MDGLongBeach
Topic Author
Posts: 108
Joined: Sat Jun 24, 2017 6:03 pm

Was the MD-87 a failure?

Thu Aug 16, 2018 11:18 pm

The McDonnell Douglas MD-87 was a model of the late dc-9 series targeted for the regional shorter haul market with options to make it more of a medium haul aircraft. It was produced for about 5 years and only 75 were ever made, making it the least popular md80 series aircraft. My assumption was that the md87 was a smaller plane utilizing larger plane engines, which in turn made it costly to bring around 110-ish people for the price of 150 or so. My other belief is that the plane had a range much longer than needed for its targeted market. It also appears that the Fokker 100, the rival of the md87 was more successful and even American Airlines had preferred it. Later in the production for the 87, came the baby crj series 100/200, which really defined the regional market and probably was the last chance the 87 had at any further success. Anyone wanna share their thoughts on this, I thought this would be an interesting conversation.

-MDG
 
User avatar
northstardc4m
Posts: 3242
Joined: Fri Apr 28, 2000 11:23 am

Re: Was the MD-87 a failure?

Fri Aug 17, 2018 12:08 am

MDGLongBeach wrote:
The McDonnell Douglas MD-87 was a model of the late dc-9 series targeted for the regional shorter haul market with options to make it more of a medium haul aircraft. It was produced for about 5 years and only 75 were ever made, making it the least popular md80 series aircraft. My assumption was that the md87 was a smaller plane utilizing larger plane engines, which in turn made it costly to bring around 110-ish people for the price of 150 or so. My other belief is that the plane had a range much longer than needed for its targeted market. It also appears that the Fokker 100, the rival of the md87 was more successful and even American Airlines had preferred it. Later in the production for the 87, came the baby crj series 100/200, which really defined the regional market and probably was the last chance the 87 had at any further success. Anyone wanna share their thoughts on this, I thought this would be an interesting conversation.

-MDG


I've never heard of it being targeted at the "regional shorter haul" market... in fact I've seen it mostly being marketed as a longer range smaller MD-80 for thin trans-con type routes. IT failed in the US mostly due to the fact that the 727 and 757 handled the thin trans-cons more at the majors with less demand for a smaller type. I believe Midway (Mk1) was the only US orderer of factory fresh 87s?

Anyways it was far too heavy to realistically be used as a DC-9-50 replacement, much less a viable competitor for the F100, BAe146 or even 737-500 on short haul flights.
Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
 
MDGLongBeach
Topic Author
Posts: 108
Joined: Sat Jun 24, 2017 6:03 pm

Re: Was the MD-87 a failure?

Fri Aug 17, 2018 12:13 am

northstardc4m wrote:
MDGLongBeach wrote:
The McDonnell Douglas MD-87 was a model of the late dc-9 series targeted for the regional shorter haul market with options to make it more of a medium haul aircraft. It was produced for about 5 years and only 75 were ever made, making it the least popular md80 series aircraft. My assumption was that the md87 was a smaller plane utilizing larger plane engines, which in turn made it costly to bring around 110-ish people for the price of 150 or so. My other belief is that the plane had a range much longer than needed for its targeted market. It also appears that the Fokker 100, the rival of the md87 was more successful and even American Airlines had preferred it. Later in the production for the 87, came the baby crj series 100/200, which really defined the regional market and probably was the last chance the 87 had at any further success. Anyone wanna share their thoughts on this, I thought this would be an interesting conversation.

-MDG


I've never heard of it being targeted at the "regional shorter haul" market... in fact I've seen it mostly being marketed as a longer range smaller MD-80 for thin trans-con type routes. IT failed in the US mostly due to the fact that the 727 and 757 handled the thin trans-cons more at the majors with less demand for a smaller type. I believe Midway (Mk1) was the only US orderer of factory fresh 87s?

Anyways it was far too heavy to realistically be used as a DC-9-50 replacement, much less a viable competitor for the F100, BAe146 or even 737-500 on short haul flights.


Since McDonnell Douglas only sold 75 machines around the world, what was the main factor in it not selling well, outside of the US?
 
midway7
Posts: 254
Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2004 10:24 pm

Re: Was the MD-87 a failure?

