Re: Dumb Douglas: nee - DC-8s in service; no 707s?

Date:         01 Mar 97 02:44:57 
From:         Steve Lacker <>
Organization: applied research laboratories
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RD Rick wrote:
> In <airliners.1997.492@ohare.Chicago.COM>
> (Thundercraft) writes:
> >
> >Why did the 707 out-sell and out-last the DC-8???
> Douglas killed the DC-8 to launch the DC-10.  They broke up the
> DC-8 tooling and converted the factory to DC-10.  At the time, Flying
> Tigers wanted to place an order for 25 DC8-6x to be delivered at any
> Among Monumental Dumb Decisions, that ranks high.  They could still be
> building DC-8s, with a modern cockpit and new autopilot.  UPS is so
> taken with the DC-8 they spent big bucks to do just that.

All granted as being true... in HINDSIGHT.  I have to wonder, though, if
ANY airframe builder really saw the emerging importance of converted
freighters in the late 1960's or early 1970's. Also, I have to wonder if
UPS would be so "taken with the DC-8" if they had to pay for factory-new
airframes, rather than upgrade cheaper second-hand aiframes. Maybe they
would, since the upgrades they apply are definitely expensive. To my
mind, though, a used airframe is perfect for the freight industry, where
hours and especially cycles are accumulated much more slowly than in the
daily grind of passenger service. Even if Douglas had kept the ability
to produce the DC-8, could new DC-8's have competed with used ones for
the freight market??

Stephen Lacker
Applied Research Laboratories, The University of Texas at Austin
PO Box 8029, Austin TX 78713-8029