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Boeing757100
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How come even after all the 777Fs coming off the line, MD-11Fs are still going strong?

Tue Aug 04, 2020 9:01 pm

As of now, I think Lufthansa Cargo is the only airline to phase out all of its MD-11s. FX said it might downsize its MD-11 fleet, but still. You'd think with all the benefits of the 777F (More efficient, fewer engines, etc.), most MD-11s would be getting retired, right? Another question I have is which one carries more freight, a 777F or MD-11F. Because if MD-11 carries more cargo, then that alone shouldn't be the reason Fedex/UPS are hanging on to their MD-11s. I personally love the MD-11 (like a lot of people on this site), but I still acknowledge its problems that it had.

Thanks for answering,

:)
 
MIflyer12
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Re: How come even after all the 777Fs coming off the line, MD-11Fs are still going strong?

Tue Aug 04, 2020 9:09 pm

Acquisition cost can be as important as operating cost. The fact that a 'new model' may be available doesn't immediately obsolete all the existing stock. FedEx stills flies DC-10s delivered in the 1970s.
 
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aemoreira1981
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Re: How come even after all the 777Fs coming off the line, MD-11Fs are still going strong?

Tue Aug 04, 2020 9:14 pm

Almost all of the MD-11s still flying are on the USA registry, primarily for 5X, FX, and KD. There is longer any non-USA operator of scale. Acquisition costs were low, as well as parts availability.
 
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TWA772LR
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Re: How come even after all the 777Fs coming off the line, MD-11Fs are still going strong?

Tue Aug 04, 2020 9:17 pm

For FedEx, it's largely a trickle down effect. 777s are replacing long haul MD11 routes, while the MD11s replace the MD10 on short routes along with the 767. FedEx also has a very large MD11 fleet that is paid off so all they do is make money for them as well as having economies of scale. UPS is in a similar boat but with 748s in lieu of 777s. FX and 5N also have much lower fleet utilization than the pax carriers so the MD11s and could stick around until well in to the 2030s unless COVID or another downturn significantly hurts the cargo market.

For LH, LH Cargo had a much smaller fleet of MD11s and was the only airline in the LH group to operate them making them an orphan fleet that didn't have a place. Then you have the Western Globals of the world that just need airframes on the cheap instead of an expensive new 777F.
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Boeing757100
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Re: How come even after all the 777Fs coming off the line, MD-11Fs are still going strong?

Tue Aug 04, 2020 9:18 pm

What I mean is, is there any mechanical factor that makes the MD-11 more attractive?
 
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tistpaa727
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Re: How come even after all the 777Fs coming off the line, MD-11Fs are still going strong?

Tue Aug 04, 2020 9:19 pm

MD-11 ~ 99 tons, still air range of 4,000 miles
777F ~ 113 tons, stated still air range of 5,400 miles

Source Wikipedia so...

edit: typo
Last edited by tistpaa727 on Tue Aug 04, 2020 9:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How come even after all the 777Fs coming off the line, MD-11Fs are still going strong?

Tue Aug 04, 2020 9:20 pm

FedEx continues to fly their DC-10s and MD-11s as they usually only make about two flights a night and most likely are not that high on cycles or hours. FedEx and others will fly them as long as they do not become maintenance hogs or need a major HVM. The cost of extra Jet-A is not enough to cause replacement of these aircraft. :old:
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b747400erf
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Re: How come even after all the 777Fs coming off the line, MD-11Fs are still going strong?

Tue Aug 04, 2020 9:28 pm

Paid off and low cycles
High up front costs of new airframes
ups is still buying factory built 763s and 747-8s to retire their older fleet
Fedex used 757s some factory built 767s and 777s
Cargo airlines are the last to retire older planes
 
ethernal
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Re: How come even after all the 777Fs coming off the line, MD-11Fs are still going strong?

Tue Aug 04, 2020 11:11 pm

Any good fleet mix will have a combination of high fixed cost low variable cost planes (i.e. new planes) and low fixed cost high variable cost planes (i.e. old planes). The 777 is the former and the MD11 is the latter.

High fixed cost / low variable cost planes are used in high utilization and should match baseline demand - no matter the time of year, those birds are going to be in the air. High utilization means that overall costs are lower because the fixed costs get "drowned out" and the variable costs (fuel, maintenance) are low.

Low fixed cost / high variable cost planes are the opposite. You use them for variable demand. Typically the only time every single flyable MD11 is in the air for FX is around the holidays when consumer shipping demand is sky high. They may cost a lot to fly on a variable cost basis, but that's okay because they are flying full with high-priced holiday surcharged items. Much of the year a significant portion of the MD-11 fleet will sit parked in some way shape or form (whether in maintenance or just sitting at a random airport) and the ones that do fly are flying light schedules.

