The McDonnell Douglas MD-80 was originally called the DC-9 Super 80, as it is a modernised version of the Douglas DC-9. It featured quieter and more efficient Pratt & Whitney JT8D-200 engines, a fuselage stretch of 4.34 metres and larger and updated wings.

First flight took place on 18 October 1979 and it entered service on 10 October 1980 with launch customer Swissair. With its range of 3,300 to 5,400 kilometres, depending on the variant, it proved popular with airlines around the world.

McDonnell Douglas MD-80 Videos

Following on from the last video about the Boeing 777-200LR, this week we look at the McDonnell Douglas MD-80. First up is a seven minute presentation produced in 1983 by the manufacturer showing flight testing of the aircraft.

Five versions were produced during the production run. The MD-81, 82, 83 and 88 are all the same length, typically seating around 140 passengers. The differences are mostly with the maximum take-off weight, with higher weights giving more range. The MD-88 also has a glass cockpit.

It is interesting to see the minimum unstick tests as well as the stall testing. All of these tests are what ensures aircraft are safe to fly with passengers. Next up is another McDonnell Douglas production from 1984, running for five minutes.

This one shows the production line and various elements that go into the manufacturing of a jet airliner. Fun things to see are the hideous 1980s seat covers, some great air to air photography and it’s all set to a rousing corporate soundtrack.

The other variant I haven’t yet mentioned is the MD-87 which is 5.28 metres shorter than the others. With seating for 115 to 130 passengers, it is the longest range version of the aircraft.

Overall Thoughts

The McDonnell Douglas MD-80 series was the most popular version of the Long Beach manufactured twin jet. 1,191 aircraft were produced between 1979 and 1999.

The plane saw service with a variety of airlines around the world. Large fleets were operated by the US carriers in particular, such as Northwest Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, TWA and Alaska Airlines among others.

European operators included carriers such as Scandinavian Airlines, Iberia and Austrian Airlines, and the jet could be found as far afield as Asia and Africa. Today there are less than 150 in service around the world, so getting on board is not as easy as it once was.

Have you flown on board a McDonnell Douglas MD-80? Do you have any particular memories about the plane? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

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Featured image by Konstantin von Wedelstaedt on via Wikimedia Commons.