Good morning, fellow members of the Oppositelock club.
Today I'm venturing down on untrodden paths; the magical world of aircrafts. Yesterday night I binged about 6 months worth of Flight Club articles and may have learned a thing or two. The topic today is the last commercial plane ever built by McDonnell-Douglas before Boeing's hostile takeover in 1997, the MD-80.
The MD-80 was produced between 1980 and 1997, which coincidentally were the best decades in the automobile history. 1,191 units were built, which definitely prove how good they where as they literally sold like hot cakes.
American Airlines became the largest operator with the largest fleet of MD-80 in the world. Hence, most Americans had the privilege of flying in the MD-80's tight but cosy cabin.
But let's not get carried away about the back seats.
As they say : Party in the front, business in the back, but in the case of the MD-80, it's more like party at both ends, business in the middle.
Forget about these newer planes that are more like video games to drive, the MD-80 is complicated.
The cockpit is filled with 2 steering wheels, knobs, switches, gauges and things that can go beeep-beeep at any moment. It's not a plane for the lazy, but it's extremely rewarding for the driver.
At the far back, a pair of ballsy Pratt & Whitney JT8D turbofans are mounted. One big advantage of having the engines at the back is better control for the driver, I guess just like a RWD car.
Here's the seating chart of the MD-80, it's definitely quirky, but it allows a lot of people to fly together.
Below , we can see an enthusiast with a scaled R/C MD-80 he built himself, that's dedication.
All in all, the MD-80 is an old quirky plane that people love to hate, flying in one is like riding in that ex-cop Cab instead of that newer Camry. It's old school, but it's sturdy and safe.
Sadly, as we are speaking, MD-80's are being decommissioned by many operators looking to reduce costs by spending Billions to acquire fancy new planes. I don't think you can save money by scrapping your old crown vic to lease a new Camry, but what do I know.
Hope you enjoyed !