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

From:         kls@ohare.Chicago.COM (Karl Swartz)
Organization: Chicago Software Works, Menlo Park, California
Date:         18 Dec 95 15:26:10 
References:   1 2 3 4 5 6
Next article
View raw article
  or MIME structure

>> typed as a DC-10.  Douglas saves big bucks on using the derivative
>> certification process, just as Boeing does, and as Airbus wishes we all
>> couldn't.  Until they do *their* stretches, that is.  :-)

>Based on the above, am I to understand that Airbus's introduction of the
>stretched A320, called the A-321 required more certification paperwork than
>Douglas' introduction of the stretched DC-10 called the MD-11 ?

Keep in mind that the type certificates are issued by government agencies,
entities which are not known as paragons of rational behavior.  Now,
consider Lockheed's L-1011.  It was initially designated L-1011-385-1,
-385 being for an early design target of 385,000 lbs MGTOW (the first one
was actually 409,000 lbs MGTOW, boosted to 430,000 lbs to meet performance
guarantees), and -1 for first variant.  This is what is shown on the type

When Lockheed was readying the next two versions, the FAA apparently
refused to treat them as derivatives unless they were designated with
suffixes to the original, hence the L-1011-385-1-15 and -14 were born.
When the long range TriStar 500 was introduced, a different FAA rep
decided it was ok to call it L-1011-385-500 yet still treat it as a

>Would a stretched 737 bearing the name 737-xxx require less
>paperwork/certification simply because the word "737" is still used in the
>product's name ???? If Airbus hhad named the stretched A320 A320-400, instead
>of A321, would this have saved Airbus some certification work ????

Apparently the answers could depend on who you ask at the FAA, and
when.  In reality, I'd be very surprised if the A321 cost Airbus more
than in might have simply because of the name -- if that had been the
case, they probably would have called it the A320-400 as you suggest,
or probably -300.  Another alternative might have been to use A321 as
a marketing name while the TC lists something else, a la the MD-82
which says DC-9-82 on its certificate.

Karl Swartz	|Home
Moderator of sci.aeronautics.airliners -- Unix/network work pays the bills