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MD-11 McDonnell Douglas
(now Boeing)
Medium to Long-Range Jetliner

As DC-10 production was winding down, McDonnell Douglas began studying potential replacements. Originally, designers focused on merely stretching the airframe by developing the DC-10 Series 50 and Series 60. As plans grew more ambitious, the new design became known as the MD-100, the MD-XXX, and finally the MD-11.

Although the MD-11 was essentially just a stretched DC-10, the new design featured many improvements. These modifications included winglets for improved aerodynamics, a redesigned tail assembly, more powerful engines, and a more advanced flight deck with an electronic flight instrument system allowing a reduction to two flight crew. Four variants were developed, the MD-11P passenger model, MD-11F freighter, MD-11 Combi combined passenger/cargo model, and the MD-11CF convertible model.

The MD-11 program faced repeated difficulties in the late 1980s and early 1990s owing to airline failures and mergers that cancelled many orders. However, a total of 200 were completed by the time Boeing closed the MD-11 production line in 2001.

Last modified 10 March 2011

First Flight 10 January 1990
Service Entry

December 1990 (with Finnair)

CREW: two flight crew: pilot, co-pilot

PASSENGERS: (MD-11P) 285 to 410
(MD-11 Combi) 181 to 214
(MD-11CF) 350 to 410



Wing Root DSMA-496/-521/-522
Wing Tip


Length 200.83 ft (61.24 m)
Wingspan 169.50 ft (51.71 m)
Height 57.67 ft (17.60 m)
Wing Area 3,648 ft (338.9 m)
Canard Area

not applicable

Empty (MD-11P) 294,200 lb (133,450 kg)
(MD-11 Combi) 286,100 lb (129,775 kg)
Normal Takeoff unknown
Max Takeoff 630,500 lb (285,990 kg)
Fuel Capacity internal: 38,615 gal (146,155 L)
external: not applicable
Max Payload

112,565 lb (51,060 kg)

Powerplant three Pratt & Whitney PW4460 turbofans or
three Pratt & Whitney PW4462 turbofans or
three General Electric CF6-80C2 turbofans
Thrust (PW4460) 180,000 lb (800.71 kN)
(PW4462) 186,000 lb (827.40 kN)
(CF6-80C2) 184,500 lb (820.73 kN)

Max Level Speed at altitude: 590 mph (945 km/h) at 31,000 ft (9,460 m), Mach 0.87
at sea level: unknown
cruise speed: 545 mph (875 km/h) at 35,000 ft (10,670 m)
Initial Climb Rate unknown
Service Ceiling 32,600 ft (9,935 m)
Range (MD-11P) 7,140 nm (13,230 km)
(MD-11 Combi) 5,635 nm (10,445 km)
(MD-11CF) 6,830 nm (12,655 km)
(MD-11F) 3,945 nm (7,310 km)
g-Limits unknown

DC-10 Series 50
DC-10 Series 60
McDonnell Douglas design study of a stretched DC-10 that eventually led to the MD-11
MD-100 More ambitious DC-10 follow-on design study that eventually led to the MD-11
MD-11P First production model for dedicated passenger use
MD-11 Combi Combined passenger and cargo model for 181 to 214 passengers and up to six cargo pallets on the main deck plus additional cargo on the lower deck
MD-11CF Convertible passenger or cargo model
MD-11F Dedicated freighter model with large cargo door located forward of the port wing
MD-11BCF Boeing Converted Freighter, former MD-11 passenger models converted into cargo transports
MD-12 Proposed follow-on design; cancelled

Aeroflot Cargo
Air Canada
Altitude Aircraft Leasing Trust
American Airlines
Avient Aviation
China Airlines
China Eastern Airlines
City Bird
Delta Air Lines
Eastern Airlines
El Al Israel Airlines
Ethiopian Airlines
Eva Air
Garuda Indonesia
Gemini Air Cargo
Global Aviation Holdings
Japan Airlines
KLM - Royal Dutch Airlines
Korean Air Lines
Lufthansa Cargo Airlines
Malaysia Airlines
Mandarin Airlines
MAS Air Cargo
Philippine Air Lines
Saudi Arabian Airlines
Saudi Royal Flight
TAM Brazil
Thai Airways International
Varig Brasil
World Airways



  • Aboulafia, Richard. Jane's Civil Aircraft. Glasgow: Harper Collins Publishers, 1996, p. 80-81, McDonnell Douglas MD-11.
  • Boeing MD-11 site
  • Chant, Christopher and Taylor, Michael J.H. The World's Greatest Aircraft. Edison, NJ: Chartwell Books, 2006, p. 233, McDonnell Douglas MD-11.
  • Donald, David, ed. The Complete Encyclopedia of World Aircraft. NY: Barnes & Noble, 1997, p. 615, McDonnell Douglas MD-11.
  • Donald, David, ed. The Encyclopedia of Civil Aircraft. San Diego, CA: Thunder Bay Press, 1999, p. McDonnell Douglas MD-11.
  • Rendall, David. Jane's Aircraft Recognition Guide, 2nd ed. London: Harper Collins Publishers, 1999, p. 224, Boeing (McDonnell Douglas) MD-11.
  • Taylor, Michael. Brassey's World Aircraft & Systems Directory 1996/1997. London: Brassey's, 1996, p. 277-279, McDonnell Douglas MD-11.
  • Taylor, Michael J. H. Brassey's World Aircraft & Systems Directory 1999/2000. London: Brassey's, 1999, p. 259-260, Boeing (McDonnell Douglas) MD-11.

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