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zippyjet
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Eastern's Early DC-8's

Fri Dec 30, 2011 7:30 am

If this has been covered forgive me for repetition. When I was a kid, I flew on an Eastern Airlines DC-8 from MIA to BWI (then Friendship Airport/BAL)
That 8 had the curtains, familiar Palomar seats with the seat back mounted flourescant reading light. But, I noticed in this picture of what was once an Eastern DC-8 it had the curtains and even what looks like Palomar seats but, there's no seatback mounted reading light. Instead there are incandescant overhead reading lights. However the seat backs featured the tray light, gasper (air vent) and O2 mounted in the seatback. What was the deal? What determined the cabin lights?
And, in this pic I noticed some of the seats were sans tray table light and gasper? Which came first? The Palomar seats with reading seat back lights or the cabin in this pic? What years are we talking about? Any other facts and info appreciated.   


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Photo © Michael Carter
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Photo © James Richard Covington

Left pic is what I'm referring to. The pic to the right (2nd.) shows Palomar seats but overhead reading lights!


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Photo © Roel Bekkering
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Photo © Ellis M. Chernoff

Classic Palomar early DC-8 seats with mounted reading light. This is what I remember from my Eastern flight (July, 1963) and Delta flight (August, 1966)

And I know that UA originally had the lights but replaced them with an audio jack for earphones later on.
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longhauler
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RE: Eastern's Early DC-8's

Sat Dec 31, 2011 3:48 am

When originally designed, the Palomar seats installed in all DC-8-10s through -40s, and most -50s, had the fluorescent over-the-shoulder reading lights on the front of the seat, and the tray lights and gasper on the seat back. In addition, on the centre of the Economy seats, and the outboard of the First Class seats, oxygen masks and stewardess call buttons were installed.

As aircraft changed, and service requirements changed, so did the seats. As noted, United airlines installed pneumatic audio jacks (holes?) in the place of the over-the-shoulder reading light, with the channel selector there as well. With this conversion, (in the mid 1960s) reading lights were placed in the overhead racks.

I don't know the rationale, but some airlines also eliminated the over-the-shoulder reading lights, and placed a full width headrest in its place. At the same time, reading lights too were placed in the overhead racks.

But in answer to your question, these changes came later. The picture of the Delta DC-8-51 above shows the configuration when the aircraft was built, and as most airlines kept until retirement. The picture of the (Eastern) DC-8-21 shows the changes made later. What is not apparent in those pictures is that reading lights were installed in the overhead racks in the place of the tray lights and the over-the-shoulder reading lights originally installed in the seats.
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RE: Eastern's Early DC-8's

Sat Dec 31, 2011 7:47 am

Quoting longhauler (Reply 1):
I don't know the rationale, but some airlines also eliminated the over-the-shoulder reading lights, and placed a full width headrest in its place. At the same time, reading lights too were placed in the overhead racks.

Long H: Thank you for clearing this up and giving me the "411" on this. The original Palomar seat DC-8's with the lights, curtains were sort of retro kitsch for me considering it was a jet. Remember, I was a kid back in the beckoning of the jet age!. So, flying on Eastern Boeing 720's seemed like really futuristic with the oval ceiling lights, overhead pod PSU's and pull down shades vs. curtains. Back then especially considering the Boeing Jet Interiors were designed in 1955/1956 made them really feel futuristic Jetsons like. In contrast, entering the DC-8 with curtains seemed like taking a step backward (this from a 6 year and then 9 year old kid's perspective. Now, flash forward and I'd give almost anything within reason to get a chance to experience a DC-8 flight with curtains, seat back fluorescent reading light and Palomar seats!

Now in regard to your statement I quoted above. If these changes happened during the 70's the reasons could be quite logical.
1. The 70's was a rude awakening that oil was a finite and increasingly expensive commodity. Therefore any savings in weight i.e. lighter seat frames, materials and electrical savings could go a long way for an airline's bottom line. Our industry was still regulated but, the economy was also tanking meaning it was harder to fill seats with passengers.

Today, we will be removing XM/Sirius satellite radio to save weight and fuel so, I can relate to this. Though not popular. It is what it is.

2. Type of materials used in passenger cabins for toxic fumes and flammability. Not sure if this was when the 8's were still flying revenue passengers. Change to "safer materials" could have caused this change.

Quoting longhauler (Reply 1):
What is not apparent in those pictures is that reading lights were installed in the overhead racks in the place of the tray lights and the over-the-shoulder reading lights originally installed in the seats

Take another close look at that old DC-8 Cabin pic: Look at the seat-backs. It looks as if these seats retained the small tray table light and the gasper. It seems in this cabin no overhead reading lights were installed. If you look at the pic with the yellow/orange seat backs (old Air Jamaica DC-8) there are the overhead lights.

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RE: Eastern's Early DC-8's

Sat Dec 31, 2011 3:46 pm

It's hard to tell from the pictures, but the Eastern DC-8-21 pictured above shows it well. All of the seat lights both front and back have been removed and replaced with overhead lights. I am sure if Eastern could have replaced the seats completely, they would have, but on the DC-8s built with Palomar seats, that was structurally impossible.

The outboard seats do not have armrests. The armrest was actually along the outside of the cabin, attached to the cabin, and formed the bottom rail of the curtains. A newer generation seat, like the ones installed in the DC-8-60s would not fit. This picture shows what I mean. It is from the Orbis DC-8, now retired, but the still retains some of the United furnishings:

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Photo © Fran Jurado


From this picture, you can see the lack out outboard armrest, and how a new seat would not fit. You can also see the conversion United did with the headphone attachment in place of the over-the-shoulder light. Notice, that only the front row of this small cabin has overhead gaspers, as the rest of the seats still had them in the seat back.

