McDonnell Douglas MD-11
Overview
 
The McDonnell Douglas MD-11 is a three-engine
Trijet
A Trijet is an aircraft powered by three jet engines. Early twin-jet designs were limited by the FAA's "60-minute rule", whereby the flight path of twin-engined jetliners was restricted to within 60 minutes' flying time from a suitable airport, in case of engine failure. In 1964 this rule was...

 medium- to long-range
Range (aircraft)
The maximal total range is the distance an aircraft can fly between takeoff and landing, as limited by fuel capacity in powered aircraft, or cross-country speed and environmental conditions in unpowered aircraft....

 widebody
Wide-body aircraft
A wide-body aircraft is a large airliner with two passenger aisles, also known as a widebody aircraft or twin-aisle aircraft. The typical fuselage diameter is . In the typical wide-body economy cabin, passengers are seated seven to ten abreast, allowing a total capacity of 200 to 850 passengers...

 jet airliner
Jet airliner
A jet airliner is an airliner that is powered by jet engines. This term is sometimes contracted to jetliner or jet.In contrast to today's relatively fuel-efficient, turbofan-powered air travel, first generation jet airliner travel was noisy and fuel inefficient...

, manufactured by McDonnell Douglas
McDonnell Douglas
McDonnell Douglas was a major American aerospace manufacturer and defense contractor, producing a number of famous commercial and military aircraft. It formed from a merger of McDonnell Aircraft and Douglas Aircraft in 1967. McDonnell Douglas was based at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport...

 and, later, by Boeing Commercial Airplanes
Boeing Commercial Airplanes
Boeing Commercial Airplanes designs, assembles, markets and sells large commercial jet aircraft and provides product-related maintenance and training to customers worldwide...

. Based on the DC-10
McDonnell Douglas DC-10
The McDonnell Douglas DC-10 is a three-engine widebody jet airliner manufactured by McDonnell Douglas. The DC-10 has range for medium- to long-haul flights, capable of carrying a maximum 380 passengers. Its most distinguishing feature is the two turbofan engines mounted on underwing pylons and a...

, it features a stretched fuselage
Fuselage
The fuselage is an aircraft's main body section that holds crew and passengers or cargo. In single-engine aircraft it will usually contain an engine, although in some amphibious aircraft the single engine is mounted on a pylon attached to the fuselage which in turn is used as a floating hull...

, increased wingspan
Wingspan
The wingspan of an airplane or a bird, is the distance from one wingtip to the other wingtip. For example, the Boeing 777 has a wingspan of about ; and a Wandering Albatross caught in 1965 had a wingspan of , the official record for a living bird.The term wingspan, more technically extent, is...

 with winglets, refined airfoil
Airfoil
An airfoil or aerofoil is the shape of a wing or blade or sail as seen in cross-section....

s on the wing and smaller tailplane
Tailplane
A tailplane, also known as horizontal stabilizer , is a small lifting surface located on the tail behind the main lifting surfaces of a fixed-wing aircraft as well as other non-fixed wing aircraft such as helicopters and gyroplanes...

, new engines and increased use of composite material
Composite material
Composite materials, often shortened to composites or called composition materials, are engineered or naturally occurring materials made from two or more constituent materials with significantly different physical or chemical properties which remain separate and distinct at the macroscopic or...

s. Two of its engines are mounted on underwing pylons and a third engine at the base of the vertical stabilizer
Vertical stabilizer
The vertical stabilizers, vertical stabilisers, or fins, of aircraft, missiles or bombs are typically found on the aft end of the fuselage or body, and are intended to reduce aerodynamic side slip. It is analogical to a skeg on boats and ships.On aircraft, vertical stabilizers generally point upwards...

. It also features an all-digital glass cockpit
Glass cockpit
A glass cockpit is an aircraft cockpit that features electronic instrument displays, typically large LCD screens, as opposed to the traditional style of analog dials and gauges...

 that decreases the flight deck crew from the three required on the DC-10 to two by eliminating the necessity for a flight engineer
Flight engineer
Flight engineers work in three types of aircraft: fixed-wing , rotary wing , and space flight .As airplanes became even larger requiring more engines and complex systems to operate, the workload on the two pilots became excessive during certain critical parts of the flight regime, notably takeoffs...

.
Although the MD-11 program was launched in 1986, McDonnell Douglas
McDonnell Douglas
McDonnell Douglas was a major American aerospace manufacturer and defense contractor, producing a number of famous commercial and military aircraft. It formed from a merger of McDonnell Aircraft and Douglas Aircraft in 1967. McDonnell Douglas was based at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport...

 started to search for a DC-10 derivative as early as 1976.
Encyclopedia
The McDonnell Douglas MD-11 is a three-engine
Trijet
A Trijet is an aircraft powered by three jet engines. Early twin-jet designs were limited by the FAA's "60-minute rule", whereby the flight path of twin-engined jetliners was restricted to within 60 minutes' flying time from a suitable airport, in case of engine failure. In 1964 this rule was...

 medium- to long-range
Range (aircraft)
The maximal total range is the distance an aircraft can fly between takeoff and landing, as limited by fuel capacity in powered aircraft, or cross-country speed and environmental conditions in unpowered aircraft....

 widebody
Wide-body aircraft
A wide-body aircraft is a large airliner with two passenger aisles, also known as a widebody aircraft or twin-aisle aircraft. The typical fuselage diameter is . In the typical wide-body economy cabin, passengers are seated seven to ten abreast, allowing a total capacity of 200 to 850 passengers...

 jet airliner
Jet airliner
A jet airliner is an airliner that is powered by jet engines. This term is sometimes contracted to jetliner or jet.In contrast to today's relatively fuel-efficient, turbofan-powered air travel, first generation jet airliner travel was noisy and fuel inefficient...

, manufactured by McDonnell Douglas
McDonnell Douglas
McDonnell Douglas was a major American aerospace manufacturer and defense contractor, producing a number of famous commercial and military aircraft. It formed from a merger of McDonnell Aircraft and Douglas Aircraft in 1967. McDonnell Douglas was based at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport...

 and, later, by Boeing Commercial Airplanes
Boeing Commercial Airplanes
Boeing Commercial Airplanes designs, assembles, markets and sells large commercial jet aircraft and provides product-related maintenance and training to customers worldwide...

. Based on the DC-10
McDonnell Douglas DC-10
The McDonnell Douglas DC-10 is a three-engine widebody jet airliner manufactured by McDonnell Douglas. The DC-10 has range for medium- to long-haul flights, capable of carrying a maximum 380 passengers. Its most distinguishing feature is the two turbofan engines mounted on underwing pylons and a...

, it features a stretched fuselage
Fuselage
The fuselage is an aircraft's main body section that holds crew and passengers or cargo. In single-engine aircraft it will usually contain an engine, although in some amphibious aircraft the single engine is mounted on a pylon attached to the fuselage which in turn is used as a floating hull...

, increased wingspan
Wingspan
The wingspan of an airplane or a bird, is the distance from one wingtip to the other wingtip. For example, the Boeing 777 has a wingspan of about ; and a Wandering Albatross caught in 1965 had a wingspan of , the official record for a living bird.The term wingspan, more technically extent, is...

 with winglets, refined airfoil
Airfoil
An airfoil or aerofoil is the shape of a wing or blade or sail as seen in cross-section....

s on the wing and smaller tailplane
Tailplane
A tailplane, also known as horizontal stabilizer , is a small lifting surface located on the tail behind the main lifting surfaces of a fixed-wing aircraft as well as other non-fixed wing aircraft such as helicopters and gyroplanes...

, new engines and increased use of composite material
Composite material
Composite materials, often shortened to composites or called composition materials, are engineered or naturally occurring materials made from two or more constituent materials with significantly different physical or chemical properties which remain separate and distinct at the macroscopic or...

s. Two of its engines are mounted on underwing pylons and a third engine at the base of the vertical stabilizer
Vertical stabilizer
The vertical stabilizers, vertical stabilisers, or fins, of aircraft, missiles or bombs are typically found on the aft end of the fuselage or body, and are intended to reduce aerodynamic side slip. It is analogical to a skeg on boats and ships.On aircraft, vertical stabilizers generally point upwards...

. It also features an all-digital glass cockpit
Glass cockpit
A glass cockpit is an aircraft cockpit that features electronic instrument displays, typically large LCD screens, as opposed to the traditional style of analog dials and gauges...

 that decreases the flight deck crew from the three required on the DC-10 to two by eliminating the necessity for a flight engineer
Flight engineer
Flight engineers work in three types of aircraft: fixed-wing , rotary wing , and space flight .As airplanes became even larger requiring more engines and complex systems to operate, the workload on the two pilots became excessive during certain critical parts of the flight regime, notably takeoffs...

.

