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Anonz263x
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Reasons for DC-8 stopping production earlier than the 707?

Sun Feb 07, 2021 8:29 am

So I see that DC-8 production ended in 1972 but Boeing continued to make pax 707 for another 7 years uptil 1979, why did MD stop their production early? Was it because the dc-10 was out and why did Boeing continue?
 
r6russian
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Re: Reasons for DC-8 stopping production earlier than the 707?

Sun Feb 07, 2021 8:51 am

Boeing had to stock up on fuselages and nose sections to last them another 50-60+ years for the 727 and 737
 
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Dutchy
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Re: Reasons for DC-8 stopping production earlier than the 707?

Sun Feb 07, 2021 8:53 am

Market demands, I guess? The logical successor in terms of capacity and range was the 767 or to a lesser extent, the A300. The DC10 and 747 were twice the size.
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GCT64
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Re: Reasons for DC-8 stopping production earlier than the 707?

Sun Feb 07, 2021 11:22 am

The last DC-8 was built in April 1972 (which was SE-DBL for SK).
The equivalent 707 at that date was l/n # 861 f.f. 21 Feb 1972 (which was 9K-ACN for KU).
There were very few airline 707s after that, the line was mostly open for USAF, Iranian AF, E-3s, E-6s. I only make it about 34 airline 707s built after that date (not incl government, military sales) and some of those 34 quickly became government transports.
So, in reality, the airline passenger 707 was pretty much done by the time the DC-8 ceased production. As an illustration of the low rate of production only 5 707s made their first flights in 1972.
Flown in: A20N,A21N,A30B,A306,A310,A319,A320,A321,A332,A333,A343,A346,A359,A388,BA11,BU31,(..56 more types..),VC10,WESX
 
rutankrd
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Re: Reasons for DC-8 stopping production earlier than the 707?

Sun Feb 07, 2021 12:35 pm

Military orders kept the line available indeed similar to the way the 767 line is still offered today. Seems Boeing has a habit of padding out a few more end of line orders while completing military contracts.
Last edited by rutankrd on Sun Feb 07, 2021 12:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
Natflyer
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Re: Reasons for DC-8 stopping production earlier than the 707?

Sun Feb 07, 2021 1:07 pm

McDonnell Douglas ceased DC-8 production mainly to make space for DC-10 productions is what I was told. Sales were probably declining as well. They delivered 32 DC-8s in 1970, 14 in '71 and 2 in 1972 (as far as I can tell). 1968-1969 were probably the years DC-8 production peaked, building the -61,62 and -63 series.
 
PSAatSAN4Ever
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Re: Reasons for DC-8 stopping production earlier than the 707?

Sun Feb 07, 2021 4:01 pm

GCT64 wrote:
The last DC-8 was built in April 1972 (which was SE-DBL for SK).
The equivalent 707 at that date was l/n # 861 f.f. 21 Feb 1972 (which was 9K-ACN for KU).
There were very few airline 707s after that, the line was mostly open for USAF, Iranian AF, E-3s, E-6s. I only make it about 34 airline 707s built after that date (not incl government, military sales) and some of those 34 quickly became government transports.
So, in reality, the airline passenger 707 was pretty much done by the time the DC-8 ceased production. As an illustration of the low rate of production only 5 707s made their first flights in 1972.


Natflyer wrote:
McDonnell Douglas ceased DC-8 production mainly to make space for DC-10 productions is what I was told. Sales were probably declining as well. They delivered 32 DC-8s in 1970, 14 in '71 and 2 in 1972 (as far as I can tell). 1968-1969 were probably the years DC-8 production peaked, building the -61,62 and -63 series.


OUTSTANDING answers!

It is interesting to note as well, as a side bar, that the DC-8 was incredibly stretchable, due to a relatively high landing gear system. The original models -10 and -20 easily became the -30, -40, -50, and then the super-stretch -60 series, becoming the -70 series with new engines. The 707, on the other hand, had no such flexibility; however, it proved "shrinkable", if you will, as Boeing adapted the general fuselage to the 727 and 737, and eventually the 757. The U.S. military bought up whole fleets of 707's for their own purposes and repurposes them as E-3 sentries, maintaining production (and parts) for the remainder of the 1970's.

