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DC-8s And 707s-how Long Will They Still Be Around?  
User currently offlineFerret From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 123 posts, RR: 0
Posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 5615 times:

On my way to work I saw a UPS DC-8 flying in the approach pattern to EWR. It had the current livery and appeared to be re-engined. It struck me because it actually had quite an elegant look about it.

It occurred to me that there are probably quite a few of these still in service as well as 707s. Certainly UPS must think they will keep theirs for a while to update the livery.

Clearly these airframes were well-built to still be in service well over 30 years now (some possible 40). Have the reached an age now where its so easy to get parts from out of service aircraft that if they're re-engined they're that economical? I find that astounding.

Come to think of it, I recall reading a study recently that found that jet aircraft efficiency has only just reached the level that 50s-60s props were at. So maybe re-engining has really given them a long life expectancy.  yes 


Murphy lives here.
14 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineFlyf15 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 5616 times:

Between all the KC-135s out there and the fact that the DC-8 is built like a rock solid tank... I'd expect for both types to be flying, somewhere, for decades to come.

User currently offlineNorthStarDC4M From Canada, joined Apr 2000, 3003 posts, RR: 37
Reply 2, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 5541 times:
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the 707 in true Commercial use is basically a dead horse already... Military derivatives (KC-135, E-3, J-8, etc) will be around for some time to come however. There are maybe 3-4 left in passenger service, in Iran and Argentina, but the Argentina ones are Military flights that carry fare paying passengers. There might be another 10 or so still flying cargo in Africa and the Middle East...

The DC-8, especially the DC-8-70 series with CFM56 engines, will be around in some form for another 10-15 years i would guess. The airframes still have many cycles left on them and the FAA keeps extending them anyways. DC-8 in passenger service... are there any today? Between UPS, DHL et al they should be in service in the US alone for 10 more years. UPS has been talking about replacing them, but even so im sure someone will snap up any put on the market. UPS does have 8-10 parked currently but they are not up for sale, only stored.



Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
User currently offlineTheCheese From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 209 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 5502 times:
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As has been covered many times in this forum, the bulk of the civilian 707 fleet was purchased by the US Air Force to provide parts for the KC-135 fleet, specifically engines and tails.

This had the result of virtually putting an end to the 707 as a viable platform, as there are now too few examples left available for spares cannibalization to keep the few that are still in service flying indefinitely.

The DC-8, on the other hand, benefitted from the Cammacorp reengineering program in the late 70s/early 80s, with a number of DC-8-61s and -63s being upgraded to -71 and -73 spec respectively. There were also a handful of -62 variants that were upgraded to -72 kit which are still in service.

Being that the CFM56 engines that the DC-8-7x series use are still in production and the fact that the airframes are built like tanks, I would expect to see the DC-8 in commercial freight service for at least the next 20 years.


User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25106 posts, RR: 22
Reply 4, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 5260 times:

Quoting TheCheese (Reply 3):
The DC-8, on the other hand, benefitted from the Cammacorp reengineering program in the late 70s/early 80s, with a number of DC-8-61s and -63s being upgraded to -71 and -73 spec respectively. There were also a handful of -62 variants that were upgraded to -72 kit which are still in service.

Being that the CFM56 engines that the DC-8-7x series use are still in production and the fact that the airframes are built like tanks, I would expect to see the DC-8 in commercial freight service for at least the next 20 years.

Apart from the comments above, the DC-8's original design permitted the fuselage to be stretched 37 feet to create the -61 and -63 models, resulting in excellent freighter conversions after their passenger days came to an end. The DC-8's (and all Douglas/McDonnell Douglas types in general) sturdy construction (tank-like to use someone else's word) with few problems with corrosion etc. has also helped ensure their longevity.

Quoting NorthStarDC4M (Reply 2):
DC-8 in passenger service... are there any today?

Apart from a few DC-8's in VIP configuration, the only ones I can immediately think of that still carry passengers are several of DC-8-62 combis (and one re-engined DC-8-72 combi) operated by US cargo/charter carrier Air Transport International (ATI). The combis have 32 economy class seats at the rear and are often used for military and other charters, including a weekly flight carrying personnel and supplies to the very remote USAF base at Thule, near the northern tip of Greenland. See the following link re that interesting DC-8 operation:

http://www.thule.af.mil/Lifestyle/Getting_Here.html

And information in ATI site below re their DC-8s (paragraph 2 re the -62/-72 combis). They acquired one ex-French Air Force -72 combi earlier this year. It was originally a Finnair -62 combi before being re-engined at the time of its sale (along with two others) to the French Air Force in 1981. Note several photos of the combi passenger cabins in links on page below:

http://www.airtransport.cc/BlueTails/ACphotos.html

A few other ATI DC-8 photos, including -62 and -72 combis and a -73F freighter. I believe they currently operate approximately 17 DC-8s, including a dozen or so -71/-73 freighters and 4 or 5 -62/-72 combis.


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Photo © William Appleton
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Photo © Michael Arcellana



Almost 50 years after the DC-8's first flight in 1958, and 34 years after the last one was delivered (a -63 to SAS in 1972), it's still one of the most attractive jet types ever built in my personal opinion.


User currently offlineTAN FLYR From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 1906 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 5150 times:

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 4):
Almost 50 years after the DC-8's first flight in 1958, and 34 years after the last one was delivered (a -63 to SAS in 1972), it's still one of the most attractive jet types ever built in my personal opinion.

Amen..then I'd put the 757 second as the most attractive,particularly in flight!.
As we have discussed this on several other threads recently, I'll add again also that the DC-8 (and DC-10) benifitted from tough construction at Long Beach. Yup, those 8's will be around for at least 10-15 years IMHO.