Of course this is an oversimplification because there are other factors at play (pilot currency, route coverage, etc) but this is - at a high level - why virtually every large fleet has a mix of old and new frames. There are exceptions to this model, but it is pretty typical of "legacy" carriers that form the backbone of demand. Smaller carriers or carries with different business models (e.g., ULCC) may use a "young-fleet" strategy, but this is because they are typically not market makers (although this is changing in Europe).
 
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Re: How come even after all the 777Fs coming off the line, MD-11Fs are still going strong?

Tue Aug 04, 2020 11:36 pm

b747400erf wrote:
Paid off and low cycles
High up front costs of new airframes
ups is still buying factory built 763s and 747-8s to retire their older fleet
Fedex used 757s some factory built 767s and 777s
Cargo airlines are the last to retire older planes


All Fedex 767’s are factory built
 
jetblueguy22
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Re: How come even after all the 777Fs coming off the line, MD-11Fs are still going strong?

Tue Aug 04, 2020 11:38 pm

You can say a lot about the MD-11 (And trust me I can add plenty from a planning side) but it does a heck of a job in the cargo world. Capacity is massive and the wingspan keeps it in gateways that might lose a parking spot should you put a 747-8 or 777 in there. This is a biggie that people forget when it comes to cargo. Whole fleets are on the ground during night sorts, parking is a premium.

FX and 5X are mostly keeping their MDs domestic now MEM/SDF and back flights where capacity is needed. They’re probably doing more like 4 flights a day rather than the 2 mentioned above but the stage length is still pretty short. Gas isn’t exactly expensive right now, the only real reason to send them to the scrapper is they have a knack for breaking at the worst possible moments.

At least the 767s will break when it’s sunny and 75 out.
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Stitch
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Re: How come even after all the 777Fs coming off the line, MD-11Fs are still going strong?

Tue Aug 04, 2020 11:41 pm

As others have noted, a brand new 777F is an expensive airplane and if your utilization is low, an owned MD-11F can be more economical.

In terms of performance, the 777F can carry one additional 96x125" ULD on the main deck, can fit around 7% more total volume, lift around 13% more total weight and has a 25% greater design range.


Boeing757100 wrote:
What I mean is, is there any mechanical factor that makes the MD-11 more attractive?


None to my knowledge. The MD-11 does have a shorter wingspan so you can put more of them side-by-side in the same area than 777F, but other than that.
 
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Re: How come even after all the 777Fs coming off the line, MD-11Fs are still going strong?

Tue Aug 04, 2020 11:49 pm

Boeing757100 wrote:
As of now, I think Lufthansa Cargo is the only airline to phase out all of its MD-11s. FX said it might downsize its MD-11 fleet, but still. You'd think with all the benefits of the 777F (More efficient, fewer engines, etc.), most MD-11s would be getting retired, right? Another question I have is which one carries more freight, a 777F or MD-11F. Because if MD-11 carries more cargo, then that alone shouldn't be the reason Fedex/UPS are hanging on to their MD-11s. I personally love the MD-11 (like a lot of people on this site), but I still acknowledge its problems that it had.

Thanks for answering,

:)


Lufthansa didn’t phase out the md11 yet
Right now Flightradar24 is tracking 4 Lufthansa’s md11
 
DeltaMD95
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Re: How come even after all the 777Fs coming off the line, MD-11Fs are still going strong?

Wed Aug 05, 2020 12:15 am

For all the MD-11 hate that is well documented on the history of this website, it’s longevity cannot be taken away. In fact, it will likely be the final LGB design to operating in the western world. Having already outlasted the younger MD-90, and probably 717, in the future.

What is the side-by-side active numbers of MD-11F vs. A343s?
Did you know that a Boeing 717-200 is really a McDonnell Douglas MD95-30? ;-)
 
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Re: How come even after all the 777Fs coming off the line, MD-11Fs are still going strong?

Wed Aug 05, 2020 12:18 am

Freight doesn’t care what it’s riding in. You can buy an awful lot of fuel and maintenance for what a shiny new 777F costs. Especially with the low utilization. The bottom line dictates; when the maintenance costs exceed what payments on a new plane would be they will be gone.
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Re: How come even after all the 777Fs coming off the line, MD-11Fs are still going strong?

Wed Aug 05, 2020 12:50 am

They're paid for....

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Re: How come even after all the 777Fs coming off the line, MD-11Fs are still going strong?

Wed Aug 05, 2020 1:19 am

ethernal wrote:
Any good fleet mix will have a combination of high fixed cost low variable cost planes (i.e. new planes) and low fixed cost high variable cost planes (i.e. old planes). The 777 is the former and the MD11 is the latter.

High fixed cost / low variable cost planes are used in high utilization and should match baseline demand - no matter the time of year, those birds are going to be in the air. High utilization means that overall costs are lower because the fixed costs get "drowned out" and the variable costs (fuel, maintenance) are low.

Low fixed cost / high variable cost planes are the opposite. You use them for variable demand. Typically the only time every single flyable MD11 is in the air for FX is around the holidays when consumer shipping demand is sky high. They may cost a lot to fly on a variable cost basis, but that's okay because they are flying full with high-priced holiday surcharged items. Much of the year a significant portion of the MD-11 fleet will sit parked in some way shape or form (whether in maintenance or just sitting at a random airport) and the ones that do fly are flying light schedules.

