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Boeing757100
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15 Years ago today- Last B717 delivered

Sun May 23, 2021 3:10 pm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_71 ... milestones

According to this wiki article, the last Boeing 717 was delivered to first customer AirTran Airways. And according to the wiki link, Boeing were considering a 717-300 and Iberia, Northwest, and Delta were interested. In that case, how come they didn't go forward with it? Surely it could have extended production? Did it compete internally with the 737-700/800 or was there not enough demand? I'm not trying to turn this into the "Bring back the 717 topic" but I'm just asking a simple question.
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JBo
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Re: 15 Years ago today- Last B717 delivered

Sun May 23, 2021 3:30 pm

I believe the overall reason Boeing gave for discontinuing the 717 was so that they could focus their resources on the 737 line instead, and they didn't want two of their own products competing with each other.
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TexasAirCorp
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Re: 15 Years ago today- Last B717 delivered

Sun May 23, 2021 3:36 pm

It was simply too big for most airlines to use as a regional jet, but too small to be a mainline aircraft. Bombardier and Embraer were able to eat the 717s lunch with the CRJ-700/900/E170 since they were smaller and more efficient, making them better for high-frequency regional ops, especially after 9/11.

Boeing (and McDonnell Douglas) had always struggled to sell it. It was originally built with the hope that SAS would buy it to replace their DC-9, but they went for the 737-600 instead. MD managed to save it by essentially licking ValuJet (AirTran)’s ass and sending them letters telling them how they thought VJ was a great airline and they would love to build an aircraft for them. Even after that, VJ’s order for 50 aircraft was the only order for two years. Boeing had a bit more luck when they managed to get TWA to take some, but then they went belly up and that was kind of the beginning of the end.

It’s a real shame it never sold well, it’s a fantastic aircraft.
 
micstatic
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Re: 15 Years ago today- Last B717 delivered

Sun May 23, 2021 4:18 pm

It would have been interesting if McDonnell Douglas put more money into its design. Namely the wing. I really am a big fan of every airplane from the DC-9 to the 717
 
777luver
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Re: 15 Years ago today- Last B717 delivered

Sun May 23, 2021 4:33 pm

Is it correct to say the 717 is basically an MD with slightly different engines and cockpit design? And with a different name?
 
TexasAirCorp
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Re: 15 Years ago today- Last B717 delivered

Sun May 23, 2021 4:34 pm

777luver wrote:
Is it correct to say the 717 is basically an MD with slightly different engines and cockpit design? And with a different name?


Basically. It was originally built as a smaller version of the MD-90 and named the MD-95. Boeing bought MD before deliveries started so rebranded it as the 717.
 
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Re: 15 Years ago today- Last B717 delivered

Sun May 23, 2021 4:48 pm

TexasAirCorp wrote:
777luver wrote:
Is it correct to say the 717 is basically an MD with slightly different engines and cockpit design? And with a different name?


Basically. It was originally built as a smaller version of the MD-90 and named the MD-95. Boeing bought MD before deliveries started so rebranded it as the 717.


Fascinating, thanks for the info! It's a nice airplane to fly on
 
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Re: 15 Years ago today- Last B717 delivered

Sun May 23, 2021 4:52 pm

The problem was the 737-800 and the CFM-56 engine PiPs and winglets. By March 2001, the 73G and 738 had winglets as an option and that dramatically improved their performance.
https://www.aviationpartners.com/compan ... echnology/

It takes volume to pay for PiPs and the winglet was that one great leap forward in technology that the 717 needed to sell a 717-300.

As already noted, the regional jets with lower wage structure was taking over the low end.

I started a prior thread detailing many of the reasons. Please read the prior thread so we do not rehash old discussion:
viewtopic.php?t=1452227

Part of the problem is the BR700 has shorter overhaul intervals than the CFM-56 or V2500. I cannot post a link, so take it as opinion, but that hurts the 717 in its strength, short hops. Also, it just costs less to manufacture in larger batches. In the case of the CFM-56, demand is so high I've been in shops that just plan 4 batches a year as so many thousands of engines need overhaul annually that supporting that fleet is too easy (it is about half the commercial aircraft engines in service, it is simply impossible to ignore economics of scale).

Then there is the A320. Airbus was, in my opinion, aggressive winning Cebu Pacific from the 717. That happened so long ago, I cannot find any links. While ironic that Cebu Pacific has already replaced those A319s (many went to Allegiant and are now to be retired as they upgauge to A320s), that was the beginning of the end.

The Cebu Pacific and SAS orders were supposed to be the orders where the 717 broke out of its rut. Then we could have talked a 717-300. But as neither order happened, airlines lost interest. Due to the economics of parts production, commercial aircraft must be a popularity contest. In the prior link I note at least 170 to 240 in service aircraft are required to maintain the parts network. The 717 had payments to vendors at end of production to maintain support.

I have to agree, the wing was really out of date at entry into service for the 717. It was a great aircraft going head to head with the A319 and 73G.

The reality is Delta will retire all 717s by YE 2025:
https://airwaysmag.com/airlines/delta-a ... 767-300er/

That ends the new parts market. While aircraft can continue to fly in limited numbers, the fact is that means Delta has stopped paying support contracts and is going to keep going on green life o on f parts. This means there is not enough part demand for Hawaiian and Qantas (or whatever partner has them this year) to get parts. There are only those three airlines left flying the 717. Delta picked the A220 to replace the 717. HA and QF have just a little time (at most 18 months) to decide on what they will replace their 717 fleets. Considering how many used aircraft are available, it wouldn't surprise me if they made that choice.

