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Groundpoint9er
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Typical MD-82 Cruise Speed

Sun Aug 02, 2020 5:15 pm

Hello,

What is (are typical cruise speed setting for the MD-82 (are all the MD-80 aircraft similar in speeds)? The flight simulator I use has the options for flight planning from M.72 to M.80. Just wondering what's the most realistic? I generally have been using M.76 since I really didn't know what was most accurate. Thanks so much in advance.
 
CowAnon
Posts: 132
Joined: Fri Nov 03, 2017 12:03 am

Re: Typical MD-82 Cruise Speed

Sun Aug 02, 2020 7:45 pm

The McDonnell Douglas DC-9 Super 80 Configuration Guide lists long-range cruise at Mach 0.76 and high-speed cruise at Mach 0.80 for the MD-81 and MD-82.

Image
 
Max Q
Posts: 8430
Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 12:40 pm

Re: Typical MD-82 Cruise Speed

Mon Aug 03, 2020 9:16 am

We nearly always used a .76M cruise at Continental across all our versions of the MD80


No point in going slower, you could go faster, .78 didn’t cost that much more fuel but any faster certainly did and that wing wasnt ‘happy’ or efficient at those higher Mach’s



90% of the time we used .76 in the cruise
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
AABusDrvr
Posts: 153
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2016 6:48 am

Re: Typical MD-82 Cruise Speed

Mon Aug 03, 2020 3:44 pm

We almost always used .78 for cruise when I was flying the -80.
 
Max Q
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Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 12:40 pm

Re: Typical MD-82 Cruise Speed

Thu Aug 06, 2020 3:34 pm

AABusDrvr wrote:
We almost always used .78 for cruise when I was flying the -80.



Did you use the 217 or 219 engine ?


The -80 never looked better than AA’s polished aluminum
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
AABusDrvr
Posts: 153
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2016 6:48 am

Re: Typical MD-82 Cruise Speed

Fri Aug 07, 2020 3:37 am

They had all been upgraded to the -219's when I was flying them.
 
Max Q
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Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 12:40 pm

Re: Typical MD-82 Cruise Speed

Fri Aug 07, 2020 1:21 pm

AABusDrvr wrote:
They had all been upgraded to the -219's when I was flying them.



Nice


Ours were all mostly ancient, no efis, no LNAV of any kind and pretty beaten up


A workhorse, but no 727
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
Armadillo1
Posts: 560
Joined: Thu Apr 20, 2017 5:14 pm

Re: Typical MD-82 Cruise Speed

Sat Aug 08, 2020 7:05 am

Max Q wrote:
90% of the time we used .76 in the cruise

no problems with traffic controller allowing you to higher FL?
 
Max Q
Posts: 8430
Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 12:40 pm

Re: Typical MD-82 Cruise Speed

Sat Aug 08, 2020 3:55 pm

Armadillo1 wrote:
Max Q wrote:
90% of the time we used .76 in the cruise

no problems with traffic controller allowing you to higher FL?



Do not understand your question
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
Armadillo1
Posts: 560
Joined: Thu Apr 20, 2017 5:14 pm

Re: Typical MD-82 Cruise Speed

Sat Aug 08, 2020 3:58 pm

Max Q wrote:
Armadillo1 wrote:
Max Q wrote:
90% of the time we used .76 in the cruise

no problems with traffic controller allowing you to higher FL?



Do not understand your question

traffic controller may not let you come to busy flight level because you too slow.
 
Max Q
Posts: 8430
Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 12:40 pm

Re: Typical MD-82 Cruise Speed

Sat Aug 08, 2020 4:21 pm

Armadillo1 wrote:
Max Q wrote:
Armadillo1 wrote:
no problems with traffic controller allowing you to higher FL?



Do not understand your question

traffic controller may not let you come to busy flight level because you too slow.




