Re: VERY Early DC-8s

From:         kls@ohare.Chicago.COM (Karl Swartz)
Organization: Chicago Software Works
Date:         24 Mar 94 14:01:43 PST
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>The first DC-8s off the line had a problem with excess drag in
>cruise, which was traced to the wing encountering drag divergence
>earlier than expected.  To fix this, a 4% extended leading edge was
>designed which cured this.

The information I have describes the modification as "addition of wing
leading edge slots."  Also included was a wingtip extension plus MGTOW
increase from 265,000 lbs to 273,000 lbs.

>how many aircraft were built with the original leading edge (and what
>was their designation) and how many of these were retrofitted with
>the new leading edge?

The references that I have are clear that all production DC-8-11
models (built for United and Delta) were upgraded to DC-8-12 standard
except for line number 22, United's N8013U, which intercepted a TWA
Constellation over New York City before it could be upgraded.  The
prototype DC-8 was also a DC-8-11; it was converted directly into a
DC-8-51, becoming the prototype for that model.

As for exact counts, one reference says there were 23 aircraft were
built to DC-8-11 spec (though many appear to have been upgraded even
before delivery), with 5 built to DC-8-12 spec.  The production list
shows 25 and 4, respectively.  In both cases the counts exclude the
prototype, and yes, I'm aware that they don't add up to the same
total.

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