DALMD80
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MD88/MD90/B712 Love/Hate Relationship

Wed May 01, 2019 4:26 pm

I know a lot of people out there hate the DC9 family. It's loud, they say. It's smoky, they say. And on and on ad infinitum.But there are others, like myself, who LOVE this aircraft. I was wondering what the general opinion is.
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Adipasquale
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Re: MD88/MD90/B712 Love/Hate Relationship

Wed May 01, 2019 4:42 pm

I haven't met a single avgeek who hates the DC-9 and its progeny. Does some of the general public dislike it because its louder than more contemporary designs? Maybe, but I haven't heard much about it.
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airportugal310
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Re: MD88/MD90/B712 Love/Hate Relationship

Wed May 01, 2019 4:49 pm

I'm a big fan on the 717 (flown on it over 100x by now)...its a "sporty" little thing. Only thing I don't care for are the clunky sounding slats...they sound like they just fall down into the stops!
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Polot
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Re: MD88/MD90/B712 Love/Hate Relationship

Wed May 01, 2019 4:51 pm

airportugal310 wrote:
I'm a big fan on the 717 (flown on it over 100x by now)...its a "sporty" little thing. Only thing I don't care for are the clunky sounding slats...they sound like they just fall down into the stops!

I hate the sidewalls/ window shades on them (random I know). The whole 717 interior just seems to be cheap, always partially coming apart, and always rattling like crazy.
 
UA735WL
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Re: MD88/MD90/B712 Love/Hate Relationship

Wed May 01, 2019 4:55 pm

I think they're pretty neat; I don't think there's ever been another civil aircraft certified for a service life as long as the DC-9 family. IIRC it's 115,000 cycles and a similar amount of hours. The way Douglas designed the airplane almost reminds me of the Russian approach- simple and built like an absolute tank. It never ceases to amaze me that the DC-9 in its original form outlasted all of its early JT8D powered brethren by a long shot here in the US; the last 727 flight was in 2003, while the 737-200 left our scheduled skies in 2006...the DC-9-50 soldiered on until 2014- nearly 50 years after the DC-9 entered service, Interestingly enough, DL was the last scheduled operator of all 3 types in the US, and will also be the last to retire the MD-80, 90, and 717 around here as well.

The best guess I can come up with for the longevity of the airplane is that its solid construction makes the old-airplane maintenance costs a bit more manageable than those of its peers; the orginal series DC-9s certainly didn't burn any less fuel than say a 732. (Interestingly, a DC-9-10 burns almost the exact amount of fuel as an A321). The MD-80s certainly don't fare well in fuel burn against a 73H or an A320, but they haven't disappeared yet.
With the t-tails and rear mounted engines they also have a rather distinctive look that is all but disappearing from mainline aircraft these days.

I've heard several pilots on this board complain about the airplane's idiosyncrasies- apparently the controls are rather sluggish at low speeds due to the control-tab actuation, and the reversers make it difficult to control on the landing rollout (one poster here stated that their carrier's FOM essentially limited them to around 3 seconds of reverser deployment as they could only be deployed late and stowed early). They apparently also were prone to cold soaked fuel causing ice to form on the wings, requiring an ice inspection to be performed during the turnaround regardless of if you were in El Paso or Minneapolis. I believe the "Alternate" fuel burn schedule (entered in the FMC during preflight) somewhat obviated this issue.

Despite this, the fact that we still have MD-80s, 90s, and 717s in service speaks volumes about their usefulness. Airlines don't tolerate airplanes that don't meet their goals; witness the MD-11 debacle. Clearly the airplane serves its purpose well; if it didn't, it wouldn't have lasted this long.

Also, here's an interesting page with lots of info on the DC-9 family : https://www.airlinercafe.com/page.php?id=396

-Jonas
Last edited by UA735WL on Wed May 01, 2019 5:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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N776AU
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Re: MD88/MD90/B712 Love/Hate Relationship

Wed May 01, 2019 5:00 pm

I quite enjoy the 717. It's a little rocket ship, and the way Delta has them set up is quite nice. They're very comfortable.

