It feels so great to be back into the swing of things! After a nearly 3-month absence from creating aircraft templates, I came back with a vengeance (or something like that lol) two weeks ago with the 707. And today, I present to you side view templates of the small but mighty McDonnell Douglas DC-9-50.

This marks the start of an entire aircraft series that I had yet to illustrate. Yes, I already have a complete set of templates for the MD-80 series, but the DC-9 is a major aircraft type that I needed to get into my collection ASAP.

The good news is that I think it’s going to be a lot easier than the 737 series was. There are only a handful of major DC-9 variants, and all of them are relatively similar to one another. In order to keep things as simple and organized for me, I’ve decided to start with the latest version first (the -50) and then work my way backwards.

It took a little work to modify my existing MD-80 template down into a DC-9-50, but now that I’ve got that complete, the rest of the series should move along fairly quickly.

McDonnell Douglas DC-9-50 side view templates

As you can see in these illustrations, the DC-9-50 looks extremely similar to an MD-87. There are some subtle differences though, which I’ll get into in a moment, but first – here are the illustrations:

McDonnell Douglas DC-9-50 side view
All white McDonnell Douglas DC-9-50 side view
McDonnell Douglas DC-9-50 line drawing
McDonnell Douglas DC-9-50 line drawing

buy the dc-9-50 source file airliner templates

On a side note, I should mention that I am a little bit worried about the completion of the rest of the series. No, I don’t think it’s going to be all that difficult. But the thing is…they will all start getting smaller from this point.

Since I prefer to keep all of my aircraft in each series perfectly in scale with one another, there’s going to be a lot of blank space on the page once I get down to the DC-9-10. It’s the exact same problem I had with my Airbus A318 template, but I suppose I’ll just deal with it when I get there.

A brief history of the DC-9-50

Launched in 1975 as an evolution of the DC-9-40, the -50 didn’t really look all that different from it’s predecessor. It was essentially a stretch version with increased passenger and cargo capacity, along with a slew of internal tech advancements. It was the largest, most efficient, and most technologically advanced DC-9 there ever was. And yes, I do chuckle a little inside whenever I write “technologically advanced” and “DC-9” in the same sentence.

Anyway, these are the major differences:

  • Overall length was increased by 8 ft 2 in (2.49m)
  • Passenger capacity was increased to 139 from 125
  • The interior is all new
  • The JT8D-15 and -17 engines were updated

The first DC-9-50 entered service with Eastern Airlines in August 1975, and a total of 96 were produced. All were built at the Long Beach California assembly plant.

By the way, my personal recollection of the -50 before doing this research was that it was the most popular DC-9 variant. However, I was wrong and that honor went to the -30 model (which I’ll be creating templates for soon).

What are the visual differences between a DC-9-50 and a DC-9-40?

Again, it’s really difficult to tell the difference between a -50 and a -40 if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Based on all of my research, here are all the visual differences between the two that I am aware of:

  • The -50 is longer (44 windows per side vs 39 on the -40)
  • There are aerodynamic “fins” (more like “slats” actually) located just below the cockpit windows
  • The thrust reversers were positioned differently on the -50 (angled inward 17 degrees)

For the latest (and most in-depth) information, I do recommend checking out the DC-9 page on Wikipedia.

What is the next Norebbo aircraft template going to be?

The DC-9-40, of course! I’m going to be working my way down backwards through the DC-9 series just as I did for my series of the 737. Thankfully this is a relatively simple aircraft with only minor visual differences between each variant. This will allow me to bang through the entire series quickly and on to the next complete new aircraft type sooner rather than later.

What is that next aircraft type going to be? Well, it’s a little bit too soon to be making decisions like that, but I’m still getting a lot of requests for Russian aircraft. That’s an entire different world from the typical Boeing and Airbus templates that I normally focus on, so maybe it’s time to roll up my sleeves, break out the vodka, and get cracking on some Soviet birds.

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