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convair880mfan
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Could MD-11's used domestically do without the winglets?

Wed Oct 20, 2021 5:30 pm

When Japan Airliners and ANA used a domestic versions of the 747-400 called the 747-400D, they didn't use the winglets since the added weight didn't translate into cost savings on the short stage length missions of these aircraft with their brief cruise portions of flight.

I'm wondering whether the MD-11 aircraft used by FedEx domestically really need winglets. I don't even know if they are removable. Of course, FedEx flight's stage lengths are often longer domestically than those of Japan Airlines and ANA.

Could be wrong, and just guessing, but I am supposing that FedEx as a for-profit transportation company would have done a cost/benefit analysis of this and the fact that the MD-11's used domestically do have winglets probably means that there isn't sufficient benefit to justify their removal.

Any ideas?
 
TXL4ever
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Re: Could MD-11's used domestically do without the winglets?

Wed Oct 20, 2021 10:23 pm

The -400Ds were exclusively used for short missions (the lack of winglets is only one of a few modifications from the -400). I don‘t think FedEx has a dedicated MD-11 fleet solely for the domestic network. Instead the flexibility is more important than weight savings for a few short sectors.
 
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DarkSnowyNight
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Re: Could MD-11's used domestically do without the winglets?

Thu Oct 21, 2021 9:48 am

convair880mfan wrote:
Could be wrong, and just guessing, but I am supposing that FedEx as a for-profit transportation company would have done a cost/benefit analysis of this and the fact that the MD-11's used domestically do have winglets probably means that there isn't sufficient benefit to justify their removal.

Any ideas?


FedEx literally flies empty planes around in circles to make sure there is always a spare nearby. Operational reliability and flexibility are far more important than whatever savings they would get from generating an STC that allows for non-CDL use of MD-11s w/o winglets.
 
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fr8mech
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Re: Could MD-11's used domestically do without the winglets?

Thu Oct 21, 2021 10:56 am

The winglets on an MD11 are a completely different animal than the winglets on a -400.

On the MD, they are structural. On the -400, they are over glorified fairings.
 
CosmicCruiser
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Re: Could MD-11's used domestically do without the winglets?

Thu Oct 21, 2021 1:31 pm

TXL4ever wrote:
The -400Ds were exclusively used for short missions (the lack of winglets is only one of a few modifications from the -400). I don‘t think FedEx has a dedicated MD-11 fleet solely for the domestic network. Instead the flexibility is more important than weight savings for a few short sectors.

Correct, the MD-11 still does a lot of int'l. It is being slowly edged out by the 777. As for and MD-11 without winglets for domestic...it's called an MD-10. LOL
 
jetblueguy22
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Re: Could MD-11's used domestically do without the winglets?

Thu Oct 21, 2021 3:47 pm

I don’t really think it matters…wingspan wise they have a similar footprint to a 767 with winglets. Just seems like extra work to remove something that doesn’t need to be removed
 
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Horstroad
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Re: Could MD-11's used domestically do without the winglets?

Thu Oct 21, 2021 10:38 pm

The Winglet can't just be removed. While there is a removal/installation task in the AMM for the winglet assembly, it's actually the removal/installation of the whole wing tip. You would need a replacement wing tip to put in its place which would result in some (understatement) paperwork as the MD-11 was never certified to fly without winglets, unlike the 747, 757 or 767
 
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DarkSnowyNight
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Re: Could MD-11's used domestically do without the winglets?

Fri Oct 22, 2021 1:46 am

Horstroad wrote:
The Winglet can't just be removed. While there is a removal/installation task in the AMM for the winglet assembly, it's actually the removal/installation of the whole wing tip. You would need a replacement wing tip to put in its place which would result in some (understatement) paperwork as the MD-11 was never certified to fly without winglets, unlike the 747, 757 or 767



Is there even a CDL for that? I know you can for 330/340, 747 and most others with wingtip devices. But my MD11 work was entirely powerplant, so I am a little curious about that.
 
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fr8mech
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Re: Could MD-11's used domestically do without the winglets?

