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Relationship Between DC-8 And DC-9 Fuse

Sun Nov 26, 2006 6:44 pm

A recent thread about the DC-8 in CivAv suggests that, after extensive redesign from the failed tanker program to commercial production, the plane was made marginally wider than the 707 and had 6 abreast seating.

I've always thought that the DC-8 and DC-9 had had a structural relationship similar to that of the 707, 727, and 737. That is, the DC-9 shared the same cross section dimensions (and a very similar nose) as the DC-8 even if the two don't share the "same" fuselage. I seem to recall that DC-8s and 9s all had 5 abreast seating because they were actually narrower than the 707/727/737. Am I simply wrong? And either way, what exactly is the relationship between the DC- and DC-9 fuse?
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RE: Relationship Between DC-8 And DC-9 Fuse

Sun Nov 26, 2006 8:39 pm

They were not as similar as many think.. even the Boeing aircraft
DC-8-12ft 3in W 13ft 6.5in H
DC-9-11ft W 11ft 10in H

707-12ft 4in W 14ft 2.5inH
727/737 12ft 4in W 12ft 2in H

As you can see the DC-8 was only very slightly narrower than the 707/727/737, In fact the 707 was a widened version of the KC135 due to the extra width in the DC-8.

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RE: Relationship Between DC-8 And DC-9 Fuse

Mon Nov 27, 2006 12:01 am

Quoting StealthZ (Reply 1):
In fact the 707 was a widened version of the KC135

If I am not mistaken, the KC-135 is based off of the 367-80, which was designed to only allow for 5-abreast seating. In order to compete with the 6-abreast DC-8, Boeing lengthened the fuselage on the model 707 to allow for 6-abreast seating. Although the 707 and the KC-135 are similar, the fuselage cross-section dimensions is what sets them apart (among other things).
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RE: Relationship Between DC-8 And DC-9 Fuse

Mon Nov 27, 2006 4:43 pm

Don't forget that Boeing widened the 707 twice. First the airlines complained about the width of the 367-80 so the design was widened and tooling manufactured for that production design. Douglas then came out with a slightly wider cross section for the DC-8 in an attempt to deal a blow to Boeing. Boeing did not want to lose their upper hand and bit the bullet-redesigning the 707 cross section AGAIN at considerable cost as new tooling was required. Boeing waited until Douglas had produced their production tooling, knowing that Douglas could not afford to change the DC-8 once it went into production. Remember that when the 707 was transformed from a paper airplane to reality, the DC-8 was still paper only and the specs could be easily changed.

Boeing also found it advantageous to tailor the 707 variants to individual client's needs concerning interior or performance within reason. With the DC-8, what you saw was what you got.
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