CAAC's fleet during the 1980s was an odd mix of vintage and modern types ranging from IL-14s to Tridents to A310s. One of the new types that was chosen for replacement of the short-medium haul HS Trident 2s and Ilyushin IL-18s was the McDonnell Douglas MD-80. In fact the MD-82/83 was the first western type to be license constructed in China, when in 1987 the first of 35 aircraft were assembled by the Shanghai Aviation Industrial Corporation. This initial success would no doubt help lead McDonnell Douglas down the ill-fated MD-90 Trunkliner path they followed, however despite the Trunkliner's failure and though eclipsed in the 1990s by Boeing 737s, and later A320s, the MD-80 would continue to be a major component of the fleet of several Chinese airlines into the 2000s.
In the early 1980s American ordered the first of what was to be 280 MD-80s (nicknamed Super 80s in service but informally known as Mad Dogs) to begin replacing its 727 fleet, with the first (N203AA) arriving in May 1983. Deliveries ran until August 1992 and no other type defined American so much throughout the 80s and 90s.
I'm Richard Stretton: a fan of classic airliners and airlines who enjoys exploring their history through my collection of die-cast airliners. If you enjoy the site please donate whatever you can to help keep it running: