Douglas DC-8

##Douglas DC-8

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About DC-8
The Douglas DC-8 (also known as the McDonnell Douglas DC-8) is a four-engine long-range narrow-body jet airliner built from 1958 to 1972 by the Douglas Aircraft Company. Launched after the competing Boeing 707, the DC-8 nevertheless kept Douglas in a strong position in the airliner market, and remained in production until 1972 when it began to be superseded by larger wide-body designs, including the Boeing 747, McDonnell Douglas DC-10 and Lockheed L-1011 TriStar and only 556 were built. The DC-8’s design allowed it a slightly larger cargo capacity than the 707 and some re-engined DC-8s are still in use as freighters.

Early Development
Douglas secretly began jet transport project definition studies in mid-1952. By mid-1953 these had developed into a form similar to the final DC-8; an 80-seat, low-wing aircraft with four Pratt & Whitney JT3C turbojet engines, 30° wing sweep, and an internal cabin diameter of 11 feet (3.35 m) to allow five-abreast seating. Maximum weight was to be 190,000 lb (86 metric tons), and range was estimated to be about 3,000–4,000 miles (4,800–6,400 km).Consultations with the airlines resulted in a number of changes: the fuselage was widened by 15 inches (38 cm) to allow six-abreast seating. This led to larger wings and tail surfaces and a longer fuselage.The DC-8 was announced in July 1955. Four versions were offered to begin with, all with the same 150-foot-6-inch (45.87 m) long airframe with a 141-foot-1-inch (43.00 m) wingspan, but varying in engines and fuel capacity, and with maximum weights of about 240,000–260,000 lb (109–118 metric tons). Douglas steadfastly refused to offer different fuselage sizes. The maiden flight was planned for December 1957, with entry into revenue service in 1959. Well aware that they were lagging behind Boeing, Douglas began a major marketing push.

Douglas’ previous thinking about the airliner market seemed to be coming true; the transition to turbine power looked likely to be to turboprops rather than turbojets. The pioneering 40–60-seat Vickers Viscount was in service and proving popular with passengers and airlines: it was faster, quieter and more comfortable than piston-engined types. Another British rival was the 90-seat Bristol Britannia, and Douglas’s main rival in the large airliner market, Lockheed, had committed to the short/medium range 80–100-seat turboprop Electra, with a launch order from American Airlines for 35 and other orders flowing in. Meanwhile, the Comet remained grounded, the French 90-passenger twin jet Sud Aviation Caravelle prototype had just flown for the first time, and the 707 was not expected to be available until late 1958. The major airlines were reluctant to commit themselves to the huge financial and technical challenge of jet aircraft. However, no one could afford not to buy jets if their competitors did.

Series 10
For domestic use, powered by 13,500 lb (60.5 kN) Pratt & Whitney JT3C-6 turbojets with water injection. The initial DC-8-11 model had the original, high-drag wingtips and all were converted to DC-8-12 standard. The DC-8-12 had the new wingtips and leading-edge slots, 80 inches long between the engines on each wing and 34 inches long inboard of the inner engines. These unique devices were covered by doors on the upper and lower wing surfaces that opened for low speed flight and closed for cruise. The maximum weight increased from 265,000 to 273,000 pounds (120,200 to 123,800 kg). 28 DC-8-10s were built. This model was originally named “DC-8A” until the series 30 was introduced. 29 built, 22 for United and 6 for Delta, plus the prototype. By the mid sixties United had converted 15 of its 20 surviving aircraft to DC-8-20 standard and the other 5 to -50s. Delta converted its 6 to DC-8-50s.

Series 20
Higher-powered 15,800 lb (70.8 kN) thrust Pratt & Whitney JT4A-3 turbojets (without water injection) allowed a weight increase to 276,000 pounds (125,190 kg). 34 DC-8-20s were built plus 15 converted DC-8-10s. This model was originally named “DC-8B” but was renamed when the series 30 was introduced.

Series 30
For intercontinental routes, the three Series 30 variants combined JT4A engines with a one-third increase in fuel capacity and strengthened fuselage and landing gear. The DC-8-31 was certified in March 1960 with 16,800 lb (75.2 kN) JT4A-9 engines for 300,000-pound (136,080 kg) maximum takeoff weight. The DC-8-32 was similar but allowed 310,000-pound (140,600 kg) weight. The DC-8-33 of November 1960 substituted 17,500 lb (78.4 kN) JT4A-11 turbojets, a modification to the flap linkage to allow a 1.5° setting for more efficient cruise, stronger landing gear, and 315,000-pound (142,880 kg) maximum weight. Many -31 and -32 DC-8s were upgraded to this standard. A total of 57 DC-8-30s were produced.

Series 40
The DC-8-40 was essentially the -30 but with 17,500 lb (78.4 kN) Rolls-Royce Conway 509 turbofan engines for better efficiency, less noise and less smoke. The Conway was an improvement over the turbojets that preceded it, but the Series 40 sold poorly because of the traditional reluctance of U.S. airlines to buy a foreign product and because the still more advanced Pratt & Whitney JT3D turbofan was due in early 1961. The DC-8-41 and DC-8-42 had weights of 300,000 and 310,000 pounds (140,000 and 140,000 kg) respectively, The 315,000-pound (142,880 kg) DC-8-43 had the 1.5° flap setting of the -33 and introduced a 4% leading edge wing extension to reduce drag and increase fuel capacity slightly – the new wing improved range by 8%, lifting capacity by 6,600 lb (3 metric tons), and cruising speed by better than 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph). It was used on all later DC-8s. The first DC-8-40 was delivered in 1960; 32 were built.

Series 50
The definitive short-fuselage DC-8 came with the same engine that powered the vast majority of 707s, the JT3D. Fourteen earlier DC-8s were converted to this standard. All but the -55 were certified in 1961. The DC-8-51, DC-8-52 and DC-8-53 all had 17,000 lb (76.1 kN) JT3D-1 or 18,000 lb (80.6 kN) JT3D-3B engines, varying mainly in their weights: 276,000 pounds (125,200 kg), 300,000 pounds (136,100 kg) and 315,000 pounds (142,900 kg) respectively. The DC-8-55 arrived in June 1964, retaining the JT3D-3B engines but with strengthened structure from the freighter versions and 325,000-pound (147,420 kg) maximum weight. 88 DC-8-50s were built plus the 14 converted from Series 10/30.

DC-8 Jet Trader: Douglas approved development of freighter versions of the DC-8 in May 1961, based on the Series 50. An original plan to fit a fixed bulkhead separating the forward ⅔ of the cabin for freight, leaving the rear cabin for 54 passenger seats was soon replaced by a more practical one to use a movable bulkhead and allow anywhere between 25 and 114 seats with the remainder set aside for cargo. A large cargo door was fitted into the forward fuselage, the cabin floor was reinforced and the rear pressure bulkhead was moved by nearly 7 feet (2.1 m) to make more space. Airlines could order a windowless cabin but only United did, ordering 15 in 1964. The DC-8F-54 had a maximum takeoff weight of 315,000 pounds (142,880 kg) and the DC-8F-55 325,000 pounds (147,420 kg). Both used 18,000 lb (80.6 kN) JT3D-3B powerplants. 54 aircraft built.

EC-24A: A single former United Airlines DC-8F-54 was used by the United States Navy as an electronic warfare training platform. It was retired in October 1998 and is now in storage with the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group.

Super 60 Series

DC-8 Series 61: The “Super DC-8” Series 61 was designed for high capacity and medium range. It had the same wings, engines and pylons as the -55, and sacrificed range to gain capacity. Having decided to stretch the DC-8, Douglas inserted a 240-inch (6.1 m) plug in the forward fuselage and a 200-inch (5.1 m) plug aft, taking overall length to 187 feet 4 inches (57.10 m). The added length required strengthening of the structure, but the basic DC-8 design already had sufficient ground clearance to permit the one-third increase in cabin size without requiring longer landing gear. The variant first flew on March 14, 1966, and was certified on September 2, 1966, at a maximum weight of 325,000 pounds (147,420 kg).Deliveries began in January 1967 and it entered service with United Airlines in February 1967.It typically carried 180–220 passengers in mixed-class configuration, or 259 in high-density configuration.A cargo door equipped DC-8-61CF was also available. 78 -61 and 10 -61CF were built.

