The link above will take you to a web site about the history of the DC-8 at UAL. NO info on configuration, but interesting anyway.
From what I have read over the years the DC-8's were used thru-out the system in the sixties and early 70's. The primary mission assigned them were more of the longer haul segements...east cost to DEN, trans-cons, trunk routes out of ORD, DEN, CLE & PIT that UAL flew in those days. The more medium density routes were assigned to the 720's while they were in the fleet and more 727 & 727S equipment as they came on and replaced the 720's.
I believe you will find that a fair number of the 20's were re-engined to fans by the mid-late 60's. When the stretch-8's started arriving they took the denser trunk routes, including most hawaii service. The 62's came for a specific mission of mostly east coast non-stops to HNL and thinner domestic trans-cons.
The Arab oil embargo and subsequent rise in fuel cost put the final nail in the coffin of these aircraft. The web-site can show you the retirement dates and later scrap dates on many frames. Some were traded to Boeing for a batch of 727's in 1976 or so as I recall.
milesrich From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 1855 posts, RR: 7 Reply 4, posted (2 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 5605 times:
Quoting timz (Reply 3): They re-engined all their DC-8-10s to -20s or -50s-- but did they re-engine any of the -20s?
According to the information on the website, no Series 20's were converted to Series 50's. It seems this was not done on the 707's either. While only five -227's were built for Braniff, one of which was destroyed on a pre delivery flight, few if any Series 300's were converted from JT-4's to JT-3D's either.
UA took delivery of an initial order of 40 aircraft, N8001U - N8040U. 22 of which were delivered as Series 11 or 12's with water injected JT-3's, beginning with N8002U that was delivered to United on May 29, 1959 and ending with N8040U that was delivered until June 16, 1961. Two of these aircraft were lost in accidents, N8013U, in the NYC Mid air in December 1960, and N8040U at Stapleton on July 11, 1961, only 25 days after delivery. What is strange is that of the remaining 18 aircraft, 3 were delivered as Series 50's (N8034U, N8035U, and N8036U) between April 30, 1961 and June 8, 1961. So ill-fated ship 40 was delivered a water wagon after UA had already taken delivery of three fan jet Series 50's. The other 15 were delivered as Series 20's, although N8001U, the 2nd DC-8 built, started out as a Series 11 with Douglas and was registered N8018D. The prototype that ended up with Delta was N8008D, and the other two test ships, both eventually with UA as N8002U and N8003U were originally registered as N8028D and N8038D. N8028D was used in UA publicity shots.
Of the 20 Series 11/12's that were not written off, five were converted to Series 50's in 1963, N8007U, N8008U, N8009U, N8010U, and N8011U. UA refered to these as Mark IV DC-8 Fan Jets. Why, I don't know. The other 15 Series 11/12's were converted series 20's.
Now what I think is strange is that UA took delivery of the 3 Series 50's but then chose to convert Series 11/12's to Series 20's after they already had three JT-3D aircraft in the fleet, and even took delivery of the one water wagon after receiving the three Series 50's.
All of three of these factory delivered original Series 52's were later leased to Air New Zealand, and two of which later were sold to them and never returned to the UA fleet, but N8035U came back to UA and was not retired until the entire Series 50 fleet was in 1980.
United also received ten factory delivered Series 52's in the 1965-66 period, N8060U - N8069U, and 15 Cargo Series 54 Jet Traders, N8041U - N08055U.
As a frequent traveler in the 1973-1977 period, I flew on many Series 20 flights that varied from SMF-SLC-JFK, to SMF-DEN, to SMF-ORD, to ORD-PHL, to LAX-SEA. As a pre teen, I flew on many UA DC-8's between JFK and ORD, ORD and DEN, ORD and BOS, and ORD and PHL during 1962-1965. Both the Series 11/12 and Series 20's had that funky thrust reverser/daisy noise suppressor that retracted after take off, and in the coach cabin on take off, they were noisy. My last non 60 series DC-8 flight was in November of 1979 from DEN to LAS. The Series 20's were all removed from the schedule in January of 1978.
