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Breathe
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Will any McDonnell Douglas planes still be flying in the 2030s

Wed Sep 15, 2021 12:25 pm

I was just wondering what the chances are that they'll be any MD aircraft still flying commercially in the 2030s, if so what likely models would still be flying or will the chapter of McDonnell Douglas planes flying commercially be finally closed by then?

My guess is that there might be some cargo MD-11s and the Orbis DC-10 / MD-10 still flying around, but I wouldn't be surprised if they were all gone before 2030.
Last edited by Breathe on Wed Sep 15, 2021 12:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Polot
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Re: Will any McDonnell Douglas planes still be flying in the 2030s

Wed Sep 15, 2021 12:29 pm

A few cargo MD-11s and that is it. Already the only passenger MD planes still flying are a few MD-80s scattered around various operators.
 
iflykpdx
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Re: Will any McDonnell Douglas planes still be flying in the 2030s

Wed Sep 15, 2021 12:30 pm

Maybe if you count the 717? Could maybe see them being used for charters.
Last edited by iflykpdx on Wed Sep 15, 2021 12:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
Breathe
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Re: Will any McDonnell Douglas planes still be flying in the 2030s

Wed Sep 15, 2021 12:31 pm

Polot wrote:
A few cargo MD-11s and that is it. Already the only passenger MD planes still flying are a few MD-80s scattered around various operators.

What about the "MD-95"? :D
 
Noshow
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Re: Will any McDonnell Douglas planes still be flying in the 2030s

Wed Sep 15, 2021 12:44 pm

The C-17 will. And the DC-3.
 
Weatherwatcher1
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Re: Will any McDonnell Douglas planes still be flying in the 2030s

Wed Sep 15, 2021 1:06 pm

I expect MD11 freighters to still be flying. When it comes to range, payload, gate space etc, the MD11 still remains the most versatile commercial widebody freighter.

The 717s still have remaining life in them if parts remain available. Very few 717s have been scrapped. Those that have weren’t in good shape (like the ones from Turkmenistan)
 
DiamondFlyer
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Re: Will any McDonnell Douglas planes still be flying in the 2030s

Wed Sep 15, 2021 1:08 pm

Probably 2 dozen or so MD-80 based freighters in service by then I'd imagine
 
Noshow
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Re: Will any McDonnell Douglas planes still be flying in the 2030s

Wed Sep 15, 2021 1:21 pm

It would be fun if Basler would convert desert storage DC-9s to Open Rotor "BT-9s" by then. Zero hours on the frame and off you go.
 
bchandl
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Re: Will any McDonnell Douglas planes still be flying in the 2030s

Wed Sep 15, 2021 1:39 pm

iflykpdx wrote:
Maybe if you count the 717? Could maybe see them being used for charters.


The 717 (again if counted) is the best bet IMO. I'm always surprised at how long Hawaiian has allowed the replacement order lag for their 717s. Seemed like the A220 was a slam dunk to replace them in my mind and maybe it still will be, but I'm surprised there's no order of any kind to replace them, even if the deliveries are pushed out years.

But the question of "will there be 1?" is surely a yes, somewhere. Guessing which bird, and where is a crapshoot.
 
N965UW
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Re: Will any McDonnell Douglas planes still be flying in the 2030s

Wed Sep 15, 2021 1:41 pm

Noshow wrote:
The C-17 will. And the DC-3.


The DC-3 will outlive us all :D
 
IFlyVeryLittle
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Re: Will any McDonnell Douglas planes still be flying in the 2030s

Wed Sep 15, 2021 1:44 pm

N965UW wrote:
Noshow wrote:
The C-17 will. And the DC-3.


The DC-3 will outlive us all :D

Agreed, but to be pedantic, the DC-3 is a Douglas product.
 
wjcandee
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Re: Will any McDonnell Douglas planes still be flying in the 2030s

Wed Sep 15, 2021 1:46 pm

Don't forget the DC8 Freighters!!