Fri Aug 17, 2018 12:48 am

Midway I was the launch customer. I was there in 1989 (I believe) when it was launched and flew in the Chicago Air Show that year. It was launched on MDW - LAX as the 737's they had at the time could not make the leg dependably. Eventually, it flew the longer legs for Midway from MDW to the west coast. It was also used from MDW and PHL (at the time) to Florida. I believe they even flew a PHL - LAS/LAX segment with it.

Beautiful plane. Flew it a couple times from MDW to MCO. Midway ended up getting MD88's around the same time, and seemed to favor these over the MD87. I would hear that it was heavy and the economics were challenged as a result. This was back long before the days of airliners.net and facebook. You would have to hang out at the airport to find stuff like this out.

Sadly, it flew the last revenue flight / arrival for Midway I from LAX to MDW, arriving right after midnight the day operations ceased.
 
Boof02671
Posts: 1626
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2016 12:15 am

Re: Was the MD-87 a failure?

Fri Aug 17, 2018 2:23 am

I worked for Midway in LGA, I remember when Hinson ordered them.
 
SPREE34
Posts: 1730
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2004 6:09 am

Re: Was the MD-87 a failure?

Fri Aug 17, 2018 2:40 am

Reno Air flew them.
I don't understand everything I don't know about this.
 
dtw9
Posts: 994
Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2003 10:09 am

Re: Was the MD-87 a failure?

Fri Aug 17, 2018 2:45 am

Midway did not launch the MD-87. Austrian and Finnair did. Austrian was also the only carrier to order theirs with the rear service door
 
Max Q
Posts: 7623
Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 12:40 pm

Re: Was the MD-87 a failure?

Fri Aug 17, 2018 3:48 am

Where are they all now ?
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


Guns and the love of them by a loud minority are a malignant and deadly cancer inflicted on American society
 
zakuivcustom
Posts: 2774
Joined: Sat Jun 10, 2017 3:32 am

Re: Was the MD-87 a failure?

Fri Aug 17, 2018 4:05 am

Max Q wrote:
Where are they all now ?


Using Planespotters:
https://www.planespotters.net/productio ... ort=status

Only 2 still active in scheduled passenger service - YA-KMO with Kam Air (Afghanistan) and ZS-TRJ (Gryphon Airlines, which is based in South Africa I believe), operating in Tunisia lately (Mostly flying between TUN and DJE). YA-KMZ is showed as active on Planespotters, but haven't fly lately if FR24 is correct.
Free Hong Kong! Free China!
 
opticalilyushin
Posts: 686
Joined: Tue Oct 22, 2013 6:35 pm

Re: Was the MD-87 a failure?

Fri Aug 17, 2018 5:50 am

A couple of years ago they were easy to catch. I flew a Danish Air Transport out of Naples and PAWA Dominicana from Havana.
 
mtnwest1979
Posts: 2211
Joined: Fri Nov 18, 2005 4:23 am

Re: Was the MD-87 a failure?

Fri Aug 17, 2018 6:08 am

Erickson Aero Tanker has at least two I have seen in BOI doing drops on fires this season. Have only flown in one -87 on Reno Air RNO-LAS.
Riddle: Which lasts longer, a start-up airline or a start-up football league?
 
Someone83
Posts: 4320
Joined: Sun Sep 17, 2006 5:47 pm

Re: Was the MD-87 a failure?

Fri Aug 17, 2018 6:13 am

midway7 wrote:
Midway I was the launch customer. I was there in 1989 (I believe) when it was launched and flew in the Chicago Air Show that year. .


Austrian got their first in 1980, same year as Swissair and PSA ;)
 
BlueberryWheats
Posts: 535
Joined: Tue Sep 08, 2015 9:46 am

Re: Was the MD-87 a failure?

Fri Aug 17, 2018 6:17 am

Someone83 wrote:
midway7 wrote:
Midway I was the launch customer. I was there in 1989 (I believe) when it was launched and flew in the Chicago Air Show that year. .


Austrian got their first in 1980, same year as Swissair and PSA ;)


We're talking about the -87. Not the MD-80 series as a whole. ;)

Austrian got the first -87, but was in 1987.
 
User avatar
Embajador3
Posts: 269
Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2006 9:28 am

Re: Was the MD-87 a failure?

Fri Aug 17, 2018 7:49 am

IB and SAS kept theirs until recently. Also, JK had them until they disappeared. It may not had been a best seller aircraft but these airlines loved them!
Flying Together
 
User avatar
MD80
Posts: 746
Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2014 3:29 pm

Re: Was the MD-87 a failure?

Fri Aug 17, 2018 10:06 am

The MD-87 was launched by Austrian Airlines and Finnair with orders for four and eight respectively.

The MD-87 was offered with different weights and Austrian Airlines even described their first two MD-87s as MD-87 ER´s and the three MD-87s delivered in 1990 as MD-87 SR´s. According to McDonnell Douglas, the MD-87 offered „reduced direct operating costs by 8 to 10 percent per trip“ compared to the MD-82. However, the larger MD-82 provided lower costs per seat but capacities were differently regulated and estimated during this era and thus, the flexibility of the offered capacities were archieved by selecting „the right aircraft“.

Finnair later reduced their original order for eight MD-87s to three and opted to take additional MD-82/-83s. TDA (later JAS), Aero Lloyd, Transwede, and CTA became early operators, while Iberia became the biggest operator with 24 examples, followed by SAS. Alitalia also opted to take 25 MD-87s for delivery between 1993 and 1997 (IIRC) but opted to take 25 additional MD82s for delivery until 1995.

The Fokker 100 was a (performance-wise) much „weaker“ aircraft compared to the MD-87. One good example was CTA. CTA officially looked at the Fokker 100 to replace their Caravelle-fleet and Fokker even offered a long range version with a tight seating arrangement for 119 passengers. Nonstop flights to the Canary Islands were the benchmark and CTA saw cost-savings of operating Fokker 100s alongside the Fokker 100s of Swissair. In the end, CTA selected four MD-87s.

Swissair opted for the Fokker 100 instead of adding the smaller MD-87 to their growing fleet of MD-81s. The cost-structure of Swissair made the Fokker 100 rather uneconomical to operate.
For American Airlines, it was probably a good way to operate the Fokker 100 with different pay-scales compared to their Super 80s. In addition to that, the Fokker 100 was seen as a better-suited short haul aircraft but I´ve heard that the Fokker 100 sometimes had problems with weights on very short flights (too heavy). Even at Swissair, at least one official saw the problem, that (expensive) MD-81-pilots were probably not willing to earn less in MD-87s only because the fuselage is a few meters shorter and with fewer seats.

For Korean Air, it was one of the possible scenarios to augment their growing MD-80-fleet with Fokker 100s and to replace their Fokker F28s with the much larger and modernized product from the same manufacturer. So, the split between Fokker 100s and MD-82/-83s was (at that time) a logical solution. Only in later years (mid-1990s), Korean Air was mentioned as a potential operator of the MD-95 (and MD-90) operating alongside their MD-80s.

Iberia´s selection was officially the result of an official evaluation with started around 1985/86. Prior to this, Iberia was aware of looking towards their future direction fleet-wise because parts of their fleet was in need of replacement. Iberia needed flexibility of capacity because of their traditonal markets with strong changes in demand over the year. Iberia looked at the BAe 146, Fokker 100, Boeing 737-500, and MD-87 as a replacement of their DC-9s and Iberia evaluated the larger Boeing 737-300/-400 and Airbus A320 as a replacement of their Boeing 727s.

The initial order in December 1987 for 15 Airbus A320s and 17 MD-87s was their best solution at the time. Political influence might have also played a role in selecting both mentioned aircraft and ironically, the DC-9 and Boeing 727 remained with Iberia until 2001 and even in 2004 Iberia claimed, that they could retain their 37 MD-80s (24 MD-87s and 13 MD-88s ex-Aviaco, de-facto technically identical to the IB-frames) for many more years of service, mainly on shorter domestic flights. How times changed!

SAS became the second-largest operator and I think, that the fleet-policy of SAS was also a logic one during the mentioned era. The large DC-9/-MD-80-fleet were the main workhorses and at least a small fleet of eight MD-90s later joined SAS. The MD-95 could have been the replacement for the remaining DC-9s and SAS would have operated the MD-80/-90/-95 and A321 instead of introducing 737-600 in 1998 and and looking to sell the entire 737-600-fleet in 2001/2002 after roughly three years of service.

For JAS, the 134-seat MD-87 was the optimal aircraft to operate flights into smaller airports and retaining the advantages of operating a similar aircraft with the 163-seat MD-81 and later 166-seat MD-90s.

