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DC-9 Airliner One of Oldest Of 976 Built Between 1965 and 1982 With AM-Plane Crash

September 7, 1985

LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) _ The jetliner that crashed shortly after takeoff Friday in Milwaukee was one of the oldest of the 976 DC-9s built between 1965 and 1982, a McDonnell- Douglas spokesman said Friday.

Dave Eastman, a spokesman for Douglas Aircraft Co., a division of the St. Louis-based McDonnell-Douglas, said 137 Douglas DC-9 Series 10 aircraft were built, the last one delivered in 1968.

David Long, spokesman for Pratt & Whitney in East Hartford, Conn., said the plane that crashed used two JT8D-7 engines, which develop 14,000 pounds of thrust each and were certified by the Federal Aviation Administration in 1966.

The DC-9 is widely used and was eventually built in five different models. The plane that crashed was configured to carry about 60 people, but a stretch version called the Series 50 could carry 139 passengers.

″As of the end of August, we had 927 (of the 976) in service yet,″ said Eastman. ″Our rough guess is we’ve carried nearly two billion passengers all over the world.″

″It’s one of the most reliable twin-engine airplanes in the world,″ Eastman said, estimating that the aircraft fly 70 million miles and carry 12 million passengers a month.

The airplane has a cruising speed of over 500 miles per hour and a range of 1,500 miles, Eastman said.

The DC-9 series 10s are 104 feet 4 inches long, have a wingspan of 89 feet 4 inches, are 27 feet 6 inches tall at the tail, and have a fuselage diameter of 11 feet, Eastman said.

Long said the JT8D-7 engine is an older version of the more powerful JT8D- 15 that apparently exploded and caused a British Boeing 737 to crash in August.

The FAA ordered airlines to inspect the JT8D-15 after the British Airtours crash, and Pratt & Whitney said it had sent a message to all airlines using engine types J78D-1 to JT8D-15, re-emphasizing recommendations covering inspections and maintenance.

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