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MileHFL400
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B707 vs DC-8

Sat Feb 16, 2019 8:43 pm

Unfortunately I’m too young to have had the pleasure to have been a passenger in any of the two planes in the title.

Was hoping to get first hand experience from anyone who has been in both or even piloted them,

Which was more comfortable from a passenger perspective?

More of a pleasure to pilot?

Why did the Boeing last a decade longer in production than the DC,when they were laughed around the same time and did the same job?

Why are there more 707’s around today than DC’s?
Thanks and best Regards
AA
 
Newbiepilot
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Re: B707 vs DC-8

Sat Feb 16, 2019 9:04 pm

The 707 production lasted a lot longer because of the military derivatives. If it wasn’t for them, production would have ended around 1975 for the 707. For the most part, The only civilian deliveries after the 1970s oil crises were to Airlines that were part of the Arab Air Carriers Organization like Saudia who weren’t affected by the oil crisis.
 
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Aloha717200
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Re: B707 vs DC-8

Sat Feb 16, 2019 9:08 pm

Don't take it as gospel but back in the early days of this forum when UPS was still flying DC-8s I heard nothing but complaints about flying them. One guy referred to them as an over-glorified Cessna when it came to cockpit technology, but I'd think that would be expected for an aircraft that age.
 
BostonBeau
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Re: B707 vs DC-8

Sat Feb 16, 2019 9:13 pm

Those were the days of 34 inch seat pitch and hot meals in coach, so both planes were comfortable for passengers compared to these days. Some models of the DC-8 (61 and I think 63) were stretched way more than the B707, and you really could get that "long aluminum tube" feeling if you were at the back of coach. I think the DC-8-61 had a capacity of 250 in all coach, whereas the B707 was only about 190.
 
global2
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Re: B707 vs DC-8

Sat Feb 16, 2019 9:13 pm

There more 707's around today than DC-8's? Where? I was shocked when there was news recently of an unfortunate loss of a 707 in Iran. I thought Iran had retired all those already. But where else could you find either flying around in any numbers? I am aware that the USAF still has plenty of military versions of the 707, but that's another story. I could be wrong, but I thought DC-8's that had been re-engined (DC8-70 series) lasted a bit longer than 707's.

As for the passenger perspective, I was just a kid when I last flew in either so while I loved both, I couldn't honestly tell you that one was more comfortable vs. the other. I have vivid memories of the ceiling of the 707 cabin (large, oval lights) and the PSU's, the "NO SMOKING" and "FASTEN SEATBELT" signs lit up in all caps, the metal air vents (I remember the first time flying on a 727 discovering they had white plastic air vents), etc. and the PSU's were flush with the bottom of the overhead bin, not dropped down from the hatrack.

I have read some posters' comments here regarding the 707 having some superior performance characteristics at high altitude cruise, but I hope somebody could clarify that further.
 
global2
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Re: B707 vs DC-8

Sat Feb 16, 2019 9:17 pm

BostonBeau wrote:
Those were the days of 34 inch seat pitch and hot meals in coach, so both planes were comfortable for passengers compared to these days. Some models of the DC-8 (61 and I think 63) were stretched way more than the B707, and you really could get that "long aluminum tube" feeling if you were at the back of coach. I think the DC-8-61 had a capacity of 250 in all coach, whereas the B707 was only about 190.


I had the pleasure of meeting a retired Pan Am stewardess (that's the term she used!) on a flight. She described cooking the roast and carving it in the 707 galley. Those who wanted well done got the ends, and those who wanted rare got the middle part. Oh, and this was in COACH. Yes, passenger comfort was once a concern of the airlines.
 
880dc8707
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Re: B707 vs DC-8

Sat Feb 16, 2019 9:40 pm

My first jet flight was KLM DC 8 JFK AMS LBG IN April 66
2nd was Air France 707 FCO ORY PHL 2 weeks later
being 17 vs 70 and several pounds makes more of a comfort difference than the aircraft
Many flights were not full which added to the comfort
 
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Spacepope
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Re: B707 vs DC-8

Sat Feb 16, 2019 10:09 pm

global2 wrote:
There more 707's around today than DC-8's? Where? I was shocked when there was news recently of an unfortunate loss of a 707 in Iran. I thought Iran had retired all those already. But where else could you find either flying around in any numbers? I am aware that the USAF still has plenty of military versions of the 707, but that's another story. I could be wrong, but I thought DC-8's that had been re-engined (DC8-70 series) lasted a bit longer than 707's.

As for the passenger perspective, I was just a kid when I last flew in either so while I loved both, I couldn't honestly tell you that one was more comfortable vs. the other. I have vivid memories of the ceiling of the 707 cabin (large, oval lights) and the PSU's, the "NO SMOKING" and "FASTEN SEATBELT" signs lit up in all caps, the metal air vents (I remember the first time flying on a 727 discovering they had white plastic air vents), etc. and the PSU's were flush with the bottom of the overhead bin, not dropped down from the hatrack.

