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.
Just because I stopped arguing, doesn't mean I think you are right. It just means I gave up!