Guest

B 707 Vs. DC 8

Thu Sep 18, 2003 9:31 pm

When I was a child, we always discussed what plane is much more beautiful and more efficient: B 707 or DC 8.
What do you think?
I for myself prefer the good old 707. One of the most beautiful planes ever built.

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And by the way: what does the V in V-jet stand for?????
 
bucky707
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RE: B 707 Vs. DC 8

Thu Sep 18, 2003 10:11 pm

I vote for the 707. Great looking aircraft.
 
Marara
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RE: B 707 Vs. DC 8

Thu Sep 18, 2003 10:13 pm

QF's 707-100s were called V-jets because they were equiped with turbo fans. V stands for Vannus which in latin means Fan
I like work: it fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for hours. Jerome K Jerome
 
cedarjet
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RE: B 707 Vs. DC 8

Thu Sep 18, 2003 10:27 pm

What's interesting is that the 707 completely won the sales battle, setting Boeing up for 30 years of domination and Douglas to eventual ruin.

Well, that's not the interesting bit. The INTERESTING bit is that the DC8 is the one that endured, whereas the 707 is much more scarce these days. I know it's partly cos the 707 couldn't be as easily reengined but there are still P&W powered DC8s, the original powerplants.

Any thoughts? Anyone seen JETPILOT lately?
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
 
Guest

RE: B 707 Vs. DC 8

Thu Sep 18, 2003 10:42 pm

Marara: "V stands for Vannus which in latin means Fan."

Thanks a lot, Marara! I asked couple of people, even "older" flight-attendants from QF. Nobody had a clue!
 
Areopagus
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RE: B 707 Vs. DC 8

Fri Sep 19, 2003 12:48 am

Part of the reason the 707 sold more than the DC-8 was that Mr. Mac ordered the DC-8 line to be shut down, arguing that every stretched-8 sold was a DC-10 sale lost.
 
MD80Nut
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RE: B 707 Vs. DC 8

Fri Sep 19, 2003 1:26 am

I got to fly on both numerous times in my youth and loved them both. I have a small preference for the DC-8 looks wise, especially the -62 variant, but both were great.

The main reason that the 707 won the sales battle was the Dash 80 prototype. While Douglas was building DC-6s and DC-7s in the 50s, Boeing was demonstrating the Dash 80 which first flew in 1954. Plus Boeing was offering several lengths, the -100 and -300 variants and the 720. This gave Boeing a lot of marketing and sales momentum that Douglas was never able to overcome, even though the DC-8 entered service only a year or so after the 707. The stretched DC-8s didn't enter service until 1967, by that time the 747 was already on the horizon.

Here in Miami we still get to see the old birds coming in as freighters, but most are DC-8s.

cheers, Ralph
Fly Douglas Jets DC-8 / DC-9 / DC-10 / MD80 / MD11 / MD90 / 717
 
Guest

RE: B 707 Vs. DC 8

Fri Sep 19, 2003 1:27 am

Friends:
xxx
I flew both the 707 (all majors versions) in my PanAm days, and the DC8 with ONA during a furlough period from PanAm. I have to say that I did prefer the handling of the 707 as compared to the DC8...
xxx
The 707 was a little faster in cruise (we used Mach .82 generally) whereas the DC8 was normally cruising at Mach .80 - Should you compare both types further, here are my general opinions -
xxx
With the 707-320B/C, compared to the DC8-50 and -61, the 707 is a winner for performance, capacity was equal, except that the -61 could carry larger amounts of passengers. The 707-320C with extra emergency exits, just aft of the wing was certificated for 219 passengers, while the DC-8 was limited to 189 passengers (the -61 was certificated for 259 passengers)...
xxx
When the DC8-62 and -63 became available, these were finally a match for the 707-320B/C. The DC8-62 performed and carried as much as a 707, and the -63 with the increased takeoff weight was an outstanding passenger or cargo aircraft. I got the chance to fly the DC8-73 a few times, that was an outstanding airplane. I have a friend that flew a DC8-72 for Aramco, he did love that airplane. Wish I had flown one of those to enjoy...
xxx
Airplane "looks" - I could not care less, for me is "how good they fly" and "what can they carry and how far" is my yardstick...
xxx
The 707 was much smoother to land than the DC8... The 720B, the short body 707, was a race horse, a real "sportscar"... What "bugged" me the most with the DC8 was the low gear and flaps extension speed (230 KIAS) and being unable to deploy spoilers in the air to use them as air brakes. In the DC8, our speed brakes were the inboard reversers, which were drastic and uncomfortable on passenger flights, so much that it was recommended to advise the passengers about the noise and vibrations...
xxx
Happy contrails  Smile
(s) Skipper
 
