MD-82 and MD-88 difference


what’s the difference between the MD-82 and MD-88? The both have the same specs here:


The MD-88 has an “glass” cockpit.





Are you sure??? Google images say differently.

Wiki makes no mention of glass cockpit in the 80 series, yet it does say for the 90 series.

Can you please provide your source on the 88’s.



That’s the difference I always knew between them. I flew Delta ALOT during the late 80’s and early 90’s. Looking at the specs there was a minor engine tweak on some and a slight cabin variation betweent the MD-82/88 and MD-83. If I recall the 88 was originally created for Delta or they were the launch customer. I also recall some airlines converted there MD-82’s into MD-88’s. AA essentially converted there fleet a few years ago.

I would much rather fly any long series MD vs. 737. The MD’s are so much more quiet and comfortable in my opinion.


Wikipedia isn’t always very comprensive. I looked up “differences between md82 md88” in Google. There were several references to the EFIS in the MD88 version.


I googled.

I think the 88 pic is glassier than the 82 pic. :slight_smile:


You do realize there is a difference between EFIS and Glass Cockpit???

All the pictures of the MD80 series pictures I have been looking at, the primary nav instrumentation are gauges.

Don’t believe me, just look at lancasterperch pics he posted. I haven’t seen much variation from those he posted



Yes, it is, but only with the electronic flight information services (EFIS) from pics I have seen.

You don’t see the altitude ribbon, or DG indications, or that G1000 look on any of the pictures I have searched where all the PRIMARY nav instrumentation would be in if it was a all glass cockpit.



EFIS (electronic flight information system) is part of the glass cockpit
Poster Doug Taylor in the forum calls it a semi-glass cockpit.

Most articles I read, such as this one, call it a glass cockpit.

Guess we could compromise and call it a 1st generation glass cockpit.


At the time, that was a glass cockpit and most airlines resisted them. That MD-88 pictured above does have ditital engine gauges which is more than alot of others had at the time. Even SWA went with the steam gauges until the -700’s came in the late 90s.

I remember looking in the cockpit ever time I’d get on/off a Delta flight. I’d say “WOW!” because it seemed so radical.


Where is the MD88 listed on the not very comprehensive reference site as you indicated earlier… Selective I guess for your convienance?

Can you show me a picture of an MD 80 series with nav equipment (PFD) displayed on a LCD as defined by your very own references which would complete the compliment of a glass cockpit flavored plane??? I have not found any myself.

Otherwise, if the instrumentation is based on gauges, where does the “glass cockpit” come into play?

Since I have a Garmin 430 in my plane (my GA equivelent of an EFIS), does that mean I’ve been promoted to glass cockpit???

Inquiring minds would like to know.

Edited for MD88


LOL on the radical, and I agree.

But since the definition of glass cockpit has changed since the 70’s and 80’s, by today’s standard, the MD80 series from the pictures I have found is flown like a steam gauge, not a glass cockpit (PFD, MFD, EFIS).

And we are talking today, not when the articles were written???

PFD - primary flight display
MFD - multi function dsiplay
EFIS - electronic flight information services



I think the only plane with total glass at that time was the G-IV. They still look pretty good today.


Actually the first all “Glass” instrumented airplane was the Collins equipped Beech Starship. And I have many other comments pertinant to this discussion that I’ll add shortly…



I wasnt’ talking about the MD88 in particular on my comment on the EFIS and Glass Cockpits.

You had asked if I knew there was a difference between an EFIS and glass cockpit. I looked it up. The article said EFIS was part of a glass cockpit. In other words, I was answering your question about EFIS and glass cockpits, not the MD88 specifically.

lancastperch’s pictures, I think, should suffice for your request for a photo.

As an aside, with the exception of the MD-88, all of the MD-80 series aircraft are actually DC-9s. The MD81, etc., is a marketing name.

Type Certificate Data Sheet Note 14 for the DC-9 states:

The official designator for the McDonnell Douglas Model DC-9-81, -82, -83, or -87 is the DC-9-81, -82, -83, or -87. The “MD” designator may be used in parentheses, but, must be accompanied by the official
designator (i.e., DC-9-81 (MD-81)).

(above is on page 79)


Okay…here’s the scoop on the MD-80 series: I’ve bolded the “meat” that answers the OP’s question.

The origins of the MD-80 lie in 1975 testing where a standard DC-9 was fitted with improved, more efficient, higher bypass ratio JT8D-200 series turbofans. MDC originally proposed fitting the new engines (which meet Stage 3 noise limits) to a development designated the DC-9-55, which would have featured two JT8D-209s and a 3.86m (12ft 8in) stretched fuselage over the 50.

Instead MDC developed the DC-9 Super 80 (or DC-9-80), combining the new engines with a further stretched fuselage, increased span wing and other improvements. Launched in October 1977, the Super 80 first flew on October 18 1979. Certification for the initial Super 80 model, the 81, was granted in July 1981. The first customer delivery was to Swissair in September 1980.

McDonnell Douglas renamed the DC-9-80 the MD-80 in 1983. The MD-80 designation however is a generic designation for the series and does not apply to a certain model type. The specific MD-80 models are the initial MD-81, the MD-82 with more powerful JT8D-217s, the extended range MD-83 with extra fuel and more efficient JT8D-219s, and the MD-88 (first flight August 1987) with the JT8D-219s of the MD-83 with an EFIS flightdeck and redesigned cabin interior, with other improvements.

Now let’s get to EFIS or Electronic Flight Instrumentation System which is more or less symbology that is electronically generated to represent traditional analog information. The term Glass originated as EFIS information was displayed via a CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) which uses a “Glass” face. And as technology has advanced we now have LCD (Liquid Crystal Display). Some of the advantages of EFIS are greater reliability, reduction in components, reduced weight, hardware commonality, and flexibility.

Originally, EFIS symbology software was designed to mimic analog displays…because that’s what pilots were familiar with. As an example, on Southwest’s Next Gen 737-700’s that are equipped with large LCD screens, airspeed, altitude, vertical speed, and engine information is displayed in the old analog format. This is done so that it’s easy for a SW pilot to fly an older 737-300 with analog instruments to jump into a brand new -700 and have the same instrument scan. Other airlines may have information displayed in what’s called a tape format, because years of human factors studies have found that it easier and more logical for the brain to process. Having flown airplanes with both formats I readily agree.

Today, civilian aircraft have HUD (Heads Up Display) pioneered by the military. Infrared imaging or EVS (Enhanced Vision System) is also finding it’s way into the cockpit, showing the way on approaches when visibility from the night and the weather is zero. Software symbology has advanced to the point where large LCD screens can display a virtual reality view of the topography that can be scene through the windscreen. It’s great stuff… It amazes me everyday, how far we’ve come in a little over a century of flight.



You answered my question bolded above??? As you tell me, please read it slowly and maybe try again???

Lancasterperch’s pictures make your original response to the question wrong then as what is displayed is not a glass cockpit.

The scan process is much different in flying a glass cockpit plan vs a steam gauge. Read my cirrus thread for my own personal experiences if you don’t believe me.

What is displayed in the pictures above are analogue or steam gauges for flying that plane and other then the extra knobs, throttles, gauges buttons and other complexities of flying that jet, flying that plane on gauges (airspeed, altitude, VSI) monitoring is no different then my Sundowner.

And again, does my Garmin 430 make my plane have a glass cockpit?? I still look at the VSI, airspeed and altitude on gauges, just like the pictures above.

Thanks azav8r for correcting me on EFIS and the proper terminology. Here I thought the PFD was the component that contained the flight instrumentation.

Or is that the component WITHIN the EFIS??? EFIS encompasses the PFD and the MFD???



The EFIS term covers pretty much any primary flight instrument that is electronically displayed. With early EFIS displays the EADI (Electronic Attitude Deviation Indicator) and EHSI (Electronic Horizontal Situation Indicator) were glass, like in the MD-88. A PFD/MFD in today’s displays encompasses information that would otherwise be provided by 6-7 analog instruments… Like ADI, HSI (with 2 VOR needles), Airspeed, Altitude, Vertical Speed, RMI, ADF. MFD’s, in simple terms, display map/plan views, engine parameters, and reversionary PFD information. Your Garmin 430 isn’t really an EFIS instrument per se` because it doesn’t show primary instrumentation. However, it is an MFD of sorts by virtue of it’s moving map, and heading capability (which I believe it has?), and other info it can provide.


Would the EADI and EHSI be primary indicators? Bear with me as you know, I fly the piston family and a very simple one at that.

The EADI would seem to me, be a secondary indicator as a backup to the altitude gauge based on your description? In otherwords, you monitor the altitude via gauge and the EADI would alert you that you have deviated above or below a certain parameter? I have an altitude reminder feature in my Sundowner, but it’s a one button operation where I push a button at my assigned altitude and when I deviate by more then 50 feet, a second button will blink orange. But I still monitor the altimeter gauge to see indeed I am on the assigned altitude of 6000 feet.

On the EHSI, would that be the primary over the artificial horizon gauge? Based on the pictures above, I see both the altimeter and the horizon indicators that look to me as primary and in the old fashion analogue look and feel???

It just doesn’t look like a glass cockpit as I know it displayed on today’s equipment, nor does the pictures look like any of the primary flight instrumentation are displayed in an electronic format (thus the definition of glass cockpit).

Yes, you are right about the Garmin 430, it doesn’t show primary instrumentation, but originally I mistook the term EFIS as “flight information services” which you so kindly corrected me :smiley: I was thinking originally the EFIS in the pics displayed above is where the approaches and flight plans were typed in, just like I can put in a flight plan in my Garmin, thus my rational for parallelling the two.

The 430 does show ground track. Ironically, my handheld 296 does display primary instrumentation on one of the screens I can toggle to. Clearly marked on the screen to be used as informational, but in a total vacuum failure, something would be better then nothing. :slight_smile: