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Last MD-11 Delivered To Lufthansa

Fri Feb 23, 2001 4:02 am

McDonnell Douglas Delivers its Last MD-11 Airplane, Paper Says

Seattle, Feb. 22 (Bloomberg) -- McDonnell Douglas Corp. delivered the last commercial aircraft bearing its name to Deutsche Lufthansa AG today, 80 years after its founder flew his first plane, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Former McDonnell Douglas executives, engineers and factory workers will attend a ceremony at the plant's main hangar in Long Beach, California, to watch the delivery of the company's 200th MD- 11 wide body airplane, the paper said. Boeing Co. bought McDonnell Douglas in 1997.

The MD-11 is a modified version of McDonnell Douglas' DC-10 airplane, which in the 1970s, competed with the L-1011 airplane, build by what is now Lockheed Martin Corp., the paper said. The fierce competition hurt McDonnell Douglas financially, and caused Lockheed to quit the commercial aircraft business, the paper said.

McDonnell Douglas founder Donald Douglas flew his first plane on February 21, 1921. The company, which merged with military aircraft builder McDonnell Aircraft in 1967, built more than 45,000 commercial and military airplanes, the paper said.

(LA Times 2-22 Interactive)

Feb/22/2001 13:54 ET

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RE: Last MD-11 Delivered To Lufthansa

Fri Feb 23, 2001 4:40 am

It's sad to see that such a modern bird did not really have much of a chance.  Sad
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RE: Last MD-11 Delivered To Lufthansa

Fri Feb 23, 2001 4:46 am

I am a big fan of the DC-10, so it is only natural for me to like the MD-11. It is shame not many were sold, they were a good aircraft. I suppose the problem was that the competition was too intense with it, it was competing with the 767, A330/340 and even the 747 on some routes.

RE: Last MD-11 Delivered To Lufthansa

Fri Feb 23, 2001 5:39 am

The lack of TQM is what killed the MD-11 program and the eventual merger with Boeing.
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RE: Last MD-11 Delivered To Lufthansa

Fri Feb 23, 2001 5:54 am

That was a great plane, sad to see them stop making them. Well at least the 777s are out.

KLM747 Big grin

RE: Last MD-11 Delivered To Lufthansa

Fri Feb 23, 2001 7:40 am

Yeah, I saw this on the news this morning. It's kinda sad. I wish it had been a passenger plane instead of cargo. But I thought the news said that over 1000 of them have been sold, doesn't that mean the aircraft really was a success? Anyway, I've never flown one but hope to get the chance in the not so distant future.

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RE: Last MD-11 Delivered To Lufthansa

Fri Feb 23, 2001 11:20 am

Its a sad day in aviation. The last in a series of great airplanes has been handed over. A dark day, no matter how yo ulook at it, one less manufacturer out there.


Fri Feb 23, 2001 11:25 am

When they stated that over 1,000 have been sold, they meant that over 1,000 DC-10/MD-11s combined have been sold. The MD-11 only contributed to 200 of that. 1,000 sound a bit high though?
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RE: Last MD-11 Delivered To Lufthansa

Fri Feb 23, 2001 12:18 pm

So Lockheed Martin caused the L1011 plant to quit making the tristar anymore...??

And hurting the MDC company financially...??

Can you explain the caused of this situation if you have more...?

Baec777  Smile
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RE: Last MD-11 Delivered To Lufthansa

Fri Feb 23, 2001 12:41 pm

The first point: not even nearly 1000 DC10/MD11s were built. There were 386 civilian DC10s built along with 60 military versions (KC10 tankers) and 200 MD11s.

The DC10 and TriStar were both built to an AA design request for a 300-350 seat type in 1968. Both became trijets as the not-so-powerful engines in vogue at the time could not operate planes of that size on existing runways had only 2 been fitted. The TriStar programme was crippled by financial problems at Rolls-Royce, who built the RB211 engines and the resulting developmental delays saw many sales slip over to the DC10, which was flying a full year earlier. When the TriStar actually came out in 1972 it did hold a share of the market but the two types split the market almost down the middle, so that neither was a runaway sales success. For Lockheed (it had not yet merged with Martin), the costs of developing the TriStar as a purely commercial type were never recovered and the company quit that aspect of the market in 1983 after 250 TriStars were built; 50 of those were -500s, which were issued as a long-haul variant with reduced capacity.

For MD although a steady stream of orders came for the DC10 the several accidents in the 70s (THY, Western, AA) proved a PR nightmare but the problems were later resolved and modifications made to later-build DC10s. FedEx and the USAF orders in the '80s enabled the line to remain active while a replacement was designed, namely the MD11. The DC10 line finally petered out in 1989.

The MD11 came out in 1989 but, within a year of service, the complaints of AA about its deficiencies proved a punitive blow. Even though improvements were made to the type, the plane was competing in a totally new environment. New, powerful and reliable engines meant that just 2 were needed to do what once required 3 and the advent of the all-new A330 and 777, plus the A340 which has considerable commonality with A330 (2 types in one) despite being a 4-jet meant that MD11 sales fell off sharply and airlines with them gravitated to the newer types. The difficulties with the MD11 hurt MD and led to the Boeing merger; Boeing scuttled the MD11 after initial optimism of freighter sales vaporized.

