McDonnell / Douglas

DC-9 Narrow-body

Douglas DC-9 Narrow-body

McDonnell / Douglas


The McDonnell Douglas DC-9 (initially the Douglas DC-9) is a single-aisle airliner designed by the Douglas Aircraft Company.

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DC-9 Narrow-body

The McDonnell Douglas DC-9 (initially the Douglas DC-9) is a single-aisle airliner designed by the Douglas Aircraft Company. After introducing its heavy DC-8 in 1959, Douglas approved the smaller, all-new DC-9 for shorter flights on April 8, 1963. The DC-9-10 first flew on February 25, 1965 and gained its type certificate on November 23, to enter service with Delta Air Lines on December 8. With five seats across in economy, it had two rear-mounted Pratt & Whitney JT8D turbofans under a T-tail for a cleaner wing, a two-person flight deck and built-in airstairs.

Operational use

During the 1950s Douglas Aircraft studied a short- to medium-range airliner to complement their higher capacity, long range DC-8. (DC stands for Douglas Commercial.)[1] A medium-range four-engine Model 2067 was studied but it did not receive enough interest from airlines and it was abandoned. In 1960, Douglas signed a two-year contract with Sud Aviation for technical cooperation. Douglas would market and support the Sud Aviation Caravelle and produce a licensed version if airlines ordered large numbers. None were ordered and Douglas returned to its design studies after the cooperation deal expired



RoleNarrow-body jet airliner
ManufacturerDouglas Aircraft Company
McDonnell Douglas
First flightFebruary 25, 1965
IntroductionDecember 8, 1965, with Delta Air Lines
StatusIn limited service
Primary usersUSA Jet Airlines
Aeronaves TSM
Northwest Airlines (historical)
Delta Air Lines (historical)
Number built976
VariantsMcDonnell Douglas C-9
Developed intoMcDonnell Douglas MD-80
McDonnell Douglas MD-90
Boeing 717


A total of 30 DC-9 aircraft (all variants) were in commercial service as of July 2018. Operators include Aeronaves TSM (8), USA Jet Airlines (6), Everts Air Cargo (4), Ameristar Charters (4) and other operators with fewer aircraft.[20][21]

Delta Air Lines, since acquiring Northwest Airlines, has operated a fleet of DC-9 aircraft, most over 30 years old. With severe increases in fuel prices in the summer of 2008, Northwest Airlines began retiring its DC-9s, switching to Airbus A319s that are 27% more fuel efficient.[22][23] As the Northwest/Delta merger progressed, Delta returned several stored DC-9s to service. Delta Air Lines made its last DC-9 commercial flight from Minneapolis/St. Paul to Atlanta on January 6, 2014 with the flight number DL2014.[24][25]

With the existing DC-9 fleet shrinking, modifications do not appear to be likely to occur, especially since the wing design makes retrofitting difficult.[10] DC-9s are therefore likely to be further replaced in service by newer airliners such as Boeing 737, Airbus A320, Embraer E-Jets, and the Bombardier CSeries.

Specifications (Douglas DC-9)

  • Weights
    10 – Operating empty 22,635kg (49,900lb), max takeoff 41,140kg (90,700lb). 30 – Empty 25,940kg (57,190lb), max takeoff 54,885kg (121,000lb).
    10 – Wing span 27.25m (89ft 5in), length 31.82m (104ft 5in), height 8.38m (27ft 6in). Wing area 86.8m2 (934sq ft). 30 – Same except for length 36.37m (119ft 4in), wing span 28.47m (93ft 5in). Wing area 93.0m2 (1000.7sq ft).
    Flightcrew of two. 10 – Seating for 80 in a single class at five abreast and 86cm (34in) pitch. Max seating for 90. 30 – Max seating for 115 in a single class, five abreast and 81cm (32in) pitch, standard single class seating for 105. 30CF – can carry over eight cargo pallets.

Specifications (Douglas (DC-9-30))


10 – Two 54.5kN (12,250lb) Pratt & Whitney JT8D-5 turbofans. 30 – Two 64.5kN (14,500lb) JT8D-9s, or two 66.7kN (15,000lb) JT8D-11s, or two 71.2kN (16,000lb) JT8D-17s.
10 – Max cruising speed 903km/h (488kt), economical cruising speed 885km/h (478kt). Range with max payload 1055km (570nm). 30 – Max cruising speed 907km/h (490kt), long range cruise 798km/h (430kt). Range at high speed cruise with 64 passengers and reserves 2150km (1160nm), range at long range cruise with 80 passengers and reserves 3095km (1670nm).

Aircrafttoaal encyclopedia

The DC-9 was followed by the introduction of the MD-80 series in 1980. This was originally called the DC-9-80 series. It was a lengthened DC-9-50 with a higher maximum takeoff weight (MTOW), a larger wing, new main landing gear, and higher fuel capacity. The MD-80 series features a number of variants of the Pratt & Whitney JT8D turbofan engine having higher thrust ratings than those available on the DC-9. The series includes the MD-81, MD-82, MD-83, MD-88, and shorter fuselage MD-87.