Not usually an issue flying domestic routes in the US, in fact we were faster than the old ‘Classic’ 737’s who would cruise at .74 or even slower


The other consideration is the MD80 was not a good high altitude aircraft unless you were very light so we werent often asking for the higher cruise levels


FL370 was our maximum and on the few occasions we took it there it felt like we were balanced on the head of a pin
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
tnair1974
Posts: 303
Joined: Sun Sep 15, 2019 5:37 pm

Re: Typical MD-82 Cruise Speed

Mon Aug 10, 2020 8:40 pm

Max Q wrote:

Not usually an issue flying domestic routes in the US, in fact we were faster than the old ‘Classic’ 737’s who would cruise at .74 or even slower

The other consideration is the MD80 was not a good high altitude aircraft unless you were very light so we werent often asking for the higher cruise levels

FL370 was our maximum and on the few occasions we took it there it felt like we were balanced on the head of a pin

Max Q, although a bit off the subject of this thread, how often did you fly MD-80s out of SLC and what were your experiences? The combination of higher elevation and relatively close proximity of mountains in almost all directions seemed to make MD-80 operations at SLC a little more challenging; MD-80s don't have the most spritely climb performance for a twin (including single engine climb). At least the likes of DEN and COS only have mountains on one side.

I understand CO used MD-80s SLC-DEN (the old hub at Stapleton) and occasionally SLC-IAH. Never heard of CO MD-80s flying SLC-EWR (TW MD-80s [and L1011s] would do SLC-DEN-JFK and SLC-STL but to my knowledge TW MD-80s did not fly SLC-JFK).
 
Max Q
Posts: 8430
Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 12:40 pm

Re: Typical MD-82 Cruise Speed

Mon Aug 10, 2020 9:39 pm

tnair1974 wrote:
Max Q wrote:

Not usually an issue flying domestic routes in the US, in fact we were faster than the old ‘Classic’ 737’s who would cruise at .74 or even slower

The other consideration is the MD80 was not a good high altitude aircraft unless you were very light so we werent often asking for the higher cruise levels

FL370 was our maximum and on the few occasions we took it there it felt like we were balanced on the head of a pin

Max Q, although a bit off the subject of this thread, how often did you fly MD-80s out of SLC and what were your experiences? The combination of higher elevation and relatively close proximity of mountains in almost all directions seemed to make MD-80 operations at SLC a little more challenging; MD-80s don't have the most spritely climb performance for a twin (including single engine climb). At least the likes of DEN and COS only have mountains on one side.

I understand CO used MD-80s SLC-DEN (the old hub at Stapleton) and occasionally SLC-IAH. Never heard of CO MD-80s flying SLC-EWR (TW MD-80s [and L1011s] would do SLC-DEN-JFK and SLC-STL but to my knowledge TW MD-80s did not fly SLC-JFK).



I was based in EWR the whole time I flew the -80 and unfortunately we didn’t go west of IAH that much, I never went into SLC on that aircraft although I did several times while I was on the 727

It makes sense that the MD80 was mostly used on the shorter legs to the old hub at Denver Stapleton and also to IAH


Some of the most challenging routes I did operate with the -80 were from MEX to SAN, hot, high elevation airport but mountains were not too close and very long runways


And domestic, even at sea level, nonstop from LGA to IAH or DCA to IAH with a full load used almost every foot of those, short runways and really got your attention, especially in the summer



Continental really stretched the limits of what the MD80 could do, mainly because they just didnt have the right equipment in those days for many routes


We actually had a nonstop transcon service from SAN-EWR with the -80 but it was eastbound only with the wind and sometimes had to stop


The longest route I operated was CLE-LAX which was on the ragged edge of what we could do, we had to weight restrict, required good destination weather and or a close alternate and we’d arrive with bare minimum reserves even if we got every possible short cut and most efficient flight levels



Of course if you ran short you’d just stop somewhere.