Greeneyes53787
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RE: B 707 Vs. DC 8

Fri Sep 19, 2003 1:48 am

Unlike some pilots, I want my aircraft to look good. So here are a few of my ideas about the two aircraft:

The wing sweep and tail of the 707 look better to me than the DC-8. I also prefer the look of the 707's windows- except for the windshield. The "8" has the center windshield corresponding with the overhead console. This is pretty nice. The Boeing just has a post.

Douglas's nose is preferable to me with the exception of the nose intakes which I'd rather see back some. But most of the DC-8 engine and pylon arrangements appeal more to me than do the 707.

As far as how they fly? The Boeing is faster and more precise on the controls. The DC is perhaps a beefier plane for heavy loads.

Greeneyes

 
Tan Flyr
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RE: B 707 Vs. DC 8

Fri Sep 19, 2003 2:26 am

Lots of Nostalgic memories of many times on both birds...but I think I enjoyed the take-off performance of the DC-8-62...I recall taking a few from ORD-BDL in the late 70's...great climb out with such a light load of fuel.
As I recall, there was a time when UA flew the 62 nonstop JFK -HNL in the late 60's , early 70's.

I also loved the whine of those pratts on the 707's....gee I miss all those days!
 
fanofjets
Posts: 1977
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2000 2:26 am

RE: B 707 Vs. DC 8

Fri Sep 19, 2003 2:32 am

In appearance, I prefer the 707 over the DC-8.

As a young boy flying aboard both types, I usually preferred the 'eight because of the large windows, which were much easier to look out of. The only drawback with the latter was when some airlines changed interior configurations, resulting in a large blank area between the windows, meaning that I had to crane my head far back or forward when the seat back was fully upright during take off and landing. The stretch 'eights had very nice interiors; I never did care for the reading lights in built into the Palomar seatbacks of the earlier models.
The aeroplane has unveiled for us the true face of the earth. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery
 
Stormin
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RE: B 707 Vs. DC 8

Fri Sep 19, 2003 2:35 am

I seem to remember a mention that as the 707s were retired from pax service that Uncle Sam was buying them up as spares for all the variations they have in the services. This left too few available at any time to make converting it to Cargo service expensive. While the DC-8 had no such competition for its post-pax life, the cargo companies could get enough of them to make them worthwhile in converting to freighters. Especially when they re-engined them into the -7x series.
 
Guest

RE: B 707 Vs. DC 8

Fri Sep 19, 2003 2:50 am

I love the antenna at the tail of 707 and the distance between passenger-windows. On 707 they seem to be closer to each other
 
wgw2707
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RE: B 707 Vs. DC 8

Fri Sep 19, 2003 7:01 am

To begin with, I would first like to state that I consider this topic to be slightly flawed, as the 707 and DC8 were not the only competitors for long distance aircraft in the early 1960s. You also had the Vickers VC10, which was from many accounts a superior aircraft in terms of comfort, performance etc, and failed only due to BOAC's preference of the 707-420. Then there were the Convair CV880 and 990 aircraft, which were competitors in the field, even if their products did not precisely align with the DC8 or 707. Also, there was the Comet 4, and behind the Iron Curtain, you had the TU104 and the Ilyushin IL62, both of which filled long-distance jet transport roles similiar to their competitors in the west. So perhaps a better topic would have been "Which Early Long Distance Jet Do You Prefer."

That said, of the DC8 and the 707, I prefer the 707. It was a better-designed aircraft. The air intakes on the front of the DC8 were actually put in at the last minute because Douglas forgot to design a cooling system for the avionics equipment in the nose (this insider information coming from a TWA captain who was a good friend of mine). The 707 had an incredibly strong airframe, a beautiful interior, and an elegant external apperance. It's main deficiency was the fact that it could not be stretched efficiently due to the high wing sweep, but this was a blessing in disguise as it paved the way for the equally revolutionary 747.

