N6801
Topic Author
Posts: 186
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2001 11:25 pm

MD 80/81/82/83

Tue Aug 28, 2001 11:31 pm

I've been wondering for ages now how an observer such as myself can learn to tell the difference between the McDonnell Douglas Super 80/81/82/83 aircraft.

Are these totally identical externally, and just bear different designations according to cabin layout, or do they have some distinguishing external characteristics that could make spotting a little easier?

Looking forward to standing by the runway sometime in the future and saying "See that -- that's an MD-83!"

 
EDR 374
Posts: 77
Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2000 5:50 am

RE: MD 80/81/82/83

Wed Aug 29, 2001 1:49 am

I can differentiate the MD 81, because it has a spiky tail, like the DC 9. If you look exactly at the tail, you can see that the tails of the MD 82 and the MD 83 is conic. But I can't differentiate the MD 82 and the MD 83, because one has more power and the other has larger tanks. The MD 82 has more powerful engines and the MD 83 has a longer range, but they look similar.
Look at these pictures:

MD 81

Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Frank Schaefer



MD 82

Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Jorgos Tsambikakis



MD 83

Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Florian Kondziela



 
avionic
Posts: 107
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 1999 3:45 am

RE: MD 80/81/82/83

Wed Aug 29, 2001 2:24 am

EDR 374, is right but it also comes down to the operator...f. example if you look at SAS´ md81/2/3 there is no difference for the spotter.....they all have the "toothpaste" tailcone.....the 83 has longer range though due to forward and aft aux. fueltanks....and between the 81 and 82 you have different ranges and max TOW. Hope it helped....but viewing from the outside.....you can´t tell......the tailcone is sometimes misleading.....
 
N6801
Topic Author
Posts: 186
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2001 11:25 pm

RE: MD 80/81/82/83 (Who's Who)?

Wed Aug 29, 2001 2:54 am

Thanks for the photo line-up, EDR 374!

Yes, I too, figured "look for the obvious" and started comparing tail cones. But since Finnair (as well as other operators probably) operates MD-83's both with the pointed tail cones as well as the "squished in and chopped off ones", I figured there must be some other feature making them variants.

Here are two Finnair MD-83's (sporting the two different tail cones):


Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Frank Schaefer



Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Stephan Tophoven



Avionic, you're quite right about the tail cones being misleading. Engines and range must be the key factors here. How disappointing to know I'll get no farther with my MD spotting skills!

Thanks, Guys!
 
M80
Posts: 36
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2001 7:31 pm

RE: MD 80/81/82/83

Wed Aug 29, 2001 10:13 pm

N6801:

The picture of the OH-LMR is very old, it's from the late 1980s... Nowadays all Finnair's MD-80s have a "screwdriver"-type tail cones. And to confuse things more: OH-LMR is actually MD-82, though the paintings on the engines say that it is MD-83. It has no auxiliary fuel tanks and its seating capacity is for 141 passengers. (instead of MD-83 with capacity of around 157 passengers). So, you can't always be 100% sure of the actual type of MD-80 when you are spotting!  Smile

Newer picture of OH-LMR


Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Pekka Lehtinen



Kalle
 
N6801
Topic Author
Posts: 186
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2001 11:25 pm

RE: MD 80/81/82/83

Thu Aug 30, 2001 12:04 am

Hey there, Kalle! You mean the MD-8X on the photo was actually incorrectly marked?!?!

Slightly off-topic here, yet still relevant, I mentioned on the other forum (Civil Aviation) that I have always enjoyed the sound of the MD engines (from the inside) and always choose a seat at the rear of the cabin for my 'listening enjoyment'. I actually get goose-flesh during the constant ups and downs in the pitch when we're on finals!

I recently flew on a US Air MD-82 from PIT to EWR and the sound of those engines working on approach was not to be believed. Wish I'd had a tape-recorder with me!

Mind you (to get back to the topic at hand) I had to ask the captain after landing exactly what type of MD I had had the pleasure of flying on. It was listed as MD-80 in the schedule, but, well, we all know now what THAT can entail!

Bill
 
M80
Posts: 36
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2001 7:31 pm

RE: MD 80/81/82/83

Thu Aug 30, 2001 2:07 am

Hi Bill,

OH-LMR has probably earlier been MD-83, but reconfigured to MD-82. (for example the auxiliary fuel tank pump switches have been removed from the overhead panel = auxiliary tanks have been removed) The MD-83 paintings are not repainted to MD-82, don't know why...

Kalle
 
sleekjet
Posts: 2006
Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2001 1:35 am

RE: MD 80/81/82/83

Thu Aug 30, 2001 2:25 am

Which one of these makes up the bulk of AA's fleet?
II Cor. 4:17-18
 
boeingmd82
Posts: 231
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2001 11:14 am

RE: MD 80/81/82/83

Thu Aug 30, 2001 11:04 am

I'm not a huge American expert, but every one I've flown on has been an MD-82.

BMD82

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