Photo © Bruce Leibowitz
It was not until I entered the registration in my "computer log book" that something odd popped up. It seems I have flown C-FTJS before, not all that surprising, as I have been on the A320 for quite a while. But ... lo and behold ... it was NOT an A320 I flew.
It seems many many (many!) years ago, I flew another Air Canada aircraft, C-FTJS. That time it was a DC-8-54F.
Photo © AirNikon
Granted, at the time, I was a brand new Second Officer.
But I got to thinking about the flight I flew, and comparing it to the DC-8.
The A320 is configured, 20J/120J, and we carried 121 to SFO, and 133 back. Both loads could have been accommodated in the DC-8, which, when in a full passenger configuration carried 134 passengers, 16F/118Y. (This DC-8-54F was a combi, and could carry anywhere between 13 freight pallets and no pax, or full pax, 134, and no freight on the main deck).
Well the DC-8 had a 5 passenger lounge, stand up bar, and TWO lavs for the 16F passengers. On my A320 in J, well .. just one lav, but had shiatsu massage in the J class seats, with IFE, power point hook ups for computers, and telephones. I am torn which is better, but I think I'd still opt for the bar and lounge over a movie any day.
In economy ... in the DC-8, we had 118 passengers, 4 lavs and no IFE ... in the A320 .. 120 passengers, 2 lavs, and IFE and telephones. Again, I think I'd give up the movies in favour of another lav or two!
The DC-8 cruised a bit faster than the A320, Mach 0.82 vs 0.78. On a YYZ-SFO trip, the DC-8 would arrive about 9 minutes ahead of the A320.
The big difference between the two is in efficiencies, and just how far ahead we have achieved in jet transport aircraft over 20 years or so!. To fly from YYZ-SFO, we burned about 13,000 kgs of fuel, about 28,000 lbs of fuel. The DC-8, would burn about 65,000 lbs of fuel to do the same trip, or more than double!!! (maybe a bit more, looking in my old manuals, the charts of 20 years ago were pretty cumbersome).
Quite a comparison ... but I am left to wondering, which was better??