Cross757 From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 282 posts, RR: 0 Posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 10420 times:
Found some old pictures that my Dad took around 1981 as we were dining at the old 94th Aero Squadron on the south side of Stapleton. My brother and I were standing up against the fence with the runways in the background, and there is a UA DC-8 in the frame touching down on 26L (My dad probably wanted a plane in the picture, but don't think he wanted it to be a DC-8 on purpose). As a little kid obsessed with airplanes, I could identify most all of the planes that I saw in DEN on a regular basis (like TWA 707's, original Frontier 732's, Texas Int'l DC-9's, lots of CO birds, and or course UA 732's, 727's, DC-8's, DC-10's), but after we moved away from Denver in 1982, I never gave much thought to UA DC-8's again. Every flight into or out of Stapleton that I was ever on was on a UA 727, so I never did get to fly on a DC-8. So, I have the following questions:
1. What routes did UA use their DC-8's on? Most pictures I can find in the database were taken at SFO, SAN, LAX, DEN, MIA, EWR...so I assume they were used mostly on hub-to-hub routes?
2. When was the last UA DC-8 service? I can find some pictures from as late at 1991.
3. Was there a UA plane that was considered a replacement for the DC-8...perhaps maybe the 757?
4. For anyone who did, what was it like to fly on one? From pictures in the db, is seems that the passenger windows were somewhat far apart...did not all passengers who had a "window" seat actually have a window (like the Mesa CRJ-900 I flew on last month)?
Please share your DC-8 memories! Thanks for the replies.
N62NA From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 4829 posts, RR: 8
Reply 2, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 10349 times:
Quoting Cross757 (Thread starter): 1. What routes did UA use their DC-8's on? Most pictures I can find in the database were taken at SFO, SAN, LAX, DEN, MIA, EWR...so I assume they were used mostly on hub-to-hub routes?
From EWR, UA used the DC8 (both the non-stretch 20 through 50 series and the stretch 60 series) to: LAX, ORD, SFO, CLE, DEN. The DC8 was the "ugly bastard stepchild" to the more prestigious DC10s/747s that UA flew almost exclusively on JFK-LAX/SFO.
Quoting Cross757 (Thread starter): 3. Was there a UA plane that was considered a replacement for the DC-8...perhaps maybe the 757?
Yup, the 757. And today, those same routes that UA flew DC8s on have anything from CRJs to A319/A320.
Quoting Cross757 (Thread starter): 4. For anyone who did, what was it like to fly on one? From pictures in the db, is seems that the passenger windows were somewhat far apart...did not all passengers who had a "window" seat actually have a window (like the Mesa CRJ-900 I flew on last month)?
From what I remember, it (a DL DC8-61) was a very long plane on the inside and half the passengers with "window" seats didn't have a window, due to the plane being designed back in an era when the airlines didn't cram row upon row of seats right up against each other like they did back in the late 70s when I flew on a DL DC8 from ATL to EWR.
OzarkD9S From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 5362 posts, RR: 21
Reply 3, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 10331 times:
I was "lucky" enough to get a UA DC-8 stretch as an extra section on an HNL-ORD flight sometime in the mid-to-late 70's. I was around 10-12 years old at the time. We encountered some MAJOR turbulence over the rockies, as luck would have it not long after breakfast, as we departed HNL very late in the evening, if not a little after midnight. People were vomiting all over the place, the FA's were staggering around in a daze trying to accomodate the pax once the weather broke a little. We ran out of barf bags and the plane stunk to high heaven by the time we landed at ORD. Half the people were literally green, and the looks on the people awaiting the flight at the gate were a combination of comical and horrified.
People weren't supposed to look like that coming back from the Islands!
That was my only DC-8 flight, I'm glad to have had the chance to fly one but the circumstances were less than ideal. The one impression I remember about the plane itself was that we were about 2 or 3 rows from the rear and I swear I couldn't see the front of the plane, that thing was so long and tubular.
FlyLKU From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 876 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 10294 times:
I used to see UA's -70s in Hartford back in the late 80's and I'd see it in IAD around 1990ish. I don't know what routes they were flying.
I flew the DC-8 a few times as a kid but I believe they were Delta (I'd have to check with my Dad to be sure). There was one impression it did have on me. Being an airline brat I flew a lot so I had plenty to compare it with. I remember boarding one for the first time, turning down the aisle and being impressed with how long the airplane was.
A friend of my out at the airport flew the DC-8 for UA and the one thing he said about the airplane was that it was very heavy on the controls.
How ironic...on one of the only times I have been upgraded to first, they had the same ice cream sundae service after dinner on a UA 757 IAD-SEA in Dec '01. Maybe that was a carry-over from the DC-8 days...
Quoting OzarkD9S (Reply 3): I was "lucky" enough to get a UA DC-8 stretch as an extra section on an HNL-ORD flight sometime in the mid-to-late 70's
Since that was before the days of the CFM engine conversion, that seems like an impressive range to me. On that note, what was the max range of the DC-8? Didn't SAS use them SEA-CPH?