Farewell MD11 and MD as a whole. The planes will continue to fly and keep the name alive.

Hop to it, fly for life!
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RE: Last MD-11 Delivered To Lufthansa

Fri Feb 23, 2001 12:46 pm

There were only about four hundred DC-10s sold. 400+200= 600. Not 1000.

The L-1011 project nearly put Lockheeed out of business. The biggest problem with the plane was that they chose Rolls Royce as the EXCLUSIVE engine provider. Well, it was great until RR went bankrupt. That set the L-1011 back TWO years.

The MD-11 project was the final blow to McDonnell Douglas. IT was supposed to be this great airplane. But American Airlines found out very quickly- I remember it, my dad worked for them at the time- that the MD-11 did NOT meet the range figure that McDonnell Douglas said it did. Basically, it couldn't fly as far as MD said it would. AND it got significantly worse "gas mileage." I put that in quotes, we all know how difficult it is to calculate that. But, American cancelled all remaining orders at the time, taking delivery of only about twelve. I was looking into the registry the other day, and they only have 5 to 7 left- the rest are ALREADY with FedEx. Delta and others posted similar dissatisfaction with the plane and ordered no more, and this was the straw that broke MD's back.

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Reply To Trintocan

Fri Feb 23, 2001 12:49 pm

I apologize, you posted that while I was typing my reply. I am not foolish enough to say what someone else has already said!!!!!!!


RE: Reply To Trintocan

Fri Feb 23, 2001 12:58 pm

Yes, what AA737-823 said is true about the poor results 11 were originally showing thier customers. This certainly did cause airlines to cancel orders, but later MD developed many "addons" which beefed up the performance, even bringing it past the originally designed performance.
Red Panda
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Fri Feb 23, 2001 5:46 pm

How did the lack of TQM make MD-11 to an end? Do you have any articles or reports about TQM in MD?

r panda
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RE: Last MD-11 Delivered To Lufthansa

Fri Feb 23, 2001 8:04 pm

Wasn't it the poor implementation of TQMS at MD that help caused all the problems with the MD-11 and the subsequent demise of MD? The introduction of TQMS at MD represented a fundamental shakeup of the corporate culture at the time, and it was reportedly so poorly executed that a large number of experienced people were sufficiently pissed off and quitted. The joke that supposedly went around at the time was that TQMS stands for "Time to Quit and Move to Seattle".

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Fri Feb 23, 2001 9:58 pm

what does TQMS mean???

i think one major problem of the md 11 was ETOPS,
douglas should habe developed the DC10 successor as a twinjet (they had concepts of a twin jet basing on the 10). so all airlines used 767 or a330 which were more fuel efficient and could be operarated at lower mantainance cost.
but the 11 will habe a long life as a freighter and it looks fine in LH livery!
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RE: Last MD-11 Delivered To Lufthansa

Fri Feb 23, 2001 10:57 pm

I wonder if Airbus would have gotten off the ground if MD had developed that twin version of the DC-10. In fact the DC-10 was designed so that it would be built in sections that could easily be used on a twin varient of the DC-10.
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RE: Last MD-11 Delivered To Lufthansa

Sat Feb 24, 2001 12:05 am

AA 737-823, no problem at all. Do not worry - you did in fact give a different perspective to the topic, seeing that your father worked at AA. Rest easy.

MD had in fact considered a DC11 twinjet in the late '70s based on potential orders from Delta (I think) but it was cancelled after Boeing rolled out the 757 and the airline ordered the type. Airbus was at that time already beginning to establish itself although it was struggling to get a launch US purchaser (they eventually got one, Eastern).

Hop to it, fly for life!
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RE: Last MD-11 Delivered To Lufthansa

Sat Feb 24, 2001 12:21 am

TQMS - Total Quality Management System
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RE: Last MD-11 Delivered To Lufthansa

Sat Feb 24, 2001 1:49 am

I think it`s sad!!
The muscular MD11 is one of my favourite aircraft!!
Hopefully it will survive as a freighter for a long time

Look at this beaty:

Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Chris Sheldon

Stick & Rudder
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RE: Last MD-11 Delivered To Lufthansa

Sat Feb 24, 2001 4:10 am

yeah. This is it. The end of the road. But the MD-11 had it coming - it's a
wonderful aircraft but the competition had a few edges above. This seems
to be the end of those interesting trijets. I think the L1011 too could have
been developed into something really cool (fancy one of them stretched,
with winglets!) but AA737 makes a good point. It just wasn't profitable for
Lockheed to make Rolls Royce the sole (albeit excellent) purveyor of the

Expect a tribute from me to the MD-11 in a while.
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Boeing News Release & Photo

Sat Feb 24, 2001 5:56 am

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