Profiles and Logos
The Douglas DC-8 is a four engined mid to long range narrow body jetliner launched to compete with the Boeing 707. The initial design of the DC-8 can be traced to the requirement for a jet powered airborne tanker to refuel the US Air Forces B-47 & B-52 bombers, the American airlines not being interested in a jet airliner. However after Boeing launched the 367-80 in 1954, which was to lead to the Boeing 707, Douglas re thought its ideas on Jet airliners. The Douglas company changed its tanker design by widening the fuselage to allow six abreast seating, increasing the fuselage length, wingspan and tail height, with a maiden flight planned for 1957 and entry into service in 1959. PanAm placed an order for 25 DC-8’s in October 1955. The first prototype N8008D was rolled out on 9th April 1958 and made its first flight on 30th May. The aircraft entered service with Delta Air Lines and United Airlines on September 18th 1959 making the original EIS target.
On 21st August 1961 a DC-8 broke the sound barrier achieving Mach 1.012 in a controlled dive becoming the first civilian jet and the first airliner to do so. The aircraft was stretched to produce larger capacity aircraft with the -61/71 and -63/73 being the largest versions. As well as being powered by different versions of the JT3 some models were powered by the JT4A and RR Conway, and some aircraft re engined with the CFM56-2.
In total 556 aircraft were built.