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longhauler
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Some Air Canada And DC-8 Trivia

Fri Oct 01, 2004 8:54 pm

I did a trip yesterday, YYZ-SFO-YYZ that in most respects was a normal flight. Flights AC757 and AC756, were operated by an A320-211, reg, C-FTJS.


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It was not until I entered the registration in my "computer log book" that something odd popped up. It seems I have flown C-FTJS before, not all that surprising, as I have been on the A320 for quite a while. But ... lo and behold ... it was NOT an A320 I flew.

It seems many many (many!) years ago, I flew another Air Canada aircraft, C-FTJS. That time it was a DC-8-54F.


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Granted, at the time, I was a brand new Second Officer.

But I got to thinking about the flight I flew, and comparing it to the DC-8.

The A320 is configured, 20J/120J, and we carried 121 to SFO, and 133 back. Both loads could have been accommodated in the DC-8, which, when in a full passenger configuration carried 134 passengers, 16F/118Y. (This DC-8-54F was a combi, and could carry anywhere between 13 freight pallets and no pax, or full pax, 134, and no freight on the main deck).

The differences?

Well the DC-8 had a 5 passenger lounge, stand up bar, and TWO lavs for the 16F passengers. On my A320 in J, well .. just one lav, but had shiatsu massage in the J class seats, with IFE, power point hook ups for computers, and telephones. I am torn which is better, but I think I'd still opt for the bar and lounge over a movie any day.

In economy ... in the DC-8, we had 118 passengers, 4 lavs and no IFE ... in the A320 .. 120 passengers, 2 lavs, and IFE and telephones. Again, I think I'd give up the movies in favour of another lav or two!

The DC-8 cruised a bit faster than the A320, Mach 0.82 vs 0.78. On a YYZ-SFO trip, the DC-8 would arrive about 9 minutes ahead of the A320.

The big difference between the two is in efficiencies, and just how far ahead we have achieved in jet transport aircraft over 20 years or so!. To fly from YYZ-SFO, we burned about 13,000 kgs of fuel, about 28,000 lbs of fuel. The DC-8, would burn about 65,000 lbs of fuel to do the same trip, or more than double!!! (maybe a bit more, looking in my old manuals, the charts of 20 years ago were pretty cumbersome).

Quite a comparison ... but I am left to wondering, which was better??

Just because I stopped arguing, doesn't mean I think you are right. It just means I gave up!
 
miamiair
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RE: Some Air Canada And DC-8 Trivia

Fri Oct 01, 2004 9:47 pm

Don't forget having to look at the steam guages or the nav systems; the F/E's snoring...
Molon Labe - Proud member of SMASH
 
studentflyer
Posts: 667
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RE: Some Air Canada And DC-8 Trivia

Fri Oct 01, 2004 10:02 pm

Definitely the DC-8s for me. It was one of the first jetliners to be made, yet,they were able to cruise faster than the current 'comparable' aircraft (though in return, a much, much more fuel burn than current technology allows). It is also a much more interesting to fly IMO, though I'm not an airline pilot, but it seems to me that these days, the pilot controls the computers, which controls the aircraft. But in those days, it was pretty much the pilot flying the aircraft. So much more challenge than flying current jetliners.

So the DC-8 is my choice.....

Regards,
AK
 
cayman
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RE: Some Air Canada And DC-8 Trivia

Sat Oct 02, 2004 2:58 am

Great post LongHauler--its very interesting to read those observations and some of the technical observations---

At risk of starting any sort of Airbus dispute here--on a purely asthetic level I would personally give the award to the old DC8s anytime over those small airbuses---

Happy flying--
 
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yyz717
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RE: Some Air Canada And DC-8 Trivia

Sat Oct 02, 2004 10:03 am

Hey Longhauler, thanks for the trivia!

Amazing that fuel consumption has improved about 60% but speed has worsened by about 5%!

Longhauler.....I remember as a kid that AC had 40 DC-8's in 1973 (for some reason when I got SERIOUS about spotting at the age of 8). They had 20 "long" DC-8's (13 63's and 7 61's) and 20 "short" Dc-8s (14 41's/43's which were indistinguishable and 6 -54Fs.)

