1980 to 1989

The 1980s the computer-generated twin-fan airliner age.  The older 1960s and 1970s types were withdrawn from use during this decade and replaced with MD-80s (originally introduced as the DC9 series 80), Boeing 737-300s and Airbus A310s.

First and second generation airliners were retired from large airline fleets during this decade - replaced by twins from Boeing, Airbus and McDonnell-Douglas.

It was also the last decade for Fokker, one of the worlds' most important airliner makers, historically. A sad loss.

Airbus A310 

Airline:  PANAM 
202 Passengers
2 JT9D engines
557 mph cruise

The A310 was a shortened version of the A300, giving it extra range. It was used on medium and long-haul flights and PanAm used it across the Atlantic.

Airbus A300-600

Airline:  Airbus A300-600 of Monarch Airlines
267 Passengers
2 engines
552 mph cruise

The stretched version of the earlier A300-B4, airlines using the early model A300s replaced them with the A300-600.

Antonov An-30

Airline:  Hemus Air
passenger or freight,
2 turboprop engines

Antonov An-32

Airline:  Air Pass
Freight only
2 turboprop engines

Not a greatly used aircraft, although part of the Aeroflot fleet and used by the United Nations.

Boeing 737-300

Airline:  Boeing 737-300 Prototype N73700 (1984)
146 Passengers
2 CFM-56 engines
566 mph cruise

The first Fan-737 was the series 300 jet. The series 500 was a relatively short version of the 737-Fan.

Boeing 747-300

photo:  Boeing 747-300 prototype
400 Passengers
4 P&W JT9D engines
557 mph cruise

This was the first 'Big Top' as Singapore Airlines called it. The stretched upper deck (SUD) and longer cabin made it an ideal replacement for the earlier series 747s from the early 1970s.

Boeing 757-200

Airline:  Boeing 757 series 200 prototype 1984
186 Passengers
2 RR RB-211 engines
528 mph cruise

The Boeing 757 was effectively a 727 replacement.

Boeing 767-200

Boeing 767-200 prototype 1985
216 Passengers
2 P&W JT9D engines
527 mph cruise

This was the first version of this wide-body long-haul jetliner. When it was accepted as 'safe' for passenger airliners with two crew and two engines to fly long-haul, over-the-sea routes this aircraft was one of the first to address this out-of-season need.

It was flown on 747 and DC10 routes out of the packed season, and to secondary cities in the USA where the passenger loads were lighter.

British Aerospace BAe 146-200

Airline:  Dan-Air London
74 Passengers
4 ALF 502 engines
487 mph cruise

This was the first jet airliner that the British airline industry brought out since the 1960s. British Aerospace engineering (Now BAe Systems) saw the need for a STOL jet and it has been used the world over. This is one of the only jet airliners to be able to fly the steeper 'STOL' ILS glidepath.

Later variants were renamed the Avro 85 series in the mid 1990s.

Ilyushin IL-86 and IL-96

Airline:  Aeroflot IL-86 in 1983
234 Passengers
4 Kuznersov Nk86 engines
589 mph cruise

The Soviet Union's first wide-body airliner. The IL-96 followed but looked much the same. Not the most successful of airliners.

McDonnell-Douglas DC8-73

Airline:  Air Canada Cargo DC8-73F in 1984
220 Passengers
4 CFM-56 engines
551 mph cruise

This was a DC8-63 re-engined with modern, quiet fan engines to get around the European noise regulations that saw older airliners banished. The DC-8-61 was similarly re-engined to a series 71.

The jet was used as a pure freighter too, the DC8-73F.

McDonnell-Douglas MD-80

Airline:  Alitalia MD-80 (DC9-80)
129 Passengers
2 JT8D engines
573 mph cruise

The MD-80 was originally sold to airlines as the DC9-80. After a corporate change the jet was redesignated the MD-80 and the series continued on until the MD-95 became the Boeing 717.

Tupolev Tu-204

Airline:   Vnukovo Airlines
190 Passengers
2 Soloviev PS90 engines
527 mph cruise

This was the Soviet Union's equivalent of the Boeing 757 and was the last airliner made there. Aeroflot now buys western jets.