V1…Rotate. Dude, C’mon…Rotate!
We’ve posted a few videos of arrivals at St. Maarten. We’ve even had one of our own avgeeks profile his trip down to the island. It’s a magical place with pristine beaches, beautiful weather, and (of course) gorgeous low flying planes.
Most of the videos out there though show the beach arrivals. While departures toward Maho Beach aren’t unheard of, they aren’t as frequent due to the prevailing winds at the field. Departures towards the beach are a treat. Who could forget that KLM 747 Departure video?
This Insel Air MD-80 video rivals that KLM 747 video. The MD-80 looks to be fully loaded or the pilots are just showboating. We’re not sure. Either way, it makes for an impressive and slightly hair raising departure video. In the video you can clearly see inside the main gear wells on departure. It can’t be more than 15-20 feet over the beach. The videographer sure was jazzed about this departure. His choice language at the end shows just how “wow’ed” he really was.
About the MD-80
The MD-80 is twin engine, single aisle, narrow body commercial jet airliner, manufactured by McDonnell Douglas, and later by Boeing. It is a mid size, medium range airliner. This slender Aircraft has a number of variants, including the MD-81, the MD-82, the MD-83, the MD-87, and MD-88. The MD-80 can seat anywhere from 130 to 172 passengers, depending on the variant. Each variant also features upgrades in the cockpit and avionics.
The aircraft took its maiden voyage on October 18th of 1979. However, two MD-80 aircraft were severely damaged during the test flights. Despite the early design issues, the MD-80 underwent improvements. The first variant of the MD-80 was introduced with Swissair in October of 1980. The MD-80 series was eventually modified into the MD-90 series.
Almost 1,200 MD-80 aircraft were built between 1979 and 1999, at a unit cost in the 40 million dollar range.