Re: Date of Construction

From: (Stefano Pagiola)
Organization: Stanford University
Date:         21 Mar 94 14:52:07 PST
References:   1
Followups:    1
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Steve Howie writes
> In 1989 I flew on a charter flight with an outfit called Crownair
> to Glasgow in a DC-8 Series 20. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I
> believe this series was one of the very first DC-8s which were
> produced.  Quite a short fuselage on it.

I don't believe Crownair was flying a DC-8-20 in 1989.  They did have  
a DC-8-50, though, and several DC-8-50s were modified from DC-8-20s,  
so this might be one of them (I'm the middle of a move, with all my  
production lists packed away, so I can't check).

The DC-8-20s were pretty early machines, but not the earliest.  The  
DC-8-10s came first (back then manufacturers hadn't yet being  
afflicted by the "Boeing Syndrome" of starting series numbering at  
200 :-).

As for fuselage length, all DC-8s prior to the -60 series had the  
exact same fuselage length.  They differed only in things like engine  
fit and minor details.

> I imagine the maintenance crews must spend some very long hours
> on planes this old. Are there actually limits on the age of an
> airframe imposed on carriers, beyond which the aircraft must be
> mothballed?

Yeah, there's more maintenance, but as long as you do it properly you  
can fly the things pretty much forever.  Still lots of DC-8s flying  
around, although practically all of them are -50s and -60s these  
days.  The airframes have so much life left in them that the idea of  
restarting the CFM-56 re-engining program resurfaces periodically.

One bit of trivia: there were twice as many 707s built as DC-8s, but  
today there are twice as many DC-8s still flying as there are 707s.

Ciao, Stefano
Stefano Pagiola
Food Research Institute, Stanford University, Stanford CA 94305-6084
Tel 415-725-0939, Fax 415-725-7007
Email (NeXTMail encouraged)