UA flew their DC-8's to HNL from LAX and SFO, on coast to coast runs from SEA, PDX, SFO, and LAX to IDL/JFK, from ORD to EWR, BOS, JFK, BAL, IAD, CLE, PIT, YIP then DTW, PHL, OMA, DEN, SLC, LAX, SFO, SMF, LAS; from DEN to SLC, SMF, OAK, SEA, PDX, JFK; and from SFO to SLC, and BOI, as well as up and down the east coast between SAN, LAX, SFO, OAK, SMF, PDX, SEA,YVR. They also used DC-8's on nonstop flights from JFK to OMA and DSM, and add-on legs between IAD and RIC.
They never flew them on former Capital Routes listed as Northbound and Southbound Atlantic Coast in their timetable. Only 720's, Caravelles, and later 727's, 727-222's and 737's were used on these routes
I always preferred the DC-8 to the 707. The 707's used to have more yaw in them before the tail was enlarged and tha fin was added underneath the tail on the fuselage, as I thought the DC-8 gave you a smoother ride.
The original oonfigurartion was a two class arrangement with about 32 first class seats. I don't know the exact number There was both a first class and a coach lounge. The coach lounge had five seats facing each other on the port side of the aircraft in front of the rear enttrance door across from the coach galley. This feature was installed in all the aircraft was there until the end of the standard DC-8 service in 1980.
In 1964, some DC-8's were converted to S one class service with 2 - 3 seating in coach. This experiment that Pat Patterson favored did not last long, but led to the three class Red-White-Blue, Red being F, White being L (Standard) which was just like what S one class hand been, and blue was coach, with 3-3.
These aircraft were operated as F/Y/K between ORD and DEN, and DEN and LAX to compete with Continental that had three class 707-124's and 720-024B's in this same configuation. K was economy, no free meals, just like today. LOL!
By 1968, the three class aircraft were gone, there was no more Standard class. They did have flights that were F/Y/K but the only difference between Y and K was the meal, the seats were all 3-3.
In about 1973, some aircraft, both Standard DC-8's and the Series 61's, had their Coach cabins changed and 2-3 seating was installed. I have always believed UA had all those S and L seats from the One Class and Standard class days and decided to install them, and give the passengers more room. They most likely had to get CAB permission to do this, as there were charging the same Y fare as AA and TW that had 3-3 Y class seating. By 1979, this "experiment" was also history. I have a 1979 UA Executive Secretary Services and Information Guide. It does not show any DC-8's, either Series 50, 61 or 62 with 2-3 seating. The final seating arrangement for the Series 50's was 16F and 113 Y for a total of 129.
Additionally, a few aircraft were configured all Y 3-3 for charters, but by 1979, this seating arrangment had been removed from the guide, but I flew on one once as an equipment sub. I am not sure if they ever had all Y 2-3 seating on any aircraft.
It would be interesting to hear from a UA employee at the time to find out if those DC-8 2-3 coach seats were purchased new or whether they were the old S and L class seats that they had stored somewhere.
UA's DC-8 Standard's where always roomy in coach with a row for every window and 36 inches of pitch in coach, the same amount as in domestic first class today. As most of you probably know, the DC-8 Series 10/20/30/50 had window curtains like its propeller driven "ancestors", the DC-3, DC-4, DC-6 and DC-7, not the self contained window shades found on the Boeing Jets and the Series 61 and DC-9.
Time flies, when I realize that it has been 49 years since my first DC-8-20 flight on Eastern from MIA to ORD, and almost 31 years since my last DC-8-50 flight on United. I think my last DC-8 flight of any type was in 1989 or 1990 on a Delta -71. .
Viscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 21481 posts, RR: 24 Reply 7, posted (2 years 10 months 1 week 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 5197 times:
Quoting milesrich (Reply 4): few if any Series 300's were converted from JT-4's to JT-3D's either.
Quoting milesrich (Reply 4): UA's DC-8 Standard's where always roomy in coach with a row for every window and 36 inches of pitch in coach, the same amount as in domestic first class today.
I flew on many UA DC-8s (every model they operated) but can't recall the Y class seats each having a window, at least not in their later years of service. If memory correct, the DC-8 windows were on 40 inch centers which was the usual F class seat pitch when they went into service, so at 36 inch pitch there would still be some seats that didn't align with windows. That was the only negative about DC-8s which I much preferred to 707s.
UA took delivery of 15 DC-8-54Fs between 1964 and 1968 (two were written off in fatal accidents in 1977 approaching SLC and in 1983 soon after departure from DTW). Many other DC-8s were built as combis with a main deck cargo door and of course many were converted to freighters after their passenger days were over.
