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Tri Jet Tuesday - MD11

Second in the series of three engined airliners. This time a much larger and younger beast than last week. The McDonnell Douglas MD11.

First Flight January 10th - 1990

Developed from the DC10, the MD11 was updated, re engined and stretched to seat up to 405. Launched in 1986 following orders for 52 aircraft from 12 airlines The aircraft also sported a modified wing becoming an early user of winglets.

Initially the aircraft failed meet performance targets until subjected to a programme to reduce weight and drag.

Never a great seller, 200 of all versions were sold with Finnair inaugurating passenger services in December 1990. American Airlines and Delta were big users of the passenger versions in the US.

Garuda, JAL, Varig, VASP, Swissair and KLM (who operated the last passenger service in October 2014) were also major users. Many aircraft remain inservice today as freighters.

Major operators include Lufthansa Cargo and by far the largest ever operator FedEx where they operate from their massive hub in Memphis.

First Facts

Launched 30/12/86

First Delivery 29/11/90

Entered service 20/12/90 with Finnair


Length 61.21m (200ft 10in)

Height 17.60m (57ft 9in)

Wingspan 51.66m (169ft 6in)

Typical/Max seats 248/285

Number built 200

If you are interested in a brief history of different aircraft types including first flights then take a look at my book called ‘Flying Firsts’, information available by clicking the image below.


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