The versions we had were really short range aircraft, ideal for NE shuttle service of which I did hundreds I think, or flights of around three hours


Going from that aircraft which was often operated at the limits of its capability to the B757 which could do just about anything you asked it to was quite a change and a welcome one
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
IAHFLYR
Posts: 4161
Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2005 12:56 am

Re: Typical MD-82 Cruise Speed

Wed Aug 12, 2020 1:06 pm

[quote="Max Q"]Continental really stretched the limits of what the MD80 could do, mainly because they just didnt have the right equipment in those days for many routes quote]

I can remember working in the old tower at IAH and watching a CO MD80 going to BOS or maybe even SEA departing Runway 26 and thinking this thing is going to take out the Runway 8 approach light system. They'd take every inch of that 9,402' runway, but once the mains were off they'd sure climb well. Very fond memories of the 80's CO had watching them fly around Houston.
Any views shared are strictly my own and do not a represent those of any former employer.
 
CowAnon
Posts: 132
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Re: Typical MD-82 Cruise Speed

Wed Aug 12, 2020 7:15 pm

(Deleted)
 
Max Q
Posts: 8430
Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 12:40 pm

Re: Typical MD-82 Cruise Speed

Wed Aug 12, 2020 8:49 pm

IAHFLYR wrote:
Max Q wrote:
Continental really stretched the limits of what the MD80 could do, mainly because they just didnt have the right equipment in those days for many routes quote]

I can remember working in the old tower at IAH and watching a CO MD80 going to BOS or maybe even SEA departing Runway 26 and thinking this thing is going to take out the Runway 8 approach light system. They'd take every inch of that 9,402' runway, but once the mains were off they'd sure climb well. Very fond memories of the 80's CO had watching them fly around Houston.



Yes, remember those take offs very well, you’re correct, once airborne the -80 did climb very well at first, at higher levels though that climb rate really suffered, that small wing just wasn’t up to it
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
GalaxyFlyer
Posts: 6074
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: Typical MD-82 Cruise Speed

Wed Aug 12, 2020 8:58 pm

Armadillo1 wrote:
Max Q wrote:
Armadillo1 wrote:
no problems with traffic controller allowing you to higher FL?



Do not understand your question

traffic controller may not let you come to busy flight level because you too slow.


This a frequent question here. Under radar control this is rarely an issue and I’ve got lots of time in slow jets—A-10 (usually not at FL), Citations (.60-ish) and the C-5 (.77). Most of the domestic time in the Citation was up and down the East Coast, too. Under radar, they might vector off the route for faster traffic, maybe a short delay until you can go above them. There’s nearly always a fix. Overwater, it can be different and slow planes get restricted. Pretty common to cross at F240-260 in the C-5, esp thru Santa Maria OAC. Of course, optimum was probably F290-310, so not a huge penalty.
 
Armadillo1
Posts: 560
Joined: Thu Apr 20, 2017 5:14 pm

Re: Typical MD-82 Cruise Speed

Wed Aug 12, 2020 10:09 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Armadillo1 wrote:
traffic controller may not let you come to busy flight level because you too slow.


This a frequent question here. Under radar control this is rarely an issue and I’ve got lots of time in slow jets—A-10 (usually not at FL), Citations (.60-ish) and the C-5 (.77). Most of the domestic time in the Citation was up and down the East Coast, too. Under radar, they might vector off the route for faster traffic, maybe a short delay until you can go above them. There’s nearly always a fix. Overwater, it can be different and slow planes get restricted. Pretty common to cross at F240-260 in the C-5, esp thru Santa Maria OAC. Of course, optimum was probably F290-310, so not a huge penalty.

this is about flight between major pax hubs?
 
tnair1974
Posts: 303
Joined: Sun Sep 15, 2019 5:37 pm

Re: Typical MD-82 Cruise Speed

Fri Aug 14, 2020 12:39 am

Max Q wrote:
IAHFLYR wrote:
Max Q wrote:
Continental really stretched the limits of what the MD80 could do, mainly because they just didnt have the right equipment in those days for many routes quote]

I can remember working in the old tower at IAH and watching a CO MD80 going to BOS or maybe even SEA departing Runway 26 and thinking this thing is going to take out the Runway 8 approach light system. They'd take every inch of that 9,402' runway, but once the mains were off they'd sure climb well. Very fond memories of the 80's CO had watching them fly around Houston.



