Is the 717 hard to handle, or is it just me?

I find the 717 quite hard to handle compared to other commercial jets I’ve tried whether they be small or large (Embraer 175, Boeing 767, Airbus 380). It seems the 717 is more prone to drift off course enroute (allowing for wind) harder to stabilise in attitude coming out of autopilot as throttle changes are so delayed, and generally harder to fly smoothly.

Does this happen to you? Any tips or tricks?

Yeah, thet’s absolutely true.
Even the A/P steers to incorrect headings.
My tip is to disengage the A/P before extending the last flaps positions, so you can properly correct the attitude (I noticed that the attitude varies widely when changing VS at a certain speed, don’t know if it is a bug or if it is normal…).

The B-717 is a beast because of the stubby wing design and engine configuration. The developers gave you most of the flaws with this old design.
Ya just gotta suck it up and keep a good scan going. Never put your full trust in an autopilot they tend to fail or fall of line when your eyeballing or distracted at critical moments. (see Aviation Safety Max Sens


@Maxmustang Nice way to put it. good humour😄😄😄

I’ve had this issue and it deterred me from using the air craft. I thought there was a bug with the auto-pilot, what I did was setting the heading just shy of my planned heading so I stay some what on course but it still not appealing to fly it that way

Semi-hard. Hard to land at a slow speed especially. Hard to get a perfect, kiss-the-ground landing. I usually touch the back wheels doen and the front just slams down.

Problem is what @mustangmax has said.

Despite its faults, the DC-9 shall forever have a special place in my heart!

Best, Boeing707

To put it in simple terms, there is a very small range of speeds where you can operate it, so be careful with the throttle and be gentle on the control inputs.

Thanks for the valuable feedback all. I wasn’t sure if it was just me, but sounds like this model isn’t the best for flight dynamics. I was favouring models with Qantas livery as I’m in Aussie, but think I’ll stick with Airbus or Embraer for smaller jets.

I’ve been using the 717 Hawaiian livery flying the inter-island routes. Took me a LONG time to get used to the 717 (after flying the 737-700). You definitely have to get it into its sweet spot on approach, around 135 knots, full flaps, with medium weight. Also use more throttle than you’d expect, somewhere up around 40-50% on IF keep it in the zone, Otherwise you drop like a brick, and even 5% too much throttle and you just start to float… Anyone know how realistic those settings/dynamics are?

Yes they’re pretty darn realistic. That’s what us consumers and the devs want so it works out perfectly.

Long live the DC-9!

This question interests me.
Is the 717 hard to handle? I don’t think so.
Only you need to know it.
It is an evolution of MD 80/82.
The “Mad Dog” (MD 80/82), was widely used in Italy for decades. It is a familiar plane for me and one of my favorite.
Here some tips for take off:
Flaps 5 deg
V1: 140 Kias
Rotate: 150 Kias
V2: 160 Kias (safety speed) gear up
Transition altitude FL 180
Max speed: 0.78 Mach FL 330
Landing speed: 145/150 Kias with flaps 30 deg ( not full).
You have to work a bit with the thrust on short final to make a smooth landing , because she tends to increase the vertical speed. There is a video on you tube of an IF’s 717 landing.
A piece of cake, how would say my friend Max.
The data refer to a standard air temperature 15 deg.

1 Like

What we mean is that it’s difficult so takes some practice to get it right.

For the seasoned pilots, the 717 is a piece of cake and we’re looking back on past troubles with the aircraft.

For nascent pilots, the 717 is different than the others and takes some getting used to. They’re posting real-time XP above.

Correct, the 717 is easy to handle… Once you learn/execute the suggested stats.

By the way, to get someone’s attention, you have to put the @ symbol then their username.

@maxmustang, you have been requested here

Long live the DC-9!

1 Like

WoW! Impressed by the tech knowledge in this thread, just had to re-enter the conversation late… This guys has an interesting life history and aerofoil design that goes back almost to the outset of the jet age. She stared her life as a DC-9 and evolved via the MD-80/90 to one of the first and possibly most successful short see fleet service. You can follow this cheep to operate people mover by following the accident/incident records of the series. The 717 has had no strike (right offs) or fatalities to it record to date. I believe the bad rep for this plane belongs to its low loaded narrow wing design and engine placement. When your flying a 717 your flying history. Really enjoyed this topic and feed back. Thanks for asking @DigiDave. Max Sends

@Henry205, “The Right Stuff”. You did good!

Keep in mind that there have been 4,000 A320s and 150 or so 717s so 717 would likely not crash 😉. Just thought for food (Yes I switched the phrase around for a reason).

Now that said, every pilot has the adequate knowledge of flying the plane. Flying a 717 is harder than an A320 so even though the planes may be different skill levels, the pilots are equally qualified when they take to the skies in their first revenue flight.

If that didn’t make sense, then here’s an analogy. We got two Greco-Roman pedestals that symbolize the advanced-ness of each aircraft. The 717 is above the A320. When both pilots are deemed fit to fly, they must have met the 1,000 point mark (This is a HYPOTHETICAL). As time goes on, one will accumulate more points faster than the other.

See what I mean?

Dang this was a long tangent.

Long live the DC-9!

@Boeing707 What! What does this have to do with the price of rice? Obtuse, I just don’t get it. Bottom line the 717 has a flawless safety record and is an old design.
A-320 v B-717, you can’t compare apples and oranges. It’s like comparing a 700 Series BMW with a Ford Taurus. Just sayin, Max Sends
This is my last comment this topic)

I have no clue amymore… I haven’t slept at all amd am bumbling out crap all day

Mods please delete.

Long live the DC-9!

It’s a bit more challenging than your typical low-tail twin jet, but like anything else it just takes a bit of practice. Personally it’s one of my favourite aircraft in the app, - and a highly successful aircraft in real life. The only misfortune it had was a lack of common type rating at many airlines it was marketed to (as opposed to the newer Airbuses and Boeings).

The thing that’s the most difficult with this bird is the landing phase - keeping speed low enough at full flap setting to have a nice, steady approach - but high enough so you don’t stall. The technique to handle this is not too different from other jets though - keep one thumb on the throttle and ‘ride’ with the aircraft, compensating for any trends that deviate from the normal approach. The only change is that you have to think a little more ahead. As you flare, make sure you’ve got sufficient power to keep the aircraft touching down at something around -150 mark, keep the nose up and let the speed decay naturally. Add some positive trim to keep the nose higher if regular elevator inputs don’t do enough work, - and that’s it.

Other than that, I find it handles really nicely.

I was flying this plane, could never land it never but could everything else. Then I just got used too it and can fly it like a king!!!

Please don’t post in a topic where the last reply was 2 years ago… Thanks.

1 Like