MD-90 I'll only fly if necessary. Plenty of better narrow body options out there.

MD-80s I will avoid at all costs. Their time has come and gone. 3 of my last 4 MD-80 flights with Delta have had mechanical issues. I swear those things are falling apart.
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DALMD80
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Re: MD88/MD90/B712 Love/Hate Relationship

Wed May 01, 2019 5:13 pm

Polot wrote:
airportugal310 wrote:
I'm a big fan on the 717 (flown on it over 100x by now)...its a "sporty" little thing. Only thing I don't care for are the clunky sounding slats...they sound like they just fall down into the stops!

I hate the sidewalls/ window shades on them (random I know). The whole 717 interior just seems to be cheap, always partially coming apart, and always rattling like crazy.

They do rattle/creak/squeak a bit during taxi, but all planes do.
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747DREAM
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Re: MD88/MD90/B712 Love/Hate Relationship

Wed May 01, 2019 5:21 pm

I love MDs , if it’s not too much more and it’s within my times needing to leave, I would pay an little extra for MDs. I want to enjoy them as much as I could before there is no chance.
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DALMD80
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Re: MD88/MD90/B712 Love/Hate Relationship

Wed May 01, 2019 5:29 pm

N776AU wrote:
I quite enjoy the 717. It's a little rocket ship, and the way Delta has them set up is quite nice. They're very comfortable.

MD-90 I'll only fly if necessary. Plenty of better narrow body options out there.

MD-80s I will avoid at all costs. Their time has come and gone. 3 of my last 4 MD-80 flights with Delta have had mechanical issues. I swear those things are falling apart.

Certainly an aging fleet, but I love these things.
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DALMD80
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Re: MD88/MD90/B712 Love/Hate Relationship

Wed May 01, 2019 5:31 pm

747DREAM wrote:
I love MDs , if it’s not too much more and it’s within my times needing to leave, I would pay an little extra for MDs. I want to enjoy them as much as I could before there is no chance.

Same. Trying to convince my father to let us fly DL MDs to Chicago instead of WN.
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Re: MD88/MD90/B712 Love/Hate Relationship

Wed May 01, 2019 5:35 pm

Flying the MD88 was definitely the most fun of the jets I've worked on. It keeps pilots on their toes and requires you to really interact and fly the plane, while not being overly laborious. It's not the most comfortable to work on if it's hot outside or raining. The airbus on the other hand, is much less work, more comfortable, but not exciting or fun to fly.
 
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Re: MD88/MD90/B712 Love/Hate Relationship

Wed May 01, 2019 5:36 pm

N776AU wrote:
I quite enjoy the 717. It's a little rocket ship, and the way Delta has them set up is quite nice. They're very comfortable.

MD-90 I'll only fly if necessary. Plenty of better narrow body options out there.

MD-80s I will avoid at all costs. Their time has come and gone. 3 of my last 4 MD-80 flights with Delta have had mechanical issues. I swear those things are falling apart.


Define rocket ship? I’m not being rude I’m just saying as a controller at Atlanta Tracon working them everyday the descents are great but climbing and speeding up above 10000’ they are among the worst.
 
indcwby
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Re: MD88/MD90/B712 Love/Hate Relationship

Wed May 01, 2019 5:36 pm

I fly Delta a ton for work and always enjoy my 717/MD88/MD90 flights. For some reason and probably more mental, I feel they handle turbulence better than the 737/A319/A320/A321s if they had to fly the same leg. Plus, I've had better luck getting 717 pilots to do high power static takeoffs! :D
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Re: MD88/MD90/B712 Love/Hate Relationship

Wed May 01, 2019 5:38 pm

indcwby wrote:
I fly Delta a ton for work and always enjoy my 717/MD88/MD90 flights. For some reason and probably more mental, I feel they handle turbulence better than the 737/A319/A320/A321s if they had to fly the same leg. Plus, I've had better luck getting 717 pilots to do high power static takeoffs! :D



Only way to get rid of some light to moderate precipitation is to power a mad dog thru so all the Airbus and AAL pilots will go thru lol.
 
