I always thought that B-717 was the internal Boeing model for the KC
-135 Tankers, as the fueselage is a tiny bit narrower than the standard 707.
Eventually the the 717 was dropped , even internally. Thats why the number got stuck on the MD
To follow up on some of you folks other comments....I agree the DC-8- 60's/70's are a very sleek aircraft, in flight, taking off or landing. Like someone mentioned above, Yes Boeing lead the way in the 50's, However Ol' Donald Douglas built an airplane with a hell of a lot more utility into it. I think the same can/will be said for the DC-10.
I think we will see DC-8 in cargo for at least 6-10 or more years...conceivable that some examples will have been in service 45-55 years when finally retired.(yes, the kc-135's have been along that long also, but I suspect with fewer total hours.)
The DC-10's have been with us now for 32 years..my hunch is that the cargo conversions will be hauling for another 10-15. Then if you take its newest cousin, the MD
-11 into account (fairly recent deliveries to LH
(cargo)), one could reasonably assume that the DC-10/MD-11 line will have aircraft flying nearly 60 years since the 1971 deliverys to AA
I think we will see 727's also plying the airways for years to come also..the 3 holer will certianly pass the 50 yr mark..maybe go 60 also.
Not to turn this into an A vs B...but I just don't envision some of the current Airbus products making it that long...they just don't seem as solid to me. Not that they are bad..just feel different...my opinion.(again, no flames please)
My point being , there is something to longevity when products evolve from a very solid foundation..have a solid lineage.
Have a great weekend everyone!