The arrival of the wide-body age also pushed the 707 and DC-8's from the "flagship" honor, if you will, just as they had done to the DC-7's and Constellations a decade prior. Douglas Aircraft had merged with McDonnell Aircraft, and the DC-10 was to be the crown jewel of the new company. From Boeing, it became all about the 747, and Lockheed's L1011 completed the widebody-mania that every self-respecting airline HAD to have in their fleet.

Image

Even up into the 1980's advertising your fleet as a "widebody" was a thing.

And then there was the early 70's supersonic hype! Flying subsonic? How 1950's of you to think that...soon everyone will be flying Concordes and Boeing 3707's:

Image
 
cedarjet
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Re: Reasons for DC-8 stopping production earlier than the 707?

Sun Feb 07, 2021 4:34 pm

True that 1970s 707s were mostly military but there were a few very late-build passenger liners — CAAC, Kuwait, Nigeria Airways etc. The last ones I’m aware of were delivered to Saudia, around 1977. Weird there were 707s less than ten years old when Airbus were building A320s.
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American 767
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Re: Reasons for DC-8 stopping production earlier than the 707?

Sun Feb 07, 2021 6:11 pm

cedarjet wrote:
True that 1970s 707s were mostly military but there were a few very late-build passenger liners — CAAC, Kuwait, Nigeria Airways etc. The last ones I’m aware of were delivered to Saudia, around 1977. Weird there were 707s less than ten years old when Airbus were building A320s.


Right. As the same was true 40 years later with the 767. The 2010s saw the last few passenger 767s to come out of the production line, I believe that ANA and LAN were among the last airlines to take delivery of brand new passenger 767s. Boeing is still building the 767, but only as a freighter and as military variants for the Air Force.
Ben Soriano
 
Anonz263x
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Re: Reasons for DC-8 stopping production earlier than the 707?

Sun Feb 07, 2021 7:10 pm

PSAatSAN4Ever wrote:
GCT64 wrote:
The last DC-8 was built in April 1972 (which was SE-DBL for SK).
The equivalent 707 at that date was l/n # 861 f.f. 21 Feb 1972 (which was 9K-ACN for KU).
There were very few airline 707s after that, the line was mostly open for USAF, Iranian AF, E-3s, E-6s. I only make it about 34 airline 707s built after that date (not incl government, military sales) and some of those 34 quickly became government transports.
So, in reality, the airline passenger 707 was pretty much done by the time the DC-8 ceased production. As an illustration of the low rate of production only 5 707s made their first flights in 1972.


Natflyer wrote:
McDonnell Douglas ceased DC-8 production mainly to make space for DC-10 productions is what I was told. Sales were probably declining as well. They delivered 32 DC-8s in 1970, 14 in '71 and 2 in 1972 (as far as I can tell). 1968-1969 were probably the years DC-8 production peaked, building the -61,62 and -63 series.


OUTSTANDING answers!

It is interesting to note as well, as a side bar, that the DC-8 was incredibly stretchable, due to a relatively high landing gear system. The original models -10 and -20 easily became the -30, -40, -50, and then the super-stretch -60 series, becoming the -70 series with new engines. The 707, on the other hand, had no such flexibility; however, it proved "shrinkable", if you will, as Boeing adapted the general fuselage to the 727 and 737, and eventually the 757. The U.S. military bought up whole fleets of 707's for their own purposes and repurposes them as E-3 sentries, maintaining production (and parts) for the remainder of the 1970's.

The arrival of the wide-body age also pushed the 707 and DC-8's from the "flagship" honor, if you will, just as they had done to the DC-7's and Constellations a decade prior. Douglas Aircraft had merged with McDonnell Aircraft, and the DC-10 was to be the crown jewel of the new company. From Boeing, it became all about the 747, and Lockheed's L1011 completed the widebody-mania that every self-respecting airline HAD to have in their fleet.