Of course this is an oversimplification because there are other factors at play (pilot currency, route coverage, etc) but this is - at a high level - why virtually every large fleet has a mix of old and new frames. There are exceptions to this model, but it is pretty typical of "legacy" carriers that form the backbone of demand. Smaller carriers or carries with different business models (e.g., ULCC) may use a "young-fleet" strategy, but this is because they are typically not market makers (although this is changing in Europe).


Oh, THANK YOU! I can't tell you how many times I have written something similar in response to the "Why doesn't [Cargo Carrier X] replace its fuel-hog [Airplane Type] with brand-new, fuel-efficient 777s?"

It don't matter how much fuel it uses if its capital cost is basically the cost of capitalized maintenance and its gonna fly two hours and sit overnight and fly two hours back, 5 days a week. Or sit around as extra lift until Peak. Pretty-straightforward.
 
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Re: How come even after all the 777Fs coming off the line, MD-11Fs are still going strong?

Wed Aug 05, 2020 1:36 am

Boeing757100 wrote:
What I mean is, is there any mechanical factor that makes the MD-11 more attractive?


Yes there are some mechanical factors that favor the MD11

First off is the wing span. The MD11 fits in a Code D gate like the 767 and 757. That is important for Memphis and Louisville which are geographically constrained. Unlike passenger airlines, all the freighter are on the ground in the hub for a single bank of flights. Bigger gates take up more room, which slows down the cargo sort since it takes longer to move cargo. 777s and 747s need to be parked away from the main sort facility. Wingspan makes the A330 less appealing than the MD11.

Second is engine maintenance. The CF6 and PW4000 engines cost less to maintain Than GE90s and are better suited to a combination of short and long haul flights. MD11 engines do perfectly fine flying 1-4 hour domestic flights while having the ability to fly long haul. The GE90 isn’t the best engine for short haul.
 
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Re: How come even after all the 777Fs coming off the line, MD-11Fs are still going strong?

Wed Aug 05, 2020 1:39 am

Basically the MD-11Fs are much cheaper than the 777Fs.
And cargo operators don't always need the newest and most efficient models.
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DUSdude
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Re: How come even after all the 777Fs coming off the line, MD-11Fs are still going strong?

Wed Aug 05, 2020 3:34 am

For express courier services like UPS and FedEx, the acquisition cost matters much more than for other cargo carriers. Since most express courier packages are shipped overnight, the aircraft are parked for most of the day and only fly a couple of short cycles overnight. And, as we know, a plane that isn't flying isn't making money and is costing money. So, if you don't have a need to fly for most of the day, because most of your cargo is overnight, it makes no sense to sink a huge amount of money into new planes, when you won't be able to recoup that investment anytime soon. For that reason, the overnight courier services like UPS and FedEx are predisposed towards buying cheap used aircraft. The one exception is their long international routes. These planes fly many more hours each day due to the length of the sectors and have higher utilization as a result. For those routes it does make sense to buy new planes because on long hauls the fuel cost is a much bigger factor and it makes sense to use a newer more efficient aircraft. The more expensive new planes pay off their acquisition cost through the fuel savings. And that's exactly why you will find UPS' 747-8 and FedEx's 777F only flying those long routes, not normally the short domestic hops. Fuel cost isn't nearly as big a factor on the short routes.

This clip explains the economics of overnight courier shipping really well. At around the 7:20 mark it explains in more detail what I explained above about why these carriers gravitate towards cheaper used aircraft for most of their routes, reserving new aircraft only for the long haul sectors.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3qfeoqErtY

Lufhansa Cargo is an odd holdover. They bought the last handful of MD-11s off the production line. In fact, Boeing after merging with MDD wanted to convince LH to buy 744F instead and close down the MD-11 line earlier. But LH insisted on getting their MD-11s. Later, they augmented their fleet with converted pax MD-11s from Alitalia and others. But all of those have since long been retired, because they were older models. The ones still flying with LH are the ones from the original LH order and are the youngest MD-11s in the world. Unlike the overnight courier services like FedEx and UPS, dedicated long haul cargo carriers like LH or Cargolux have longer routes and therefore higher daily utilization. For them it makes sense to invest in newer fuel saving aircraft for the same reason as UPS and FedEx on their long routes. This is why LH is switching to the 777F and their MD-11s will be gone soon, while they will certainly soldier on domestically with UPS and FedEx for another while.
 
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Re: How come even after all the 777Fs coming off the line, MD-11Fs are still going strong?

