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MD-90 McDonnell Douglas
(now Boeing)
MD-90
Medium-Range Jetliner

DESCRIPTION:
The MD-90 became the third generation of the Douglas twin-jet family, following the highly successful DC-9 and MD-80. The MD-90 was originally envisioned as a high-tech alternative to the earlier designs featuring very fuel efficient engines known as propfans. However, the drop in oil prices of the 1980s resulted in weak interest in these new technology engines, so McDonnell Douglas abandoned them in favor of more conventional turbofans.

Otherwise, the MD-90 is largely similar to the MD-80 it replaced, using the same basic fuselage, wing, and flight deck. However, the flight deck was updated with an improved electronic flight instrument system and other avionics plus new environmental control systems, hydraulic systems, and passenger comfort features. In addition, the new V2500 turbofan engines offered much improved fuel efficiency and noise emissions.

Only one major version of the MD-90 entered production, the standard Series 30. A handful of MD-90-30 derivatives were also built in small numbers including the extended range MD-90-30ER, MD-90-30IGW increased gross weight model, and the MD-90-30T manufactured in China. Smaller Series 10 and lengthened Series 50 variants were also proposed but not developed. Although interest in the MD-90 family was strong, the fate of the design was sealed when McDonnell Douglas was purchased by Boeing. Since the MD-90 competed directly with Boeing's 737, the production line was closed. As a result, the MD-90 is a rather rare sight at world airports since only 116 were built beween 1995 and 2000. A total of 109 remained in airline service as of 2009.

Last modified 11 April 2011

HISTORY:
First Flight 22 February 1993
Service Entry

1 April 1995 (with Delta Air Lines)

CREW: two flight crew: pilot, co-pilot

PASSENGERS: 153 in two classes, 172 in one class

ESTIMATED COST:

unknown

AIRFOIL SECTIONS:
Wing Root DSMA-433A/-434A
Wing Tip

DSMA-435A/-436A

DIMENSIONS:
Length 152.50 ft (46.52 m)
Wingspan 107.67 ft (32.87 m)
Height 30.92 ft (9.42 m)
Wing Area 1,209 ft (112.3 m)
Canard Area

not applicable

WEIGHTS:
Empty 86,590 lb (39,275 kg)
Normal Takeoff unknown
Max Takeoff (MD-90-30) 156,000 lb (70,760 kg)
(MD-90-50) 172,000 lb (78,245 kg)
Fuel Capacity internal:
(MD-90-30) 5,840 gal (22,100 L)
(MD-90-50) 7,620 gal (28,845 L)
external: not applicable
Max Payload

unknown

PROPULSION:
Powerplant (MD-90-30) two International Aero V2525-D5 turbofans
(MD-90-50) two International Aero V2528-D5 turbofans
Thrust (MD-90-30) 50,000 lb (222.42 kN)
(MD-90-50) 56,000 lb (249.11 kN)

PERFORMANCE:
Max Level Speed at altitude: unknown
at sea level: unknown
cruise speed: 505 mph (810 km/h) at 35,000 ft (10,680 m), Mach 0.76
Initial Climb Rate unknown
Service Ceiling unknown
Range (MD-90-30) 2,080 nm (3,860 km)
(MD-90-50) 2,785 nm (5,160 km)
g-Limits unknown

KNOWN VARIANTS:
DC-9 Super 90 Original design study that ultimately led to the MD-90 family
MD-90 Series 30 Initial production model intended to replace the MD-83; 111 built
MD-90-30ER Extended range model based on the Series 30 but with additional fuel tanks in the forward cargo hold and strengthened wing structure for operation at higher gross weights; 2 built
MD-90-30IGW Increased Gross Weight variant of the Series 30 with strengthened wing structure and landing gear; 1 built
MD-90-30T Trunkliner Proposed 147-passenger model based on the MD-90-30 with dual main landing gear for operation from rough airfields, 40 initially to have been built by Shanghai Aviation Industrial Corporation for Chinese operators; 2 built
MD-90 Series 10 Proposed shortened fuselage model to carry reduced passenger loads of 111 to 116, intended to replace the MD-87; cancelled
MD-90 Series 40 Proposed stretched model for up to 181 passengers; cancelled
MD-90-40EC Proposed Series 40 variant with increased payload and fuel capacity for European operators; cancelled
MD-90 Series 50 Proposed extended range model with additional fuel capacity and increased gross takeoff weight; cancelled
MD-90-55 Similar to the Series 50 but with a revised cabin layout making room for up to 187 passengers; cancelled

KNOWN OPERATORS: Air Aruba
AMC Aviation
American Airlines
Astraeus Airlines
Blue1
China Eastern Airlines
China Northern Airlines
China Southern Airlines
Cool1 Airlines
Delta Air Lines
Eva Airways
Hello Airlines
Japan Air System
Lion Air
Pacific Airlines
SAS Scandinavian Airlines
Saudi Arabian Airlines
Uni Air

3-VIEW SCHEMATIC:

MD-90


SOURCES:
  • Aboulafia, Richard. Jane's Civil Aircraft. Glasgow: Harper Collins Publishers, 1996, p. 84-85, McDonnell Douglas MD-90.
  • Boeing MD-90 site
  • Chant, Christopher and Taylor, Michael J.H. The World's Greatest Aircraft. Edison, NJ: Chartwell Books, 2006, p. 228, Douglas DC-9 and McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) MD-80/90 Series.
  • Donald, David, ed. The Complete Encyclopedia of World Aircraft. NY: Barnes & Noble, 1997, p. 616, McDonnell Douglas MD-90.
  • Donald, David, ed. The Encyclopedia of Civil Aircraft. San Diego, CA: Thunder Bay Press, 1999, p. 628-634, MD-80 and MD-90 Family.
  • Taylor, Michael. Brassey's World Aircraft & Systems Directory 1996/1997. London: Brassey's, 1996, p. 280-281, McDonnell Douglas MD-90 series.
  • Taylor, Michael J. H. Brassey's World Aircraft & Systems Directory 1999/2000. London: Brassey's, 1999, p. 261-262, Boeing (McDonnell Douglas) MD-90 series.





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