One of the most elegant airplanes, in my opinion, is the Douglas DC-8. The sleek nose, rounded fuselage and swept wings represent the elegance and grace of the early jet age. The DC-8 was Douglas’s first jet aircraft and followed the Boeing 707 to market one year late, costing Douglas dearly. However, time shows the DC-8 as a worthy companion in the air, especially the later Super series, most of which have surpassed 100,000 flight hours (ref). Something that can’t be said about most Boeing jets. Most DC-8’s today are found in the charter market or have been converted to freighters.
With Historic Jetliner’s Group recent May web update, I decided to test their DC-8 in FSX. But, which variant? I wanted something a little more current and realistic for 2008, so I turned my attention toward the freighter variants. While there are plenty of freight companies with attractive liveries on their aircraft, there is one that popped out of the crowd. The Airborne Express/DHL DC-8-63F(M) (N814AX) in the current livery not only stood out with its bright yellow and red scheme, but the lines accentuated the sexy fuselage. Douglas delivered this aircraft to SAS airlines on February 28, 1969 and served as a valiant member of their fleet until 1991, when it was sold to its current operator, Airborne Express. (pic, pic)
Now that I had my choice of aircraft, I simply downloaded the base pack and livery pack and loaded them into FSX. The instructions were simple to follow and I found myself quickly at KMEM considering where my destination would be. I recently flew to San Antonio (KSAT) and decided that would make a short, sufficient flight to check the grand old lady out.
The power is sluggish compared to today’s modern jets, but she flew with grace and never belched at any of my control inputs. Flying this bird really made me appreciate the old school engineering and design of this elegant aircraft.
While my FSX cancelled the flight while I was on final approach, this was a remarkable flight that made me appreciate the grace, elegance, and sexiness of the Douglas DC-8. I would highly recommend this model to everyone as it deserves a space in everyone’s FSX hangar.
Note: This model is also available for FS9.