Fred Cox DC-8 Jet Collection – VIA DC-8-53
DC-8 Jet Collection
Internacional de Aviacion Sociedad Anonima
Color Scheme: Early
Colors (Not Sure If This Is The First Colors)
Douglas Factory Style Polished Aluminum Model made by Gary
35.5" (91cm), Wingspan 34" (86cm)
Model History: The
blank for this model was made for me by my friend Gary Field using
a pattern from an Original Douglas Factory DC-8-50 blank. I then
sent it to my friend Don Stevens at Airborne
Replicas for finishing in the Philippines & received it
back on December 2, 2003.
DC-8 History: VIASA had a relatively
short but colorful life as the National Flag Carrier of Venezuela.
The airline was created in 1959 by a decision of the Venezuelan
Government to transfer the International Routes of Aeropostal
(Linea Aeropostal Venezolana) to a new airline which was to be
free of government influence. This new airline was to be a joint
venture with Aeropostal owning 51% and private investors owning
the remaining 49%. This new airline was named VIASA and was designated
as the Flag Carrier of Venezuela. In 1960 VIASA ordered two Convair
880 Jetliners to fly from Venezuela to North & Central America
and also wet leased DC-8s from KLM Royal Dutch Airlines which
enabled them to begin services to Europe in April 1961. Once again,
KLM offered high quality guidance and expertise to this new airline,
like they had with Garuda Indonesian Airways and Philippine Airlines.
This close relationship between VIASA and KLM lasted for over
25 years and enabled VIASA to provide a high level of customer
service and become profitable right from the start. In 1965/1966
VIASA took Factory Delivery of two DC-8-53 aircraft and in 1968/1969
VIASA received their Factory Deliveries of two DC-8 Super 63 aircraft.
In the late 1960s VIASA also formed an all cargo airline subsidiary
named Transcarga which operated DC-8F Jet Trader aircraft on heavy
cargo routes to North & Central America. VIASA utilized their
DC-8 fleet, including those acquired and leased from KLM, throughout
the 1970s and into the 1980s. Click
Here to See VIASA’s DC-8 Fleet Information. In
fact, even though VIASA had entered the wide body aircraft "age"
in the 1970s, their DC-8-53s continued to play an important role
with the airline until 1984 and the DC-8-63s until 1986.
Sadly, VIASA went out of business in 1997 due to poor guidance
by Iberia (Flag Carrier of Spain) who had replaced KLM in that
role & extremely poor labor relations. There have been some
attempts to resurrect VIASA but none have been successful and
no airline to date has been able to provide the high level of
service that VIASA once did.
Explanation of the "AB" in DC-8-53AB:
When Douglas made the DC-8F-54, DC-8F-55 & DC-8-55 models
they were able to push the aft bulkhead further back into the
tail and thus increase the cargo and/or passenger capacity. The
Passenger Versions of the DC-8-55 (and two
DC-8-53s for VIASA) were made in two variants to accommodate
airline requests. The first variant left the aft bulkhead location
& interior the same as in earlier DC-8 variants and was designated
by Douglas as the ‘L’ for "less aft bulkhead." This
variant was ordered by Garuda, Japan Air Lines & KLM. The
second variant included the relocation of the aft bulkhead further
back & thus increased the interior size which accommodated
up to 189 passengers (up from 179). This variant was designated
by Douglas as the ‘AB’ for "aft bulkhead" (extension)
and was ordered by SAS (DC-8-55) & VIASA
(DC-8-53). If you would like to see a Complete List of
Technical Information for All DC-8 Variants Please Click on the
‘DC-8 Technical Information’ Link on my Home Page.
Here to View a Photo of the Actual Aircraft
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Photo Courtesy Of & Many Thanks To: AIRLINERS.NET
and Photographer Ger Buskermolen
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