Olympic A-340
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MD-82 Tail Sections?

Wed Dec 06, 2000 7:37 am

First look at these two MD-82 tail sections...

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Photo © Bill Hough

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Photo © Chris Sheldon

Why is it that the 1st tail section is rounded...
and the 2nd tail section is flattened?

Olympic A-340
Posts: 6430
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2000 6:25 am

RE: MD-82 Tail Sections?

Wed Dec 06, 2000 7:52 am

The "fish tail" was introduced at some time during the production of MD-81/-82/-83 - I think in the mid 80'es. It is said to reduce drag slightly.
I think that it is no more than a glassfibre cone which covers the tail structures. So it is really a very minor modification to change its shape a little.
Best regards, Preben Norholm
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
Posts: 3174
Joined: Tue Dec 28, 1999 11:10 am

RE: MD-82 Tail Sections?

Wed Dec 06, 2000 8:09 am

Also known as the "screwdriver tail", this mod was introduced with the production of the MD-87 and applied to all models after that date. This design improved fuel burn by 1-2%, but not enough to warrant retrofitting it to older MD-80's with the DC-9 style tailcone.


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RE: MD-82 Tail Sections?

Sun Dec 10, 2000 5:09 am

Spacepope, the "screwdriver tail" has been retrofitted to a great number of all older MD80 models. It is just that certain airlines that have chosen not to invest in modifications like this, like they have not invested in updating flight decks from the MD80's original DC9-style steam gauge design. One of the conservative MD80 airlines in this respect is Continental Airlines.

Jan-Erik Andelin
MD80 International Forum

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