McDonnell Douglas MD-81/82/83/88


Country of Origin
United States of America
Short to medium range airliner
The popular MD-80 series is a stretched and improved development of the McDonnell Douglas DC-9. The origins of the MD-80 lie in 1975 testing where a standard DC-9 was fitted with improved, more efficient, higher bypass ratio JT8D-200 series turbofans. MDC originally proposed fitting the new engines (which meet Stage 3 noise limits) to a development designated the DC-9-55, which would have featured two JT8D-209s and a 3.86m (12ft 8in) stretched fuselage over the 50. Instead MDC developed the DC-9 Super 80 (or DC-9-80), combining the new engines with a further stretched fuselage, increased span wing and other improvements. Launched in October 1977, the Super 80 first flew on October 18 1979. Certification for the initial Super 80 model, the 81, was granted in July 1981. The first customer delivery was to Swissair in September 1980. McDonnell Douglas renamed the DC-9-80 the MD-80 in 1983. The MD-80 designation however is a generic designation for the series and does not apply to a certain model type. The specific MD-80 models are the initial MD-81, the MD-82 with more powerful JT8D-217s, the extended range MD-83 with extra fuel and more efficient JT8D-219s, and the MD-88 (first flight August 1987) with the JT8D-219s of the MD-83 with an EFIS flightdeck and redesigned cabin interior, with other improvements. The shorter fuselage but longer range MD-87 is described separately under McDonnell Douglas. Initial sales of the Super 80 were slow until American Airlines placed an initial order for 67 MD-82s (with options on 100) in early 1984 (American now operates a fleet of 260 MD-80s), kickstarting what went on to become a highly successful program - the 1000th MD-80 was delivered in March 1992. Following the 1997 merger of Boeing and McDonnell Douglas the future of the Douglas airliners were reviewed. In December 1997 Boeing announced its decision to drop the MD-80 and MD-90 once current orders were fulfilled. An April 1998 TWA order for 24 MD-83s will see the MD-80 remain in production until January 2000.
MD-81 - Two 82.3kN (18,500lb) Pratt & Whitney JT8D-209 turbofans. MD-88 - Two 93.4kN (21,000lb) JT8D-219s.
MD-81 - Max speed 925km/h (500kt), long range cruising speed 813km/h (440kt). Range with 155 passengers and reserves 2897km (1564nm). MD-88 - Speeds same. Range with 155 passengers and reserves 4850km (2620nm).
MD-81 - Operating empty 35,329kg (77,888lb), max takeoff 63,505kg (140,000lb), or 67,810kg (149,500lb) with JT8D-217As. MD-88 - Operating empty 35,369kg (77,976lb), max takeoff 67,810kg (149,500lb).
Wing span 32.87m (107ft 10in), length 45.06m (147ft 10in), height 9.02m (29ft 7in). Wing area 112.3m2 (1209sq ft).
Flightcrew of two. Max seating for 172. Typical two class seating for 142, comprising 14 premium and 128 economy class pax.
Total MD-80 series (inc MD-87) 1191 aircraft, of which 132 MD-81, 569 MD-82, 265 MD-83, 150 MD-88 (and 75 MD-87, see separate entry).
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McDonnell Douglas MD-81/82/83/88
The backbone of this section is from the The International Directory of Civil Aircraft by Gerard Frawley and used with permission. To get your own copy of the book click here.