It's hard to tell what they did in the Air Jam DC-8s, as it appears to be somewhere in the middle.

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Photo © James Richard Covington


The over-the-shoulder lights are gone, but the tray lights stayed. Why, I can't imagine, but as you note, the overhead racks were then re-equipped with reading lights as well.

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 2):
In contrast, entering the DC-8 with curtains seemed like taking a step backward (this from a 6 year and then 9 year old kid's perspective.

I understand what you are saying, but oddly enough, I had the opposite impression. I was about the same age, and flew a lot on Air Canada's DC-8-40/50/60s. I thought the original Palomar interior of the DC-8 to be very elegant. Clean overhead racks, then another "rack" above it, with indirect lighting, with a clean ceiling. I always thought the big dome lights on the B707 reminded me of a cafeteria, and the hanging down PSUs to be an afterthought.

I found the Palomar interior to have a more "substantial" feel to it, with the newer DC-8s and the DC-9s to be "lacking something". Just my opinion of course.

A bit of trivia. Air Canada had three DC-8-53s delivered in the late 1960s. Well after the DC-8-60s started to arrive. These three DC-8s were the only "short" passenger DC-8s ever delivered without a Palomar interior. They had an identical interior to the DC-8-61/63s being delivered to AC at the same time.
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RE: Eastern's Early DC-8's

Sat Dec 31, 2011 3:56 pm

Quoting longhauler (Reply 3):
Quoting zippyjet (Reply 2):
In contrast, entering the DC-8 with curtains seemed like taking a step backward (this from a 6 year and then 9 year old kid's perspective.

I understand what you are saying, but oddly enough, I had the opposite impression. I was about the same age, and flew a lot on Air Canada's DC-8-40/50/60s. I thought the original Palomar interior of the DC-8 to be very elegant. Clean overhead racks, then another "rack" above it, with indirect lighting, with a clean ceiling. I always thought the big dome lights on the B707 reminded me of a cafeteria, and the hanging down PSUs to be an afterthought.

I also always thought the early DC-8s had a more open and spacious feel than the 707s with the PSUs attached to the overhead racks, although the Boeing overhead racks seemed somewhat larger than those on DC-8s. In any case, I never noticed the one-inch wider 707 fusealge.  
 
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RE: Eastern's Early DC-8's

Sun Jan 01, 2012 6:40 am

Quoting longhauler (Reply 3):
Notice, that only the front row of this small cabin has overhead gaspers, as the rest of the seats still had them in the seat back

Actually, its hard to tell, those gaspers could be special overhead lighting. But otherwise if as you say they were gaspers then that makes sense since there is no seatback to have the lights, gaspers O2 etc.

Quoting longhauler (Reply 3):
The over-the-shoulder lights are gone, but the tray lights stayed. Why, I can't imagine, but as you note, the overhead racks were then re-equipped with reading lights as well.

Maybe AJ decided to install new upolhstry and opted out of the reading light or newer fabrics were not available that were fitted to accomodate the over shoulder reading light.

Quoting longhauler (Reply 3):
I found the Palomar interior to have a more "substantial" feel to it, with the newer DC-8s and the DC-9s to be "lacking something". Just my opinion of course.

Interesting you should mention this. When I first flew on a DC-9 DL DCA to ATL in 1966 I hadn't been on an airliner for three years which to a kid is like an eternity. The flight before this 3 summers earlier was that Eastern DC-8 so the DC-9 cabin really looked cutting edge and new. The DL 9's were at most a year old. My only other DC-9 flight 4 years later on Eastern flight 172 MIA-BWI seemed aged and drab as compared to the 727 cabin on National flight 103 which we took from then BAL to MIA 2 weeks prior to this return flight. Comparing the DC-8 60 series cabin compared to the Palomar Cabin was definitely a letdown. It seemed these DC-8 cabins were stripped down remember the late 60's and early 70's was the era of austere earth tones. By the time I was a teen and saw pictures of DC-8 60 series cabins I then finally hit the realization that the curtained inerior with Palomar seats were something special but too late for me. By then if you flew from BWI to anywhere in Florida on Eastern, National or Delta it was basically Boeing 727's.

For anyone who flew a UA DC-8 with the audio works where the reading light was did the cabins seem dark or dingy?
Anyone remember what year their latest DC-8 flight with Palomar seats? DL had them at least through 1976.
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RE: Eastern's Early DC-8's

Sun Jan 01, 2012 11:03 am

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 5):
Quoting longhauler (Reply 3):
Notice, that only the front row of this small cabin has overhead gaspers, as the rest of the seats still had them in the seat back

Actually, its hard to tell, those gaspers could be special overhead lighting. But otherwise if as you say they were gaspers then that makes sense since there is no seatback to have the lights, gaspers O2 etc.

On the early DC-8s I flew on, the air vents and call buttons for the front rows were built into the bulkheads facing those seats. Forget whether the oxygen masks were also in the bulkheads or overhead.
 
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RE: Eastern's Early DC-8's

Sun Jan 01, 2012 11:29 am

Quoting longhauler (Reply 3):
A bit of trivia. Air Canada had three DC-8-53s delivered in the late 1960s. Well after the DC-8-60s started to arrive. These three DC-8s were the only "short" passenger DC-8s ever delivered without a Palomar interior. They had an identical interior to the DC-8-61/63s being delivered to AC at the same time.