In the end, McDonnell Douglas earmarked the MD-87 as a replacement for DC-9-30s but they were wrong. However. the small number of MD-87s were used by a rather large number of airlines due to second-hand operators. The US-market remained largely untouched. European operators were the main drivers of this version. Only US-based-Midway Airlines ordered factory-new MD-87s (IIRC as part of their large order for 37 MD-80s + 37 options) and in later years, only a small number of MD-87s were operated by US-companies, including Reno Air, Great American, American Airlines, Spirit Airlines, and Vanguard Airlines.

Regards
Dedicated to the MD-80, MD-90, MD-95, and DC-9: www.MD-80.com
 
midway7
Posts: 254
Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2004 10:24 pm

Re: Was the MD-87 a failure?

Fri Aug 17, 2018 10:53 am

Sorry everyone. I could swear Midway was the launch customer. Maybe they were the launch customer in the US? I just remember it was a very big deal for Midway. The carrier was growing quickly at the time. Maybe too quick. Thanks for the clarification.
 
drdisque
Posts: 1092
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 9:57 am

Re: Was the MD-87 a failure?

Fri Aug 17, 2018 2:27 pm

I think the main factor was the failure of McD to sell the aircraft into Northwest. As you know NW was a huge DC-9 operator, for many years the largest in the world. McD thought they had an inside track to get them to order a large number of MD-80's since they clearly loved the DC-9.

They correctly foresaw that the MD-83 and eventually MD-88 were too large to replace most of NW's DC-9's. So the MD-87 was pitched for this role.

However two things stopped NW from placing a new MD-80 order (other than the few they received through the Republic merger).

1. NW had significant financial difficulties in the late 80's and early 90's, meaning most new aircraft orders were put on hold, the only aircraft they took delivery of in this time period were 747-400's, for which they were a launch customer.
2. Airbus was desperate to get the A320 into the hands of a major US carrier after the collapse of Eastern and Braniff II. NW needed aircraft on the cheap and therefore ordered the A320 as a 727 replacement. Once NW started taking delivery of the A320 and they saw how much more capable it was than their old MD-80s, it was a very uphill battle for McD, including on the MD-87.
3. When you took acquisition cost into account, there simply wasn't really any financial upside to the MD-87 vs. the already bought-and-paid-for DC-9-50's, especially as NW didn't need the MD-87's range or hot & high capabilities.
 
User avatar
Mortyman
Posts: 5695
Joined: Sat Aug 12, 2006 8:26 pm

Re: Was the MD-87 a failure?

Fri Aug 17, 2018 2:45 pm

SAS had 18 MD-87's used between 1988 - 2012. One was written off in the fatal Linate airport disaster
 
rdombrov
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2018 9:39 pm

Re: Was the MD-87 a failure?

Fri Aug 17, 2018 2:54 pm

I don't think McConnell Douglas ever got past the negative stigma of the DC10, which affected pretty much everything they tried. In the end they just went away, a few decades after they were arguably civil aviation leaders.
 
User avatar
MD80
Posts: 746
Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2014 3:29 pm

Re: Was the MD-87 a failure?

Fri Aug 17, 2018 6:22 pm

Northwest Airlines was one of the forerunners for the MD-87-105 (later MD-95) in approx. 1991. The rest is history. However, McDonnell Douglas tried to sell their MD-87 to PSA and TWA.

So, in March 1992, the last MD-87 was delivered (to SAS) and in 1995, McDonnell Douglas offered ValuJet newly-built MD-87s as a stop-gap measure until the MD-95 were ready. This never happened.
My impression is, that the MD-87 was ordered by well-known operators because of their suitability, performance and very good experience with McDonnell Douglas-aircraft. However, within a few years into the 1990s, other aircraft-types (including those being part of an aircraft-family) became available and capable to operate the missions of the MD-87 at even lower costs. In other aeras, the performance of the MD-87 was simply not needed.

At least for Austrian Airlines, the MD-87 was a tailor-made aircraft and perfectly allowed Austrian Airlines to expand their network while retaining their optimized DC-9/MD-80-ops prior to the introduction of their Airbus A310s. The modification of six MD-81s to MD-82-standard and addition of two MD-83s allowed Austrian to make full use of the „MD-80-family“ and to cover the majority of routes offered by Austrian.
Dedicated to the MD-80, MD-90, MD-95, and DC-9: www.MD-80.com
 
MDGLongBeach
Topic Author
Posts: 108
Joined: Sat Jun 24, 2017 6:03 pm

Re: Was the MD-87 a failure?

