McDonnell Douglas MD-90

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

BritishJET MD-90-30 landing at Gatwick Airport near London
National originUnited States
ManufacturerMcDonnell Douglas
First flightFebruary 22, 1993
Introduction1995 with Delta Air Lines
StatusIn service
Primary usersDelta Air Lines
Uni Air
Number built116[1]
Unit cost
US$41.5–48.5 million
Developed fromMcDonnell Douglas MD-80
VariantsMcDonnell Douglas MD-94X
Jump to: navigation, search
BritishJET MD-90-30 landing at Gatwick Airport near London
National originUnited States
ManufacturerMcDonnell Douglas
First flightFebruary 22, 1993
Introduction1995 with Delta Air Lines
StatusIn service
Primary usersDelta Air Lines
Uni Air
Number built116[1]
Unit cost
US$41.5–48.5 million
Developed fromMcDonnell Douglas MD-80
VariantsMcDonnell Douglas MD-94X

The McDonnell Douglas MD-90 is a twin-engine, short- to 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.

The MD-90 and the subsequent MD-95/Boeing 717 were derivatives of the MD-80 which, itself, was a derivative commercially introduced in 1980 from the DC-9.

Design and development[edit]


The Douglas Aircraft Company developed the DC-9 in the 1960s as a short-range companion to their larger DC-8.[2] 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[3] and entered service in 1980. McDonnell Douglas began studies into shorter derivatives of the MD-80 in 1983, these studies eventually becoming known as the MD-90. While for several years, McDonnell Douglas proposed powering the MD-90 with two propfan engines, by 1989, it was clear that there was insufficient interest in prop fan powered aircraft, and reworked their proposals to feature the IAE V2500 turbofan instead.[4]


The MD-90 was firmly launched on November 14, 1989, when Delta Air Lines placed an order for 50 MD-90s, with options for a further 110 aircraft.[4] The aircraft first flew on February 22, 1993 and the first MD-90 was delivered to Delta in February 1995.[5] The MD-90 was produced adjacent to the Long Beach Airport in Long Beach, California, USA, though two aircraft were produced at Jiangwan Airfield in Shanghai, People's Republic of China.[6]

International Aero Engines V2500 engine powering the MD-90

The MD-90 is a mid-size, medium-range airliner that was developed from the MD-80 series. It is a 5 feet (1.5 m) longer, updated version of the MD-88 with similar electronic flight instrument system (EFIS) and more powerful, quieter and fuel efficient IAE V2500 engines instead of the JT8D engines, which power the MD-80 series. This made the MD-90 the first derivative variant of the DC-9 to use a high-bypass turbofan engine. Typical seating for the MD-90 ranges from 153 to 172 passengers, depending on the cabin configuration and interior layout.[7]

The MD-90 was produced in two versions: -30 and -30ER. The -30 has a range of 2,400 miles (3,860 km). The -30ER has 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 never ordered.[8]

The initial MD-90s feature an EFIS cockpit similar to the MD-88's cockpit.[9] The 29 MD-90s delivered to Saudi Arabian Airlines feature a full glass cockpit with avionics and an overhead display panel similar to the MD-11's cockpit for easy transition for the airline's pilots of the MD-11, also operated by the airline.[9][10]

Nordic Leisure MD-90

No MD-90 orders were received after Boeing and McDonnell Douglas merged in 1997 due to internal competition with Boeing's 737.[11] 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.[11][12] 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,[13][14] but Boeing's decision to phase out the MD-90 resulted in only two built by Shanghai Aircraft.[15]

MD-90 production at Long Beach, California ended in 2000 with the last airplane being delivered to Saudi Arabian Airlines,[11] 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.[1]

Following the MD-90 in the DC-9 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.[16] The main competitors of the MD-90 included the Airbus A320 and the Boeing 737-800.


Japan Airlines MD-90
Basic variant with two V2500 engines and an EFIS cockpit.
Increased Gross Weight version, one built.
Extended Range (ER) version of MD-90-30, two built.
MD-90-30T "Trunkliner"
Variant of the MD-90-30 assembled by Shanghai Aviation Industrial Corporation in the People's Republic of China. Production was initially planned to be 40,[17] later reduced to 20,[18] with only two built in the end.[19] To accommodate the heavy aircraft on unsuitable runways, a dual tandem landing gear with more tires to spread the weight of the aircraft was designed for the Trunkliner,[20] but ultimately not used in the two aircraft produced.[21] The COMAC ARJ21 is built using tooling retained by the Chinese after the end of the Chinese MD-90-30 program.[22]


Glass cockpit of a Saudi Arabian Airlines MD-90

Major airlines that have operated the MD-90 include Delta Air Lines, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Japan Airlines, and Scandinavian Airlines.[23] A total of 77 MD-90 aircraft (all variants) were in airline service as of June 2013.

