The MD-11 is a direct descendent from the DC-10, revealed at Paris Air Show 1985. British Caledonian ordered nine on 3 December 1986 and the official programme launch was on 30 December 1986.
The McDonnell Douglas MD-11 is an advanced-technology tri-jet designed to fulfil many airlines needs into the ‘90’s and beyond. After obtaining commitments for 92 aircraft from customers, the McDonnell Douglas board of directors gave the go-ahead for the MD-11 and the program was launched on the 30th of December 1986. On the 4th of March 1987 McDonnell Douglas saw the fabrication of the first parts for the MD-11 and the assembly of the first MD-11 began with the riveting of a portion of the nose on the 9th of March 1988 at Long Beach, California.
The MD-11 was very much an international aircraft with components being manufactured in many parts of the world. These included the vertical stabiliser, rudder and winglets from ‘Aeritalia’ in Italy, the wing and fuselage fillets from ‘Korean Air’ in Korea, the overwing fuel tanks, horizontal stabilizer and elevators from ‘Casa’, in Spain, and the outboard flaps from ‘Embraer’, in Brazil. One of the most noticeable differences between the DC-10 and the MD-11, has been the addition of winglets. These are seven feet high and have a lower segment of 2 feet 6 inches with an overall area of 40 square feet each side.
The advanced flight deck is designed for a two man flight deck crew using the latest digital technology to automate systems management via six, eight inch Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) displays.
The MD-11 flight deck concept was developed by a combined team of pilots, flight engineers and human factor experts, and operates on the ‘dark cockpit’ philosophy, that is. 99 percent of the time all light switches, warnings, and other devices are off. A light only goes on to alert, this assuring prompt pilot attention.
All alert information is displayed on the engine ‘CRT’ and action is taken by activating the switches on the overhead panels. The six ‘CRTs’ are used to display primary flight deck information - two are to provide primary flight data; two are for naviga-tion; one is for engine/alert displays, and the remaining one for systems. The ‘Honeywell/McDonnell Douglas’ designed flight deck also has a dual advanced flight management system, a dual advanced digital flight control system, wind shear detection and guidance devices.
The MD-11 had normal, abnormal and emergency checklist functions performed automatically rather than simply being displayed to the crew. No other new generation aircraft had the same level of automated systems management as the MD-11, however actions such as dumping fuel, or shutting down engines, were still left to the crew.
The MD-11 had been ordered by 29 customers and 312 commitments in all. The McDonnell Douglas MD-11 took off for its first flight from Long Beach ' California on 10 January 1990 (N111MD).
During the flight, the aircraft, which was powered by General Electric CF6-80C2 high bypass turbofan engines, reached altitudes of 25,000 ft and speeds of up to 300 knots. It is designed for a maximum level flight speed of 588 mph at altitudes of up to 43,000 ft. Other powerplants offered were the Pratt & Whitney PW4460 and Rolls-Royce Trent 650.
Of the five aircraft in the flight test programme (four with GE engines, one with P&W), the first flight of third prototype powered by P&W PW4460s, was on 26 April 1990
A fifth MD-11 brought the total test programme hours to 2,000.
Certification came on 8 November 1990 and deliveries began the same year. The first-three MD-11 off the production line were delivered to Federal Express, while American Airlines were the first passenger airline to receive the MD-11 (at the end of 1990). The 100th MD-11 was delivered on 30 June 1993. As of November 1996, McDonnell Douglas had made 146 sales of the MD-11 aircraft.
Several variants included long range MD-11ER, the MD11CF freighter and two combination freighter/passenger aircraft. Certification with the R-R Trent 650 was discontinued, and the fuselage production line was moved from San Diego to Long Beach during early 1996.
Boeing elected to cease production of the MD-11 in February 2000, after the delivery of the 200th aircraft (D-ALCN) which was delivered to Lufthansa Cargo on 22 February 2000.
Engines: 3 x General Electric CF6-80C2D1F turbofans, 61,500 lb
MTOW: 273.28 tonne
MLW: 195.04 tonne
Wing span: 169 ft 6 in (51.7m)
Wing area: 3,648 sq.ft (339 sq.m)
Length: 200 ft 10 in (61.2m)
Fuel cap: 117.468 tonnes
Range: 12,741 km
Pax cap: 293.
Gross wt. 602,500 lb
Empty wt. 277,000 lb
Fuel capacity 32,185 USG
Engines 3 x 58,000-lb. s.t. Pratt & Whitney PW4358 turbofans
Top speed 644 mph
Cruise 588 mph
Ceiling 45,000+ ft
Range 5,010 miles
Takeoff distance 10,100 ft
Landing distance 6,470 ft
Engines: 3 x General Electric CF6-80C2D1F turbofans, 273kN
Max take-off weight: 273300 kg / 602527 lb
Empty weight: 125870 kg / 277497 lb
Wingspan: 51.6 m / 169 ft 3 in
Length: 61.2 m / 200 ft 9 in
Height: 17.6 m / 57 ft 9 in
Wing area: 338.9 sq.m / 3647.89 sq ft
Max. speed: 962 km/h / 598 mph
Cruise speed: 876 km/h / 544 mph
Ceiling: 11000 m / 36100 ft
Range w/max.fuel: 11000 km / 6835 miles
Range w/max.payload: 9270 km / 5760 miles
McDonnell Douglas MD-11