Right now, OB-2059-P and OB-2158-T, both operated by Peruvian carrier Skybus Jet Cargo, are flying daily routes out of Miami to Central America and the Caribbean Islands, operating with a capacity and reliability that puts lesser (and younger) aircraft to shame. The older of the two DC8-73Fs is 53.3 years of age, the other is two years younger. Make it another ten years? Why not?

https://www.flightradar24.com/data/aircraft/ob-2158-t

59P was in maintenance for about 7 weeks, but had been flying routes at least 5 days per week for a year or more before that.

https://www.flightradar24.com/data/aircraft/ob-2059-p
 
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Spacepope
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Re: Will any McDonnell Douglas planes still be flying in the 2030s

Wed Sep 15, 2021 2:04 pm

I see the DC-10 and MD-87 fire tankers serving into the 2030s too.
 
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TWA772LR
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Re: Will any McDonnell Douglas planes still be flying in the 2030s

Wed Sep 15, 2021 2:25 pm

Making a big stretch here, the F18, C17 and F15 will be in service long past 2030.
 
Sooner787
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Re: Will any McDonnell Douglas planes still be flying in the 2030s

Wed Sep 15, 2021 3:13 pm

Spacepope wrote:
I see the DC-10 and MD-87 fire tankers serving into the 2030s too.


As well as the USAF KC-10 Tankers :)
 
fcogafa
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Re: Will any McDonnell Douglas planes still be flying in the 2030s

Wed Sep 15, 2021 3:29 pm

Don't know about KC-10s, they are already making their way to Amarg storage
 
Weatherwatcher1
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Re: Will any McDonnell Douglas planes still be flying in the 2030s

Wed Sep 15, 2021 3:46 pm

Sooner787 wrote:
Spacepope wrote:
I see the DC-10 and MD-87 fire tankers serving into the 2030s too.


As well as the USAF KC-10 Tankers :)


Actually I think the KC10s will be gone. The KC135s might even outlast them. The KC46s are replacing them both but aren’t compatible with everything at this point
 
FlapOperator
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Re: Will any McDonnell Douglas planes still be flying in the 2030s

Thu Sep 16, 2021 1:53 pm

The MD-11s will be around. Sadly I think the MD-10/KC-10s will be gone, and mostly a small/boutique/unique parts issue, not airframe life.
 
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Boeing757100
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Re: Will any McDonnell Douglas planes still be flying in the 2030s

Fri Sep 17, 2021 1:04 am

wjcandee wrote:
Don't forget the DC8 Freighters!!

Right now, OB-2059-P and OB-2158-T, both operated by Peruvian carrier Skybus Jet Cargo, are flying daily routes out of Miami to Central America and the Caribbean Islands, operating with a capacity and reliability that puts lesser (and younger) aircraft to shame. The older of the two DC8-73Fs is 53.3 years of age, the other is two years younger. Make it another ten years? Why not?

https://www.flightradar24.com/data/aircraft/ob-2158-t

59P was in maintenance for about 7 weeks, but had been flying routes at least 5 days per week for a year or more before that.

https://www.flightradar24.com/data/aircraft/ob-2059-p



Think that N805SJ was also painted in Skybus colors, still hoping it might be reactivated someday.
 
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Boeing757100
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Re: Will any McDonnell Douglas planes still be flying in the 2030s

Fri Sep 17, 2021 1:11 am

Mcdonnell Douglas planes are tanks. They have a long lives ahead of them. Easily, the MD-11Fs, DC-10 tankers, and a handful (maybe 30-40) MD-80s'll remain. Obviously, the DC-8 and DC-9'll continue in small amounts in places where their performance is absolutely crucial and unmatched. I do have one (wishful) theory that more DC-9s could be used in undeveloped airstrips in remote places in Africa, Asia, or South/Central America. The rear mounted engines are powerful and offer better protection from debris. Gravel kits could theoretically be installed for extra measures. Only problem I see is spare parts and finding pilots who are rated for the DC-9 or finding a sim.
 
maps4ltd
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Re: Will any McDonnell Douglas planes still be flying in the 2030s

Fri Sep 17, 2021 2:50 am

Some MD-80s in Iran. And cargo, as mentioned upthread. Hell, Samaritan's Purse still has a 52 year old DC-8.
 
