DC-8 Air Travel “Jet Mainliner Flight 803” 1959 United Air Lines

more at http://travel.quickfound.net/

Promotional film for United Air Lines flights on the new Douglas DC-8 jet airliner. Also includes good color DC-3, DC-4 and DC-6 footage.

Public domain film from the Library of Congress Prelinger Archive, slightly cropped to remove uneven edges, with the aspect ratio corrected, and mild video noise reduction applied.
The soundtrack was also processed with volume normalization, noise reduction, clipping reduction, and equalization (the resulting sound, though not perfect, is far less noisy than the original).


The Douglas DC-8 is a four-engined narrow-body passenger commercial jet airliner, manufactured from 1958 to 1972 by the Douglas Aircraft Company. Launched later than the competing Boeing 707, the DC-8 nevertheless established Douglas in a strong position in the airliner market, and remained in production until 1972 when it began to be superseded by much larger designs, including the DC-10 and Boeing 747. The DC-8 design allowed it to hold slightly more cargo than the 707. Dozens of re-engined examples remain in freighter service to this day, while commercial 707 service had largely ended by 2000...

Design phase

Douglas secretly began jet transport project definition studies in mid-1952. By mid-1953 these had developed into a form very 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 exactly 11 feet (3.35 m) to allow five abreast seating. Maximum weight was to be 95 tons (86 tonnes), and range was estimated to be about 3,000--4,000 miles (4,800--6,400 km).

Douglas remained lukewarm about the jet airliner project, but believed that the Air Force tanker contract would go to two companies for two different aircraft, as several USAF transport contracts in the past had done. In May 1954, the USAF circulated its requirement for 800 jet tankers to Boeing, Douglas, Convair, Fairchild, Lockheed, and Martin. Boeing was already just two months away from having their prototype in the air. Just four months after issuing the tanker requirement, the USAF ordered the first 29 KC-135s from Boeing. Besides Boeing's ability to provide a jet tanker promptly, the flying-boom air-to-air refueling system was also a Boeing product from the KC-97: developing the KC-135 had been a safe bet.

...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 officially announced in July 1955. Four versions were offered to begin with, all based on 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 120--130 tons (109--118 tonnes). 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 push to market the product...

...October 1955... Pan American placed simultaneous orders with Boeing for 20 707s and Douglas for 25 DC-8s. To buy one expensive and untried jet-powered aircraft type was brave: to buy both was at the time, unheard of. In the closing months of 1955, other airlines rushed to follow suit: Air France, American, Braniff, Continental and Sabena ordered 707s; United, National, KLM, Eastern, JAL and SAS chose the DC-8. In 1956 Air India, BOAC, Lufthansa, Qantas and TWA added over 50 to the 707 order book, while Douglas sold 22 DC-8s to Delta, Swissair, TAI, Trans-Canada and UAT. By the start of 1958, Douglas had sold 133 DC-8s as against Boeing's 150 707s...

The first DC-8 was rolled out of the new factory at Long Beach in April 1958...

The DC-8 entered revenue service first with Delta Air Lines on 18 September 1959 with United also entering service later on the same day. By March 1960, Douglas had reached their planned production rate of eight DC-8s a month....

On 21 August 1961 a Douglas DC-8 broke the sound barrier at Mach 1.012 (660 mph/1,062 km/h) while in a controlled dive through 41,000 feet (12,497 m) and maintained that speed, for 16 seconds. The flight was to collect data on a new leading-edge design for the wing, and while doing so, this DC-8 became the first civilian jet to make a supersonic flight. The aircraft was a DC-8-43 later delivered to Canadian Pacific Air Lines as CF-CPG. The aircraft, crewed by Captain William Magruder, First Officer Paul Patten, Flight Engineer Joseph Tomich and Flight Test Engineer Richard Edwards, took off from Edwards Air Force Base in California, and was accompanied to altitude by an F-104 flown by Chuck Yeager...


This entry was posted in Trade Flights Australia and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.