Were the 54's (as pictured above) alternated between pax and cargo ops? I used to see them sometimes with the cargo titles and sometimes without.

Cheers
Neil
I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
corey07850
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RE: Some Air Canada And DC-8 Trivia

Sat Oct 02, 2004 10:13 am

Very cool story....I wish I was in your shoes!
 
beechnut
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RE: Some Air Canada And DC-8 Trivia

Sat Oct 02, 2004 10:50 am

Ahh, the DC-8. I've only flown on them twice, a -63 and a -53 on CPAir.

But think of another thing: in what, now about 14 years of flying with AC, the A320 hasn't hurt a passenger yet. By 14 years AC had lost something like 3 DC-8s in fatal accidents, in fact Canada's worst plane crashes have all been DC-8s (Air Canada in Blainville and Toronto, Nationair in Jeddah and Arrow Air in Gander).

I think that's another bit of progress we take for granted: safety.

PS, I own and fly C-GTLM. C-FTLM was one of my favourites, a DC-9

Mike
 
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yyz717
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RE: Some Air Canada And DC-8 Trivia

Sat Oct 02, 2004 11:07 am

AC also lost a DC-8 on the ground at YYZ around 1972. Fueling accident caused a fire. W/O.

Another AC DC-8 on lease to Cubana crashed at BGI in the 70's.

One of the 4 ex-WG DC-8-63's crashed on take off at MCI. Was operating for a cargo operator. Broke apart on runway after aborted takeoff.





I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
AWspicious
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RE: Some Air Canada And DC-8 Trivia

Sat Oct 02, 2004 12:06 pm

LongHauler;
Great bit of info! Thanks for sharing.

Given the choice, I'd prefer the lounge, stand-up bar and extra lav (needed because of the bar) over the IFE and all the other personal electronic gadgetry. However, there can't be enough said about the progressions made in the name of safety and efficiency.
Nevermind political correctness - Envision using your turn signals!
 
isitsafenow
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RE: Some Air Canada And DC-8 Trivia

Sat Oct 02, 2004 11:29 pm

Heres the diff...
The A320 is a flying computer with wings.
The DC 8 is an airplane.
I'll take the latter.
safe
If two people agree on EVERYTHING, then one isn't necessary.
 
delta-flyer
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RE: Some Air Canada And DC-8 Trivia

Sun Oct 03, 2004 12:00 am

LongHauler, thanks for the great story. I remember the first DC-8's, in TCA livery .... the "Silver Dart" service YUL-YYZ-YEG-YVR. The DC-8 was AC's flagship when the new Dorval terminal opened in 1963 or 64 - I was there, young teenage airplane enthusiast. My grandmother and I would take the #100 bus to the end of the line and walk the last 3 miles to the new terminal just to watch airplanes.

Which reminds me, it's time to update my profile ... just moved into the next age bracket.

Pete
"In God we trust, everyone else bring data"
 
Corners
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RE: Some Air Canada And DC-8 Trivia

Sun Oct 03, 2004 12:39 am

Great story.....I remember going out to YVR, before the "new" terminal was built in 68. We were seeing someone off to the UK on a TCA DC8. There was only a short chain link fence between you and the planes back then. As a young kid it was pretty exciting with all the noise and action. Those screaming RR Conways as the plane turned to head away from where we were standing and feeling the blast of the exhaust heat...ah...memories
When I got older I did get a chance to fly on a Super 63...red eye to Toronto in 1981


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longhauler
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RE: Some Air Canada And DC-8 Trivia

Sun Oct 03, 2004 12:41 am

Neil,

By the time I arrived, the -40s were retired. They were only in an all pax configuration. And I sorely regret not having anything to do with these "classics".

The -54s, were all combis, and flown in various configurations and combinations early in their career. There were several trans-con routes, as well as trans-atlantic routes in combi configurations.

However, by the time I arrived, they had been converted to total frieghters, and were only flown in an all freight, 13 pallet configuration.

