Re: What's wrong with the MD-11?

From:         Addison Schonland <>
Organization: CIC Research, Inc.
Date:         04 Oct 95 21:27:26 
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What's wrong with the MD11?  Absolutely nothing!  I regard this as the
most comfortable wide body I've flown.  I've been on SR and AA's
planes...guess which is better.  The configuration of the plane is an
airline decision, so poor seating layouts are the airline's fault.  I
found the MD11 quieter than the 747-400.  All my flights on 747-400s and
MD11s have been in first or business class.  The best 747-400 I have
flown has been that of SAA which flies the world's longest nonstops.

As regards the MD11s range problem...I heard from someone at MD that the
problem was a "5%" problem of which fuel burn was 3% and drag was 2%.
Both have been fixed and the plane now does well.  SR loves their
airplanes as they were involved with the design. Talk about range
problems...check on the range problems the 747-400s have between the US
west coast and Hong Kong in winter.  Or between Hong Kong and London.
Virgin's A340 stops in Helsinki sometimes to refuel while BA refuels its
400s at Copenhagen.  Headwinds are a problem for all three long range

Regarding the spurious allegation by AA that pax don't like the
MD11...that is absolute crap.  I have data (which I cannot release
because its owned by the Feds) that shows the MD11 does as well as (and
in some cases better) than the 747-400 or 767 in terms of pax evaluation.
For the project I work on, we survey over 70 airlines in the world.  I
have seen the data, and I know better than JD Power.

MD has taken such a negative hit with this airplane.  It has been most
unfortunate that MD has not spent the resources to improve its image.
For example the first power controlled landing recently (see the Dryden
home page).  The MD11 really is a great plane.  There are very few poor
airplanes, that qualify as dogs, no matter who builds/built them. Mostly
those that qualify as dogs are due to airline managers  thinking they
know everything and not listening to customer research.  For example, try
the seating in an AA 767 in business class.  Great plane, overcrowded
cabin.  Or try a UA 747-400 in personal video.  On the other
hand you can see the positive impact research has had at BA, Cathay and
Singapore. I could go on and on.

- --
Best Regards,
Addison Schonland - Phone (619) 637-4000 Fax (619) 637-4040