c5load
Topic Author
Posts: 344
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 9:40 pm

What Would Have Made The MD-90 Better?

Sun Sep 19, 2010 1:09 am

I like to get your guys' opinions on what you think would have made poor selling or poor performing airplanes better at the tie of manufacture. I asked a while ago about the MD-11 and got overwhelming responses mostly with the stabilizer. So now I ask what about the MD-90? Would it be a new wing? More reliable engines (CFMs vs. IAE2500 series)? What would have made it formidable competitor to the A320 and B737 series without changing that MD design (t-tail)?


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[Edited 2010-09-18 18:10:33]
"But this airplane has 4 engines, it's an entirely different kind of flying! Altogether"
 
tdscanuck
Posts: 8572
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:25 am

RE: What Would Have Made The MD-90 Better?

Sun Sep 19, 2010 1:47 am

Quoting c5load (Thread starter):
So now I ask what about the MD-90?

I think it was a fine aircraft...it didn't die because it wasn't a good design, it died because of the merger.

Quoting c5load (Thread starter):
What would have made it formidable competitor to the A320 and B737 series without changing that MD design (t-tail)?

It *was* a formidable competitor to the A320/737 for the short/medium haul market. What would have kept it that way would have been MD not merging with Boeing.

Tom.
 
c5load
Topic Author
Posts: 344
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 9:40 pm

RE: What Would Have Made The MD-90 Better?

Sun Sep 19, 2010 1:57 am

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 1):
It *was* a formidable competitor to the A320/737 for the short/medium haul market.

I was under the assumption that it lacked performance on longer routes that the A and B were able to tackle, like the transcon routes. I also thought I read that the engines were pretty maintenance hungry machines.
"But this airplane has 4 engines, it's an entirely different kind of flying! Altogether"
 
tdscanuck
Posts: 8572
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:25 am

RE: What Would Have Made The MD-90 Better?

Sun Sep 19, 2010 4:11 am

Quoting c5load (Reply 2):
I was under the assumption that it lacked performance on longer routes that the A and B were able to tackle, like the transcon routes.

That's why I threw in the "short/medium haul" qualifier...the MD-90 just didn't have the legs for transcon. If you want an all-round US domestic machine, the 737/A320 were better choices. But if your route structure didn't need that kind of range, the MD-90 was a really nice plane.

Quoting c5load (Reply 2):
I also thought I read that the engines were pretty maintenance hungry machines.

They're IAE2500's...shouldn't be much better or worse than the IAE A320's.

Tom.
 
BMI727
Posts: 11175
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2009 9:29 pm

RE: What Would Have Made The MD-90 Better?

Sun Sep 19, 2010 4:35 am

Quoting c5load (Thread starter):
So now I ask what about the MD-90?

Basically many of the same things as the MD-11. Too little effort and investment, too late to keep superior planes from eating their lunch.

Quoting c5load (Thread starter):
Would it be a new wing?

A better wing would definitely have helped the MD-90 compete.

Quoting c5load (Thread starter):
More reliable engines (CFMs vs. IAE2500 series)?

I've never heard anything bad about the IAE engines, and they seem to work fine for A320 operators.

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 1):
I think it was a fine aircraft...it didn't die because it wasn't a good design, it died because of the merger

It was a very good plane, but compared to the 737NG and A320 it wasn't quite there. But the merger was the factor that really did it in. The MD-90 suffered from the struggles at McDonnell Douglas but was certainly not a cause of them and had it been allowed to continue would have sold in significant numbers and turned a profit for the company so I couldn't call it a failure.

Really, the MD-90 was a good plane that could have been better.
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