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Re: 15 Years ago today- Last B717 delivered

Sun May 23, 2021 4:58 pm

California was considered high cost at Boeing. The commercial line and the military line have been closed and major parts of the Long Beach site were sold.
AFAIK Boeing had been committed to built around 200 of them and kept the word.
 
SteelChair
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Re: 15 Years ago today- Last B717 delivered

Sun May 23, 2021 5:02 pm

It's a shame it had an "oddball" engine. I think that really hampered sales. Personally, I've always been very impressed with the airplane, MD seems to have addressed almost all the shortcomings of the earlier models of the series.
 
micstatic
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Re: 15 Years ago today- Last B717 delivered

Sun May 23, 2021 5:02 pm

777luver wrote:
Is it correct to say the 717 is basically an MD with slightly different engines and cockpit design? And with a different name?


The other interesting thing about the 717 is it is very similar to the MD-11 in terms of it's cockpit
 
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Re: 15 Years ago today- Last B717 delivered

Sun May 23, 2021 5:03 pm

777luver wrote:
Is it correct to say the 717 is basically an MD with slightly different engines and cockpit design? And with a different name?

It is indeed. It's basically an MD product with a Boeing brand name, similar to the C-series now being an Airbus product. The cockpit design is similar to the one on the MD-11 (and MD-10) and some MD-90's.
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Re: 15 Years ago today- Last B717 delivered

Sun May 23, 2021 5:09 pm

TexasAirCorp wrote:
It was simply too big for most airlines to use as a regional jet, but too small to be a mainline aircraft. Bombardier and Embraer were able to eat the 717s lunch with the CRJ-700/900/E170 since they were smaller and more efficient, making them better for high-frequency regional ops, especially after 9/11.

Boeing (and McDonnell Douglas) had always struggled to sell it. It was originally built with the hope that SAS would buy it to replace their DC-9, but they went for the 737-600 instead. MD managed to save it by essentially licking ValuJet (AirTran)’s ass and sending them letters telling them how they thought VJ was a great airline and they would love to build an aircraft for them. Even after that, VJ’s order for 50 aircraft was the only order for two years. Boeing had a bit more luck when they managed to get TWA to take some, but then they went belly up and that was kind of the beginning of the end.

It’s a real shame it never sold well, it’s a fantastic aircraft.


I always liked the TWA ones when they ended up at AirTran. The seats were softer. The Delta 717's are very nice.
 
777luver
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Re: 15 Years ago today- Last B717 delivered

Sun May 23, 2021 5:33 pm

micstatic wrote:
777luver wrote:
Is it correct to say the 717 is basically an MD with slightly different engines and cockpit design? And with a different name?


The other interesting thing about the 717 is it is very similar to the MD-11 in terms of it's cockpit


A mini MD11 haha
 
777luver
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Re: 15 Years ago today- Last B717 delivered

Sun May 23, 2021 5:34 pm

SASViking wrote:
777luver wrote:
Is it correct to say the 717 is basically an MD with slightly different engines and cockpit design? And with a different name?

It is indeed. It's basically an MD product with a Boeing brand name, similar to the C-series now being an Airbus product. The cockpit design is similar to the one on the MD-11 (and MD-10) and some MD-90's.


Good C series comparison that helps explain a bit better
 
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Re: 15 Years ago today- Last B717 delivered

Sun May 23, 2021 5:46 pm

The clean-sheet Embraer 190 and its stretched cousin, the Embraer 195, were also available by this point. Each would have taken away any remaining Boeing 717 (MD-95) interest.
 
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Re: 15 Years ago today- Last B717 delivered

Sun May 23, 2021 6:00 pm

SteelChair wrote:
It's a shame it had an "oddball" engine. I think that really hampered sales. Personally, I've always been very impressed with the airplane, MD seems to have addressed almost all the shortcomings of the earlier models of the series.

At proposal, and this is me going from memory, the engine was competitive on durability and fuel burn. The fact it was related to business jet engines makes the engine the least of the 717 issues. Except for lack of PiPs to modern durability levels.

The CFM-56 vs. V2500 improved engine maintenance, during times of low oil prices, more than I could have imagined when I first joined this industry.

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Re: 15 Years ago today- Last B717 delivered

Sun May 23, 2021 6:07 pm

lightsaber wrote:
SteelChair wrote:
It's a shame it had an "oddball" engine. I think that really hampered sales. Personally, I've always been very impressed with the airplane, MD seems to have addressed almost all the shortcomings of the earlier models of the series.

At proposal, and this is me going from memory, the engine was competitive on durability and fuel burn. The fact it was related to business jet engines makes the engine the least of the 717 issues. Except for lack of PiPs to modern durability levels.

The CFM-56 vs. V2500 improved engine maintenance, during times of low oil prices, more than I could have imagined when I first joined this industry.

Lightsaber


I was thinking more in terms of spare parts and availability of shops to do the work due to the small installed base. Let's face it, business jets have extremely low utilization compared to airliners, there just isn't the possibility to bid shops and suppliers against one another.
 
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Re: 15 Years ago today- Last B717 delivered

Sun May 23, 2021 6:09 pm

717 situation with Boeing mirrors that of the C-Series with Airbus today. 717 lost regional sales on the low end with the CRJs and E-series. A lot of that was due to mainline carriers going on a RJ freezy to take advantage of scope. 717 would have been a mainline aircraft flying regional routes with a mainline cost structure. Strike 1, Delta only took them on because they were cheap to acquire and it allowed them to onboard more large RJs.
 
