Douglas DC-8 Super 60 & 70 Series General
Aircraft
Douglas DC-8 Super 60 & 70
Type
Long range aircraft
Crew
3
Douglas DC-8 Super 60 & 70 Series Program Milestones
First flight DC-8-61
March 14, 1966
First flight DC-8-62
August 29, 1966
First flight DC-8-63
April 10, 1967
First flight DC-8-71
August 15, 1981
First flight DC-8-72
December 5, 1981
First flight DC-8-73
March 4, 1982


Douglas DC-8 Super 60 & 70 Series Dimensions

Douglas DC-8-61 & 71
Length
187 feet 5 inch (57.12 m)
Wing Span
142 feet 5 inch (43.41 m)
Height
42 feet 5 inch (12.92 m)
Wing Area
2884 square feet

Douglas DC-8-62& 72
Length
157 feet 5 inch (47.98 m)
Wing Span
148 feet 5 inch (45.23 m)
Height
42 feet 5 inch (12.92 m)
Wing Area
2927 square feet

Douglas DC-8-63& 73
Length
187 feet 5 inch (57.12 m)
Wing Span
148 feet 5 inch (45.23 m)
Height
42 feet 5 inch (12.92 m)
Wing Area
2927 square feet

Douglas DC-8 Super 60 & 70 Series Weights

Douglas DC-8
-61
-62
-63
Max Taxi Weight
328,000 lb
353,000 lb
358,000 lb
Max TO Weight
240,000 lb
350,000 lb
355,000 lb
Max Landing Weight
240,000 lb
240,000 lb
258,000 lb
Max ZFW
224,000 lb
195,000 lb
230,000 lb
OEW
152,101 lb
143,255 lb
158,738 lb
Max Payload
71,877 lb
51,745 lb
71,262 lb
Usable Fuel
88,552 l
91,891 l
91,891 l

Douglas DC-8
-71
-72
-73
Max Taxi Weight
328,000 lb
338,000 lb
358,000 lb
Max TO Weight
325,000 lb
335,000 lb
355,000 lb
Max Landing Weight
240,000 lb
240,000 lb
275,000 lb
Max ZFW
224,000 lb
195,000 lb
231,000 lb
OEW
163,700
153,200 lb
166,200 lb
Max Payload
60,200 lb
41,800 lb
64,800 lb
Usable Fuel
88,552 l
91,891 l
91,891 l

Douglas DC-8 Super 60 & 70 Series Range
DC-8-61 3.256 nautical miles (6.035 km)
DC-8-62 5.210 nautical miles (9.620 km)
DC-8-63 4.830 nautical miles (8.950 km)

Prices all variants ($ in Millions)
Aircraft not in production - Prices not current

Douglas DC-8 Super 60 Series
Douglas announced in April 1965 to produce a stretched version of the earlier DC-8 models by designing three new models, known as the Super Sixties. Although the DC-8 program had been in danger of closing with fewer than 300 aircraft sold, the design of a new line of fresh aircraft brought life back into the program. In total 262 DC-8's had been made by the time production ceased in 1972. Until the Boeing 747 made its entrance into the commercial market in the early 1970's, the DC-8 was easily the largest airliner available.

The first version in the Super Sixty line was the DC-8-61 which was specifically designed for high capacity and medium range. It had the same weights and powerplants as the DC-8-53, and sacrificed a certain amount of range in order to gain capacity. In order to stretch the aircraft, Douglas inserted a 6 m plug in the foward fuselage and a 5 m plug aft, increasing overall length to 57 m, giving the aircraft a somewhat lean look. The additional length meant that the aircraft should be structurally strengthened in order to counteract bending forces, but the basic DC-8 design already had sufficient ground clearance to permit the one-third increase in cabin size without requiring longer landing gear. The aircraft was certificated in September 1966 and was capable of carrying 210 passengers, or 269 in a high density configuration. A total of 88 were sold.

