Back to Squawk list
  • 29

The Lost Boeing 717 Models

The Boeing 717 is a unique product in the Boeing line-up. Acquired through the purchase of McDonnell Douglas, the aircraft became relatively successful on shorter, regional routes. But it wasn’t originally intended to be a standalone aircraft; it should have had two sisters, one larger, one smaller. What happened to these ‘lost’ Boeing 717 models? ( More...

Sort type: [Top] [Newest]

Not a 'lost' model at all. The original 717 was the C-135. Why it was reused for the McD DC-9-80 was probably a marketing ploy .
Pat Barry 4
Correction. You are thinking of the freighter. The Boeing 717 was a DC9 derivation with big engines, designed initially for Reno Air so that it could fly out of Orange County (KSNA) without busting the airport's noise monitors.
The Boeing 717 is a twin-engine, single-aisle jet airliner, developed for the 100-seat market. The airliner was designed and originally marketed by McDonnell Douglas as the MD-95, a derivative of the DC-9 family. Capable of seating up to 134 passengers, the 717 has a design range of 2,060 nautical miles (3,820 km). It is powered by two Rolls-Royce BR715 turbofan engines mounted at the rear of the fuselage. The first order for the airliner was placed was placed with McDonnell Douglas in October 1995 by ValuJet Airlines (later AirTran Airways). With McDonnell Douglas and Boeing merging in 1997 prior to production, the airliner entered service in 1999 as the Boeing 717. Production of the Boeing 717 ceased in May 2006 after 156 were built. As of July 2018, 148 Boeing 717 aircraft were still in service.
Gary Berrian 3
Thanks Barry for your history of the 717.
AKA MD 95. I remember working the first production DC9 Super 80 fresh out of A&P school ( Academy of Aeronautics ) 1979.
MDAC hired half the graduates that year.
Ship 909 and 917 were the first two aircraft off the assembly line. Swiss Air was the launch customer and Austrian Airways was the 2nd to order.
Nice memories.
Jared Smith 1
The 717 designation angered both the MacDac and Boeing heritage personnel!
Gary Berrian 7
Once Boeing took over MDC the 717 never had a chance.
Why would you keep building an Airplane type that was so different from the Boeing Line. The Long Beach plant that once employed me an 40,000 other workers in the 1970’s was doomed after the merger.
Pat Barry 3
I've read that the controlling shareholders, the Douglas family, were unwilling to bet the company on a DC10 derivative with two engines. I've read that Boeing bought McDonnell Douglas to get the freighter.
It is a sad chapter for the shareholders and employees, and handed its market share to Airbus.
The entire SEC approval for Boeing to purchase DAC (MDC) should have NEVER been approved. How did that help our GDP?
The 717 pedigree is pretty solid. For missions 1500 NM or less (LGB to ORD), the twin jet operating costs (fuel alone) win over the 737 variants. Puget sound (at the time) did not and does not want 737 operators to know that.
I was a BMW Rolls engineer on the B717 testing out of Yuma (AZ). Flew all sorts of tests: deep stalls over the "Dunes" ("Yippee kai-yeah, etc.") , rejected T/Os out of Moses Lake ... snow ingestion in Cold Bay, AK., touch-n-goes at Edwards ...
How about that inverted stall ?
Bill Fox 4
I was just reading about this as Eucatoriana Airlines has chosen to use the plane as part of their fleet.
strickerje 3
I think that makes a lot of sense for a start-up; being an orphaned type, the mainlines are retiring them, so there will be a supply of used ones with relatively low time.
boughbw 9
A 70-seat 717-100 would have been an absolute rocket.
Boeing was having all kinds of fun making bad decisions back then. Cancelling the 717 after a short run, cancelling the 757, going with the 737-700... Dare I say that, had Boeing kept the 717 and redesigned it with composites, the CRJ series would be dead and the C-Series (A220 now) would never have been conceived, Boeing would have been spared its humiliating failed merger with Embraer, and more time might have been available to give the 737 the clean sheet approach it clearly needed now that the MAX debacle is their main focus.
Justthefacs 3
Getting rid of the 757 and not pursuing the 717 were really bad decisions by Boeing manglement (not misspelled) as was corporate headquarters move to Chicago. Was choice of murder USA really because the CEO wanted lakes to sail on and Dallas and Atlanta had neither?


Don't have an account? Register now (free) for customized features, flight alerts, and more!
Did you know that FlightAware flight tracking is supported by advertising?
You can help us keep FlightAware free by allowing ads from We work hard to keep our advertising relevant and unobtrusive to create a great experience. It's quick and easy to whitelist ads on FlightAware or please consider our premium accounts.