Motivated by the title/body of Why was the DC-9-80 so successful despite being obsolete almost from birth? and its comments (and the rollback), and then the tag info, I was surprised to find the MD-90/717 being listed (and mentioned in the tag info body) as DC-9-9x.

The title question here is rhetorical, because googling such terms only leads to the tag info!

I understand (and appreciate) the romance behind such names for the MD-90/717, but even for the MD-80, there is no place for the DC-9-80 name anymore (unless the topic is the origin of the name!). It was changed, and it's like rewriting history*.

The issue: IMO it hampers finding questions about the MD-80/-90/717 (indexing issue). After all we ask and answer questions for a wider audience. And for the MD-90/717, it's plain wrong (inventive, understandable as aforementioned, but still wrong).

What are your thoughts?

* It erases McDonnell's and Boeing's contributions, without which the whole family would have ended at the DC-9. For emphasis, consider the MD-11, no one calls it DC-11, which would also be rather confusing since there's now an MD-10 -- or do we call that DC-10NG? /grin

PS Sorry @Sean, or shall I say @yohanan? :)


1 Answer 1


Were the MD-90 and 717 ever known by DC-9-9x names

No, not the versions that were produced.

The DC-9 and DC-10 were the last models to continue the DC family, as the company had become McDonnell Douglas in 1967. The DC-9-80, or "Super 80", was the last version to continue the DC-9 line, but was marketed as the MD-80. After that it made the most sense to continue the MD-XX line rather than continue the DC-9-XX line but market them under the MD-XX line.

The Wikipedia article on the 717 mentions that the concept dates back to the 1980s:

...McDonnell Douglas proposed a smaller version of the DC-9 to fill the gap left by the DC-9-30. Dubbed the DC-9-90...

But this never left paper and was put on hold until the 1990s, when:

...it was again considering developing a specialized 100-seat version of the MD-80, initially named the MD-87-105 (105 seats)...

This shows that at least in the 1990s they were considering new models to be part of the MD-XX line. The project was then officially announced as the MD-95, and when Boeing acquired McDonnell Douglas, it was rebranded as the Boeing 717.

The Wikipedia article on the MD-90 doesn't mention being part of the DC-9-XX family at all. The MD-80 article refers to the general concept starting as the MD-89.

This is also reflected in the FAA's type certificate. Even though the original DC-9 type cert was indeed amended to include all variants up to the MD-90 and 717, it does not refer to them all as DC-9-XX. In fact, the MD-88 is even listed separately from the DC-9-8X line, and that was certified in 1987.

I could not find anything for the DC-9-9X models listed in the tag wiki.

Based on all of this (which could honestly be a question on the main site) I don't think it makes sense to refer to those models DC-9-9X. Even though they are technically part of the DC-9 family as they are variants under the same TC, I think we should at least have separate tags for them. Most people asking or looking for a question about the Boeing 717 are unlikely to think to use . The same goes for the others, and we already have .

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks a lot for the research. I've updated the tag info. $\endgroup$
    – user14897
    Nov 14, 2019 at 3:01

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