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This is the Last Christmas For American’s MD-80 Fleet

American Airlines MD-80 fleet is celebrating its final Christmas in service. For the past 36 Christmases, American Airlines MD-80 have been ( More...

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Tony Smith 12
MD-80s are great planes and have been solid workhorses throughout the years. I grew up with them and preferentially flew them when I had the opportunity. I've taken hundreds of trips on them through the years.
I'll miss these planes.
1BabyGirl 11
Yea for sure. As a passenger what I miss most is the smooth ride even in rough weather and the amazing climb rate just after takeoff. Only aircraft I liked more was the Boeing 727-200.
"...the amazing climb rate..."

And what rate-of-climb would that have been exactly? ;-)
thetrain 5
I think the writer was referring to what seemed to be, as a passenger, a consistently greater angle of climb off the runway under almost all conditions versus many/most airplanes (especially, the seemingly lumbering 738). While I don't have as many rides as you, I certainly have a few thousand passenger cycles and noticed the same thing about the md-80, and also seemingly the 757. Perhaps instead of the snark you could articulate their performance characteristics? I'd be interested.
dee9bee 1
By definition, a twin engine jet must meet certain performance requirements in the case of one engine out that a four engine jet does not. So, the twin is going to climb quite well when both engines are running.
James Simms 9
One should be in the AA Museum or a museum somewhere
dee9bee 1
There's not enough room at the CR Smith (AA) Museum for anything but the DC3 but after a museum remodel, there's an actual cockpit on display there, apparently saved from the real thing that was sitting in the desert, about to be cut up.
I always loved flying on the MD-80. Best seating, comfortable and roomy. Today's more modern planes are configured for the benefit of the airlines, not the pleasure of the passengers!
Steven Macom 5
Kent Wien posted a phenom vid on why he loved the MD-80. Worth a watch if you have ten minutes.
1BabyGirl 1
Thank you very much for the video link. Great stuff!
I will miss them..they replaced the 727 "workhorse" that american had,and were fairly comfortable aircraft..goodbye old friend..kind of like saying goodbye to that silver bird that had the aa on the tail!
Sorry to see the DC-9s (-10 -20 -30 -50 -80 (i.e. MD-80) -90 & the B-717) going the way of 727s, L-1011s, DC-10s, etc. Still, there will be a few MD-80s still flying for a while. It's a nice airplane to fly. Comfortable cockpit, easy to operate, reliable, and so on. I've give a lot of type rating rides and IOE checks in the DC-9 family of aircraft. But then I retired so there's no reason why the -80 shouldn't retire too.


Capt Rick Cremer
ATP DC-9 (ret.)
FAA Aviation Safety Inspector (ret.)
Mechanic, A&P
Flight Instructor
Ground Instructor
Aircraft Dispatcher
Air Traffic Controller
Matt Kase 3
Delta will still continue flying them for a bit.
Tom Williams 3
I will bet that I flew nearly a million and a quarter miles on AA's MD 80's from 1984 until 2006. That aircraft was basically all I flew in those years out of O'Hare and Miami.
Austin Deppe 2
We just retired the rest of ours at Allegiant last month. We were sad to see them go. Can’t beat that engine sound!
I logged 20,000 hours in the DC-9 series - almost all of them - before I retired in 2015 (Ozark, TWA, American). I can count on one hand the number of times I was met by ARFF in 37 years. She treated me very well. In addition, the P&W engines were extremely reliable, never had an inflight shutdown or failure during my entire career.
Peter Maas 2
the DC9 is similar to the MD80. The DC9's engines were noisier. The MD80 more quiet. Either one was a pleasure to fly in. I made many trips on both aircraft and are my favorites in civilian transport. I am a U.S.Air Force Veteran.
The DC-9 series aircraft (all the way from the 10 series to the 90 series) are all DC-9s. That includes the 717-200 and MD-87 Fire Tanker. When the FAA gives a check ride in the DC-9 that's what goes on the pilot's certificate. I.e. DC-9. Of course all the 9s vary in their numbers. I.e. size, engine configurations, weight limitations, operating limitations, etc. But a DC-9 is a DC-9.


Capt Rick Cremer
Greg Szanyi 2
Capt Rick, I was a crew member on the Air Force version of the DC-9. Our aircraft were designated the C9-A Nightingale which were Aeromedical Evacuation aircraft. The fleet of 23 aircraft began flying in 1968 and were retired in 2003. Our birds were DC-9 30 Series. They were awesome aircraft and extremely reliable. I was a Medical crew member and the Nightingale is still the love of my life.
thetrain 0
Again with the snark. You actually don't disprove one word of what he says, you confirm it, and just come off as ... Well, I'll be kind and say, cranky. In fact,as you both state: The dc9-30 is not identical to an md-80.

No need to list all your jobs. You can tuck your Wang back in your pants, we've all seen it.

it would be great if you could elaborate on some of these comments. Such as, were there differences in the engines it caused them to be quieter in later generations, ETC
Peter Mass - yes, the DC-9 engines were noisier - both inside and outside the cabin. I had a last row passenger tell me he was going to sue TWA for his hearing loss from our two hour flight sitting between the engines!
Can't wait. Noisy B------s that go over my house!
Marques Dean 2
The “Mad Dog” will always be one of my favorite aircraft to fly in. I had more legroom in those planes than American’s Boeing 737-800s. Nothing like listening to those Pratt & Whitney JT8D-200 series turbofans spool up on engine start and the start of the takeoff run.
superliner 2
Really glad I've had the privilege of not only photographing these planes but also being able to fly in them several times. Good legroom even in economy, and you gotta love the characteristic whine of those JT8Ds. Plus they look great in AA's bare-metal livery with the red, white and blue stripes.
Marques Dean 1
I’ve flown numerous times on MD-80s(typically the MD-82 or MD-83 and once on a MD-88)operated by TWA,American and Delta .Like the Boeing 727 before it the MD-80 proved to be a very effective workhorse on short (and some intermediate) length runs. And McDonnell Douglas aircraft have a reputation for longevity so many of these aircraft will still be flying for years to come. A popular running gag is that sometime in the 25th century one might be able to see a DC-8 flying a cargo route in Latin America!
Gene Poon 1
In the accompanying video at 0:33 there appears to be an MD-80 with its tail visible in the new American paint scheme, which was something we had believed, confirmed by the airline, that would not happen. Does anyone know the registration or tail number, or have an actual photo of this aircraft?
Ryan Robinson 1
None of the MD-80s have been painted in the new colors. That's a CRJ-700 or CRJ-900 back there.
Gene Poon 1
Thank you!!!
Ryan Robinson 1
I'll definitely miss the Super 80s when they're gone. Growing up about an hour south of DFW, we took those everywhere we went, which was mainly to ATL, AUS, SAT, and even up to BWI. My longest flight on one was DFW-PDX. Got to fly on one a few days ago on Christmas ATL-DFW and enjoyed every minute of it. Hoping to get at least one more flight in.
thetrain 1
A bulkhead window on the mad dog has always been my favorite American Airlines coach seat.
Kevin Haiduk 1
Seat 3E or 3F. That was my place.
Kevin Haiduk 1
I remember moving up from the F100 to the Super 80's. I sure have spent a lot of time on them.
Ian Deans 1
I had plenty of rides in Trans-Australia DC9-30s, only one in an MD 80-something of Korean Air. I loved them all....vale DC9 family....sad to see them go. The 717 lingers on here in Australia.
Morgan Scott 1
The 1st class lavatory had enough room to host a small party. Placing it aft of the boarding door was genius! Instead, we will have the 737 MAX, and the 737-800 reconfigured to fill it to the max...
Kevin Haiduk 1
It seems everything is relative now :-)
Art Pfe 0
The most beautiful plane form when viewed from the ground.


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