Fri Oct 22, 2021 1:57 am

DarkSnowyNight wrote:


Is there even a CDL for that? I know you can for 330/340, 747 and most others with wingtip devices. But my MD11 work was entirely powerplant, so I am a little curious about that.


No. The lower winglet assy can be removed, but the upper or main winglet can not. It's a big job, requiring tank dive and a crane. Like I said, it is a structural part of the wing.

As Horstroad noted, if you remove the winglet, you'd have to install a wingtip.
 
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Horstroad
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Re: Could MD-11's used domestically do without the winglets?

Fri Oct 22, 2021 2:02 am

DarkSnowyNight wrote:

Is there even a CDL for that? I know you can for 330/340, 747 and most others with wingtip devices. But my MD11 work was entirely powerplant, so I am a little curious about that.

There's a CDL for the lower winglet only, but not for the whole winglet assembly.
The lower winglets removed add a fuel penalty of 3.05% each. There's a weight penalty of 1.4% per removed winglet for take off and max altitude, optimum altitude and engine out altitudes are reduced by 2.9% per removed winglet.
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Could MD-11's used domestically do without the winglets?

Fri Oct 22, 2021 2:39 am

jetblueguy22 wrote:
I don’t really think it matters…wingspan wise they have a similar footprint to a 767 with winglets. Just seems like extra work to remove something that doesn’t need to be removed


The winglets do have mass, so removing them would slightly decrease the OEW. The fuel savings might offset the decreased cruise efficiency on short sectors. Or it might not. I'm guessing not in this case.
 
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fr8mech
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Re: Could MD-11's used domestically do without the winglets?

Fri Oct 22, 2021 3:31 am

Starlionblue wrote:
The winglets do have mass, .


Per the AMM, they weigh approximately 450lbs (204kg).
 
convair880mfan
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Re: Could MD-11's used domestically do without the winglets?

Fri Oct 22, 2021 3:54 pm

Would removing 900 pounds result in significant fuel savings on short stage lengths? Since the winglet is actually part of the wingtip, I would imagine that some other type of wingtip would need to replace it and that would weigh something too. Would a new wingtip need to go through the FAA approval process? I'm guessing that the whole things wouldn't be worth it. Kind of a mute point since MD-11s are going away and also because even now they are, I think [?] mostly used for long haul operations.
 
N1120A
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Re: Could MD-11's used domestically do without the winglets?

Fri Oct 22, 2021 5:21 pm

FedEx has been flying the MD-11 for 30 years and has a long history of engaging in fleet optimization through various means. If removing the winglets on an MD-11 was a viable, reliable money saver, they would have done that a long time ago. You can't simply remove an important structural component.
 
FlapOperator
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Re: Could MD-11's used domestically do without the winglets?

Sat Oct 23, 2021 5:12 am

convair880mfan wrote:
Would removing 900 pounds result in significant fuel savings on short stage lengths? Since the winglet is actually part of the wingtip, I would imagine that some other type of wingtip would need to replace it and that would weigh something too. Would a new wingtip need to go through the FAA approval process? I'm guessing that the whole things wouldn't be worth it. Kind of a mute point since MD-11s are going away and also because even now they are, I think [?] mostly used for long haul operations.


The -11s will be in the fleet plan for another 5-10 years under most estimates I've heard, and new hires are there are being told 2035. Fedex apparently has lots of parts to sustain the fleet.

The -11s are used all over Asia, Europe and Memphis to Kansas City and Indy to Chicago. They are all over the system, and can't be replaced, for now.

Fedex likes their flexibility, so honestly I can't imagine them doing any configuration change to optimize them for any particular mission.
 
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747classic
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Re: Could MD-11's used domestically do without the winglets?

Sat Oct 23, 2021 8:34 am

The combination :" MD11 fuselage* - wing without winglet" has never been certified, re-certification would be costly and has to be earned back in the remaining economical lifespan (5-10 years).
- Also the fuel gain (due the relative small weight loss) will be very small at the short stretches (< 2 hours)
- The winglet equipped MD11 has no parking position limitations, it fits in the 767 parking position (UPS and FedEx)
- Removing the winglets will reduce the flexibility of the current MD11, it can - if needed - be used at medium and even long range destinations. (long range fuel saving due the winglets : 2.5%)

Note : the fuselage length of the MD11 has been increased compared to the MD/DC10 series, also the wing area has been increased. So no- grandfather certification rights of the DC/MD10 series, wihout winglets, can be used.
 
phatfarmlines
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Re: Could MD-11's used domestically do without the winglets?

Sun Oct 24, 2021 2:47 pm

Something even more of a headscratcher: Why did FX decide not to use aftermarket winglets on the MD-10s? Seems like the type of company that would have tried such a thing.
 
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747classic
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Re: Could MD-11's used domestically do without the winglets?

Sun Oct 24, 2021 4:47 pm

FX isn't the type of company for after market winglets, they didn't even install the already certified winglets at their 767-300F fleet, so installation of the not certified winglets at the MD10 was never even considered.

UPS installed after market blended winglets at the 767-300F's, but from 2019 all new UPS 767-300F's are delivered again without winglets.
 
LH707330
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Re: Could MD-11's used domestically do without the winglets?

Sun Oct 24, 2021 6:24 pm

747classic wrote:
FX isn't the type of company for after market winglets, they didn't even install the already certified winglets at their 767-300F fleet, so installation of the not certified winglets at the MD10 was never even considered.

UPS installed after market blended winglets at the 767-300F's, but from 2019 all new UPS 767-300F's are delivered again without winglets.

Sometimes this happens because the price tag at the factory or some contractual stuff makes it less painful to buy without and then do the mods in-house. I recall seeing a bunch of 737 NGs with the APB winglets in Renton instead of getting the scimitars installed right at the factory. Seems like it'd be less work to just install the right ones the first time round, but some contractual/cert/other nonsense precluded that.
 
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fr8mech
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Re: Could MD-11's used domestically do without the winglets?

Mon Oct 25, 2021 12:09 am

747classic wrote:

UPS installed after market blended winglets at the 767-300F's, but from 2019 all new UPS 767-300F's are delivered again without winglets.


My understanding is they’ll be installed at their first ‘C’ check or it’s equivalent.
 
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747classic
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Re: Could MD-11's used domestically do without the winglets?

Mon Oct 25, 2021 8:37 am

fr8mech wrote:
747classic wrote:

UPS installed after market blended winglets at the 767-300F's, but from 2019 all new UPS 767-300F's are delivered again without winglets.


My understanding is they’ll be installed at their first ‘C’ check or it’s equivalent.


I asked the same question to a UPS 757/767 Captain a while ago
See for the answer under comments : https://twitter.com/AeroSavvy/status/14 ... 2343987207

Regards,
Peter
 
LMP737
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Re: Could MD-11's used domestically do without the winglets?

Thu Oct 28, 2021 12:27 am

CosmicCruiser wrote:
Correct, the MD-11 still does a lot of int'l. It is being slowly edged out by the 777. As for and MD-11 without winglets for domestic...it's called an MD-10. LOL


Very true. A FedEx MD-11 might spend s couple days flying domestic then fly MEM-CDG. I'm assuming UPS is the same way.
 
DeltaMD95
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Re: Could MD-11's used domestically do without the winglets?

Fri Oct 29, 2021 12:02 am

LMP737 wrote:
CosmicCruiser wrote:
Correct, the MD-11 still does a lot of int'l. It is being slowly edged out by the 777. As for and MD-11 without winglets for domestic...it's called an MD-10. LOL


Very true. A FedEx MD-11 might spend s couple days flying domestic then fly MEM-CDG. I'm assuming UPS is the same way.


To add, FedEX still has a select few non-Alaskan, TPAC ops with the MD-11F, such as KIX-OAK.
 
LMP737
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Re: Could MD-11's used domestically do without the winglets?

