|Quoting md80fanatic (Reply 47):|
It may have a new wing ... but it clearly is using the same airfoil shapes (DSMA-4xx).
I think it's great that at least someone knows about this superior design and is willing to keep producing it. BRAVO!
Agreed....I've always felt that the DC-9 had a graceful and rugged appearance that just seemed to look right....in every version/series, the DC-9 has always had a solid appearance that seems to be the physical manifestation of Bill Lear's philosophy: "If it looks good, it will fly good".
When you look at other aircraft like the 737-100 or 747-SP, the aircraft look stubby and unbalanced....for whatever reason, (at least to me) the DC-9 has always looked like it belongs at 31,000ft....everything about the aircraft has an appearance of belonging. The aircraft was vectored by the sure hands of technology and guided by years of Douglas/McDonnell Douglas knowhow.
The DC-9/MD-80/717-200 may not have invented the clean wing/aft engined design (that distinction goes to the very sexy Caravelle)...but I think that McDonnell Douglas did it best....any single aspect of the DC-9 design isn't outstanding; rather it is the combination of all of the little things that make the DC-9 an exceptionally good looking aircraft....the 757 is another airplane that just looks right...the L-1011 is another....the DC-10 always had a "clunky: appearance to me....it always looks like the #2 engine is balanced on the tail with a hope and a prayer and lots of speed tape...the L-1011 had a grace and elegance to the widebody trijet design that is lacking in the DC-10.
As for the aft engine/clean wing/T Tail configuration, there are many variations on a theme:
- Fokker F-28/Fokker 100 - I've always felt they look like a watered down version of the DC-9....it's like the Atkins Diet DC-9
- Canadair CRJ Family - From the front, the CRJ has a confident look, but the CF34s look comical....they are too small and don't seem to suit the airframe like the JT8Ds do the DC-9.
- Embraer 135....They just look like a CRJ had a one night stand with an F-28 during Carnival and the offspring is the E-135.
The bottom line is that the DC-9 was an aircraft that did it's job extremely well....it has functioned in virtually every market sector...regional, mainline, transcontinental....it has been a passenger pleasing profit maker for the airlines for over 40 years...the basic robustness of the airframe has been demonstrated by the sheer number of aircraft that remain in service today....I don't recall seeing any 1970s vintage 737s still in service with any North American carriers....as for the DC-9-50s....I seem to recall that Delta still has them in service over 35 years after their first flight...that's an impressive long life that hasn't been matched.....well, except for maybe the DC-3, I don't think that there is another jet powered aircraft that has served in as many different market sectors for as long as the DC-9...love it or hate it, the DC-9 is a remarkable aircraft that is a testament to the Douglas philosophy of excellence through evolution.