The McDonnell Douglas MD-80 is a twin-engine passenger aircraft developed by McDonnell Douglas. The MD-80 took its maiden flight on 25 October 1979 and entered into service in October 1980.

The MD-80 can accommodate two crew and between 130 and 172 passengers based on seating arrangements. As of July 2009, over 880 MD-80 aircraft were operational worldwide.


The MD-80 was developed from the Douglas DC-9. Its design includes two turbofan engines fitted in the rear fuselage, small and efficient wings and a T-tail.

"The MD-80 was developed from the Douglas DC-9."

The aircraft’s design was based on the Series 55 aircraft and was launched as a DC-9 Series 80. It has a longer fuselage section and range compared to the DC-9.


The DC-9 was developed in 1960 as a short-range associate to the DC-8. It features a narrow fuselage section and can accommodate between 80 and 135 passengers. In 1970, McDonnell Douglas began the development of the MD-80 as the second generation of DC-9. The aircraft was named the MD-80 in July 1983.

In 1995, the MD-80 series was upgraded and renamed as the MD-90. The development of the MD-90 began in 1989 and it took its maiden flight in 1993. The MD-95, which was developed as a stretched variant of the MD-90, was renamed as the Boeing 717-200 after McDonnell Douglas merged with the Boeing Company in 1997.

Production of the MD-80 ended in 1999. American Airlines and Delta Air Lines operate the aircraft under the ‘Super 80’ brand.

Flight deck

The flight deck of the MD-80 aircraft was manufactured by Eaglesoft and Payne Aviation Software. It is equipped with a multi-panel electronic flight instrument system, a full flight management system, an air data computer, a traffic alert and collision avoidance system, a state-of-the-art inertial reference system, and LED dot-matrix displays for engine and system monitoring.


The left side of the main cabin features aisle seats. It comprises three to six rows in the first class section, seven to 32 in the main cabin and around 21 in the exit row.


"In 1995, the MD-80 series was upgraded and renamed as the MD-90."

The MD-80 features an advanced avionics suite which includes two autonomous digital flight guidance computers. It is also equipped with a glareshield-mounted flight guidance control panel, flight director, autothrottle, thrust mode selection system, and an autoland system.


The MD-80 is powered by two Pratt & Whitney JT8D-209 turbofan engines. Each engine can produce 82–93kN of thrust. The JT8D-209 is an advanced engine operated by 350 operators to power around 4,500 aircraft. The engine provides high reliability and low maintenance costs.

The engine operates at 77 – 84°f flat rated temperature.


The maximum and cruise speed of the aircraft are 925km/h and 811km/h, respectively. It has a maximum range of 2,897km and a fuel capacity of 22,106l. The aircraft weighs around 35,300kg. The maximum take-off weight is 63,500kg.