So the whole MD-80 series are slowing disappearing from the airports and skies here in the United States. I was holding short of the runway in Augusta, GA a couple days ago and had the pleasure of watching a Delta MD-88 departing in front of us. I don’t know why the lines of the MD-80 series aircraft are so appealing to me, but I really do think they are one of the prettiest planes ever fielded.
I always enjoy watching them takeoff. They roar down the runway and those engines are so loud you can hear them even in a noisy, but well insulated business jet. Something about the MD-80s seems unique in how the go from speeding down the runway to becoming airborne. I know it it just my imagination, but I love the way they reach rotation speed, and you can clearly see the high pitch angle set, and then paused, and then the aircraft just sort of has to keep speeding up and make itself fly. Once in the air, deck angle is further increased and the plane really seems to just plow through the air. It is incredible to watch and mesmerizing.
Even after it gets up to a few hundred feet and the gear is retracted, it still has that distinct nose up attitude as it plows ahead further and sometimes you almost wonder if something is wrong…why is it not climbing faster? Why does it not seem like it is accelerating? But all is good…it is just going through some configuration changes, hitting speeds, and giving the passengers a good look at the city they just departed from before being swallowed up in the clouds.
Anyway - I love the plane. I’ve flown on them a few times…and I don’t know how pilots feel about them, but I like them. Time to fire up the Rotate MD-80 I think…