Fred Cox
DC-8 Jet Collection

UNITED AIRLINES
DC-8-61

1/250 Scale

Color Scheme: Final Colors

Registration: N8079U

Composition: Die-cast Metal

Dimensions: Length: 9" (23cm), Wingspan 7" (18cm)

Condition: Mint

Model History: Produced by Gemini Jets, Las Vegas, NV (Made in China). Acquired on September 27, 2004 from Airlinerz via eBay. This is my first Gemini Jets 250 model and I'm pleased with the quality - for it's price.

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 'over water' 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). 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-8F-54 1/50 Scale in Delivery (1960s) Colors

United DC-8-61 1/50 Scale in Delivery (1960s) Colors
United DC-8-62H 1/200 Scale in Third Livery (Around 1976 Bicentennial) with Script Titles & "Stars & xxxxStripes" aka the "Friendship" Livery
The Livery I don't have a model in is the Second (Early 1970s) Livery with Script Titles Only - Non-"Stars & Bars or Friendship" Livery. Someday, I hope to find a United DC-8 model with this second livery.


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