Photo from early '70s AC brochure featuring first class on a DC-8-61/63 (or one of the three -53s) with the seats that replaced the Palomars and no curtains.

http://www.andersssvensson.se/aeronostalgia/bilder/AirCanada_13c.jpg


This drawing from the same brochure has one error -- the curtains shouldn't be there! Best feature of the DC-8 was the big windows, except for the fact that they didn't align with seat rows in economy class, leaving every 5th row or so without a window (or only a partial window). Had the DC-8 been designed a year or so later I expect Douglas would have matched Boeing´s small windows on 20-inch centers (as they did on the DC-9) rather than the big windows on 40-inch centers as on most propeller types, to ensure that every row, regardless of seat pitch, would have at least one full window (two in F class with the usual 40-inch F class pitch in those days and mostly 34-inch pitch in Y class...sometimes more on U.S domestic carriers that weren't subject to IATA agreements on those issues.)

http://www.andersssvensson.se/aeronostalgia/bilder/AirCanada_12c.jpg

The rest of that brochure and quite a few others of similar late '60s/early '70s vintage in this Swedish site.
http://www.andersssvensson.se/aeronostalgia/index.htm

[Edited 2012-01-01 03:35:51]
 
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RE: Eastern's Early DC-8's

Sun Jan 01, 2012 2:04 pm

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 5):
Anyone remember what year their latest DC-8 flight with Palomar seats? DL had them at least through 1976.

It is great to see so many interior-fanatic anetters come out of the woodwork here.

From what I know, DL was flying DC-8-50s with Palomar seats until ~1980. BN got two DC-8-50s from DL (N820E and also 821) and BN operated them with the over-the-shoulder lighting. (I have seen a pic of this: BN's F class was the brown leather, while economy was 100% in the blue cloth of the era).

Speaking of BN, since about 1973 they also had operated a handful of DC-8-50s that I believe had been ex-National. To my knowledge, NA kept the Palomars until unloading them, but prior to being leased or sold to BN, a new interior was installed that featured pod-like overheads similar to Boeing, and open racks. The colors were the red-orange rainbow that BN used in the first half of the 70s. The seats appeared to be almost identical to the ones that were going into the 727s with BN. This really is DC-8 interior culture shock, and unlike any I have ever seen.

Getting back to the original picture of EA, I'm not sure it was explicitly mentioned, but to my knowledge, EA also had inflight stereo jacks installed as UA had done. The earliest pic of a UA DC-8 that I have ever come across, with the rack mounted incandescent lights, was in Feb 1964 when they converted some DC-8-50s to five across premium economy seating, non-Palomar, with stereo jacks. Realistically, this is when US domestic was getting the inflight movie craze, which required the jacks.

[Edited 2012-01-01 06:13:29]
 
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RE: Eastern's Early DC-8's

Sun Jan 01, 2012 10:27 pm

Quoting CF-CPI (Reply 8):
It is great to see so many interior-fanatic anetters come out of the woodwork here.

I've been an interior fanatic all my life and I'm 55 yrs young.

Quoting CF-CPI (Reply 8):
Speaking of BN, since about 1973 they also had operated a handful of DC-8-50s that I believe had been ex-National. To my knowledge, NA kept the Palomars until unloading them, but prior to being leased or sold to BN, a new interior was installed that featured pod-like overheads similar to Boeing, and open racks. The colors were the red-orange rainbow that BN used in the first half of the 70s. The seats appeared to be almost identical to the ones that were going into the 727s with BN. This really is DC-8 interior culture shock, and unlike any I have ever seen.

From earlier replies on my thread: that would have been a major endeavor. The Palomar / curtained DC-8's window seats did not have an armrest. Instead it was built into the cabin wall and was the bottom holder of the curtains.

As I just mentioned in the 707 cabin thread; I hope someone restores an early DC 8 Eastern, National with star or sun king or DL complete with the OEM cabin...Palomars, curtains, over shoulder reading light.
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RE: Eastern's Early DC-8's

Mon Jan 02, 2012 1:47 pm

The following clip shows a UA stewardess (late 60s as far as I can tell) in the F cabin of a DC-8 (21 or 50 - not super). Views of the overhead lights, stereo jacks, and seatbacks all show up here. It's an advertisement for wool, actually. so there is some further footage in the terminal. "People who have everything, wear wool".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxUtDtRWA-A&feature=related
 
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RE: Eastern's Early DC-8's

Mon Jan 02, 2012 1:52 pm

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 9):
From earlier replies on my thread: that would have been a major endeavor. The Palomar / curtained DC-8's window seats did not have an armrest. Instead it was built into the cabin wall and was the bottom holder of the curtains.

As far as I know, no Palomar built DC-8 was ever converted to newer-style seats. In addition to the above, the seat track was also on the cabin wall. Instead of two under each seat unit, there was only one ... outboard, with the inboard on the wall. To change that alone would require a change to the structure of the cabin floor and walls as well.

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 9):
I've been an interior fanatic all my life and I'm 55 yrs young.

I am as well. Probably the best indication of that is the "Aviation Photo Quiz" on this site. If you select the Cabin View version, you will be amazed at how many cabins you can identify. My friends think I am nuts when I show them. (I am)

I have a copy of that Air Canada brochure above, and for decades it has bothered me that artistic licence allowed them to put curtains on a "non-Palomar" DC-8.  
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RE: Eastern's Early DC-8's

Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:28 pm

Quoting CF-CPI (Reply 8):
From what I know, DL was flying DC-8-50s with Palomar seats until ~1980

That is what I recall also. I was on a couple of DL DC8-50's from DTW to ATL must have been either 78 or early 79 as best I recall. I do rember noticcing the cloth windowshades upon entering the cabin, then the seats. At that time did not value the uniquness of teh Palomar seat. Too bad!

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RE: Eastern's Early DC-8's

Mon Jan 02, 2012 5:26 pm

Quoting longhauler (Reply 11):
As far as I know, no Palomar built DC-8 was ever converted to newer-style seats.

