MD-11 vs 77W wing loading
Posted: Wed Mar 10, 2021 12:41 pm
The MD-11 suffered from excessive wing loading, having a wing loading of 884 kg/m2. This led to several problems, the most important one being that it struggled to meet efficiency goals. In otder to try and reach those goals the CG envelope was moved aft, necessitating computer enhanced stability, and tail surface area was reduced to reduce drag. These resulted in higher approach speeds and tricky handling characteristics at landing, leading to several accidents. But the 77W had nearly as high wing loading at 804 kg/m2, and suffered none of these problems. Not only does it have an unblemished safety record but it is the unquestioned long range efficiency champion for its generation. In comparison the A330 has a wing loading of 645 kg/m2. Why doesn’t the 77W have any of the problems that have plagued the MD-11 due to high wing loading?