First delivery on December the 7th 1990.
The MD-11 is 200 feet 10 inches (61.2 m) long. That's 18.6 feet (5.66 m) longer than the earlier DC-10 trijet (first delivery in 1971).
The nonstop range of the standard MD-11 operating at a maximum takeoff weight of 602,500 pounds (273,290 kg) is approximately 7,630 statute miles (12,270 km) with 285 passengers and their bags.
The extended-range version of the MD-11, equipped with an auxiliary fuel tank and operating at a higher maximum takeoff weight of 630,500 pounds (285,990 kg), has a range of approximately 8,225 statute miles (13,230 km).
First delivery on December the 7th 1990. At the time the Boeing 767 was out and the Boeing 777 was on its way.
Operators included: Delta, American, Finnair, Varig, Swissair, KLM, Alitalia, Thai, ...
In 1993 Airbus started to deliver the A330/A340 line of aircraft.
American Airlines wanted an aircraft to reach their asian destinations. They had plans to take delivery of many MD-11, but changed their minds and ordered the Boeing 777. In 1989 American Airlines could have ordered the Boeing 747-400 if they needed the range and the Boeing 777 wasn't available. Boeing delivered the first 777 in 1995 and the MD 11 was no match for that airplane.
Boeing 767 and Boeing 777 are much easier to maintain as they have only 2 engines. A big problem with the tri-jets is that the no2 engine is up in the tail and hard to get to when checks and repairs need to be carried out so airlines stuck with the twinjets which could do the same job.
The MD-11 had problemens with reliabilty and to reach it's design range. A nickname for the MD-11 was the 'scud' (a missile which always took-off in the same way, but you never know where it was going to land). Five of the of 198 MD-11s have been destroyed in crashes. That makes the MD-11, statistically the most crashed modern jetliner. Only the concord has a worse crash statistic.
The MD-11 is equipped with 3 engines each capable of 60 to 62,000lbs of maximum thrust. The MD11 is very often converted into freighter and was also availabe as a freighter.
By 2006 about 60 percent of all MD-11s ever built have been turned into cargo jets.
In 2007 KLM (10 aircraft), Finnair (7 aircraft) and Tam (3 aircraft) remain the only regular airliners that operate the MD11 in passenger version. Varig ceased operations mid 2006.
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