Air Transport World

McDonnell Douglas keeps busy with the MD-88

McDonnell Douglas keeps busy with the MD-88 Launched by an order from Delta, the McDonnell Douglas MD-88 is described by the manufacturer as an MD-82 incorporating a raft of new technology improvements. The improvements, instigated at the behest of McDonnell Douglas President James Worsham in response to customer demands for more technology in the MD-80 line, are designed to keep the MD-80 competitive until the availability of ultra high bypass propfan powerplants in 1991-92 allow the company to take a larger technological leap. The strongest requests for higher technology in the MD-80 came from Europe and the Far East.

UDF-powered MD-88?

Delta's order--30 firm and 50 options--was influenced by the possibility that the MD-88 can be re-engined with General Electric Unducted Fan (UDF) powerplants when the engine is certificated, according to David C. Garrett, Jr., Delta CEO and chairman.

Garrett told ATW that the MD-88 with UDF and technology improvements--including the first "glass cockpit" on a McDonnell Douglas aircraft--"you have the heart of what Boeing is talking about (with its 7J7)." The MD-88/UDF also would be what the airline was looking for when it issued its "Delta III" specification several years ago. While the possibility of re-engining with UDF still is the subject of research by McDonnell Douglas and Delta, Garrett said the likelihood of re-engining is much greater on the MD-88 than on its competitor for the Delta order, the Boeing 737-300. …

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