Origins

Although the MD-11 program was launched in 1986, McDonnell Douglas
McDonnell Douglas
McDonnell Douglas was a major American aerospace manufacturer and defense contractor, producing a number of famous commercial and military aircraft. It formed from a merger of McDonnell Aircraft and Douglas Aircraft in 1967. McDonnell Douglas was based at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport...

 started to search for a DC-10 derivative as early as 1976. Two versions were considered then, a DC-10-10 with a fuselage stretch of 40 feet (12.19 m) and a DC-10-30 stretched by 30 feet (9.14 m). That later version would have been capable of transporting up to 340 passengers in a multi-class configuration, or 277 passengers and their luggage over 5300 nautical miles (9,815.6 km). At the same time, the manufacturer was searching to reduce wing and engine drag on the trijet. Another version of the aircraft was also envisaged, the "DC-10 global", aimed to counter the risks of loss of orders for the DC-10-30 that the Boeing 747SP
Boeing 747SP
The Boeing 747SP is a modified version of the Boeing 747 jet airliner which was designed for ultra-long-range flights. The SP stands for "Special Performance". Compared with its predecessor, the 747-100, the 747SP retains its wide-body, four-engine layout, along with its double-deck design, but...

 and its range were creating. The DC-10 global would have incorporated more fuel tanks.
While continuing its research for a new aircraft, McDonnell Douglas designated the whole program as the DC-10 Super 60, having previously been known for a short time as DC-10 Super 50. The Super 60 was to be an intercontinental aircraft incorporating many aerodynamic improvements on the wings, and a fuselage lengthened by 26 feet 8 in (8.13 m) to allow up to 350 passengers to seat in a mixed class layout, compared to the capacity of 275 in the same configuration of the DC-10.

Following more refinements, the DC-10 Super 60 project was proposed, as of 1979, in three distinct versions like the DC-8. The DC-10-61 aimed to be a US domestic aircraft, able to carry 390 passengers on an airframe lengthened by 40 ft (12 m). Like for the DC-8, the series 62 was proposed as an intercontinental aircraft stretched by 26 ft 7 in (8.10 m) and capable to carry up to 350 passengers. And finally, the series 63 would have incorporated the same fuselage as the DC-10-61 as well as all the aerodynamic refinements of the -62. After the three DC-10 accidents in 1979 (American Airlines Flight 191
American Airlines Flight 191
American Airlines Flight 191 was a regularly scheduled passenger flight in the United States from O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois, to Los Angeles International Airport. On May 25, 1979, the McDonnell Douglas DC-10-10 operating the route crashed moments after takeoff from Chicago....

, Western Airlines Flight 2605
Western Airlines Flight 2605
On October 31, 1979, Western Airlines Flight 2605, a McDonnell Douglas DC-10-10 flying from Los Angeles to Mexico City, landed on a closed runway at Benito Juarez International Airport in early morning fog and burst into flames after striking a parked truck...

 and Air New Zealand Flight 901
Air New Zealand Flight 901
Air New Zealand Flight 901 was a scheduled Air New Zealand Antarctic sightseeing flight that operated between 1977 and 1979, from Auckland Airport to Antarctica and return via Christchurch...

) which received great media coverage, the trijet program was seriously damaged by doubts regarding its structural integrity. For these reasons, and due to another downturn in the airline industry, all work on the Super 60 was stopped.

In 1981, a Continental Airlines
Continental Airlines
Continental Airlines was a major American airline now merged with United Airlines. On May 3, 2010, Continental Airlines, Inc. and UAL, Inc. announced a merger via a stock swap, and on October 1, 2010, the merger closed and UAL changed its name to United Continental Holdings, Inc...

 DC-10-10(registration number N68048) was leased to conduct more research and particularly the effects the then newly-designed winglets could have on aircraft performance. Different types of winglets were tested during that time in conjunction with NASA
NASA
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation's civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research...

. McDonnell Douglas was again planning new DC-10 versions that could incorporate winglets and more efficient engines developed at the time by Pratt & Whitney
Pratt & Whitney
Pratt & Whitney is a U.S.-based aerospace manufacturer with global service operations. It is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corporation . Pratt & Whitney's aircraft engines are widely used in both civil aviation and military aviation. Its headquarters are in East Hartford, Connecticut, USA...

 (PW2037) and Rolls-Royce
Rolls-Royce plc
Rolls-Royce Group plc is a global power systems company headquartered in the City of Westminster, London, United Kingdom. It is the world’s second-largest maker of aircraft engines , and also has major businesses in the marine propulsion and energy sectors. Through its defence-related activities...

 (RB.211-535F4). The manufacturer finally rationalized all these studies under the MD-EEE (Ecology-Economy-Efficiency) designation, that was later modified to MD-100 following some more changes. The MD-100 was proposed in two versions: the Series 10, having an airframe shorter by 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) compared to the DC-10 and seating up to 270 passengers in a mixed class configuration; and the Series 20, incorporating a fuselage stretch of 20 ft 6 in (6.24 m) over the DC-10 and able to seat up to 333 passengers in the same kind of configuration as the Series 10. Both versions could be powered by the same engine families as the actual MD-11 plus the RB.211-600. But the situation for the manufacturer, and the airline industry in general, did not look bright. No new DC-10 orders were received, and many among the observers and customers doubted that the manufacturer would be around for much longer. Thus, the Board of Directors decided in November 1983 to cease once more all work on the projected new trijet.

The following year was fruitful as airlines placed repeat orders for the MD-80 series jets that had helped the manufacturer through the past difficult years. No new orders for the DC-10 were received, which inspired McDonnell Douglas even more to create a replacement. However, the production line was nonetheless kept active thanks to an earlier orders for KC-10A
KC-10 Extender
The McDonnell Douglas KC-10 Extender is the military adaptation of the three-engined DC-10 airliner for the United States Air Force . The KC-10 incorporates military-specific equipment for its primary roles of transport and aerial refueling. It was developed to supplement the KC-135 Stratotanker...

 tankers from the USAF. McDonnell Douglas was still convinced that a new derivative for the DC-10 was needed, as shown by the second-hand market of its Series 30 as well as for the heavier DC-10-30ER version. Thus, in 1984 a new derivative aircraft version of the DC-10 was designated MD-11 for the first time. From the very beginning, the MD-11X was conceived in two different versions. The MD-11X-10, based on a DC-10-30 airframe, offered a range of 6500 nautical miles (12,038 km) with passengers. That first version would have had a Maximum Take-Off Weight
Maximum Take-Off Weight
The Maximum Takeoff Weight or Maximum Takeoff Mass of an aircraft is the maximum weight at which the pilot of the aircraft is allowed to attempt to take off, due to structural or other limits. The analogous term for rockets is Gross Lift-Off Mass, or GLOW...

 (MTOW) of 580,000 pounds (263,157 kg) and would have used CF6-C2 or PW4000 engines. The MD-11X-20 was to have a longer fuselage, accommodating up to 331 passengers in a mixed class layout, and a range of 6000 nautical miles (11,112 km).

As more orders for the DC-10 were received, McDonnell Douglas used the time gained before the end of DC-10 production to consult with potential customers and to refine the proposed new trijet. In July 1985, the Board of Directors finally authorized the Long Beach plant to offer the MD-11 to potential customers. At the time, the aircraft was still proposed in two versions, both with the same fuselage length, a stretch of 22 ft 3 in (6.93 m) over the DC-10 airframe, as well as the same engine choice as the MD-11X. One version would have a range of 4,780 nmi (8,840 km) with a gross weight of 500,000 lb (227,000 kg) and transport up to 337 passengers, while the second would carry 331 passengers over 6,900 nmi (12,800 km). A year later, as several airlines had committed for the MD-11, the situation was looking optimistic. The aircraft was now a 320 seater baseline and defined as an 18 ft 7 in (5.66 m) stretch over the DC-10-30 powered by the new advanced turbofans offered by the major engine manufacturers and giving it a range of 6,800 nmi (12,600 km). Other versions, such as a shortened ER with a range of 7,500 nm (13,900 km), an all cargo offering a maximum payload of 200,970 lb (91,080 kg) and a Combi with a provision for ten freight pallets on the main deck, were proposed. Further growth of the aircraft was also foreseen, such as the MD-11 Advanced.

Design phase

Finally, the MD-11 was launched on December 30, 1986 with commitments for 52 firm orders and 40 options in three different versions (passenger, combi and freighter) from ten airlines (Alitalia
Alitalia
Alitalia - Linee Aeree Italiane S.p.A. , in its later stages known as Alitalia - Linee Aeree Italiane S.p.A. in Extraordinary Administration, was the former Italian flag carrier...

; British Caledonian
British Caledonian
British Caledonian was a private, British independentindependent from government-owned corporations airline, operating out of Gatwick Airport in the 1970s and 1980s...

; Dragonair
Dragonair
Hong Kong Dragon Airlines Limited , operating as Dragonair, is an international airline and flag carrier headquartered in Hong Kong; with its corporate headquarters, Dragonair House Hong Kong Dragon Airlines Limited (T: 港龍航空有限公司, S: 港龙航空有限公司, Cantonese: gong2 lung4 hong4 hung1 jau5 haan6 gung1 si1,...

; FedEx Express; Finnair
Finnair
Finnair Plc is the flag carrier and largest airline of Finland, with its headquarters on the grounds of Helsinki Airport in Vantaa, Finland, and its main hub at Helsinki Airport. Finnair and its subsidiaries dominate both the domestic and international air travel markets in Finland. The largest...