Fri Aug 17, 2018 7:16 pm

The md87 failed in being a replacement for any dc9 in that matter as it was much heavier, what market did the md87 fall under, it wasn’t a short haul aircraft but it was pretty high capacity for being regional? oh and what was the economics involved in using, like I said “larger aircraft engines on a smaller machine” (referring to the JT8D-217c)?
 
LH707330
Posts: 2201
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2012 11:27 pm

Re: Was the MD-87 a failure?

Fri Aug 17, 2018 8:26 pm

I guess it depends to some extent on what you consider "success." If the 75 units they sold would have otherwise gone to a competitor, then the cost of chopping out two donuts, tweaking the fin, and changing the nacelle strakes was money well spent.
 
User avatar
MD80
Posts: 746
Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2014 3:29 pm

Re: Was the MD-87 a failure?

Fri Aug 17, 2018 8:35 pm

The MD-87SR (or any MD-87 with lower mtow Kg-option) were designed with the flexibility to operate short hauls and MD-87s were often used on short hauls. This was important for many operators - flying from Helsinki to Cairo on any given day, flying from Helsinki to Oslo the other day. The JT8D-217C officially used 3% less fuel. During the 1980s, a number of manufactuers offered their solution regarding the market in this seating-capacity. The market was probably the classic 100/120-seat category. In some parts of the world, this category is more or less no longer covered by mainline but regionals.
The BAe 146-300, Fokker 100, and Boeing 737-500 were the competitors of the MD-87. It´s a blast into the past, when discussing the situation of such an aircraft.

The BAe 146 was probably optimized for short sectors, but attempts by BAe to win orders from SAS or Iberia were not successful. The 737-500 was probably the closest when it came to the MD-87. The 737-500 was very versatile, also able to operate short hauls as well as longer routes and the 737-500 was similar to the 737-200Adv. but also heavier and even more versatile compared to her older sister.
I was able to talk to colleagues, who formerly worked on MD-80s including the MD-87 as pilots and cabin crew. The MD-87 offered unprecedented performance in her niche. High performance and reliability, combined with high passenger-acceptance. During the late 1980s, the MD-87 was one of a small number of types, which were were able to operate „with full payload and full fuel tanks“.
As we all agree, the MD-87 was simply not the most suitable DC-9-30-replacement, but this type fullfilled the requirements of those airlines, who operated this variant and it was no surprise for these companies. I think, that the performance of the MD-87 pleased (for example) Iberia on flights from Madrid with high altitude and high temperatures in the summer.

The Boeing 737-600 is probably a far better example of a generally unsuitable aircraft for short hauls: far to heavy, too much aircraft for ist size and despite the very large number of 737-operators, only 69 were manufactuered. The larger versions of the 737NG-family were able to operate with more passengers at only marginally higher operating costs but far lower costs per seat.
A far better replacement of the DC-9 was (at the time) the MD-95. Back to the roots, Douglas Aircraft asked all important Douglas-operators about their thoughts about a new 100-seater and the MD-95 was optimized according to the demands and requirements.

However, the Airbus A319 or Boeing 737-700 are IMO more flexible, if needed. You can use these aircraft on short routes (even if not 100%-optimized) but also on longer routes. The MD-95 (Boeing 717) was never intended to be used on routes like from London to Larnaca or Chicago to San Francisco.
Dedicated to the MD-80, MD-90, MD-95, and DC-9: www.MD-80.com
 
MDGLongBeach
Topic Author
Posts: 108
Joined: Sat Jun 24, 2017 6:03 pm

Re: Was the MD-87 a failure?

Fri Aug 17, 2018 8:40 pm

[twoid][/twoid]
LH707330 wrote:
I guess it depends to some extent on what you consider "success." If the 75 units they sold would have otherwise gone to a competitor, then the cost of chopping out two donuts, tweaking the fin, and changing the nacelle strakes was money well spent.

