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AA MD-80 requiem - final 2019 routes and 4 Sep 2019 final flights

Old Jun 25, 2019, 10:38 am
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Last edit by: JDiver
AA McDonnell Douglas MD-80 Super 80 (1983-2019)

The McDonnell Douglas MD-80 is a series of twin-engine, short- to medium-range, single-aisle commercial jetliners. It was lengthened and updated from the DC-9. This series can seat from 130 to 172 passengers depending on variant and seating configuration.

American Airlines was the first US major carrier to order the MD-80 when it leased twenty 142-seat aircraft from McDonnell Douglas in October 1982 to replace its Boeing 727-100. It committed to 67 firm orders plus 100 options in March 1984, and in 2002 its fleet peaked at more than 360 aircraft, 30 % of the 1,191 produced. AA used the Super 80 name for this aircraft.

The first AA MD-80 was delivered in 1983, the last in 1999. (Wikipedia) The MD-80 was delivered with a standard tapered round fuselage tail cone, but it was found a screwdriver design somewhat similar to the Boeing 777 saved fuel. The screwdriver tail cone was applied to all AA MD-80s, and were fabricated by AA maintenance personnel at the Tulsa shop.

The last Super 80s operated by AA were TWA MD-83s built toward the end of the manufacturing run. Their cockpits have digital engine instruments and dual flight management system (FMS) displays versus AAs traditional round dial presentation and lone GFMS keypad. The TWA computers formats and functionality are different from those of the single unitsthe Mac versus PC of the MD-80 world. (Airways Magazine)

The last 23 Mad Dogs flew to a desert air park in Roswell, New Mexico, on 4 Sep 2019. One MD-80 remains at DFW Airport, to be used for future de-icing practice, and more will be donated to flight-training schools. (Bloomberg)

N984TW, a MD-83 assembled in 1999 (MSN 53634 / LN 2287), was the last MD-80 built (at the McDonnell Douglas plant at Long Beach / LGB, California, and was the last to be retired, flying AA 80 DFW-ORD before flying its final segment ORD-ROS. This aircraft is said to have logged more than 61,000 hours in the air on 31,092 flights and is estimated to have carried more than 3.5 million passengers.

Though wingtip devices and higher bypass ratio engines were proposed to create an MD-80 Advanced, there was never sufficient interest from the airlines to proceed with these advances. The 737s GE CFM-56 engines offer 35% additional fuel savings per seat mile over the MD-80. An expensive to fulfill 2017 Airworthiness Directive governing the fuel pump system drove the nails into the coffin.

According to Airways Magazine,

... the Chicago, St. Louis, and Los Angeles crew domiciles (closed, and) DFW will be the aircrafts final hub because of its maintenance capabilities and proximity to Tulsas repair and overhaul station... The aircrafts tenure will conclude in the way it started. Memphis, Houston, Kansas City, New Orleans, and other current MD-80 destinations mostly lay within a 500-mile radius of Dallas.

The AA MD-80s were retired to ROW / Roswell International Air Center, Roswell, New Mexico (previously Walker Air Force Base / WAFB).

American Airlines MD-80s in their final 140 seat configuration:

16 First class seats, 38-40 pitch, 21 width (rows 3-6, the seats on the port / left side had slightly less seat pitch than the starboard side due to removal of a closet to install an extra seat pair.

35 Main Cabin Extra seats with 34 pitch, 17.4 - 17.8 width in 2 x 3 configuration in rows 7-11 and exit rows.

89 Main Cabin seats with 31 pitch, 17.4 - 17.8 width in 2 x 3 configuration.

The A-B overhead bins were small, and couldnt accommodate rollaboards wheels first; these had to be stowed in the D-E-F side bins. MD-80 were equipped with full service galleys, WiFi, center overhead screens for IFE, cigar lighter type jacks providing 15 VDC. Onboard WiFi IFE streaming to passengers personal entertainment devices was added.

Many consider the MD-80 seats some of the most comfortable, as they were better padded than the newer generation of lightweight seats. The cabin was relatively quiet, with the air noise completely masking any engine noise in First. On the other hand, the offset rows 31 and 32 were very close to the aft-mounted engines and engine noise was very loud.

McDonnell Douglas MD-83 (DC-9-83)

The MD-83 is a longer-range version of the basic MD-81/82 with higher weights, more powerful engines, and increased fuel capacity.

Powerplant: Compared to earlier models, the MD-83 is equipped with slightly more powerful 21,000 lbf (93 kN)-thrust Pratt and Whitney JT8D-219s as standard.

Performance: The MD-83 features increased fuel capacity as standard (to 6,970 US gal (26,400 L)), which is carried in two 565 US gal (2,140 L) auxiliary tanks located fore and aft of the center section. The aircraft also has higher operating weights, with MTOW increased to 160,000 lb (73,000 kg) and MLW to 139,500 lb (63,300 kg).

Typical range for the MD-83 with 155 passengers is around 2,504 nautical miles (4,637 km). To cope with the higher operating weights, the MD-83 incorporates strengthened landing gear including new wheels, tires, and brakes, changes to the wing skins, front spar web and elevator spar cap, and strengthened floor beams and panels to carry the auxiliary fuel tanks. - (Wikipedia)

The scheduled final operations for these aircraft is shown in posts #1, #76, #166.

