Last passenger MD-11 retired

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Turbofan
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Last passenger MD-11 retired

Post by Turbofan » Sat Nov 15, 2014 4:55 pm

It didn't have a glorious history like many other recently retired aircraft but it was a big hit with aviation enthusiasts (myself included).

KLM retired last MD-11

I've been lucky to fly in this aircraft twice. The first time was back in 1996 when Delta had a small hub at IAD (yes, IAD). I was flying to the U.S. from BOM via FRA and ATL. There it was at the gate with a company MD-11 at the neighbouring gate going to IAD. I still remember seeing this huge aircraft from Terminal 2 at FRA for the first time and noticed with great curiosity those large winglets, the #2 engine staring right at me (the gates in T2 at FRA are located on the fourth level so you get a view looking down on the ramp). Once inside I noticed the nearly-flat walls, the high ceiling and ubiquitous center section of 5 seats in economy and thought to myself "well, I'm glad I'm not in the middle seat", haha. I had a window of course, right above the leading edge of the wing! Everything about the plane looked huge - the wing, the engine, the winglet. Quite the stance! It was a great flight, and we had a soft bump at touchdown at ATL, characteristic of the MD-11 I would later learn.

The second flight was six years later, in 2002. As it would turn out, I was definitely in time for this second MD-11 flight with Delta because it would retire all remaining MD-11s from service by the end of 2003. Another lucky thing - my mom and I got a free upgrade to Business Elite, in the MD-11. It was a real treat for me. By this time, Delta had switched all Mumbai ops to its Paris CDG hub (in accordance with the Skyteam alliance). This time I got an even better view and boy, was it a powerful takeoff from BOM. We landed (again) with the characteristic MD-11 bounce at CDG, followed by full reverse thrust on an 8,858 foot runway (26L). It was also the last MD-11 to be in Delta's original livery.
Last edited by Turbofan on Sun Nov 16, 2014 4:30 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Last passenger MD-11 retired

Post by Av8Tor » Sat Nov 15, 2014 8:58 pm

I always thought the MD-11 was under appreciated. Such a beautiful plane. I just don't think the air frame is very... efficient? There doesn't seem to me to be a use for 3 engines, especially when two engines gets the job done just as efficiently.

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Re: Last passenger MD-11 retired

Post by Turbofan » Sun Nov 16, 2014 12:37 am

^True. I agree with the writer in that its timing was wrong and came in just as twin-jet technology (ETOPS) was gaining steam, thus negating the need for a third engine in that class of aircraft.
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Re: Last passenger MD-11 retired

Post by Blackhawk11223344 » Sun Nov 16, 2014 3:23 pm

He said it was never loved. Bu- Bu- But I loved it. :( Oh well, There are better planes out there. Sad this plane will be missed.
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Re: Last passenger MD-11 retired

Post by iqmal_97 » Tue Nov 18, 2014 4:53 pm

Goodnight sweet prince...
May your service to mankind be remembered always...

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