I imagine that the lack of units sold made it an expensive plane to manufacture, even if it was just chopped up and tweaked, it still needed certification, testing etc. I don’t have to look back twice to tell you that the other md80s were significantly more profitable both to manufacture and to operate. If you want to be technical, the md81 was just a larger dc9 with a new cockpit and a few tweaks. The MD-87 apparently didn’t appeal to any specific market, or no one has clarified that for me yet, there was no apparent competition for the md87, so no money going to other manufacturers. If I’m wrong with anything I’m saying here, please clarify. Thanks
 
Biscayne738
Posts: 37
Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2018 8:59 pm

Re: Was the MD-87 a failure?

Fri Aug 17, 2018 8:40 pm

Great American Airways of Reno, NV had at least one MD-87. Operated in Midway colors with Great American Airways titles in the 90s.
 
User avatar
litz
Posts: 2291
Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2003 6:01 am

Re: Was the MD-87 a failure?

Fri Aug 17, 2018 8:52 pm

didn't Delta convert some MD-87s into 88's ?
 
alasizon
Posts: 1910
Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2007 8:57 pm

Re: Was the MD-87 a failure?

Fri Aug 17, 2018 8:54 pm

litz wrote:
didn't Delta convert some MD-87s into 88's ?


No, those were MD-82s. The 87 and 88 are different fuselage lengths.
Manager on Duty & Tower Planner
 
User avatar
MD80
Posts: 746
Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2014 3:29 pm

Re: Was the MD-87 a failure?

Fri Aug 17, 2018 9:00 pm

Biscayne738 wrote:
Great American Airways of Reno, NV had at least one MD-87. Operated in Midway colors with Great American Airways titles in the 90s.


Yes! A rather tiny airline with DC-9-10s, MD-80s and the MD-87. :smile:

litz wrote:
didn't Delta convert some MD-87s into 88's ?


Delta never ordered the MD-87.

MDGLongBeach wrote:
...there was no apparent competition for the md87


The MD-87 was in competition. A good example remains Iberia. The company evaluated the Boeing 737, BAe 146, and Fokker 100 as well as MD-87. Maybe I do misunderstand your point of view.

BAe also tried to sell the BAe 146 to TDA (later JAS). JAS decided to take the MD-87. Both types were in competition for one specific order.
Dedicated to the MD-80, MD-90, MD-95, and DC-9: www.MD-80.com
 
seat1a
Posts: 469
Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2010 7:52 pm

Re: Was the MD-87 a failure?

Fri Aug 17, 2018 9:05 pm

Didn't Balair/CTA also fly the MD87?
 
User avatar
MD80
Posts: 746
Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2014 3:29 pm

Re: Was the MD-87 a failure?

Fri Aug 17, 2018 10:34 pm

seat1a wrote:
Didn't Balair/CTA also fly the MD87?


Yes, CTA operated four MD-87s and these aircraft replaced a similar number of Caravelle-aircraft. IIRC, two of these MD-87 went to SAS and two to Reno Air.
Dedicated to the MD-80, MD-90, MD-95, and DC-9: www.MD-80.com
 
trnswrld
Posts: 1361
Joined: Sat May 22, 1999 2:19 am

Re: Was the MD-87 a failure?

Sat Aug 18, 2018 2:54 am

litz wrote:
didn't Delta convert some MD-87s into 88's ?


Now that would be an interesting conversion. Order a few new fuselage barrels and slap them on there lol
 
trnswrld
Posts: 1361
Joined: Sat May 22, 1999 2:19 am

Re: Was the MD-87 a failure?

Sat Aug 18, 2018 3:00 am

I walked through a private MD87 a few years ago that was in the Rockford RFD air show static display. Tail number was N167AS. No clue who owned that plane or where it’s at now.
 
User avatar
EstherLouise
Posts: 226
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:16 pm

Re: Was the MD-87 a failure?

Sat Aug 18, 2018 3:25 am

trnswrld wrote:
I walked through a private MD87 a few years ago that was in the Rockford RFD air show static display. Tail number was N167AS. No clue who owned that plane or where it’s at now.


It's still there.... in storage.
712 722 732 734 737 738 741 742 744 752 762 772 A310 DC91 DC93 DC94 DC1030 DC1040 F100 MD82 MD83
 
User avatar
redzeppelin
Posts: 1132
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2012 4:30 pm

Re: Was the MD-87 a failure?

