• The Boeing 717 is a slightly offbeat aircraft that went out of production in 2006.
  • Boeing chalked it up as a failure, a result of absorbing some McDonnell Douglas planes when it acquired the planemaker in the mid-1990s.
  • But the 100-seat 717-200 is now in serious demand as carriers move away from regional jets.
  • I recently flew on a Delta Air Lines Boeing 717 from Newark to Detroit.

I've flown on many big aircraft and plenty of small ones. I've flown on Boeings, Airbuses, and Embraers, Bombardiers and a host of more obscure names.

But until recently I'd never set foot on a Boeing 717, a smaller aircraft that Boeing inherited when it bought McDonnell Douglas in 1995 for $13 billion .

I tend to like really small jets, tolerate regional aircraft, richly enjoy big planes — and dislike the narrow-bodies that do most of the grunt work of hauling passengers around the US on domestic routes these days.

The 717-200, in Delta livery, that I boarded last month for a flight to Detroit from Newark, New Jersey, was a mystery. I wasn't sure what I was strapping into. I had forgotten to quiz Business Insider resident aviation authority, Senior Reporter Ben Zhang, before my flight.

But I figured out quickly what I was dealing with — and then settled back to enjoy the ride. Which was unexpectedly thrilling.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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