JFKPurser From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 471 posts, RR: 4 Reply 14, posted (2 years 10 months 1 week 4 days ago) and read 4647 times:
I flew on many UA standard 8s -- the -21 and 50 series between LAX and BAL as a kid in the 1970s. A few trips were on -61s. AA flew the route with 707s and it was always a kick to guess whether the AA would have a lightning bolt or painted with the "new" red white and blue stripes, or whether a UA 8 would have the older gold pinstripe, or a newer red one, or even stars and "Friend Ship" titles. Back around 1972 you would gonto LAX and see UA's 8s in any combination of five or so different variations. I liked the headset plug and reading light next to the headrest behind you.
se210 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 112 posts, RR: 1 Reply 16, posted (2 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 4576 times:
Other DC-8 configurations listed in UA Services & Information Guide - Fall 1975:
DC8-62 (D82) - Two Compartment
Super DC8-61 (D85) - Two Compartment
DC8 (D84) - Single Compartment
DC8-62 (D87) - GIT Configuration Single Compartment
(NOTE: Conversion to start by May, 1975 and completion by July, 1975)
Super DC8-61Z (D86) - GIT Configuration Single Compartment
milesrich From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 1855 posts, RR: 7 Reply 18, posted (2 years 10 months 1 week 17 hours ago) and read 4341 times:
Quoting timz (Reply 9): As I recall the OAG called it a "fan jet" DC-8-- i.e. DC-8-50. When the -60 came out it was D8S.
You are correct. But UA in some OAG's listed all their "non stretched" DC-8 flights as D8F's even though the majority of their fleet were not fan powered. They originally called the JT-3D powered aircraft Mark IV's. Some aircraft were definitely for HNL-ITO use only because only some aircraft were overwater equipped, i.e., equipped with life rafts (stored in the ceilings) and life vest under the seats. These aircraft had separate safety information cards. In later years, I don't know how they designated the DC-8-62 in the schedule, especially in domestic service. I flew on one once, and it was not listed as a stretch DC-8 or D8S as I remember. It may have been an equipment sub.
milesrich From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 1855 posts, RR: 7 Reply 20, posted (2 years 10 months 1 week 9 hours ago) and read 4176 times:
Quoting timz (Reply 19): Maybe so. In the OAG I quoted from, UA showed lots of flights as DC8, including SFO-PHL both ways and the SFO-JFK redeye.
What month's OAG are you looking at? I have a June 15 and November 15, 1968, and a May 15, 1966. I know at least one of them shows just about all if not all UA standard EIght flights as D8F, meaning DC-8 Fan Jet, series 50. I don't think the Series 40's were ever designated that way. At UA, the interior configuration was exactly the same on the -21's, -12's, -51's, and -52's that were in the F/Y, F/L/Y, or all Y configuration. I don't remember if the -33's acquired from Pan Am had the same configuration or not. They were grounded in early 1974 and parked by the flight academy at 32nd and Quebec at DEN, the same place where the Caravelles had been stored, and where about half the 720's were parked. (The remainder of the 720's were parked at MSP.)
Delta, on the other hand, never changed the configuration in the DC-8-33's they acquired from Pan Am. Those airplanes had different galleys and the seat rows were numbered from back to front. I flew on one of these birds a couple of times, I remember one flight was from MIA to ATL with a stop at JAX. In other words, at DL, there was no commonality with the rest if the fleet.
Neither UA nor DL flew the Pan Am DC-8's for very long (6-7 years). I never really understood why UA bought them. They had no overseas routes, and by the time they got them, the -61's were being delivered, as were more 727's and the 737 arrivals were only a few months away.
se210 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 112 posts, RR: 1 Reply 23, posted (2 years 10 months 1 week 4 hours ago) and read 4066 times:
Quoting usafdo (Reply 21): se210.....can you post the seating chart for the DC-8-61's with 14 exits.Thanks..
Here's the 2nd seating configuration for the UA DC-8-61. This is in "GIT Configuration Single Compartment" (From the UA Services and Information Guide - Fall 1975:"Group Inclusive Tours (G.I.T.) - Tours are offered by United through various travel operators to benefit individuals who desire to travel together to Hawaii. Cost is dependent upon the group size ranging from 105 or more persons. Local Travel Agencies will provide complete information and make all necessary arrangements.")