McDonnell Douglas DC 8 -- A Tribute By Wings.
Well here you have it, my 7th Tribute and the first for the McDonnell Douglas family of aircraft. I decided to make the DC-8 my first Tribute form the Douglas family of aircraft as I believe that it is sometimes misunderstood. So I hope that with the following information everyone can get a better understanding into the history of this magnificent airplane.
The Douglas DC-8 is a four-engined jet airliner, manufactured by the Douglas Aircraft Company, (McDonnell Douglas) between 1958 and 1972, of which 556 frames were delivered. The DC-8 would also mark Douglas first entry into the manufacturing of a jet powered airliner. The DC-8 along with it's main rival the B707 would represent a significant chapter in the evolution of commercial air transport design in it's era. So much so that it helped mold aviation transport as we know now.
During the 1950's, The Douglas Aircraft Company continued to be the most successful of the aircraft manufactures. This fact was attributed to the success of the piston engined DC-6 and it's successor the DC-7. Due to the various incidents involving the DeHavilland Comet, many airlines lost interest in jet powered aircraft, and so Douglas believed that they were heading into the right direction with the manufacturing of propeller aircraft.
With the USAF
requirement for a tanker in the early 1950's, Douglas secretly began jet transport project definition studies in 1952, and by mid-1953 had decided on something very like the final form: an 80-seat, low-wing aircraft with four Pratt & Whitney JT3C turbojet engines. The Douglas Company were confident that the USAF
would award the tanker project to two aircraft manufactures like it did on previous occasions involving transport contracts. In May 1954, the USAF
circulated its requirement for 800 jet tankers to Boeing, Douglas, Convair, Fairchild, Lockheed, and Martin.
tanker evaluation would be completed in just four months, with an initial order for 29 KC
-135, from Boeing. This initial order would become the first of a total of 808 tankers that was acquired by the USAF
, of which all coming from Boeing. Douglas protested to Washington, due to the fact that the other competing companies didn't have enough time to complete their bids, but with no success.
Due to the loss of the USAF
tanker contract to Boeing, Douglas had been left to fund the DC-8 program with it's own resources. With the program already having commenced Douglas decided that it was better to press on with the DC-8 program. After consulting with various airlines, The proposed DC-8 would suffer various alterations. The fuselage was widened by 15 inches (380 mm) to allow six-abreast seating and make it slightly wider than the 707. This led to larger wings and tail surfaces and a longer fuselage. The DC-8 program would become one of the most expensive ventures ever undertaken by a single company in that time, with Donald Douglas providing $450 million towards the program from his personal resources.
The DC-8 program was officially launched in July 1955. Initially the DC-8 wa offered with four versions, with all being based on the same fuselage, 150 ft 6 in (45.9 m) long airframe with a 141 ft 1 in (43 m) wingspan. The main differences between the versions would be in the type of power plant and fuel capacity. In October 1955 Pan American, became the launch customer for the DC-8, with an order for 25 frames. Other major's would also opt for the DC-8 early order from United,National, KLM, Eastern, JAL, SAS, Delta, Swissair, TAI, Trans-Canada and UAT.
In Early 1958 Douglas had sold 133 DC-8s as against Boeing's 150 707s, a substantial achievement under the circumstances. Despite this achievement the DC-8 would fall behind it's closet rival the B707 which would end up selling nearly twice as many frames.
In April 1958 the first DC-8 rolled out from the Douglas Long Beach factory. In August 1959 the FAA awarded certification the DC-8. The DC-8 entered revenue service with both Delta Air Lines and United in September 1959. By March of 1960, Douglas had reached their planned production rate of eight DC-8s a month.
Douglas Philosophy into the DC-8 was to provide various versions with the same basic airframe differing only in engines, weights and details. In contrast, Boeing's rival 707 range offered several fuselage lengths: the original 44 m 707-120, a 41 m version that sacrificed space to gain longer range, and the stretched 707-320, which at 46.5 m overall had 3 m more cabin space than the DC-8.
DC-8 Series 10
Designed for U.S. domestic use and powered by 60.5 kN Pratt & Whitney JT3C-6 turbojets.
DC-8 Series 20
Higher-powered 70.8 kN Pratt & Whitney JT4A-3 turbojets allowed a weight increase to 125 tonnes.
