Frankfurt – Classic Jet Airliners 1960s – 1980s

See the classic airliners of the 1960s and 1970s again – here on our History Pages. Please click at the photos and step into the past. See the Boeing 707, DC-8 or VC-10 and other airliners again!

XA-PEI Aeronaves de México Douglas DC-8-51 - cn 45652 / ln 176 "Tenochtitlan"
Aeronaves de México stepped into the jet-age with a leased DC-8 Series 21 in October 1960. Between 1962 and 1968 Aeronaves de México received a batch of six "short-body" Douglas DC-8, which production ended in October 1968. XA-PEI (DC-8 Series 51, s/n 45652 / 176) made its first flight on 18.10.1962, was delivered to the Mexican carrier on 24.11.1962 and became named after the capital of the Aztec Empire "Tenochtitlan".XA-PEI ended in a crash on 13.08.1966 near Acapulco during a training flight at night, killing all crew members on board.
As one of Douglas' best customers, Scandinavian Airlines was involved with the DC-8 from March 1960 until May 1972, when the three-nations-carrier received the last build DC-8 at Long Beach. Pictured OY-KTH started its life with Eastern Airlines on 14.12.1969 as N8755 (46097 / ln 503) "Bue Viking". Scandinavian Airlines bought it in February 1974 and used it as OY-KTH (- 08/79) and LN-MOF (08/79 - 02/89) on its long-haul and charter routes. After operated by various cargo airlines on leasing contracts, in 2007 this aircraft found its way to Air Charter Express / Meridian Airways with a new homebase at Ostende Airport.
6Y-JII Douglas DC-8-62H (cn 46084 / ln 473). Air Jamaica received this ex United example in October 1973 and operated it until 1982, when Cammacorp bought it. Cammacorp was founded in 1977 by former McDonnell Douglas emplyoees to retrofit existing DC-8/60 with the new CFM56 engines developed by CFM International. United Airlines was the first customer for the modification of its DC-8 and with the end of Cammacorp in 1986 the company had modified 110 aircraft of DC-8 Series 61/62/63 to Series 71, 72 or 73. 6Y-JII started its career with United on 19 August 1969 as N8972U, before Air Jamaica received it five years later. After conversion to CFM-56 powered DC-8 Series 72 from 1987 on it was used by Saudia Arabian Gouverment for VIP duties as HZ-HM11 (ex HZ-MS11). In 1995 it was retired and sold the following year. Finally broken up at Dallas by December 2003.
TF-BCV on arrival at RWY 07 at Frankfurt International on a cold winter afternoon in January 1981. After Cargolux sold this aircraft in 1984, with its new owner Evergreen replaced the old PW JT3D-7 engines with CFM56-2C1 and operated it as N815EV. Last operator of this DC-8/63 is Cincinnati-based ASTAR Air Cargo.
Leased from Cargolux, Air India took advantage of this DC-8 Series 63CF. Pictured TF-BCV made its first flight on 15 August 1968 before delivered to Flying Tiger Airlines four weeks later as N782FT. Bought by Cargolux in 1975 as TF-BCV, this aircraft was in use until 1984, mostly by Cargolux, but also on some leasing contracts
founded in 1964 as the charter branch of Austrian Airlines, Austrian Airtransport had a sole DC-8/63 in its inventory, leased from ONA Overseas National Airways. OE-IBO (cn 46088 / ln 464) made its first flight in April 1969 and was delivered to ONA 29.05.1969 as N865F. Austrian Airtransport leased it from ONA between 24 September 1973 and 5 December 1974 to operate it on its charter route. After the lease expired, OE-IBO went back to ONA. In 2012 this DC-8/63 was still active with National Airlines as N865F, which had two of this type in service.
EC-BQS (cn 46079 / ln 476) painted in the old-styled Aviaco color scheme in April 1981.