Wed Aug 05, 2020 5:05 am

Bar a couple with small operators, most MD11F are now with FX, 5X, LH, Western Global. Western Global are more like a charter, on demand operation, hours outside peak seasons were not high. FX and 5X, their hours per day were not as high as passenger flights, cycles might be higher but that could be even out with a mix with a international, US domestic trips, they were bought cheap as other airlines converted them into cargo hauler, but found them to be orphaned fleet, or simply got rid of them early to avoid supporting one, like JL, CI. Although electronic parts or landing gear and other consumables were increasingly difficult to find, but fleet from collapsed World, EVA, KLM/Martinair's fleet were all scrapped and helped with supply of parts, those became another important source for parts for FX,5X, Western Global, FX at least, also have MD-11F in hibernation and could became part donor themselves. However, CF6, PW4000 engines were not in supply, they were taken out from huge armies of retired 744, so whilst they burn more fuel, the capital cost were already written down and usage such as cycles and flight hours can be calculate precisely though computer modelling by fleet planner. LH's case slightly different, IIRC, as their cargo pilot is on a different contract to the pax pilot, for them, whether keeping 742F or heading to 77F they are all orphan fleet, although 77X would join them soon, 744F may be a bit over kill in terms of capital investment, MD-11F are cheaper to buy and would be much cheaper to top up in second hand market (ex AZ, VASP) as others got rid of orphan fleet, for 744F, more expensive to buy and also more expensive to buy in second hand market to top up,even if it is converted from 744 pax. The fleet shares the same CF6-80 engine, others parts could be robbed on second hand aircraft whilst cycle/hours can be planned by computer models
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Re: How come even after all the 777Fs coming off the line, MD-11Fs are still going strong?

Wed Aug 05, 2020 9:26 am

DUSdude wrote:
For express courier services like UPS and FedEx, the acquisition cost matters much more than for other cargo carriers. Since most express courier packages are shipped overnight, the aircraft are parked for most of the day and only fly a couple of short cycles overnight. And, as we know, a plane that isn't flying isn't making money and is costing money. So, if you don't have a need to fly for most of the day, because most of your cargo is overnight,

why they not use same planes for worldwide cargo shipping? combined operation can be cheaper?
 
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Re: How come even after all the 777Fs coming off the line, MD-11Fs are still going strong?

Wed Aug 05, 2020 9:53 am

Both the DC10 and MD11 have relative low maintenance costs due wide spread fatigue.
In fact both are structurally over-built airframes.
This can also be seen at the maximum LOV cycles that are allowed for both Douglas designed airframes.(DC/MD-10 : 60.000 and MD11 : 40.000)
During HMV both airframes have significient lower structural repair costs (only a few AD's), compared to Boeing and Airbus designed aircraft from the same era.
Seen the relative low usage, the MD11F remains a strong contender, with a low capital investment and relative low maintenance costs.
However, the achilles heel of the MD11 are the legacy electronics (early IC's) that are very difficult to source.
Operating a twin over the ocean, you're always one engine failure from a total emergency.
 
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Re: How come even after all the 777Fs coming off the line, MD-11Fs are still going strong?

Wed Aug 05, 2020 10:57 am

NWAROOSTER wrote:
FedEx continues to fly their DC-10s and MD-11s as they usually only make about two flights a night and most likely are not that high on cycles or hours. FedEx and others will fly them as long as they do not become maintenance hogs or need a major HVM. The cost of extra Jet-A is not enough to cause replacement of these aircraft. :old:

Most of the MD-11s are in the air for 12-16 hours per day doing two hub turns. We are actively retiring both 10s and 11s - 2 10s in the past month and an 11 will be sent to VCV this weekend.

ethernal wrote:
Low fixed cost / high variable cost planes are the opposite. You use them for variable demand. Typically the only time every single flyable MD11 is in the air for FX is around the holidays when consumer shipping demand is sky high. They may cost a lot to fly on a variable cost basis, but that's okay because they are flying full with high-priced holiday surcharged items. Much of the year a significant portion of the MD-11 fleet will sit parked in some way shape or form (whether in maintenance or just sitting at a random airport) and the ones that do fly are flying light schedules.

Every single flyable MD-11 is flying every day with the exception of Sundays and Monday morning, when they do planned maintenance on everything to clear MELs. For peak we may pull planes out of the desert - not likely anymore without Amazon - but the rest of the year is not a light schedule. MD-11s fly generally four flights per 24 hours. They are certainly not sitting at random airports doing nothing unless they are broken. Of our 53 MD-11s, 43 are currently "up" while 4 are on field mx, 2 in heavy mx and 4 in heavy checks.
 
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Re: How come even after all the 777Fs coming off the line, MD-11Fs are still going strong?

Wed Aug 05, 2020 11:55 am

Also, passenger airlines need the most efficient planes because they need their ticket prices in line with their competitors. Whoever is operating the route the most efficiently can charge the lowest prices and take the business(that's obviously an oversimplification). With FedEx and UPS, the flight is not the only factor in the cost of sending a package, and the difference in cost between operating an older plane or newer plane, when spread out over thousands of packages and envelopes being shipped on board is probably fractions of a cent.
 
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Re: How come even after all the 777Fs coming off the line, MD-11Fs are still going strong?

