MD-80 Background

The Boeing MD-80, a quiet, fuel-efficient twinjet, was certified by the Federal Aviation Administration in August 1980 and entered airline service in October 1980. Its Pratt & Whitney JT8D-200 engines, combined with its efficient aerodynamic design, allow the MD-80 to meet all current noise regulations while producing operating costs among the lowest in commercial aviation.

Four MD-80 models -- the MD-81, MD-82, MD-83, and MD-88 -- are 147 feet, 10 inches (45.08 meters) long and accommodate a maximum of 172 passengers. The MD-87 is 130.4 feet (39.76 m) in length, with a maximum passenger capacity of 139. Wingspan for all models is 107 feet, 10 inches (32.88 m). The MD-80 was produced at the Long Beach Division of Boeing Commercial Airplanes until December 1999.

The MD-80's nonstop range is from 1,500 to 2,700 statute miles (2,410 to 4,345 kilometers), depending on the model. The MD-81's maximum takeoff weight is 140,000 pounds (63,503 kg); the MD-82's and the MD-88's are 149,500 pounds (67,812 kg). The longer range MD-83 has a takeoff weight of 160,000 pounds (72,575 kg). The MD-87's maximum takeoff gross weight is 140,000 pounds (63,503 kg), with an option to 149,500 pounds (67,812 kg).

Operators range from the largest foreign and domestic trunk carriers to new startup airlines and charter operators. Swissair and Austrian Airlines began the first service, while American Airlines operates the largest number of MD-80s, a fleet of 275. In addition, 35 MD-80 airplanes were assembled and are operating in the People's Republic of China.