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

From:         Stefano Pagiola <spagiola@worldbank.org>
Organization: World Bank
Date:         04 Dec 95 01:14:52 
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bareynol@cca.rockwell.com (Brian A. Reynolds) wrote:
>
>DAC uses the year of launch (or projected launch) as their model
>numbers for the twin-jet series.

Not exactly.  When the DC-9-80 was launched, Douglas skipped the series
numbers between -80 and the preceding -50 as a marketing ploy: "Super 80
for the Eighties." The sub-model numbers within that series (-81, -82,
-83) were initially assigned in simple sequence, and do not bear any
relation to launch dates.  Then came the MD-87, which at various times in
its gestation was known by other names, including MD-90.  As I recall,
the -87 designation was related to initial service dates.  Then came the
MD-88, the glass-cockpit version of the MD-80 series.  Douglas decided to
give it a new sub-model number.  -84 would have been natural, but Delta
didn't want a number that suggested it was less advanced than other
sub-models, so -88 was assigned.  The MD-90 designation was part marketing
("MD-90 for the '90s", even though the aircraft entered service in 1995)
and part a simple numerical progression to next-higher series after -80.
Note that the proposed sub-models of the -90 series were initially
designated -91, -92, and -93.  After the launch, these were changed to
-90-10, -90-30, and -90-40.  So, is there a relation between Douglas
numbering and years?  yes.  But it's far from a simple "rule".

Stefano