Wed Aug 05, 2020 1:13 pm

DeltaMD95 wrote:
For all the MD-11 hate that is well documented on the history of this website, it’s longevity cannot be taken away. In fact, it will likely be the final LGB design to operating in the western world. Having already outlasted the younger MD-90, and probably 717, in the future.

What is the side-by-side active numbers of MD-11F vs. A343s?

I won't rule out 717 logitivity at DL.

Airfleets lags, but for now
MD-11, 110 opperating (at least registered)
A340 (all types): 125 (same comment)

https://www.airfleets.net/exploit/production-md11.htm

https://www.airfleets.net/exploit/production-a340.htm

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jetblueguy22
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Re: How come even after all the 777Fs coming off the line, MD-11Fs are still going strong?

Wed Aug 05, 2020 1:30 pm

Armadillo1 wrote:
DUSdude wrote:
For express courier services like UPS and FedEx, the acquisition cost matters much more than for other cargo carriers. Since most express courier packages are shipped overnight, the aircraft are parked for most of the day and only fly a couple of short cycles overnight. And, as we know, a plane that isn't flying isn't making money and is costing money. So, if you don't have a need to fly for most of the day, because most of your cargo is overnight,

why they not use same planes for worldwide cargo shipping? combined operation can be cheaper?

Planes get rotated overseas. If you watch the CGN night sort departures for 5X you’ll see 747s, 757s, and 767s mixed in. The MDs I believe we’re all rotated out of Europe.

But you gain very little by having one fleet type. A gateway like FAR doesn’t need a 747 out and back every night. You’d load it up with 12 positions and fill the rest up with empty containers. Plus you’re leasing extra space.

Having a mix allows you to right size each gateway. If you had a fleet of only 757s it works great for PVD because you can send them a single flight and you’re good. But it’s sucks for ONT because instead of 3 MD-11s or 747s you’re sending them 9 757s that are probably going to take off and land one after another. You’re leasing space and adding staffing simply because you want the fleet simplicity.

Fleet simplicity is great to a point. You have to find a balance though. Freight isn’t like passengers where you just have an hourly BOS-LGA shuttle on an A320. All flights are launching in a very tight window. You miss that window and nothing gets delivered on time (or at all depending on the delay length)
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ItnStln
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Re: How come even after all the 777Fs coming off the line, MD-11Fs are still going strong?

Wed Aug 05, 2020 6:05 pm

jetblueguy22 wrote:
Capacity is massive and the wingspan keeps it in gateways that might lose a parking spot should you put a 747-8 or 777 in there. This is a biggie that people forget when it comes to cargo. Whole fleets are on the ground during night sorts, parking is a premium.

This
 
ItnStln
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Re: How come even after all the 777Fs coming off the line, MD-11Fs are still going strong?

Wed Aug 05, 2020 6:15 pm

B-HOP wrote:
LH's case slightly different, IIRC, as their cargo pilot is on a different contract to the pax pilot

Are they not the same pilot group?
 
tomcat
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Re: How come even after all the 777Fs coming off the line, MD-11Fs are still going strong?

Wed Aug 05, 2020 7:21 pm

tistpaa727 wrote:
MD-11 ~ 99 tons, still air range of 4,000 miles
777F ~ 113 tons, stated still air range of 5,400 miles

Source Wikipedia so...

edit: typo


Which version of Wikipedia does show 113 tons for the 777F? Or are you referring to "short tons" (which is quite confusing for non-US readers)?

In en.wikipedia, I see
With a maximum payload of 224,900 lb (102,000 kg), it has a range of 4,970 nmi (9,200 km)
:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_777#777_Freighter

This is in line with the 777F specs listed on the Boeing website (with payload also stated in kg and lbs and range in nm):
https://www.boeing.com/commercial/freighters/
 
PhilMcCrackin
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Re: How come even after all the 777Fs coming off the line, MD-11Fs are still going strong?

Wed Aug 05, 2020 8:25 pm

ethernal wrote:
Much of the year a significant portion of the MD-11 fleet will sit parked in some way shape or form (whether in maintenance or just sitting at a random airport) and the ones that do fly are flying light schedules.
.


Fascinating.

I see 14 in the air right now at 130PM on the west coast and we're nowhere near peak season or the night sort.
 
Moosefire
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Re: How come even after all the 777Fs coming off the line, MD-11Fs are still going strong?

Wed Aug 05, 2020 9:55 pm

HPRamper wrote:
NWAROOSTER wrote:
FedEx continues to fly their DC-10s and MD-11s as they usually only make about two flights a night and most likely are not that high on cycles or hours. FedEx and others will fly them as long as they do not become maintenance hogs or need a major HVM. The cost of extra Jet-A is not enough to cause replacement of these aircraft. :old:

Most of the MD-11s are in the air for 12-16 hours per day doing two hub turns. We are actively retiring both 10s and 11s - 2 10s in the past month and an 11 will be sent to VCV this weekend.

ethernal wrote:
Low fixed cost / high variable cost planes are the opposite. You use them for variable demand. Typically the only time every single flyable MD11 is in the air for FX is around the holidays when consumer shipping demand is sky high. They may cost a lot to fly on a variable cost basis, but that's okay because they are flying full with high-priced holiday surcharged items. Much of the year a significant portion of the MD-11 fleet will sit parked in some way shape or form (whether in maintenance or just sitting at a random airport) and the ones that do fly are flying light schedules.

