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DC-9 Family

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Article Information
Category: Aircraft Family Aircraft Family
Content source: SKYbrary About SKYbrary


Family of short to medium range airliners in service since 1965. Built in these versions:

  • DC-9-10 initial type (wing span 27,25m length 31,82m MTOW 41,177kg90,779.746 lbs <br />41.177 tonnes <br />)
  • DC-9-30 stretched version with more powerful engines.
  • DC-9-20 (wing span 28,5m length 31,82m MTOW 44492kg98,088.07 lbs <br />44.492 tonnes <br />) combines fuselage of DC-9-10 with engines of DC-9-30.

The DC-9-80 (DC-9 Super 80), later redesignated MD-80, launched the family of commercial jet airliners with McDonnell Douglas "MD" designation. More details on following modifications of DC-9 family:

Aircraft Family Members
ICAO Type Designator Name Length (m)
DOUGLAS DC-9-10 DOUGLAS DC-9-10 31.82 m
DOUGLAS DC-9-20 DOUGLAS DC-9-20 31.82 m
DOUGLAS DC-9-30 DOUGLAS DC-9-30 36.37 m
DOUGLAS DC-9-40 DOUGLAS DC-9-40 38.28 m
DOUGLAS DC-9-50 DOUGLAS DC-9-50 40.7 m


Aircraft DC-9-10 DC-9-20 DC-9-30 DC-9-40 DC-9-50
Overall Length 31.82 m104.396 ft <br /> 31.82 m104.396 ft <br /> 36.37 m119.324 ft <br /> 38.28 m125.591 ft <br /> 40.7 m133.53 ft <br />
Wing Span 27.25 m89.403 ft <br /> 27.25 m89.403 ft <br /> 28.47 m93.406 ft <br /> 28.47 m93.406 ft <br /> 28.5 m93.504 ft <br />
Engines 2 x Pratt & Whitney JT8D-5 or -7 (62.3 kN) thrust each. 2 x Pratt & Whitney JT8D-11 (66.7 kN) thrust each. 10: 2 x P&W JT8D-7 (2 x 54,5 kN) turbofans or
20/30: 2 x P&W JT8D-9 (64,5 kN) or
2 x P&W JT8D-15 (66,7 kN) turbofans.
2 x Pratt & Whitney JT8D-7, -9, -11 or -15 (68.9 kN) thrust each. 40: 2 x P&W JT9D-15 (64,5 kN) or
50: 2 x P&W JT9D-17 (71,2 kN) turbofans.
Passengers (1 class config.) 90 90 115 125 135
Max. Range 1,265 nm2,342,780 m <br />2,342.78 km <br />7,686,286.095 ft <br /> 1,605 nm2,972,460 m <br />2,972.46 km <br />9,752,165.361 ft <br /> 1,500 nm2,778,000 m <br />2,778 km <br />9,114,173.235 ft <br /> 1,265 nm2,342,780 m <br />2,342.78 km <br />7,686,286.095 ft <br /> 1,500 nm2,778,000 m <br />2,778 km <br />9,114,173.235 ft <br />
Maximum takeoff weight 41.1 tonnes41,100 kg <br /> 44.5 tonnes44,500 kg <br /> 49.94 tonnes49,940 kg <br /> 54.885 tonnes54,885 kg <br /> 54.934 tonnes54,934 kg <br />

Accidents & Serious Incidents involving DC-9 Family

  • DC91 / B722, Detroit MI USA, 1990 (On 3 December 1990 a Douglas DC9-10 flight crew taxiing for departure at Detroit in thick fog got lost and ended up stopped to one side of an active runway where, shortly after reporting their position, their aircraft was hit by a departing Boeing 727-200 and destroyed by the impact and subsequent fire. The Investigation concluded that the DC9 crew had failed to communicate positional uncertainty quickly enough but that their difficulties had been compounded by deficiencies in both the standard of air traffic service and airport surface markings, signage and lighting undetected by safety regulator oversight.)
  • DC91, vicinity Kansas City MO USA, 1999 (On March 4, 1999, a DC91 operated by USA Jet Airlines, at night and on final approach to land at Kansas City International Airport encountered a flock of large birds. The crew managed to regain sufficient thrust to continue the approach and land without further incident.)
  • DC93 / B722, Madrid Spain, 1983 (On 7 December 1983, a Boeing 727-200 taking off from Madrid in thick fog collided at high speed with a Douglas DC-9 which had not followed its departure taxi clearance to the beginning of the same runway. The DC-9 crew did not advise ATC of their uncertain location until asked for their position after non-receipt of an expected position report. The Investigation concluded that flight deck coordination on the DC-9 had been deficient and noted that gross error checks using the aircraft compasses had not been conducted. The airport was without any surface movement radar.)
  • DC93, en-route, Cincinnati OH USA, 1983 (On 2 June 1983, a DC9 aircraft operated by Air Canada was destroyed following an in-flight fire which began in one of the aircraft’s toilets. 23 passengers died in the accident.)
  • DC93, en-route, north west of Miami USA, 1996 (On 11 May 1996, the crew of a ValuJet DC9-30 were unable to keep control of their aircraft after fire broke out. The origin of the fire was found to have been live chemical oxygen generators loaded contrary to regulations. The Investigation concluded that, whilst the root cause was poor practices at SabreTech (the maintenance contractor which handed over oxygen generators in an unsafe condition), the context for this was oversight failure at successive levels - Valujet over SabreTech and the FAA over Valujet. Failure of the FAA to require fire suppression in Class 'D' cargo holds was also cited.)
  • DC93, vicinity Charlotte NC USA, 1994 (On 2 July 1994, an DC-9 operated by US Air, collided with trees and a house shortly after attempting a missed approach at Charlotte Airport, USA, in heavy thunderstorms. 37 passengers were killed.)
  • DC93, vicinity Port Harcourt Nigeria, 2005 (On 10 December 2005, a Douglas DC9-32 operated by Sosoliso Airlines descended below the ILS Decision Altitude without visual reference, on approach to Port Harcourt Nigeria, and control was lost during the attempted initiation of a go around, followed by ground impact and post crash fire.)
  • DC95 / C206, Toronto Canada, 2002 (On 25 August 2002, a Douglas DC9-51 being operated by North West Airlines on a scheduled passenger flight from Toronto to Minneapolis had just taken off in day VMC when a Cessna 206 being operated on a passenger charter flight from Georgian Bay to Toronto unexpectedly carried out a missed approach from another runway. And despite last minute visual avoiding action came within close airborne proximity whilst still within the airport perimeter. There were no injuries to any of the 109 occupants of the DC9 or the 4 occupants of the Cessna.)