DeltaMD95
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Re: Will any McDonnell Douglas planes still be flying in the 2030s

Sat Sep 18, 2021 7:47 pm

Creative idea for a topic. Hypothetic MD discussions are always fun. And I mean that sincerely.

For the bullish case, seems the general consensus is the following are plausible for 2030 active operation:

- MD-11Fs (UPS/FX. Current scale will allow for lengthy draw-down. Later builds will only be ~ 30 years old)
- 717s (HA theoretically could, possible future underdeveloped operator - i.e. current 733 operators)
- MD80s, (Iraq, Venezuela, US immigration charters, speciality freighters)
- DC-10 & MD-87 wildfire tankers (west coast US operation)
- DC-3s (Alaska, air shows, one-off enthusiast type charters)
- C-17, F/A-18, F-15E (Add MD built Harrier)
- DC-8-70F (3rd world, least likely IMO)

Anything else? What did I miss?

All around, not too bad for the firm being defunct 30+ years by then.
 
DeltaMD95
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Re: Will any McDonnell Douglas planes still be flying in the 2030s

Sat Sep 18, 2021 9:04 pm

Weatherwatcher1 wrote:
I expect MD11 freighters to still be flying. When it comes to range, payload, gate space etc, the MD11 still remains the most versatile commercial widebody freighter.


Excellent points made.

For an added bullish historical context:
FX’s MD-10F fleet of 12 will retire in 2023 at an aggregate of 42 years old. ~ YOM 1981.

In 2030, the final 25 operational MD-11Fs could have an aggregate of only 32 years old. ~ YOM 1998. (Based on current operational data)
 
blandy62
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Re: Will any McDonnell Douglas planes still be flying in the 2030s

Sun Sep 19, 2021 5:49 am

no talking of military planes, i guess only some MD-11 might be left by then
 
tapairbus370
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Re: Will any McDonnell Douglas planes still be flying in the 2030s

Mon Sep 20, 2021 1:06 pm

wjcandee wrote:
Don't forget the DC8 Freighters!!

Right now, OB-2059-P and OB-2158-T, both operated by Peruvian carrier Skybus Jet Cargo, are flying daily routes out of Miami to Central America and the Caribbean Islands, operating with a capacity and reliability that puts lesser (and younger) aircraft to shame. The older of the two DC8-73Fs is 53.3 years of age, the other is two years younger. Make it another ten years? Why not?

https://www.flightradar24.com/data/aircraft/ob-2158-t

59P was in maintenance for about 7 weeks, but had been flying routes at least 5 days per week for a year or more before that.

https://www.flightradar24.com/data/aircraft/ob-2059-p



Do we have an idea of the cycles or flight hours of any of this airframes? Because, and I'm not saying this is the case, but a plane could have been stored for years and then be brought to life again.

Great thread by the way.
 
IADCA
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Re: Will any McDonnell Douglas planes still be flying in the 2030s

Mon Sep 20, 2021 7:20 pm

blandy62 wrote:
no talking of military planes, i guess only some MD-11 might be left by then


There's a really long "tail" on aircraft lifespan, and 2030 is barely 8 years away. There are still handfuls of examples flying of types that largely vanished nearly a decade or more ago - 727s, DC8s and DC9s, even DC3s, Convair props, etc.

And the last MD-11s are barely 20 years old now, with the last ones being new-build MD11Fs that never took the hours/cycles of passenger service and many others being converted early in life.
 
DeltaMD95
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Re: Will any McDonnell Douglas planes still be flying in the 2030s

Mon Sep 20, 2021 8:51 pm

IADCA wrote:
And the last MD-11s are barely 20 years old now, with the last ones being new-build MD11Fs that never took the hours/cycles of passenger service and many others being converted early in life.


