Air International 2007-09
W.Mellberg - Douglas DC-8 /Aircraft profile/
DC-8-21 N6573C (c/n 45393) Deborah of National Airlines circa 1974. In 1964 National Airlines became the first US airline to operate an all-jet fleet and by 1968 had phased out all prop-jet aircraft, operating only DC-8s including the 20, 30, 50 and 60 series aircraft (21 in total) and Boeing 727s. Delivered in 1960 Deborah served National for 14 years before being sold.
DC-8-43 N9604Z (CF-CPG) (c/n 45623), powered by Rolls Royce Conway turbofans, became the world's first supersonic commercial jet airliner when, in August 21, 1961, during a test flight flew faster than the speed of sound in a planned shallow dive. The aircraft was eventually delivered to Canadian Pacific as Empress of Montreal.
DC-8-53 PH-DCR (c/n 45607) Gerhard Mercator of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines circa 1966. KLM has had a long association with the Douglas/McDonnell Douglas company operating all of its jet airliner types, and a total of 39 DC-8s including the 30, 53, 53CF and 63 variants.
DC-8-61 6Y-JGG (c/n 45894) of Air Jamaica. The stretched DC-8-61 was an ideal flagship for small national airlines, being easily available on the second-hand market at reasonable prices. The stretch traded capacity for range, though it retained the DC-8-55's wings and engines and could carry up to 251 passengers.
DC-8-62 N810BN (c/n 45905) of Braniff International circa 1980. The airline's first DC-8 was delivered in 1967 and it operated 21 DC-8s in the famous 'Girard', 'Ultra' and (illustrated here) 'Flying Colors' scheme introduced in 1972. The DC-8 was the mainstay of Braniff's Latin American fleet and N810BN was, like so many of the type, converted into a freighter.
DC-8-63(F) N819EV (c/n 46126) circa 1989. After flying for Air Canada as a passenger jet, this aircraft was converted to a pure freighter. It then served with Evergreen International for just over a year before being sold to Airborne Express. Classic features of the freighter version were the blanked off windows and large forward cargo door.
DC-8-71 N824E (c/n 45915) circa 1984. After flying for Delta Airlines since 1967 as a standard DC-8-61, it was converted into a DC-8-71 in 1983. The airline was the first to place the re-engined DC-8-71 into revenue service, eventually operating 13. Most -71s lasted only a few years with Delta as they were 'snapped up' by freight carriers due to their low operating costs.
DC-8-73 N703FT (c/n 46059) circa 1987, illustrated in the Flying Tigers Line revised trademark natural metal scheme of the 1980s. Like many freighters, N703FT flew for many companies including TIA, Evergreen, Spirit of America, Transamerica and UPS. Note Flying Tigers, unlike most other carriers, did not remove the windows on many of its aircraft and instead blanked them off internally. Federal Express eventually acquired the company.
Air Canada's first DC-8-61 (CF-TJT) was delivered to the carrier on September 13, 1967.
A number of countries flew DC-8s as military/government transport aircraft. The French Air Force operated seven DC-8-62Fs in a number of roles, including electronic intelligence. DC-8-62F 46013, c/n 45570, was used by ET 3/60 for long-range logistic support.
DC-8-71 (F) HK4176 is one of two DC-8s flown by Colombian operator Tampa Cargo. It was photographed on approach to Miami International Airport in October 2005.