Former operators (partial list)



Incidents and accidents[edit]

As of August 2010, the MD-90 has been involved in three incidents,[28] including one hull-loss accident,[29] with 1 fatality.[30]

Notable accidents and incidents


Passengers153 (2 class)
172 (1 class)
Max Take-off Weight156,000 lb
(70,760 kg)
168,000 lb
(76,204 kg)
Take off run at MTOW7450 ft (2,270 m)
Range2,085 nmi (3,860 km)2,172 nmi (4,023 km)
*2,389 nmi (4,424 km)
Cruise Speed, typicalMach 0.76 (504 mph, 811 km/h)
Length152 ft 7 in
(46.5 m)
Wing span107 ft 10 in
(32.87 m)
Height30 ft 6 in
(9.4 m)
Power plant (2 x)IAE V2525-D5
25,000 lbf (111.21 kN)
Optional: IAE V2528-D5
28,000 lbf (124.55 kN)

Note: * With extra 565 gallon auxiliary fuel tank.
Sources: Boeing,[32][33][34]

See also[edit]

Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
Related lists


  1. ^ a b Orders and Deliveries search page, The Boeing Company. Retrieved 2008-04-22.
  2. ^ Norris, Guy and Wagner, Mark. Douglas Jetliners. MBI Publishing, 1999. ISBN 0-7603-0676-1.
  3. ^ History - Chronology - 1977-1982. The Boeing Company. Retrieved 2007-12-14.
  4. ^ a b Swanborough 1993, p.90.
  5. ^ MD-90 Background. The Boeing Company. Retrieved 2008-12-09.
  6. ^ Shanghai Jiangwan Airfield. Global Security. Retrieved: 2008-12-09.
  7. ^ Technical Characteristics -- MD-90 Series. Boeing.
  8. ^ MD-90 page, Retrieved 2008-12-08.
  9. ^ a b Becher 2002, p. 105.
  10. ^ Saudia Calls for Honeywell Flat Panel Cockpit Displays for New MD-90s. Honeywell. February 6, 1996. Retrieved: 2008-12-08.
  11. ^ a b c Becher 2002, pp. 102-105.
  12. ^ Delta's 1997 Annual Report, Delta Air Lines. Retrieved 2008-12-08.
  13. ^ China Northern Airlines Receives First MD-90 Aircraft, The Boeing Company. Retrieved 2008-12-08.
  14. ^ Manufacturing Processes, Changes to the Trunkliner Program
  15. ^ Boeing in China, The Boeing Company. Retrieved 2008-12-08.
  16. ^ Boeing Chronology, 1997-2001, Boeing
  17. ^ Mintz, J., Sale of Aircraft Machinery to China Shows Perils of Exporting Technology, Washington Post, June 7, 1998. Retrieved 2008-12-09.
  18. ^ China Northern Airlines Receives First MD-90, McDonnell Douglas Corporation, July 26, 1996. Retrieved 2008-12-09.
  19. ^ Becher 2002, p. 104.
  20. ^ Bailey, J., "China: Boeing argues MDC lead". Flight International, May 1–7, 1991. Retrieved 2008-12-09.
  21. ^ and Boeing MD-90/90 Forecast International. Retrieved 2008-12-09.
  22. ^ Burchell, Bill. "Setting Up Support For Future Regional Jets". Aviation Week, October 13, 2010.
  23. ^ MD-90 Statistics. Retrieved: April 7, 2012.
  24. ^ Air Aruba MD-90 at
  25. ^ [1]
  26. ^ [2][dead link]
  27. ^ Order and Deliveries - User Defined Reports. boeing
  28. ^ McDonnell Douglas MD-90 incidents., August 4, 2010.
  29. ^ McDonnell Douglas MD-90 Accident summary., August 4, 2010.
  30. ^ McDonnell Douglas MD-90 Accident Statistics., August 4, 2010.
  31. ^ MD-90 UNI Air accident on August 24, 1999. Retrieved: August 9, 2010.
  32. ^ MD-90 characteristics. Boeing
  33. ^ MD-90 airport report. Boeing
  34. ^ MD-90 specs.

External links[edit]