From its inception, the
four-engine DC-8 embodied advanced aerodynamic and structural concepts,
as well as internal systems designed for maximum service reliability,
operational convenience and passenger comfort.
A capacity for improved
power, payload and range capabilities was inherent in the DC-8 design.
Four basic models were produced: the Series 10 through 50, in
passenger, freighter and convertible freighter versions; and the Super
60 Series 61, 62 and 63, with freighter models of each. The last of 556
aircraft was delivered on May 13, 1972, marking the end of 15 years of
production, at which time there were 48 operators in 28 nations.
Development of the
Super 60 Series in 1965, with increased size, capacity and efficiency,
demonstrated the capacity for growth in the DC-8 design. The Super 61 &
62 can carry up to 258 passengers. The Super 63, which combined the
fuselage extension and payload capacity of the Super 61 with the
long-range, aerodynamic and power plant improvements of the Super 62,
carries a maximum capacity of 259 passengers and baggage 4,500 statute
miles (7,242 km), or lesser loads even greater distances. The DC8 Super
63F/63CF is able to carry up to 116,000 pounds (52,617 kg) of freight.
The DC-8 Series 70 is a
re-engined version of the popular Super 60 Series, substituting CFM56
engines for the latter's Pratt & Whitney engines. The result is an
aircraft that retains the Super 60 operating weights, but with a longer
range due to the newer, more fuel-efficient turbofans. The Series 70
was also able to meet later, more stringent noise regulation that were
implemented in the 1980s.
The DC-8 jetliner
represents a significant chapter in the evolution of commercial air