EC-BQS painted in the new colors of Aviaco in August 1983 Aviaco sold this DC-8/63 (cn 46079 / ln 476) to leasing company IAL in 1984, which leased it to Hawaiian Airlines. Its last operator was Airborne Express (N822AX) until 2003, when it was retired and scrapped later at Wilmington. After a joint-venture in 1965 Aviaco had become a subsidary of Iberia and operated the less frequented domestic routes. During the 1970s Iberia handed over most of its DC-8 and DC-9 to Aviaco. After Iberia had acquired most of the Aviaco shares, a reorganisation started, ending with the integration in Iberia. After 50 years in aviation the story of Aviaco ended in 1999 with all of the aircraft repainted in Iberia colors. Below: EC-BQS in the old "Iberia look-alike" colors in April 1981.
Photographed on its last season for Aviaco EC-BSD (DC-8 Series 63 - cn 46116 / ln 518), made its first flight on 16 January 1970 , before Iberia received it in December 1970. Named after the Spanish Baroque painter Francisco Ribalta, it served for the Spanish national carrier until May 1980, when it was leased to Aviaco. After the lease ended in December 1983, it was sold to leasing company IAL. Last operator of this aircraft was cargo airline Airborne Express, which used it between January 1992 and June 2002 as N281AX. Withdrawn from use in 2002 and later scrapped at Wilmington. Below: Iberia named all of its DC-8 after Spanish painters and EC-BQS makes no exception. Delivered to Iberia as EC-BQS in August 1969 and named "Claudio Coello", the carrier used it until 1981, when it was lased to Aviaco, now named "Marbella".
Between 1972 and 1985 Spanish carrier Aviaco operated 13 DC-8 Series 50 and 60, most of them leased from Iberia. Below: Douglas DC-8-54CF Jet Trader EC-CQM (cn 45668 / ln 187) made its first flight on 12.07.1963 before delivery to Capitol Air. After a short-term lease in 1975 Aviaco bought it and used it until 1986. After conversion into an all-freight version following same year, this aircraft was leased by various cargo airlines until 2002, when it was withdrawn from use and stored.
Traditionally connected with Douglas, it was no surprise when Dutch national carrier KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij) started into the jet age after receiving a batch of seven DC-8/33 between March and October 1960. Over the following years KLM increased its fleet by adding further DC-8 Series 50 and Series 60 to its inventory. Photographed while lining up Runway 25 in February 1969, DC-8 Series 63 PH-DEE (46019 / ln 411) is only three months in service for the Dutch carrier. PH-DEE made its first flight on 15 October 1968 and was delivered to KLM on 27 November 1968. UPS purchased this aircraft in 1985 and after conversion into DC-8 Series 73 freighter, the carrier operated it between 1986 and 2009. Scrapped in 2010.
First flown in 1968 and delivered to french carrier UTA on 27.04.1968 as F-BOLF, which operated it until 1986, only interrupted by a leasing time from 1981 to 1983 , when it was used by Linhas Aereas de Mocambique. ATS Corporation bought it in April 1986 and reregistered it to N728PL. After conversion into a freighter follwing, it was leased to Interstate Airlines from July 1986 to September 1988. Seen at Frankfurt on 17.08.1988 while approaching RWY 07R completing a military charter run from the United States. Photo by Ralf Drews.
With an age 30 years, N220RB was probably the oldest "living" DC-8 in the late 1980s. Build as a DC-8 Srs. 11 in 1958, it made its first flight January 02, 1959 (N8038D). Delivery to United Airlines as N8003U took place June 16, 1960 after a further conversion to series 12 standard (new wingtips, leading- edge slats and a increased maximum weight of 123,8 t). 29 of the Series 10 were build, 22 of them went to United Airlines for use on its domestic routes. In the mid 1960s most of the underpowered Series 10 were converted to series 20, with more powerful Pratt & Whitney JT4A engines (now ca. 71kN thrust) and further increase of the maximum weight up to 125 t. United phased it out after 20 years of service and donated it to Project Orbis, a nonprofit humanitarian organization which used this aircraft as a flying hospital from 1982 on. When replacemant parts for the DC-8 became difficult to get, in 1992 Project Orbis purchased a used DC-10/30. After conversion into a flying eye surgery hospital was completed in 1994, the DC-8 was finally withdrawn and became a display in an aviation museum at Beijing. Taken at FRA 04.12.1989.