Every single flyable MD-11 is flying every day with the exception of Sundays and Monday morning, when they do planned maintenance on everything to clear MELs. For peak we may pull planes out of the desert - not likely anymore without Amazon - but the rest of the year is not a light schedule. MD-11s fly generally four flights per 24 hours. They are certainly not sitting at random airports doing nothing unless they are broken. Of our 53 MD-11s, 43 are currently "up" while 4 are on field mx, 2 in heavy mx and 4 in heavy checks.


Thank you! All this talk about low utilization of freight aircraft feels like it’s based on circa 2005 information. Aside from the 757s most domestic fleets at FX are operating 4 legs a day... I’d be shocked to find that many cycles in the US pax carrier widebody fleets
MD-11F/C-17A Pilot
 
planewasted
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Re: How come even after all the 777Fs coming off the line, MD-11Fs are still going strong?

Wed Aug 05, 2020 10:10 pm

The main advantage the MD11 had against the 777 is that it is much better looking. :D
 
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Boeing757100
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Re: How come even after all the 777Fs coming off the line, MD-11Fs are still going strong?

Wed Aug 05, 2020 10:15 pm

planewasted wrote:
The main advantage the MD11 had against the 777 is that it is much better looking. :D



You've got a point there!

;)
 
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tistpaa727
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Re: How come even after all the 777Fs coming off the line, MD-11Fs are still going strong?

Wed Aug 05, 2020 10:46 pm

tomcat wrote:
tistpaa727 wrote:
MD-11 ~ 99 tons, still air range of 4,000 miles
777F ~ 113 tons, stated still air range of 5,400 miles

Source Wikipedia so...

edit: typo


Which version of Wikipedia does show 113 tons for the 777F? Or are you referring to "short tons" (which is quite confusing for non-US readers)?

In en.wikipedia, I see
With a maximum payload of 224,900 lb (102,000 kg), it has a range of 4,970 nmi (9,200 km)
:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_777#777_Freighter

This is in line with the 777F specs listed on the Boeing website (with payload also stated in kg and lbs and range in nm):
https://www.boeing.com/commercial/freighters/


Good question - this was a US-centric response. 224,900 lbs roughly equivalent to (US) 113 tons. :smile:
Don't sweat the little things.
 
ikramerica
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Re: How come even after all the 777Fs coming off the line, MD-11Fs are still going strong?

Thu Aug 06, 2020 1:38 am

jetblueguy22 wrote:
You can say a lot about the MD-11 (And trust me I can add plenty from a planning side) but it does a heck of a job in the cargo world. Capacity is massive and the wingspan keeps it in gateways that might lose a parking spot should you put a 747-8 or 777 in there. This is a biggie that people forget when it comes to cargo. Whole fleets are on the ground during night sorts, parking is a premium.

FX and 5X are mostly keeping their MDs domestic now MEM/SDF and back flights where capacity is needed. They’re probably doing more like 4 flights a day rather than the 2 mentioned above but the stage length is still pretty short. Gas isn’t exactly expensive right now, the only real reason to send them to the scrapper is they have a knack for breaking at the worst possible moments.

At least the 767s will break when it’s sunny and 75 out.

Sure, those wings mean it might flip over and crash on a hard landing, but who cares...
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
2175301
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Re: How come even after all the 777Fs coming off the line, MD-11Fs are still going strong?

Thu Aug 06, 2020 1:52 am

Back to the original question. Many of the B777F's were for the expansion of the cargo market over the years or replacement of several of the 747F models. The B777F market was not just replacement of similar sized aircraft currently in service. Thus, many aircraft are still in service if they are in decent physical condition and can be operated at a reasonable cost, as the MD-11 can.

Have a great day,
 
jetblueguy22
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Re: How come even after all the 777Fs coming off the line, MD-11Fs are still going strong?

Thu Aug 06, 2020 1:58 am

ikramerica wrote:
jetblueguy22 wrote:
You can say a lot about the MD-11 (And trust me I can add plenty from a planning side) but it does a heck of a job in the cargo world. Capacity is massive and the wingspan keeps it in gateways that might lose a parking spot should you put a 747-8 or 777 in there. This is a biggie that people forget when it comes to cargo. Whole fleets are on the ground during night sorts, parking is a premium.

FX and 5X are mostly keeping their MDs domestic now MEM/SDF and back flights where capacity is needed. They’re probably doing more like 4 flights a day rather than the 2 mentioned above but the stage length is still pretty short. Gas isn’t exactly expensive right now, the only real reason to send them to the scrapper is they have a knack for breaking at the worst possible moments.

