News Extra - A DC8.org Exclusive!

Wednesday, August 21, 1961
Douglas Passenger Jet Breaks Sound Barrier

DC8.org Newswire

Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. - The Douglas Aircraft Company has broken yet another record with its DC-8 aircraft. Earlier today, during a routine certification test flight, Douglas Chief Pilot Bill Magruder flew the aircraft faster than the speed of sound, making the DC-8 the first Commercial Jet Transport to break the sound barrier.
After climbing to an altitude of 52,090 feet, the DC-8-42 series aircraft attained a maximum speed of Mach 1.012 or 660 mph while in a controlled dive through 41,088 feet. The purpose of the flight was to collect data on a new leading-edge design for the wing.

A Lockheed F-104 Starfighter and a North American F-100 Super Sabre accompanied 
the record setting flight to confirm the data.

Upon completion of flight testing, the record setting aircraft will be delivered to Canadian Pacific Air Lines for regular scheduled service.

In June, the DC-8 set 3 speed records while being operated by Delta Airlines.

Aircraft Info:
Type: Douglas DC-8-43
Production Line#: 130
Serial #: 45623

Customer: Canadian Pacific
Delivery Date: 11/15/1961

      Sources:
      Great Airliners Series Volume Two - Douglas DC-8, Terry Waddington
      A Brief History - DC-8 Commercial Transport
      Breaking The Sound Barrier
      Aviation Week, September 4, 1961
      DC-8 collectable document (below)
 


Click for full size image

View a document that flew aboard the record setting flight! Several of these "collector's items" were flown aboard the historic flight and mailed to VIP's, friends, and employees of Douglas Aircraft.

 

Document from the DC-8 Collection of Michael Franznick