The McDonnell Douglas MD-11 or Boeing MD-11 as it was later named, is the most modern tri-jet in operation today.
The aircraft offers a highly sophisticated flight deck and advanced automatic system controls that substantially reduce pilot workload.
The MD-11F is the advanced trijet freighter that meets the demanding requirements of 90-tonne air cargo markets. Well-suited to both express and high-density operations, the MD-11 converted freighter carries up to 36 standard 96- by 125-inch pallets or containers. A range of nearly 3,500 nautical miles (almost 6,500 kilometers), low fuel burn, and unrestricted over-water operation capability have made the MD-11F the preferred choice of the world’s premier package freight operators. Key operators are Fedex, UPS and Dutch cargo operator Martinair (see figure below).
The MD-11 aircraft is in service with numerous of customers worldwide and was produced at
Long Beach, California, at the Douglas Products Division of the Boeing Commercial Airplanes. At that time the aircraft was available in 4 different models;
passenger, all freighter, convertible freighter and combi, where passengers and freight are carried on the main deck with additional freight carried below the deck. An optional ER feature was available on all models. The efficiency of the aircraft is obtained by
advances in aerodynamics, propulsion, aircraft systems, cockpit avionics and interior design. One of the most striking improvements in aerodynamic design
include winglets and a redesigned wing trailing edge, a smaller horizontal tail with integral fuel tanks and an extended tail cone. These features all contribute to a decrease in total drag, fuel savings and an increase in range.
The MD-11 can fly up to 7,630 statute miles (12,270 km) at maximum take-off weight, 285 passengers and their baggage. The extended range version of the MD-11, with additional fuel tanks installed and operating at a higher maximum take-off weight of 633.000 lbs, can fly up to
8,225 statute miles (13,230 km). The seating capacity can vary from 285 in a typical three class configuration to 410 passengers in an all-economy class config. Below the passenger deck the aircraft has space to carry containerized or palletized cargo.
Most people associate the MD-11 with its predecessor, the Douglas DC-10. The most significant differences between these two aircraft are the additional length of approximately 6 meters and fuel saving winglets.