Featured Map for 20 March 2018:
American's Last 45 Super 80s


The McDonnell Douglas MD-80 was launched in October 1977 as the DC-9 Super 80 with an order from Swissair. The initial DC-9-81 version first flew on 18 October 1979 with the first delivery (to Swissair) on 13 September 1980. This aircraft was a DC-90-50 with a 171-inch (4.34-meter) fuselage stretch, larger wing, higher bypass ratio Pratt & Whitney JT9D-209 engines, and other improvments. Further engine and range upgrades led to the DC-9-82 and DC-9-83, then in 1983 the family was renamed MD-80. Officially these aircraft remain DC-9s since they were certified under an amendment to the DC-9 type certificate. (Subsequent derivates were no longer listed as DC-9s.)

Orders for the MD-80 were relatively slow until 1984, when American Airlines placed an order for 67 MD-82s, which the airline called the Super 80. American ordered 260 examples in all, including 224 orders for the MD-82 and another 26 for the longer-range MD-83. With additional aircraft coming via the acquisitions of Reno Air and then TWA, American eventually operated 378 MD-82s and MD-83s, nearly one third of the 1,191 MD-80s built.

The final MD-80 was delivered to TWA on 21 December 1999. Now over 18 years old, this aircraft is still flying for American, but American has been retiring its MD-80 fleet as the airline acquires newer, more efficient aircraft. Only 45 remain, with retirement of the last ones planned for next year.

Today's Featured Map shows where American currently flies their last 45 MD-80s. 38 routes from Dallas-Fort Worth are shown in red; another eight routes from Chicago O'Hare are blue.

References and additional information:


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