DC-8 Series 30
Designed for intercontinental routes, the three Series 30 variants combined [img]JT4A engines with a one-third increase in fuel capacity and strengthened fuselage and landing gear.
DC-8 Series 40
The first turbofan-powered airliner in the world, the -40 was essentially the same as the -30 but with 78.4 kN Rolls-Royce Conway turbofans for better efficiency, less noise and less smoke.
DC-8 Series 50
The definitive short-fuselage DC-8 with the same engine that powered the vast majority of 707s, the JT3D. Many earlier DC-8s were converted to this standard.
DC-8 Jet Trader
Specialised freighter versions of the DC-8, based on the Series 50.
In April 1965, with Douglas having booked less then 300 frames, Douglas gave another breath of life into the DC-8 program by announced the launch of a longer fuselage DC-8, which would allow the ability to transport up to 269 passengers. Three new models were launched, which would be known as the Super Sixties. 262 stretched DC-8 were produced before production ceased in 1972.
DC-8 Series 61
Designed for high capacity and medium range. It had the same weights and engines as the -53, and sacrificed range to gain capacity.
DC-8 Series 62
Long-range version. It had a much more modest stretch of just 2 m (with 1 m plugs fore and aft), the same JT8D-3B engines as the -53 and -61, and a number of modifications to provide greater range.
DC-8 Series 63
was the final new build variant and entered service in June 1968. It combined the aerodynamic refinements and increased fuel capacity of the -62 with the very long fuselage of the -61, and added 85 kN JT3D-7 turbofans.
The DC-8-71, DC-8-72, and DC-8-73 were modified conversions, replacing the JT3D engines with 98.5 kN CFM56-2 high-bypass turbofans. The Super Seventies were a great success: roughly 70% quieter than the 60-Series and, at the time of their introduction, the world's quietest four-engined airliner. As well as being quieter and more powerful, the CFM56 was roughly 20% more fuel efficient than the JT3D, which reduced operating costs and extended the range. All three models were certified in 1982 and a total of 110 60-Series DC-8s were converted by the time the programme ended in 1986.
3 flight crew
4X Pratt & Whitney JT4A-9 turbojets (67,200 lb)
4X Pratt & Whitney JT3C-6 turbojets (54,000 lb)
4X Rolls-Royce Conway 509 turbofans (70,000 lb)
4X Pratt & Whitney JT3D-7 turbofans (76,000 lb)
4X General Electric/SNECMA CFM56-2-C1 turbofans (88,000 lb)
ACCIDENT INVOLVING DC-8:
74 with a total of 2257 fatalities
Other occurrences (hull-loss):
6 with a total of 0 fatalities
Criminal occurrences (hull-loss, excl. Hijackings):
2 with a total of 73 fatalities
46 with a total of 2 fatalities
-The DC-8 was easily the largest airliner in it's era and remained so until the Boeing 747 arrived in 1970.
-DC-8s is that the first airliner to exceed the speed of sound (albeit in a shallow dive) was actually a DC-8, on August 21, 1961 at Edwards Air Force Base. The aircraft in question was a DC-8-43 later delivered to Canadian Pacific Air Lines as CF-CPG.
In 1973, Braniff International commissioned the renowned artist Alexander Calder, to paint one its McDonnell Douglas DC-8-62 jets. The project was named "Flying Colors" and was designed as a 157-foot flying work of art, created and publicized to focus attention on Braniff's South American destinations.
PREVIOUS TRIBUTES BY WINGS
Airbus A310 http://www1.airliners.net/discussion...general_aviation/read.main/3077319
Bristol Britannia http://www1.airliners.net/discussion...general_aviation/read.main/3066069
Dassault Mercure http://www1.airliners.net/discussion...general_aviation/read.main/3060415
Boeing 727 http://www1.airliners.net/discussion...general_aviation/read.main/3049172
Lockheed Tristar L1011 http://www1.airliners.net/discussion...general_aviation/read.main/3035490
Tupolev 144 http://www1.airliners.net/discussion...general_aviation/read.main/3033740
I hope that everyone has enjoyed taking stroll down memory lane of the DC-8.
[Edited 2006-11-25 09:56:22]
Aviation Is A Passion.