; Korean Air
Korean Air
Korean Air Lines Co., Ltd. , operating as Korean Air, is both the flag carrier and the largest airline of South Korea, with global headquarters located in Seoul, South Korea. Korean Air's international passenger division and related subsidiary cargo division together serve 130 cities in 45...

; Scandinavian Airlines System
Scandinavian Airlines System
Scandinavian Airlines or SAS, previously Scandinavian Airlines System, is the flag carrier of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, and the largest airline in Scandinavia....

; Swissair
Swissair
Swissair AG was the former national airline of Switzerland.It was formed from a merger between Balair and Ad Astra Aero , in 1931...

; Thai Airways International
Thai Airways International
Thai Airways International Public Company Limited is the national flag carrier and largest airline of Thailand. Formed in 1988, the airline's headquarters are located in Chatuchak District, Bangkok, and operates out of Suvarnabhumi Airport. Thai is a founding member of the Star Alliance. Thai is a...

 and Varig
Varig
VARIG was the first airline founded in Brazil, in 1927. From 1965 until 1990 it was Brazil's leading and almost only international airline...

) and two leasing companies (Guinness Peat Aviation
Guinness Peat Aviation
Guinness Peat Aviation was a Commercial Aircraft Sales and Leasing company set up in 1975 by Aer Lingus, the Guinness Peat Group and Tony Ryan, then an Aer Lingus executive.-History:...

 and Mitsui
Mitsui
is one of the largest corporate conglomerates in Japan and one of the largest publicly traded companies in the world.-History:Founded by Mitsui Takatoshi , who was the fourth son of a shopkeeper in Matsusaka, in what is now today's Mie prefecture...

). Orders from Dragonair, Scandinavian and UTA, an undisclosed customer, were canceled by 1988. Assembly of the first MD-11 began on March 9, 1988, and the mating of the fuselage with wings occurred in October that year. First flight was originally planned to occur in March 1989, but numerous problems with the manufacturing, delays with suppliers producing essential components and labor industrial actions delayed the ceremonial roll out of the prototype until September of that year. The following months were used to prepare the prototype for its maiden flight, which finally happened on January 10, 1990. The first two aircraft manufactured were intended for FedEx and thus, were already fitted with the forward side cargo door. They remained with the manufacturer as test aircraft until 1991 before being completely converted to freighters and delivered to their customer. FAA certification was achieved on November 8, 1990 while the European Joint Aviation Authorities
Joint Aviation Authorities
The Joint Aviation Authorities, or JAA, was an associated body of the ECAC representing the civil aviation regulatory authorities of a number of European States who had agreed to co-operate in developing and implementing common safety regulatory standards and procedures...

 (JAA) certified the MD-11 on October 17, 1991 after approximately 200 separate issues were resolved.

Yugoslav Airlines
Jat Airways
Jat Airways is the national airline of Serbia and the former national airline of Yugoslavia, and has its head office in the Jat Airways Business Center in Belgrade. It was established in 1927 as Aeroput, making it currently one of the world's oldest airlines still in operation...

, which was already flying several DC-10s, was to become the first customer of the MD-11. Three aircraft were manufactured but were never delivered due to war in Yugoslavia. The first MD-11 was delivered to Finnair on December 7, 1990 and it accomplished the first revenue service by an MD-11 on December 20, 1990, carrying passengers from Helsinki
Helsinki
Helsinki is the capital and largest city in Finland. It is in the region of Uusimaa, located in southern Finland, on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, an arm of the Baltic Sea. The population of the city of Helsinki is , making it by far the most populous municipality in Finland. Helsinki is...

 to Tenerife
Tenerife
Tenerife is the largest and most populous island of the seven Canary Islands, it is also the most populated island of Spain, with a land area of 2,034.38 km² and 906,854 inhabitants, 43% of the total population of the Canary Islands. About five million tourists visit Tenerife each year, the...

 in the Canary Islands
Canary Islands
The Canary Islands , also known as the Canaries , is a Spanish archipelago located just off the northwest coast of mainland Africa, 100 km west of the border between Morocco and the Western Sahara. The Canaries are a Spanish autonomous community and an outermost region of the European Union...

. MD-11 service in the U.S. was inaugurated by Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines, Inc. is a major airline based in the United States and headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. The airline operates an extensive domestic and international network serving all continents except Antarctica. Delta and its subsidiaries operate over 4,000 flights every day...

, also in 1990. It was during this period that flaws in the MD-11's performance became apparent. It failed to meet its targets for range and fuel burn. American Airlines
American Airlines
American Airlines, Inc. is the world's fourth-largest airline in passenger miles transported and operating revenues. American Airlines is a subsidiary of the AMR Corporation and is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas adjacent to its largest hub at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport...

 in particular was unimpressed, as was Singapore Airlines
Singapore Airlines
Singapore Airlines Limited is the flag carrier airline of Singapore. Singapore Airlines operates a hub at Changi Airport and has a strong presence in the Southeast Asia, East Asia, South Asia, and "Kangaroo Route" markets...

, who canceled their order for 20 aircraft. American Airlines cited problems with the performance of the airframe and the Pratt & Whitney PW4000 engines as reasons of the cancellation while the Singapore Airlines stated that the MD-11 could not operate on the airline's long haul routes. Pre-flight estimates indicated that the P&W-powered MD-11 was to have a range a 7,000 nautical miles (12,950 km) range with 61,000 pounds (27,680 kg) of payload. With the Phase 1 drag reduction in place then, the aircraft could only achieve its full range with 48,500 lb (22,000 kg) of payload, or a reduced range of 6,493 nmi (12,025 km) with a full payload.

In 1990, McDonnell Douglas, along with Pratt & Whitney and General Electric began a modification program known as the Performance Improvement Program (PIP) to improve the aircraft's weight, fuel capacity, engine performance, and aerodynamics. McDonnell Douglas worked with NASA's Langley Research Center to study aerodynamic improvements. The PIP lasted until 1995 and recovered the range for the aircraft. However, by this point sales of the MD-11 had already been significantly impacted. The MD-11 was one of the first commercial designs to employ a computer-assisted pitch stability augmentation system that featured a fuel ballast tank in the tailplane, and a partly computer-driven horizontal stabilizer. Updates to the software package made the plane's handling characteristics in manual flight similar to the DC-10, despite a smaller tailplane to reduce drag and increase fuel efficiency.

After McDonnell Douglas merged with Boeing
Boeing
The Boeing Company is an American multinational aerospace and defense corporation, founded in 1916 by William E. Boeing in Seattle, Washington. Boeing has expanded over the years, merging with McDonnell Douglas in 1997. Boeing Corporate headquarters has been in Chicago, Illinois since 2001...

 in 1997 the new company decided that MD-11 production would continue, though only for the freighter variant. However, in 1998 Boeing announced it would end MD-11 production after filling current orders. The last passenger MD-11 built was delivered to Sabena
Sabena
SABENA was the national airline of Belgium from 1923 to 2001, with its base at Brussels National Airport. After its bankruptcy in 2001, the newly formed SN Brussels Airlines took over part of SABENA's assets in February 2002, which then became Brussels Airlines...

 in April 1998. The last two MD-11s were manufactured during June and September 2000, and delivered to Lufthansa Cargo on February 22 and January 21, 2001 respectively. Production ended because of lack of sales, resulting from internal competition from comparable aircraft, such as the Boeing 777
Boeing 777
The Boeing 777 is a long-range, wide-body twin-engine jet airliner manufactured by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. It is the world's largest twinjet and is commonly referred to as the "Triple Seven". The aircraft has seating for over 300 passengers and has a range from , depending on model...

 and external competition from the Airbus
Airbus
Airbus SAS is an aircraft manufacturing subsidiary of EADS, a European aerospace company. Based in Blagnac, France, surburb of Toulouse, and with significant activity across Europe, the company produces around half of the world's jet airliners....

 A330
Airbus A330
The Airbus A330 is a wide-body twin-engine jet airliner made by Airbus, a division of EADS. Versions of the A330 have a range of and can accommodate up to 335 passengers in a two-class layout or carry of cargo....

/A340
Airbus A340
The Airbus A340 is a long-range four-engine wide-body commercial passenger jet airliner. Developed by Airbus Industrie,A consortium of European aerospace companies, Airbus is now fully owned by EADS and since 2001 has been known as Airbus SAS. a consortium of European aerospace companies, which is...

. The trijet design of the MD-11 made it inherently less fuel efficient than similar-sized twin-engine jets. Since there was a large demand for cargo aircraft and because there was no 777 cargo version available at the time, many airlines using the MD-11 were eager to switch to the 777 as they had no problems selling their used MD-11s to cargo operators.

McDonnell Douglas and later Boeing performed studies on the feasibility of removing the tail engine and making it a two engine plane, but nothing came of it. McDonnell Douglas originally projected that they would sell more than 300 MD-11 aircraft, but only 200 planes were built. The MD-11 was assembled at McDonnell Douglas
McDonnell Douglas
McDonnell Douglas was a major American aerospace manufacturer and defense contractor, producing a number of famous commercial and military aircraft. It formed from a merger of McDonnell Aircraft and Douglas Aircraft in 1967. McDonnell Douglas was based at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport...

's Douglas Products Division in Long Beach, California
Long Beach, California
Long Beach is a city situated in Los Angeles County in Southern California, on the Pacific coast of the United States. The city is the 36th-largest city in the nation and the seventh-largest in California. As of 2010, its population was 462,257...

 (later Boeing's).

Design

The MD-11 is a medium to long-range widebody airliner, with two engines mounted on underwing pylons and a third engine at the base of the vertical stabilizer. It is based on the DC-10, but featuring a stretched fuselage, increased wingspan with winglets, refined aerofoils on the wing and tailplane, new engines and increased use of composites. The winglets are credited with improving fuel efficiency by about 2.5%. The MD-11 has a smaller empennage
Empennage
The empennage , also known as the tail or tail assembly, of most aircraft gives stability to the aircraft, in a similar way to the feathers on an arrow...

 than the DC-10 it is based upon.

The MD-11 features a two-crew cockpit that incorporates six interchangeable CRT
Cathode ray tube
The cathode ray tube is a vacuum tube containing an electron gun and a fluorescent screen used to view images. It has a means to accelerate and deflect the electron beam onto the fluorescent screen to create the images. The image may represent electrical waveforms , pictures , radar targets and...

-units and advanced Honeywell VIA 2000 computers. The cockpit design is called Advanced Common Flightdeck
Glass cockpit
A glass cockpit is an aircraft cockpit that features electronic instrument displays, typically large LCD screens, as opposed to the traditional style of analog dials and gauges...

 (ACF) and is shared with the Boeing 717
Boeing 717
The Boeing 717 is a twin-engine, single-aisle jet airliner, developed for the 100-seat market. The airliner was designed and marketed by McDonnell Douglas as the MD-95, a third-generation derivative of the DC-9. Capable of seating of up to 117 passengers, the 717 has maximum range of...

. Flight deck features include an Electronic Instrument System, a dual Flight Management System
Flight management system
A flight management system is a fundamental part of a modern airliner's avionics. An FMS is a specialized computer system that automates a wide variety of in-flight tasks, reducing the workload on the flight crew to the point that modern aircraft no longer carry flight engineers or navigators. A...

, a Central Fault Display System, and Global Positioning System
Global Positioning System
The Global Positioning System is a space-based global navigation satellite system that provides location and time information in all weather, anywhere on or near the Earth, where there is an unobstructed line of sight to four or more GPS satellites...

. Category IIIb automatic landing capability for bad-weather operations and Future Air Navigation Systems are available.

The MD-11 incorporates hydraulic fuses
Fuse (hydraulic)
In hydraulic systems, a fuse is a component which prevents the sudden loss of hydraulic fluid pressure. It is a safety feature, designed to allow systems to continue operating, or at least to not fail catastrophically, in the event of a system breach...

 not included in the initial DC-10 design, to prevent catastrophic loss of control in event of a hydraulic failure.

Variants

The MD-11 was manufactured in five variants.
  • MD-11 (131 built): the Passenger variant, sometimes referred to as MD-11P, was produced from 1988 to 1998. It was the first version on offer at launch of the aircraft in 1986, and was delivered to American Airlines (19), Delta Air Lines (17), Swissair
    Swissair
    Swissair AG was the former national airline of Switzerland.It was formed from a merger between Balair and Ad Astra Aero , in 1931...

     (16), Japan Air Lines (10); KLM (10), and other airlines with fewer aircraft.

  • MD-11C (5 built): the Combi was the third variant on offer at launch in 1986 and was designed to accommodate both passengers and freight on the main deck, which featured a rear cargo compartment for up to ten pallets, each measuring 88 in X 125 in (2.23 m x 3.18 m) or 96 in x 125 in (2.44 m x 3.18 m). The main deck cargo compartment was accessible by a large rear port side cargo door, which measured 160 in x 102 in (4.06 m x 2.59 m). The main deck cargo volume was 10,904 cubic feet (309 m3). Additional freight was also carried in below-deck compartments. The MD-11C could also be configured as an all passenger aircraft. All five aircraft were manufactured between 1991 and 1992 and delivered to Alitalia, the only customer for that variant. In 2005 and 2006 the airline converted them to full-freighter configurations to be operated by Alitalia's cargo division. Following that division's closure, the five aircraft were returned to their lessor in January 2009.

  • MD-11CF (6 built): the Convertible Freighter variant was launched in 1991 by an order from Martinair
    Martinair
    For the American cargo airline, see Martinaire.Martinair Holland N.V., operating as Martinair, is an airline headquartered in the TransPort Building on the grounds of Amsterdam Airport Schiphol in Haarlemmermeer, Netherlands. It operates cargo services to over 50 destinations worldwide. Services...

     for 3 aircraft plus two options. The MD-11CF feature a large forward port side cargo door (140 in x 102 in - 3.56 m x 2.59 m) located between the first two passenger doors, and can be used in an all passenger- or in an all cargo-configuration. As a freighter, it can transport twenty six pallets of the same dimensions (88 in X 125 in (2.23 m x 3.18 m) or 96 in x 125 in (2.44 m x 3.18 m)) as for the MD-11C and MD-11F for a main deck cargo volume of 14,508 cubic feet (410.8 m3) and offers a maximum payload of 196,928 lb (89,325 kg). All six MD-11CFs were delivered to Martinair
    Martinair
    For the American cargo airline, see Martinaire.Martinair Holland N.V., operating as Martinair, is an airline headquartered in the TransPort Building on the grounds of Amsterdam Airport Schiphol in Haarlemmermeer, Netherlands. It operates cargo services to over 50 destinations worldwide. Services...

     (4) and World Airways
    World Airways
    World Airways, Inc. is an American airline headquartered at the HLH Building in Peachtree City, Georgia. For the most part, the company operates non-scheduled services. Its main aircraft and maintenance base is Tampa International Airport.-History:...

     (2) during 1995. The two World Airways aircraft have been converted to freighter-only in 2002.

  • MD-11ER (5 built): the Extended Range version was launched by the manufacturer at the Singapore Air Show in February 1994. The MD-11ER incorporates all the Performance Improvement Program (PIP) options, including a Maximum Take-Off Weight of 630,500 lb (286,000 kg) and an extra fuel tank of 3,000 US gallons (11,400 liter
    Litér
    - External links :*...

    s) in the forward cargo hold to offer a range of 7,240 nm (13,410 km), an increase of 400 nm (750 km) over the standard passenger variant. MD-11ERs were delivered between 1995 and 1997 to Garuda Indonesia
    Garuda Indonesia
    PT Garuda Indonesia Tbk , publicly known as Garuda Indonesia, is the flag carrier of Indonesia. It is named after the mystical giant bird Garuda of Hinduism and Buddhist mythology. It is headquartered at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Tangerang, near Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia...

     (3) and World Airways
    World Airways
    World Airways, Inc. is an American airline headquartered at the HLH Building in Peachtree City, Georgia. For the most part, the company operates non-scheduled services. Its main aircraft and maintenance base is Tampa International Airport.-History:...

     (2). As of February 2007, only one Finnair MD-11ER has been converted to MD-11 with the removal of the extra fuel tank.


  • MD-11F (53 built): the Freight transport aircraft was the second variant on offer at launch in 1986 and was the last and longest (1988–2000) manufactured version. The all-cargo aircraft features the same forward port side cargo door (140 in x 102 in - 3.56 m x 2.59 m) as the MD-11CF, a main deck volume of 15,530 cubic feet (447 m3), a maximum payload of 200,151 lb (90,787 kg) and can transport 26 pallets of the same dimensions (88 in X 125 in (2.23 m X 3.18 m) or 96 in X 125 in (2.44 m X 3.18 m)) as for the MD-11C and MD-11CF. The MD-11F was delivered between 1991 and 2001 to FedEx Express (22), Lufthansa Cargo
    Lufthansa Cargo
    Lufthansa Cargo AG is a cargo airline from Germany, operating worldwide air freight and logistics services on behalf of Lufthansa, of which it is a wholly owned subsidiary. The company is headquartered in Building 451 of the Frankfurt Airport area in Frankfurt, the major hub of Lufthansa...

     (14), and other airlines with fewer aircraft.

  • MD-11 Boeing Converted Freighter (BCF) - Boeing and its group of international affiliates offer a conversion of used passenger airliners into freighters. The MD-11BCF is one of the models offered.


Note: Some or all the features of the MD-11ER, including the higher MTOW of 630,500 lb (286,000 kg), part or all of the PIPs aerodynamic improvements packages and composite panels were fitted to later built MD-11s (except the extra fuel tank), and could be retrofitted to any of the variants, except for the PIP Phase IIIB larger aft engine intake. Some airlines, such as Finnair, Martinair and FedEx have made the structural changes required to allow their aircraft to have the higher MTOW. Swissair's 16 newly delivered aircraft were retrofitted with all the features except for the extra fuel tank and were so-designated MD-11AH for Advanced Heavy.

Operators

In July 2011, 181 MD-11 aircraft (all variants) were in commercial service, with FedEx Express (63), UPS Airlines
UPS Airlines
UPS Airlines is an American cargo airline owned by United Parcel Service Inc. . The company is headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky. Its home airport is located at Louisville International Airport...