DALMD80
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Re: MD88/MD90/B712 Love/Hate Relationship

Wed May 01, 2019 5:38 pm

Sean-SAN- wrote:
Flying the MD88 was definitely the most fun of the jets I've worked on. It keeps pilots on their toes and requires you to really interact and fly the plane, while not being overly laborious. It's not the most comfortable to work on if it's hot outside or raining. The airbus on the other hand, is much less work, more comfortable, but not exciting or fun to fly.

Raining? I can see hot- it has eyebrow windows after all- But raining? I'm curious.
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MD80Ttail
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Re: MD88/MD90/B712 Love/Hate Relationship

Wed May 01, 2019 5:39 pm

I love the DC9 / Super 80s......my career will soon end the same time as they are retired. Too old for another type. Every plane has “idiosyncrasies”. I challenge anyone to name a plane that doesn’t have some. The series flys very well and I consider it a pilot’s plane.
 
MD80Ttail
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Re: MD88/MD90/B712 Love/Hate Relationship

Wed May 01, 2019 5:41 pm

I’m surprised the 3/2 config isn’t more popular......it’s really a nice set up for the pax
 
DALMD80
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Re: MD88/MD90/B712 Love/Hate Relationship

Wed May 01, 2019 5:46 pm

indcwby wrote:
I fly Delta a ton for work and always enjoy my 717/MD88/MD90 flights. For some reason and probably more mental, I feel they handle turbulence better than the 737/A319/A320/A321s if they had to fly the same leg. Plus, I've had better luck getting 717 pilots to do high power static takeoffs! :D

How do you ask the pilots for that? :D
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Re: MD88/MD90/B712 Love/Hate Relationship

Wed May 01, 2019 5:46 pm

I’ve never flown the MD80 or MD90, only the 717, so I cannot speak as to whether this applies to the MD80/90 or only the 717.

But on every flight of the 717 I have been on, I have always felt extremely uncomfortable during descent...I can almost describe it as a sensation that the plane is flying in a vertical nose down position. I have never felt that on any other aircraft type, but on my 6 or so 717 flights I have taken, both on FL and DL.
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DALMD80
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Re: MD88/MD90/B712 Love/Hate Relationship

Wed May 01, 2019 5:47 pm

MD80Ttail wrote:
I’m surprised the 3/2 config isn’t more popular......it’s really a nice set up for the pax

Better chance of a window seat. :D
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DALMD80
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Re: MD88/MD90/B712 Love/Hate Relationship

Wed May 01, 2019 5:51 pm

MD80Ttail wrote:
I love the DC9 / Super 80s......my career will soon end the same time as they are retired. Too old for another type. Every plane has “idiosyncrasies”. I challenge anyone to name a plane that doesn’t have some. The series flys very well and I consider it a pilot’s plane.

Yeah. I'm 13. Hoping to fly MDs for DL, but that's... less than realistic.
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Keith2004
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Re: MD88/MD90/B712 Love/Hate Relationship

Wed May 01, 2019 5:51 pm

In general if I am stuck in Y, the 2-3 is better....Though I guess now that can also be said about A220
Also in general I like to look at the rear mounted T-Tails....Though I suppose CRJs can give that look too :bouncy:

Individually
I like the 717, they are usually on routes quite short and they are newer (less stories about dispatch reliability), smaller size also means quicker boarding, and mainline status for an almost regional sized plane is a plus. Shorter routes also mean lack of IFE screens is less of an issue

MD-90 - I don't mind, as long as the route isn't too long (less stories about dispatch reliability as still newer than 88s) as these are on routes longer than 717s in times I have had them....I notice lack of IFE more

MD-88 - I usually avoid for IRROP worries as they are as old as they are,
 
DALMD80
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Re: MD88/MD90/B712 Love/Hate Relationship

Wed May 01, 2019 5:54 pm

bravoindia wrote:
N776AU wrote:
I quite enjoy the 717. It's a little rocket ship, and the way Delta has them set up is quite nice. They're very comfortable.

MD-90 I'll only fly if necessary. Plenty of better narrow body options out there.

