The McDonnell Douglas MD-90 is a twin-engine, medium-range, single-aisle commercial jet aircraft. The MD-90 was developed from the MD-80 series. Differences from the MD-80 include more fuel efficient International Aero Engines V2500 engines and a longer fuselage. The MD-90 has a seating capacity of up to 172 passengers and was introduced into service with Delta Air Lines in 1995.
Design and development
The Douglas Aircraft Company developed the DC-9 in the 1960s as a short-range companion to their larger DC-8. The DC-9 was an all-new design, using two rear fuselage-mounted turbofan engines, and a T-tail. The DC-9 has a narrow-body fuselage design with a 5-abreast seating with a capacity of 80 to 135 passengers depending on seating arrangement and aircraft version.
The second generation of the DC-9 was originally called the DC-9-80 series or the DC-9 Super 80 but later marketed as the MD-80 and entered service in 1980. The MD-80 series was then developed into the MD-90 entering service in 1995. The last variant of the family was the MD-95, which was renamed the Boeing 717-200 after McDonnell Douglas (successor to Douglas Aircraft Company) merged with Boeing in 1997.
The MD-90 is a mid-size, medium-range airliner that was developed from the MD-80 series. It is a 5 feet longer updated version of the MD-88 with a similar electronic flight instrument system (EFIS) and even more powerful, quieter and fuel efficient IAE V2500 engines instead of Pratt-Whitney engines, which power the MD-80 series. Typical seating for the MD-90 ranges from 153 to 172 passengers depending on seating arrangement.
The MD-90 program was launched in November 1989. The aircraft first flew on February 22, 1993 and the first MD-90 was delivered to Delta Airlines in February 1995. The MD-90 was produced adjacent to the Long Beach Airport in Long Beach, California, United States, though two aircraft were produced at Jiangwan Airfield in Shanghai, People's Republic of China. The MD-90 was produced in two versions: -30 and -30ER. The -30 had a range of 2,400 miles (3,860 km). The -30ER had a higher gross weight and range up to 2,750 miles (4,426 km) with an auxiliary fuel tank. An even longer range version, the -50 was offered but was not ordered.
The initial MD-90s featured a glass cockpit similar to the MD-88's cockpit. The 29 MD-90s delivered to Saudi Arabian Airlines feature a full glass cockpit with avionics similar to the Boeing 717's cockpit and an overhead panel similar to the MD-11's panel for easy transition for the pilots within Saudi Arabian Airlines, which operate the MD-11.
No MD-90 orders were received after Boeing and McDonnell Douglas merged in 1997 due to internal competition with Boeing's 737. Delta Air Lines had initially placed a large order for the MD-90 to replace some aging Boeing 727s. After the Boeing-McDonnell Douglas merger, Delta canceled their remaining 19 MD-90 orders in favor of the Boeing 737-800. A total of 40 MD-90s (later 20) were to be assembled under contract in Shanghai, People's Republic of China under the Trunkliner program, but Boeing's decision to phase out the MD-90 resulted in only two built by Shanghai Aircraft.
MD-90 production at Long Beach, California ended in 2000 with the last airplane being delivered to Saudi Arabian Airlines, and MD-90T production at Shanghai ended in 2000. With 116 MD-90 aircraft produced, the MD-90 production run was the smallest among the DC-9 family. The main competitors of the MD-90 included the Airbus A320 and the Boeing 737-800.
In August 2008, a total of 110 MD-90 aircraft (all variants) were in airline service, including:
Incidents and accidents
Published - July 2009
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