The McDonnell Douglas DC-8 71 73F is a medium-to-long haul cargo aircraft capable of transporting 45,000 kg via an internal pallet system. Cargo pallets require a high-loader to access its main deck.
Aircraft History and Features
The DC-8-71, DC-8-72 and DC-8-73 were straightforward conversions of the -61, -62 and -63 primarily involving replacement of the JT3D engines with more fuel-efficient 22,000 lb (98.5 kN) CFM56-2 high-bypass turbofans with new nacelles and pylons built by Grumman Aerospace and fairing of the air intakes below the nose. The DC-8-71 achieved the same end but required more modification because the -61 did not have the improved wings and relocated engines of the -62 and -63. Maximum takeoff weights remained the same, but there was a slight reduction in payload because of the heavier engines. All three models were certified in 1982 and a total of 110 60-Series DC-8s were converted by the time the program ended in 1988.
Also available are the cargo door equipped convertible -62CF or all cargo -62AF. Production included 51 DC-8-62s,
As of July 2018, one DC-8 remains in commercial service with Trans Air Cargo Service. In addition, several DC-8s are in use as private aircraft along with one in use by NASA for air quality testing as of October 2017. As of 2017, Skybus Cargo Charters based in Las Vegas, Nevada lists three DC-8 Super 70 series aircraft in its fleet including a DC-8-72 in VIP passenger configuration, a DC-8-72CF combi aircraft capable of transporting both passengers and cargo on the main deck and a DC-8-73F cargo aircraft.
Disaster relief organization Samaritan’s Purse, based in North Carolina, also operates a DC-8 for flying disaster relief supplies and staff.
Aircraft of similar role, configuration and era: Boeing 707, de Havilland Comet, Convair 990, Ilyushin Il-62, Shanghai Y-10, Tupolev Tu-114, Vickers VC10.