Fred Cox DC-8 Jet Collection – JL DC-8F-55




Fred
Cox
DC-8 Jet Collection



JAPAN
AIR LINES

DC-8F-55

1/50
Scale





Color Scheme: Delivery Colors

Registration:
JA8000

Composition: Douglas Factory Polished Aluminum Model

Dimensions:
Length: 35.5″ (91cm), Wingspan 34″ (86cm)

Condition: Very Good

Model
History: Likely produced in the early 1960s by the Douglas Aircraft Model Shop
/ Marketing Aids. I acquired it on February 9, 2001 from my friend Steve Spatz
for restoration. I then sent it over to my friend Frank Samba in Germany who did
a Beautiful Restoration Job. On April 19, 2001 I picked it up from Frank and hand
carried it back home to San Francisco. Many Thanks To You
Frank!

Japan
Air Lines’s DC-8 History:
Japan Air Lines (JAL) was created by the Japanese
Government back in 1951 in an effort to assist their country back to prosperity
after World War II. Initially JAL flew only between cities within Japan using
Martin 202s which were leased from Northwest Orient Airlines (as well as the crew’s
to fly them). However, within a year JAL had their own aircraft and flight crews
and began a period of steady growth, first within Southeast Asia, then to the
USA (San Francisco) in 1954 and later to more and more destinations around the
world. On July 16, 1960 Japan Air Lines entered the jet age with the delivery
of their first Factory Delivered DC-8. During the 1960s the DC-8 became the "backbone"
of JAL’s fleet and the airline went on to Acquire a total of 41 Factory Delivered
DC-8s in 9 Different Versions. In addition, JAL bought and leased 15 additional
DC-8s in the used aircraft market. Fourteen of these were DC-8-61s from Eastern
Airlines. Also, as a point of interest, Japan Air Lines took delivery of 7 of
the last 8 DC-8s to be built in late 1971 and early 1972. The very last DC-8 was
delivered to Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS). Click
Here to See JAL’s DC-8 Fleet Count.
Long after JAL introduced widebody Boeing
747 and McDonnell Douglas DC-10 service in the early 1970s, Japan Air Lines continued
to rely on their DC-8 fleet, both for their own operations and for the operation
of their sister airline Japan Asia Airways (which was created to serve the Taiwan
market). In fact, JAL didn’t retire it’s last DC-8 until 1988 – 28 years after
it’s first DC-8 was delivered.

Finally, I want to relay an
interesting story about a particular JAL DC-8. On May 27, 1968 a DC-8-62, registered
JA8032, was delivered to JAL and went into service shortly thereafter. Unfortunately,
after less than six months of service, this aircraft landed in San Francisco Bay,
approximately 2 miles (3Kms) short of the runway at San Francisco International
Airport. Fortunately, where the aircraft "touched down" the water was
shallow (approximately 9 feet deep) and once the landing gear settled into the
mud of the bay the water level was just at the bottom of the passenger door sills.
All passengers were safely evacuated & there were no injuries – except for
a nearly new DC-8-62. It was another stroke of luck that United Air Lines (the
largest DC-8 operator in the world) had a huge maintenance base located at San
Francisco Airport and could actually repair the DC-8 and return it to ‘as new’
condition. Shortly after the mishap the aircraft was hoisted out of the bay, placed
on a barge and then towed over to United’s Maintenance Facility. It is a testament
to United Air Lines & their Maintenance Staff’s ability, that after approximately
52,000 man hours in a four month period, DC-8-62 JA8032 again took to the air
on March 26, 1969. It was returned to JAL on March 31, 1969, along with a 4 Million
Dollar Repair Bill. JAL renamed the aircraft from ‘Shiga’ to ‘Hidaka’ and JA8032
went back into service and continued to fly for JAL for 14 more years. In fact,
this aircraft is still flying today for Airborne Express as N808AX, over 30 years
since the "crash." Now that’s a testament to
how well built (and could be rebuilt) the Douglas DC-8 is!






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