Douglas build 51 convertible DC-8/63CF with a cargo door, EC-BMZ "Los Madrazo" is one of them. This DC-8 joined Spanish national carrier Iberia on 16.12.1968 and was operated until 1983, when it was phased out and sold to Arrow Air as N441J.
Wearing the old Iberia colors: EC-BMV DC-8-55CF (45965 / 346) "Pedro Berruguette" made its first flight on 15 February 1968 and was delivered to Iberia on March 31, 1968. It served for the Spanish national carrier until October 1978, when it was leased to Aviaco. Between 1985 and 1996 it was operated by few African cargo airlines. Sold to MK Airlines in 1995, becoming 9G-MKD. Destroyed after landing accident at Port Harcourt, Nigeria on 17.12.1996.
Gear down, all flaps deployed and showing the classic 1960s design of the "Speedbird" logo: G-ARVJ is only seconds away from touchdown at RWY 25 at Frankfurt Airport. When this picture was taken, G-ARVJ was almost five years in service for the British state carrier BOAC. It made its first flight 25.02.1964 and joined the fleet 23.04.1964. Between 1975 and 1981 it was leased to Qatar Government and in September 1982 purchased by Royal Air Force as ZD493. A look in the background: in summer 1969 Lufthansa had completed its fleet of Boeing 737-130, four of them can be seen parked in the ramp.
Ready for take-off: G-ARVJ is ready to leave Frankfurt Airport in June 1969. Originally projected in 1957 as a long-range jet airliner by Vickers as the Vickers 1000 and after five years of development the prototype of the VC-10 (G-ARTA) made its first flight 29.06.1962. BOAC received 12 VC-10 Srs.1101 in 1964 as a medium range / long range airliner for 135 passengers. From the first days in service, the VC-10 became very popular with its passengers and crews.
With an order of three Boeing 707-300 in February 1958 South African Airways jumped into the jet age. By the end of the 1960s SAA had deployed ten examples of that type on its international long-range routes. With the arrival of the Boeing 747 in the 1970s South African Airways replaced its 707s with that type and by the end of the decade most of the 707s were gone. Shown Boeing 707-344C ZS-SAF (s/n 19706 / 691) joined South African Airways from April 1968 on and left the fleet exaxtly ten years later, when it was sold Luxair. After extensive use by different carriers between 1978 and 1988, Israel Aircraft Industries purchased it for KC-137 conversion and from 1995 on it was in service with South African Airforce.
Between 1973 and 1980 Ariana Afghan operated this ex Lufthansa Boeing 720-030B D-ABOM (18060 / 210) on its European routes as YA-HBA Lufthansa operated eight B720s between 1961 and 1965 on their Middle East and South American routes, but from 1964 on all of the remaining 720s were sold to Pan Am, operating this example between January 1966 and April 1973 as N785PA "Jet Clipper Balboa". After its career ended with Ariana, this aircraft served with different Turkish carriers in 1980, before it made its way to Colombian carrier Aerotal. In July 1983 it was retired and later scrapped after a one-year storage at Miami.
Founded in 1946, Khartoum-based Sudan Air entered the jet age with two DeHavilland Comet 4C in November 1962. In the 1970s Sudan Air used a batch of temporarly leased Boeing 707 and 720s which replaced its ageing Comets on international routes. Shown ST-AFB, a Boeing 707-3J8C (20898 / 887), was one of two examples ordered by Sudan Air in August 1973 to be delivered in summer 1974. When this picture was taken by D. Eggert on an winter evening in Frankfurt, probably no one would expect this aircraft still flying after year 2000.
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Photos provided by Dietrich Eggert and Ralf Drews – all photos are copyright protected and may not used without permission by the owners.