Something what could also be the reason that many passanger configurated MD11's are being converted to full freighters is that the freight market seems to have better prospects in terms of yield than the passenger market.

Regards,

Fokplanes
 
caetravlr
Posts: 856
Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2000 8:19 am

RE: MD-11's Junk?

Tue Oct 31, 2000 9:11 pm

There was another thread not too long ago on this same subject. The performance and dispatch issues are the reasons that the passenger carriers are unhappy with them I am sure. However, they do have the range and capacity to make great cargo planes. I believe that the reason they are converting so many, is that the passenger airlines that originally bought them, are offloading them pretty cheaply, so they can get better suited aircraft. I believe FedEx got a large number from AA. I don't know all the numbers.
A woman drove me to drink and I didn't have the decency to thank her. - W.C. Fields
 
FDXmech
Posts: 3219
Joined: Sun Mar 19, 2000 9:48 pm

RE: MD-11's Junk?

Wed Nov 01, 2000 2:00 am

Fokplane
You insinuate that freight airlines as opposed to pax airlines do not incurr monetary losses due to poor dispatch reliability or delays. This is absolutedly false and a misconception on your part. As I've been an A/C mechanic for several major pax carriers and now at Fedex, I can tell you that any delay that can be pinned on mx is taken very seriously and after all the finger pointing is over, is analysed to avoid a repeat occurance. As far as the assertion that pax airlines have to incurr the cost of disrupted passenger travel plans and cargo carriers don't have that worry is really off base. Let me say that a Fedex MD11 filled with cargo has potential revenue (so I've been told) in the millions of dollars. If that plane should last minute go out of service and a spare aircraft is unavailable to retreive the freight in time for its eventual promised "on time" delivery. Guess what, all that freight is FREE. I'd almost have to say IMHO that having good dispatch reliability from a revenue point of view is more important on a/c flying for FDX/UPS due to the potential enormous revenue loss from just 1 widebody going into a long delay or AOG situation as opposed to a horde of angry passengers. Actually both situations are highly undesireable.
As far as reliability is concerned, its difficult to compare a freight vs pax MD11 because of the number of problems that will occur in the pax version due to the complexity of the pax cabin versus a relatively empty shell hehind the cockpit door. Of all our widebodys (MD11,DC10,A300-600,A310) the MD11 has the lowest dispatch reliability but it is still very good. IMO the larger and more complex the a/c the more susceptable it becomes to problems, especially last minute ones. It has been generally getting better over time due to the improved learning curve of maint., the working out of some troublesome bugs in different systems and the steady determination to improve the a/c over the long term.
No doubt its an excellent freighter (at least from a beancounters perspective) as many worldclass airlines such as FDX,Lufthansa and UPS (so I hear) like it to carry the boxes.
The MD11 is actually a very interesting aircraft with IMO a cockpit full of contradictions. On the one hand the automation of its different subsystems is second to none. For instance the fuel system, their is no need to turn on pumps or configure crossfeed valves if the fuel sys. controller is in auto. Its all done automatically and reconfigures the pumps, valves, etc for all flight modes and abnormal conditions. The hydraulic, electrical and pneumatic/airconditioning systems are much the same way with very little pilot action required if these systems are in auto mode. By the way, you can put these different subsystems in manual and this puts you in charge.
On the other hand the cockpit still retains aileron and rudder trim knobs as opposed to electrically operated trim switches that go as far back as the 737-300.
Overall, the MD11 is a very good aicraft with good reliablity. BUT. The thing I and most mechs who work the MD11 or DC10 dislike most is working the #2 engine. This is where MDD in my opinion screwed up royally on the MD11. The two main objectives to #2 engine is opening up the cowlings and then accomplishing the task at hand. On the DC10 you needed a Makita to raise the fan cowl on the MD11 you need a heavy hydraulic handpump to pump the fan cowl open. You would have thought MDD could have improved the accessability of #2 engine (a real Achilles Heel) learning from the DC10 but that was not to be. Actually they offer an option for a built in electric pump (I think Delta took it) but we didn,t. Still, you figure a 90 million dollar jet would come with it.
You're only as good as your last departure.
 
DirkPitt
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2000 5:11 am

RE: MD-11's Junk?

Wed Nov 01, 2000 4:22 am

I do know that I happen to love riding on Delta's MD-11's. I have had probably 40-45 flights on them and they have been great! They are very comfortable. However, the lack of range on that aircraft has always been a concern of Delta. I know it will never happen, but if they are so damned concerned with range, buy the 747! OH how I would love to see a 747 in Delta colors!
 
ContinentalEWR
Posts: 3619
Joined: Wed May 24, 2000 2:50 am

RE: MD-11's Junk?

Wed Nov 01, 2000 1:26 pm

Delta plans to keep its MD11's for quite some time.

ContinentalEWR
 
duke
Posts: 1167
Joined: Tue Sep 21, 1999 9:52 pm

Delta: Maybe But..

Wed Nov 01, 2000 11:24 pm

Delta has apparently sold their MD-11s to UPS. When they'll start leaving
the fleet may be another story
 
ATL Traveller
Posts: 163
Joined: Sun Jul 04, 1999 2:30 pm

RE: MD-11's Junk?

Thu Nov 02, 2000 2:01 am

Delta has an MD-11 on the ATL-MCO route.
 
747-600X
Posts: 2492
Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2000 3:11 am

About The #2 Engine...

Thu Nov 02, 2000 3:18 am

That fowl engine was the reason both the DC-10 and MD-11 never reached their full potential or promise. It was said that this is where they royally screwed up? Yooooooouuuuuu bet!
 
Navion
Posts: 1052
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 1:52 am

RE: MD-11's Junk?

Thu Nov 02, 2000 3:32 am

I think the title of this thread is a disgrace. You can say "MD11 shortcomings" or "MD11 Opinions". But to say "MD11's Junk?" is a) untrue and b) not good for aviation in general. We at this forum should all strive to dispel the sensationalistic lingo we suffer through daily in the press and public. I hardly think an aircraft that can fly 100 tons thousands of miles is a piece of junk. Let's all raise the bar a bit on this forum. Sorry if I sound like I'm coming down too hard on anyone. It's not intended.
 
Navion
Posts: 1052
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 1:52 am

RE: MD-11's Junk?

Thu Nov 02, 2000 3:32 am

I think the title of this thread is a disgrace. You can say "MD11 shortcomings" or "MD11 Opinions". But to say "MD11's Junk?" is a) untrue and b) not good for aviation in general. We at this forum should all strive to dispel the sensationalistic lingo we suffer through daily in the press and public. I hardly think an aircraft that can fly 100 tons thousands of miles is a piece of junk. Let's all raise the bar a bit on this forum. Sorry if I sound like I'm coming down too hard on anyone. It's not intended.
 
orlo3
Posts: 107
Joined: Sat Sep 02, 2000 4:04 am

RE: MD-11's Junk?

Thu Nov 02, 2000 3:57 am

I agree with you Navion. Especially since I'm flying on a MD-11 on friday from PDX to ATL. I love the look and ride of the MD-11, and I certainly hope that it's safe. I have never had a problem with it before.
 
Tarantine
Topic Author
Posts: 207
Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2000 12:53 pm

RE: MD-11's Junk?

Thu Nov 02, 2000 1:41 pm

I never meant to imply that the MD11 is "junk" I am not qualfied to rate it that way? I just figured the title "junk" would get noticed and get my question answered, it did and thank you all 

RT