Image

Even up into the 1980's advertising your fleet as a "widebody" was a thing.

And then there was the early 70's supersonic hype! Flying subsonic? How 1950's of you to think that...soon everyone will be flying Concordes and Boeing 3707's:

Image


I see that the longest 737 is kinda close to the Boeing 720, makes me think that if someone fitted the 720 with two engines it will look alot similar to the longest Boeing 737.
 
Weatherwatcher1
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Re: Reasons for DC-8 stopping production earlier than the 707?

Sun Feb 07, 2021 7:57 pm

The 707 was more popular than the DC8.
 
iRISH251
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Re: Reasons for DC-8 stopping production earlier than the 707?

Sun Feb 07, 2021 9:26 pm

PSAatSAN4Ever wrote:

OUTSTANDING answers!

It is interesting to note as well, as a side bar, that the DC-8 was incredibly stretchable, due to a relatively high landing gear system. The original models -10 and -20 easily became the -30, -40, -50, and then the super-stretch -60 series, becoming the -70 series with new engines. The 707, on the other hand, had no such flexibility; however, it proved "shrinkable", if you will, as Boeing adapted the general fuselage to the 727 and 737, and eventually the 757. The U.S. military bought up whole fleets of 707's for their own purposes and repurposes them as E-3 sentries, maintaining production (and parts) for the remainder of the 1970's.


Two things to note, just for clarity:

The only stretched DC-8s were the 61/62/63s. All the earlier variants used the same original fuselage, though with internal rearrangement in later versions to allow increased capacity.

The E-3s were new-build aircraft.
 
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Spacepope
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Re: Reasons for DC-8 stopping production earlier than the 707?

Sun Feb 07, 2021 9:45 pm

iRISH251 wrote:
PSAatSAN4Ever wrote:

OUTSTANDING answers!

It is interesting to note as well, as a side bar, that the DC-8 was incredibly stretchable, due to a relatively high landing gear system. The original models -10 and -20 easily became the -30, -40, -50, and then the super-stretch -60 series, becoming the -70 series with new engines. The 707, on the other hand, had no such flexibility; however, it proved "shrinkable", if you will, as Boeing adapted the general fuselage to the 727 and 737, and eventually the 757. The U.S. military bought up whole fleets of 707's for their own purposes and repurposes them as E-3 sentries, maintaining production (and parts) for the remainder of the 1970's.


Two things to note, just for clarity:

The only stretched DC-8s were the 61/62/63s. All the earlier variants used the same original fuselage, though with internal rearrangement in later versions to allow increased capacity.

The E-3s were new-build aircraft.


Indeed, and some of the last 707s off the line in 1991.

Our friend PSA is a bit confused. The USAF bought a ton of civilian 707s for their engines, pylons, and tailplanes when they converted KC-135As to -D/E standard. This is why there are next to none still in civilian service, and they disappeared much earlier than the DC-8
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PSAatSAN4Ever
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Re: Reasons for DC-8 stopping production earlier than the 707?

Mon Feb 08, 2021 3:06 pm

Spacepope wrote:
iRISH251 wrote:
PSAatSAN4Ever wrote:

OUTSTANDING answers!

It is interesting to note as well, as a side bar, that the DC-8 was incredibly stretchable, due to a relatively high landing gear system. The original models -10 and -20 easily became the -30, -40, -50, and then the super-stretch -60 series, becoming the -70 series with new engines. The 707, on the other hand, had no such flexibility; however, it proved "shrinkable", if you will, as Boeing adapted the general fuselage to the 727 and 737, and eventually the 757. The U.S. military bought up whole fleets of 707's for their own purposes and repurposes them as E-3 sentries, maintaining production (and parts) for the remainder of the 1970's.


Two things to note, just for clarity:

The only stretched DC-8s were the 61/62/63s. All the earlier variants used the same original fuselage, though with internal rearrangement in later versions to allow increased capacity.

The E-3s were new-build aircraft.


Indeed, and some of the last 707s off the line in 1991.