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Re: 15 Years ago today- Last B717 delivered

Sun May 23, 2021 6:15 pm

lightsaber wrote:
SteelChair wrote:
It's a shame it had an "oddball" engine. I think that really hampered sales. Personally, I've always been very impressed with the airplane, MD seems to have addressed almost all the shortcomings of the earlier models of the series.

At proposal, and this is me going from memory, the engine was competitive on durability and fuel burn. The fact it was related to business jet engines makes the engine the least of the 717 issues. Except for lack of PiPs to modern durability levels.

The CFM-56 vs. V2500 improved engine maintenance, during times of low oil prices, more than I could have imagined when I first joined this industry.

Lightsaber


Yeah, there’s only about 3600 BR-700 series engines in service. Not “oddball” in the least, but it wasn’t a commercial engine, it was designed for the Global and GV.
 
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Re: 15 Years ago today- Last B717 delivered

Sun May 23, 2021 6:28 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
lightsaber wrote:
SteelChair wrote:
It's a shame it had an "oddball" engine. I think that really hampered sales. Personally, I've always been very impressed with the airplane, MD seems to have addressed almost all the shortcomings of the earlier models of the series.

At proposal, and this is me going from memory, the engine was competitive on durability and fuel burn. The fact it was related to business jet engines makes the engine the least of the 717 issues. Except for lack of PiPs to modern durability levels.

The CFM-56 vs. V2500 improved engine maintenance, during times of low oil prices, more than I could have imagined when I first joined this industry.

Lightsaber


Yeah, there’s only about 3600 BR-700 series engines in service. Not “oddball” in the least, but it wasn’t a commercial engine, it was designed for the Global and GV.


3,600 low utilization business jet engines compared to 30,000 high utilization airliner CFM engines. Probably more than 10 to 1 in terms of annual flight hours.
 
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Re: 15 Years ago today- Last B717 delivered

Sun May 23, 2021 6:42 pm

SteelChair wrote:
lightsaber wrote:
SteelChair wrote:
It's a shame it had an "oddball" engine. I think that really hampered sales. Personally, I've always been very impressed with the airplane, MD seems to have addressed almost all the shortcomings of the earlier models of the series.

At proposal, and this is me going from memory, the engine was competitive on durability and fuel burn. The fact it was related to business jet engines makes the engine the least of the 717 issues. Except for lack of PiPs to modern durability levels.

The CFM-56 vs. V2500 improved engine maintenance, during times of low oil prices, more than I could have imagined when I first joined this industry.

Lightsaber


I was thinking more in terms of spare parts and availability of shops to do the work due to the small installed base. Let's face it, business jets have extremely low utilization compared to airliners, there just isn't the possibility to bid shops and suppliers against one another.

Quantity has a quality all of its own -Stalin

This solves the spare parts problem as the business jet fleet demands, in my experience, even more timely part supply than commercial aircraft. This will ensure enough spares on hand.

There are over 3600 BR700 engines out there. While the utilization is low, the durability between overhauls is also low.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rolls-Royce_BR700

We can agree there is lack of MRO competition. Delta had the rights to overhaul the BR720 and should have developed repairs. To my knowledge, they never stood up that shop and continued to outsource. We can agree that increases overhaul costs as well as having too short an overhaul interval. But there is some competition in the business jet world:
https://dallasairmotive.com/engine-solu ... aintenancE

Pratt brags about 10,000 hours between overhauls on the PW800 because it is better than the competition:
https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news ... ry-service

I consulted for a vendor and they had no trouble running a large batch of overhauls for the BR700 every year, mostly business jet parts.

But we can agree the per takeoff costs are too high. With RR Deutschland being the primary overhaul vendor of a tiny number of aircraft, they are not going to be developing repairs. The OEM profit is selling new parts while an independent shop will make 2x the profit if they can repair items, but that is 2X of 20% of the profit (my estimate) as so much of the profit of an overhaul is the OEM on the new parts.

So a problem with not enough volume to generate the MRO network. The plane sales had to create that volume. It didn't happen. The comparison can be the Pratt PurePower engines were Pratt, MTU, Embraer, and Delta can all overhaul the engines and develop repairs. (I'm going from memory, so take as my opinion.) Pratt didn't do that out of the kindness of their heart. They are setting up competition to themselves. I could only find CFM shops to overhaul the LEAP. Did I miss any agreements?
https://www.safran-aircraft-engines.com ... ng%20fleet.

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baje427
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Re: 15 Years ago today- Last B717 delivered

Sun May 23, 2021 7:04 pm

Nice plane just built at the wrong time.
 
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Re: 15 Years ago today- Last B717 delivered

Sun May 23, 2021 7:43 pm

SteelChair wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
lightsaber wrote:
At proposal, and this is me going from memory, the engine was competitive on durability and fuel burn. The fact it was related to business jet engines makes the engine the least of the 717 issues. Except for lack of PiPs to modern durability levels.

The CFM-56 vs. V2500 improved engine maintenance, during times of low oil prices, more than I could have imagined when I first joined this industry.

Lightsaber


Yeah, there’s only about 3600 BR-700 series engines in service. Not “oddball” in the least, but it wasn’t a commercial engine, it was designed for the Global and GV.


3,600 low utilization business jet engines compared to 30,000 high utilization airliner CFM engines. Probably more than 10 to 1 in terms of annual flight hours.


I’m not arguing over commercial vs business ute rates, just that’s it hardly an “oddball” engine. The MD-95 needed an engine at specific thrust rating and weight, the BR was the only thing out there at the time. RR products are not cheap and the support is so-so. Points out the error of saying “just use a Passport for the next RJ”. Bizjet engines are very different products than airline engines.
 