Tan Flyr From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 1935 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 10191 times:
The DC8 served UA in many roles over 30 years. Firtst as it's primary long haul aircraft until the DC-10's and 747's came in the early 1970's...even then the 8 served many core routes from both DEN and ORD with SAN/LAX/SFO/LAS/PDX/SEA being primary destinations from both hubs west bound and BOS/BDL/JFK/EWR/IAD/BWI/PHL/CLE/DTW and maybe PIT being served east bound from both hubs as well as servie to MIA/FLL/TPA in florida.
The 62's were bought for a specific mission..JFK-HNL but eventually found themselves routed all over. 1n 1978 the decision was made to re-engine the 61 series into teh super 61's with the new CFM-56 engine. It gave the 8 20% better fuel economy and some what more range also.
After the 79 Iranian Revolution induced 50% fuel price hike, teh 62's were sold off as the 757's ahd been ordered. Just like after the 74 Arab oil embargo price hike, the series 20's and 50's were retired and traded to Boeing for another batch of 727-200A's.
The 8's soldiered on on still mostly core routes and charter service til 91..then IIRC, those went to UPS..andwere just retired I would guess primarly due to the recession.
Douglas built a darn tough airplane..lots of utility in that bird..that is why you will still see stretch 8's in cargo for probably another 10 years..already 40 years on most of those frames..and still hanging in there (like NW dc-9's..LOL!)
FWIW, there is no better sound than the old JT3's being spun with the shot of compressed air..a very unique sound.
Gasman From New Zealand, joined Mar 2004, 1180 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 10155 times:
Definitely one of my all-time favourite aircraft. I grew up with Air New Zealand's 53 series. Aesthetically pleasing on the outside, rugged and reliable, and boy it did it sound like a real man's testosterone jet when the taps were opened!
AY104 From Canada, joined Nov 2005, 506 posts, RR: 6
Reply 12, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 10145 times:
My favourite aircraft! The original, series 20 through 55, not just United buy any carrier.
My first trip was on a Canadian Pacific DC8, I believe series 40, from AMS-YVR in 1962. We had gone over to Europe for my Dad's high school reunion in Austria. The trip over had been on a Britannia.
At that time, I remember clearly that there was a lot of space between the windows, and that the seats were Palomar, with a reading light built in by your left shoulder, and they were arranged so that every row was at a window, so there was a lot of leg room. Of course, all that changed over the years, to the point where some rows did not even get a window.
My favourite time in the DC8 was when the engines were started. They were not started by the APU (Auxiliary Power Unit) - if there was one - but by separate ground power, a forced air hose attached near the nose of the plane. The whine of those engines starting up is unforgettable, and I would love to hear it all over again! The aircraft made quite a noise as it took off, not nearly as quiet as the more modern jets.
I also flew on United a couple of times. Once, I believe, was in the late 60s or early 70s. For a time, United was going to install 5-abreast seating in economy, but I can't remember if they ever did.
When the stretched DC8's appeared in late 60s - the 61 and 63 series - the best place to sit was at the back. I can remember on takeoff looking down the length of the plane, and you could actually see the body of the aircraft shaking from side-to-side.
I could go on and on about that aircraft. I am sure there are other members on this forum who can share their experiences as well. I am even able to go back as far as the DC3, DC6 and Constellations!
The only thing a customer should expect for his/her loyalty is good service
Jetstar From United States of America, joined May 2003, 1695 posts, RR: 11
Reply 15, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 10097 times:
quote=AY104,reply=12]When the stretched DC8's appeared in late 60s - the 61 and 63 series - the best place to sit was at the back. I can remember on takeoff looking down the length of the plane, and you could actually see the body of the aircraft shaking from side-to-side.[/quote]
I remember reading somewhere that Douglas put in cabin dividers to break up the long cabin so passengers sitting in the back would not see the fuselage twisting in turbulence
777fan From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 2544 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 10051 times:
I only have one DC-8-61 trip on memory: ORD-LAX via LAS on UA in 1985 or 1986. I was about ten years old and for whatever reason also remember some violent turbulence over the Rockies. The crew apparently had some warning because to this day, I can remember the FAs instructing smokers to put out their cigarettes while hauling down the aisle yelling, "cups and glasses, cups and glasses." We started getting tossed around shortly afterward and had one memorable zero gravity moment that ellicited a yelp from just about everyone except for my younger sister who slept through the drama. We stopped in LAS although I honestly can't remember if it was scheduled or as a result of weather.
I also remember the smoke churned out of the engines on start up, as well as the vibration. Good times.
Quoting Jetstar (Reply 15): I remember reading somewhere that Douglas put in cabin dividers to break up the long cabin so passengers sitting in the back would not see the fuselage twisting in turbulence
Can't remember that in the episode above, but have seen it in nasty turbulence before on a 763 (SYD-HNL) a few years ago.
Cross757 From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 282 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 10032 times:
Quoting Prebennorholm (Reply 16): Sure not. The -8 was wider, much like the Boeing single aisle planes.