Speaking of 747s, B747Skipper made an interesting comment: "The 720B, the short body 707, was a race horse, a real "sportscar"...

My aforementioned friend who was a TWA captain himself made comments to this effect. He described the B720B as being like "rocketships" and as having been tremendously overpowered. Apparently the B720A was more of a mundane aircraft to fly thanks to its less advanced turbojet engines...

-WGW

 
invicta
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RE: B 707 Vs. DC 8

Fri Sep 19, 2003 7:54 am

I've always wondered why some 707s and 720s didn't have the tail antenna. Some recently posted pictures on this site show from the late 70s show AA 707s without the antenna. I know the very early models (non fan jets) didn't have it but it seems some 707-120B and 720Bs didn't either. Does anyone the reason?
 
wgw2707
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RE: B 707 Vs. DC 8

Fri Sep 19, 2003 8:47 am

From the start, I think TWA's had the antenna. I have seen a TWA advertisement from 1959 with the antenna prominently displayed...
 
Guest

RE: B 707 Vs. DC 8

Fri Sep 19, 2003 9:11 am

The antenna at the top of the fin on the 707 or 720 is a HF antennas, only used for communications overwater / overseas. Airplanes which were used on USA domestic routes did not have the HF antenna. All the PanAm airplanes had the HF antenna but some TWA airplanes (-120 series) did not. The United 720 had no antenna, but all 720 used by other airlines overseas had them.
xxx
The inlets under the nose of the DC8 are actually inlets for the 4 turbo compressors (providing warm or cold air and pressurization) and were not "vents" for avionics cooling...
xxx
In the 707, the turbo compressors were located on top of the engine inlet, at the base (or nose) of the engine pylon. Some had only 2 T/Cs, which were on the inboard engines, some other had 3 T/Cs, the third one being located on top of the #4 engine... The #1 engines were never fitted with any T/C, no matter what airline and option it was... Those of you who like to verify and be picky, go and look at pictures of the 707s and 720s... I assume that A.Net probably has tons of them... I never saw a 720 with 3 T/Cs, they normally had only 2 T/Cs...
xxx
Back in my old days I used to be an expert about 707s, and knew all the differences.  Big grin
Nowadays, I must try to remember - old age does that to you...
xxx
Happy contrails -
(s) Skipper
 
invicta
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RE: B 707 Vs. DC 8

Fri Sep 19, 2003 9:28 am

I finally know why they antenna was there. Thanks 747Skipper! What you say about the DC8 nose inlet makes sense because I notice on the reengined DC8-70s those inlet were changed.
 
cancidas
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RE: B 707 Vs. DC 8

Fri Sep 19, 2003 9:32 am

i like the 707 better. the most attractive feature is the commonality (at least in the cockpit) with the 727 and 737. i'd love to be able to have the following three to my self: 707-300, 727-100, 737-200.
"...cannot the kingdom of salvation take me home."
 
Guest

RE: B 707 Vs. DC 8

Fri Sep 19, 2003 9:35 am

Dear Invicta -
xxx
Indeed you are correct, on the 70 series, with the CFM engines, the airplane air conditionning / pressurization uses air cycle machines (ACM) rather than T/Cs...
xxx
(s) Skipper
 
Guest

RE: B 707 Vs. DC 8

Fri Sep 19, 2003 10:09 am

Friends, do you know why a 720 got called 720...?
xxx
Well, originally, it was supposed to be called 707-020... this indicating that it was to be yet smaller than the 707-120... Then, came United order - nearly 30 airplanes... but there was a problem...
xxx
United had ordered DC-8s (rather than the 707), and the board of directors were not convinced that major stockholders would be happy that after first ordering DC-8s, they would admit that the 707 was a better airplane...
xxx
The sales contract got concluded - and Boeing agreed to United's insistance to change the designation into "720"... so United got 720-022 airplanes... "a different airplane from the 707" as justification for stockholders.
xxx
The funny thing is, AA had ordered 707-123s initially, were happy with them, soon ordered the 720 as well. But AA considered both 707 or 720s as the same type airplane, even painting "707 Flagship" on the side of their early 720s... after all they are just lightweight short 707s... and to passengers, both airplanes looked alike anyway...
xxx
The above stories come from a book "Boeing 707" by Terry Morgan Sr. (ex captain with Braniff)
xxx
Happy contrails  Smile
(s) Skipper
 
n844aa
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RE: B 707 Vs. DC 8

Fri Sep 19, 2003 10:12 am

Great story, Skipper. I had always wondered about that break with Boeing's modern naming conventions, although I suppose back then, it wasn't a naming convention quite yet.
New airplanes, new employees, low fares, all touchy-feely ... all of them are losers. -Gordon Bethune
 
milesrich
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RE: B 707 Vs. DC 8

Fri Sep 19, 2003 11:06 am

The 707-120's and 720's had two turbocompressors, in the inboard engines. The 707-320B/C had three turbocompressors, both inboard engines, and one outboard. As I remember it was the right outboard that had it but it may have been the left one. I don't recall whether the non fan 320's or the RR powered 420's had two or three. I only flew on a non fan 320 a couple of times and never on a 420.

The HF antenna was for the CRAF program. United and American 720's did not have them. Neither did TWA's 707-131B's. I believe all other aircraft in the 707/720 series had them.

The DC-8 was slightly slower in cruise than the 707, at least in the JT-4 powered airplanes. Some Pan Am pilots called the Doug the DC-Late. The DC-8 is a beefier airplane. Most 720's were retired early because they needed major work. For example, United considered re-engining their 29 720-022's but they also would have had to reskin them, after less than 12 years of service.

As far as comfort, the early 707's had a common Boeing deficiency, not enough tail. They would yaw quite a bit. As a kid, the only airplane I ever got sick on was an early TW 707-331.

They later added height to the tail, and a stabilizer under the tail of the fuselage to dampen the yaw.

The USAF purchased most of American and TWA's 707 for the KC-135 program using the JT-3D engines and wings. That did not take the 707's off the market. They used them because they were cheap. There was little market for them. The 707 could not be stretched because they were too low to the ground. Stretched, they would have needed a taller gear to avoid tail strikes on rotation. The Eight has outlived the Boeing because its a sturdier airplane. There were plenty of 707-320C's with cargo doors already installed, reinforced floors, etc, and ready for cargo use, with no modifications. Few of them are still in use.
 
DeeCee3
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RE: B 707 Vs. DC 8

Fri Sep 19, 2003 5:42 pm

Not another Boeing Vs Douglas thread!!!  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
 
Guest

RE: B 707 Vs. DC 8

Fri Sep 19, 2003 6:52 pm

Ok, 747-skipper. But why was there a "hole" between 707 and 727?
Did Boeing plan to build a 717 that times?
Ok, now the 717 is ex MD. But what was the reason in former times not to call a Boeing a 717 (maybe 727 would have been 717)?
 
Ned Kelly
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RE: B 707 Vs. DC 8

Fri Sep 19, 2003 7:22 pm

Boeing did not leave a "hole" between the 707 & 727, the 717 did exist as these were the original Air Force One/VIP jets, although they were given the military designation of VC135's etc. If I am not mistaken and perhaps some one could correct me if I am wrong, but I believe that the civil designation for the KC135 tanker series was also the Boeing 717, although none were ever built as such.
 
justplanesmart
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RE: B 707 Vs. DC 8

Fri Sep 19, 2003 7:55 pm

The 707-420 had inlets at the front of all four pylons, so I would presume it had four turbocompressors. Look at the large versions of these:

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The 707-320 (JT4A) also had inlets on all four pylons, although I could not find as good a sampling of photos that show them all. The two below show two views of the same aircraft. In one you can see the inlets on both outboard pylons, and one inboard; in the other you can see the other inboard pylon inlet. So this leads me to believe that all the non-fan 707 Intercontinentals had four turbocompressors, one on each pylon.

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"So many planes; so little time..."
 
duke
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RE: B 707 Vs. DC 8

Fri Sep 19, 2003 9:26 pm

I like the 707's lines more, especially the elegance
of the shorter models (707-100/200 and the 720
variant/derivative). The DC-8 has some rough edges
for me, though the pre-50 variants look neat in the
old liveries (eg. of Eastern and United).

