I think that the DL
deal with the -71 conversions was that the first one or two were done by Gammacorp, and DL
handeled the remaining aircraft inhouse as a cost saving measure. DL
also did conversions for some other airlines. DL
converted the aircraft to -71 standard in the early 1980s and flew the DC8 until the mid 1990s until finally replaced indirectly with 757s. With the introduction of the 1011 and 767 series aircraft, the DC8 in its later years did not fly many "glamorous" routes - the DC8s were based in Atlanta I believe and mainly flew short haul sectors were capacity was needed - routes like ATL
come to mind.
My last ride on a DL
DC-8-71 was in 1982 I believe, on a Boston to Fort Lauderdale "nite owl" flight - we sat in the last row (smoking back then) - and, I still remember thinking that this is a very, very long aircraft. Last winter I flew from EWR
's 757-300s and sat in the first row and looked back - it was deja vu, a very similiar feeling.