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Wed Nov 24, 2004 4:42 am

I know that the 727 was the first Boeing aircraft to have an onboard APU...but what was the first Douglas aircraft to incorporate them? I seem to remember the DC-8-50 series did not have one...mainly from stories of some DC-8's getting stuck at airports with out cart APU's and having to be "jump started" by another DC8 blowing it's thrust into it from in front.

Did the DC-8-60 or the re-engined DC8-70 have built in APU's? Have they been added later in life or was the DC-9 the first Douglas aircraft to have an APU?
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Wed Nov 24, 2004 5:22 am

As far as I have been able to find out, the DC-8 left customers with the option of with or without an APU, so I guess it's officially first Douglas aircraft with an APU.

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Wed Nov 24, 2004 5:49 am

There were DC8s with APU. I believe 2 of our birds had them, but they were removed before we put them in service. The APU sat at the aft end of the #2 belly or just behind it.
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Wed Nov 24, 2004 8:55 am

The DC8 had a high pressure bottle that could theoretically start an engine then the bleed air would be used to start the other engines. I don't think I've ever seen a DC8 with an APU. The Spanish Air Force 707s have an APU in the rear of the fwd cargo compartment. The intake is on one side of the fuselage and the exhaust is on the other side.
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Wed Nov 24, 2004 10:24 am

None of the DC-8s that I've seen from UPS, DHL, Emery, or any other company have APUs. I've heard that they were a nightmare in terms of maintinance.
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Wed Nov 24, 2004 12:52 pm

I know Kallitta had one DC-8F that had one (before the merger with KHA and all that bankruptcy stuff).And also there are couple of private 8's running around like the ARAMACO and the PRIVATAIR.They are just as loud as the one's that are on the U.S.A.F. 707's,and it takes up a lot of space in the front pit.

Hope this help's

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Wed Nov 24, 2004 5:14 pm

When Transamerica had their DC8-63's converted to -73's they had 2 ea. GTC-85 APU's installed in the back of the #2 lower belly, They where de activated after one exploded. UPS flies these airplanes now.
Next time try the old "dirty Sanchez" She'll love it !!!
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Wed Nov 24, 2004 10:51 pm

Hi CLT81R, Buzz here. At UAL i recall seeing the patches where 4 or 5 of our -61's had the APU for a while. By the mid 80's they were removed. Weight savings was one reason, poor access for maint. and not enough airflow to keep the pit cool was another. It was located in the fwd bulk pit, between the fwd cargo and the spar.

One of my NASA buddies flies the NASA DC-8, they have a good installation and they seem happy with it. At UAL they simply kept air starters everywhere the DC-8 was supposed to go.

Blow start one with jet blast? I don't think so... i'm thinking of the FOD damage, and getting enough air down the intake to get the N2 up to 25% or so. There was a "Jumper Hose" arrangement so you could fly a 727 in, drop the airstairs and have some good mechanics hook up the adapter, and a few lengths of air-start hose. It was useful where airplanes were stored and needed to be "brought to life" for a ferry flight to SFO to complete the process.

Buzz Fuselsausage: Line Mechanic by night, DC-3 Crew Chief by choice, taildragger pilot for fun
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Wed Nov 24, 2004 10:59 pm

I know that the 727 was the first Boeing aircraft to have an onboard APU...

Note that the APU was an afterthought on the 727. The 721 shipped without one, but it could be added later. It could not be used in flight and was prone to setting stuff on fire.

This article has an interesting stories about starting a DC-8 in "field conditions". Note the pictures with the car batteries hooked up to start the ground unit  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

Here's a preview: After a period of cleaning dust, straw, grit, and mice nests from the air exhaust port, we put some fresh fuel in and begged for it to start.

[Edited 2004-11-24 15:02:26]

[Edited 2004-11-24 15:04:30]
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
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Wed Nov 24, 2004 11:45 pm

Thanks all. Yeah Starlionblue, that is the article I remember from a while back. I guess I was confusing that article with a story relayed to me by my uncle who flew AC-130s in the USAF. I think he said they could jumpstart a C130 with prop wash. I'm not sure. We were having quite a few beers when he told me  Smile

I do remember my dad telling me about some kind of shotgun shell type apparatus he used while flying KC-135's (B707) in the Air Force back in the late 70's. They would use them to start one engine without an APU if they were on alert.

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