Fred Cox DC-8 Jet Collection – EA DC-8-21


DC-8 Jet Collection




Color Scheme:
Delivery "Golden Falcon Jet DC-8B" Colors


A Refinished Douglas Factory Polished Aluminum

Length: 35.5″ (90cm), Wingspan 34″ (86cm)


Model History:
This model was originally produced and finished in Eastern Colors
in the late-1950s or early-1960s. When I acquired it on December
2000 the paint scheme was in very poor shape and not restorable.
I thought about having it refinished in another airline scheme
but I decided to have it refinished in the original scheme, not
only because this Eastern Scheme is so beautiful but also because
this model blank is one of the first few DC-8s that Douglas produced.
Douglas numbered all of their metal DC-8 blanks and this one is
number 006. I sent it to my friend Don Stevens at Airborne
for refinishing in the Philippines. I received it
back on August 16, 2001 and They Did A Wonderful Job On It!

Note About This Model # 006:

I’ve noticed that this early Douglas Factory DC-8 model differs
from the later DFM DC-8’s. The main differences are in the wing
& horizontal stabilizer’s, where the edges are squared off
rather than rounded off in the later models (and the actual airplane).
Evidently, as Douglas manufactured more of the DC-8 DFM’s they
perfected the model’s shape as well.

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. 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!
By the mid-1960s Eastern had
settled on their popular "Hockey Stick" Scheme. 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.
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.
Here to See an Eastern DC-8-63PF Model in the "Hockey Stick"
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

Photo Courtesy Of & Many Thanks To Terry Waddington


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *