Re: What's in a model number? (MD-95 Structural Specs)

From:         spagiola <>
Organization: World Bank
Date:         21 Nov 95 01:19:26 
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Don Stokes <> wrote:
> writes:
>>According to my source at McDonnell Douglas in Long Beach, the MD-95 is:
>>	-	A DC-9-34 fuselage and wing
>>	-	38" plug (2 frames) added forward of wing
>>	-	BMW/Rolls Royce BR715 engines
>>	-	MD-87 vertical stabilizer
>>	-	MD-90 tail cone (screwdriver tail)
>>	-	New fuselage/wing fairing
>>	-	Deleted ventral airstair
>>	-	MD-90 avionics (modified)
>OK, so where's the new model?  Airbus & Boeing would consider this kind of
>change at best a new series number.  For these manufacturers a change in
>model number indicates pretty major differences in configuration,
>particularly Boeing where there isn't any comonality in engine configuration
>between models.

At Airbus, this kind of change means you change the "A320" label to "A319",
each of which have their own distinct series numberings.  So the MD-95
designation is not in any way strange.  Its all a marketing game, anyway.
If the 737 hadn't already been the successful jet airliner around, I bet
Boeing would be calling the 737-600/700/800 the 787-100/200/300.

> Is there any
>particular reason why MDD didn't take the DC-9-30 series or one of the MD-80s
>and re-engine it?

The MD-80/90 are larger.

Proposals to re-engine DC-9s periodically surface.  Air Canada, Northwest,
and Finnair all seriously considered such schemes in recent years.  On
these older airframes, though, it turns out hush-kitting was the better
deal, economically.  We may yet see DC-9s being re-engined.

But if you're going to remain an aircraft manufacturer, you have to do
just that:  build airplanes.  So you take proven models and update them
with new engines and avionics.  Its cheap and low-risk.  All those people
running around trying to arrange for new 100-seat designs to be built in
Asia are going to find it very difficult to compete with the MD-95 and
the 737-600: they may not be as fancy as current state-of-the-art allows,
but development costs are low and the new engines and avionics offer most
of the operating economies that new models would offer.

Stefano Pagiola  Tel. 202-458-2997  Fax 202-477-0565
World Bank Environment Dept, 1818 H Str NW, Washington DC 20433
All opinions expressed are my own and do not necessarily reflect
World Bank Group opinions.