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 15:26:11 
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>If Mcdonell Douglas was still calles Douglas Commercial Aircraft The Aircraft
>would still be designated as DC-?.  But since the company changed names then
>it wouldn't make much sense.
>The DC-9-80 was only renamed the MD-80 for this reason.

Conventional wisdom (which may or may not accurately reflect reality)
was that the designation was changed because of the widely publicized
crashes of the DC-10 and the aftermath thereof.  In particular, the
traveling public was clearly avoiding the DC-10 after the 1979 crash
of AA 191 at Chicago and the subsequent grounding of the DC-10.  Both
McDonnell Douglas and the airlines felt that anything with a DC
moniker might be tarred with the same brush, and I recall an article
in Fortune which suggested all of the DCs were in fact being avoided
to varying degrees.

While this explanation may or may not be correct, it makes more sense
than the merger explanation, since the merger took place in the 1960s
(even before the launch of the DC-10) but the designation change did
not take place until the early 1980s, not long after the AA 191 crash.

Karl Swartz	|Home
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