I have never seen an -8 with anything but 3+3 seating (except maybe 2+2 in first class).
I stand corrected! Now that I have looked at the seating charts in the link provided by USAFDO, I can see that they did indeed have 6-abreast in coach. This has me wondering why Douglas went with a narrower fuselage for the DC-9 series unlike what Boeing did by copying the fuselage width of the 707 for the 727/37/57, but then that's probably a discussion for another thread.
Quoting MtnWest1979 (Reply 10): I do know that UA had scheduled the DC-8 (not sure what variant) from BOI to RNO, LAX, and ORD at various times way back when.
Wow...did not know that BOI received DC-8 service. I assume this was not likely the 61/71 series but the shorter/lower capacity 20/50 series. I lived in Boise from around 1975 until we moved to Denver in 1979, and I don't recall seeing any DC-8's, but then maybe I just didn't notice since I was only 7-8 years old. Would have been fun to ride on one!
Quoting Tan Flyr (Reply 8): The 62's were bought for a specific mission..JFK-HNL
That is definitely a longer flight than I thought a DC-8 would be capable of, especially with a headwind. Was that flight for sure non-stop, or was there a fuel stop en-route?
Yankeejuliet From Jamaica, joined Sep 2008, 213 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 10020 times:
DC 8 62 46084/473 had a very colourful career before she was parted out at Dallas lovefield in 2004.
1969-1973 served United on routes JFK-HNL ORD-HNL and numerous milatary charters to
1973-1981 joined JM fleet and became the flagship as she created history being the first carrier to fly non-stop from the caribbean to London England. (KIN-LHR-MBJ-KIN) up to six times weekly. 6Y-JII.
1981 sold by JM to Camacorp to become first ever DC-8 to be re engined with CFM-56s. This aircraft was displayed at many shows and circuits as N2547R before being sold to the royal
Saudi family as HZ-MS11 for conversion to the Kings hospital ship.
This DC-8 served the royal family from 1985-2004. She was fitted with operating theatre, recovery room and all other hospital equipment along with luxury amenities for the king and his family. This aircraft had two APU , heavy duty brakes and enhanced avionics.
Prebennorholm From Denmark, joined Mar 2000, 6729 posts, RR: 54
Reply 20, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 9932 times:
Quoting Cross757 (Reply 18): ...me wondering why Douglas went with a narrower fuselage for the DC-9 series unlike what Boeing did by copying the fuselage width of the 707 for the 727/37/57...
I think that Douglas regretted that many times.
But while Douglas and Boeing had been fighting over the same market segment with the DC-8 and B707, then at their next move they didn't. When Boeing produced the 727-100, then Douglas produced the DC-9-10 which was a tiny plane little more than half the size of the 727-100.
It wasn't until a few years later, when the stretched and much upgraded DC-9-30 was ready, that the DC-9 sales really took off. And since then it was one stretch after another, DC-9-40, -50, MD-80, -90. Sure those later planes would have been 6 abreast planes, like 737 and 320, had they been developed from scratch.
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
Spacecadet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3839 posts, RR: 11
Reply 24, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 9798 times:
I used to fly on UA DC-8's fairly often from EWR-SFO and back. More often it'd be a DC-10, but occasionally I'd get a DC-8, especially in my earlier years. I don't have a lot of specific memories of individual flights but I do remember that for a while, anyway, UA's DC-8's had a lot more legroom than the rest of the fleet because the seats actually were lined up with the windows. That obviously changed at some point, though I don't remember when. When it did change, though, it actually made flying the DC-8 kind of annoying, because there were a bunch of rows where you'd have no window at all, and all the other rows had oddly aligned windows so you were either looking way forward or backwards.
One thing I had forgotten but was reminded of by a family member who was on the same flight a little while ago was that I was on UA flight 173 from Denver to Portland on December 27, 1978. I was sitting with my family in first class. The very next day, the same flight ran out of fuel and crashed. All of the passengers that died were in first class.
I'm tired of being a wanna-be league bowler. I wanna be a league bowler!
: Actually the longest domestic route ever flown by UA was BWI - HNL was on a DC-8, both of which were never HUB's Just my 0.02
: I did quite a few rides on DC8 with SAS back in the 70-80's. At that time I traveled mostly inter European destinations, but is was possible to get on
: Red, White and Blue service was available on the transcon DC-8's, but also on the B-720's between EWR/CLE/ORD/SFO/LAX. Unfortunately, it was also ahe
: UA's JFK-HNL was about 125 miles longer than the BWI-HNL service.
: Growing up in Honolulu through the Sixties, it was all about Pan Am 707's and United DC-8's. Those were the dominant long-haul carriers and that's wha
: I've flown UA DC-8 flights many times. They used the slogan "Super 8 to the Aloha State" on their Hawaii service. My favorite service was the DC-8-62
: Yeah! First class really didn't used to be all that expensive. This is why all the "but airfare is so much cheaper now!" arguments about deregulation
: My first airplane ride of my life was on a UA DC-8 back around 1968. My mom, brother, and I flew from San Francisco to Boston. The return trip was on