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Re: 15 Years ago today- Last B717 delivered

Sun May 23, 2021 8:56 pm

777luver wrote:
Is it correct to say the 717 is basically an MD with slightly different engines and cockpit design? And with a different name?



Sadly, it was just a DC-9-30 with a higher bypass ratio engine. Same wing as the DC-9, all in all, same plane except the engines and some cockpit-wise improvements.
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Re: 15 Years ago today- Last B717 delivered

Sun May 23, 2021 9:17 pm

Are the comments in this thread about cost structure of operating the 717 US-centric? QF (Operated by National Jet) seem happy with their 20 aircraft. Is QF the exception?
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Re: 15 Years ago today- Last B717 delivered

Sun May 23, 2021 11:35 pm

I always thought it was telling that NW/AC/SK (whom all operated large fleets of DC9s) passed on ordering any of the type. IIRC AA wished to continue to operate TW's fleet, however they could not renegotiate the terms of TWA's lease so they gave up on the fleet.

As a passenger I always thought they were a nice ride, although for some reason I always thought the aircraft had an uncomfortably rate of descent for some reason.
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Re: 15 Years ago today- Last B717 delivered

Sun May 23, 2021 11:52 pm

bigb wrote:
717 situation with Boeing mirrors that of the C-Series with Airbus today.


I'm not sure I completely agree. Boeing had a bit of a "not invented here" syndrome with the 717 vs the 737, and weren't interested in pursuing a 717 sale if it meant the loss of a 737 sale. Also, the 737NG is a generally more capable design, having seen more improvements over the 737's lifetime, unlike the DC-9 family which saw some, but not as much (the MD-80 might have been reasonably comparable to a 2nd generation 737, but the MD-90 and MD-95/717 was outclassed by the 737NG). The one place the 717 is better suited than the 737NG was short haul, high frequency operation, and was notably less expensive to operate than the 737-600 and A318, and did outsell both of those models.

Compared to this, Airbus is willing to let the C-Series/A220 cannibalize potential A319 sales, and if they go ahead with the A220-500, will similarly hurt A320 sales. It gives Airbus a next generation clean sheet design to replace the A320 family at the smaller end, while the A321 gets more and more capable at the large end.

vhtje wrote:
Are the comments in this thread about cost structure of operating the 717 US-centric? QF (Operated by National Jet) seem happy with their 20 aircraft. Is QF the exception?


QF will seemingly have the same program. At this point in time, there are three 717 operators worldwide. Delta operates the majority of them, with
QF and Hawaiian operating the rest. The problem is with the 717 on the way out at Delta, there aren't enough left service for it to be worth parts suppliers to continue to operate them. Hawaiian can't operationally absorb that many more of them (if they take some of Delta's it would either be for parts or to swap to lower cycle airframes), so only if Qantas were to suddenly decide to grow 717 operations substantially and essentially commit to taking over Delta's fleet and operating it in Australia would the 717 remain viable to support.

Boeing757100 wrote:
Sadly, it was just a DC-9-30 with a higher bypass ratio engine. Same wing as the DC-9, all in all, same plane except the engines and some cockpit-wise improvements.


It's actually closer to a DC-9-40. The MD-95 started out DC-9-30 sized as that's what SAS wanted, but after SAS went for the 737-600 instead, McDonnell Douglas stretched the plane slightly.
 
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Re: 15 Years ago today- Last B717 delivered

Mon May 24, 2021 12:18 am

Boeing757100 wrote:
777luver wrote:
Is it correct to say the 717 is basically an MD with slightly different engines and cockpit design? And with a different name?



Sadly, it was just a DC-9-30 with a higher bypass ratio engine. Same wing as the DC-9, all in all, same plane except the engines and some cockpit-wise improvements.


There were many other improvements. For example, the APU inlet was on the top of the fuselage, not the bottom. The bottom mounted APU inlets caused many problems on the 9s/88s/90s. This is just one example.
 
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Re: 15 Years ago today- Last B717 delivered

Mon May 24, 2021 12:31 am

777luver wrote:
Is it correct to say the 717 is basically an MD with slightly different engines and cockpit design? And with a different name?


The 717/MD-95 is more than just a slightly changed MD. It had new engines, a completely new glass cockpit which was very similiar to the original cockpit of the MD-90, which looks a bit like the MD-11 cockpit. Also the 717 got the wings of the DC-9 because they are smaller and optimized for lighter weight/shorter range compared to the larger MD-80/-90 wings.
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Re: 15 Years ago today- Last B717 delivered

Mon May 24, 2021 12:42 am

The days of rear mounted engines are coming. Sad for us aviation enthusiasts! So many planes in the future will all look the same. Two wing mounted engines, we had so much variety not that long ago and even now.

I remember flying thru dfw not that long ago at all when you saw a sea of md 80s as far as the eye could see. Now the CRJs are starting to feel cooler as the last holdouts of something different looking. When those all get retired we are gonna miss the variety we once had. Anything rear engined which doesn't seem cool right now, we will miss.

717 was a great plane just behind the times, the 737 made sense to focus on. Long Beach was too expensive to keep open when varieties of the 737 are not that much different.
 
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Re: 15 Years ago today- Last B717 delivered

Mon May 24, 2021 12:58 am

TexasAirCorp wrote:
It was simply too big for most airlines to use as a regional jet, but too small to be a mainline aircraft. Bombardier and Embraer were able to eat the 717s lunch with the CRJ-700/900/E170 since they were smaller and more efficient, making them better for high-frequency regional ops, especially after 9/11.