In April 1967 the long-range DC-8-62 Series followed. It was stretched by a modest 2 m (1 m plug fore and aft), and was powered by the same JT3D engines as the -53 and -61. Besides this, a number of additional modifications provided greater range. The wingspan was increased by 1,5 m which reduced drag while increasing fuel capacity. Furthermore, Douglas installed redesigned engine pods, extended the pylons and substituting new shorter and neater nacelles, all of which had a drag reduction as a result. The -62 had a range with full payload of approximately 5,210 nautical miles (9,620 km) and could seat up to 159 passengers. In total 67 DC-8-62 aircraft have been build.

The DC-8-63 was the last version of the Super Sixties series and entered service in June 1968. It incorporated some aerodynamic improvements and increased fuel capacity of the -62 together with the very long fuselage of the -61. Newer more powerful JT3D-7 turbofan engines were installed, which gave the aircraft a Maximum Take-off Weight of approximately 159 tonnes and had range of 4,830 nautical miles (8,950 km). In total 107 were built, with over a half of them being convertibles or freighters.

BAX Douglas DC-8-71(F)
DHL Douglas DC-8-71(F)
ATI Douglas DC-8
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Douglas DC-8 Super 70 Series - "The Story Continues..."
At the time the DC-8 Super Sixties series went into production, concerns were raised about the noise these early jetliners produced. Eventually, increasing traffic densities and a change of public attitude led to many complaints regarding aircraft noise. Before the first DC-8-61 even was built, the New York Port Authority expressed concern about the noise to be expected from this particular aircraft as early as 1966, and agreed with operators to operate their aircraft at lower weights to reduce noise. By the early 1970s, legislation for aircraft noise standards were being introduced in many countries, and the Super Sixty series were at risk of being banned from major airports.

Astar Air Cargo Douglas DC-8
ATI Douglas DC-8
Private Douglas DC-8
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In that same year, McDonnell Douglas was approached by several airlines for noise reduction modifications to the DC-8 but nothing was yet done. Although several other third parties developed so-called hushkits, no real move was made to keep the DC-8 in service. It was General Electric who began discussions with major airlines in 1975 to fit their aircraft with new and vastly quieter CFM56 engines to both DC-8 and Boeing 707 aircraft. McDonnell Douglas remained reluctant to this offer, however, in the late 1970s work was started to develop the 70 Series DC-8s.

McDonnell Douglas started with developing the DC-8-72 and DC-8-73 models and were actually straightforward conversions of the -62 and -63. The aircraft were fitted with CFM56-2 high-bypass turbofan engines in new housings built by Grumman. Since the -61 did not receive the improved wings and relocated engines as the -62 and -63 had, it required considerably more modification. Although Maximum Take-off Weights for all Seventy models remained the same, there was a slight reduction in payload due to the newer and heavier engines. In 1982, all three models were certified and a total of 110 Sixty Series DC-8s were converted by the time the program was terminated in 1986.

Douglas DC-8 Super 60 & 70 Series Family Overview

Douglas DC-8-61 The DC-8-61 received certification in September 1966 and was capable of carrying 210 passengers over medium range routes. The aircraft had a lean look as Douglas decided to stretch the aircraft by implementing respectively 6 and 5 m plugs in the foreward and aft fuselage.
 
Douglas DC-8-62 The DC-8-62 was introduced roughly a half year later in April 1967. It was slightly stretched by 2 m and was able to carry 159 passengers over distances of about 9,620 km. In total 67 were built.
 
Douglas DC-8-63 The DC-8-63 was the final build variant and entered service in June 1968. The aircraft combined the aerodynamic refinements together with increased fuel capacity. In total 107 were built, with most of them still in service as either convertible or freighter.
 
Douglas DC-8-71/72/73 The DC-8-71/72/73 were in principle straightforward conversions of the -61, -62 and -63 although they incorporated more fuel efficient CFM56-2 high-bypass turbofan engines. By the time the program ended in 1986, 110 60-Series DC-8s were converted.