There were also, 3 DC-8-53s in Air Canada's fleet, I am not sure where they got them, but they arrived in the last half of 1968. They were not combis, and were only ever used in an all passenger configuration. They were unique in Air Canada, as they were the only "short" DC-8s in Air Canada that did not have the palomar seats, and had a DC-8-60 interior. (And the reason for the odd, and somewhat confusing DC-8 safety cards of the day!)

Of the three -53s, one was lost at T2 in YYZ on June 22, 1973 during refuelling just before a YYZ-ZRH flight.

I regularly flew the other two -53s, they were CF-TIH and CF-TII, fins 820 and 821. They were old by then, beaten up, and the autopilots did an abysmal job of maintaining altitude. We called them "Disco Duck" and "Waltzing Matilda" with reference to the gyrations at altitude. They operated the last scheduled "short" DC-8 passenger flights with Air Canada, when they did the last two evening flights YYZ-LGA, with the two earliest returns in the morning.

Cheers,
Bob
Just because I stopped arguing, doesn't mean I think you are right. It just means I gave up!
 
Olympus69
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RE: Some Air Canada And DC-8 Trivia

Sun Oct 03, 2004 12:59 am

Were the 54's (as pictured above) alternated between pax and cargo ops? I used to see them sometimes with the cargo titles and sometimes without.

Neil,

TCA was the launch customer for the DC-8-54CF (Convertible Freighter), or as it was marketed, -54JT for "Jet Trader". CF-TJL was the first of these Combis. In the seventies (I think), some or all of them were converted into pure freighter versions (-54F). This would account for the different titles.

Other DC-8 trivia. One of Canadian Pacific's DC-8-43's - CF-CPG, was the first commercial aircraft to exceed the speed of sound. It achieved Mach 1.012 in a 15 degree dive during a test flight before delivery to CPA. It carried a plaque on a bulkhead to mark this historic event. The DC-8 prototype - "Ship One", wore CPA colours as CF-CPN for a year in the mid sixties.

John.

 
dreamer
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RE: Some Air Canada And DC-8 Trivia

Sun Oct 03, 2004 1:43 am

LangHauler
Ah, finally someone talking my language!  Smile I grew up on the DC-8-63 and
-54CF (I think). Sure I spent time earlier in some planes I can't remember, but in the early 70's I was frequently a passenger on SAS flying from CPH to Tokyo (Narita I guess). Also SAS from Copenhagen to Bangkok stopping in Tashkent. My dad was a flight engineer and I used to love traveling with him. I still remember having to walk thru cargo to get to the cockpit to see him.
Also being able to walk around and talk to everybody, get unlimited amounts of food and softdrinks. I always enjoyed checking out all the "fun" stuff in the lav, like sanitary napkins (as they were called) cologne and so on.
Flying has never been the same later in life. I guess that was the golden age of flying, back when we had to dress up for traveling! And passengers were treated like royalty!
Now on modern planes, it has all become a push towards max privacy in the cabin, as earlier it was all about mingle and pleasure.
still dreaming after all these years
 
TW741
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RE: Some Air Canada And DC-8 Trivia

Sun Oct 03, 2004 2:07 am

Thank you LongHauler for the comparism DC8/A320. For me it is a piece of memory since having been with AC here at VIE. Though I have missed the DC8 time I was lucky enough to get my "smoking love" here into VIE - the L10. And, what I am still proud of, I arranged the 1st commercial all cargo charter for AC into the Peoples Republic of China - was one of the wonderful AC Cargo DC8-73F.
So I got at least a little DC8 feeling here at VIE before the flight departed to PEK.

Thanks.
=TW741=
TWA - we showed you how good we have been!
 
bmacleod
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RE: Some Air Canada And DC-8 Trivia

Sun Oct 03, 2004 2:45 am

in fact Canada's worst plane crashes have all been DC-8s

Not Quite Beechnut,

Swissair 111 off Halifax,NS was an MD-11, 229 killed.
"What good are wings without the courage to fly?" - Atticus

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