MD-80s I will avoid at all costs. Their time has come and gone. 3 of my last 4 MD-80 flights with Delta have had mechanical issues. I swear those things are falling apart.


Define rocket ship? I’m not being rude I’m just saying as a controller at Atlanta Tracon working them everyday the descents are great but climbing and speeding up above 10000’ they are among the worst.

Interesting.
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maps4ltd
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Re: MD88/MD90/B712 Love/Hate Relationship

Wed May 01, 2019 5:56 pm

Flown MD-83 and MD-90 (AA and DL). They're fine. Wouldn't pay extra to go on them, though.
Last edited by maps4ltd on Wed May 01, 2019 6:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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a320fan
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Re: MD88/MD90/B712 Love/Hate Relationship

Wed May 01, 2019 5:59 pm

DALMD80 wrote:
Sean-SAN- wrote:
Flying the MD88 was definitely the most fun of the jets I've worked on. It keeps pilots on their toes and requires you to really interact and fly the plane, while not being overly laborious. It's not the most comfortable to work on if it's hot outside or raining. The airbus on the other hand, is much less work, more comfortable, but not exciting or fun to fly.

Raining? I can see hot- it has eyebrow windows after all- But raining? I'm curious.

The windows leak
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DALMD80
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Re: MD88/MD90/B712 Love/Hate Relationship

Wed May 01, 2019 6:03 pm

a320fan wrote:
DALMD80 wrote:
Sean-SAN- wrote:
Flying the MD88 was definitely the most fun of the jets I've worked on. It keeps pilots on their toes and requires you to really interact and fly the plane, while not being overly laborious. It's not the most comfortable to work on if it's hot outside or raining. The airbus on the other hand, is much less work, more comfortable, but not exciting or fun to fly.

Raining? I can see hot- it has eyebrow windows after all- But raining? I'm curious.

The windows leak

And you don't have pressurization issues?
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sparky35805
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Re: MD88/MD90/B712 Love/Hate Relationship

Wed May 01, 2019 6:06 pm

A DC-9/MD-80/90/717 noisy?If you are talking cabin noise,You have never flown on a 737-200.
 
EvanWSFO
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Re: MD88/MD90/B712 Love/Hate Relationship

Wed May 01, 2019 6:08 pm

I lived in Dallas the 80's and 90's. Just about every AA aircraft in sight was an MD80. Flew them countless times. I'm going to miss them.
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a320fan
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Re: MD88/MD90/B712 Love/Hate Relationship

Wed May 01, 2019 6:08 pm

DALMD80 wrote:
a320fan wrote:
DALMD80 wrote:
Raining? I can see hot- it has eyebrow windows after all- But raining? I'm curious.

The windows leak

And you don't have pressurization issues?

Never flown in one, but I’ve seen the issue talked about multiple times in forum threads and YouTube videos. Found this on another forum after a quick google to try and verify my memory.
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DALMD80
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Re: MD88/MD90/B712 Love/Hate Relationship

Wed May 01, 2019 6:08 pm

sparky35805 wrote:
A DC-9/MD-80/90/717 noisy?If you are talking cabin noise,You have never flown on a 737-200.

You're right, I haven't. ;) Although the DC9s are quiet up front, loud in the back.
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DALMD80
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Re: MD88/MD90/B712 Love/Hate Relationship

Wed May 01, 2019 6:10 pm

EvanWSFO wrote:
I lived in Dallas the 80's and 90's. Just about every AA aircraft in sight was an MD80. Flew them countless times. I'm going to miss them.

Certainly will miss 'em.
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Sean-SAN-
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Re: MD88/MD90/B712 Love/Hate Relationship

Wed May 01, 2019 6:45 pm

a320fan wrote:
DALMD80 wrote:
Sean-SAN- wrote:
Flying the MD88 was definitely the most fun of the jets I've worked on. It keeps pilots on their toes and requires you to really interact and fly the plane, while not being overly laborious. It's not the most comfortable to work on if it's hot outside or raining. The airbus on the other hand, is much less work, more comfortable, but not exciting or fun to fly.

