dandy_don
Posts: 197
Joined: Tue May 02, 2000 11:13 am

Was The DC-8 Better Than The 707?

Sun May 09, 2004 10:46 am

It seems that the 707 beat the dc8 into service but at the end of the day which do you think was the better plane? I know there are still dc8s in service as freighters. Does that mean that the 8 was better built, more economical, more dependable?

Not trying to start a Douglas v. Boeing war!

Anyone know what the final sales numbers were for these planes?
 
dandy_don
Posts: 197
Joined: Tue May 02, 2000 11:13 am

RE: Was The DC-8 Better Than The 707?

Sun May 09, 2004 10:54 am

Researching my own questions shows 556 DC-8s built but 1010 707s plus 820 KC-135s for the military.

Did the market vote for the 707?
 
capitol8s
Posts: 95
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2004 7:23 am

RE: Was The DC-8 Better Than The 707?

Sun May 09, 2004 11:18 am

As a former flight attendant for Capitol Internatonal Airways. I flew aboard alot of versions of the DC8 which included the -54. -61, -62, -63 and -73

The -63, -73 were my favoites as they were long range and the interior had lots of galley and closet space....The DC8s had its drawbacks such as no APU, you had to rely on GPU wherever we went, flying the hadj during the late 70s was no fun especially when there was no GPU available at Kano.

for the most part our pilots always had high marks for the DC8...it truly was a classic airplane.


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Stefan Sjögren

"Happiness is a flight on a Capitol Air DC-10"
 
isitsafenow
Posts: 3413
Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2004 9:22 am

RE: Was The DC-8 Better Than The 707?

Sun May 09, 2004 11:32 am

Donald Nyrop didn't think so. NW had five DC8's in the very early sixies and then turned around and bought five Boeing 707-320B's. The DC8 could not fly SEA-TOKYO NS going west. The plane had to stop in ANC for fuel like the prop planes before it. After NW received the 707's, they sold the DC8's.
Nyrop was president of NW from the fifties to the mid seventies and NW ALWAYS made money with him at the helm. He was tight and ruled with an iron fist. The carriers could use someone like him today.
safe
If two people agree on EVERYTHING, then one isn't necessary.
 
IMissPiedmont
Posts: 6200
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 12:58 pm

RE: Was The DC-8 Better Than The 707?

Sun May 09, 2004 1:20 pm

At the risk of sounding simple, I'll give the simple answer.

The 707 beat the DC-8 in sales because the -320 came along before the DC-8-63. The DC-8-61 and -62 also came later but the -63 was the one that could have bested the 707-300/-400.

Neither was a "better" aircraft. The airline industry is a matter of timing, which explains the prevalance of most freighter types.
The day you stop learning is the day you should die.
 
clrd2go
Posts: 976
Joined: Sat Mar 01, 2003 4:43 am

RE: Was The DC-8 Better Than The 707?

Sun May 09, 2004 2:28 pm

I loved riding the 707..but..there was something about the stretched
DC8's that I just loved a bit more..don't know why



Jim
What a long strange trip it's been
 
tbear815
Posts: 689
Joined: Thu Jun 12, 2003 12:14 pm

RE: Was The DC-8 Better Than The 707?

Sun May 09, 2004 5:18 pm

IMissPiedmont is right on target! It was all timing and need. The DC-8 followed the 707. For better or worse, we'll never know, but sales figures do talk. I am an avowed and loyal fan of Boeing products (especially any version of the 747 and 727/737), but there was something about the ride of the "8" that felt more solid and smoother. Sort of like an expensive car that purrs along, but you know you've got dependable power.

Now it's a moot point. Boeing owns McDonnell-Douglas, although the "8's" were built in the days of Douglas prior to McDonnell's takeover. Simply look at the 717 - it's a modified DC-9 design. I guess that's the amalgamation of two great design and building teams. Get it together Boeing, and knock the world's socks off again! You can do it!
 
Skymonster
Posts: 3428
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2001 7:53 pm

RE: Was The DC-8 Better Than The 707?

Sun May 09, 2004 7:17 pm

Much truth spoken about timing. However, one thing is for sure... The DC-8 has endured the rigours of life on the line better than the 707. Whilst the freighter and CFM conversion issues were also in part associated with timing (and capacity in the case of the -63F/-73F conversions) and these have contributed to the DC-8s longevity, the DC-8 has been demonstrated to be a more robust airframe, requiring significantly less aging aircraft modifications than the 707 to keep it airworthy - in fact, this has broadly held true with all MDCs, like the DC-9 which has generally required less mods to keep it up there than has the broadly equivalent 737-200s. We always used to think of Boeings like Fords - reliably and gets the job done, but maybe not quite as well engineeered screwed together as MDCs (although admittedly some would argue MDC over-engineered some of their a/c designs).

Andy
There are old pilots and there are bold pilots, but there are no old bold pilots
 
kilavoud
Posts: 863
Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2003 7:47 pm

RE: Was The DC-8 Better Than The 707?

Sun May 09, 2004 7:33 pm


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © M.Oertle



View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Mick Bajcar



707 had two big advantages :

- more windows

- a nice illuminated ceiling

As a passenger I could myself appreciate both these differences on long hauls.

Cheers. Kilavoud.
 
Alessandro
Posts: 4962
Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2001 3:13 am

RE: Was The DC-8 Better Than The 707?

Sun May 09, 2004 7:50 pm

Anyone know if the Tu-104 was ever considered by any other than the Czechs and Soviets?
The B707 and DC8 came after this bird, so the only competition was the
Comet then?