It has to be seen to be believed, but yes, the handful of Braniff -50s I referred to did indeed have a cabin design which boldly went where no DC-8 Palomar cabin had gone before. I'm in possession of the pic, I just need to find it in my storage containers and scan it. These were ships N811BN - N814BN which Braniff leased in beginning in August 1973. As far as I know, they were all ex-National. I agree, it does seem an enormous trouble and expense. It's possible that NA had converted the cabin, but I did see one early 70s pic of a NA DC-8-50 and it was Palomar.
 
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RE: Eastern's Early DC-8's

Mon Jan 02, 2012 7:44 pm

Quoting CF-CPI (Reply 13):

It has to be seen to be believed, but yes, the handful of Braniff -50s I referred to did indeed have a cabin design which boldly went where no DC-8 Palomar cabin had gone before.

That is interesting. Yes, I would love to see a picture and I am curious exactly what they did, and how far they went.

I am sure it is possible. To build a seat with no outer armrest and with an unusual anchor arrangement. Move the PSUs to the overhead rack, and re-route the oxygen tubing from the lower cabin to the upper cabin. And all with FAA approval!

I suppose the main reason it was not a common conversion, is that one really has to wonder what is gained in such a costly process so near to the end of the aircraft's useful life.

I do know however, of two Air Canada DC-8-63s that were converted to an all Y configuration for charter and Caribbean flying. They held 227 passengers. The forward First Class lounge and bar were removed, and a closet was placed on the left side, and 6 Y seats were placed on the right side, in line with the two windows. Here's the kicker ... as there was no overhead rack in the lounge, the seats placed there were Palomar seats! With full working lights and oxygen! Unfortunately, I never did get a picture, as it sure looked strange.
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RE: Eastern's Early DC-8's

Mon Jan 02, 2012 11:53 pm

Quoting tan flyr (Reply 12):
I do rember noticcing the cloth windowshades upon entering the cabin, then the seats. At that time did not value the uniquness of teh Palomar seat. Too bad!

Did you mean cloth curtains?

Does anyone know if any airline flying the Palomar DC-8's ever reupholster them including new curtains? This would freshen the cabin without going through the Broadway production of a cabin frame alteration? My ADHD self one time in school during a boring class daydreamed about a DL DC-8 with a Palomar cabin updated with red white and blue colors.
Even the curtains got the redo featuring DL widget and Bi-Centenial. This was obviously late 1975 early 1976.
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RE: Eastern's Early DC-8's

Tue Jan 03, 2012 12:04 am

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 15):
Does anyone know if any airline flying the Palomar DC-8's ever reupholster them including new curtains?


I'm sure that as seat covers changed, the curtains were often re-done to match, just as in a home. In their last incarnation, DL's Palomar DC-8s had bright red curtains and red/orange seat covers identical to the ones I showed in the 707 thread.

BTW my maintenance buddies say that red shows dirt more than any other color.
 
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RE: Eastern's Early DC-8's

Tue Jan 03, 2012 12:18 am

Quoting longhauler (Reply 14):
I do know however, of two Air Canada DC-8-63s that were converted to an all Y configuration for charter and Caribbean flying. They held 227 passengers. The forward First Class lounge and bar were removed, and a closet was placed on the left side, and 6 Y seats were placed on the right side, in line with the two windows. Here's the kicker ... as there was no overhead rack in the lounge, the seats placed there were Palomar seats! With full working lights and oxygen! Unfortunately, I never did get a picture, as it sure looked strange.

Now that would have been really cool. Just off the top of my head, it was probably a very relaxing place to sit, far from the madding crowd of a charter aircraft.

A bit off-topic, but my favorite Air Canada seats were the puffy round ones they put in the 747s and L1011s.

Back to Palomar: CP Air DC-8-40s got Heath Techna enclosed overhead bins in the early 70s, but retained the Palomar seats with reading lights, at least for awhile. At retirement, they had been converted over to standard seats by Weber, with utilities in the overheads.
 
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RE: Eastern's Early DC-8's

Tue Jan 03, 2012 12:25 am

Zippy-I believe flight 172 was a 727, that flew MIA-BWI-YOW......
 
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RE: Eastern's Early DC-8's

Tue Jan 03, 2012 12:37 am

Ea 747- You are right. I must have made a typo. The South bound flight I believe was EA 173. However on August 30, 1970 this flight was a DC-9. I remember perfectly. When we were at the EA ticket counter; (I was 14 and my sister 9) we had a little conundrum: We both wanted window seats but my sister wanted to sit with me. Ended up Dad got the asile, and my mom got the asile behind us. The 2 seat side of the DC-9 toward the aft portion of the coach cabin. I flew this flight in August 1966 and it was an Eastern B-720. On my 172 flights in 1968, 1976 and 1980 it was a 727. Now interestingly my cousin flew flight 172 home to BWI in August of 1974 and he told me it was a DC-9. Even to this he is still almost as fanatical about airline trivia as I am. That trip for him was on Eastern and the flight going to MIA probably 173 was a DC-9 this was August 1974. Our family joined his family down in MIA but we did the Auto Train that year. I would have rather flown but, we got to do Mickey (Disney World) when we were on our way home to Baltimore.
bwi-MIA
Correct me if I'm wrong but during busy periods in the 70's Eastern sometimes flew an L1011, A-300 and 757 on the YOW-
BWI-MIA segments and back. And the flights were 173 Southbound and 172 Northbound. And I forgot, in Fall of 1986 my sister flew Eastern 172 which again was a 727 with her boyfriend who became her ex husband.