Indeed. And there was a final late stage PIP post Boeing merger, specifically for the Freighter, to increase the MGTOW weight with added range. Thus the 1997-01 builds might remain viable and more competitive in the years ahead, versus the pre PIP ex-pax frames.
 
wjcandee
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Re: Will any McDonnell Douglas planes still be flying in the 2030s

Mon Sep 20, 2021 8:59 pm

tapairbus370 wrote:
Do we have an idea of the cycles or flight hours of any of this airframes?


OB-2158-T (MSN 46091), which is now operating pretty-regularly for Amerijet, used to be N873SJ. AStar retired her at IGM on June 26, 2012, per planespotters.net. She was ressurrected and flown to VCV from IGM on May 26, 2017, where she stayed until 7/15/2019, about 2 years ago. She hasn't seen a lot of use since then. Shortly before retirement in 2012, she had 26368 cycles and 93090 hours.
 
tapairbus370
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Re: Will any McDonnell Douglas planes still be flying in the 2030s

Tue Sep 21, 2021 12:23 am

wjcandee wrote:
tapairbus370 wrote:
Do we have an idea of the cycles or flight hours of any of this airframes?


OB-2158-T (MSN 46091), which is now operating pretty-regularly for Amerijet, used to be N873SJ. AStar retired her at IGM on June 26, 2012, per planespotters.net. She was ressurrected and flown to VCV from IGM on May 26, 2017, where she stayed until 7/15/2019, about 2 years ago. She hasn't seen a lot of use since then. Shortly before retirement in 2012, she had 26368 cycles and 93090 hours.



Thank you very much.

Great information.

I guess I will start following this one regularly on FR24.

Off topic question: does anyone know where to check flights hours of a specific plane? Is there a site with this information?
 
wjcandee
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Re: Will any McDonnell Douglas planes still be flying in the 2030s

Tue Sep 21, 2021 12:49 am

tapairbus370 wrote:
does anyone know where to check flights hours of a specific plane? Is there a site with this information?


The hours and cycles are reported any time someone (operator, maint facility) files a Service Difficulty Report on the aircraft. If it's an engine issue, they report the hours and cycles on the engines as well. It usually takes a while (but not always) for the report to appear on the FAA web site, and some carriers are better than others at doing it, both in terms of frequency and in terms of thoroughness of problem explanation, but when they make a report, there's always a specific report of hours and cycles. One should also check the MSN listed and a couple of reports near in time to the SDR to make sure that it's referencing the correct aircraft and that the hours and cycles make sense in the context of other SDRs. They're reported not in chronological order, but you can use the Find feature of your browser to pull up any in 2021, then 2020, etc., to find the most recent, because they all get listed on a single web page. The 4-letter reporting party code is sometimes obvious (ABXA=ABX Air), but often they are not. It's in reference to the shop, often, but you can just google that string of letters if you're curious who the reporting party is and usually it will show it in some list.

To find a specific aircraft, type the N-number in the box that says "Registration Number", and click "Run Query". Don't enter an N as part of the N-number; it assumed. United States registrations only. If you try to put the N in, the whole number usually won't fit in the box.

https://av-info.faa.gov/sdrx/Query.aspx
 
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747classic
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Re: Will any McDonnell Douglas planes still be flying in the 2030s

Tue Sep 21, 2021 11:06 am

DeltaMD95 wrote:
Weatherwatcher1 wrote:
I expect MD11 freighters to still be flying. When it comes to range, payload, gate space etc, the MD11 still remains the most versatile commercial widebody freighter.


Excellent points made.

For an added bullish historical context:
FX’s MD-10F fleet of 12 will retire in 2023 at an aggregate of 42 years old. ~ YOM 1981.

In 2030, the final 25 operational MD-11Fs could have an aggregate of only 32 years old. ~ YOM 1998. (Based on current operational data)


Both the DC10 and MD11 series are very sturdy built aircraft.
The MD/DC-10 series has a limit of validity of 160.000 hrs and 60.000 cycles, and only a few fatique related AD's.
However the MD11 series has a reduced cycle limit (lengthend fuselage, higher operating weights) : 40,000 cycles, so conseq. will have a shorted technical life than the DC-10 series.

