American Airlines waves goodbye to its 80s workhorse

American Airlines

American Airlines (A1G) (AAL) is retiring its last remaining McDonnell Douglas MD-80 in its fleet. The carrier, which once operated around the third of world’s Super 80 fleet, is now set for the final commercial flight of the aircraft, often called ‘Mad Dog’ or ‘Silver Bullet’, on September 4, 2019.

Image: Thomas G Beam, American Airlines (A1G) (AAL)

The U.S. airline has announced that its final revenue flight on an MD-80, American Flight 80, is scheduled to depart Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) for O’Hare International Airport in Chicago (ORD). Then, the aircraft, together with “most of” American’s remaining Super 80s will embark to Roswell, New Mexico (ROW).

Having taken first deliveries back in 1983, American Airlines (A1G) (AAL) used MD-80s as the “workhorse” of its fleet throughout the 1980s and “beyond”, according to a statement by the airline itself. Throughout the years, the airline had three different types of the Super 80: MD-82, MD-83 and MD-87, with only the first two versions still remaining active to be retired on this day. 

Image: American Airlines (A1G) (AAL)

By 2003, American Airlines (A1G) (AAL) had 362 Super 80s in its fleet “representing approximately one-third of all MD-80s ever produced by McDonnell Douglas”, according to a statement by the carrier. In total, 1191 MD-80s were made, of six different versions, Boeing’s records indicate. 

Read more about American’s MD-80 history here:

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