We always seemed to miss the opportunity to get a wide body since it was either right before or right after the busy travel season to MIA.
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RE: Eastern's Early DC-8's

Tue Jan 03, 2012 12:58 am

Quoting CF-CPI (Reply 10):

The following clip shows a UA stewardess (late 60s as far as I can tell) in the F cabin of a DC-8 (21 or 50 - not super

Groovy baby! Looks like the late 60's. That airport limo looks like an early 1960's Chevy stretched (before pimped out). It looks like there were no curtains but shades. I watched it twice and can't see the curtains. Love the music and the deep announcer's voice. Where's Austin Powers.   
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RE: Eastern's Early DC-8's

Tue Jan 03, 2012 2:10 am

I flew on lots of UA DC-8's 12's, 21's, and 51/52's from 1962 through 1979, and I don't ever remember a cabin that did not have curtains, like in that wool video. My first UA DC-8 (non stretch) flight was UA 860 ORD-IDL on January 4, 1962, and my last, a DEN-LAS DC-8-51/52 in November of 1979. I believe UA and DL retired their last DC-8-50's in 1980. I remember a flight BOI-SFO in 1976 on one of the N8060-69U aircraft that happened to be configured all coach with 2-3 seating. I was never on an S Class DC-8 although it would have been just about like the one I flew on in 1976 from BOI to SFO, but I flew on the Red-White-Blue F/L/Y DC-8's in 1965-66 many times. Those aircraft had the original Y class Palomar seats in the back. Notice that the original Palomar's had a button release for the tray tables but that was replaced by the knob that turned as shown in the pictures above. My last Delta DC-8-51 flight was in 1977 or 1978 and I only remember them with Palomars. My first DC-8 flight was on a Eastern DC-8-21 in April of 1961, MIA-ORD, and I never got out of my seat in the FC lounge. Later I flew on EA DC-8's from MIA to JFK and ORD-MIA, the last time, in 1965. By the time I started traveling for business weekly in 1973, Eastern's short DC-8's were being retired, and I didn't fly on one in the months of that year before their retirement.
 
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RE: Eastern's Early DC-8's

Tue Jan 03, 2012 2:15 am

why are they called "Palomar" seats? Was that the name of company that designed them? Built them?
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RE: Eastern's Early DC-8's

Tue Jan 03, 2012 4:46 am

Quoting tymnbalewne (Reply 22):
why are they called "Palomar" seats? Was that the name of company that designed them? Built them?

Just a marketing name. The seats on the early DC-8s were designed by Douglas, probably the last time a major aircraft manufacturer has been involved with designing aircraft seating. I expect some of the early DC-8 customers would have preferred to have had a choice of seat manufacturers, as they did on the 707.
 
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zippyjet
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RE: Eastern's Early DC-8's

Tue Jan 03, 2012 6:37 am

I forgot to ad that when I flew on that Eastern DC-8 from MIA to BWI then known as BAL/Friendship in July of 1963 the curtains were a white background with turquoise or green designs on them like stars. Believe it or not the National Airlines Electra I flew in July of 1962 had the same design on their curtains. The DL 1968 my 2nd. and last rid on an 8 in August of 1966 from ATL-MIA had a solid tan/brownish curtain. Anyone else remember the white background with green star like designs on early Eastern DC-8's and other airliners with curtains from the late 50's early 1960's. Amazing the stuff one can remember from childhood days.
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CF-CPI
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RE: Eastern's Early DC-8's

Tue Jan 03, 2012 12:58 pm

Quoting tymnbalewne (Reply 22):
why are they called "Palomar" seats? Was that the name of company that designed them? Built them?


As mentioned, it was a marketing name, but Mount Palomar is well known in So. Cal, and has or had a famous observatory on its summit. I can only speculate that it was 1958's version of high tech or cosmic. The seats were made by Douglas.
 
swabrian
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RE: Eastern's Early DC-8's

Tue Jan 03, 2012 6:13 pm

Quoting CF-CPI (Reply 8):
From what I know, DL was flying DC-8-50s with Palomar seats until ~1980. BN got two DC-8-50s from DL (N820E and also 821) and BN operated them with the over-the-shoulder lighting. (I have seen a pic of this: BN's F class was the brown leather, while economy was 100% in the blue cloth of the era).

I worked some of the last DL DC-51 flights in OAK during 1978. I think they were all gone by 1980. Some of the things I remember were that they still carried the "Fanjet" titles on the tail. The curtains had a habit of coming out of their tracks and were a real pain to reinsert. There was a single armrest for all of the window seats that ran the length of the cabin. The FA call button rang a real bell in the galleys, and didn't need to be reset--all you had to do was keep punching the button. The cargo bins were pretty well beat up by this point.

We also had to re-balance the fuel before departure. The flight arrived in OAK from DFW and SFO. In SFO they added enough fuel through for our flight from OAK to LAS. On the DC-8-51, the flight engineer or a mechanic was part of the fueling process. All the fueler on the ground had was a hose attachment. The FE or the mechanic had to shut off tanks as they got filled from the cockpit, and he had to tell the fueler when to shut down completely. We had no maintenance in OAK, so rampers were trained on the cockpit fuel panel to transfer and re-balance the fuel for dispatch. The problem was that hundreds of pound of fuel would "disappear" in the manifolds, once you began the transfer process. Every flight required that the magna sticks be pulled to verify the fuel. Unlike later aircraft, you didn't have to measure the pitch and roll of the aircraft at the gate, but the tolerances for stick readings were amazing. You would be in tolerance with 8 to 10 inch windows at most fuel loads.

Some of the -51 fleet had been converted to all coach charter seating, including the prototype ship 800. Even though the first class lounge still remained (and on mixed configuration aircraft were revenue seats) we had to downgrade any first class passengers who were booked. We usually let them ride up in the lounge anyway.

Hot starts were very common with the -51. I often wondered what those in the back of the airplane thought when they saw from those big windows flames leaping out of the engines. I consider myself lucky to have known this early jetliner (our fleet included the original, but re-engined DC-8-10s) so intimately.
 