Our friend PSA is a bit confused. The USAF bought a ton of civilian 707s for their engines, pylons, and tailplanes when they converted KC-135As to -D/E standard. This is why there are next to none still in civilian service, and they disappeared much earlier than the DC-8


Actually, I did mean for that to be stated - all the retired 707's we used to pass at Mojave were all picked up for the military, who had access to a large number of the frames. The DC-8's flexibility let it stay in civilian use - and cargo use - for much longer. I didn't word it right, and rightfully it was clarified. Thank you.

I would love to see the $$ figures on operating costs - 707's were retired fairly quickly throughout the 1970's, while DC-8's stayed longer. In addition to the inability to stretch the 707, I wonder if it simply cost more to operate than 727's and such.
 
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Polot
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Re: Reasons for DC-8 stopping production earlier than the 707?

Mon Feb 08, 2021 3:13 pm

PSAatSAN4Ever wrote:
Spacepope wrote:
iRISH251 wrote:

Two things to note, just for clarity:

The only stretched DC-8s were the 61/62/63s. All the earlier variants used the same original fuselage, though with internal rearrangement in later versions to allow increased capacity.

The E-3s were new-build aircraft.


Indeed, and some of the last 707s off the line in 1991.

Our friend PSA is a bit confused. The USAF bought a ton of civilian 707s for their engines, pylons, and tailplanes when they converted KC-135As to -D/E standard. This is why there are next to none still in civilian service, and they disappeared much earlier than the DC-8


Actually, I did mean for that to be stated - all the retired 707's we used to pass at Mojave were all picked up for the military, who had access to a large number of the frames. The DC-8's flexibility let it stay in civilian use - and cargo use - for much longer. I didn't word it right, and rightfully it was clarified. Thank you.

I would love to see the $$ figures on operating costs - 707's were retired fairly quickly throughout the 1970's, while DC-8's stayed longer. In addition to the inability to stretch the 707, I wonder if it simply cost more to operate than 727's and such.

Well yes, a 707 cost more to operate than the 727 (it’s a larger aircraft with one more engine) but that is true of the DC-8 as well.

The DC-8 stayed around because of the re-engine. The USAF buying as many good civilian 707s that they could get their hands on killed the commercial conversion program for that plane.
Last edited by Polot on Mon Feb 08, 2021 3:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
WA707atMSP
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Re: Reasons for DC-8 stopping production earlier than the 707?

Mon Feb 08, 2021 3:14 pm

One thing to keep in mind about the DC-8's longevity vs the 707: The 707 was directly competitive, from an economic perspective, with the DC-8-10 to 50 and the DC-8-62. Most of these DC-8 variants were withdrawn from mainline service at the same time as the 707, and few DC-8-62s were re engined.

The DC-8-61 and DC-8-63 were more economical aircraft because of their fuselage stretch, especially after they were re engined, and that's a big reason why they stayed in service so much longer than the 707 did.
 
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Re: Reasons for DC-8 stopping production earlier than the 707?

Mon Feb 08, 2021 5:25 pm

WA707atMSP wrote:
The DC-8-61 and DC-8-63 were more economical aircraft because of their fuselage stretch, especially after they were re engined, and that's a big reason why they stayed in service so much longer than the 707 did.


I think this is what explains why the DC-8 was much more successful as a freighter than the 707 was.
Ben Soriano
 
DenverTed
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Re: Reasons for DC-8 stopping production earlier than the 707?

Mon Feb 08, 2021 5:44 pm

PSAatSAN4Ever wrote:

It is interesting to note as well, as a side bar, that the DC-8 was incredibly stretchable, due to a relatively high landing gear system.


I'm curious what went on with the 707-120 to 707-320. I see that the wing was lengthened due to a wing insert at the root of the wing. This shifted the engine locations outboard that distance. Why did it not shift the landing gear attachment point out that same distance? Was this an opportunity for longer gear?
 
AWACSooner
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Re: Reasons for DC-8 stopping production earlier than the 707?