I have read some posters' comments here regarding the 707 having some superior performance characteristics at high altitude cruise, but I hope somebody could clarify that further.


Not sure of the number of non-military 707s flying, however there was a thread on DC-8s in service last year and IIRC there were less than a dozen total still flying worldwide, and even those very irregularly.
The last of the famous international playboys
 
georgiaame
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Re: B707 vs DC-8

Sat Feb 16, 2019 10:41 pm

Ah, my youth! First international flight was NY/TLV, non stop on ElAl B707-300. Sat aisle behind the wing. After hearing all the nonsense about how quiet the jets were, the roar was amazing. The flight was fully booked. I wouldn't call it comfortable, but it certainly didn't feel like a cattle car. There was leg room, and food every time you turned around. The following year, flew a charter DC8 stretch from NY to Frankfort. Again, sat in the back and the long tube effect was a bit disconcerting. The DC8 decor was a bit "plusher" than the 707. Seats felt wider. Again, the cabin noise for hours on end was pretty unbearable, but we bore it with dignity. And there was no toe nail clipping or screaming, cursing psychotics on board in those days. Of course there was the concern about the "Take me to Havana" crowd, but it never happened to me. And then 1971 rolled around, and I got the chance to fly one of KLM's brand new 747s, NY/AMS, and flying has never been the same since. (Of course, flying 400 college kids in a wide body tube playing The Aristocats in each of the 5 compartments was a bit much. But the unlimited champagne was great! I still love KLM) Flying can be a bitch, but when you see the whole picture of what is happening to you over a few hours time, I'll take the discomfort, anytime.
"Trust, but verify!" An old Russian proverb, quoted often by a modern American hero
 
UA444
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Re: B707 vs DC-8

Sat Feb 16, 2019 11:12 pm

Boeing only sold more due to military versions. The DC-8 was a better plane and it lasted far longer than the 707 thanks to the 70 series re-engine and the fact they are built better than any Boeing.
 
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SheikhDjibouti
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Re: B707 vs DC-8

Sat Feb 16, 2019 11:25 pm

Newbiepilot wrote:
The 707 production lasted a lot longer because of the military derivatives. If it wasn’t for them, production would have ended around 1975 for the 707. For the most part, The only civilian deliveries after the 1970s oil crises were to Airlines that were part of the Arab Air Carriers Organization like Saudia who weren’t affected by the oil crisis.

This is pretty much spot on.
The last 707s for civilian operators were only available at all because the production line was kept going for the military (by which I primarily mean E-3A AWACS)

With the 1972 Nixon visit to China, CAAC ordered 10 Boeing 707 jets.

The other late late orders all came from to oil-rich nations as said above.
In addition to Saudia, we're talking Nigeria Airways, Egyptair, Iran Air, Iraqi Airways, Sudan Airways

The first photo below depicts the 2nd last "civil" 707, except it isn't for TAROM, it belongs to the Gov't of Romania.
Ironically, after Ceaușescu was executed, this a/c was adopted by TAROM

The photo on the right shows the last "civil" 707, built as a test-bed for the CFM56 conversion, but then standardized and sold to the Moroccan Gov't/Air Force
In another delicious irony, this a/c went on to become a tanker for the Israeli AF

Nothing to see here; move along please.
 
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Spacepope
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Re: B707 vs DC-8

Sun Feb 17, 2019 12:11 am

UA444 wrote:
Boeing only sold more due to military versions. The DC-8 was a better plane and it lasted far longer than the 707 thanks to the 70 series re-engine and the fact they are built better than any Boeing.


Horseshit. If the USAF hadn't bought a couple hundred off the used market for spare parts for their 717 fleet, there's be more 707s in service even today. Not many, but comparable service life to the DC-8.
The last of the famous international playboys
 
UA444
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Re: B707 vs DC-8

Sun Feb 17, 2019 12:20 am

Spacepope wrote:
UA444 wrote:
Boeing only sold more due to military versions. The DC-8 was a better plane and it lasted far longer than the 707 thanks to the 70 series re-engine and the fact they are built better than any Boeing.


Horseshit. If the USAF hadn't bought a couple hundred off the used market for spare parts for their 717 fleet, there's be more 707s in service even today. Not many, but comparable service life to the DC-8.

Wrong. The DC-8 is built better and can fly for more hours and cycles than a 707. Far more. Douglas knew how to build them tough. If fuel prices weren’t bad with 4 engines, you’d see a lot of them still. UPS only retired theirs early because of fuel. They had lots of life ledt.
 
