Re: Fate of the MD-11, MD-90, MD-95

Date:         19 Dec 96 03:06:32 
From:         faurecm@halcyon.com (C. Marin Faure)
Organization: Northwest Nexus Inc.
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In article <airliners.1996.2900@ohare.Chicago.COM>, "Robert D. Seals"
<rob@lunch.asrc.albany.edu> wrote:

> Planecrazy wrote:
> > I think that we are about to
> > say goodbye to the large tri-jet and the rear-mounted twin for good.
>
> > Let's hear what you think.
>
> In contrast to the vast majority (apparently) of readers in
> this newsgroup, I think Boeing planes are really boring.
> The 707 and 747 are the only real exceptions for me.
> At least the 727 is still loud (for the time being). But from
> this perspective, I'm afraid you may be right. American
> commercial airplane manufacturing will now consist of
> various sizes of things that look like a 737. Sure, one of them
> sits higher, but in general we get planes with 2 engines
> mounted under the wings.
>
> I know you all hate the MD products, but the MD-11 is just so
> awesome to look at. And the poor L1011 is cooler than anything
> else flying around. And not for much longer, unfortunately.
>
> Yes, I'm afraid interesting commercial airplanes have just
> disappeared.

It depends on your definition of interesting.  From an airline point of
view, the 737, 777, et al are VERY interesting.  From a plane spotters
point of view, you have a point- they all look the same.  But the air they
fly in is all the same and when you're after efficiency, it tends to yield
the same numbers and thus the same shape regardles of whose name is on the
builder's plate.  The DC-10 and L-1011 were designed before ETOPS, so they
had to have the distinctive 3rd engine.  Now that three or more engines
are not a requirement to fly routes in excess of 60 minutes flying time
from a suitable airport, why stick the extra engine on?  It's just one
more thing to suck fuel and need maintenance.  I doubt passengers would be
willing to pay higher seat fares in order to preserve the distinctive
fleet of three-engine aerial dinosaurs.

C. Marin Faure
   author, Flying a Floatplane