Mon Feb 08, 2021 5:53 pm

PSAatSAN4Ever wrote:
The U.S. military bought up whole fleets of 707's for their own purposes and repurposes them as E-3 sentries, maintaining production (and parts) for the remainder of the 1970's.

Not quite accurate...the first two E-3's (71-1407 and 71-1408) were re-purposed airliners...but they were on the factory assembly line when they were repurposed, thus never flew in commercial service. The rest of the E-3 fleet are purpose-built.

Now the E-8 JSTARS, on the other hand...
 
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VirginFlyer
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Re: Reasons for DC-8 stopping production earlier than the 707?

Mon Feb 08, 2021 6:44 pm

DenverTed wrote:
PSAatSAN4Ever wrote:

It is interesting to note as well, as a side bar, that the DC-8 was incredibly stretchable, due to a relatively high landing gear system.


I'm curious what went on with the 707-120 to 707-320. I see that the wing was lengthened due to a wing insert at the root of the wing. This shifted the engine locations outboard that distance. Why did it not shift the landing gear attachment point out that same distance? Was this an opportunity for longer gear?

Doesn’t really answer your question about the gear, but this article is well worth a read to understand the evolution of the 707 and its various iterations: Ultimate Boeing 707 Guide.

There are also equivalent articles for the DC-9 family and DC-10 family.

V/F
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LH707330
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Re: Reasons for DC-8 stopping production earlier than the 707?

Mon Apr 05, 2021 3:43 am

DenverTed wrote:
PSAatSAN4Ever wrote:

It is interesting to note as well, as a side bar, that the DC-8 was incredibly stretchable, due to a relatively high landing gear system.


I'm curious what went on with the 707-120 to 707-320. I see that the wing was lengthened due to a wing insert at the root of the wing. This shifted the engine locations outboard that distance. Why did it not shift the landing gear attachment point out that same distance? Was this an opportunity for longer gear?

It was an opportunity, but they didn't take it. My guess is they wanted to maintain GSE commonality and keep weight down. Had they done a modest extension like with the 767-400ER, they might have been better served with a second stretch after the 300.
 
ELBOB
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Re: Reasons for DC-8 stopping production earlier than the 707?

Mon Apr 05, 2021 7:24 am

There were several reasons:

- Production of the DC-8 was down to one per month and whilst orders were still trickling in the type needed an interior redesign to compete with Boeing's new "Widebody" interior on the 707 and 727. That didn't seem to be be a worthwhile investment.

- DC-10 Twin development was gearing-up for launch in 1973 with deliveries due in 1976 and appeared to be a natural successor to the DC-8 on medium-haul routes

- The DC-9 production rate was being raised from 2.5 to 4 per month and needed extra line space in Long Beach.

Not only was the line shutdown but the tooling was destroyed to save storage space.
 
hiflyeras
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Re: Reasons for DC-8 stopping production earlier than the 707?

Mon Apr 05, 2021 5:30 pm

I'll never forget as a kid flying on a SAS DC8...it must have been the Series 63. We were flying from LHR to OSL and I was sitting in the very back of the plane. I was amazed watching the fuselage flex and bend back and forth on takeoff!
 
CRJ900
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Re: Reasons for DC-8 stopping production earlier than the 707?

Mon Apr 05, 2021 9:07 pm

Was the CFM56 re-engine project already in existence for the DC-8-60 series when the last aircraft rolled off the assembly line in 1972 or was such an idea unheard of at the time?
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Polot
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Re: Reasons for DC-8 stopping production earlier than the 707?

Mon Apr 05, 2021 9:16 pm

CRJ900 wrote:
Was the CFM56 re-engine project already in existence for the DC-8-60 series when the last aircraft rolled off the assembly line in 1972 or was such an idea unheard of at the time?

No, CFM was even officially founded until 1974 (although work on the CFM56 began before then). The DC-8 re-engineering efforts didn’t begin until the late 70s, which basically saved the joint venture tiding them over with enough money until they were able to win the KC-135 and 737 contracts in the early 80s.

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