McDONNELL DOUGLAS (MDC) has revealed studies of a re-winged MD-90 twinjet, which would give it transcontinental range and clear the way for the future development of a new series of derivatives.

"It would be an all new wing not a revised version of the present one," says the president of MDC's Douglas Aircraft division, Mike Sears. The present wing design is a revision of the MD-80 wing. The MD-90's range is limited to intra-continental operations in the USA.

The modification could attract MD-80-series operators, such as American Airlines, to the MD-90 family and give MDC an aircraft with would allow it to compete more effectively against the larger version of the new-generation Boeing 737, which already has transcontinental range.

"We have to decide what to do next. We're doing the MD-95 and MD-XX immediately," says Sears. "Then we must decide on stretching the MD-95 or re-winging the MD-90." The stretched MD-95 version, known as the MD-95-50, would complement the basic -30 and extended range -30ER versions. The stretched MD-95 would also be re-winged with an "MD-80 style" wing. The MD-90 re-wing programme would be undertaken within three or four years, if sanctioned.

MDC has received "six letters of intent from airlines for more than 40" MD-XX/XXLR aircraft, says Sears. "We've not received board approval to offer the aircraft at this point-but it is our intent to offer it," he adds. The manufacturer stresses that the MD-XX programme is still on its original schedule, with definition due in the final quarter of 1996 and launch in the first quarter of 1997.

Source: Flight International