Sat Aug 18, 2018 3:51 am

The Austrian discussion interests me for selfish reasons. In August 1999 I flew VIE-KBP on OS. I'm quite certain that the aircraft was an MD80, but I don't know the specific variant. Was the 87 still in the OS fleet then? Does anybody know if it was ever used to KBP?
 
mugler
Posts: 232
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2014 11:35 pm

Re: Was the MD-87 a failure?

Sat Aug 18, 2018 5:02 am

Aeromexico operated around 15-16 MD87s back in the day. I flew on one MEX-DFW around 2006.
 
User avatar
MD80
Posts: 746
Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2014 3:29 pm

Re: Was the MD-87 a failure?

Sat Aug 18, 2018 11:13 am

[quote="redzeppelin"Was the 87 still in the OS fleet then?[/quote]

Yes, all five MD-87s were still in the fleet and the reduction of the MD-80-fleet mainly affected the MD-81-subfleet. The original plan from approx. 1992 was to retain only the five MD-87s and two MD-83s after 2000. The second MD-83 was not yet delivered but in the pipeline for 1993. After 2000, Austrian operated more than the seven MD-80s mentioned.
Dedicated to the MD-80, MD-90, MD-95, and DC-9: www.MD-80.com
 
User avatar
treebeard787
Posts: 733
Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2005 11:03 am

Re: Was the MD-87 a failure?

Sat Aug 18, 2018 3:04 pm

Allegiant operated a few MD-87s at one time. I flew on one of them in 2007 IWA-BIL. Allegiant originally started their ops at Gateway with the type, before going to the larger MD-82/83s and then Airbus.
Allons-y!
 
LH707330
Posts: 2201
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2012 11:27 pm

Re: Was the MD-87 a failure?

Sat Aug 18, 2018 5:36 pm

MDGLongBeach wrote:
[twoid][/twoid]
LH707330 wrote:
I guess it depends to some extent on what you consider "success." If the 75 units they sold would have otherwise gone to a competitor, then the cost of chopping out two donuts, tweaking the fin, and changing the nacelle strakes was money well spent.

I imagine that the lack of units sold made it an expensive plane to manufacture, even if it was just chopped up and tweaked, it still needed certification, testing etc. I don’t have to look back twice to tell you that the other md80s were significantly more profitable both to manufacture and to operate. If you want to be technical, the md81 was just a larger dc9 with a new cockpit and a few tweaks. The MD-87 apparently didn’t appeal to any specific market, or no one has clarified that for me yet, there was no apparent competition for the md87, so no money going to other manufacturers. If I’m wrong with anything I’m saying here, please clarify. Thanks

The lack of units certainly made it relatively more expensive per unit to build than the longer ones, and hence less profitable. That said, the MD-87 may have still been profitable if the units sold would otherwise have been 737-500s. Let's say it cost them an extra $300M to build the MD-87, that means $4M per plane. If they were able to amortize that cost, then it made sense.
 
marcogr12
Posts: 233
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2018 2:36 pm

Re: Was the MD-87 a failure?

Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:59 pm

I have very fond memories of the MD-87 having flown with Austrian on the VIE-SKG a few times in the late 90s
Flying is breathing..no planes no life..
 
DeltaMD95
Posts: 502
Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2014 5:37 am

Re: Was the MD-87 a failure?

Tue Aug 21, 2018 2:17 am

I’ve heard from flyers of the type that the MD87 was like the 727-100, in the sense that it was a little, overpowered rocket on take-off. :)
Did you know that a Boeing 717-200 is really a McDonnell Douglas MD95-30? ;-)
 
blacksoviet
Posts: 1219
Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2016 10:50 am

Re: Was the MD-87 a failure?

Sun Jan 20, 2019 10:02 pm

Is the MD-87 a good replacement for the 727-100 as a corporate jet?
 
ewt340
Posts: 790
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2012 7:22 pm

Re: Was the MD-87 a failure?

Mon Jan 21, 2019 12:37 am

If it doesn't sell, it's a failure.
 
User avatar
FlyCaledonian
Posts: 1928
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2003 6:18 am

Re: Was the MD-87 a failure?

Mon Jan 21, 2019 12:49 am

The BAe 146/Avro RJ is interesting in that it got a break with a couple of airlines in the US but wasn't really long lived.
  • BAe 146-200 with PSA. Only retained by USAir for a few years after the merger.
  • BAe 146 with AirCal. Only retained by American Airlines for a few years after acquisition.
  • Avro RJ85 flown for Northwest but scope clause limited capacity and most of the fleet ended up with CityJet.
  • BAe 146 flown by Air Wisconsin as United Express (who also flew the BAe ATP).
But never really took off as a DC9 replacement.

