AgnusBymaster
Topic Author
Posts: 620
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2001 8:11 am

MD-80 Questions

Mon Feb 18, 2002 7:10 am

What is the purpose of the open panel just below the cheatline towards the front of the fuselage? I used to think this was some kind of access panel that was closed prior to takeoff, but after seeing many a plane leave the gate with it still in the same position, I've decided that it must be something else.

Also, what about the little fins and the one big fin on top of the fuselage? Do they serve as transmitters of some kind or are they just there for aerodynamic reasons?

Here's the photo I'm referring too:


Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Brian Hames

 
Bjones
Posts: 122
Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2002 11:46 am

RE: MD-80 Questions

Mon Feb 18, 2002 7:46 am

Are you talking about below the word Alaska? That is the door to the forward cargo pit.

The "fin" on top is an antenna. Not positive for which system though. There are a number of antennas top and bottom for the communications and navigation systems.
 
FDXmech
Posts: 3219
Joined: Sun Mar 19, 2000 9:48 pm

RE: MD-80 Questions

Mon Feb 18, 2002 7:48 am

Hello
That's not a panel, it's a "strake".

These are winglike appendages on both sides of the nose which give some longitudinal stability to the long stretch of fuselage in front of the wings.

They're even anti-iced using engine bleed air.
You're only as good as your last departure.
 
FDXmech
Posts: 3219
Joined: Sun Mar 19, 2000 9:48 pm

RE: MD-80 Questions

Mon Feb 18, 2002 7:54 am

Left "strake".

Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Jonathan Derden

You're only as good as your last departure.
 
cdfmxtech
Posts: 1319
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2000 11:37 am

RE: MD-80 Questions

Mon Feb 18, 2002 7:56 am

FDX is right. They were put onto the Md80s cause of their long fuselage. The older DC9s, which were much shorter didn't have them.
 
bio15
Posts: 1048
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2001 8:10 am

RE: MD-80 Questions

Mon Feb 18, 2002 8:32 am

Check out this recent post about the fins.

http://www.airliners.net/discussions/tech_ops/read.main/33543/
 
AgnusBymaster
Topic Author
Posts: 620
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2001 8:11 am

RE: MD-80 Questions

Mon Feb 18, 2002 10:00 am

Yes, it was the "strakes" that I was talking about, I just didn't know the proper term. Interesting to here that they are there b/c of the fuselage length...I hadn't thought of that.

As far as the fins, I assumed they were for navagational purposes but wasn't really sure.

Thanks for the info!
 
User avatar
HA_DC9
Posts: 563
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 1999 3:16 pm

RE: MD-80 Questions

Tue Feb 19, 2002 8:33 am

Cdfmxtech wrote:
"FDX is right. They were put onto the Md80s cause of their long fuselage. The older DC9s, which were much shorter didn't have them."

Actually, the DC-9-50's also have the strakes like the MD-80's. The DC-9-50's were the only ones out of the original DC-9 family to have them. They are also the longest aircraft of the original DC-9 family.
 
cdfmxtech
Posts: 1319
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2000 11:37 am

RE: MD-80 Questions

Tue Feb 19, 2002 9:10 am

...The older DC9s, which were much shorter didn't have them....

Thanx for "clearing that up"?????????

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