Fred Cox DC-8 Jet Collection – UA DC-8F-54

Fred Cox
DC-8 Jet Collection


1/50 Scale

Color Scheme: Delivery Colors

Registration: N8F00U

Composition: An Original Douglas Factory Polished Aluminum Model

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

Condition: Near Mint

Model History: Produced in the mid 1960s by the Douglas Aircraft Model Shop. Acquired on September 20, 1973 from a United Air Lines Sales Representative from Pendleton, Oregon.

United’s DC-8 History: United Air Lines was -by far- the biggest supporter and largest customer for the DC-8 – from the very beginning, with their order of the DC-8-11, to the end, with the conversion of their fleet of DC-8-61s into DC-8-71s. Though Pan American was the very first customer for the DC-8 with an order for 25 ‘overwater’ versions on October 13, 1955, it was United who made the largest initial order of the DC-8 by -any- airline with an order of 30 ‘domestic’ versions on October 25, 1955. United’s President & CEO Pat Patterson said that he chose the DC-8 over the 707 because "he felt that it had more room for improvement, the same ‘big stretch’ that enabled Douglas to beef up it’s DC-4 into the DC-6 & DC-7." Mr. Patterson was certainly right about that – as evidenced by the DC-8 Super Sixty & Super Seventy Series that evolved from the basic standard DC-8 (Boeing was unable to stretch the 707 because it sat lower to the ground and any stretch would cause the tail to drag upon takeoff). United introduced it’s first DC-8 service on September 18, 1959 from San Francisco to New York Idlewild (now JFK) airport. That same day Delta Air Lines beat United in the introduction of the DC-8 by just a couple hours because United’s first DC-8 flight left San Francisco to New York at 8:30AM local west coast time and Delta’s first DC-8 flight left from New York to Atlanta at 9:20AM local east coast time which gave Delta the advantage of 2 hours & 10 minutes when you consider the time zone difference of 3 hours. However, when it came to purchasing & operating the DC-8 United beat all of the other customers ‘hands down.’ United went on to take Factory Deliveries of 16 Series 11s, 6 Series 12s, (all of the -11 & -12 series were later converted into the more powerful -21s or -51 Fan-jets), 15 Series 21s, 13 Series 52 Fan-jets& 15 Series 54F Jet Traders (Freighters). United’s version of the DC-8F-54 Jet Trader is the only one which had all of the windows plugged from the start. All other airlines had their DC-8F-54 & 55 Aircraft Delivered with passenger windows, so they could be used in either cargo and/or passenger use. In addition to these 65 Factory Deliveries of the Standard DC-8, United also acquired 11 additional used Series 30 DC-8s. Once the Super Sixty DC-8s were announced United was the first to order the DC-8-61 and the DC-8-62H (H=Heavier Gross Weight). United went on to take Factory Deliveries of 30 Super 61s & 10 Super 62H aircraft plus one used DC-8-61. Click Here to See United’s DC-8 Fleet Information. Later, in the 1980s, when the noise restrictions were getting more strict & fuel prices continued to grow, this put pressure on the airline industry to retire their first generation jets (i.e. mostly DC-8s & Boeing 707s) far earlier than their useful life. Thus, when it was proposed to re-engine the Super Sixty DC-8s (61, 62 & 63) with quieter & more fuel efficient engines to extend the aircraft’s life, United was the first to order the conversion of their DC-8-61 fleet into DC-8-71s with the higher powered & much quieter General Electric-SNECMA CMF-56 Engines (plus some other improvements which further modernized the DC-8). United’s order of 29 conversions was the largest order of any airline and extended the DC-8s life with United into the early 1990s. Most, if not all of those DC-8-71s are still flying today (as freighters). United retired their last DC-8-71 on January 9, 1992 – ending a total of 33 years that the DC-8 served the company. In summary, United was the Largest Operator of Standard DC-8, Super Sixties DC-8 & the Initial Conversions to the Super Seventies DC-8. Today, however, nearly all of the DC-8 Seventy aircraft have been converted into freighters and United Parcel Service now has the largest fleet DC-8s with a total of 49 DC-8-71s & DC-8-73s. During the DC-8’s 33 years of service with United they operated them in 4 Different Liveries. If you would like to see some other models of United’s Different Liveries & DC-8 Types please click on the following links:
United DC-8-61 1/50 Scale in Delivery (1960s) Colors
United DC-8-62H 1/200 Scale in Third Livery (Around 1976 Bicentennial) w/ Script Titles & "Stars & xxxxStripes" or "Friendship" Livery
United DC-8-61 1/250 Scale in the Final DC-8 Colors (1970s-1990s)
The Livery I don’t have a model in is the Second (Early 1970s) Livery w/ Script Titles Only – Non-"Stars & Bars or Friendship" Livery. Someday, I hope to find a United DC-8 model with this second livery.

Click Here to View a Photo of the Actual Aircraft
Photo Courtesy Of & Many Thanks To Tom Hildreth.
If you would like to see more of Tom’s Photos Please Check My Links Page.

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