Yes, remember those take offs very well, you’re correct, once airborne the -80 did climb very well at first, at higher levels though that climb rate really suffered, that small wing just wasn’t up to it


Although I understand that by twin engine standards, the MD-80s were only so-so during single engine climbs... of course feel free to correct or clarify. Anyway, hopefully you only experienced MD-80 (or any plane) engine out climbs in simulators!

I read that at one time CO MD-80s flew DEN-EWR and to other east coast cities out of old Stapleton. During the hottest summer days with CO MD-80s on long flights, agents at DEN would ask up to twenty volunteers to take later flights! In comparison, CO 735s were assigned SLC-EWR. BTW, Stapleton's longest runway was "only" 12,000 ft whereas the current DEN has a 16,000 ft/about 4,800 m runway. As a side note, the current DEN's elevation is 5,434 ft /1,656 m which is virtually unchanged from what Stapleton was.

TWA flew DEN-JFK on MD-80s, but at least some of TW's Mad Dogs were MD-83s with more fuel and the higher thrust JT8D-219 engines so perhaps they did the route with more ease.
 
tnair1974
Posts: 303
Joined: Sun Sep 15, 2019 5:37 pm

Re: Typical MD-82 Cruise Speed

Fri Aug 14, 2020 1:42 am

Max Q wrote:
tnair1974 wrote:
Max Q wrote:

Not usually an issue flying domestic routes in the US, in fact we were faster than the old ‘Classic’ 737’s who would cruise at .74 or even slower

The other consideration is the MD80 was not a good high altitude aircraft unless you were very light so we werent often asking for the higher cruise levels

FL370 was our maximum and on the few occasions we took it there it felt like we were balanced on the head of a pin

Max Q, although a bit off the subject of this thread, how often did you fly MD-80s out of SLC and what were your experiences? The combination of higher elevation and relatively close proximity of mountains in almost all directions seemed to make MD-80 operations at SLC a little more challenging; MD-80s don't have the most spritely climb performance for a twin (including single engine climb). At least the likes of DEN and COS only have mountains on one side.

I understand CO used MD-80s SLC-DEN (the old hub at Stapleton) and occasionally SLC-IAH. Never heard of CO MD-80s flying SLC-EWR (TW MD-80s [and L1011s] would do SLC-DEN-JFK and SLC-STL but to my knowledge TW MD-80s did not fly SLC-JFK).



I was based in EWR the whole time I flew the -80 and unfortunately we didn’t go west of IAH that much, I never went into SLC on that aircraft although I did several times while I was on the 727

It makes sense that the MD80 was mostly used on the shorter legs to the old hub at Denver Stapleton and also to IAH


Some of the most challenging routes I did operate with the -80 were from MEX to SAN, hot, high elevation airport but mountains were not too close and very long runways


And domestic, even at sea level, nonstop from LGA to IAH or DCA to IAH with a full load used almost every foot of those, short runways and really got your attention, especially in the summer



Continental really stretched the limits of what the MD80 could do, mainly because they just didnt have the right equipment in those days for many routes


We actually had a nonstop transcon service from SAN-EWR with the -80 but it was eastbound only with the wind and sometimes had to stop


The longest route I operated was CLE-LAX which was on the ragged edge of what we could do, we had to weight restrict, required good destination weather and or a close alternate and we’d arrive with bare minimum reserves even if we got every possible short cut and most efficient flight levels



Of course if you ran short you’d just stop somewhere.


The versions we had were really short range aircraft, ideal for NE shuttle service of which I did hundreds I think, or flights of around three hours


Going from that aircraft which was often operated at the limits of its capability to the B757 which could do just about anything you asked it to was quite a change and a welcome one


Interesting accounts, thanks. While I'm not a pilot, I've had aunts/uncles that are/were private pilots. I was able to log some time with them. This included some instrument time (mainly going between VORs which in retrospect is a bit humbling considering how dated VORs are now as they are slowly being decommissioned).