Aptivaboy
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Re: B707 vs DC-8

Sun Feb 17, 2019 12:58 am

I had the pleasure of meeting a retired Pan Am stewardess (that's the term she used!) on a flight. She described cooking the roast and carving it in the 707 galley. Those who wanted well done got the ends, and those who wanted rare got the middle part. Oh, and this was in COACH. Yes, passenger comfort was once a concern of the airlines.


I remember those days well! We always got a choice of two meals, usually beef or chicken on AA or UA. As for comfort, people have to remember that it was a different era. Comfort mattered a lot more than today. Even in coach there was ample legroom. Meals were served hot and with real silverware. In terms of which one I preferred, it would be the 707, but I really couldn't tell you why other than it seemed to have more windows, so as a kid taking the window seat and staring out for hours was better in the Boeing. Other than that, they were pretty much interchangeable from this passenger's perspective.
 
nikeherc
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Re: B707 vs DC-8

Sun Feb 17, 2019 2:05 am

Actually the DC-8 was more durable than the 707. The 707 had somewhat better high speed, high altitude performance. The DC-8 might have had more lifting capacity after the earlier mods to create the 50 series. Douglas had to make concessions to sell planes due to later EIS. The 707 benefitted from military sales and something of a “me, too” mentality. With Douglas’ financial issues, they might not have been able to make them fast enough to capture the market from Boeing.

I personally preferred to be a passenger in the DC-8. I think it had a smoother ride and a more gentle flare as a result of less wing sweep. The advent of the 60 series breathed life into the 8, but Douglas didn’t want to cannibalize DC-10 sales. Thus the 8 went out of production. The 8 was capable of an amazing number of cycles and hours. Due to its higher landing gear, the 8 was more amenable to re-engining than the 707.

The 8 remained in commercial service in greater numbers for a longer time than the 707, but there were a few of each around for a long time.

It’s kind of like the old joke that when the last 737 is retired, the pilots will fly home from RSW in a DC-9.
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MileHFL400
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Re: B707 vs DC-8

Sun Feb 17, 2019 5:32 am

Anyone know why the US and most militaries went for the 707 instead of the DC8?
Thanks and best Regards
AA
 
MileHFL400
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Re: B707 vs DC-8

Sun Feb 17, 2019 11:02 am

Aloha717200 wrote:
Don't take it as gospel but back in the early days of this forum when UPS was still flying DC-8s I heard nothing but complaints about flying them. One guy referred to them as an over-glorified Cessna when it came to cockpit technology, but I'd think that would be expected for an aircraft that age.


Was this comparable to the 707 though?
Thanks and best Regards
AA
 
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SheikhDjibouti
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Re: B707 vs DC-8

Sun Feb 17, 2019 11:15 am

MileHFL400 wrote:
Anyone know why the US and most militaries went for the 707 instead of the DC8?

How long have you got?

The Boeing KC-97, even with two jet engines added, was a slow old ship, and the latest jet fighters & bombers coming on line e.g. the F-100 Super Sabre & B-52, were having difficulty flying slow enough to get the gas they needed.
In 1954 USAF held a competition for a jet-powered aerial refuelling tanker which Lockheed won with their tanker version of the L-193 Constellation II
What on earth was that I hear y'all ask. Think of it as an early incarnation of the VC-10 and IL-62. It would have been awesome, if it had ever flown.
Image
However, even though Lockheed's design got the nod, Boeing had already flown the Dash-80, and could deliver the KC-135 two years earlier, with a proven refuelling boom design already developed on their KC-97. The USAF initially ordered either 29 or 250 (take your pick!) KC-135s as an interim measure, and a couple of years later the inevitable happened, and the Lockheed design was dropped. :cry:

Meanwhile Douglas were lukewarm about developing a jet airliner project (in the aftermath of the Comet disasters), and believed that the Air Force tanker contract would be shared by two companies for two different aircraft, as several USAF transport contracts in the past had done. Between Lockheed "winning" the competition, and the interim order awarded to Boeing, Douglas were caught out by the rapidity of the decision which, according to Donald Douglas himself, had been made before the competing companies even had time to complete their bids. He protested to Washington, but without success.
Consequently Douglas weren't even in the race.

Other air forces simply followed the USAF and bought Boeing

Except.... even that is a simplification, and somewhat short of the full story.

The KC-135 is not a 707. :o

In fact it is the Boeing model 717 (-100 series) and features a wholly different (narrower) fuselage for starters (imagine 5 abreast seating instead of 6).

There are threads within these forums that cover the Boeing 717/KC-135 history, where you will find even more contributions from myself.
But if you see the word "Delta" or the airline code "DL" in the thread title, that's the wrong Boeing 717. :rotfl:
Nothing to see here; move along please.
 
PSAatSAN4Ever
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Re: B707 vs DC-8

Sun Feb 17, 2019 10:13 pm

Both aircraft were FABULOUS for their time, and both served well.