L1011
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RE: Eastern's Early DC-8's

Wed Jan 04, 2012 4:18 am

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 24):
Anyone else remember the white background with green star like designs on early Eastern DC-8's and other airliners with curtains from the late 50's early 1960's. Amazing the stuff one can remember from childhood days.

In the early seventies, Eastern DC-8s and Electras had grayish tan window curtains with their blue and green seats. When Eastern changed to the widebody look on the 727s, they put in pink, yellow, and blue seats fleetwide, except for the L-1011s. The DC-8s were gone by then. The Electra curtains were changed to a solid sky-blue, the same color as the curtain separating first class and coach on the 727s.

Bob Bradley
Fly Eastern's Golden Falcon DC-7B
 
Seat2A
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RE: Eastern's Early DC-8's

Thu Jan 05, 2012 8:37 pm

I have really enjoyed this thread, so a big thank you to all who have contributed! Growing up in Colorado, I never got a chance to fly any Eastern DC-8s, but did log quite a few aboard United's. UA had a small lounge iin the back for Coach passengers. Was this strictly a UA thing or did other airlines offer this as well?

Also, anyone have pics of National's DC-8 interiors? I hear the First Class seats on their DC-8s were huge.
 
milesrich
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RE: Eastern's Early DC-8's

Fri Jan 06, 2012 6:37 am

Quoting Seat2A (Reply 28):
I have really enjoyed this thread, so a big thank you to all who have contributed! Growing up in Colorado, I never got a chance to fly any Eastern DC-8s, but did log quite a few aboard United's. UA had a small lounge iin the back for Coach passengers. Was this strictly a UA thing or did other airlines offer this as well?

Also, anyone have pics of National's DC-8 interiors? I hear the First Class seats on their DC-8s were huge.

I flew on the following airlines DC-8 regular body jets, UA, EA, NA, DL, PA, AZ and UA's had the five seat coach lounge on the port side of the airplane just in front of the rear passenger door across from the coach galley. There were two seats facing forward and three facing back or do I have it turned around, with a table in between. It was quite nice actually as long as there was not a lot of turbulence, and I sat there quite often.
 
Viscount724
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RE: Eastern's Early DC-8's

Sat Jan 07, 2012 1:33 am

Quoting milesrich (Reply 29):
I flew on the following airlines DC-8 regular body jets, UA, EA, NA, DL, PA, AZ and UA's had the five seat coach lounge on the port side of the airplane just in front of the rear passenger door across from the coach galley. There were two seats facing forward and three facing back or do I have it turned around, with a table in between. It was quite nice actually as long as there was not a lot of turbulence, and I sat there quite often.

Note the bottom photo (click to enlarge) on the following page from UA's DC-8 introductory brochure dated 1958 (some time before it went into service).
http://airchive.com/html/memorabilia...58-dc-8-introduction-brochure/1528
 
maxpower1954
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RE: Eastern's Early DC-8's

Sat Jan 07, 2012 5:33 am

I'm absolutely amazed by the detailed memories you guys have about the interior of the DC-8. I've learned more about this in the last few days than in seven years and almost 5,000 hours flying this suberb aircraft - my first jet, and the one I'm proudest of having served as captain.
 
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zippyjet
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RE: Eastern's Early DC-8's

Sat Jan 07, 2012 5:54 am

Quoting maxpower1954 (Reply 31):
I'm absolutely amazed by the detailed memories you guys have about the interior of the DC-8. I've learned more about this in the last few days than in seven years and almost 5,000 hours flying this suberb aircraft - my first jet, and the one I'm proudest of having served as captain.

It's an iconic bird. One of those you don't appreciate it till it's gone. In the era of homogination that bird is a stand alone benchmark representing the first generation of pure jet travel. Interesting how most of the USA airlines for their domestic routes went with the 8 vs. the 707. Eastern, National, Delta and United to name a few. And that the spinoffs of PAA (Panagra, Pan Air) left their gates on an 8. But finding info and photos of the cabins especially generation 1 Palomar seats and curtains are few and far between.
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connies4ever
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RE: Eastern's Early DC-8's

Sat Jan 07, 2012 12:31 pm

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 32):
It's an iconic bird. One of those you don't appreciate it till it's gone.

I agree. My first jet flight was in an 8 - AC851 YWG-YVR. I was 10. We were up front (Dad was AC staff), so 2x2, the big windows as compared to the 707, Palomar seats. I thought the reading light was very cool. It was really fun to see the Conways waggle over the Rockies when we encountered some chop.

It's interesting to see even in 2012 the 8 soldiers on as a freighter, admittedly in declining numbers, whilst the 707, which outsold it almost 2:1, is essentially gone. Yes, there are the JSTARS etc survivors, but they're not flying the hours the 8's are. Which I think points to a very robust design from Santa Monica. Dad didn't call the 8 the "Lead Sled" for nothing !
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longhauler
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RE: Eastern's Early DC-8's

Sat Jan 07, 2012 3:06 pm

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 33):
We were up front (Dad was AC staff), so 2x2, the big windows as compared to the 707, Palomar seats.

Do you remember the foot rests TC/AC's Palomar DC-8s had in First Class? They were a wedge about a foot square, covered in the same blue fabric as the seats, with carpet on the bottom to stop them slipping. The inboard one wrapped around the seat leg and the outboard one was free.

It was only the DC-8-40s that had these. The DC-8-54 never had F, and the DC-8-53/61/63 without a Palomar interior, did not have the "foot rests".

Quoting CF-CPI (Reply 17):
Now that would have been really cool. Just off the top of my head, it was probably a very relaxing place to sit, far from the madding crowd of a charter aircraft.

They were also recovered to match the seats of the back end. All in all, a very expensive project for only 6 seats.

Quoting CF-CPI (Reply 17):
A bit off-topic, but my favorite Air Canada seats were the puffy round ones they put in the 747s and L1011s.

