I really have no preference with the MD-11. It’s a pretty old aircraft and obviously out of step with this generation’s aircraft. However, Lufthansa’s commitment to using it as a cargo hauler is still going strong and the hard part to accept is their retirement.
I went on YT and took a look at some AirClips.com videos with the MD-11F. The pilots said the aerodynamics are an exception compared to other aircraft. They said the wings are smaller but there was a tail engine that changed the game.
Landing is also a challenge because of the strange dynamics. Speeds are often quite high (150-160, or even higher), so they need more runway length as to safely land (without using high autobrake power, etc). The MD-11F pilots explained that while they may be able to land, they also need sufficient runway length to takeoff. This may be just one reason the MD-11Fs are being retired quickly.
And their cargo routes are a challenge because of many high-elevation airports they land at (Quito as an example, which is over 9000ft high and MD-11Fs cannot land at airports over 10k high). This means either:
-More runway needed
-Faster landing speed
The only problem is the runway lengths at some of the airports the MDs land at. They’re short. And they have to land at higher speeds. This poses a challenge (as mentioned) for the pilots. This is, however, still a challenge for the 777F but they can slow down faster due to their lower landing speed. Another reason (I still might be wrong) why the 777Fs are chosen to replace the MDs.