McDonnell Douglas Super MD-80:
The MD-80 series aircraft incl. MD-81, MD-82, MD-83, MD-87, MD-88:
Originally called the DC-9-80 and DC-9 Super 80, the MD-80 is an extremely popular mid-size, medium-range airliner with two rear fuselage-mounted Pratt & Whitney JT8D-200 series turbofan engines, small but highly efficient wings, and a very distinctive T-tail. The MD-80 series consists of the MD-81, MD-82, MD-83, MD-87, and MD-88, and first took to the skies for flight-testing on October 19th 1979 (certification to the aircraft was granted by the FAA in 1980). Thanks to its ancestry, the MD-80 currently operates under an amendment to the original DC-9 FAA aircraft Type Certificate.
It was in 1967 that the Douglas Aircraft Company merged with McDonnell Aircraft, and McDonnell Douglas was formed. The McDonnell Douglas MD-80 was introduced to commercial service with Swissair in the fall of 1980, after completing 1,085 test flight hours. The MD-80 was put forward as a lengthened and modernized replacement for the Douglas Aircraft Company’s DC-9, which by contrast was designed for frequent, short flights.
Derived specifically from the DC-9-50, the MD-80 is 147 feet and 8 inches (45.01 meters) in length, with a wingspan of 107 feet and 8 inches (32.82 meters). The MD-80 has a cruising speed of over 504 miles per hour, (811 kilometers per hour), a fuel capacity of about 5,850 US gallons, or 22,100 Liters, and a typical cruising altitude of 33,000 feet. Along with a higher maximum take-off weight than its forerunner, the nonstop flight range of the MD-80 series is between 1,500 and 2,700 statute miles (2,410 to 4,345 kilometers).
The MD-80 can carry between 155 and 172 passengers, and is equipped with a two-crew flight deck quite similar to that on the DC-9. Newer members of the MD-80 family have more advanced cockpit avionics and include aerodynamic upgrades, and more efficient JT8D-200 engines. However, due to the usage of the now aging JT8D engine (that produces around 20,000 lb of thrust), the MD-80 today is not nearly as fuel efficient when compared to the Airbus A320 or most recent Boeing 737 models.
MD-80 cockpit photos
MD-81 flight deck
The last delivery of the MD-81 series was made on June 29, 1992 to Scandinavian Airlines (SAS). Meanwhile the last delivery of the MD-82 was made on November 17, 1997 to U-Land Airlines of Taiwan, the last delivery of the MD-83 was on December 28, 1999 to TWA, the last delivery of the MD-87 was made on March 27, 1992 to Scandinavian Airlines (SAS), and the final delivery of the MD-88 was on June 25, 1997 to Onur Air. The MD-90-30 is a stretched variant with an updated glass cockpit (with an improved FMS and EFIS) and two IAE V2500 engines.
SAS MD-80 landing video
Despite being involved in about 60 incidents, as of July 2009, there were approximately 886 MD-80 aircraft still in active service around the world despite the fact that initial sales of the Super 80 aircraft were in fact slow.
Popular commercial operators as of July 2010 include American Airlines, with a fleet of 282, and Delta Air Lines, with a fleet of 117. Following the merger of Boeing and McDonnell Douglas, the MD-80 was produced at the Long Beach Division of Boeing Commercial Airplanes until December 1999. At one time in 1991, 12 MD-80 aircraft were being delivered per month, but today this widely known airliner is no longer under production. In total there were 1191 McDonnell Douglas 80 series aircraft produced.