DC-8 Series 62: The long-range Series 62 followed in April 1967. It had a more modest stretch, two 40-inch (1.0 m) plugs fore and aft of the wing taking overall length to 157 feet 5 inches (47.98 m), and a number of modifications to provide greater range. 3 feet (0.91 m) wingtip extensions reduced drag and added fuel capacity, and Douglas redesigned the engine pods, extending the pylons and substituting new shorter and neater nacelles, all in the cause of drag reduction. The 18,000 lb JT3D-3B was retained but the engine pylons were redesigned to eliminate their protrusion above the wing and make them sweep forward more sharply, so that the engines were some 40 inches (1.0 m) further forward. The engine pods were also modified with a reduction in diameter and the elimination of the -50 and -61 bypass duct. The changes all improved the aircraft’s aerodynamic efficiency. The DC-8 Series 62 is slightly heavier than the -53 or -61 at 335,000 pounds (151,953 kg), and able to seat up to 189 passengers, the -62 had a range with full payload of about 5,200 nautical miles (9,600 km; 6,000 mi), or about the same as the -53 but with 40 extra passengers. Many late production -62s had 350,000 pounds (158,760 kg) maximum takeoff weight and were known as the -62H.Also available as the cargo door equipped convertible -62CF or all cargo -62AF. 51 DC-8-62s were built plus 10 -62CF and 6 -62AF.

DC-8 Series 63: The “Super DC-8” Series 63 was the final new-build variant and entered service in June 1968. It had the long fuselage of the -61, the aerodynamic refinements and increased fuel capacity of the -62 and 19,000 lb (85.1 kN) JT3D-7 engines.This allowed a maximum takeoff weight of 350,000 pounds (158,760 kg) and a range with full payload of 4,110 nautical miles (7,610 km; 4,730 mi).[citation needed] Like the -62, the Series 63 was also available as a cargo door equipped -63CF or all cargo -63AF. The freighters had a further increase in Maximum Take Off Weight to 355,000 pounds (161,030 kg). Eastern Airlines bought six -63PFs with the strengthened floor of the freighters but no cargo door. Forty-one (41) DC-8-63s were built, plus fifty-three (53) -63CF, seven (7) -63AF and the six 96) -63PFs.The Flying Tiger Line was a major early customer for the DC-8-63F.

Super 70 Series

The DC-8-71, DC-8-72 and DC-8-73 were straightforward conversions of the -61, -62 and -63 primarily involving the replacement of the JT3D engines with more fuel-efficient 22,000 lb (98.5 kN) CFM56-2 high-bypass turbofans with new nacelles and pylons built by Grumman Aerospace and fairing of the air intakes below the nose. The DC-8-71 achieved the same end but required more modification because the -61 did not have the improved wings and relocated engines of the -62 and -63. Maximum takeoff weights remained the same, but there was a slight reduction in payload because of the heavier engines. All three models were certified in 1982 and a total of 110 60-Series DC-8s were converted by the time the program ended in 1988. DC-8-70 conversions were overseen by Cammacorp with CFMI, McDonnell Douglas, and Grumman Aerospace as partners. Cammacorp was disbanded after the last aircraft was converted.

Cockpit Crew:3(Captain, Co-Pilot and Flight Engineer) ,4 for overseas which requires Navigator
Max Passengers:259(in DC-8-61/63/71/73 only)
Length:187.4 ft (of DC-8-61/63/71/73)

This is possibly the longest feature request I’ve ever seen lol. Good to see people putting in more info than just ‘I want it now and for free’


Would be great to see the DC8 added! You have my vote


I would love to see some classic aircrafts got added to Infinite Flight! ❤


I’d love this, but wasn’t it a little unsafe?

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I think it’s common to happen as there were few safety features on this aircraft alongside with some aircrafts on that era. So it’s pretty understandable


I think UPS just retired theirs although it should be the new engine variant

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Haha, probably almost the same from my personal experience here on the [Infinite Flight Community] (


I love the way you put this together, usually in this catagory you see people putting images without the source and just saying i would love the aircraft in IF and thats it, great job, i would love to see these models within IF we need more props.


Unfortunately the aircraft had a lot of faults as listed in @B747fan’s linked Wikipedia page.

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Awesome request, great post!

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Thank you for the substantive thread! This is a really great example of going above and beyond the standard feature request. Voted for this one!

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just gonna bump this cause its a douglas


bump again guys pls make it happen!!!

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I wish I had more votes!

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Lots of information for a good read. Would love to see this old jet in the skies of IF :)


Good idea. Would love a DC-6 as well. Piston engines for life!

You got my vote!
I would actually love to see the family of airplanes on infinite flight! The DC 3 and DC 10 especially

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Bumping bumpers!