FS2002 ProjectAI NKS Spirit Airlines McDonnell Douglas MD-83. The MD-80 series derives from the DC-9, the major changes being the engines, and the overall increase in dimensions. The first MD80 flew in October 1979, with deliveries beginning in September 1980. Production began to wind down in the mid-1990s as McDonnell Douglas committed to the MD-90. The series fulfills a short to medium range of routes. The MD-80s are powered by two Pratt & Whitney JT8D-217 turbofans and flies at a cruising speed of 439 kts (813 km/hr). The aircraft is 147 feet (45.06m) long with a wingspan of 107 feet (32.87m). The series aircraft can accomodate 155 passengers.