Yes, just like everything else that has changed with airlines these days, the days of 10 inch padding on a seat back are long long gone!
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connies4ever
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RE: Eastern's Early DC-8's

Sat Jan 07, 2012 3:20 pm

Quoting longhauler (Reply 34):
Do you remember the foot rests TC/AC's Palomar DC-8s had in First Class? They were a wedge about a foot square, covered in the same blue fabric as the seats, with carpet on the bottom to stop them slipping. The inboard one wrapped around the seat leg and the outboard one was free.

I remember them, but don't forget, I was 10. My feet couldn't reach them !  

We didn't often get AC851 YWG-YVR as we were travelling space available, obviously. So, Dad usually put in a request for AC863, YWG-YEG-YVR. This IIRC was the tail end of the first transcon DC-8F service, and not many people wanted to a) be on a part freighter, and b) ex-YWG it was leaving at something like 0400. I think this was starting around early/mid 1963.

You probably know better than I but I think it was either 111Y or 99Y. I remember the FAs sliding back the access door to the freight hold to get to the flight deck and seeing the l.h.s. walkway beside the pallets.

One of my fave things about the 8 was when occasionally on arrival YWG they would deploy reverse thrust, inboards only, to make a rapid descent. I seem to recall this perhaps three times. You'd be over Portage (50 nm from YWG) and still FL200 or thereabouts and suddenly you're at circuit altitude. Very dramatic. I can't recall this on arrival YVR (or YYZ for that matter). This practice might have been due to transiting a military training area at Portage. I believe this practice stopped after Air NZ lost an 8 when the reverser would not stow.
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
 
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longhauler
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RE: Eastern's Early DC-8's

Sat Jan 07, 2012 6:45 pm

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 35):
You probably know better than I but I think it was either 111Y or 99Y.

Normally, it was 2 Pallets and 135Y in the Summer and 4 Pallets and 117Y in the winter.

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 35):
This IIRC was the tail end of the first transcon DC-8F service

I would have to pull a timetable out, but it may have been the tail end of the "Western Arrow" ... the Europe to YWG/YEG/YVR flights. Before the DC-8-63 they were almost always DC-8-54Fs. (The LHR-YEG required the DC-8-54, but the DC-8-43 could do LHR-SNN-YWG-west).

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 35):
I believe this practice stopped after Air NZ lost an 8 when the reverser would not stow.

It was authorized (at AC) right up to the retirement of the DC-8-63F. I am not sure if the -73Fs could do it as well. But it was discouraged when carrying passengers, as it was very uncomfortable.
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maxpower1954
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RE: Eastern's Early DC-8's

Sat Jan 07, 2012 8:50 pm

The AZ accident was due to accidental reverser deployment during a simulated engine failure on take-off .

http://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=19660704-0

The DC-8 has no in-flight spoilers for speedbrakes; they are ground and lateral control spoilers only. From the Series -10
to the -73, reverse thrust on the inboard engines is the only speedbrake the DC-8 has; for example an emergency descent from high altitude. The flaps must be retracted during inflight reverse operation. It was company procedure to make a PA prior to reverse deployment, as it did shake, rattle and roll quite a bit!
 
connies4ever
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RE: Eastern's Early DC-8's

Sat Jan 07, 2012 9:09 pm

Quoting maxpower1954 (Reply 37):
The AZ accident was due to accidental reverser deployment during a simulated engine failure on take-off .

Thanks for that. 60 year old memory not always as it should be !   
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
 
connies4ever
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RE: Eastern's Early DC-8's

Sat Jan 07, 2012 9:14 pm

Quoting longhauler (Reply 36):
Before the DC-8-63 they were almost always DC-8-54Fs.

I do recall Conway DC-8s (-40s) LHR-YWG n/s, as I was on them. We had relatives in the UK.

But with the marginal performance of the early -40s, headwinds would have been a problem. CP seem to have done better in that regard by being further along enough in the delivery schedule to get the reprofiled wing.
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longhauler
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RE: Eastern's Early DC-8's

Sat Jan 07, 2012 9:34 pm

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 39):
I do recall Conway DC-8s (-40s) LHR-YWG n/s, as I was on them.

Yes, that makes sense. LHR-YWG is slightly less than ZRH-YYZ, which the -43s did fly.
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maxpower1954
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RE: Eastern's Early DC-8's

Sat Jan 07, 2012 10:23 pm

I'm sure you guys know about this, but here's a personal story I've never read about the DC-8 supersonic test flight in 1961.

http://www.airspacemag.com/history-o...here-Boeing-Will-Never-Try-It.html
 
Viscount724
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RE: Eastern's Early DC-8's

Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:03 am

Quoting longhauler (Reply 36):
I would have to pull a timetable out, but it may have been the tail end of the "Western Arrow" ... the Europe to YWG/YEG/YVR flights. Before the DC-8-63 they were almost always DC-8-54Fs. (The LHR-YEG required the DC-8-54, but the DC-8-43 could do LHR-SNN-YWG-west).

CP used the DC-8-43 YYC-AMS and YEG-AMS. Wouldn't be surprised if it was also used YVR-AMS although most CP flights stopped at either YYC or YEG (sometimes both) in the early years of DC-8 service (before the DC-8-63 arrived).
 
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longhauler
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RE: Eastern's Early DC-8's

Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:40 am

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 42):
CP used the DC-8-43 YYC-AMS and YEG-AMS. Wouldn't be surprised if it was also used YVR-AMS although most CP flights stopped at either YYC or YEG (sometimes both) in the early years of DC-8 service (before the DC-8-63 arrived).

