Color Scheme: Delivery
Colors "Hockey Stick Scheme"
Refinished Douglas Factory Polished Aluminum Model
44" (112cm), Wingspan 34" (86cm)
Model History: This
Douglas Factory Model was finished off for me in Eastern Airlines
Colors on September 22, 1997. I acquired the original model blank
in 1973 from Marketing Aids who was contracted by Douglas to produce
all of their models. It took 24 years to have it finished off but
it was well worth the wait!
DC-8 History: The origins of Eastern Air Lines date back
to 1927 and a company named Picairn Aviation who received the contract
to fly mail from New York to Atlanta and then on to Miami in 1928.
In 1929 North American Aviation acquired Picairn & on January
17, 1930 Picairn Aviation became Eastern Air Transport, Inc. On
August 18,1930 Eastern carried it’s very first passengers between
New York and Richmond and later on to Atlanta. Prior to this date
only US Air Mail was carried. However, Eastern didn’t really "take
off" until Captain Eddie Rickenbacker was appointed as General
Manager on January 1, 1935 and turned the airline into a profitable
one that same year – which was a first in the US Airline Industry.
It was Captain Eddie who took these humble beginnings to what we
know now as the great airline giant that Eastern Air Lines became
(one of the "Big 4" of the US Trunk Airlines – along with
United, American & TWA). Now, jump to 1955 when the "Big
4" were ordering their first pure jet equipment and Captain
Rickenbacker chose to order 26 Douglas DC-8s. The first 6 of the
order were to be the Series 10 with the smaller, water injection
JT3C engines and the remainder of the order would be the Series
20 with the more powerful JT4 turbojets which did not require water
injection on takeoff. This order was later amended to drop the order
for the Series 10s and take delivery of 20 Series 20s to save money
on engine maintenance costs & for the better performance of
the Series 20s. When these first 6 delivery slots for the Series
10 were dropped this enabled Delta to acquire them and become the
first airline to inaugurate DC-8 service on Sept. 18, 1959 (along
with United later that same day). However, Capt. Rickenbacker was
convinced that the 4 month wait for the Series 20s would be well
worth it. Eastern took Factory Delivery of it’s first DC-8-21 on
January 3, 1960 and was the first airline to place the DC-8-21 into
service on January 24, 1960 from New York – Idlewild to Miami. Eastern
titled their DC-8-21s as the DC-8B "The Jet with Power to Spare"
but this "B" label was later prohibited by the CAB so
Eastern had to stop using it in their advertising. Only the first
DC-8 delivered to Eastern (N8601) had the DC-8B title on it. Click
Here to See a Eastern DC-8-21 Model in the Original Delivery Scheme.
Ultimately the DC-8-21 order was reduced back to 15 (4 orders cancelled
and 1 leased to Aeronaves de Mexico) due to Eastern’s concern with
possible overcapacity and the public’s acceptance of the new pure
jet aircraft. Interestingly, during the
first two years of DC-8-21 operations Eastern had no less the eight
significantly different paint scheme variations – which is a must
be a record! During the mid-1960s Eastern settled on
their popular "Hockey Stick" Scheme which is depicted
on the DC-8-61 Model above. During the mid-1960s to early 1970s
Eastern also bought or leased 3 DC-8-51s, a DC-8-54F & a DC-8-55F.
During the late 1960s Eastern took Factory Delivery of 17 DC-8 Super
61s and 6 long range DC-8 Super 63PFs. The DC-8-61s were used on
high demand markets such as New York-Miami & New York-San Juan.
The DC-8-63PF (Passenger/Freighter) model was made specifically
for Eastern. It was an all passenger model with the stronger landing
gear & fuselage of the freighter – but had no freighter door
like the CF (Convertible Freighter) models. Thus the PF could be
easily be converted to an all freighter at a later date, but Eastern
never did and always operated them as all passenger planes. Eastern
had acquired the DC-8-63PFs in anticipation of being awarded routes
to the South Pacific from several Eastern US cities which this plane
would be ideal for. Unfortunately, American won these hotly contested
routes and Eastern wound up using the DC-8-63PFs for Military Airlift
Command flights where the high capacity & long range could be
utilized. Click Here to See an Eastern
DC-8-63PF Model in the "Hockey Stick" Scheme. During
1972-1975 Eastern phased out most of their DC-8 fleet as new wide
body jets arrived to replace them. Click
Here to See Eastern’s DC-8 Fleet Information. Sadly, this great
airline was yet another fatality of deregulation and ceased operations
on January 18, 1991 after serving the public for over 60 years.
Here to View a Photo of the Actual Aircraft
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Photo Courtesy Of & Many Thanks To: AIRLINERS.NET
and Photographer Jose Carreno.