The Fokker 100 is probably more interesting in terms of the MD-87 because it was ordered by two airlines that McDonnell Douglas and Boeing possibly thought they had if not sewed up the orders had to be in with a good shout:
  • USAir ordered 40 Fokker 100s when Boeing must have thought the 737-500 was a given because of the large 737-300/-400 fleet from both USAir and Piedmont (even though Piedmont was a large F28 operator).
  • AA ordered 75 Fokker 100s when the MD-87 would have seemed obvious given the rather large MD-82/-83 fleet at AA.
Let's Go British Caledonian!
 
DaveFly
Posts: 384
Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2016 9:35 pm

Re: Was the MD-87 a failure?

Mon Jan 21, 2019 1:38 am

FlyCaledonian wrote:
The BAe 146/Avro RJ is interesting in that it got a break with a couple of airlines in the US but wasn't really long lived.
  • BAe 146-200 with PSA. Only retained by USAir for a few years after the merger.
  • BAe 146 with AirCal. Only retained by American Airlines for a few years after acquisition.
  • Avro RJ85 flown for Northwest but scope clause limited capacity and most of the fleet ended up with CityJet.
  • BAe 146 flown by Air Wisconsin as United Express (who also flew the BAe ATP).
But never really took off as a DC9 replacement.

The Fokker 100 is probably more interesting in terms of the MD-87 because it was ordered by two airlines that McDonnell Douglas and Boeing possibly thought they had if not sewed up the orders had to be in with a good shout:
  • USAir ordered 40 Fokker 100s when Boeing must have thought the 737-500 was a given because of the large 737-300/-400 fleet from both USAir and Piedmont (even though Piedmont was a large F28 operator).
  • AA ordered 75 Fokker 100s when the MD-87 would have seemed obvious given the rather large MD-82/-83 fleet at AA.


Your post brought back some nice memories, as I flew on some of the aircraft you listed:

NW RJ85 — HPN-DTW, so comfortable, likely because of the scope-restricted capacity.

AA F-100 — SWF-ORD, again, very comfortable, despite whatever demerits it had in other areas.

US F-100 — SWF-PIT, same as above.
717,727,737,747,757,767,777,787
L1011,DC8,DC9,DC10,MD80/90
A300,A319,320,321,330,340,
CRJ,E135/45/190,
DH8,Avro85,DHBeaver,AstarHelo,F100,ATR42
 
FATFlyer
Posts: 4843
Joined: Fri May 18, 2001 4:12 am

Re: Was the MD-87 a failure?

Mon Jan 21, 2019 1:39 am

FlyCaledonian wrote:
The BAe 146/Avro RJ is interesting in that it got a break with a couple of airlines in the US but wasn't really long lived.
  • BAe 146-200 with PSA. Only retained by USAir for a few years after the merger.
  • BAe 146 with AirCal. Only retained by American Airlines for a few years after acquisition.
  • Avro RJ85 flown for Northwest but scope clause limited capacity and most of the fleet ended up with CityJet.
  • BAe 146 flown by Air Wisconsin as United Express (who also flew the BAe ATP).


WestAir, HQ'd in Fresno, took delivery of 6 new BAe 146s between 1987 and 1988. They were operated by WestAir as United Express on the west coast.
"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness." - Mark Twain
 
User avatar
September11
Posts: 3607
Joined: Fri May 21, 2004 12:49 am

Re: Was the MD-87 a failure?

Mon Jan 21, 2019 1:52 am

Wow, I almost forgot about MD-87. So, DC-9-30 was the top selling aircraft for MD family? Without looking, they produced 1,000 DC-9-30s?
Airliners.net of the Future
 
User avatar
MD80
Posts: 746
Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2014 3:29 pm

Re: Was the MD-87 a failure?

Mon Jan 21, 2019 3:03 am

September11 wrote:
Wow, I almost forgot about MD-87. So, DC-9-30 was the top selling aircraft for MD family? Without looking, they produced 1,000 DC-9-30s?


621 DC-9-30s were produced. 976 DC-9s left the factory shiny-new.
Dedicated to the MD-80, MD-90, MD-95, and DC-9: www.MD-80.com

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos