On Tuesday, June 2, 2021, Delta Air Lines’ dependable workhorses - the MD-88 and MD-90 - were officially retired. After their final scheduled flights, they had one last journey to make, to Blytheville, Arkansas to join the other Mad Dogs in retirement. Join MotoArt in celebrating the Delta Mad Dogs.
Here is an overview of Delta's MD-88 and MD-90 aircraft.
The MD-88 was developed from the original Douglas DC-9. Its advanced features included an updated glass cockpit with digital displays, modernized avionics and engines, a 149 seat passenger capacity, a redesigned tail cone and other aerodynamic improvements.
Delta placed its first order of 30 in January 1986 and the first MD-88 was delivered to Delta in December 1987, entering fleet service in January 1988. It served routes in Austin, Birmingham, Cincinnati, Jackson, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Houston, Oklahoma City, Little Rock, Shreveport and Washington, D.C.
Drawing by Rob Schneider
This MD-88 was delivered to Delta in June 1991 and flew exclusively for the airline until retirement in June 2019, with 28 years of faithful service.
The “Aircraft of the Future” is a mid size, single-aisle airliner developed from the MD-80 series that features a 4 ¾ foot longer fuselage and more powerful, quieter, turbofan engines. It was delivered to launch customer Delta Air Lines in February 1995 and began service between Dallas and Reno in April 1995. The first cities scheduled for the MD-90 were Dallas/Fort Worth, Atlanta, Newark, Nashville, Reno and Jackson.
The MD-90 was the successor to the popular MD-88, and offered Delta the flexibility to provide passenger as well as cargo services in a variety of operations. It was also capable of carrying larger loads while both saving fuel and minimizing the environmental impact of noise and emissions. The MD-90 performed well in higher temperatures and altitudes, providing further flexibility in many different airports and weather conditions all over North America. It was suitable for short and long haul routes.
Drawing by Rob Schneider
This MD-90 was constructed in Long Beach, California as a MD-90-30 and delivered to Delta in April 1995. It was one of Delta’s original “Sweet 16” MD-90s and also flew solely for Delta until retirement in January 2019. Like the other retired Delta Mad Dogs, it was retired to BYH.
A portion of the proceeds from the sale of Delta Mad Dog PlaneTags will be donated to the Delta Care Fund. The Delta Care and Scholarship Fund was established to provide financial assistance to employees and retirees in crisis. Grants are given to help during financial hardships or catastrophic events, as well as for continuing education support.
MotoArt owner Dave Hall was stoked at the opportunity to work with Delta to offer PlaneTags from two of the most revered planes in their fleet history. “We’ve created custom PlaneTags and puzzle pieces on behalf of Delta in the past but haven’t been able to offer them in our own store,” says Hall. “To be able to commemorate the iconic Delta Mad Dogs as PlaneTags is a real honor.”
The team got to work on site, removing the original fuselage skin from the MD-88 and MD-90 planes. Once the material was back to the Torrance, California shop, the painstaking process of preparing it to create keepsake mementos began. Each is handcrafted - stamped, polished, and assembled by the PlaneTags team.
The PlaneTags are a limited edition of 5,000 of each of the MD-88 and MD-90s. They will be available in white, red, light red, blue, and some combinations. Like most PlaneTags, they can be customized with standard luggage tag engraving: name, address, phone number. They can also be personalized with something special such as a pilot name, or flight number and date - something personal and special for the collector or gift recipient. They are available now at Planetags.com.