Posts Tagged ‘md-11’

Know Better Your Failed Jetliners: MD-11 Above 1 Rincon – Made in CA in the LBC – Too Crashy for Passenger Use

Friday, February 28th, 2014

So most of these three-engine jets are now freighters.

Three-engined jetliners sort-of-made-sense back in the day, back when turbofan engines were less reliable and less powerful. But these days, in the era of the Big Twin, the only use for trijets is as a freighter.

As here, near the tall, tall Rincon 1 building in SoMa, a UPS Airlines freighter coming in to SFO from an unusual direction on account of the crazy wind we’ve been having:

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Fundamentally, the MD-11 is an evolution of the ill-starred McDonnell-Douglas DC-10, which became a very unappealing aircraft back in the 1970′s. It was like girl you got a fat ass, girl you need a makeover. So she was made over. And the resulting MD-11 is indeed sexier, more appealing to operators, and that’s why you can still see them above.

But, as they say, mistakes were made. The tailplane was decreased in size for improved fuel economy however the MD11 became trickier to handle as a result.

And twinjets will always beat any fuel efficiency race with trijets.

Oh well.

Check Out How Big the Overly Large Wingsails of Larry Ellison’s Failed America’s Cup are – Like in Relation to a Jetliner

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

This is pretty much to scale, believe it* or not.

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And actually, the real wing of this KC-10 jet, which would be considered the size of a medium-big jetliner these days, is smaller than what you’ll find on Craaaaaazy Larry Ellison’s AC72 America’s Cup yachts.

And actually, Craaaaaazy Larry Ellison’s AC72 America’s Cup yachts have wings bigger those found on monstrous Boeing 747′s, your prototypical jumbo jets.

Hey Larry! Why don’t we use smaller wings on days when the wind is blowing a lot? Oh, you said no, Larry? OK fine.

But hey Larry! Why don’t we allow control devices like, IDK, spoilers, you know, the way other similar-sized wings have? Oh, you said no, Larry? OK fine.

But hey Larry! Why don’t we have a spoiler system for use in emergency situations, like NASCAR has, you know, since your people felt the need to promote this under-regulated “sport” as “NASCAR ON THE WATER?”

Oh, you said no, Larry? OK fine.

But you WILL take eight figures from the taxpayers of San Francisco in order to fund your ego-gratification race?

Well then, On With The Show.

*Your DC-10, MD-10, KC10 type aircraft were famous for having big, big tailplanes, back in the day, the likes of which you can see in this photo, the horizontal stabilizer you can see at the back. Which was fine, but it wasn’t efficient because  tailplanes don’t really lift anything. So, McDonnell-Douglas engineers made the updated model, the MD-11, with a smaller tailplane. And they also strengthened the landing gear to deal with the lengthened body. All these things led to a more efficient but harder-to-handle aircraft. So in tough landing situations things head south in a hurry and, instead of the landing gear collapsing, you’ll break a wing off and roll over. (See below.) These days, this is mostly a problem for FedEx pilots and it will continue to be for the foreseeable future. Godspeed, FedEx pilots. 

Oh, and this wasn’t the only safety issue with this unsuccessful and relatively rare a/c.

  • On July 31, 1997 FedEx Flight 14, MD-11 N611FE, crashed during a landing at Newark Liberty International Airport, New Jersey. The aircraft flipped onto its back and subsequently burned, following a landing attempt from an unstabilized flare.
  • On August 22, 1999 China Airlines Flight 642, an MD-11 operated by subsidiary Mandarin Airlines, 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 March 23, 2009 FedEx Express Flight 80, N526FE, crashed at Narita International Airport, 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.

All Those Airplanes Making Noise Over San Francisco are Landing at OAKland – A Rare and Dangerous Fed-Ex MD-11 Jumbo

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

Here’s a recent view from the Western Addition towards the west, so the giant American flag you can see is indicating an atypical stiff breeze from the south, more or less.

Airline passengers don’t fly in three-engined tri-jets anymore because the concept isn’t fit for the 21st century. But the stuff you order on the Amazon rides old-school Fed-Ex Cargo McDonnell Douglas DC-10‘s and MD-11‘s all the time.

Now, the DC-10 got a bad rep about three decades back – some of that wasn’t its fault (like when a pilot heard 1500 feet instead of 1500 meters) but some of it was. So Mickey D came out with a replacement, the MD-11. It was better in a lot of ways but it turned out to be more crashy than its predecessor and that’s a whole story in itself.*

Anyway, these MD trijets generally do fine when they land facing straight into the wind, as here:

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Stay safe in your pterodactyls, in your flying dinosaurs, Fed-Ex pilots!

*Like how they made the landing gear stronger to handle the stretched body, so they’re stronger than the wing they’re hanging from – that situation has killed passengers and pilots. McDonnell Douglas simply tried way too hard to make up for the fact that its only jumbo design just happened to have an unnecessary third engine sucking up a lot of fuel.