Restoration of first commercial jetliner

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Originally Posted By: fdcg27
The -11 was, after all no more than a stretched -10 with smaller tail feathers and thus less elevator authority available.
I may be mis-reading the way you've written this sentence. My understanding is that the horozontal stabilizer and elevators on the -11 are the same (have the same area) as on the -10. With the additional length and weight of the fuselage and other structural components on the -11, the horozontal stab components are effectively smaller (percentage-wise) and less effective, thus the higher approach speeds of the -11. Is this incorrect? The "engine in the wing root" design of the Comet, while graceful and aerodynamic, certainly presented some containment issues with regard to catastophic engine failures.
 
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McDonnell Douglas made the rear tailplane smaller in the MD-11 to make the airplane more fuel efficient. Quick excerpt from Popular Mechanics:
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In the late 1980s, engineers at McDonnell Douglas updated the 1960s DC-10 and reduced the size of the plane's horizontal stabilizer by about 12 feet, which cut weight and drag.
 

emg

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Originally Posted By: oilboy123
Seen a special on the plane before. Very interesting stuff. Very valuable lessons learned. Too bad people had to die for that to become known.
If I remember correctly, the design was flawed in that stress around the window corners turned out to be about twice as high as engineers had calculated. But the fatal mistake was that the windows were originally designed to be glued into the fuselage as well as riveted, yet somehow they ended up being just riveted. The cracks started at the rivet holes, and had the windows been glued as designed, the cracks might have been spotted before they caused an aircraft loss.
 

emg

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Originally Posted By: 72te27
The "engine in the wing root" design of the Comet, while graceful and aerodynamic, certainly presented some containment issues with regard to catastophic engine failures.
I believe one reason the engines were put there was because the Comet was designed to operate from rough runways around the British Empire, where the design protected the engines from foreign object damage. Also, having them that close to the fuselage would have helped with asymmetrical thrust if one engine failed; some of the early military jets with engines further out on the wings could became flying deathtraps after an engine failure. So it was all down to trading one potential catastrophe against another.
 
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The DC-10, whether it deserved the reputation or not, got a bad rap because of the many early incidents and crashes in it's first few years of operations. Yea, it went on to become a reliable work horse in many airlines, but it wasn't always that way.
 
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