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Was The DC-8 Better Than The 707?  
User currently offlineDandy_don From United States of America, joined May 2000, 202 posts, RR: 0
Posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 3839 times:

It seems that the 707 beat the dc8 into service but at the end of the day which do you think was the better plane? I know there are still dc8s in service as freighters. Does that mean that the 8 was better built, more economical, more dependable?

Not trying to start a Douglas v. Boeing war!

Anyone know what the final sales numbers were for these planes?

19 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineDandy_don From United States of America, joined May 2000, 202 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 3803 times:

Researching my own questions shows 556 DC-8s built but 1010 707s plus 820 KC-135s for the military.

Did the market vote for the 707?


User currently offlineCapitol8s From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 100 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 3756 times:
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As a former flight attendant for Capitol Internatonal Airways. I flew aboard alot of versions of the DC8 which included the -54. -61, -62, -63 and -73

The -63, -73 were my favoites as they were long range and the interior had lots of galley and closet space....The DC8s had its drawbacks such as no APU, you had to rely on GPU wherever we went, flying the hadj during the late 70s was no fun especially when there was no GPU available at Kano.

for the most part our pilots always had high marks for the DC8...it truly was a classic airplane.


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Photo © Stefan Sjögren




"Happiness is a flight on a Capitol Air DC-10"
User currently offlineIsitsafenow From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4984 posts, RR: 23
Reply 3, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 3713 times:

Donald Nyrop didn't think so. NW had five DC8's in the very early sixies and then turned around and bought five Boeing 707-320B's. The DC8 could not fly SEA-TOKYO NS going west. The plane had to stop in ANC for fuel like the prop planes before it. After NW received the 707's, they sold the DC8's.
Nyrop was president of NW from the fifties to the mid seventies and NW ALWAYS made money with him at the helm. He was tight and ruled with an iron fist. The carriers could use someone like him today.
safe



If two people agree on EVERYTHING, then one isn't necessary.
User currently offlineIMissPiedmont From United States of America, joined May 2001, 6294 posts, RR: 33
Reply 4, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 3586 times:

At the risk of sounding simple, I'll give the simple answer.

The 707 beat the DC-8 in sales because the -320 came along before the DC-8-63. The DC-8-61 and -62 also came later but the -63 was the one that could have bested the 707-300/-400.

Neither was a "better" aircraft. The airline industry is a matter of timing, which explains the prevalance of most freighter types.



Damn, this website is getting worse daily.
User currently offlineClrd2go From United States of America, joined Feb 2003, 1000 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 3518 times:

I loved riding the 707..but..there was something about the stretched
DC8's that I just loved a bit more..don't know why



Jim



What a long strange trip it's been
User currently offlineTbear815 From United States of America, joined Jun 2003, 704 posts, RR: 4
Reply 6, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 3446 times:

IMissPiedmont is right on target! It was all timing and need. The DC-8 followed the 707. For better or worse, we'll never know, but sales figures do talk. I am an avowed and loyal fan of Boeing products (especially any version of the 747 and 727/737), but there was something about the ride of the "8" that felt more solid and smoother. Sort of like an expensive car that purrs along, but you know you've got dependable power.

Now it's a moot point. Boeing owns McDonnell-Douglas, although the "8's" were built in the days of Douglas prior to McDonnell's takeover. Simply look at the 717 - it's a modified DC-9 design. I guess that's the amalgamation of two great design and building teams. Get it together Boeing, and knock the world's socks off again! You can do it!


User currently offlineSkymonster From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 3357 times:

Much truth spoken about timing. However, one thing is for sure... The DC-8 has endured the rigours of life on the line better than the 707. Whilst the freighter and CFM conversion issues were also in part associated with timing (and capacity in the case of the -63F/-73F conversions) and these have contributed to the DC-8s longevity, the DC-8 has been demonstrated to be a more robust airframe, requiring significantly less aging aircraft modifications than the 707 to keep it airworthy - in fact, this has broadly held true with all MDCs, like the DC-9 which has generally required less mods to keep it up there than has the broadly equivalent 737-200s. We always used to think of Boeings like Fords - reliably and gets the job done, but maybe not quite as well engineeered screwed together as MDCs (although admittedly some would argue MDC over-engineered some of their a/c designs).

Andy


User currently offlineKilavoud From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 3315 times:


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Photo © M.Oertle



View Large View Medium
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Photo © Mick Bajcar



707 had two big advantages :

- more windows

- a nice illuminated ceiling

As a passenger I could myself appreciate both these differences on long hauls.

Cheers. Kilavoud.