FlyerTalk threads:

MD-80 / Super 80 best seats (master thread)

The slow end of an era....the retirement of the AA MD-80

20 Mad Dogs / MD-80 (retiring) to ROW today (23 Aug 2016)

MD-80 Super 80 aka Mad Dog memories, longest goodbye

Age of AAs MD-80 fleet?

External resources:

Link to MD-80 article in Airways Magazine, Nov 2015 issue

Link to (unofficial) AA Fleet Site retired MD-80 page

Link to Wikipedia MD-80 page


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AA MD-80 requiem - final 2019 routes and 4 Sep 2019 final flights

Old May 24, 2019, 4:29 pm
  #46  
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Originally Posted by rasheed
It's hard to swap another aircraft type easily as they just don't have enough of those A3xx or 738s.

I think AA would cede these routes to regional carriers, but they also have limits of availability and some of these frequencies need a bit more capacity.

And the minute they reduce a route frequency. I think WN or even DL are ready to bite.
I didn't mean in a route cutting capacity. I meant from a balancing perspective. For example, DFW-OKC has a mix of 738, 319 and CR9. It seems that a 319 would be more efficient on DFW-CVG and the MD80 on a shorter route instead.

Also, the remaining MD80s arent THAT old. AA has 320s that are older, and they share the same average age as the 772 fleet. Surprised a small subfleet didnt survive in a mainline "regional" setup for a little longer.
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Old May 24, 2019, 10:26 pm
  #47  
 
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A good question would be: Is the planned retirement of the MD80 fleet in September being affected by the 737MAX groundings?
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Old May 24, 2019, 10:35 pm
  #48  
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Originally Posted by Daze
A good question would be: Is the planned retirement of the MD80 fleet in September being affected by the 737MAX groundings?
Per this article from last month, no. AA claims retirement is still planned for Sep. 2019
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Old May 25, 2019, 4:34 am
  #49  
 
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This past week - IAH/DFW/MCI and back. S80, up front, all the way.
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Old May 25, 2019, 10:08 am
  #50  
 
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Flew one DFW to CLE this last week. The ride "up front" is probably one of the best on domestic routes. It will be sad when they are all gone.
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Old May 25, 2019, 12:16 pm
  #51  
 
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I'm trying to think of the first time I flew a DC-9 Super 80. I want to say it was around 1986 from LAX to MEM on Republic. The MD-80 was a nice aircraft, but nothing like the 727 it effectively replaced. That was an airplane.
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Old May 26, 2019, 7:11 am
  #52  
 
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Originally Posted by travelingbob
Flew one DFW to CLE this last week. The ride "up front" is probably one of the best on domestic routes. It will be sad when they are all gone.
Heck, not just F but give me MCE on an S80 over literally anything else AA flies. An actual padded seat with proper legroom, and an appropriate human-sized lav to use in case I need it. A truly luxurious experience!
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Old May 27, 2019, 6:52 am
  #53  
 
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Originally Posted by no1cub17
Heck, not just F but give me MCE on an S80 over literally anything else AA flies. An actual padded seat with proper legroom, and an appropriate human-sized lav to use in case I need it. A truly luxurious experience!
Love the MD80 lav. What a difference from the cramped 737 lav (of all configurations). I wish the AA was trying to compete more with the domestic product, as I fly around the USA domestically quite often nowadays.
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Old Jun 12, 2019, 8:52 pm
  #54  
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Some sources believe the final MD / Super 80 flight will be Wednesday 4 Sep 2019 from DFW to ORD, AA 80.

That flight is selling briskly, lower fare buckets are gone. The questions include whether or not this is conclusive given the 3M8 groundings.
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Old Jun 12, 2019, 8:58 pm
  #55  
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Booked any AAnytime AAward on the flight. F sold out quickly
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Old Jun 12, 2019, 9:08 pm
  #56  
 
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Seems strange that the final flight would not be an inbound to DFW flight.
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Old Jun 12, 2019, 9:21 pm
  #57  
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Originally Posted by bchandler02
Seems strange that the final flight would not be an inbound to DFW flight.
The final flight will be flown to ROW. Both legs are within range. But it does seem a bit strange.
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Old Jun 12, 2019, 9:26 pm
  #58  
 
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Originally Posted by JDiver
Some sources believe the final MD / Super 80 flight will be Wednesday 4 Sep 2019 from DFW to ORD, AA 80.

That flight is selling briskly, lower fare buckets are gone. The questions include whether or not this is conclusive given the 3M8 groundings.
Doing a brief glance over the schedule, this would seem to make sense as that's a unique flight number for the route with a random MD80 thrown in (no other day has it). I am surprised it doesn't end in DFW but not surprised it's a DFW-ORD route.

So, presumably, AA welcomes back the MAX on Sep 4 and sends off the MD80 the next day?
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Old Jun 12, 2019, 9:28 pm
  #59  
 
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AA 80 is DFW - LHR on any day EXCEPT September 4th. The normal flight that would be 80 is renumbered 82 on the 4th. Coincidence, I think not.
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Old Jun 12, 2019, 9:30 pm
  #60  
 
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Originally Posted by TheSkyGuy
AA 80 is DFW - LHR on any day EXCEPT September 4th. The normal flight that would be 80 is renumbered 82 on the 4th. Coincidence, I think not.
LOL, and I just got the "80" reference. Clever, AA.
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