NASA has retired legendary Douglas DC-8

Douglas DC-8 (Photo: NASA/Lori Losey).
Douglas DC-8 (Photo: NASA/Lori Losey).

NASA has retired legendary Douglas DC-8

Douglas DC-8 (Photo: NASA/Lori Losey).
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After more than 37 years of service as a flying science laboratory for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the legendary Douglas DC-8 aircraft reached its end in the sky. The jet was flown at low altitude from NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, California, to an airfield near Idaho State University, where it will be retired. Fortunately, the aircraft will not be scrapped but will serve as a teaching tool for future aircraft engineers.

The DC-8 has carried out dozens of missions over the years, helping scientists conduct experiments that would be impossible on the ground. Their contribution to scientific research was immeasurable, and their loss will be keenly felt by the aviation and research communities.

The end of the DC-8 era was wistfully observed by those near its final flight path. The legendary four-engine jetliner took to the skies for the last time before retiring. After his last mission in April, preparations for his retirement began.

For decades, the heavily modified DC-8 was the centerpiece of NASA's flying research. Stationed in Building 703 of the organization's Flight Research Center, she collected data for experiments that supported the global scientific community. NASA emphasized that the aircraft was accessible to researchers at all levels, from federal and state researchers to academic and foreign scientists.

The DC-8, once a symbol of passenger aircraft worldwide, has stood the test of time as airlines transition to more efficient aircraft. A few examples are still registered worldwide, but only a few fly regular passenger flights.

NASA already has plans for a replacement. The organization reportedly plans to continue the airborne laboratory program with an efficient Boeing 777-200ER that it purchased for $30 million. This decision marks the end of an era, but also the beginning of a new chapter in NASA's flying research.

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Editor of this article:

Amely Mizzi is Executive Assistant at Aviation Direct Malta in San Pawl il-Baħar. She previously worked in the Aircraft and Vessel Financing division at a banking group. She is considered a linguistic talent and speaks seven languages ​​fluently. She prefers to spend her free time in Austria on the ski slopes and in summer on Mediterranean beaches, practically on her doorstep in Gozo.
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Amely Mizzi is Executive Assistant at Aviation Direct Malta in San Pawl il-Baħar. She previously worked in the Aircraft and Vessel Financing division at a banking group. She is considered a linguistic talent and speaks seven languages ​​fluently. She prefers to spend her free time in Austria on the ski slopes and in summer on Mediterranean beaches, practically on her doorstep in Gozo.
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