For more than 30 years the DC-8 was an important part of the United Airlines fleet, as Barry Lloyd explains.


United Airlines’ love affair with the ground-breaking Douglas DC-8 jetliner can be traced back to before the type had even flown. The fourengines, single-aisle transport made its maiden flight on May 30, 1958, along with Delta Air Lines, United was one of two launch customers for the type and the company received its first example in June 3, 1959. This was swiftly followed by a further five DC-8 deliveries, which were used for training purposes by United during the next three months. In the meantime, United had produced what it called a Jetarama, in effect a travelling showcase that included mock-ups of the DC- 8’s interior and the engines. The idea was to get the public used to what, at that time, was the relatively new concept of jet travel.

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