 (38), Lufthansa Cargo
Lufthansa Cargo
Lufthansa Cargo AG is a cargo airline from Germany, operating worldwide air freight and logistics services on behalf of Lufthansa, of which it is a wholly owned subsidiary. The company is headquartered in Building 451 of the Frankfurt Airport area in Frankfurt, the major hub of Lufthansa...

 (18), World Airways
World Airways
World Airways, Inc. is an American airline headquartered at the HLH Building in Peachtree City, Georgia. For the most part, the company operates non-scheduled services. Its main aircraft and maintenance base is Tampa International Airport.-History:...

 (16), KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (10), EVA Air
EVA Air
EVA Airways Corporation "; ) is an airline based at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport near Taipei, Taiwan, operating passenger and dedicated cargo services to over 40 international destinations in Asia, Australia, Europe and North America. EVA Air is largely privately owned and flies a fully...

 (8), and other operators with fewer aircraft of the type.
Most of the airlines who ordered the MD-11 for their long-haul passenger flights had replaced it with Airbus A330, A340 and Boeing 777 aircraft by the end of 2004. Some carriers converted their MD-11s to freighters such as China Eastern and Korean Air
Korean Air
Korean Air Lines Co., Ltd. , operating as Korean Air, is both the flag carrier and the largest airline of South Korea, with global headquarters located in Seoul, South Korea. Korean Air's international passenger division and related subsidiary cargo division together serve 130 cities in 45...

. The South Korean airline announced as early as December 1994 its intention to convert its five passenger MD-11s to freighters for medium-range cargo routes. In 1995 American Airlines agreed to sell its 19 aircraft to FedEx, with the first MD-11 being transferred in 1996. Japan Airlines
Japan Airlines
is an airline headquartered in Shinagawa, Tokyo, Japan. It is the flag carrier of Japan and its main hubs are Tokyo's Narita International Airport and Tokyo International Airport , as well as Nagoya's Chūbu Centrair International Airport and Osaka's Kansai International Airport...

 (JAL) announced the replacement of its 10 MD-11s in 2000; these aircraft were being converted into freighters and sold to UPS.

In February 2007 TAM Linhas Aéreas
TAM Linhas Aéreas
TAM Airlines is Brazil's and Latin America's largest airline. It is headquartered in the city of São Paulo, and operates scheduled services to destinations within Brazil, as well as international flights to Europe and other parts of North and South America...

 began operating the first of three leased MD-11s in intercontinental service following a 2006 order for four 777-300ERs to be delivered in 2008. In May 2007, Finnair
Finnair
Finnair Plc is the flag carrier and largest airline of Finland, with its headquarters on the grounds of Helsinki Airport in Vantaa, Finland, and its main hub at Helsinki Airport. Finnair and its subsidiaries dominate both the domestic and international air travel markets in Finland. The largest...

 announced the sale of their last two MD-11s to Aeroflot-Cargo
Aeroflot-Cargo
CJSC "Aeroflot-Cargo" was a fully owned subsidiary of Aeroflot-Russian Airlines, founded on 26 October 2005 and incorporated on 19 April 2006. It was the second largest cargo airline in Russia, behind Volga-Dnepr subsidiary AirBridge Cargo....

 to become part of the Russian airline cargo fleet in 2008 and 2009. Varig retired the MD-11 from its fleet in June 2007 after sixteen years of services.

Two MD-11s were also operated in a VIP
Very Important Person
A Very Important Person, or VIP is a person who is accorded special privileges due to his or her status or importance.Examples include celebrities, heads of state/heads of government, major employers, high rollers, politicians, high-level corporate officers, wealthy individuals, or any other...

 configuration, one by Saudi Arabian Airlines
Saudi Arabian Airlines
Saudi Arabian Airlines is the flag carrier airline of Saudi Arabia, based in Jeddah. It operates domestic and international scheduled flights to over 90 destinations in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Europe and North America...

 Royal Flight for members of the Royal family, and one by Mid East Jet
Mid East Jet
Mid East Jet, Inc. is a charter airline based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. It is a privately owned premium class airline operating domestic and international scheduled and charter services. Its main base is King Abdulaziz International Airport, Jeddah.-Fleet:The Mid East Jet fleet consists of the...

 for ASACO
ASACO
ASACO is a charter airline based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. It is a privately owned premium class airline operating domestic and international scheduled and charter services...

 Aviation, both are now stored.

Current operators

MD-11 are operated by the following airlines at September 2011:
Current passenger operators
  • KLM (10) - is the last airline operating MD-11s on regular intercontinental flights in 2011.
  • World Airways
    World Airways
    World Airways, Inc. is an American airline headquartered at the HLH Building in Peachtree City, Georgia. For the most part, the company operates non-scheduled services. Its main aircraft and maintenance base is Tampa International Airport.-History:...

     (7) - is also operating five MD-11s and two MD-11ERs for passenger transport.


Current cargo operators
  • Aeroflot-Cargo
    Aeroflot-Cargo
    CJSC "Aeroflot-Cargo" was a fully owned subsidiary of Aeroflot-Russian Airlines, founded on 26 October 2005 and incorporated on 19 April 2006. It was the second largest cargo airline in Russia, behind Volga-Dnepr subsidiary AirBridge Cargo....

     (3) - The Russian airline was to receive at least six MD-11F from 2008. Two aircraft are currently stored.
  • Avient Aviation
    Avient Aviation
    Avient Aviation is an international cargo airline with its head office in Harare, Zimbabwe. The company was established in 1993 and offers scheduled and chartered flights to Africa and now operates scheduled services out of its hubs at Liège Airport in Belgium and at Sharjah International Airport...

     (1) - This airline lost an MD-11F in Shanghai.
  • Cargoitalia
    Cargoitalia
    Cargoitalia is a cargo airline with its head office in the Avioport Logistics Park in Lonate Pozzolo, Province of Varese, Italy, near Milan. The airline has its registered office in Milan. It operates all-cargo scheduled and charter services from Italy to the Middle East, the Far East and North...

     (3) - The Italian carrier has taken delivery of two MD-11F, previously operated by Alitalia Cargo.
  • Centurion Air Cargo
    Centurion Air Cargo
    Centurion Air Cargo is a cargo airline with its headquarters in Building 706 on the grounds of Miami International Airport in unincorporated Miami-Dade County, Florida, USA. It operates all-cargo services to Central America and South America, serving 16 scheduled destinations. It specializes in...

     (4) - The Miami-based company specialized in Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance and Insurance (ACMI) wet-leases, now operates a fleet of two freighters, one being a former Gemini Air Cargo
    Gemini Air Cargo
    Gemini Air Cargo was an American ACMI cargo airline headquartered in Dulles, Virginia, USA. It operated worldwide cargo schedules and charters on a wet-lease basis....

    , and the latest a former Alitalia aircraft.
  • Ethiopian Airlines
    Ethiopian Airlines
    Ethiopian Airlines , formerly Ethiopian Air Lines, often referred to as simply Ethiopian, is an airline headquartered on the grounds of Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It serves as the country's flag carrier, and is wholly owned by the Government of Ethiopia...

     (1) has received its first MD-11F on January 31, 2009.
  • Etihad Crystal Cargo (2) - leased from/operated by World Airways
    World Airways
    World Airways, Inc. is an American airline headquartered at the HLH Building in Peachtree City, Georgia. For the most part, the company operates non-scheduled services. Its main aircraft and maintenance base is Tampa International Airport.-History:...

    , not in Etihad colours.
  • EVA Air Cargo (9)
  • FedEx Express (59) - Fleet consists of 21 newly delivered aircraft and 38 second hand passenger aircraft converted to freighter coming from American Airlines, China Airlines, Delta Air Lines and Swiss International Airlines. The express carrier is to add two former TAM aircraft to its fleet, both previously intended for Aeroflot Cargo and Ethiopian Airlines.
  • Finnair Cargo (1) - operated in full previous Finnair livery.
  • Lufthansa Cargo
    Lufthansa Cargo
    Lufthansa Cargo AG is a cargo airline from Germany, operating worldwide air freight and logistics services on behalf of Lufthansa, of which it is a wholly owned subsidiary. The company is headquartered in Building 451 of the Frankfurt Airport area in Frankfurt, the major hub of Lufthansa...

     (19) - This airline was the last major to order MD-11s and received 14 of the freighter, including the very last MD-11 produced. In 2004 and 2005 it added to its fleet five former Alitalia (3) and Varig (2) passenger aircraft after having them converted to freighter.
  • Martinair Cargo (7) - The Dutch company trijet fleet is composed of four MD-11CF currently used only for cargo flights as well as two newly delivered MD-11Fs and a former Swiss MD-11 converted to freighter.
  • Saudi Arabian Airlines
    Saudi Arabian Airlines
    Saudi Arabian Airlines is the flag carrier airline of Saudi Arabia, based in Jeddah. It operates domestic and international scheduled flights to over 90 destinations in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Europe and North America...

     (4) - All newly delivered from December 1997 to January 1998 and operated on flights to Addis Ababa
    Addis Ababa
    Addis Ababa is the capital city of Ethiopia...