Both airplanes were designed by engineers using slide rules, building the world's second and third commercial jetliners with the horrific tragedies of the world's first jetliner fresh in the world's minds.

The DC-8 lasted in production longer because of its flexibility - because the landing gear was taller on the DC-8 than the 707, tailstrikes would not be the issue on a stretched DC-8, whereas a 707 would require a whole new design.

-10's, -20, -30, -40, -50, -61/62/63, and -71, 72, -73 showed the incredible versatility of the basic design that metamorphosed seemingly endlessly. The 707, while still proving very profitable on military orders, took the lessons of flexibility and began work on the smaller aircraft (727 and 737) as well as larger (747), but really came up with the true replacement for the 707 in the 757.
 
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PPVLC
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Re: B707 vs DC-8

Mon Feb 18, 2019 1:07 am

I was FA on the 707s, great bird, very comfortable for passengers and for us too. Shame I can't compare them to the DC-8s because they were gone when I started flying but we can't forget DC-8s had those fantastic big windows.
Cabin crew L188 707 727 737 767 A300 DC10 MD11 777 747
 
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TheFlyingDisk
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Re: B707 vs DC-8

Mon Feb 18, 2019 6:03 am

SheikhDjibouti wrote:
The last 707s for civilian operators were only available at all because the production line was kept going for the military (by which I primarily mean E-3A AWACS)


You mean like the 767 & the KC-46?
I FLY KLM+ALASKA+QATAR+MALAYSIA+AIRASIA+MALINDO
 
Max Q
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Re: B707 vs DC-8

Mon Feb 18, 2019 7:34 am

PSAatSAN4Ever wrote:
Both aircraft were FABULOUS for their time, and both served well.

Both airplanes were designed by engineers using slide rules, building the world's second and third commercial jetliners with the horrific tragedies of the world's first jetliner fresh in the world's minds.

The DC-8 lasted in production longer because of its flexibility - because the landing gear was taller on the DC-8 than the 707, tailstrikes would not be the issue on a stretched DC-8, whereas a 707 would require a whole new design.

-10's, -20, -30, -40, -50, -61/62/63, and -71, 72, -73 showed the incredible versatility of the basic design that metamorphosed seemingly endlessly. The 707, while still proving very profitable on military orders, took the lessons of flexibility and began work on the smaller aircraft (727 and 737) as well as larger (747), but really came up with the true replacement for the 707 in the 757.




Not really, the 757 was intended to be
the replacement for the 727, whose performance it vastly eclipsed



But it didn’t come close to replacing the
707 which had a range of 6000 miles,
2000 more than the ‘75



The closest Boeing replacement for the 707 was the 767 which has significantly greater performance and efficiency while carrying more passengers with, interestingly the same maximum fuel capacity
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
PSAatSAN4Ever
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Re: B707 vs DC-8

Mon Feb 18, 2019 4:28 pm

Max Q wrote:
PSAatSAN4Ever wrote:
Both aircraft were FABULOUS for their time, and both served well.

Both airplanes were designed by engineers using slide rules, building the world's second and third commercial jetliners with the horrific tragedies of the world's first jetliner fresh in the world's minds.

The DC-8 lasted in production longer because of its flexibility - because the landing gear was taller on the DC-8 than the 707, tailstrikes would not be the issue on a stretched DC-8, whereas a 707 would require a whole new design.

-10's, -20, -30, -40, -50, -61/62/63, and -71, 72, -73 showed the incredible versatility of the basic design that metamorphosed seemingly endlessly. The 707, while still proving very profitable on military orders, took the lessons of flexibility and began work on the smaller aircraft (727 and 737) as well as larger (747), but really came up with the true replacement for the 707 in the 757.


Not really, the 757 was intended to be the replacement for the 727, whose performance it vastly eclipsed

But it didn’t come close to replacing the 707 which had a range of 6000 miles, 2000 more than the ‘75

The closest Boeing replacement for the 707 was the 767 which has significantly greater performance and efficiency while carrying more passengers with, interestingly the same maximum fuel capacity


Agreed on all points, and thank you for clarifying for me. You speak of intentions by Boeing, which is an important consideration:

* The 757 was indeed supposed to be a 727 replacement. Because of its higher landing gear, the -200 model could be stretched into the -300, this is the versatility I was referring to that Douglas beat Boeing with on the initial DC-8. Dimensions-wise, the two are quite similar, but your best point is the range: the 757 can't match the 707; however, the 767 does.

* Interestingly, because of ETOPS, the 767 transatlantic saga doesn't begin until TWA begins operations, paving the way for the 767 to become so common across the pond. Once that happened, its entire mission changed.

* My favorite factoid about the 757 is how the wing of the 727 - already the most advanced in the industry - was improved upon by Boeing to give the 757 perhaps the best take-off characteristics of any passenger jet ever. But that's another story.

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