The performance charts I have from 1967, show ZRH-YYZ as the longest route AC's DC-8-43s could do. In those days, MTOW was not flexible as it is now, so AC's and CP's would be the same. 318,000 max ramp and 315,000 max take-off

So either CP was carrying lighter loads, had unannounced fuel stops or was less generous with alternates.

Carrying 130,000 lbs of fuel, (almost maximum) I ran the numbers for the -43 and the -53. Assuming MTOW for take off, (not normally possible, but used for the sake of argument), and using long range cruise, (also not normally done, usually M0.82 was used) this is what I got:

For the -43, 3550 nm range in 0 wind, and 3075 nm in 100 knot headwinds.
For the -53, 4275 nm range in 0 wind, and 3625 nm in 100 knot headwinds.

Note these ranges do not include an alternate, nor depressurization diversion fuel. So actual range would in fact be less. But ... they do assume a full passenger/cargo load of 37,000 lbs.

For reference, YYZ-ZRH 3514 nm, YWG-LHR 3406 nm and YVR-AMS 4174 nm.

It does note in this manual, that ZRH-YYZ was only possible in the -43 with the capacity capped at roughly 24,500 lbs. and carrying max capacity fuel of 145,800 lbs.
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Viscount724
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RE: Eastern's Early DC-8's

Sun Jan 08, 2012 2:38 am

Quoting longhauler (Reply 43):
Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 42):
CP used the DC-8-43 YYC-AMS and YEG-AMS. Wouldn't be surprised if it was also used YVR-AMS although most CP flights stopped at either YYC or YEG (sometimes both) in the early years of DC-8 service (before the DC-8-63 arrived).

The performance charts I have from 1967, show ZRH-YYZ as the longest route AC's DC-8-43s could do. In those days, MTOW was not flexible as it is now, so AC's and CP's would be the same. 318,000 max ramp and 315,000 max take-off

So either CP was carrying lighter loads, had unannounced fuel stops or was less generous with alternates.

CP also used the DC-8-43 on YVR-HND (4091 nm) and YYZ-FCO (3836 nm). On YVR-HND, fuel stops at ANC weren't unheard of even on the DC-8-63 and 747-200. My first 2 CP flights YVR-HND in the early to mid '70s, a DC-8-63 and a 747-200 (about 2 weeks after CP put their first 747 in service in 1974 on the YVR-HND-HKG route) both made unscheduled fuel stops at ANC westbound only.. Since cargo was important on that route I expect the fuel stop was a tradeoff for more payload.
 
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zippyjet
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RE: Eastern's Early DC-8's

Sun Jan 08, 2012 3:46 am

I can't believe I forgot to ask but, how was the air flow from the gaspers which were built into the Palomar DC-8 seatbacks?
I'd guess you'd need a stronger fan/ventilation system since the air would flow upward and the tubing/piping would have to be flexible due to the reclining of the seats.
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longhauler
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RE: Eastern's Early DC-8's

Sun Jan 08, 2012 4:15 am

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 45):
I can't believe I forgot to ask but, how was the air flow from the gaspers which were built into the Palomar DC-8 seatbacks?

I don't remember it being any different from today's gaspers.

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 45):
I'd guess you'd need a stronger fan/ventilation system since the air would flow upward and the tubing/piping would have to be flexible due to the reclining of the seats.

The DC-8, used Turbo Compressors for pressurized air, some of which was routed through the gaspers. It was as capable as today's packs. The TC's were in the nose, under the cockpit ... the air inlets that made the DC-8s nose so unique. This air was routed overhead the cabin in an "overhead duct" with "feeder ducts" down the cabin walls to the "armrest" in the cabin wall. This was in fact a cold air duct. This cold air was distributed from the wall attachment to the gaspers, via the seat back at the bottom.

The Palomar seat was a substantial piece of engineering. Not just the cold air ducts (gaspers) but also oxygen masks were in the seat back as well. In those days oxygen generators were not used, and oxygen was supplied to the masks from two (or three depending on the version) tanks in the upper aft cabin dome above the ceiling. Again, piping from the tanks, down to the "armrest" and along the armrest to the individual seats.

The seat was of course electrically powered for the front and back lights. And the attendant call button, and chime were also attached to the aircraft systems. When pulled, the chime sounded, and a light on the aisle side of the seat, illuminated showing which seat was activated.

The seat mounted armrests could not be easily removed or lifted. A godsend today when dealing with obese seatmates as your space was your space!

Looking at today's seats, I can see the reasons for the changes. They would have been far less complicated and far lighter.
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Tomassjc
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RE: Eastern's Early DC-8's

Sun Jan 08, 2012 6:31 am

My last standard 8 ride was on a CP -43 SFO-YVR "Empress Of Mexico City" in February of '81. Wonderful service on a 2 hour flight as I recall.

Quoting maxpower1954 (Reply 37):
reverse thrust on the inboard engines is the only speedbrake the DC-8 has; for example an emergency descent from high altitude. The flaps must be retracted during inflight reverse operation. It was company procedure to make a PA prior to reverse deployment, as it did shake, rattle and roll quite a bit!



My very last DC-8 ride was on a UA -71 SFO-HNL in October 89. There were about a hundred revenue passengers stuck in SFO that day who had misconnected to earlier HNL flights due to weather delays in the east, I was non reving and knew I would never get out on either of the two remaining booked DC-10 flights. Low and behold, and announcement was made that an extra section would be added. Shortly after here comes a DC-8-71 over from the hanger. Everyone was accommodated and I scored an F class seat.

Getting to the point, the approach to HNL was very high and the announcement came from the flight deck explaining the inflight reverse procedure, adding "....so we'll be rocking and rolling a bit on our approach into Honolulu". I had never experienced such a rush on an approach!

Great thread and great memories of the 8!

Tom in SJC
When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the Earth with your eyes turned skyward -Leonardo DaVinci