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Sat Jun 20, 2020, 07:13 PM

Delta Flies Final MD-88, MD-90 Trips

Hat tip, tonight's CBS Weekend News.

EDITORS' PICK | 24,841 views | Jun 1, 2020, 12:43pm EDT

‘Boeing Builds Airplanes, McDonnell-Douglas Builds Character,’ Pilots Recall As Delta Flies Final MD-88, MD-90 Trips

Ted Reed Senior Contributor
Aerospace & Defense



A Delta McDonnell Douglas MD-90 taxis at San Antonio International Airport in December 2018. (Photo ... [+] GETTY IMAGES

A set of hard-working airplanes with a colorful nickname, “Mad Dogs,” have earned a long afterlife for the name McDonnell Douglas, an aircraft maker that disappeared in a 1997 merger. ... But on Tuesday, two more McDonnell Douglas aircraft, the MD-88 and MD-90, will leave the commercial U.S. passenger fleet as Delta operates its final flights for both.

Delta Flight 90, the final MD-90 flight, will take off from Houston and is scheduled to arrive in Atlanta around 9 a.m. Delta Flight 88, the final MD-88 flight, will arrive from Dulles at 10 a.m. Then the two planes will fly to an aircraft storage yard in Blytheville, Ark.

The flights are two more milestones in a historic year for aircraft retirements, as the three major U.S. carriers trim fleets in response to the coronavirus crisis.

McDonnell Douglas first flew the DC-9 in 1965. It subsequently built a series of variants – MD-80, MD-88, MD-90 and MD-95. The number of seats rose from about 90 to 158, before a cutback to 134 on the MD-95. Boeing took over McDonnell Douglas and the MD-95 was renamed the Boeing 717.

Some say that even as the name disappeared, the McDonnell Douglas finance-first culture survived the 1997 merger, eclipsing Boeing’s engineering-first culture.

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