Thursday, August 10, 2017

Waiting on the (Yankee) Lady

So last night found me at Willow Run again.  I found out that there were going to be some Yankee Lady flights, so I had to catch one of them at least.
 I've been meaning to get a decent picture of this plane as I've been by the airport.  It is a Douglas DC-8.  The DC-8 was born out of a need for a Douglas Jet airliner.  Development for this aircraft was started in 1952 but company support was pretty lukewarm.  Douglas had a pretty commanding lead in the airliner market with their propeller driven DC-6 and DC-7.   But the writing was on the wall.
In 1952, DeHavilland entered the jet airliner market with their Comet.  Initially it was success but it was grounded in 1953 and 1954 after several fatal crashes.  The investigation determined the problem wasn't with the plane itself but metal fatigue caused by square windows.  This information was fed into the design of the DC-8 (and 707).
In 1954, what would eventually become the 707 was launched.  In 1957, what was the 707 was launched and that was the beginning of the end for propeller planes.  The DC-8 had it's first flight in the next year and during its 14 year production run, 556 of them were built.  There are still a handful in use as cargo planes.
 I tried to catch a picture of the B-17 as it was taking off but I couldn't get a good position for it.
 Not sure what kind of plane this is.
 This is a Cessna 560XL which is a variant of the Citation Series.
 Another angle of the Citation Excel.
 It wasn't too much longer before the Yankee Lady reappeared.  It is a pretty cool when this flies almost right overhead.  The four engines make a very distinct sound.
And one more shot.

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