Sat Oct 30, 2021 2:49 am

DeltaMD95 wrote:
To add, FedEX still has a select few non-Alaskan, TPAC ops with the MD-11F, such as KIX-OAK.


Or half way across the Pacific, OAK-HNL.;)
 
CosmicCruiser
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Re: Could MD-11's used domestically do without the winglets?

Sat Oct 30, 2021 3:50 pm

Don't know if the 777 has taken it but we used to do MEM-HNL and KIX-MEM
 
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Spacepope
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Re: Could MD-11's used domestically do without the winglets?

Sat Oct 30, 2021 6:59 pm

DarkSnowyNight wrote:
convair880mfan wrote:
Could be wrong, and just guessing, but I am supposing that FedEx as a for-profit transportation company would have done a cost/benefit analysis of this and the fact that the MD-11's used domestically do have winglets probably means that there isn't sufficient benefit to justify their removal.

Any ideas?


FedEx literally flies empty planes around in circles to make sure there is always a spare nearby. Operational reliability and flexibility are far more important than whatever savings they would get from generating an STC that allows for non-CDL use of MD-11s w/o winglets.


Hyperbole, I know but they are not empty (they do carry a partial load but have a lot of room to pick up freight), They fly an indirect route between station and hub, not circles, and they get diverted to pick up cargo on a surprisingly frequent basis.

With the way the beancounters work at FX, the sweep flights must make good economic sense.
 
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fr8mech
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Re: Could MD-11's used domestically do without the winglets?

Sat Oct 30, 2021 7:53 pm

DarkSnowyNight wrote:
FedEx literally flies empty planes around in circles to make sure there is always a spare nearby. Operational reliability and flexibility are far more important than whatever savings they would get from generating an STC that allows for non-CDL use of MD-11s w/o winglets.



UPS used to fly an empty DC8 they called the Minneapolis Sweep every night to support the Mid-West.

About 15 years ago, give or take, the Hot Spare Program was implemented. Aircraft in selected gateways are fueled and preflighted Hot Spares that are programmed to depart within 30 minutes of activation.

SDF maintains an MD11, among others, in this status from 2000L - 0100L and again from 0700L - 1100L (I think).
 
DeltaMD95
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Re: Could MD-11's used domestically do without the winglets?

Sat Oct 30, 2021 10:01 pm

CosmicCruiser wrote:
Don't know if the 777 has taken it but we used to do MEM-HNL and KIX-MEM


Wow, I didn’t know about KIX-MEM. (Granted it is eastbound). Could the whole fleet perform this mission or only late-build PIP aircraft?
 
CosmicCruiser
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Re: Could MD-11's used domestically do without the winglets?

Sun Oct 31, 2021 1:36 am

I never knew about any Md-11 restrictions regarding that. I just got in the same just jet I was used to flying and left. Not sure what you mean by PIP.
 
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747classic
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Re: Could MD-11's used domestically do without the winglets?

Sun Oct 31, 2021 7:58 am

CosmicCruiser wrote:
I never knew about any Md-11 restrictions regarding that. I just got in the same just jet I was used to flying and left. Not sure what you mean by PIP.


Performance Improvement Packages, see : https://www.airlinercafe.com/page.php?id=392
 
FlapOperator
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Re: Could MD-11's used domestically do without the winglets?

Mon Nov 01, 2021 8:06 pm

I think there was a FDX DXB - SYD or Singapore leg once upon a time.
 
CosmicCruiser
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Re: Could MD-11's used domestically do without the winglets?

Mon Nov 01, 2021 11:36 pm

747classic wrote:
CosmicCruiser wrote:
I never knew about any Md-11 restrictions regarding that. I just got in the same just jet I was used to flying and left. Not sure what you mean by PIP.


Performance Improvement Packages, see : https://www.airlinercafe.com/page.php?id=392

As far as I can tell all the -11s we had were were in that group. I never heard about the trailing edge splitter but it seems like something that wouldn't be taught in school. We did have the drooped ailerons for a while but the co. disabled them because they were considered a bigger maint. problem than worth the savings.

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