ual777contrail
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United DC-8's

Wed Jan 22, 2003 7:10 am

When did UNITED retire their last DC-8?

I am not asking a trivia queston, I dont know the answer but does anyone know what the last route for the UNITED DC-8 was?
Thanks


ual 777 contrail
 
Tom in NO
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RE: United DC-8's

Wed Jan 22, 2003 7:20 am

It looks like a number of them were retired from UA (or transferred to other carriers) in October of 1991, they are the last ones I see:

N8088U
N8089U
N8090U
N8092U
N8093U
N8097U
N8098U

Tom in NO (at MSY)
"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
 
N79969
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RE: United DC-8's

Wed Jan 22, 2003 7:20 am

I think 1992. I read it somewhere...but cannot recall where. No idea about the route.
 
747buff
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RE: United DC-8's

Wed Jan 22, 2003 7:25 am

From an article I read long ago, I believe the last flight was from Kona to SFO on October 31, 1991.
At Eastern, we earn our wings every day!
 
Tom in NO
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RE: United DC-8's

Wed Jan 22, 2003 7:33 am

Just checked my Airliners/Airways/Airliner World magazines article index. There is an article in the Fall 1992 issue of Airliners that discusses the 32 years of service from UA's DC-8's. I'll check it when I get home in a couple of hours, or perhaps someone else will dig it up first.

Tom in NO (at MSY)
"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
 
777D
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RE: United DC-8's

Wed Jan 22, 2003 8:15 am

I remember seeing the DC-8 at sfo in the early 90's........

If I am correct there was an article in the Chronicle about the last flight of the DC-8......
 
Tom in NO
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RE: United DC-8's

Wed Jan 22, 2003 10:18 am

OK, I've got the Airliners article (Fall 1992 issue) in front of me, and I'll quote it directly. Notice that the last revenue flight for UA DC-8's was interesting to say the least.

"The end came on October 31, 1991, with a San Francisco-Kona service. The last United DC-8 flight had been scheduled from Kona to San Francisco (UA 40) that day; however, the aircraft operating the westbound UA 49 (N8088U) developed an air conditioning problem. After dumping fuel to prepare for a return to San Francisco, N8088U was diverted to Los Angeles where the crew and passengers were transferred to sistership N8089U. But by the time Kona was reached, the crew exceeded their duty limit time and the return flight had to be canceled. The aircraft was ferried back to San Francisco the following day."

UA's high time DC-8 was N8091U which recorded 71, 280 hours. N8177U logged 38,000 landings.

The article is quite interesting, and the entire issue is as well: the cover story is an in-depth look at North Central Airlines.
"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
 
ual777contrail
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RE: United DC-8's

Thu Jan 23, 2003 12:59 am

Hey, thanks a lot guys. You have made this easier on me. Thanks again.


ual 777 contrail
 
yow
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RE: United DC-8's

Thu Jan 23, 2003 1:23 pm

Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe United was the last of the original operators to retire their DC-8s from passenger service. However, Air Canada was the last original DC-8 operator, retiring the type in late 1993 or early 1994, although their last passenger DC-8 was sometime around late 1983 if I recall correctly.

Can anyone confirm this?
 
Iflewrepublic
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RE: United DC-8's

Thu Jan 23, 2003 3:31 pm

It's unbelievable, to me, that an airline would have operated the DC-8 into the 90's. I believe we dumped most of ours in favor of the BOEING 707 in the 1960's.

Well, at least some carriers saw the benefits from it.

Iflewrepublic.
Aviation is proof that, given the will, we have the capacity to achieve the impossible.
 
Tom in NO
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RE: United DC-8's

Fri Jan 24, 2003 1:35 am

Yow:

I'll check my DC-8 book tonight and see what I can dig up on the last of the original DC-8 operators.

Tom in NO (at MSY)
"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
 
Tom in NO
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RE: United DC-8's

Sat Jan 25, 2003 6:22 am

I didn't see anything in my DC-8 book, however, I did find another Airliners article in my index, this one on the retirement of AC's last DC-8. I'll check it out this evening, and see if it sheds any light on the subject.

Tom in NO (at MSY)
"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
 
brons2
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RE: United DC-8's

Sat Jan 25, 2003 7:03 am

"It's unbelievable, to me, that an airline would have operated the DC-8 into the 90's. I believe we dumped most of ours in favor of the BOEING 707 in the 1960's."

That doesn't make any sense, the DC-8 was the direct competitor to the 707 and they were both sold at the same time in the 60's.

If we had been talking about the DC-3, DC-6 or DC-7 prop planes, your statement would have made sense.

[Edited 2003-01-24 23:04:09]
Firings, if well done, are good for employee morale.
 
Tom in NO
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RE: United DC-8's

Sat Jan 25, 2003 7:18 am

Regarding iflewrepublics' comments above, I believe he is speaking of Northwest Airlines. NW did operate 5 DC-8's in the period of May 1960 to June of 1964:

N801US 45602/60 5/18/60-9/15/63 went to National
N802US 45603/74 7/3/60 -10/14/63 went to National
N803US 45604/84 8/11/60-10/5/62 went to Union Aeromaritime
N804US 45605/95 9/22/60-10/28/63 went to National
N805US 45606/115 1/4/61-6/30/64 went to National

Their first 707's began arriving in June of 1963. I would imagine that NW took the DC-8's because the 707's thatthey had ordered were not available early enough for them.

It is interesting to note that NW did order 5 additional DC-8's, but did not end up taking them.