Boeing (and McDonnell Douglas) had always struggled to sell it. It was originally built with the hope that SAS would buy it to replace their DC-9, but they went for the 737-600 instead. MD managed to save it by essentially licking ValuJet (AirTran)’s ass and sending them letters telling them how they thought VJ was a great airline and they would love to build an aircraft for them. Even after that, VJ’s order for 50 aircraft was the only order for two years. Boeing had a bit more luck when they managed to get TWA to take some, but then they went belly up and that was kind of the beginning of the end.

It’s a real shame it never sold well, it’s a fantastic aircraft.


Here's a video about ValuJet's order for the MD-95 (717). From 6:15 to 8:34 the loss of SAS as a potential customer and the letter to ValuJet are mentioned.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iug5RbWwbkw
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Re: 15 Years ago today- Last B717 delivered

Mon May 24, 2021 2:26 am

TexasAirCorp wrote:
It was simply too big for most airlines to use as a regional jet, but too small to be a mainline aircraft. Bombardier and Embraer were able to eat the 717s lunch with the CRJ-700/900/E170 since they were smaller and more efficient, making them better for high-frequency regional ops, especially after 9/11.

Boeing (and McDonnell Douglas) had always struggled to sell it. It was originally built with the hope that SAS would buy it to replace their DC-9, but they went for the 737-600 instead. MD managed to save it by essentially licking ValuJet (AirTran)’s ass and sending them letters telling them how they thought VJ was a great airline and they would love to build an aircraft for them. Even after that, VJ’s order for 50 aircraft was the only order for two years. Boeing had a bit more luck when they managed to get TWA to take some, but then they went belly up and that was kind of the beginning of the end.

It’s a real shame it never sold well, it’s a fantastic aircraft.

The 717 disadvantage wasn't fuel burn per seat - it was mainline wage rates and work rules.
 
bigb
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Re: 15 Years ago today- Last B717 delivered

Mon May 24, 2021 2:29 am

MIflyer12 wrote:
TexasAirCorp wrote:
It was simply too big for most airlines to use as a regional jet, but too small to be a mainline aircraft. Bombardier and Embraer were able to eat the 717s lunch with the CRJ-700/900/E170 since they were smaller and more efficient, making them better for high-frequency regional ops, especially after 9/11.

Boeing (and McDonnell Douglas) had always struggled to sell it. It was originally built with the hope that SAS would buy it to replace their DC-9, but they went for the 737-600 instead. MD managed to save it by essentially licking ValuJet (AirTran)’s ass and sending them letters telling them how they thought VJ was a great airline and they would love to build an aircraft for them. Even after that, VJ’s order for 50 aircraft was the only order for two years. Boeing had a bit more luck when they managed to get TWA to take some, but then they went belly up and that was kind of the beginning of the end.

It’s a real shame it never sold well, it’s a fantastic aircraft.

The 717 disadvantage wasn't fuel burn per seat - it was mainline wage rates and work rules.


This right here....
 
Noshow
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Re: 15 Years ago today- Last B717 delivered

Mon May 24, 2021 4:34 am

Germanwings evaluated the 717 within their existing network tailored for their A319 fleet. It did not work out as the 717 would fly slower and not match the tight schedules set for the A319 before. It could not be just switched in and out easily.
 
jrfspa320
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Re: 15 Years ago today- Last B717 delivered

Mon May 24, 2021 4:45 am

hawaiian717 wrote:

QF will seemingly have the same program. At this point in time, there are three 717 operators worldwide. Delta operates the majority of them, with
QF and Hawaiian operating the rest. The problem is with the 717 on the way out at Delta, there aren't enough left service for it to be worth parts suppliers to continue to operate them. Hawaiian can't operationally absorb that many more of them (if they take some of Delta's it would either be for parts or to swap to lower cycle airframes), so only if Qantas were to suddenly decide to grow 717 operations substantially and essentially commit to taking over Delta's fleet and operating it in Australia would the 717 remain viable to support.


QF probably need to replace the F100s before the 717s, so i wouldnt be surprised if they were looking for more, the alternative is they replace both at the same time.
 
VSMUT
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Re: 15 Years ago today- Last B717 delivered

Mon May 24, 2021 7:42 am

vhtje wrote:
Are the comments in this thread about cost structure of operating the 717 US-centric? QF (Operated by National Jet) seem happy with their 20 aircraft. Is QF the exception?


:checkmark: This thread is very US centric.


MIflyer12 wrote:
TexasAirCorp wrote:
It was simply too big for most airlines to use as a regional jet, but too small to be a mainline aircraft. Bombardier and Embraer were able to eat the 717s lunch with the CRJ-700/900/E170 since they were smaller and more efficient, making them better for high-frequency regional ops, especially after 9/11.

Boeing (and McDonnell Douglas) had always struggled to sell it. It was originally built with the hope that SAS would buy it to replace their DC-9, but they went for the 737-600 instead. MD managed to save it by essentially licking ValuJet (AirTran)’s ass and sending them letters telling them how they thought VJ was a great airline and they would love to build an aircraft for them. Even after that, VJ’s order for 50 aircraft was the only order for two years. Boeing had a bit more luck when they managed to get TWA to take some, but then they went belly up and that was kind of the beginning of the end.

It’s a real shame it never sold well, it’s a fantastic aircraft.

The 717 disadvantage wasn't fuel burn per seat - it was mainline wage rates and work rules.


It was fuel burn per seat. The issues you list are US specific. The aircraft lasted even shorter (and saw less success) in Europe where airlines weren't under such limitations. In the rest of the world it mostly lost out to the A319, 737-700, E190/195 and CRJ-900.
 
