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DC-9/MD-80 Engine Change

Mon Jan 05, 2004 3:35 am

I read some time ago, that NW and CO was planning on fitting RR Tays to their DC9 and MD80 fleets as part of conversion to fuel efficiency. Now as we can see it has not happened, but I do not know what happened to the plans. I know NW has retired its MD80s, I know that CO has retired the DC9s, and they are retiring their MD-80s. Is NW still planning on converting the engines to TAYS or BR710s or are they just going to keep the JT8D engines.

BTW -- I read this in a Monthly Employee Newsletter in December 1998/January 1999 for NW
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RE: DC-9/MD-80 Engine Change

Mon Jan 05, 2004 4:20 am

If I recall, NW does not have an MD-80 fleet. The 80s were retired some time ago. Can anyone confirm?
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RE: DC-9/MD-80 Engine Change

Mon Jan 05, 2004 4:23 am

Yes, I can confirm.
I know NW has retired its MD80s
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RE: DC-9/MD-80 Engine Change

Mon Jan 05, 2004 5:55 am

Considering the money trouble both airlines are having I doubt you will see this happen. Then there's the fact the Continental will be retiring thier MD-80's rather soon. Not much reason to spend all that time and money on an aircraft that will be leaving the fleet. My gut instincts tell me that NWA will not go through with it either for their DC-9's.

However if they did decide to do it I would go with the BR710/715. Better engine than the TAY.
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RE: DC-9/MD-80 Engine Change

Mon Jan 05, 2004 7:16 am

In NW's case, the DC-9s will be replaced with the A320 series on order.

In CO's case, the MD-80s will be replaced by the 737-800s & -900s.

The fate of the DC-9s and MD-80s are written on the wall. Retirement in the desert, hopefully to be picked up by smaller carriers, or low fare start-ups, or ...
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RE: DC-9/MD-80 Engine Change

Mon Jan 05, 2004 7:30 am

That would take a lot of engineering and legal work, without much benefit. This was probably a solution when DC9s needed to achieve Stage 3 noise compliance. Hush kits achieved it for a fraction of the cost of fitting new engines.

I always wondered why DC9s were not refitted with JT8D-200 series engines. Again, I assume it is a matter of cost.
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RE: DC-9/MD-80 Engine Change

Mon Jan 05, 2004 8:17 am

When you compare the costs of hushkits to new engines, hushkits will win. For the price of one brand new engine, you get two hushkit units. It would be a task to get a new engine type certified for the MD-80, not to mention all of the retrofits that would have to be incorporated. Overall, hushkits are a cheaper way to go. While a BR-715 engined MD-80 would look nice, more than likely these a/c will be hushkitted or have the JT8D-209s replaced with the JT8D-219s from the MD-88, since these engines are related. It is easier with a wing-mounted engine, like with the various engine retrofits on the DC-8 and 707.
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RE: DC-9/MD-80 Engine Change

Mon Jan 05, 2004 9:30 pm

BR715-A1-30: There are no plans to reengine the DC-9 fleet. With the current glut of JT-8 engines on the lease market, there would be little economic reason to do so. All DC-9 engines have the hush kit. There are currently no MD-80's in the NWA fleet. There are approximately 20 A319/320 aircraft on order, which is hardly enough to replace the 167 DC-9's currently operating. The DC-9's will be in the fleet for the forseeable future. Regards,
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RE: DC-9/MD-80 Engine Change

Mon Jan 05, 2004 10:16 pm

Putting Tay's on DC-9's is not a new idea. At a previous carrier that I worked for, we looked at it in the late 1980's.
Two problems were cost ($10,000,000 an engine plus the retrofit costs to the airplane) and coast down with an engine out. The airplane was calculated not to be able to maintain a safe altitude with an engine out over the Rocky Mountains.
The costs have most certainly gone up, while later versions of the Tay may have more thrust to avoid the coast down problem.
To spend an estimated $25-30 on an old airplane will never be cost effective.

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