At least the 767s will break when it’s sunny and 75 out.

Sure, those wings mean it might flip over and crash on a hard landing, but who cares...

Passive aggressive, I can dig it.

Thing has been in the air almost 30 years. If it was as big a problem as everybody on this site likes to pretend it is they’d all be at the scrapper right now and the airworthiness certificates pulled.
Look at sweatpants guy. This is a 90 million dollar aircraft, not a Tallahassee strip club
 
eamondzhang
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Re: How come even after all the 777Fs coming off the line, MD-11Fs are still going strong?

Thu Aug 06, 2020 4:41 am

ikramerica wrote:
jetblueguy22 wrote:
You can say a lot about the MD-11 (And trust me I can add plenty from a planning side) but it does a heck of a job in the cargo world. Capacity is massive and the wingspan keeps it in gateways that might lose a parking spot should you put a 747-8 or 777 in there. This is a biggie that people forget when it comes to cargo. Whole fleets are on the ground during night sorts, parking is a premium.

FX and 5X are mostly keeping their MDs domestic now MEM/SDF and back flights where capacity is needed. They’re probably doing more like 4 flights a day rather than the 2 mentioned above but the stage length is still pretty short. Gas isn’t exactly expensive right now, the only real reason to send them to the scrapper is they have a knack for breaking at the worst possible moments.

At least the 767s will break when it’s sunny and 75 out.

Sure, those wings mean it might flip over and crash on a hard landing, but who cares...

If they're REALLY this dangerous their airworthiness certificates would have been pulled long ago.

Obviously no aviation auhorities agree with you.

Michael
 
LMP737
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Re: How come even after all the 777Fs coming off the line, MD-11Fs are still going strong?

Thu Aug 06, 2020 4:42 am

747classic wrote:
However, the achilles heel of the MD11 are the legacy electronics (early IC's) that are very difficult to source.


Don't forget the Kapton wiring used extensively in the MD-11, another example of MD going on the cheap. It does not stand up to time very well.
Never take financial advice from co-workers.
 
b747400erf
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Re: How come even after all the 777Fs coming off the line, MD-11Fs are still going strong?

Thu Aug 06, 2020 7:46 am

ikramerica wrote:
jetblueguy22 wrote:
You can say a lot about the MD-11 (And trust me I can add plenty from a planning side) but it does a heck of a job in the cargo world. Capacity is massive and the wingspan keeps it in gateways that might lose a parking spot should you put a 747-8 or 777 in there. This is a biggie that people forget when it comes to cargo. Whole fleets are on the ground during night sorts, parking is a premium.

FX and 5X are mostly keeping their MDs domestic now MEM/SDF and back flights where capacity is needed. They’re probably doing more like 4 flights a day rather than the 2 mentioned above but the stage length is still pretty short. Gas isn’t exactly expensive right now, the only real reason to send them to the scrapper is they have a knack for breaking at the worst possible moments.

At least the 767s will break when it’s sunny and 75 out.

Sure, those wings mean it might flip over and crash on a hard landing, but who cares...


It could be the sharing of a type rating for much different handling aircraft DC/MD 10 and MD 11 and pilots slam it in
 
frmrCapCadet
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Re: How come even after all the 777Fs coming off the line, MD-11Fs are still going strong?

Thu Aug 06, 2020 1:42 pm

One convention, frequently not used, 'ton' is American/British 2000 pounds. 'Tonne' is metric, 1000 kilograms. It will always be a source of confusion.
Buffet: the airline business...has eaten up capital...like..no other (business)
 
ethernal
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Re: How come even after all the 777Fs coming off the line, MD-11Fs are still going strong?

Thu Aug 06, 2020 2:08 pm

Moosefire wrote:
HPRamper wrote:
NWAROOSTER wrote:
FedEx continues to fly their DC-10s and MD-11s as they usually only make about two flights a night and most likely are not that high on cycles or hours. FedEx and others will fly them as long as they do not become maintenance hogs or need a major HVM. The cost of extra Jet-A is not enough to cause replacement of these aircraft. :old:

Most of the MD-11s are in the air for 12-16 hours per day doing two hub turns. We are actively retiring both 10s and 11s - 2 10s in the past month and an 11 will be sent to VCV this weekend.

ethernal wrote:
Low fixed cost / high variable cost planes are the opposite. You use them for variable demand. Typically the only time every single flyable MD11 is in the air for FX is around the holidays when consumer shipping demand is sky high. They may cost a lot to fly on a variable cost basis, but that's okay because they are flying full with high-priced holiday surcharged items. Much of the year a significant portion of the MD-11 fleet will sit parked in some way shape or form (whether in maintenance or just sitting at a random airport) and the ones that do fly are flying light schedules.

Every single flyable MD-11 is flying every day with the exception of Sundays and Monday morning, when they do planned maintenance on everything to clear MELs. For peak we may pull planes out of the desert - not likely anymore without Amazon - but the rest of the year is not a light schedule. MD-11s fly generally four flights per 24 hours. They are certainly not sitting at random airports doing nothing unless they are broken. Of our 53 MD-11s, 43 are currently "up" while 4 are on field mx, 2 in heavy mx and 4 in heavy checks.


Thank you! All this talk about low utilization of freight aircraft feels like it’s based on circa 2005 information. Aside from the 757s most domestic fleets at FX are operating 4 legs a day... I’d be shocked to find that many cycles in the US pax carrier widebody fleets


Cargo in-air seasonality is less than passenger seasonality for a number of reasons (typically route coverage.. passenger ops have a lot more flights between cities). But this is hardly a normal year if folks are looking at utilization today. Air freight ops (at least through June) were equivalent or higher than holiday peak due to coronavirus. Every cargo plane that could be flown was flying starting in April.
 
Deepgreen
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Re: How come even after all the 777Fs coming off the line, MD-11Fs are still going strong?

Thu Aug 06, 2020 2:34 pm

I must admit that I hadn't realised FX still had any DC-10s (or, indeed, that there were any civil DC-10s still flying at all!).
 
HPRamper
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Re: How come even after all the 777Fs coming off the line, MD-11Fs are still going strong?

Thu Aug 06, 2020 2:44 pm

Deepgreen wrote:
I must admit that I hadn't realised FX still had any DC-10s (or, indeed, that there were any civil DC-10s still flying at all!).

Still 21 active 10s for FedEx.
 
MIflyer12
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Re: How come even after all the 777Fs coming off the line, MD-11Fs are still going strong?

Thu Aug 06, 2020 2:48 pm

Moosefire wrote:
Thank you! All this talk about low utilization of freight aircraft feels like it’s based on circa 2005 information. Aside from the 757s most domestic fleets at FX are operating 4 legs a day... I’d be shocked to find that many cycles in the US pax carrier widebody fleets


Hours are more relevant than cycles for variable operating cost.

I don't see reference to utilization in the last two FedEx annual reports. It would be nice to have data.
 
Sokes
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Re: How come even after all the 777Fs coming off the line, MD-11Fs are still going strong?

Thu Aug 06, 2020 2:54 pm

jetblueguy22 wrote:
At least the 767s will break when it’s sunny and 75 out.

For the enthusiasts among us:
What does that mean?
Why can't the world be a little bit more autistic?
 
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lightsaber
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Re: How come even after all the 777Fs coming off the line, MD-11Fs are still going strong?

Thu Aug 06, 2020 3:26 pm

MIflyer12 wrote:
Moosefire wrote:
Thank you! All this talk about low utilization of freight aircraft feels like it’s based on circa 2005 information. Aside from the 757s most domestic fleets at FX are operating 4 legs a day... I’d be shocked to find that many cycles in the US pax carrier widebody fleets


Hours are more relevant than cycles for variable operating cost.

I don't see reference to utilization in the last two FedEx annual reports. It would be nice to have data.

Just to benchmark, new passenger widebodies average 12+ hours per day. For a widebody, anything under 8 hours per day is low utilization. For aircraft with a Limit if Validity of 40,000 flight cycles and 150,000 flight hours.

At 4 flight a day that is 27 years of duty (plus parked time). For hours that is 50+ years at 8 hours a day. Widebodies take the hours:

https://www.boeing.com/commercial/aerom ... 2012_q4/2/

Lightsaber
Flu+Covid19 is bad. Consider a flu vaccine, if not for yourself, to protect someone you care about.
 
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lightsaber
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Re: How come even after all the 777Fs coming off the line, MD-11Fs are still going strong?

Thu Aug 06, 2020 3:36 pm

Wow, N601FE, FedEx's oldest MD-11 has enough life for another heavy maintenance interval!

https://av-info.faa.gov/sdrx/Query.aspx

Put in the registration 601FE for N601FE.

21,883 cycles (of 40,000 FC allowed)
85,174 hours (of 150,000 FH allowed).

With a maintenance hit 6/1/2020, she is flying.

This 30 and a half year old aircraft has not been flying 4 cycles per day for any time (that is 1460 cycles/year or she would have at least another 10,000 cycles on her).

As long as FedEx wants to pay for the maintenance (which is building up), these will be safe to fly. This plane definitely has enough life for one more heavy maintenance visit if the numbers work out (fuel burn and maintenance).

Lightsaber
Flu+Covid19 is bad. Consider a flu vaccine, if not for yourself, to protect someone you care about.
 
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smithbs
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Re: How come even after all the 777Fs coming off the line, MD-11Fs are still going strong?

Thu Aug 06, 2020 5:00 pm

Deepgreen wrote:
I must admit that I hadn't realised FX still had any DC-10s (or, indeed, that there were any civil DC-10s still flying at all!).


Oh yeah, FX is still using them. I see them regularly over my house going into SLC, but lately been seeing more MD-11. I'm happy either way. ;)

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