Goodbye to the most splendid SAS plane ever

SAS MD-90-30 Kaare Viking (OY-KI) in flight in the 1990s (Image © SAS)
SAS MD-90-30 Kaare Viking (OY-KI) in flight in the 1990s (Image © SAS)

The most beautiful and most comfortable flying aircraft type of SAS will make its final flight October 26, 2013. After 28 years of service Scandinavian Airlines will say goodbye to its McDonnell Douglas MD-series.

With engines on the tail the MD-82/-83/-87/-90s were a joy to be flown in, and especially quiet if one succeeded to book a seat in the front half of the aircraft. The sleek long body cut through the air like a knife through warm butter. A big difference with those relatively bulky Boeings and Airbuses with their engines on the wings.

The MDs were great to spot, with smoke trails announcing their arrival and departure and a thundering engine sound unmatched by today’s environmental more friendly and quieter thrust systems. That this great sound could be of some annoyance when seated on one of the last rows near the galley in the tail was something I always forgave the plane. Nobody is perfect, not even the great love in the skies. The rear seats did give one an excellent view on how long the MDs really are.

Scandinavian Airlines clearly choose flying comfort for crew and (most) passengers when it introduced the MD-series in 1985 to replace the aging DC-9s.

There are only a few days left for those who like to pay their proper respects to the splendid aircraft. MD-82s OI-KHE (c/n 49604/1456, delivered to SAS 1988), LN-RMM (c/n 53005/1855, delivered to SAS 1991 as MD-81, converted in 2001) and SE-DIR (c/n 53004/1846, delivered to SAS 1991 as MD-81, converted in 2005) are the only ones still cruising through the beautiful Nordic yonder. All fly from Copenhagen IAP (Kastrup).

Flight number 402 will depart from CPH and fly to Stockholm-Arlanda in the early morning of October 26. The aircraft returns as SK 403. At ETA 11:00 local time the era of the MD in SAS service will end.

Goodbye most splendid SAS plane ever.

© 2013 AIRheads’ Marcel Burger