Posts Tagged ‘md11’

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.

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.