Still, just the thought of operating out of less forgiving airports such as EGE in poor weather makes my head :spin: !

In addition to SLC's higher elevation, there's also the added issue at SLC of all-around high terrain causing issues with MCAs (or Minimum Crossing Altitudes) which can be especially key if a twin like an MD-80 loses an engine after takeoff. You touched on 757s and their high power to weight stats which is in stark comparison to MD-80s. At SLC, I understand AA MD-80s often had to have weight restrictions during the hot summer months when flying SLC-ORD and SLC-DFW. So seems CO MD-80s SLC-IAH would have needed even more summer restrictions (if not switch to more capable aircraft). DL MD-88 operations at SLC were relatively rare during the summer when DL would favor the likes of 752s, 738s and MD-90s, but DL MD-88s were somewhat more common at SLC during the cooler months.

Back during the 1960s, AA did LAX-JFK (and maybe SAN-JFK?) with their Convair 990s. But like the CO MD80s you mentioned, the 990s only made the eastbound flights nonstop as the 990s failed to achieve projected range projections.
 
User avatar
Starlionblue
Posts: 20030
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 9:54 pm

Re: Typical MD-82 Cruise Speed

Fri Aug 14, 2020 1:49 am

IAHFLYR wrote:
Max Q wrote:
Continental really stretched the limits of what the MD80 could do, mainly because they just didnt have the right equipment in those days for many routes quote]

I can remember working in the old tower at IAH and watching a CO MD80 going to BOS or maybe even SEA departing Runway 26 and thinking this thing is going to take out the Runway 8 approach light system. They'd take every inch of that 9,402' runway, but once the mains were off they'd sure climb well. Very fond memories of the 80's CO had watching them fly around Houston.


The performance calculation could have involved using less flap and thus needing a longer takeoff run. The advantage of doing this would be better initial climb performance.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
IAHFLYR
Posts: 4161
Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2005 12:56 am

Re: Typical MD-82 Cruise Speed

Fri Aug 14, 2020 12:51 pm

Starlionblue wrote:
The performance calculation could have involved using less flap and thus needing a longer takeoff run. The advantage of doing this would be better initial climb performance.


Absolutely, though still got the attention of us tower controllers regardless. It would have been nice if the crew would have told us to watch the show! :lol: :bouncy: :wave:
Any views shared are strictly my own and do not a represent those of any former employer.
 
AABusDrvr
Posts: 153
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2016 6:48 am

Re: Typical MD-82 Cruise Speed

Fri Aug 14, 2020 4:43 pm

Max Q wrote:
tnair1974 wrote:
Max Q wrote:

Not usually an issue flying domestic routes in the US, in fact we were faster than the old ‘Classic’ 737’s who would cruise at .74 or even slower

The other consideration is the MD80 was not a good high altitude aircraft unless you were very light so we werent often asking for the higher cruise levels

FL370 was our maximum and on the few occasions we took it there it felt like we were balanced on the head of a pin

Max Q, although a bit off the subject of this thread, how often did you fly MD-80s out of SLC and what were your experiences? The combination of higher elevation and relatively close proximity of mountains in almost all directions seemed to make MD-80 operations at SLC a little more challenging; MD-80s don't have the most spritely climb performance for a twin (including single engine climb). At least the likes of DEN and COS only have mountains on one side.

I understand CO used MD-80s SLC-DEN (the old hub at Stapleton) and occasionally SLC-IAH. Never heard of CO MD-80s flying SLC-EWR (TW MD-80s [and L1011s] would do SLC-DEN-JFK and SLC-STL but to my knowledge TW MD-80s did not fly SLC-JFK).