But the sight of a pencil-slim DC-8-70 can be just
breathtaking in its own way.
 
milesrich
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RE: B 707 Vs. DC 8

Fri Sep 19, 2003 10:14 pm

The original 707 Airforce One was NOT a KC-135 (717) Variant. It was a 707-153 with water wagon JT-3's. That is the plane Ike went to Europe on in 1959. The VC-135's were delivered later. Bob McNamara has an interesting tale about those planes in this book about Vietnam. They weren't really passenger aircraft, but were freighters with seats. They were supposed to be very noisy as they lacked the normal sound proofing of a 707 or other passenger airplane. If you have ever flown in a Herc (C-130), you know what I mean. No 717 (Dash 80) non cargo or tanker production models were ever manufactured.
 
duke
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RE: B 707 Vs. DC 8

Fri Sep 19, 2003 10:21 pm

Note, Milesrich - "717" applies specifically to the KC-135.
The "Dah-8" is strictly the prototype (that is, the
prototype for both the 707/720 and the original 717
tanker) and its correct model designation is the 367-80,
though they did write 707 on the tail.
 
elwood64151
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RE: B 707 Vs. DC 8

Fri Sep 19, 2003 10:37 pm

I think the fact that DC-8 ended in 1972, 707 production ended in 1991, and we see a lot more DC-8s in operational service that 707s speaks volumes for the Douglas model.

Also, the money problems that Douglas had prior to the merger with McDonnell hurt sales for all three aircraft types (DC-8, DC-9, and DC-10). Remember, Douglas couldn't produce enough DC-8s and -9s for the market and was taking a lot of financial hits. This was a serious management blunder, not related to the design of the aircraft.

I think that, overall, the DC-8 wins hands-down. The 707 was a great bird in its day, and maybe it looks nicer, but the DC-8 was just better.
Those who fail to learn history are doomed to repeat it in summer school.
 
Guest

RE: B 707 Vs. DC 8

Fri Sep 19, 2003 10:40 pm

Elwood: "...but the DC-8 was just better."

707 ended in 91, DC8 in 72 - that's correct? And why was DC 8 much better then?
 
Tan Flyr
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RE: B 707 Vs. DC 8

Fri Sep 19, 2003 10:53 pm

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-95.

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 & UA.

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!
 
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RayChuang
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RE: B 707 Vs. DC 8

Fri Sep 19, 2003 10:58 pm

There is one very good reason why the DC-8 are still fairly common sights at airports: the Cammacorp upgrade program for the DC-8 Super Sixty series that replaced the original engines with the CFM56 engine during the early 1980's. These planes, designated the DC-8 Super Seventy series, allowed them to 1) lower fuel burn and 2) meet today's noise and exhaust emission rules.

This is why DC-8 Super Seventy freighters are still in extensive use, and they could easily get engine swaps to newer CFM56 engines that could extend the life of these planes well past 2010. You won't see UPS retiring their DC-8 Super Seventy freighter fleet anytime soon.  Smile
 
elwood64151
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RE: B 707 Vs. DC 8

Fri Sep 19, 2003 11:10 pm

Tan flyr:

The 717 name was dropped from the KC-135 for the express purpose of giving it to the MD-95 line. Boeing's website has information on this in their "Out of Production Models" area.

Stefandotde:

The DC-8 discontinued production because the "stretch" variants were seen as an impediment to DC-10 sales. Additionally, the production problems Douglas faced in the late 1960s impeded sales. Why buy an aircraft that's better if you won't get it until much later than you want it? The DC-8 could easily have continued selling for years to come, possibly outselling the 707 were it not for those factors.

Further (and off-topic), I think that the DC-8-50, re-engineered for twin-engine operations, could have been a significant competitor to the 757. Why MDD thought long-range, medium-to-high capacity twins wouldn't sell, I just can't understand. I think the real reason MDD went out was that Boeing could read the market better. Douglas had engineers. Boeing had businessmen.
Those who fail to learn history are doomed to repeat it in summer school.
 
tano
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RE: B 707 Vs. DC 8

Fri Sep 19, 2003 11:20 pm

Boeing model 387 (aka dash-80) design team made a terrible mistake putting a short legged landing gear. That sealed the possibility to stretch the fuselage.
Douglas DC-8 instead had a long landing gear, thus the 61-63 series were possible. Boeing considered longer landing gear legs but that represented a total redesign of the center wing box, too expensive to do when they realized their "mistake". If they would have done it, maybe the story would have a different end!

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