Leg-8 We already arrived at the last leg of our tour. The 8th and last leg will take us back to Berlin Schönefeld and doing so we will conclude the last letter of our Skywriting experience. For this last trip the McDonell Douglas MD-11 seemed appropriate as at the end of this year 2014 also KLM will say goodbye to this aircraft.
The MD-11 is a three-engine medium- to long-range wide-body jet airliner, originally manufactured by McDonnell Douglas and, later, by Boeing Commercial aircraft. Based on the DC-10, it features a stretched fuselage, increased wingspan with winglets, refined airfoils on the wing and smaller tailplane, new engines and increased use of composite materials. Two of its engines are mounted on underwing pylons and a third engine at the base of the vertical stabilizer. Although the MD-11 program was launched in 1986, McDonnell Douglas started to search for a DC-10 derivative as early as 1976. In spite of the tremendous success of the DC-10 McDonell Douglas still was convinced that a new derivative for the DC-10 was needed. In 1984 a new derivative aircraft version of the DC-10 was designated MD-11. In July 1985, the Board of Directors authorized the Long Beach plant to offer the MD-11 to potential customers. After further improvements and finetuning finally, the MD-11 was launched on December 30, 1986 with commitments for 52 firm orders and 40 options in three different versions (passenger, combi and freighter). Assembly of the first MD-11 began on March, 1988, and the ceremonial roll out of the took place in September 1989. MD-11 service in the U.S. was inaugurated by Delta Air Lines in 1990. After McDonnell Douglas merged with Boeing in 1997 the new company decided that MD-11 production would continue, though only for the freighter variant. However, in 1998 Boeing announced they would end MD-11 production after filling current orders.The last passenger MD-11 built was delivered to Sabena in April 1998. Ten of the MD-11 in the passenger variant, also sometimes referred to as MD-11P, were delivered to KLM. In July 2013 six MD-11 were in commercial service with KLM.
McDonell Douglas MD-11
EDDB Berlin Schönefeld Airport is an international airport located near the town of Schönefeld in Brandenburg, directly at the southern border of Berlin and 18 km southeast of the city centre. Schönefeld was the major civil airport of East Germany (GDR) before the end of the Iron Curtain and the only airport serving East Berlin. Today, it is the smaller of the two airports in Berlin after Berlin Tegel Airport. Schönefeld Airport was opened on 15 October 1934 to accommodate the Henschel aircraft plant. In April 1945, the airport was occupied by Soviet troops, and the aircraft construction facilities were either dismantled or blown up. In 1946, the Soviet Air Forces moved from Johannisthal Air Field to Schönefeld, including the civil airline Aeroflot. In 1947, the Soviet Military Administration in Germany approved the construction of a civilian airport at the site. Following German reunification in 1990, operating three separate airports became increasingly cost prohibitive, leading the Berlin legislature to pursue a single airport that would be more efficient and would decrease the amount of aircraft noise from the airport within the city. It was therefore decided to erect Berlin Brandenburg Airport at the current site of Schönefeld Airport, originally scheduled to open in autumn 2012. For various reasons the opening has been postponed to 2015, after that Schönefeld will merge into Brandenburg Airport. In 2013 some 6,7 million passengers crossed Schönefeld's terminals. EDDB Schönefeld has one runway RWY 07/25 (former 07R/25L) measuring 3.600 x 45 mtr (asphalt) and equipped with ILS Cat-III. The former runway 07L/25R of 2.710 mtr is out of order and will be replaced in due time by a new parallel runway as part of the new Brandenburg Airport concept.