Why is A/S data on MD-80 / MD-90 series so wrong?

Over the last ten years of my using A/S, I have always tried to be true to my aviation passion without allowing geopolitical politics and sentiments to get in the way. I believe aviation should be purely about technology and technical capacity. It would seem A/S has not always shared my views always, as is evidenced in many of the difficult advocacy that I have had to make for many plane types, especially those that are neither Airbus nor Boeing! The A/S team would go to great length to introduce Airbus or Boeing models and variants that have barely any real life difference from the regular models (case in point: Boeing 737MAX-8-200), however tell them to get the data and information on other manufacturers correctly, it becomes an impossible chore! A lot of foot-dragging and wild excuses would become the order of the day! Years ago, it took me nearly two years to convince A/S to allow Tupolev Tu-204 series to be represented as having ability to carry cargo! This is something that should have been a no brainer! I, along with many, have not been very active for the very reason that this is the kind of attitudes and prejudice against other products that we see. Take a look at the McDonnell Douglas MD-80 and 90 series - the performance data being used on A/S is absolute hogwash! Everyone and anyone who knows anything about aviation knows that these splendid aircraft series sold more than a thousand copies and its performance specs is no secret. With the MD-80 series, it is a well known fact that the MD-81 has the lowest MTOW and thus the shortest range. This was followed by MD-82 (with uprated engines) and a slightly higher MTOW. This gave the 82 a slightly longer range. The MD-83 and MD-88 were the models with the longer range (being equal to each other but far superior to MD-82). The difference was that MD-88 (being a later variant) had an EFIS glass cockpit. All of the aforementioned variants had the same fuselage dimensions. The MD-87 stood out as the model with the shortened fuselage, thus giving it an edge in long range performance. In essence, the MD-87 supplanted and exceeded all other models in its range and performance. As a matter of fact, when specified at MTOW of 68,000kg, it is fitted with the same two auxiliary fuel tanks fitted in the MD-83, thus increasing fuel capacity to 6,970 US gal (26,400 L), thereby allowing the MD87 a range of 5400km! Typical range with 130 passengers, is 2,370 nmi (4,390 km) increasing to 2,900 nmi (5,400 km) with two auxiliary fuel tanks. This information is so common place that even wikipedia has it! How in the world A/S managed to mess up and mangle such lucid information is beyond me. If you look at the way the MD-80 series is implemented on A/S, you will see that they basically didn’t care to get things correctly. In A/S MD-83 is represented as having the longest range. MD-88 is shortchanged. And MD-87 is totally and completely robbed of its capabilities and potentials! I personally do not see any real problems or negatives with an error that is genuine, however when such errors are pointed out, it should not be allowed to become persistent and those who know better should not drag their feet in making amendments or refuse to make the necessary corrections. Corrections should be automatic. I believe the essence of this game and community is to simulate, let me repeat that, to simulate aviation and aerospace industry. It should not be a space for fostering geopolitical sentiments and artificial “balancing acts”. the entire essence of simulation is altruism.

My five cents.

I agree with you on the point of our data being…uhm…inconsistent. Or rather, that the formulas we use at the moment (and have been using for a long time) force us to take shortcuts and cause weird artefacts. It’s something we’d love to fix, but it’s surprisingly hard and requires the help of motivated, persistent volunteers to take a full-on overhaul of the system from inception to completion. As a matter of fact, I was looking at Airport Planning Manuals of a few aircraft types on my way to the AirlineSim Christmas meetup on Saturday to think a bit about how to tackle the issue(s). Add to that the always-present problem if fixing any sort of issue in running game worlds…if we switched around the performance of a whole series like the MD-8X now, what would/should happen to all the airlines using them? Same goes for the seats topic discussed on another thread just now…yes, the decisions made when the seats were introduced were questionable at best. But it’s “probelematic” to change in hindsight. Not impossible, of course. But just more complicated than it would have been to do it right on the first try. Ah…hindsight…

What I have to strongly refuse is the purported bias. Yes, most people (remember: mostly volunteers) know some types better than others. Of course everyone has personal preferences. And data is often easier to come by for modern types. But there is no general, intentional bias to have an Airbus/Boeing-only sim. That would be silly.

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The MD-88 is based on the MD-82, not -83!
This is correctly reflected in AS (there are a few minor issues with runway data though)

The MD-87 you’re talking about is the increased gross weight variant which was never implemented into the game. The data in AS is reflecting the basic -87 and on a quick glance not far off the mark.


AK, you make ridiculous assertions.- go and check your information against real world facts. You base your assertion about MD-88 on Delta’s aircrafts (which were based on MD-82). Nevertheless, the other MD-88s delivered were all based on MD-83 since it has a more powerful engine and can handle higher MTOW. The main difference is the cockpit: the MD-88 has a “glass” cockpit. Also, as compared to the MD-82, the -88 has more powerful engines. It has JT8D-219s, which are also found on the MD-83.
Incidentally, DL is not the only operator of the MD-88. Other customers include Aeromexico, Aerolineas Argentinas, and Aviaco of Spain, later merged into Iberia. These other airlines had the MD-88 with longer range.

You also claim that A/S implemented the shorter range MD-87. My question is why should A/S implement the deficient variant when there is another variant with superior performance? Why?? I will tell you why - bias is mostly subtle! That is why. Do you implement only the inferior and lighter Airbus A320 only?? If Airbus so much as changes a screw on the A320, don’t you all rush to implement that change as another variant? Is that not what you see on A/S?? Go into the game and see how many numerous variants of A320 family is being implemented - every little detail or change is implemented!! What would be the point of an MD-87 if you do not represent its ultimate variant? - was not that the goal of shortening the fuselage?? Most MD-87s used in the real world had long range and that was why it was favoured and singled out in the entire family for use as VIP jet. Like I said, you may all refute my claims of bias, but it is evidenced and constantly exhibited in your implementations. Enough said.

Martin, I appreciate your response and candid acknowledgement. It is very helpful. I will advice that you do a very simple and effective thing - start implementing improved plane data in new servers and let the entire A/S community know that going forward, the new plane data would be implemented. You may even go as far as giving separate names to servers with new plane data. Those players who prefer the former will stick to playing on the former. Those players who appreciate more accurate and realistic data and performance will gradually migrate to the new servers. I do not see why the aircraft data on one server would cause others in other server to be disgruntled. Let each player choose what suits them until the gradual migration makes one or more servers irrelevant.

I base my “assertions” on MDD manuals and there the MD-88 is considered an MD-82, simple as that. And that’s where AS data is from.
As for your “real world facts”, you might want to check on -219 powerplant and the versions it is certified for.
I don’t get the intention of your MD-88 post anyways. It’s a pointless aircraft in AS, no matter what performance data we’d use. Either get the -82 or -83 whichever makes you happy.

And if you want the MD-87 IGW, why not be polite and kindly ask through the right channels?

That’s it from my part. I wont be wasting any more of time arguing with you.

Maybe because nobody (me included) had this version on their radar?

I’m getting a headache reading your posts. Unbelievable.


Closing this. @AK tried to be as rational about this as possible, @MIDAS02 decided to make it personal and spout accusations. Not wasting anyone’s time with that.