    , Bangkok
    Bangkok
    Bangkok is the capital and largest urban area city in Thailand. It is known in Thai as Krung Thep Maha Nakhon or simply Krung Thep , meaning "city of angels." The full name of Bangkok is Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom...

    , Brussels
    Brussels
    Brussels , officially the Brussels Region or Brussels-Capital Region , is the capital of Belgium and the de facto capital of the European Union...

    , Hong Kong, Khartoum
    Khartoum
    Khartoum is the capital and largest city of Sudan and of Khartoum State. It is located at the confluence of the White Nile flowing north from Lake Victoria, and the Blue Nile flowing west from Ethiopia. The location where the two Niles meet is known as "al-Mogran"...

     and Shanghai.
  • Shanghai Airlines Cargo
    Shanghai Airlines Cargo
    Shanghai Airlines Cargo is a cargo airline based in the People's Republic of China. A joint venture between Shanghai Airlines and EVA Air of the Evergreen Group based in Taiwan, Republic of China, it was established in June 2006.- Destinations :...

     (4) - The Pudong International Airport based airline is currently utilizing three former EVA Air MD-11Fs.
  • UPS Airlines
    UPS Airlines
    UPS Airlines is an American cargo airline owned by United Parcel Service Inc. . The company is headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky. Its home airport is located at Louisville International Airport...

     (38) - UPS fleet of MD-11Fs is exclusively composed of second hand passenger aircraft converted having previously served with Delta Air Lines, Japan Air Lines, Thai Airways International, Swissair, VARIG, VASP and World Airways.
  • World Airways
    World Airways
    World Airways, Inc. is an American airline headquartered at the HLH Building in Peachtree City, Georgia. For the most part, the company operates non-scheduled services. Its main aircraft and maintenance base is Tampa International Airport.-History:...

     (15) - Of its aircraft only one was built as freighter
    Cargo aircraft
    A cargo aircraft is a fixed-wing aircraft designed or converted for the carriage of goods, rather than passengers. They are usually devoid of passenger amenities, and generally feature one or more large doors for the loading and unloading of cargo...

    . Two were previously MD-11CFs and converted in 2002, two are former Korean Air aircraft, while the last one is the next to last MD-11 passenger built and converted to freighter in October 2006. The Peachtree City-headquartered airline has now added three more MD-11Fs, all formerly part of Gemini Air Cargo
    Gemini Air Cargo
    Gemini Air Cargo was an American ACMI cargo airline headquartered in Dulles, Virginia, USA. It operated worldwide cargo schedules and charters on a wet-lease basis....

     fleet.

Former operators

Former operators with highest number of aircraft for each in parentheses.

Former passenger operators
  • Aer Lingus
    Aer Lingus
    Aer Lingus Group Plc is the flag carrier of Ireland. It operates a fleet of Airbus aircraft serving Europe and North America. It is Ireland's oldest extant airline, and its second largest after low-cost rival Ryanair...

     MD-11 (1) - leased from World Airways
  • Air Asia MD-11ER (2)
  • Air Namibia
    Air Namibia
    Air Namibia is the national airline of Namibia, headquartered in Windhoek. It operates scheduled domestic, regional, and international passenger and cargo services under IATA airline designator SW and ICAO airline designator NMB. Its international hub is Windhoek Hosea Kutako International Airport,...

     MD-11 (2)
  • Alitalia
    Alitalia
    Alitalia - Linee Aeree Italiane S.p.A. , in its later stages known as Alitalia - Linee Aeree Italiane S.p.A. in Extraordinary Administration, was the former Italian flag carrier...

     MD-11 (3), MD-11C (5) later converted to freighter.
  • American Airlines
    American Airlines
    American Airlines, Inc. is the world's fourth-largest airline in passenger miles transported and operating revenues. American Airlines is a subsidiary of the AMR Corporation and is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas adjacent to its largest hub at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport...

     MD-11 (19)
  • ASACO
    ASACO
    ASACO is a charter airline based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. It is a privately owned premium class airline operating domestic and international scheduled and charter services...

     MD-11 (1) - operated by Mid East Jet
  • Avianca
    Avianca
    Avianca S.A. is the flag carrier airline of Colombia since December 5, 1919 when it was initially registered under the name SCADTA. It is headquartered in Bogotá, D.C. with its hub at the El Dorado International Airport...

     MD-11ER (1) - leased from World Airways
  • China Airlines
    China Airlines
    China Airlines is both the flag carrier and the largest airline of Republic of China . Although not directly state-owned, the airline is owned by China Airlines Group, which is owned by the China Aviation Development Foundation...

     MD-11 (5)
  • China Eastern Airlines
    China Eastern Airlines
    China Eastern Airlines Corporation Limited is an airline headquartered on the grounds of Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport in Changning District, Shanghai, China. It is a major Chinese airline operating international, domestic and regional routes. Its main hubs are at Shanghai Pudong...

     MD-11 (5) - all later converted to freighter.
  • City Bird MD-11 (6) - two operated for SABENA.
  • Delta Air Lines
    Delta Air Lines
    Delta Air Lines, Inc. is a major airline based in the United States and headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. The airline operates an extensive domestic and international network serving all continents except Antarctica. Delta and its subsidiaries operate over 4,000 flights every day...

     MD-11 (17)
  • El Al
    El Al
    El Al Israel Airlines Ltd , trading as El Al , is the flag carrier of Israel. It operates scheduled domestic and international services and cargo flights to Europe, North America, Africa and the Far East from its main base in Ben Gurion International Airport...

     MD-11ER (2) - leased from World Airways
  • Ethiopian Airlines
    Ethiopian Airlines
    Ethiopian Airlines , formerly Ethiopian Air Lines, often referred to as simply Ethiopian, is an airline headquartered on the grounds of Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It serves as the country's flag carrier, and is wholly owned by the Government of Ethiopia...

     MD-11 (2)
  • EVA Air
    EVA Air
    EVA Airways Corporation "; ) is an airline based at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport near Taipei, Taiwan, operating passenger and dedicated cargo services to over 40 international destinations in Asia, Australia, Europe and North America. EVA Air is largely privately owned and flies a fully...

     MD-11 (3) - all later converted to MD-11F.
  • Finnair
    Finnair
    Finnair Plc is the flag carrier and largest airline of Finland, with its headquarters on the grounds of Helsinki Airport in Vantaa, Finland, and its main hub at Helsinki Airport. Finnair and its subsidiaries dominate both the domestic and international air travel markets in Finland. The largest...

     MD-11 (7)
  • Garuda Indonesia
    Garuda Indonesia
    PT Garuda Indonesia Tbk , publicly known as Garuda Indonesia, is the flag carrier of Indonesia. It is named after the mystical giant bird Garuda of Hinduism and Buddhist mythology. It is headquartered at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Tangerang, near Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia...

     MD-11 (11), MD-11CF (2), MD-11ER (5)
  • Ghana Airways
    Ghana Airways
    Ghana Airways Limited was the national airline of the Republic of Ghana with its main base of operation, and hub, at Kotoka International Airport in Accra....

     MD-11 (1)
  • Japan Air Lines MD-11 (10)
  • Korean Air
    Korean Air
    Korean Air Lines Co., Ltd. , operating as Korean Air, is both the flag carrier and the largest airline of South Korea, with global headquarters located in Seoul, South Korea. Korean Air's international passenger division and related subsidiary cargo division together serve 130 cities in 45...

     MD-11 (5), later converted to MD-11F.


  • LTU International Airways MD-11 (4)
  • Malaysia Airlines
    Malaysia Airlines
    Malaysian Airline System Berhad , DBA Malaysia Airlines , is the government-owned flag carrier of Malaysia. Malaysia Airlines operates flights from its home base, Kuala Lumpur International Airport, and its eastern hub in Kota Kinabalu. It has its headquarters on the grounds of Sultan Abdul Aziz...

     MD-11 (3)
  • Mandarin Airlines
    Mandarin Airlines
    Mandarin Airlines, Limited is an airline based in Songshan District, Taipei, Taiwan. The Republic of China-based airline is China Airlines' regional and domestic subsidiary. It also operates charter services...

     MD-11 (5)
  • Mid East Jet
    Mid East Jet
    Mid East Jet, Inc. is a charter airline based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. It is a privately owned premium class airline operating domestic and international scheduled and charter services. Its main base is King Abdulaziz International Airport, Jeddah.-Fleet:The Mid East Jet fleet consists of the...

     MD-11 (1) - operated for Asasco Aviation
  • Monarch Airlines
    Monarch Airlines
    Monarch Airlines, often shortened to and trading as Monarch, is a British charter and scheduled airline based at London Luton Airport in Luton. It is one of the United Kingdom's largest charter airlines, operating to Europe, the United States, the Caribbean, India and Africa, serving mainly leisure...

     MD-11 (1), MD-11ER (2) - leased from World Airways
  • Philippine Airlines
    Philippine Airlines
    Philippine Airlines, Inc. operating as Philippine Airlines, is a flag carrier of the Philippines. Headquartered in the Philippine National Bank Financial Center in Pasay City, the airline was founded in 1941 and is the first and oldest commercial airline in Asia operating under its original name...