Raining? I can see hot- it has eyebrow windows after all- But raining? I'm curious.

The windows leak


The windows leak badly. The worst is when it was raining the night before, you throw your phone in the cup holder, and it is filled with water from the night before. It can also leak de-icing fluid depending how you get sprayed.
 
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Re: MD88/MD90/B712 Love/Hate Relationship

Wed May 01, 2019 6:56 pm

bravoindia wrote:
N776AU wrote:
I quite enjoy the 717. It's a little rocket ship, and the way Delta has them set up is quite nice. They're very comfortable.

MD-90 I'll only fly if necessary. Plenty of better narrow body options out there.

MD-80s I will avoid at all costs. Their time has come and gone. 3 of my last 4 MD-80 flights with Delta have had mechanical issues. I swear those things are falling apart.


Define rocket ship? I’m not being rude I’m just saying as a controller at Atlanta Tracon working them everyday the descents are great but climbing and speeding up above 10000’ they are among the worst.

Interesting. I wouldn't have guessed that given the kind of a takeoff they give. It always from the inside feels like it gets up and out very quickly.
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DALMD80
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Re: MD88/MD90/B712 Love/Hate Relationship

Wed May 01, 2019 6:56 pm

Ooooh. That's tough. And no pressurization issues?
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fanoftristars
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Re: MD88/MD90/B712 Love/Hate Relationship

Wed May 01, 2019 7:43 pm

I thought this was really interesting about the MD-80 series - great point of view from the pilot https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7R0CViDUBFs
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TVNWZ
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Re: MD88/MD90/B712 Love/Hate Relationship

Wed May 01, 2019 8:29 pm

The You Tube video I saw shows condensation buildup between the outside window and the inner window. Condensation between the two happens on all planes--at least the ones I have been on. Why there is that small hole on the inside. The inner window is not pressurized to the outside.
 
Northwest1988
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Re: MD88/MD90/B712 Love/Hate Relationship

Wed May 01, 2019 8:49 pm

For me personally, the day the MD-80s are retired will be one of the saddest in aviation history. It’s been a lifelong favorite!
 
DALMD80
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Re: MD88/MD90/B712 Love/Hate Relationship

Wed May 01, 2019 9:06 pm

Yeah same.
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Re: MD88/MD90/B712 Love/Hate Relationship

Wed May 01, 2019 9:14 pm

I have been on the DC-9-10/30/40/50 and the MD-80/90 series and the 717 (MD-95!). A LOT. It is my favorite aircraft of all time. I grew up on that plane. The DC-9s of Ozark Air Lines put food on my table for many years thanks to my Mom working there and later TWA. And it took me to too many places to count, and connected me with scores more.

I remember flying non-rev on Ozark countless times and Mom praying it was a "stretch" because of the increased capacity in hopes of more open seats. I loved the -10 when I was on it. An EFFING rocket off short fields and I flew that thing on the old local service system: 2 or 3 stops and you were THERE.

The -30/40/50s were great planes but not rocket-like until the 717. Flew it on AirTran and Delta a few times, seemed to me like an even more robust -10.

The MD-80/90 I am fond of if just for the 2x3 seating. I guess the A220 is the replacement in that seating arrangement, can't wait to fly it.

All in all, the DC-9 and subsequent families are, without a doubt, part of my blood.
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DALMD80
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Re: MD88/MD90/B712 Love/Hate Relationship

Wed May 01, 2019 9:21 pm

Nice. Good to hear so many fans out there.
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DALMD80
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Re: MD88/MD90/B712 Love/Hate Relationship

Wed May 01, 2019 9:28 pm

Nice. Good to hear so many fans out there.
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FSDan
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Re: MD88/MD90/B712 Love/Hate Relationship

Wed May 01, 2019 9:38 pm

If I'm spotting, I love the roar of an MD-88 blasting off. I'm pretty sure they're the loudest narrowbody left in passenger service in the U.S... But the last few I flew on were definitely getting worn down on the inside - they don't hold a candle to a refurbished 319/320 or a new 739/321 from a passenger experience POV.