Example : N383FE (MD10-10F) was retired at May 26th 2021 with the last recorded cycles (42343) at August 19 2020
 
Max Q
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Re: Will any McDonnell Douglas planes still be flying in the 2030s

Fri Sep 24, 2021 7:16 am

bchandl wrote:
iflykpdx wrote:
Maybe if you count the 717? Could maybe see them being used for charters.


The 717 (again if counted) is the best bet IMO. I'm always surprised at how long Hawaiian has allowed the replacement order lag for their 717s. Seemed like the A220 was a slam dunk to replace them in my mind and maybe it still will be, but I'm surprised there's no order of any kind to replace them, even if the deliveries are pushed out years.

But the question of "will there be 1?" is surely a yes, somewhere. Guessing which bird, and where is a crapshoot.




Does Hawaiian need to have any concerns about their 717 replacement though ?


There’s dozens of retired Delta examples now I’m sure they could bring back into service and / or use for a spare parts supply for many more years


There’s no aircraft built today that comes close to being as perfect for their needs so so it’s not worth pursuing
 
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Boeing757100
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Re: Will any McDonnell Douglas planes still be flying in the 2030s

Sat Sep 25, 2021 7:33 pm

Another worthy thing to mention, there's 2 ex-DL MD-90s that were acquired by Boeing after their retirement and many were speculating that they will become testbeds.
In fact, I think I made a thread about it earlier where we guess what Boeing'll do with them...
viewtopic.php?t=1456845


If indeed they are testbeds, they could have very long service lives for at least another 10-15 years.
 
bchandl
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Re: Will any McDonnell Douglas planes still be flying in the 2030s

Tue Sep 28, 2021 12:24 am

Max Q wrote:
bchandl wrote:
iflykpdx wrote:
Maybe if you count the 717? Could maybe see them being used for charters.


The 717 (again if counted) is the best bet IMO. I'm always surprised at how long Hawaiian has allowed the replacement order lag for their 717s. Seemed like the A220 was a slam dunk to replace them in my mind and maybe it still will be, but I'm surprised there's no order of any kind to replace them, even if the deliveries are pushed out years.

But the question of "will there be 1?" is surely a yes, somewhere. Guessing which bird, and where is a crapshoot.




Does Hawaiian need to have any concerns about their 717 replacement though ?


There’s dozens of retired Delta examples now I’m sure they could bring back into service and / or use for a spare parts supply for many more years


There’s no aircraft built today that comes close to being as perfect for their needs so so it’s not worth pursuing



That's not a real argument. Just because there is not an identical new version of an existing model doesn't mean it doesn't make sense to replace them. Just because there's recently retired examples to use as part sources doesn't mean it's not ideal to order a replacement.

If that was the threshold for replacement AA would still be running around with PanAm 747-100s.

There are aircraft on the market today that can hold the same number of people, fly to all the islands, and burn 30% less fuel, probably more, and cost less in maintenance.

Based on your flawed logic Hawaiian should wait for Boeing to spin back off MD and them to reopen the SoCal facility to make a re-engined 717. That's the only acceptable solution to fit your above parameters and certainly not going to happen when both A & B have workable solutions depending on how HA wants to proceed with replacement available today.
 
DeltaMD95
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Re: Will any McDonnell Douglas planes still be flying in the 2030s

Tue Sep 28, 2021 1:46 am

bchandl wrote:
There are aircraft on the market today that can hold the same number of people, fly to all the islands, and burn 30% less fuel, probably more, and cost less in maintenance.


Source? “A number of aircraft?” Not the A319NEO or E195-E2. Fifteen, twenty percent I can see for the A220-300, but 30% sounds like marketing embellishment rather than direct analytical comparison. The A220 is probably 30% more efficient than a Boeing 737-300, but I have my doubts in comparison to the BR715 engine. Regardless, we’re talking about island hops. The 717 doesn’t appear to be going anywhere in the near-term for HA.

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