American retired 20 more MD-80s today - bringing their fleet down to 61. The plan is to have them all retired by 2018. Nice article here on the process:
I’d love to fly one, but as a passenger I can’t say I’ll miss the MD80.
I never minded the MD80s unless you were stuck back there next to those engines. Just the thought of all those parts flying around at 36,000 RPM right next to me made me a bit anxious. I had the good fortune to ride some quite a few years ago when they were still doing powered pushbacks from the gate at DFW.
@BeachAV8R, of course you are right about the noise aft near the engines, but having suffered rides rides on the ubiquitous regional jests, MD-80s are absolutely spacious. Whenever Lady Chipwich and I fly travel KATL-KCMH and we step on a MD-80 or other DC-9 variant , I say, “Alright, a real airplane for a change.” The big D loves to operate RJs on that flight.
Yeah, I love the 3+2 seating configuration (usually). I will say though…that whoever American has running their commuter stuff up and back to DC using those CRJ900 has won me over with their seat spacing. I’ve flown them twice in the past month and even though I’m 6’ 2", I had probably five inches between my knees and the seat in front of me. Pretty rare for those regional jets…
I might have to hop on one of those MD80s as they approach retirement for a nostalgia flight. Delta was still flying them out of Charlotte (or some derivative of the MD80…MD90 MD92?) but I’m not sure if they are still…
Now who else is still referring to the family as DC-9? In my mind these aircraft will always be DC-9-80
Grabbing the “2” side of the 3+2 seating’s always a pretty sweet deal, but I don’t think I’ll miss riding on American’s aging fleet of MD-80’s.
When I was at Eastern, we had the 14, 31, and 51, if memory serves. Chatting with the front end crews, they seemed to universally loved flying up through the 30 series, after which they said it become less sports car and more minivan. EAL went tango uniform before the MD80 series, so not sure how the later marks flew. Since MD and now Boeing kept stretching the thing, I’m sure the power plants have a lot more thrust than the DC-9 days. Still, I bet that 14 was a kick to fly.
Man…I was bummed today when we showed up at the gate in DFW. There before me was a shiny American MD-80…but when I looked closer, I saw our jetway was going down to A320.
Got stuck in the middle seat between a big dude and a little dude. Oh well…
When I flew out of RDU yesterday, there was an American MD-80 in line to take off right ahead of us. Wish I’d snapped a picture.
I remember the first time I jumpseated on a DC-9. At that point I was an FO on the DC-10–itself pretty ancient but relative to the -nine, it was downright modern. Anyway, I had flown some old stuff. But that -9 had me completely flumuxed. Where every other plane had pack buttons and bleed switches, the nine had handles that could have come straight out of the cab of a locomotive. They started at the gate and the FO was a blur of handles and switches and valves. I thought they were starting at the gate waiting for a tug to push is back. (Those two weren’t much into communicating–these were the days before CRM was universally loved). But no, the captain popped the brake, grabbed a handfull of reversers and shot us backwards at 10 knots. Then, when the ground guy crossed is wands, he pushed the throttles about halfway forward and we came to a very noisy stop. The whole thing was so rediculous and Miyazaki-esque that it felt fake. Nobody would intentionally design something so archaic, right? Even the 737-200, which is the same generation, seemed far more rational by comparison. But I don’t knock the nine, or its later cousins. They did the job well. And had Boeing not been allowed its current monopoly, MD probably would have continued producing variants every bit a useful and efficient as the 320 neo and 737 max.
I like how the DC-9 jumpseat folded down in front of the cockpit door, itself a folding contraption like a closet door
Some pretty MD80 footage here. Interesting how the buckets deploy in the air after a slight bounce…looks pretty gentle though…
That’s sad. That’s the airplane I really fell in love with flying on. It also looks beautiful in their bare metal livery.