I used to fly on M90s pretty regularly connecting through MSP and DTW, and I always felt they provided the best rocketship feel when rotating and lifting off the runway.
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SRQLOT
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Re: MD88/MD90/B712 Love/Hate Relationship

Wed May 01, 2019 9:43 pm

I finally had the chance of flying them yesterday DL ORD-ATL-SRQ. These are my first rear engine flights ever, the 717 was decent, they put me on the left window side and those 2 seats are nice, the airplane was in good shape but I did not like how low the windows are, my neck hurt from looking down and the seat pitch is tight.

The MD90 to SRQ definitely had better days, saw plenty of wiring in the gap of the ceiling and the side wall, and the airplane had this burned wiring smell. The ac was very noisy, and the speaker right behind me had this squealing noise anytime the crew used it. On both flights the airplane pitch up and down was more pronounced then let’s say a 737, definitely was a quick heart stopper lol. Oh and not seeing wings below you was definitely a bit unnerving at first.

I would definitely fly both of them again. And oh at SRQ I’m not sure if it was an MD90 or 88, but it was delayed almost 5-6 hours, not sure if mechanical but the gate crew had tons of pizza at the gate.
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Re: MD88/MD90/B712 Love/Hate Relationship

Wed May 01, 2019 9:54 pm

USAirALB wrote:
But on every flight of the 717 I have been on, I have always felt extremely uncomfortable during descent...I can almost describe it as a sensation that the plane is flying in a vertical nose down position. I have never felt that on any other aircraft type, but on my 6 or so 717 flights I have taken, both on FL and DL.


Yes. It's definitely a weird feeling.

I've also felt this on the MD-80s.
 
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seabosdca
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Re: MD88/MD90/B712 Love/Hate Relationship

Wed May 01, 2019 10:07 pm

The 717 has a ton of thrust, so it gets off the ground very quickly. But the wing is the original DC-9-30 wing and is a bit undersized by today's standards, so up higher where the engines aren't developing as much thrust it isn't a particularly good climber.

In general, thrust makes for fun takeoffs and wing area makes for good climb performance at altitude. The A300/A310 are like the 717 in that they have big power but not much wing. The A330 (non-neo) and A340 are the other way around.
 
kayik
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Re: MD88/MD90/B712 Love/Hate Relationship

Wed May 01, 2019 10:17 pm

My first flight was on this A/C in 1968
https://imgproc.airliners.net/photos/ai ... .jpg?v=v40

then it became this before scraped
https://cdn.jetphotos.com/full/2/49452_1062895551.jpg
 
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MD80
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Re: MD88/MD90/B712 Love/Hate Relationship

Wed May 01, 2019 10:33 pm

In general, the number of enthusiasts for these jetliners is rather small compared to other types of aircraft. However, it's only my impression and experience.
Dedicated to the MD-80, MD-90, MD-95, and DC-9: www.MD-80.com
 
baje427
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Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2011 12:42 am

Re: MD88/MD90/B712 Love/Hate Relationship

Wed May 01, 2019 10:40 pm

My first ever flight was on an MD83 I have also flown on the 717 nothing like those steep takeoffs and those huskits and the unique lighting.
 
DALMD80
Topic Author
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Re: MD88/MD90/B712 Love/Hate Relationship

Wed May 01, 2019 10:41 pm

SRQLOT wrote:
... but I did not like how low the windows are, my neck hurt from looking down and the seat pitch is tight.


Yeah. But, I don't have that issue. I'm 13 and short! :bouncing:
You can take the boy away from aviation, but you can't take aviation out of the boy.
 
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hawaiian717
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Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 2:46 am

Re: MD88/MD90/B712 Love/Hate Relationship

Wed May 01, 2019 11:12 pm

UA735WL wrote:
Interestingly enough, DL was the last scheduled operator of all 3 types in the US, and will also be the last to retire the MD-80, 90, and 717 around here as well.


MD-80 and 90 most likely, but I would not be surprised to see the Hawaiian as the last US scheduled 717 operator rather than Delta.

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