For those of you too young to ever have ridden on an 8 before the re-engining program in 79-82, the sound of those Pratts was quite unique! Do not know if it was the nacelle that made it that way or what. Also, a lightly loaded 8 would take off like a rocket.just like a light 757 does today.
Ahhh, the memories!


User currently offlinePlanenutzTB From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 256 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 5130 times:

Quoting TAN FLYR (Reply 5):
Amen..then I'd put the 757 second as the most attractive,particularly in flight!.
As we have discussed this on several other threads recently, I'll add again also that the DC-8 (and DC-10) benifitted from tough construction at Long Beach. Yup, those 8's will be around for at least 10-15 years IMHO.

Considering the DC-3's are still in daily service in many places in the world, the DC-8's still have many years ahead of them. I live near LGB where these planes where built. Everyday I watch DC-3's flying in and out of LGB flying cargo service to Catalina Island. As mention, these planes are built tough as tanks.



I am extraordinarily patient, provided I get my own way in the end.
User currently offlineAlessandro From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 5114 times:

Planenutz, DC-3 isn´t pressurized, I think that limit the life of the airframe.
So no B707 or DC8 in passenger traffic in DRC?


User currently offlineYEGer From Canada, joined Aug 2006, 43 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 5001 times:

What determines and airframes ability to sustain more cycles than another? I always see people talk about the 'tankness' of the DC-9 and 737s. Is it just better quality construction, heavier materials??? What is the typical life of common aircraft like the DC-x, 7x7, A3x?

User currently offlineAlessandro From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 4988 times:

YEGr, rather the B727 than the B737, the B727 is built to be able to operate from unpaved runways.

User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12134 posts, RR: 51
Reply 10, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 4964 times:

Quoting Alessandro (Reply 9):
B727 is built to be able to operate from unpaved runways.

So was the B-737-100/-200. I believe AK still flies a few B-737-200Cs in and out of unpaved airfields in Alaska and the Northwest Terriritories.

BTW people, the KC-135 is not a B-707.


User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25106 posts, RR: 22
Reply 11, posted (7 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 4765 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 10):
So was the B-737-100/-200. I believe AK still flies a few B-737-200Cs in and out of unpaved airfields in Alaska and the Northwest Terriritories.

Boeing offered special equipment for the B737-200C for gravel runway operations. Several were purchased new by Pacific Western Airlines and Nordair in Canada, which both later became part of Canadian Airlines, prior to AC taking over Canadian. I made several trips on Canadian's 737-200C combis to airports with gravel runways in northern Canada. As someone else mentioned, B727s were also operated to airports with gravel runways.

The two current carriers serving that part of Canada, Canadian North and First Air, still have several of the 737-200C combis with the gravel runway equipment. Photos of two of them below. The most obvious pieces of equipment that differ from the standard 737-200 are the bleed air nozzles extending from the lower front edge of the engine nacelles, which blow air down and forward to reduce the risk of the engines ingesting gravel and dirt, and the deflector attached to the nose gear (and the housing it retracts into in the lower fuselage) which reduces gravel/debris being kicked up by the nose gear. The gravel runway equipment also included special Teflon coating on the lower wing surfaces/fuselage to reduce damage from flying stones, and upgraded main landing gear with heavy duty brakes/tires. They also had the most powerful JT8D-17 engine option available for the 737-200. The first photo has a good view of the nose gear "sled" ,and the bleed air nozzles on the right engine, visible under the fuselage.


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User currently offlineCedarjet From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 8082 posts, RR: 54
Reply 12, posted (7 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 4744 times:

Saha, Iran's all-707 airline, were down to two machines after one crashed on landing at Mehrabad. I flew them last month, Tehran to Mashad and Tehran to Shiraz, and man oh man, it was beautiful. Proper 60s interior ("penthouse" rather than the later "widebody" interior) with a lounge at the front.

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I guess I thought this last flutter of proper 707 airline service would end soon (the planes are ex military and have low hours, but even in a country awash with cheap oil, it can't be easy making money flying ancient and thirsty 707s on domestic flights) but much to my amazement, they just got a third 707! Here she is, brand new in Saha livery:

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Photo © Shary(Shahram)


I just want to make the point, not for the first time, that this isn't a random and occasional operation like the Argentine military seven-oh (which is probably gone for good anyway), these planes fly day and night, Saha have their own (very modern - in contrast to the planes!) buses, ground equipment, catering stuff, they're a proper airline with a full schedule, and they're not kidding about the 707s, the ticket envelope has the distinctive 707 tail fin with sun setting behind it. Actually let's say it's rising. I think they'll be flying the 707s for a while yet. Don't miss this last time in a lifetime chance to fly em.



fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
User currently offlineYEGer From Canada, joined Aug 2006, 43 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (7 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 4649 times:

Where do airlines still get parts for older liners such as the 707, 732, DC-9?

User currently offlineUK_Dispatcher From United Arab Emirates, joined Dec 2001, 2593 posts, RR: 30
Reply 14, posted (7 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 4583 times:

Quoting NorthStarDC4M (Reply 2):
There might be another 10 or so still flying cargo in Africa and the Middle East...

You'll probably find there are more than 10.

Quoting Alessandro (Reply 7):
So no B707 or DC8 in passenger traffic in DRC?

Nope - but you will find the last BAC 1-11 and (possibly) even the last Viscount flying there.

Quoting Cedarjet (Reply 12):
Don't miss this last time in a lifetime chance to fly em.

I shan't - it'll be in 2 weeks if my visa comes through!!


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