The Boeing 717-200 is a twin-engine, single-aisle jet airliner previously known as the McDonnell Douglas MD-95 which is a third-generation derivative of the venerable DC-9. The basic range of the B-717 is 1,370 nm, with an extended range option of up to 1,810 nm. The B-717-200 is the base aircraft with the potential for family members having 20 fewer seats (B-717-100X) and 20 more seats (B-717-300X).
The 717 features a two-crew cockpit that incorporates six interchangeable liquid-crystal-display units and advanced Honeywell VIA 2000 computers. The cockpit design is called Advanced Common Flightdeck (ACF) and is shared with the MD-11. Flight deck features include an Electronic Instrument System, a dual Flight Management System, a Central Fault Display System, and Global Positioning System. Category IIIb automatic landing capability for bad-weather operations and Future Air Navigation Systems are available. The 717 shares the same type rating as the DC-9 such that FAA approved transition courses for DC-9 and analog MD-80 pilots can be completed in 11 days.
In conjunction with Parker Hannifin, MPC Products of Skokie, Illinois designed a fly-by-wire technology mechanical control suite for the 717 flight deck. The modules replaced much cumbersome rigging that had occurred in previous DC-9/MD-80 aircraft. The Rolls-Royce BR715 engines are completely controlled by an electronic engine system (FADEC — Full Authority Digital Engine Control) developed by BAE Systems, offering improved controllability and optimization over its predecessors.
Like its DC-9/MD-80/MD-90 predecessors, the 717 has a 2+3 seating arrangement in coach, providing only one middle seat per row, whereas other single-aisle twin jets often have 3+3 arrangement with two middle seats per row. Unlike its predecessors, McDonnell Douglas decided not to offer the 717 with the boarding flexibility of aft airstairs, with the goal of maximizing fuel efficiency through the reduction and simplification of as much auxiliary equipment as possible.