Fred Cox DC-8 Jet Collection – EA DC-8-63PF

Fred
Cox

DC-8 Jet Collection

EASTERN
AIRLINES

DC-8-63PF*


1/50
Scale









Color Scheme: Delivery
Colors "Hockey Stick Scheme"

Registration: N8759

Composition: An
Original Douglas Factory Polished Aluminum Model

Dimensions: Length:
45" (115cm), Wingspan 35" (89cm)

Condition: Excellent

Model History: This
Douglas Factory Model was finished off for & displayed in Eastern
Airline’s General Offices at Miami. After Eastern went into bankruptcy
in 1991, an ex-Eastern pilot bought it at an auction of Eastern
Airline’s equipment & memorabilia. When he passed away a few
years ago his wife decided to sell it and a collector friend of
mine bought it & picked it up. Being the great friend that he
is, he agreed to sell it to me and I received it on October 18,
2007. Thank You Dan! Since Eastern
was the sole customer of the DC-8-63PF variant I had always dreamed
of finding an original (or even a copy) Douglas Factory Model of
it but never thought one had been made. To my astonishment &
great fortune, I was able to obtain this original piece of memorabilia
of one of my favorite airlines of all time! The Eastern Property
Tag is still attached to the model, on the bottom just behind where
the wing is attached to the fuselage but unfortunately the floor
stand base covers it. Thus I photographed it & placed it below.

A Note
About The Model’s Finishing: I suspect that Eastern acquired this
Douglas Factory model blank (unfinished model) & a set of decals
from Douglas Aircraft/Marketing Aids and then finished it off internally,
rather than have it done by a professional like Marketing Aids/Douglas
or Pacific Miniatures. I know that some airlines had their own maintenance
department’s refinish their Douglas Factory Models when their paint
scheme changed in order to save money and avoid sending them back
to have them done professionally. I have heard that one of these
airlines was National who evidently refinished their Douglas Factory
DC-8 Models internally each time their paint scheme changed. The
reason I believe that Eastern did this, at least in this one instance,
is because the "Hockey Stick" paint stripes are slightly
different than the exact colors of Eastern and there is a small
amount of paint overrun in a few places where the masking tape had
not been placed securely enough during painting. Also, the cockpit
decals have been cut to fit to the model improperly. Finally, on
the starboard (right) side the decals of the rear set of Emergency
Exit Door/Passenger Windows/Passenger Door were put on backwards
& thus you have a Passenger Door/Passenger Windows/Emergency
Exit Door from behind the wing to the tail. A professional model
company like Marketing Aids/Douglas or Pacific Miniatures would
have never finished off a model, especially for an airline’s general
offices, with such errors. It is a bit ironic that my Eastern DC-8-61
DFM, which was hand painted in the Philippines, is actually more
accurate of the actual paint scheme than this model. However,
given the heritage of this beautiful model I would never think of
having anything changed and will happily leave it all just as it
was originally done. I’m just happy to have it!

Eastern’s
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 an 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.
Click Here to See an Eastern DC-8-61 Model
in the "Hockey Stick" Scheme.

*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-8-63PF’s 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. 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.

Click
Here to View a Photo of the Actual Aircraft

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