Tom in NO (at MSY)
"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
 
Tom in NO
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RE: United DC-8's

Sat Jan 25, 2003 9:42 am

OK, here's the scoop on the last of AC's DC-8's, stolen from the May/June 1994 issue of 'Airliners':

"So, on March 29, 1994, C-FTIK, a DC-8-73F touched down at Toronto's Lester B. Pearson International Airport completing a 7 hour, 50 minute flight across the Atlantc. The crew,........had guided the DC-8 from Prestwick, Scotland on an extra-section flight numbered AC9591."

Further on.........."Air Canada, including its predecessor Trans Canada, was the last of the ORIGINAL (my caps) DC-8 operators to retire the venerable workhorse."

Tom in NO (at MSY)
"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
 
jayhup
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RE: United DC-8's

Sat Jan 25, 2003 9:49 am

I flew a UA DC-8 from ORD to SAN on 17 March 1990....

JH
 
737doctor
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RE: United DC-8's

Sat Jan 25, 2003 4:37 pm

It's unbelievable, to me, that an airline would have operated the DC-8 into the 90's. I believe we dumped most of ours in favor of the BOEING 707 in the 1960's.

Excuse me, but this is a fairly ignorant statement. I don't mean ignorant, as a reflection of your intelligence, but rather you just being unaware of the facts. Sure, the 707 was a remarkable aircraft in it's time; quite revolutionary really. But the DC-8 has proved itself to be superior over the long haul. Look around, how many 707's do you see flying today? How about DC-8's? It's still a popular choice among cargo airlines (UPS, ATI/BAX, Airborne, etc.) due to its durability. I should know, I worked on several ex-United DC-8's for over 6 years; it's a great aircraft.
Patrick Bateman is my hero.
 
gigneil
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RE: United DC-8's

Sat Jan 25, 2003 4:41 pm

Really, some of what enlarged the DC-8's usability is available aircraft.

A lot of 707s have been purchased by the US government for parts cannabalization. Most of the retired airframes have gone that route, or have been pressed into government service in some other way.

This made less airframes available for refurbishing or re-engining for cargo and other purposes.

N
 
737doctor
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RE: United DC-8's

Sat Jan 25, 2003 5:02 pm

Neil, I've seen both aircraft during heavy MX and the Douglas is simply a better product. The 707's were always eaten up by corrosion. I see the same thing with 737's; it's common to see them covered in patches. Conversely, the only time you see a patch on a DC-8 is after it has been hit by ground support equipment. The reason why those 707's ended up being cannabilized by the government was because it was no longer cost-effective for anyone to maintain them according to the FAA's aging aircraft program.
Patrick Bateman is my hero.
 
gigneil
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RE: United DC-8's

Sat Jan 25, 2003 5:04 pm

They sure don't make them like they used to, eh?  Big grin

N
 
Trident
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RE: United DC-8's

Sat Jan 25, 2003 8:00 pm

The DC-8 received a new lease of life with the re-engining programme in the late 70s. The possibility of doing the same with 707s was also investigated but the costs were deemed prohibitive (although it did not stop the USAF from re-engining their KC-135s).

Regarding the early ditching of DC-8s for 707s, Pan Am did the same. I don't think that was any inictment of the DC-8, just part of a fleet standardisation programme.
 
Tan Flyr
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RE: United DC-8's

Sun Jan 26, 2003 12:11 am

As 737 doctor mentioned, the Douglas product still is a tough workhorse. I expect you will see DC-8's in cargo service thru most of this decade, and perhaps into the next. Furthermore, if look at the DC-10/MD-11, you can see the same process unfolding..great utility built into these aircraft. Perfect for cargo ops for years to come particularly with a number of pax aircraft still in service.

When the global economy begins its' full recovery (later this year I believe), we will see more of those aircraft awaiting converson head to the shops for conversion. It is interesting that although the L-1011 was probably a technologicaly superior aircraft, its the DC-10/MD-11 that move into the lions share of cargo ops.

While not headed for cargo, I expect you will see the MD-80's around for many years to come in LAtin America/Africa or wherever.

Speaking of that...Just incase anyone knows..I flew on an Austral MD-81/83 last week in Argentina..were these built for Austral or someone else? they almost looked like some of the old PSA/US Air MD-80's. Anyone?

Thanks.
 
Cody
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RE: United DC-8's

Sun Jan 26, 2003 1:42 am

My first and only ride on a United DC-8 was in September of 1991 from IAD-DEN. The inside resembled any modern-day commercial plane, except it had big windows which were spaced far apart.
 
yow
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RE: United DC-8's

Sun Jan 26, 2003 5:59 am

Thanks time for finding the article. I have that issued tuck away in a box somewhere. I knew AC was the last of the original DC-8 operators, I just couldn't remember the exact date.

Still, can anyone confirm if UA was the last of the original DC-8 operators to fly scheduled pax flights, as opposed to cargo with AC.

 
Iflewrepublic
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To 737doctor, Et Al.

Sun Jan 26, 2003 7:30 pm

Excuse me for my "ignorance" in the posting of my last comment here. I should have clarified what I said by refering to what Tom in NO said shortly after what I had said.

Looking at the DC-8 from our (NWA's) standpoint, the airplane did not suit our airline at all. It proved unreliable, underpowered, overweight, and out of range of some of our key destinations. In short, we only took delivery of our DC-8's to tie us over until we received the first of our Boeing 707's. Once we had enough 707's, the fleet of DC-8's was withdrawn from service. The Boeing 707-100's proved their worthiness and usefulness to the corporation, and brought about the order of the Intercontinental series.

I guess I shouldn't have made such and "ignorant" statement, especially considering that I do remember seeing the DC-8's carrying passengers well into the 1980's. When this post first appeared, that fact had slipped my memory. I had just finished reading a book on the history of Northwest, and the topic of the DC-8 was still fresh in my head.

And Tom...thanks for your help with the matter.

Iflewrepublic.
Aviation is proof that, given the will, we have the capacity to achieve the impossible.