From New Yorqatar to Califarbia...
 
User avatar
RayChuang
Posts: 8007
Joined: Sat Jun 24, 2000 7:43 am

RE: Was The DC-8 Better Than The 707?

Mon May 10, 2004 12:01 am

One thing that kind of hurt the DC-8 was the fact its cruising speed was a bit lower than that of the 707, not a good idea on long transatlantic flights. But the DC-8 Super Sixty series did get a new lease on life when the Cammacorp CFM56 conversion kits became available.
 
737doctor
Posts: 1291
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2001 4:52 pm

RE: Was The DC-8 Better Than The 707?

Mon May 10, 2004 2:22 am

Having performed maintenance on both, I must echo Skymonster's point about the DC-8 having a more robust airframe. You can talk about timing all you want, but the Douglas was far superior structurally. It was built like a tank; if you wanted to invest the time and money, you could actually zero time the airframe. If it was still economical for US cargo carriers to maintain the 707 (which it isn't due to the stringent requirements of the aging aircraft inspection program), they would still be flying them, whereas numerous cargo carriers still fly the DC-8 today and plan to do so for quite some time. This doesn't even take into account the CFM conversions which only made the eight more attractive to would-be cargo operators.
Patrick Bateman is my hero.
 
Tango-Bravo
Posts: 2887
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2001 1:04 am

RE: Was The DC-8 Better Than The 707?

Mon May 10, 2004 6:19 am

IMO, the DC-8 was indeed better than the 707 because its design allowed it to be developed into the -60 series, any and all of which were superior to any and all of the 707 variants produced.
 
MidnightMike
Posts: 2810
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2003 10:07 am

RE: Was The DC-8 Better Than The 707?

Mon May 10, 2004 7:53 am


Very interesting posting, another question to ask is how many of the DC8's & 707's are still flying? I know for one that UPS is still flying the DC8's which is pretty amazing!
NO URLS in signature
 
OB1783P
Posts: 310
Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2003 9:49 pm

RE: Was The DC-8 Better Than The 707?

Mon May 10, 2004 8:44 am

You are right Dandy Don. Although the 707 had some advantages over its DC competitor, the 707 left the scene much earlier.

I can think of two factors that haven't been brought up yet.

The 707 could not be stretched as the DC-8 was, because the 707 was closer to the ground, and a stretched 707 would have experienced taiil strikes on take off. So I've read several times.

But even more importantly, the 707 was somewhat sacrificed in favor of the 747. It seems almost incredible now, when we have such a range of jets, but in the early seventies, all the glamour 707 customers, and some DC-8 customers too, went for the 747. For some of them, like PAA, it was too much and too early, and it was the beginning of the end.

If Boeing and PAA hadn't gone ahead with the 747, the 707 would have kept selling longer, stretched or not.

Now my silly question, since the 707 - 727 - 737 - 757 evolution was so smooth, is there any part, even trivial, of the 757 or 737NG, that was the same part of the 707?

Another thought, if Douglas had kept along with Boeing, there would be a DC-14 today!


I've flown thousands of miles and I can tell you it's a lot safer than crossing the street!
 
iflyatldl
Posts: 1796
Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2003 1:41 am

RE: Was The DC-8 Better Than The 707?

Mon May 10, 2004 8:53 am

I've noticed that the 707 seems to be utilized these days for research purposes and the DC-8 is used primarily for freight.  Smile
Ah, Summer, Fenway Park, Boston Red Sox and Beer.....
 
dc8jet
Posts: 329
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2004 1:40 pm

RE: Was The DC-8 Better Than The 707?

Mon May 10, 2004 8:59 am

The DC-8 would have sold better if they had come out with the 60 series earlier. Just a rough guess but there are maybe 100 DC-8s still active and quite a few in storage.
 
Douglas7Seas
Posts: 119
Joined: Mon May 10, 2004 5:00 pm

RE: Was The DC-8 Better Than The 707?

Mon May 10, 2004 5:31 pm

I prefer the 707. Having flown on the 707-320 from LAX to Hethrow (sp?) I found it pretty comfortable. I did the DC8-63 several times from CA to Okinawa and the Philipines. Found it kind of cramped. But these were chartered cargo a/c (TransAmerica and Flying Tigers). The 707 made a rapid exit from service with the advent of new a/c and the desire of the USAF to buy as many as possible to keep the KC-135 fleet in the air. Check out the remants at Davis-Montham.
Be different; Be nice.
 
na
Posts: 9170
Joined: Sun Dec 12, 1999 3:52 am

RE: Was The DC-8 Better Than The 707?

Mon May 10, 2004 8:01 pm

Lets not forget that the youngest DC-8s are 32 years old now, while the 707 was built much longer, though in low numbers. And still more commercial DC-8s are flying today!
 
Tan Flyr
Posts: 1576
Joined: Sat Aug 19, 2000 11:07 pm

RE: Was The DC-8 Better Than The 707?

Tue May 11, 2004 12:48 am

While the 707 led the way in revolutionizing air travel, and the DC-8 complimented that dramatic change..IMHO the DC-8 had a lot more utility built into it. That is why they are still flying as freighters.

I believe you will find the same(to a degree) of the DC-10's/MD-11's.Lots of ability to be modified for new uses as demands change.

The 707 (KC-135) will soldier on for a while..I do believe that the end is probably within 12-15 yrs for the military versions.