User currently offlineAlessandro From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 3270 times:

Anyone know if the Tu-104 was ever considered by any other than the Czechs and Soviets?
The B707 and DC8 came after this bird, so the only competition was the
Comet then?



User currently offlineRayChuang From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 8018 posts, RR: 5
Reply 10, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 3075 times:

One thing that kind of hurt the DC-8 was the fact its cruising speed was a bit lower than that of the 707, not a good idea on long transatlantic flights. But the DC-8 Super Sixty series did get a new lease on life when the Cammacorp CFM56 conversion kits became available.

User currently offline737doctor From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 1332 posts, RR: 39
Reply 11, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 2966 times:

Having performed maintenance on both, I must echo Skymonster's point about the DC-8 having a more robust airframe. You can talk about timing all you want, but the Douglas was far superior structurally. It was built like a tank; if you wanted to invest the time and money, you could actually zero time the airframe. If it was still economical for US cargo carriers to maintain the 707 (which it isn't due to the stringent requirements of the aging aircraft inspection program), they would still be flying them, whereas numerous cargo carriers still fly the DC-8 today and plan to do so for quite some time. This doesn't even take into account the CFM conversions which only made the eight more attractive to would-be cargo operators.


Patrick Bateman is my hero.
User currently offlineTango-Bravo From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 3805 posts, RR: 29
Reply 12, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 2818 times:

IMO, the DC-8 was indeed better than the 707 because its design allowed it to be developed into the -60 series, any and all of which were superior to any and all of the 707 variants produced.

User currently offlineMidnightMike From United States of America, joined Mar 2003, 2892 posts, RR: 14
Reply 13, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 2730 times:


Very interesting posting, another question to ask is how many of the DC8's & 707's are still flying? I know for one that UPS is still flying the DC8's which is pretty amazing!



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User currently offlineOB1783P From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 326 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 2673 times:

You are right Dandy Don. Although the 707 had some advantages over its DC competitor, the 707 left the scene much earlier.

I can think of two factors that haven't been brought up yet.

The 707 could not be stretched as the DC-8 was, because the 707 was closer to the ground, and a stretched 707 would have experienced taiil strikes on take off. So I've read several times.

But even more importantly, the 707 was somewhat sacrificed in favor of the 747. It seems almost incredible now, when we have such a range of jets, but in the early seventies, all the glamour 707 customers, and some DC-8 customers too, went for the 747. For some of them, like PAA, it was too much and too early, and it was the beginning of the end.

If Boeing and PAA hadn't gone ahead with the 747, the 707 would have kept selling longer, stretched or not.

Now my silly question, since the 707 - 727 - 737 - 757 evolution was so smooth, is there any part, even trivial, of the 757 or 737NG, that was the same part of the 707?

Another thought, if Douglas had kept along with Boeing, there would be a DC-14 today!





I've flown thousands of miles and I can tell you it's a lot safer than crossing the street!
User currently offlineIflyatldl From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 1936 posts, RR: 3
Reply 15, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 2635 times:

I've noticed that the 707 seems to be utilized these days for research purposes and the DC-8 is used primarily for freight.  Smile


Ah, Summer, Fenway Park, Boston Red Sox and Beer.....
User currently offlineDc8jet From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 326 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 2625 times:

The DC-8 would have sold better if they had come out with the 60 series earlier. Just a rough guess but there are maybe 100 DC-8s still active and quite a few in storage.

User currently offlineDouglas7Seas From United States of America, joined May 2004, 129 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 2498 times:

I prefer the 707. Having flown on the 707-320 from LAX to Hethrow (sp?) I found it pretty comfortable. I did the DC8-63 several times from CA to Okinawa and the Philipines. Found it kind of cramped. But these were chartered cargo a/c (TransAmerica and Flying Tigers). The 707 made a rapid exit from service with the advent of new a/c and the desire of the USAF to buy as many as possible to keep the KC-135 fleet in the air. Check out the remants at Davis-Montham.


Be different; Be nice.
User currently offlineNa From Germany, joined Dec 1999, 10736 posts, RR: 9
Reply 18, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 2411 times:

Lets not forget that the youngest DC-8s are 32 years old now, while the 707 was built much longer, though in low numbers. And still more commercial DC-8s are flying today!

User currently offlineTan flyr From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 1909 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 2265 times:

While the 707 led the way in revolutionizing air travel, and the DC-8 complimented that dramatic change..IMHO the DC-8 had a lot more utility built into it. That is why they are still flying as freighters.

I believe you will find the same(to a degree) of the DC-10's/MD-11's.Lots of ability to be modified for new uses as demands change.

The 707 (KC-135) will soldier on for a while..I do believe that the end is probably within 12-15 yrs for the military versions.


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