     MD-11CF (2), MD-11ER (2)
  • SABENA
    Sabena
    SABENA was the national airline of Belgium from 1923 to 2001, with its base at Brussels National Airport. After its bankruptcy in 2001, the newly formed SN Brussels Airlines took over part of SABENA's assets in February 2002, which then became Brussels Airlines...

     MD-11 (2)
  • Saudi Arabian Airlines
    Saudi Arabian Airlines
    Saudi Arabian Airlines is the flag carrier airline of Saudi Arabia, based in Jeddah. It operates domestic and international scheduled flights to over 90 destinations in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Europe and North America...

     (2) - VIP config. one sold to Mid East Jet
  • Star Airlines
    Star Airlines
    XL Airways France is a French airline with its head offices on the grounds of Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport and in Tremblay-en-France. It operates scheduled flights mainly to long-haul destinations in Africa, the Middle East and the Caribbean as well as charter flights to medium-haul destinations...

     MD-11 (1)
  • Swiss International Air Lines
    Swiss International Air Lines
    Swiss International Air Lines AG is the principal airline of Switzerland operating scheduled services in Europe and to North America, South America, Africa and Asia. Its main hub is Zurich Airport...

     MD-11 (14)
  • Swissair
    Swissair
    Swissair AG was the former national airline of Switzerland.It was formed from a merger between Balair and Ad Astra Aero , in 1931...

     MD-11 (20)
  • TAM Linhas Aéreas
    TAM Linhas Aéreas
    TAM Airlines is Brazil's and Latin America's largest airline. It is headquartered in the city of São Paulo, and operates scheduled services to destinations within Brazil, as well as international flights to Europe and other parts of North and South America...

     (3)
  • Thai Airways International
    Thai Airways International
    Thai Airways International Public Company Limited is the national flag carrier and largest airline of Thailand. Formed in 1988, the airline's headquarters are located in Chatuchak District, Bangkok, and operates out of Suvarnabhumi Airport. Thai is a founding member of the Star Alliance. Thai is a...

     MD-11 (4)
  • Trans Aer
    Trans Aer
    Trans Aer was an airline, previously named Translift Airways, and was the brainchild of P. J. McGoldrick ....

     MD-11ER (1)
  • USAfrica Airways
    USAfrica Airways
    US Africa Airways was a United States based airline that operated flights between Washington Dulles International Airport and Johannesburg in starting in June, 1994. Flights refueled in the Cape Verde Islands. Later, once a week flights were added to Cape Town, which also refueled in the Cape...

     MD-11 (2) - leased from American Airlines
  • Varig
    Varig
    VARIG was the first airline founded in Brazil, in 1927. From 1965 until 1990 it was Brazil's leading and almost only international airline...

     MD-11 (23), MD-11ER (3) - largest user of the passenger version
  • VASP
    VASP
    Viação Aérea São Paulo S/A, or VASP, was an airline with its head office in the VASP Building on the grounds of Congonhas-São Paulo Airport in São Paulo, Brazil...

     MD-11 (9), MD-11ER (1)

Former cargo operators
  • Alitalia Cargo
    Alitalia
    Alitalia - Linee Aeree Italiane S.p.A. , in its later stages known as Alitalia - Linee Aeree Italiane S.p.A. in Extraordinary Administration, was the former Italian flag carrier...

     MD-11F (5)
  • China Cargo Airlines
    China Cargo Airlines
    China Cargo Airlines sometimes as abbreviated 中货航, is a cargo airline based in Shanghai, People's Republic of China. It is China's first all-cargo airline operating dedicated freight services using China Eastern Airlines route structure...

     (also operated as China Eastern Airlines Cargo) MD-11F (5) - some converted from MD-11
  • Cielos Airlines
    Cielos Airlines
    Centurion Air Cargo, commonly known by its old name Cielos del Peru, is a cargo airline based in Callao, Lima, Peru. It operates scheduled, ad hoc and contract charter domestic and international cargo services. Its main base is Jorge Chávez International Airport, Lima.- History :The airline was...

     MD-11CF (1)
  • Gemini Air Cargo
    Gemini Air Cargo
    Gemini Air Cargo was an American ACMI cargo airline headquartered in Dulles, Virginia, USA. It operated worldwide cargo schedules and charters on a wet-lease basis....

     MD-11F (4)
  • Korean Air
    Korean Air
    Korean Air Lines Co., Ltd. , operating as Korean Air, is both the flag carrier and the largest airline of South Korea, with global headquarters located in Seoul, South Korea. Korean Air's international passenger division and related subsidiary cargo division together serve 130 cities in 45...

     MD-11F (5) - all converted from MD-11.
  • MASkargo MD-11CF (2), MD-11F (1)
  • Servicios de Transportes Aéreos Fueguinos
    Servicios de Transportes Aéreos Fueguinos
    Servicios de Transportes Aéreos Fueguinos was a cargo airline based in Buenos Aires, Argentina, operating scheduled and chartered flights to destinations throughout the Americas using leased aircraft...

     MD-11CF (1)
  • Tradewinds Airlines
    Tradewinds Airlines
    Tradewinds Airlines is an American cargo airline based in Greensboro, North Carolina, USA. It operates a cargo schedule between the USA and Puerto Rico.- History :...

     MD-11F (1)
  • Transmile Air Services
    Transmile Air Services
    Transmile Air Services is a cargo airline based in Malaysia. It is an express freight and freighter charter company. The airline was established in November 1993. It has courier transportation services between Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia and services international companies such as DHL...

     MD-11F (4)
  • Varig Logistica
    Varig Logística
    Varig Logística S.A., operating as VarigLog, is a cargo airline, based in Jardim Aeroporto, Campo Belo, São Paulo, Brazil.-History:The airline started operations in September 2000 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Varig and employed 1,345 staff....

     MD-11F (2)

Accidents and incidents

As of November 2010, the MD-11 has been involved in 13 incidents, including eight hull-loss accidents
Aviation accidents and incidents
An aviation accident is defined in the Convention on International Civil Aviation Annex 13 as an occurrence associated with the operation of an aircraft which takes place between the time any person boards the aircraft with the intention of flight and all such persons have disembarked, in which a...

, with 235 fatalities.

Notable accidents and incidents

  • On April 6, 1993 China Eastern Flight 583, a MD-11 went into severe oscillations when a crew member accidentally deployed the slats
    Leading edge slats
    Slats are aerodynamic surfaces on the leading edge of the wings of fixed-wing aircraft which, when deployed, allow the wing to operate at a higher angle of attack. A higher coefficient of lift is produced as a result of angle of attack and speed, so by deploying slats an aircraft can fly at slower...

     during cruise flight over the Pacific Ocean near the Aleutian Islands. Two passengers ultimately died.

  • On July 31, 1997 FedEx Flight 14
    FedEx Flight 14
    Federal Express flight 14 was a flight between Anchorage International Airport , Anchorage, Alaska and Newark International Airport , Newark, New Jersey that crashed during landing on July 31, 1997.-Summary:...

    , MD-11 N611FE, crashed during a landing at Newark Liberty International Airport
    Newark Liberty International Airport
    Newark Liberty International Airport , first named Newark Metropolitan Airport and later Newark International Airport, is an international airport within the city limits of both Newark and Elizabeth, New Jersey, United States...

    , New Jersey. The aircraft flipped onto its back and subsequently burned, following a landing attempt from an unstabilized flare.

  • On September 2, 1998 Swissair Flight 111
    Swissair Flight 111
    Swissair Flight 111 was a Swissair McDonnell Douglas MD-11 on a scheduled airline flight from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City, United States to Cointrin International Airport in Geneva, Switzerland...

    , HB-IWF, crashed into the Atlantic Ocean while en route from New York City to Geneva, Switzerland. All 229 people on board perished. The cause of the crash was determined to be a fire caused by improper wiring of Swissair-added passenger entertainment system
    In-flight Entertainment
    In-flight entertainment refers to the entertainment available to aircraft passengers during a flight. In 1936, the airship Hindenburg offered passengers a piano, lounge, dining room, smoking room, and bar during the 2½ day flight between Europe and America...

     units. The fire started at the front of the aircraft and quickly grew uncontrollable, attributed partly to the poor flame retardant properties of its metalized mylar insulation
    Thermal insulation
    Thermal insulation is the reduction of the effects of the various processes of heat transfer between objects in thermal contact or in range of radiative influence. Heat transfer is the transfer of thermal energy between objects of differing temperature...

    .

  • On April 15, 1999 Korean Air
    Korean Air
    Korean Air Lines Co., Ltd. , operating as Korean Air, is both the flag carrier and the largest airline of South Korea, with global headquarters located in Seoul, South Korea. Korean Air's international passenger division and related subsidiary cargo division together serve 130 cities in 45...

    , MD-11 HL7373, crashed shortly after take off while operating cargo flight KE6316 from Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport to Seoul
    Seoul
    Seoul , officially the Seoul Special City, is the capital and largest metropolis of South Korea. A megacity with a population of over 10 million, it is the largest city proper in the OECD developed world...