I was based in EWR the whole time I flew the -80 and unfortunately we didn’t go west of IAH that much, I never went into SLC on that aircraft although I did several times while I was on the 727

It makes sense that the MD80 was mostly used on the shorter legs to the old hub at Denver Stapleton and also to IAH


Some of the most challenging routes I did operate with the -80 were from MEX to SAN, hot, high elevation airport but mountains were not too close and very long runways


And domestic, even at sea level, nonstop from LGA to IAH or DCA to IAH with a full load used almost every foot of those, short runways and really got your attention, especially in the summer



Continental really stretched the limits of what the MD80 could do, mainly because they just didnt have the right equipment in those days for many routes


We actually had a nonstop transcon service from SAN-EWR with the -80 but it was eastbound only with the wind and sometimes had to stop


The longest route I operated was CLE-LAX which was on the ragged edge of what we could do, we had to weight restrict, required good destination weather and or a close alternate and we’d arrive with bare minimum reserves even if we got every possible short cut and most efficient flight levels



Of course if you ran short you’d just stop somewhere.


The versions we had were really short range aircraft, ideal for NE shuttle service of which I did hundreds I think, or flights of around three hours


Going from that aircraft which was often operated at the limits of its capability to the B757 which could do just about anything you asked it to was quite a change and a welcome one



I've flown with guys who talked about flaps 4 takeoffs out of MEX, and how exciting that was on the 80. Our engine failure profile there was a figure eight, using the NDB and one of the localizers. I remember it being very busy in the sim, the phrase about two monkeys, and a football was often used to describe that procedure. Even on the 73, I still bid to avoid MEX.

At least once in the summer I remember departing DCA, and going over to IAD for fuel to make DFW. Same departing BUR, over to LAX for a gas and go to get to DFW.

I never got to fly the 727 (or the 75/76, sigh). but I had fun on the 80. Still miss the sound those JT8D's make when the power comes up, sitting in the last row in the back.
 
Max Q
Posts: 8430
Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 12:40 pm

Re: Typical MD-82 Cruise Speed

Fri Aug 14, 2020 8:48 pm

tnair1974 wrote:
Max Q wrote:
IAHFLYR wrote:



Yes, remember those take offs very well, you’re correct, once airborne the -80 did climb very well at first, at higher levels though that climb rate really suffered, that small wing just wasn’t up to it


Although I understand that by twin engine standards, the MD-80s were only so-so during single engine climbs... of course feel free to correct or clarify. Anyway, hopefully you only experienced MD-80 (or any plane) engine out climbs in simulators!

I read that at one time CO MD-80s flew DEN-EWR and to other east coast cities out of old Stapleton. During the hottest summer days with CO MD-80s on long flights, agents at DEN would ask up to twenty volunteers to take later flights! In comparison, CO 735s were assigned SLC-EWR. BTW, Stapleton's longest runway was "only" 12,000 ft whereas the current DEN has a 16,000 ft/about 4,800 m runway. As a side note, the current DEN's elevation is 5,434 ft /1,656 m which is virtually unchanged from what Stapleton was.

TWA flew DEN-JFK on MD-80s, but at least some of TW's Mad Dogs were MD-83s with more fuel and the higher thrust JT8D-219 engines so perhaps they did the route with more ease.



Had to shut down an MD80 engine for real due to a total loss of oil quantity approaching EWR


Unfortunately our timing wasn’t great as there was a thunderstorm very close to the airport. On final the aircraft ahead of us reported a significant windshear and loss of airspeed, of course that aircraft had all engines operating


We decided, after a quick discussion to go elsewhere, if we had encountered a similar shear at low altitude our one operating engine may well have not provided enough thrust to recover


After initiating the go around we did encounter a significant shear and our climb performance vanished, for what felt like hours but was probably a minute or so we had to level off, then descend slightly to maintain our speed


Fortunately we had some altitude to play with but if we’d had that sink or greater at lower altitude we could have had a real problem



Once we were through with the shear we climbed at around 7-800 fpm and diverted over to JFK uneventfully, the aircraft was repaired after they found the source of the oil leak and we ferried back ‘nonstop’ to EWR



It was an interesting evening
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg

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