PlymSpotter
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Process Of MD80 Conversions?

Thu Nov 25, 2010 1:50 pm

Having tried many times to fly a SAS MD-81, I was disappointed again recently to get another MD-82 instead. Only then when I checked the registration I discovered that the aircraft had originally been delivered as an MD-81 in 1991, but was then converted to an MD-82 in 2001.

What is the process involved in converting MD-80 aircraft like this? Is it just a case of changing the engines to the JT8D-219s and increasing MTOW on paper, or are there any physical alterations to the aircraft's structure and appearance?

I'd be very interested to know, I did a search but only found some info from 2003 on MD-83 to MD-88 conversions.

Many thanks.


Dan  
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Viscount724
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RE: Process Of MD80 Conversions?

Thu Nov 25, 2010 11:04 pm

Quoting PlymSpotter (Thread starter):
Having tried many times to fly a SAS MD-81, I was disappointed again recently to get another MD-82 instead.

What's the difference? I doubt you'd know that were on an MD-81 or an MD-82 unless you looked at the registration plate.
 
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RE: Process Of MD80 Conversions?

Thu Nov 25, 2010 11:54 pm

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 1):
What's the difference? I doubt you'd know that were on an MD-81 or an MD-82 unless you looked at the registration plate.

Same goes for much of the DC/MD narrow body range. Flying different types is a specific interest of mine, and the MD-81 is a type which has eluded me many times now. However that is only the background to my question.


Dan  
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Viscount724
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RE: Process Of MD80 Conversions?

Fri Nov 26, 2010 12:54 am

Quoting PlymSpotter (Reply 2):
Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 1):
What's the difference? I doubt you'd know that were on an MD-81 or an MD-82 unless you looked at the registration plate.

Same goes for much of the DC/MD narrow body range.

Actually, the DC/MD narrow body range is fairly easily-identifiable except the MD-81/82/83, and if you really go back, the DC-8-10/20/30.
 
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RE: Process Of MD80 Conversions?

Fri Nov 26, 2010 3:05 am

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 3):
Actually, the DC/MD narrow body range is fairly easily-identifiable except the MD-81/82/83, and if you really go back, the DC-8-10/20/30.

I was forgetting the DC-8 actually, but it still counts that almost half the types looks very similar.
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Fly2HMO
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RE: Process Of MD80 Conversions?

Fri Nov 26, 2010 5:17 am

Quoting PlymSpotter (Thread starter):
What is the process involved in converting MD-80 aircraft like this? Is it just a case of changing the engines to the JT8D-219s and increasing MTOW on paper, or are there any physical alterations to the aircraft's structure and appearance?

Not a mad-dog driver but just looking at specs from both variants I'm guessing they merely just uprated the engines, possibly without even having to swap them. The increased thrust of course allowed for an increase in MTOW. Other than that I don't see why the conversion would be any more involved.

Of course I could be grossly wrong, as I have been before. Big grin

[Edited 2010-11-25 21:18:53]
 
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RE: Process Of MD80 Conversions?

Sat Nov 27, 2010 12:34 am

Quoting PlymSpotter (Reply 4):
Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 3):
Actually, the DC/MD narrow body range is fairly easily-identifiable except the MD-81/82/83, and if you really go back, the DC-8-10/20/30.

I was forgetting the DC-8 actually, but it still counts that almost half the types looks very similar.

However the DC-8-10/20/30 combined only accounted for about 1/4 of total DC-8 production.

The CFM56 re-engining program that converted 110 -61/62/63s to -71/72/73s complicated DC-8 identification. It was easy to tell the stretched -61 and -63 models apart due to the different engine nacelles and pylons, but after re-engining it wasn't easy to tell them apart unless your eyes were sharp enough to spot the 6 ft. difference in wingspan.
 
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RE: Process Of MD80 Conversions?

Sat Nov 27, 2010 1:17 am

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 6):
The CFM56 re-engining program that converted 110 -61/62/63s to -71/72/73s complicated DC-8 identification. It was easy to tell the stretched -61 and -63 models apart due to the different engine nacelles and pylons, but after re-engining it wasn't easy to tell them apart unless your eyes were sharp enough to spot the 6 ft. difference in wingspan

The pylons were different on the DC-8-71 from the DC-8-73 too!
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Starlionblue
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RE: Process Of MD80 Conversions?

Sat Nov 27, 2010 2:33 am

Quoting Fly2HMO (Reply 5):

Not a mad-dog driver but just looking at specs from both variants I'm guessing they merely just uprated the engines, possibly without even having to swap them. The increased thrust of course allowed for an increase in MTOW. Other than that I don't see why the conversion would be any more involved.

AFAIK going 81-82-83.
- Uprated engines, as you say possibly without swap.
- Beefed up landing gear to handle the increased MTOW.
- More tankage for increased range?

I could be wrong.  
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Fly2HMO
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RE: Process Of MD80 Conversions?

Sat Nov 27, 2010 5:03 am

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 8):
- More tankage for increased range?

They all have the same fuel capacity/tanks AFAIK. So the increased range comes from the MTOW increase in itself (or available fuel payload increase rather)
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Process Of MD80 Conversions?

Sat Nov 27, 2010 5:41 am

Makes sense. I'm pretty sure about the beefed up gear though.
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FBU 4EVER!
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RE: Process Of MD80 Conversions?

Sat Nov 27, 2010 11:53 am

The conversion from -81 to -82 was quite simple.: You take the data plate on the engine, turned it around and there were the -219 numbers! A twist on a screw increased the fuel flow and, hey presto! you've got a -219 engine. There was also the need to add an extra bolt on the MLG wing attachment for increased strength. Change the a/c data plate in the forward entrance doorway and you've got a -82. And then you had to pay McD an P&W $$$$$$ for the paper work!
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RE: Process Of MD80 Conversions?

Sat Nov 27, 2010 6:53 pm

Quoting FBU 4EVER! (Reply 11):
You take the data plate on the engine, turned it around and there were the -219 numbers! A twist on a screw increased the fuel flow and, hey presto! you've got a -219 engine.

Only if it was truly that easy on the engines! Its easy enough, dont get me wrong. I was usually the guy sitting in the cowl adjusting the MIL (Part Power) and IDLE screw... Wasnt lucky enough to have the fance tool where you could stand back and hear the instructions.
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PlymSpotter
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RE: Process Of MD80 Conversions?

Mon Nov 29, 2010 10:12 pm

Thanks for all the replies.  

It sounds surprisingly simple. Am I right in think that SAS would have carried out these alterations during a major check, as presumably the aircraft couldn't fly again until re-certified and all the paperwork that FBU 4EVER mentioned was completed?


Dan  
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MDShady
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RE: Process Of MD80 Conversions?

Thu Dec 02, 2010 6:56 am

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 8):
AFAIK going 81-82-83.
- Uprated engines, as you say possibly without swap.
- Beefed up landing gear to handle the increased MTOW.
- More tankage for increased range?

You could go from an -81/82 to an -83? I thought you could only do an -81 to -82, or maybe -88? The -83 was extended range to begin with?
 
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RE: Process Of MD80 Conversions?

Thu Dec 02, 2010 9:18 am

Quoting MDShady (Reply 14):
You could go from an -81/82 to an -83? I thought you could only do an -81 to -82, or maybe -88? The -83 was extended range to begin with?

AFAIK SK has several MD-83s that started as 81s. But I could be misinformed.

Yes the -83 was extended range to begin with but 81-82-83 are all externally the same size so I don't think conversions are really "that hard".
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