Ship One History

Aircraft Company (DAC)

Douglas Commercial Eight


of Ship One

& The Airlines Who Flew ‘Her’

Ship One, registered N8008D, was rolled out of the Douglas Aircraft – Long Beach,
CA – Factory on April 9, 1958. The Prototype DC-8 made its first flight on May
30, 1958 in front of over 95,000 employees and spectators and flew for 2 Hours
and 7 Minutes on the initial flight. The next test flight occurred on June 4,
1958 and between June and late August Ship One accumulated 72 hours of in-flight
testing in a total of 22 flights. Ship One was later joined by Ship Two (N8018D)
a DC-8-21 in November 1958 and Ships 3 & 4 (N8028D & N8038D), a DC-8-12
& another DC-8-11 in December 1958 and January 1959 respectively, for further
flight testing and FAA Certification. Ship’s 2, 3 & 4 were all destined to
be delivered to United Air Lines. Ship 7 (N8068D) a DC-8-33, the first Intercontinental
Version of the DC-8 & destined for Pan American, joined the testing program
in February 1959. A total of 10 DC-8s were used in a comprehensive testing program
to permit the FAA Certification of all of the early DC-8 versions in a short period
of time. This enabled the DC-8 Series 10, 20, 30 & 40 all to enter into airline
service between September 1959 and March 1960 which substantially cut the lead
time that Boeing had with the introduction of the different versions of the 707.
Initially Douglas was 3 years behind Boeing in their jet program but through the
innovation and dedication of the Douglas Team the DC-8 entered service just 11
months behind the 707.
Please see the ‘DC-8 Technical Data’ Section for
more information on the different DC-8 versions that were made.

One was certified by the FAA on August 31, 1959. The first two DC-8 Series
11s entered airline service with Delta Air Lines and United Air Lines on September
18, 1959. Delta beat United’s first DC-8 flight by only a few hours. In 1960
Ship One was re-engined with new Pratt & Whitney JT3D Turbofan Engines
which were more powerful, fuel efficient and quieter than the older turbojet
engines. The aircraft was then used to certify th

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