Thursday, January 14, 2010

Wake Turbulence: Part 3.2 - McDonnell Douglas Heavy Jets

In the on-going series on wake turbulence, today we'll take a look at the heavy jets produced by McDonnell Douglas. Most, if not all, of these aircraft were built here in southern California at Douglas' Long Beach facility. McDonnell Douglas became part of Boeing in 1997, but few people consider these aircraft to be Boeings. (See the previous part for Boeing heavy jets)

: The MD-11, the most commonly seen heavy from McDonnell Douglas at LAX, is a favorite of cargo carriers, and can weigh as much as 630,500 lbs (286,000 kg).

All of these MD-11's are freighters. Fedex, with over a quarter of the 200 produced aircraft, has the world's largest fleet of MD-11's. I don't remember who was operating the one in the last photo, but it clearly used to be an Alitalia aircraft.

There are some MD-11's still in passenger service. World Airways uses them for both passenger and freight charters, including for the military. The Lufthansa Cargo aircraft in the second shot is also operated by World.

DC-10: DC-10's are mostly seen in cargo service these days. The forerunner of the MD-11 can have a maximum take-off weight 572,000 lbs (259,460 kg). The DC-10 is about 22 feet (7 m) shorter than the MD-11, and lacks the MD-11's winglets. The shape of the tailcone is also different; the DC-10's is rounded, while the MD-11's is squared-off.

Like the MD-11 fleet, Fedex is by far the largest operator of DC-10's. Omni Air operates passenger DC-10's in charter service.

DC-8: Like its Boeing 707 competitor, the DC-8 is also a heavy. Unlike the Boeing, however, DC-8's are still relatively common in cargo use, particularly the stretched -61 and -63 models. Many of those have been re-engined and are now considered -71's and -73's. Maximum take-off weight 355,000 lb (161,000 kg).

Link to next part: Airbus Heavy Jets

1 comment:

  1. Last MD-11 pic (Half Alitalia livery) was Centurion Air Cargo (Not painted in CWC livery at the time)