|An MD-90 of Delta Air Lines, both its launch customer and final operator|
|Role||Narrow-body jet airliner|
|National origin||United States|
|Manufacturer||McDonnell Douglas |
Boeing Commercial Airplanes
|First flight||February 22, 1993|
|Introduction||1995 with Delta Air Lines|
|Retired||June 2, 2020|
|Primary users||Delta Air Lines (historical)|
Saudi Arabian Airlines (historical)
Japan Airlines (historical)
Scandinavian Airlines (historical)
|Developed from||McDonnell Douglas MD-80|
|Variants||McDonnell Douglas MD-94X|
The McDonnell Douglas MD-90 is a single-aisle airliner developed by McDonnell Douglas from the MD-80, itself derived from the DC-9. After the more fuel-efficient IAE V2500 high-bypass turbofan was selected, Delta Air Lines became the launch customer on November 14, 1989. It first flew on February 22, 1993 and the first MD-90 was delivered to Delta in February 1995.
The MD-90 competed with the Airbus A320 and the Boeing 737 Next Generation. Its 5 ft (1.4 m) longer fuselage seats 153 passengers in a mixed configuration over up to 2,455 nmi (4,547 km), making it the largest DC-9 version. It kept the MD-88's electronic flight instrument system (EFIS). The shorter MD-95 was renamed the Boeing 717 after McDonnell Douglas merged with Boeing in 1997. Production ended in 2000 after 116 deliveries. Delta Air Lines flew the final passenger flight on June 2, 2020.
The Douglas Aircraft Company developed the DC-9 in the 1960s as a short-range companion to their larger DC-8. 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 it was later marketed as the MD-80 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. For several years, McDonnell Douglas proposed powering the MD-90 with two propfan engines, such as the General Electric GE36 and the Pratt & Whitney/Allison 578-DX. By mid-1989, it was clear that there was insufficient interest in propfan-powered aircraft, so the company reworked its proposals to instead feature the IAE V2500 turbofan, which was estimated to be $1 million cheaper than the GE36 and had already been certified for the Airbus A320. Within six weeks of eliminating the propfan option, the MD-90 secured a large launch order.
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. The aircraft first flew on February 22, 1993 and the first MD-90 was delivered to Delta in February 1995. The MD-90 was produced adjacent to the Long Beach Airport in Long Beach, California, USA.
The MD-90 is a mid-size, medium-range airliner that was developed from the MD-80 series. Resembling the preliminary version of the MD-88 from March 1984, the MD-90 is a 57-inch-longer (1.4 m), updated version of the base MD-80 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. Due to the heavier engines, the engine pylons feature flaps that deflect 30° downward to assist in pitching down for stall recovery. The system activates automatically when the control column is pushed fully forward.
Typical seating for the MD-90 ranges from 153 to 172 passengers, depending on the cabin configuration and interior layout. The MD-90 was produced in two versions: -30 and -30ER. The -30 has a range of 2,045 nmi (3,787 km). The -30ER has a higher gross weight and range up to 2,455 nmi (4,547 km) with an extra 565 US gal (2,140 L) auxiliary fuel tank. An even longer-range version, the -50, was offered but was never ordered.
The initial MD-90s feature an EFIS cockpit similar to the MD-88's cockpit. 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.
No MD-90 orders were received after Boeing and McDonnell Douglas merged in 1997 due to internal competition with Boeing's 737. 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. 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, but Boeing's decision to phase out the MD-90 resulted in only two built by Shanghai Aircraft.
MD-90 production at Long Beach, California ended in 2000 with the last airplane being delivered to Saudi Arabian Airlines, 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. Two aircraft were also produced at Jiangwan Airfield in Shanghai, People's Republic of China.
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. The main competitors of the MD-90 included the Airbus A320 and the Boeing 737-800.
|Seating, 2–class||153-158: 12J@36" + 141/146Y@31-33"|
|Cargo||1,300 cu ft (36.8 m3)||1,177 cu ft (33.3 m3)|
|Length||152.6 ft (46.51 m)|
|Fuselage||131.6×142 in (334.3×360.7 cm) width × height|
|Wingspan||107.8 ft (32.86 m)|
|Height||30.6 ft (9.33 m)|
|MTOW||156,000 lb (70,760 kg)||166,000 lb (75,296 kg)|
|Empty weight||88,200 lb (40,007 kg)||88,400 lb (40,098 kg)[a]|
|Max. payload||41,800 lb (18,960 kg)||43,600 lb (19,777 kg)|
|Fuel capacity||39,128 lb (17,748 kg)[b]|
|Turbofan engines (2×)||IAE V2525-D5|
|Unit thrust||25,000 lbf (111.21 kN)[c]|
|VMO||Mach 0.84 (506 kn; 937 km/h) at 27,240 ft (8,303 m)|
|Cruise speed||Mach 0.76 (438 kn; 812 km/h) at 34,777 ft (10,600 m)|
|Ceiling||37,000 ft (11,278 m)|
|Range, 153 pax||2,045 nmi (3,787 km)||2,237 nmi (4,143 km)[d]|
|Takeoff runway||7,000 ft (2,134 m) at 156,000 lb, ISA, SL|
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration, and era
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to McDonnell Douglas MD-80/MD-90.|
|Douglas DC-6||McDonnell Douglas DC-9||MD-95 / B717|
|DC-7||McDonnell Douglas MD-80|
|Douglas DC-8||MDD MD-90|
|McDonnell Douglas DC-10||MD-11|
|= Piston-engined||= Narrow-body jet||= Wide-body jet|