Noshow
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Re: 15 Years ago today- Last B717 delivered

Mon May 24, 2021 7:46 am

It had no future being a single version of a heritage family now being owned by the former biggest competitor.
 
Oykie
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Re: 15 Years ago today- Last B717 delivered

Mon May 24, 2021 8:00 am

Growing up with a dad who worked for SAS, I have flown on every DC-9 iteration except the MD-95 aka Boeing 717. It’s a beautiful plane and I really expected SAS to buy it and remember being super surprised when SAS bought the 737-600 instead. At the time the guy responsible for the negotiation said that the purchase price of the 737 more than made up for the extra fuel burn at that time. In other words, Boeing gave SAS and offer they could not refuse. Being a DC fan I hope I get a chance to fly it before it’s to late
Dream no small dream; it lacks magic. Dream large, then go make that dream real - Donald Douglas
 
RoyalBrunei757
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Re: 15 Years ago today- Last B717 delivered

Mon May 24, 2021 8:07 am

lightsaber wrote:
The problem was the 737-800 and the CFM-56 engine PiPs and winglets. By March 2001, the 73G and 738 had winglets as an option and that dramatically improved their performance.
https://www.aviationpartners.com/compan ... echnology/

It takes volume to pay for PiPs and the winglet was that one great leap forward in technology that the 717 needed to sell a 717-300.

As already noted, the regional jets with lower wage structure was taking over the low end.

I started a prior thread detailing many of the reasons. Please read the prior thread so we do not rehash old discussion:
viewtopic.php?t=1452227

Part of the problem is the BR700 has shorter overhaul intervals than the CFM-56 or V2500. I cannot post a link, so take it as opinion, but that hurts the 717 in its strength, short hops. Also, it just costs less to manufacture in larger batches. In the case of the CFM-56, demand is so high I've been in shops that just plan 4 batches a year as so many thousands of engines need overhaul annually that supporting that fleet is too easy (it is about half the commercial aircraft engines in service, it is simply impossible to ignore economics of scale).

Then there is the A320. Airbus was, in my opinion, aggressive winning Cebu Pacific from the 717. That happened so long ago, I cannot find any links. While ironic that Cebu Pacific has already replaced those A319s (many went to Allegiant and are now to be retired as they upgauge to A320s), that was the beginning of the end.

The Cebu Pacific and SAS orders were supposed to be the orders where the 717 broke out of its rut. Then we could have talked a 717-300. But as neither order happened, airlines lost interest. Due to the economics of parts production, commercial aircraft must be a popularity contest. In the prior link I note at least 170 to 240 in service aircraft are required to maintain the parts network. The 717 had payments to vendors at end of production to maintain support.

I have to agree, the wing was really out of date at entry into service for the 717. It was a great aircraft going head to head with the A319 and 73G.

The reality is Delta will retire all 717s by YE 2025:
https://airwaysmag.com/airlines/delta-a ... 767-300er/

That ends the new parts market. While aircraft can continue to fly in limited numbers, the fact is that means Delta has stopped paying support contracts and is going to keep going on green life o on f parts. This means there is not enough part demand for Hawaiian and Qantas (or whatever partner has them this year) to get parts. There are only those three airlines left flying the 717. Delta picked the A220 to replace the 717. HA and QF have just a little time (at most 18 months) to decide on what they will replace their 717 fleets. Considering how many used aircraft are available, it wouldn't surprise me if they made that choice.

Lightsaber

Post like this is my main reason to join a.net after being silent reader for long time. You are a gem lightsaber. Keep it coming!

Regarding the Cebu Pacific's interest with B717, some additional notes I wish to add based on my memory. They settled with B717-200 for an order of 10 firm order plus 4 options in June 2000, with first delivery in 2001 to replace their rapidly ageing DC-9-30s. They were planning to use it to launch new routes to Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia among others in the region. However post-97/98 Asian Economic Crisis, many international banks were either reluctant or very cautious to extend credit line to many Asian countries especially Thailand and the Philippines. The lack of credit facility was compounded by lack of transparency on Cebu Pacific end as it was privately held and no one knew for sure how profitable were they. The deal was shelved in the end. Cebu Pacific went on to lease 3 B757-200 as alternative in Sept 2001, but the fleet was offloaded very quickly due to post-9/11 overcapacity (the 757 lease deal was announced on 9/10....couldn't come at better timing. LOL), and few months later SARS outbreak hits Asia. Talk about triple whammy.......

Some additional reading you can find here, behind paywall:
https://www.flightglobal.com/cebu-pacif ... 86.article
https://www.flightglobal.com/cebu-settl ... 46.article
https://aviationweek.com/philippines-ba ... -200-model
https://www.flightglobal.com/cebu-pacif ... 24.article
 
Jetport
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Re: 15 Years ago today- Last B717 delivered

Mon May 24, 2021 1:14 pm

VSMUT wrote:
vhtje wrote:
Are the comments in this thread about cost structure of operating the 717 US-centric? QF (Operated by National Jet) seem happy with their 20 aircraft. Is QF the exception?


:checkmark: This thread is very US centric.


MIflyer12 wrote:
TexasAirCorp wrote:
It was simply too big for most airlines to use as a regional jet, but too small to be a mainline aircraft. Bombardier and Embraer were able to eat the 717s lunch with the CRJ-700/900/E170 since they were smaller and more efficient, making them better for high-frequency regional ops, especially after 9/11.

