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Why Do Cargo Airlines Like The MD-11 So Much?

Sun Mar 07, 2004 8:09 pm

I read everywhere that the MD-11 was not such a great success for pax operations, but that cargo airlines like it. The fleets of the world's cargo carriers are full of MD-11s (Fedex, LH, KE, BR, SV, MU, etc). Some, e.g., Fedex, even have trouble getting hand on sufficient numbers of converted MD-11s.

Why? I thought the 747/744 Freighter would be more convenient because of its "opening" nose door?
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RE: Why Do Cargo Airlines Like The MD-11 So Much?

Sun Mar 07, 2004 8:29 pm

It is very economical to operate.
Likewise for the DC10.
Low operating cost per ton/mile.

FedEx for example, when they bought FlyingTigers, could not get rid of their B747's quick enough.
UNLESS the B747 can befilled to capacity, it's operating costs will eat you for lunch.
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RE: Why Do Cargo Airlines Like The MD-11 So Much?

Sun Mar 07, 2004 9:36 pm

I must admit I was wondering about that myself. The MD11 certainly works well for integrators such as Fedex, but for normal cargo carriers?

On longer routes it has a significant payload penalty, its main deck height is only 2.40m or so vs. the 3m of the 747.


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RE: Why Do Cargo Airlines Like The MD-11 So Much?

Sun Mar 07, 2004 10:24 pm

I asked the same question a while back, I believe i got a good amount of responses, try searching the archives.
Once you have tasted flight, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward; for there you long to return
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RE: Why Do Cargo Airlines Like The MD-11 So Much?

Sun Mar 07, 2004 11:56 pm

Take Lufthansa for instance they are getting rid of all there 747-200 freighters for all MD-11 fleet. I work in the cargo industry so I see alot of carriers using the MD-11. I list a few reasons please comment on them, good and bad:

1.I find the turn around times on MD-11F are quicker than 747F
2.But I find MD-11F are heavy on maintenance.
3.The reason why it failed in pax service it promised alot and didn't deliver mostly with payload and range. As in freighter operations you really don't see aircraft at MTOW because they usually bulk out before maximum weight. When shipping you pay for the volume weight, so a plane that can hold lets say 80 tons but has only 20 tons on board but is bulked out is still taking money in for 80 tons.
To figure out volume weight here is an example:Lets say a box is 60X60X60in and weighs 250kg.Now multiply 60X60X60=216,000 now divide that by 166=1301 now this is the VW in lbs now take 1301 and divide by 2.2046 and that gives you 590kg now this is what the airline gets paid. So in freighter ops you dont need weight you need volume. To conclude I think this is why the MD-11F is such a sucess in cargo

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RE: Why Do Cargo Airlines Like The MD-11 So Much?

Mon Mar 08, 2004 5:03 am

Another big reason is that, because the MD-11 was so unpopular for passenger operations, there are relatively heaps of them available, and for second-hand -- and thus very inexpensive -- purchase.


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