    . After take off, the first officer contacted Shanghai Departure, which cleared the flight to climb to 1500 meters (4900 ft): "Korean Air six three one six now turn left direct to November Hotel Whiskey climb and maintain one thousand five hundred meters." When the aircraft climbed to 4500 feet (1,371.6 m) in the corridor, the captain, after receiving two wrong affirmative answers from the first officer that the required altitude should be 1500 ft (457.2 m), thought that the aircraft was 3000 ft (914.4 m) too high. The captain then pushed the control column abruptly and roughly forward causing the MD-11 to enter a rapid descent. Both crew members tried to recover from the dive, but were unable.

  • On August 22, 1999 China Airlines Flight 642, a MD-11 in subsidiary Mandarin Airlines
    Mandarin Airlines
    Mandarin Airlines, Limited is an airline based in Songshan District, Taipei, Taiwan. The Republic of China-based airline is China Airlines' regional and domestic subsidiary. It also operates charter services...

     colors, crashed while landing at Hong Kong airport during a typhoon that exceeded the plane's crosswind specifications, also flipping onto its back and burning. Three passengers were killed.

  • On October 17, 1999 FedEx Express Flight 87, MD-11 N581FE, was written off after landing at Subic Bay International Airport
    Subic Bay International Airport
    -Cargo airlines:As of October 2010, there are no cargo airlines operating in Subic Bay International Airport.FedEx Express closed its hub at Subic Bay on February 6, 2009, this was the first hub to be closed in FedEx's history...

    , Philippines. The aircraft was operating from Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport. Upon landing, the aircraft rolled down the whole length of the runway before plunging into the bay where it was completely submerged except for the cockpit. An excessive approach and landing speed was pointed out as probable cause of the accident.

  • On March 23, 2009 FedEx Express Flight 80
    FedEx Express Flight 80
    FedEx Express Flight 80 was a scheduled cargo flight from Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport in the People's Republic of China, to Narita International Airport in Narita, Chiba Prefecture , Japan...

    , N526FE, crashed at Narita International Airport
    Narita International Airport
    is an international airport serving the Greater Tokyo Area of Japan. It is located east of Tokyo Station and east-southeast of Narita Station in the city of Narita, and the adjacent town of Shibayama....

    , Japan while landing in windy conditions. Airport surveillance video showed the aircraft becoming airborne again after the first touch-down, then impacting nose-first the second time and turning onto its left side, erupting into flames; the impact flipped the aircraft upside down. The aircraft finally came to rest some distance left of the runway. The two flight crew members were killed.

  • On November 28, 2009, an Avient Aviation Flight 324
    Avient Aviation Flight 324
    On 28 November 2009, an Avient Aviation McDonnell Douglas MD-11F, registration Z-BAV , performing flight 324 from Shanghai Pudong International Airport to Bishkek-Manas International Airport, Kyrgyzstan crashed on the take off roll with the loss of 3 lives. As the aircraft rotated for departure,...

    , MD-11F, registration Z-BAV (c/n 48408), crashed on take-off from Shanghai Pudong International Airport
    Shanghai Pudong International Airport
    Shanghai Pudong International Airport is the primary international airport serving Shanghai, China, and a major aviation hub in Asia. The other major airport in Shanghai, Hongqiao, mainly serves domestic flights...

     on a flight to Bishkek
    Bishkek
    Bishkek , formerly Pishpek and Frunze, is the capital and the largest city of Kyrgyzstan.Bishkek is also the administrative centre of Chuy Province which surrounds the city, even though the city itself is not part of the province but rather a province-level unit of Kyrgyzstan.The name is thought to...

    -Manas International Airport
    Manas International Airport
    Manas International Airport is the main international airport in Kyrgyzstan located 25 km north-northwest of the capital Bishkek.The airport is operational 24 hours and its ILS system is ICAO CAT 2...

    , Kyrgyzstan
    Kyrgyzstan
    Kyrgyzstan , officially the Kyrgyz Republic is one of the world's six independent Turkic states . Located in Central Asia, landlocked and mountainous, Kyrgyzstan is bordered by Kazakhstan to the north, Uzbekistan to the west, Tajikistan to the southwest and China to the east...

     with the loss of 3 lives. The aircraft was written-off.

  • On July 27, 2010 Lufthansa Cargo Flight 8460
    Lufthansa Cargo Flight 8460
    Lufthansa Cargo Flight 8460 was an international cargo flight, operated by a McDonnell Douglas MD-11, which, on 27 July 2010, crashed upon landing at King Khalid International Airport, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.- Aircraft :...

    , a MD-11, crash landed in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The two pilots are reported to have survived.


Safety issues

The MD-11 has had problems with its flight control systems, problems that have resulted in multiple accidents and incidents since the aircraft's introduction. The initial design of the slat/flap lever in the cockpit was conducive to accidental dislodgement by crew in flight. The defect has been corrected since 1992. In the early 2000s, Boeing improved the flight control software at the urging of the FAA
Federal Aviation Administration
The Federal Aviation Administration is the national aviation authority of the United States. An agency of the United States Department of Transportation, it has authority to regulate and oversee all aspects of civil aviation in the U.S...

 to reduce the possibility of violent unintentional pitch movements.

In an effort to improve fuel efficiency, McDonnell Douglas designed the MD-11’s center of gravity to be much further aft than other commercial aircraft. This significantly reduces the margin for error during the takeoff and landing phases. A number of operators have introduced special training to assist crews in safely handling the MD-11's critical phases of flight.

Specifications

MD-11
(Passenger)
MD-11CF
(Convertible Freighter)
MD-11F
(Freighter)
MD-11C
(Combi)
MD-11ER
(Extended Range)
Passengers/Cargo 410 (1 class)
323 (2 class)
293 (3 class)
410 (1 class)
323 (2 class)
293 (3 class)
26 pallets
26 pallets on the main deck
additionally to the lower cargo
compartment capacities
290 (1 class)
214 (2 class)
181 (3 class)
6 pallets
410 (1 class)
323 (2 class)
293 (3 class)
Total length 202 in 2 in (61.62 m) with GE engines
200 in 11 in (61.24 m) with PW
Pratt & Whitney
Pratt & Whitney is a U.S.-based aerospace manufacturer with global service operations. It is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corporation . Pratt & Whitney's aircraft engines are widely used in both civil aviation and military aviation. Its headquarters are in East Hartford, Connecticut, USA...

 engines
Fuselage length 192 in 5 in (58.65 m)
Fuselage width 19 in 9 in (6.02 m)
Wingspan 169 in 6 in (51.66 m)
Wing area 3648 sq ft (338.9 m²) including winglets
Tail height 57 in 9 in (17.6 m)
Max takeoff weight * standard: 602500 lb (273,289.4 kg)
heavy: 630500 lb (285,990 kg)
standard: 625000 lb (283,495.2 kg)
heavy: 630500 lb (285,990 kg)
standard: 610000 lb (276,691.3 kg)
heavy: 630500 lb (285,990 kg)
standard: 610000 lb (276,691.3 kg)
heavy: 630500 lb (285,990 kg)
630500 lb (285,990 kg)
Max landing weight 430000 lb (195,044.7 kg) 471500 lb (213,868.8 kg)
optional:
481000 lb (218,177.9 kg)
(218,405 kg)
491500 lb (222,940.6 kg) 458000 lb (207,745.3 kg) 491500 lb (222,940.6 kg)
Operating empty weight 283975 lb (128,808.9 kg) 288296 lb (130,768.9 kg) 248567 lb (112,748.1 kg) 283975 lb (128,808.9 kg) 291120 lb (132,049.8 kg)
Max. fuel capacity 38615 gal
Take-off distance at MTOW 10300 ft (3,139.4 m)
Max range 6840 nmi (12,667.7 km) Pass: 6840 nmi (12,667.7 km)
Freight: 3950 nmi (7,315.4 km)
3950 nmi (7,315.4 km) 6720 nmi (12,445.4 km) 7240 nmi (13,408.5 km)
Max cruise speed 0.88 Mach
Mach number
Mach number is the speed of an object moving through air, or any other fluid substance, divided by the speed of sound as it is in that substance for its particular physical conditions, including those of temperature and pressure...

 (587 mph, 945 km/h, 520 kn)
Typical cruise speed 0.82 Mach (544 mph, 876 km/h, 473 kn)
Service ceiling 43000 ft (13,106.4 m)
Engines (3x) Pratt & Whitney
Pratt & Whitney
Pratt & Whitney is a U.S.-based aerospace manufacturer with global service operations. It is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corporation . Pratt & Whitney's aircraft engines are widely used in both civil aviation and military aviation. Its headquarters are in East Hartford, Connecticut, USA...

 PW4460 - 60000 lbf (266.9 kN)
PW4462 - 62000 lbf (275.8 kN)
General Electric CF6-80C2D1F - 61500 lbf (273.6 kN)

Notes: *Heavy refers to aircraft with "Extended Range" option and aircraft with ER option without additional fuel tank. ER option available on all models. Standard refers to basic original configuration.

Sources:

Deliveries

1990
1991
1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
Total>
3 31 42 36 17 18 15 12 12 8 4 2 200

See also

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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