Boeing (and McDonnell Douglas) had always struggled to sell it. It was originally built with the hope that SAS would buy it to replace their DC-9, but they went for the 737-600 instead. MD managed to save it by essentially licking ValuJet (AirTran)’s ass and sending them letters telling them how they thought VJ was a great airline and they would love to build an aircraft for them. Even after that, VJ’s order for 50 aircraft was the only order for two years. Boeing had a bit more luck when they managed to get TWA to take some, but then they went belly up and that was kind of the beginning of the end.

It’s a real shame it never sold well, it’s a fantastic aircraft.

The 717 disadvantage wasn't fuel burn per seat - it was mainline wage rates and work rules.


It was fuel burn per seat. The issues you list are US specific. The aircraft lasted even shorter (and saw less success) in Europe where airlines weren't under such limitations. In the rest of the world it mostly lost out to the A319, 737-700, E190/195 and CRJ-900.


I always thought fuel burn per seat was pretty good on the 717 and was quite competitive with the A319/737-700. The 717 definitely beat the A318 and 737-600 on fuel burn/seat (both a shrink too far/commonality madness). I also remember reading that the 717 was similar to the E195 on fuel burn, and had much better reliability than the E195 hanger queen. The 717 did not compete with the much smaller E175 or CRJ900.

Does anyone have actual fuel burn or CASM comparison data?
 
dtw9
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Re: 15 Years ago today- Last B717 delivered

Mon May 24, 2021 2:15 pm

Just before Boeing purchased MD,US Air was said to want 40 firm plus 40 options but only if they got the same deal as Valujet. With what was going on behind the scenes with Boeing MD refused the deal.
 
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Boeing757100
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Re: 15 Years ago today- Last B717 delivered

Mon May 24, 2021 3:00 pm

So, if all of the airlines mentioned in this thread (US, Cebu Pacific, Germanwings) actually received 717s, then would it have performed better?
Going to ATL airport in 2019 is like being in 2013
Going to ATL airport in 2010 is like being in 2000
Going to ATL airport in 1998 is like being in 1988
Going to ATL airport in 2035 is like watching paint dry
 
PSU.DTW.SCE
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Re: 15 Years ago today- Last B717 delivered

Mon May 24, 2021 3:01 pm

MIflyer12 wrote:
TexasAirCorp wrote:
It was simply too big for most airlines to use as a regional jet, but too small to be a mainline aircraft. Bombardier and Embraer were able to eat the 717s lunch with the CRJ-700/900/E170 since they were smaller and more efficient, making them better for high-frequency regional ops, especially after 9/11.

Boeing (and McDonnell Douglas) had always struggled to sell it. It was originally built with the hope that SAS would buy it to replace their DC-9, but they went for the 737-600 instead. MD managed to save it by essentially licking ValuJet (AirTran)’s ass and sending them letters telling them how they thought VJ was a great airline and they would love to build an aircraft for them. Even after that, VJ’s order for 50 aircraft was the only order for two years. Boeing had a bit more luck when they managed to get TWA to take some, but then they went belly up and that was kind of the beginning of the end.

It’s a real shame it never sold well, it’s a fantastic aircraft.

The 717 disadvantage wasn't fuel burn per seat - it was mainline wage rates and work rules.

Yep...this right here.
The economics at the time, led the US legacies to farm-out a huge portion of their small narrowbody flying, up to whatever negotiated scope limts were possible.
A huge swath of potential 717 flying went to the likes of the CR7, CR9, E170/5 operators at drastically lower cost structure.
In absense of this, yes there is a sizable amount of route profiles operated by the hub-and-spoke carriers that work with a 717. As you can see how DL has used them, and now doing a lot of relatively short-hop out and back flying from ATL and DTW, getting 5-6 flights/day out of each aircraft.

If this hadn't been the case, and the US-based airlines in a financial quagmire in the early 2000s, the 717s probably could've scavenged enough orders for there to have been sufficient volume out there to make MRO, parts, support more cost effective both to build and operate.

FWIW, there was a period of time in the early 2000s, where NW actually indicated that is was more cost effective to operate DC-9-50s instead of A319s on short routes, with under an hour in-flight. If a DC-9-50 was more economical than an A319 on those route profiles, one could assume a 717 would be as well.
 
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Polot
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Re: 15 Years ago today- Last B717 delivered

Mon May 24, 2021 3:45 pm

PSU.DTW.SCE wrote:
If this hadn't been the case, and the US-based airlines in a financial quagmire in the early 2000s, the 717s probably could've scavenged enough orders for there to have been sufficient volume out there to make MRO, parts, support more cost effective both to build and operate.

FWIW, there was a period of time in the early 2000s, where NW actually indicated that is was more cost effective to operate DC-9-50s instead of A319s on short routes, with under an hour in-flight. If a DC-9-50 was more economical than an A319 on those route profiles, one could assume a 717 would be as well.

That’s not taking into account acquisition costs though. Delta got 717s for cheap secondhand (and the A221 at ridiculous cheap prices due to BBD’s desperation). It’s not like all the US airlines were broke in the late 90s when the MD-95/717 was available to order.
 
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Re: 15 Years ago today- Last B717 delivered

Mon May 24, 2021 4:02 pm

hawaiian717 wrote:
bigb wrote:
717 situation with Boeing mirrors that of the C-Series with Airbus today.


I'm not sure I completely agree. Boeing had a bit of a "not invented here" syndrome with the 717 vs the 737, and weren't interested in pursuing a 717 sale if it meant the loss of a 737 sale. Also, the 737NG is a generally more capable design, having seen more improvements over the 737's lifetime, unlike the DC-9 family which saw some, but not as much (the MD-80 might have been reasonably comparable to a 2nd generation 737, but the MD-90 and MD-95/717 was outclassed by the 737NG). The one place the 717 is better suited than the 737NG was short haul, high frequency operation, and was notably less expensive to operate than the 737-600 and A318, and did outsell both of those models.

