Charles Woodley outlines the history of the Douglas DC-9/MD-80 jet family.
By the end of the 1950s jet travel had become the fashion on longhaul routes, with the Boeing 707, Douglas DC-8 and de Havilland Comet 4 well established in service. The airlines wished to offer the attractions of jet service on short-haul routes as well, and US manufacturer Douglas responded with its DC-9 twin-engined jetliner. The type, in all of its many variants, went on to become the biggest selling commercial aircraft in the history of the Douglas company, with close to 1,000 examples serving with airlines throughout the world. In pretty much every respect, the DC-9 family of jetliners were true trailblazers.