The McDonnell Douglas MD-11 is a medium to long range wide body jet airliner. It was designed and built by McDonnell Douglas and continued by Boeing for three more years after the merger. The MD-11 was developed from the DC-10, the development included changes such as a longer fuselage, new engines, wing lets and the use of composite materials.
The MD-11 cockpit included a flat screen glass display, there are six interchangeable units and advanced Honeywell VIA computers which replace the flight engineer making it a two crew cockpit. This is called an Advanced Common Flight Deck or ACF for shot, unlike its predecessor the DC-10 which had a three crew cockpit with an analogue display and flight engineer located behind the pilots.
The MD-11 as an unusual design compared to most wide body aircraft such as the Boeing 747 or the Airbus A330, it has three turbofan engines instead of the usual two or four, one on each wing attached to a pylon and one located through the vertical stabilizer at the rear of the aircraft.
The Development of the MD-11 included new technological advances. The wing lets where added to reduce the fuel consumption which will lower the operating costs, making the aircraft appeal to airlines. New composite materials where used in building the aircraft, these materials are lighter and more durable.
The aircraft had a problem with its flight control system. The flap lever between the two pilots could accidentally be dislodged. The problem was later corrected in 1992.
The passenger option, sometimes referred to the MD-11P was produced from 1988 to 1998. This was the first version of this aircraft. Passenger versions where delivered to American Airlines (19), Delta Airlines (17), Swissair (16), Japan Airlines (10), KLM (10) and several other operators.
The Combi was launched in 1986, combi aircraft are designed to carry passengers as well as cargo on the main deck as well as carrying cargo in the belly of the aircraft. This featured a rear cargo door on the main deck and had room for up to 10 pallets of cargo. The combi could also be configured to an all passenger main deck, only five combi's where produced and all between 1991 and 1992 and delivered to Alitalia. In 2005 and 2006 Alitalia's MD-11s where converted to full freighters and where transferred to their cargo division.
The convertible freighter was launched in 1991 from an order off Martinair for three aircraft plus two options. The CF included a large forward port side cargo door for the main deck between the passenger doors, the aircraft could be used as all passenger or all freighter. Making it easy for Martinair to quickly changed from freighter to cargo on which they did when the airline went fully cargo. Eventually six MD-11CFs where built and delivered to Martinair (four) and World Airways (two). Both Word Airways aircraft have been converted to full freighter.
The extended range (ER) version was launched in 1994 at the Singapore Airshow. Only six where eventually produced.
The freighter version was the second version of the MD-11 produced. It was first put on offer in 1986. This was also the last version of the type to be produced due to poor sales. For this type there where two main customers, Fedex taking 22 aircraft and Lufthansa taking 14 aircraft. Both carriers grew their fleet of MD-11s by converting ex passenger aircraft from other carriers. United Parcel Service (UPS) acquired 38 ex passenger aircraft and had them all converted to freighter.
MD-11 Boeing converted freighter (BCF)
Boeing offered a conversion for used passenger versions.
Historic Large Operators
Purpose: Wide body Jet Airliner
First Flight: January 10 1990
Introduction: December 1990 with Finnair
Status: In Service, mainly cargo
Airframes built: 200
Developed from: Douglas DC-10 Accidents and Incidents
Up to November 2010 the MD-11 has been involved 13 incidents.
1990-3 | 1991- 31 | 1992-42 | 1993-36 | 1994-17 | 1995-18 | 1996- 15 | 1997-12 | 1998-12 | 1999-8 |
2000-4 | 2001-2 | Total - 200
Currently there are no displayed or preserved MD-11s.
In 1996 at the Farnborough International Air Show the McDonnell Douglas company presented plans for a new trijet with higher seating capacity and increased range. The news MD-XX idea would come in two variants, the MD-XX stretched version with a longer fuselage and the MD-XX LR for long range. The length was increased by 32ft compared to the MD-11 although the LR would be the same length as the MD-11. But unfortunately the financial investment for the program was too large.