McDonnell Model 119 History

McDonnell Aircraft's final venture into the world of commercial aviation (before it merged with Douglas Aircraft Company in 1967 to become "McDonnell Douglas") was the "Model 119". This rather forgettable jet-powered entry failed to net any sort of market interest regardless of the market targeted, leaving just a single, flyable prototype to show for the years of engineering work, investment money, and time in the air. The Model 119 was originally drawn up to satisfy the hybrid-minded "Utility-Trainer Experimental/Utility-Cargo Experimental" (UTX/UCX) requirement of the United States Air Force (USAF) during the late-1950s which was eventually secured by a rival design offered from defense powerhouse Lockheed - the L-1329 "JetStar".

McDonnell engineers elected for a design which sat four "podded" turbojet engines, two under each wing mainplanes. The mainplanes were swept back along their leading and trailing edges for aerodynamic efficiency and were placed low and near midships for balance. The cockpit was positioned overlooking a short nosecone in the usual way (side-by-side seating for the two pilots) while the tail unit was made up of a single vertical fin with low-mounted horizontal planes. All of the tailplanes sported considerable sweepback as well as clipped tips to complete the design form of the aircraft. For ground-running, a retractable tricycle undercarriage was used.

Propulsion power came from 4 x Westinghouse J34-WE-22 series turbojet engines, each outputting 2,980lbf of thrust each. This same engine line was used in such types as the research-minded Douglas X-3 "Stiletto", the McDonnell F2H "Banshee" fighter, and the McDonnell XF-88 "Voodoo" x-plane - all detailed elsewhere on this site.

After the loss of the USAF contract, McDonnell Aircraft attempted to rebrand the Model 119 for the commercial transport market to which the aircraft secured interest of Pan American (PANAM) which eyed as many as 170 of the jets. However, when this did not materialize, the aircraft was - yet again - rebranded, this time for the VIP / corporate industry business jet market as the "Model 220". Despite the attempt to resurrect the project once more, the aircraft simply failed to generate any sort of meaningful interest and ultimately fell to aviation history. It ended its days in service (at the corporate level) with McDonnell before being passed on to the Flight Safety Foundation as a research platform.

As completed, the aircraft had a running length of 66.5 feet, a wingspan of 57.7 feet, and a height of 23.7 feet. Empty weight reached 23,215lb while Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) was 45,330lb. As tested, the aircraft reached a maximum speed of 560 miles-per-hour and cruised around 520 mph. Range was out to 2,340 miles with a service ceiling of 45,000 feet.

McDonnell Model 119 Specification


Retired, Out-of-Service


[ 1 Units ]:
McDonnell Aircraft - USA


- Transport

- Commercial Market

- Business Jet

- X-Plane / Developmental



66.50 ft (20.27 m)


57.58 ft (17.55 m)


23.62 ft (7.2 m)


Empty Weight:

23,215 lb (10,530 kg)


45,327 lb (20,560 kg)

(Diff: +22,112lb)


4 x Westinghouse J34-WE-22 turbojet engines developing 2,980lb of thrust each.


Maximum Speed:

559 mph (900 kph; 486 kts)

Service Ceiling:

44,948 feet (13,700 m; 8.51 miles)

Maximum Range:

2,339 miles (3,765 km; 2,033 nm)




Model 119 - Original series designation; single, flyable prototype completed.

Model 220 - Rebranding of Model 119 for the business jet market.

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