McDonnell-Douglas MD-80 Series


The McDonnell Douglas MD-80 is a series of twin-engine, short- to medium-range, single-aisle

The End of an Era: American Airlines Says Farewell to the Super 80
American Airlines - 09/04/2019

One of the last MD-83s in service with American Airlines on final approach at the DFW Airport

Delta Air Lines News Release about the retirement of its MD-88s and MD-90s
Delta Air Lines - 06/02/2020A Delta Air Lines MD airliner departs for final flight on June 3, 2020

commercial jet airliners. The engines are mounted on the rear of the fuselage of the "T-Tail" aircraft.

It was lengthened and updated from the Douglas DC-9. This series can seat from 130 to 172 passengers depending on variant and seating configuration.

The MD-80 Series later evolved into the MD-90, and the Boeing 717.

McDonnell-Douglas MD-80 Series Models

Known early as the "DC-9 Series 80"  or the "DC-9 Super 80", it would ultimately include the:

  • MD-81 - originally named the DC-9 Super 81, and DC-9-81
  • MD-82 - similar to the MD-81 but with more powerful engines
  • MD-83 - longer range version of the MD-81/82 with stronger engines and more fuel capacity
  • MD-87 - shortened variant (by about 17 feet)
  • MD-88 - similar to the MD-82/83 with various technical and cockpit electronics improvements

All models include two exit doors over the wing.

All models have forward cabin doors on both sides of the fuselage. All models, except the MD-87, have an additional door on the right, aft side of the fuselage in front of the engine.

The MD-81, MD-82, MD-83, and MD-88 all have the same fuselage length of 147' 8" (45m), as seen in the table below comparing the lengths of the MD series.

Aircraft Length
MD-81 147' 8"
MD-82 147' 8"
MD-83 147' 8"
MD-88 147' 8"
MD-87 130' 4"
MD-90-30 152' 7"
MD-95 / B717-200 124' 0"

 

See spotting chart below showing a side-by-side comparison of a MD-83 and a MD-87.

Spotting guide for the McDonnell-Douglas MD-81, MD-82, MD-83, MD-87 and MD-88 airliners

 

A total of 1,191 of the MD-80 series were produced.

Later introductions were the MD-90 and MD-95/Boeing 717.


McDonnell-Douglas MD-80 Series Model Comparisons

Photo comparison of the McDonnell-Douglas MD-81, MD-82, MD-83, MD-87 and MD-88 airliners

One of the last MD-83s in service with American Airlines, on final approach at the DFW International Airport  in Texas (Staff Photo, June 16, 2019)
One of the last MD-83s in service with American Airlines on final approach at the DFW Airport


MD-90: A Follow-Up to the MD-80 Series

Shown below is a McDonnell-Douglas MD-90-30 of British Jet, 5 feet longer than the MD-88. A total of 116 MD-90 airliners were built. The engines of the MD-90 are larger than the thinner engines found on the MD-80 series.

Photograph of a McDonnell-Douglas MD-90-30 of British Jet

 

DC-9, MD-80 Series, MD-90 and Boeing 717 Spotting Guide

The DC-9 series features a "pointed" tail cone, while the MD-80 series aircraft have what appears to be a "flat" tail cone. The MD-90 has larger engines than the MD-80 Series. The Boeing 717 has engines which are longer in length than the MD-90.
Side-by-side comparison of the DC-9, MD-80 Series, MD-90 and Boeing 717

 

 

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