Compared to this, Airbus is willing to let the C-Series/A220 cannibalize potential A319 sales, and if they go ahead with the A220-500, will similarly hurt A320 sales. It gives Airbus a next generation clean sheet design to replace the A320 family at the smaller end, while the A321 gets more and more capable at the large end.

To expand:
The 717 and E2-290/195 is a better analogy. Not optimised engine, subsystem improvements, and a re-engine instead of optimized for the size. The A220 has new material advanced aerodynamics wing with the latest predictive maintenance. While the E2 has an aluminum wing with subsystems with predictive maintenance added (designing from the start helps maintenance).

The A220 has sold well enough to have economics of scale. It will receive PiPs which help sell. It just needed time to debug.

The RR engines were great on reliability, poor on costs. The A220 with a custom high tech engine pricer to sell with an extensive MRO network won't have that problem. The engine never had a life cycle reduction PiP. That meant it went from competitive overhaul intervals to "the V2500 and CFM-56 have 20,000 cycle overhaul intervals, why don't you?"

Airbus did well preventing orders at Cebu Pacific and SAS. Just going from memory, the SAS defection was quite the vote of no confidence. Cebu Pacific was volume that was direly needed.

The A319NEO is a very limited niche. Those 35k engines are too oversized for those flying the old 22k A319 runs. There the A220 will thrive.

The issue with the 717 is it went head to head with the:
E195
A318
736

and just upgauge to:
A319
73G

or downgauge to E190 or RJs.

In today's world, the RJs are a generation to generation and a half behind the A220. That shifts a good part of the competitive landscape, in my opinion.

Lightsaber
7 months without TV. The best decision of my life.
 
ILNFlyer
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Re: 15 Years ago today- Last B717 delivered

Mon May 24, 2021 4:32 pm

Boeing757100 wrote:
777luver wrote:
Is it correct to say the 717 is basically an MD with slightly different engines and cockpit design? And with a different name?



Sadly, it was just a DC-9-30 with a higher bypass ratio engine. Same wing as the DC-9, all in all, same plane except the engines and some cockpit-wise improvements.


I believe it had the MD-87 tail.
 
VSMUT
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Re: 15 Years ago today- Last B717 delivered

Mon May 24, 2021 7:03 pm

Jetport wrote:
Does anyone have actual fuel burn or CASM comparison data?


The old A.net fuel consumption thread suggests:
737-700: 2200 kg/hr
737-700: 2230 kg/hr
A318: 2200 kg/hr
A319: 2370 kg/hr
E190/195: 1820 - 1970 kg/hr
717: 2200 kg/hr
Fokker 100: 2200 kg/hr

viewtopic.php?t=1355819

The numbers should be taken with a grain of salt, but they give a number that is roughly in the ballpark.


Jetport wrote:
and had much better reliability than the E195 hanger queen.


Really an old A-net myth. Air Canada had problems with them, but I see no indication that it is a troublesome type anywhere else. The type is really popular in Europe, with many airlines still adding second-hand examples. KLM, British Airways, Lufthansa, Austrian, LOT, Air Dolomiti, Finnair and Air France/HOP! just to name the big ones.


Jetport wrote:
The 717 did not compete with the much smaller E175 or CRJ900.


It definitely did. Maybe not the most direct competitors, but they are close enough that most airlines would consider the tradeoff. SAS eventually did replace the 5 strong Blue1 717 fleet with more CRJ-900s. Lufthansa also considered it and eventually went for the CRJ-900 and later on the E190/195.
 
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DL717
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Re: 15 Years ago today- Last B717 delivered

Mon May 24, 2021 9:39 pm

SteelChair wrote:
It's a shame it had an "oddball" engine. I think that really hampered sales. Personally, I've always been very impressed with the airplane, MD seems to have addressed almost all the shortcomings of the earlier models of the series.


The range hampered sales and the LR was too late to market. Hence Midwest Airlines Kansas City hub. It needed about 300 more miles range. It was out there on paper, but alas it was too late.

Need a 717 today? Pick up some A220's. :-)

I think the last few went out the door for like $25 million a piece which is about what the CRJ-700 was selling for at the time.
Funny. It only took one pandemic for those who argue endlessly about natural selection to stop believing in natural selection.
 
PSU.DTW.SCE
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Re: 15 Years ago today- Last B717 delivered

Mon May 24, 2021 10:29 pm

I think that Boeing at the time was really banking on NW and US placing an order for to replace a large portion of their DC-9 fleets in the 90s.

NW in the mid-90s was emerging from a financial mess and had numerous near-term fleet replacement needs following the NW-RC merger, the deferral of orders during the near-bankruptcy of the early 2000s, and the need to rapidly build-up their TATL capable aircraft with the newly formed NW-KL alliance. Focusing their fleet needs on new-build A320-series & 757s, additional 744s, new ARJ & SF3s for Airlink, they then ended-up going through the acquisition used DC-10-30s (instead of A330/340s) for TATL and the DC-9-2000 program (likely instead of 717s)

The DC-9-2000 refurbishment program to husk-kit, replace interiors, upgrade avionics, and other systems that started in ~1995 basically used their existing DC-9 fleet to "replace" the current DC-9 fleet and extend their operating life out another 15+ years into the 2010s. Effectively shutting out the 717 in the near-term for serious consideration. The mods cost $1-3M per airframe, a fraction of the cost of new ownership.

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