Garnet Ross has sent us this information -
Well, again we have some facts that need to be clarified about our beloved DC-8 fleet. In NetLetter 1327, Ken Pickford made reference to the fact that 5 DC-8-63 aircraft were converted to all freight configuration.
In fact there were a total of 8 DC-8-63 aircraft that were converted to all freight configuration. The first group of aircraft to be done were FIN’s 867, 871, 872, 873, 874, and 875. As one of these aircraft finished its conversion to freighter, it replaced a small DC-8-54/55 that was then retired from the fleet.
Once these 6 renamed DC-8-63-CF’s were on line and in service, they were once again removed, one at a time, and sent to Dorval for engine up-grates with the GE Smecma CFM-56 engines. When they re-entered service they were then called DC-8-73-CF’s. All conversions were completed by mid 1985.
Very shortly thereafter, it was decided that more aircraft were needed in the freighter fleet and FIN numbers 876 and 877 were taken from their resting places in the Arizona desert and converted to freighters. These last two aircraft were not refitted with the more powerful and fuel efficient CFM-56 engines and were called DC-8-63-CF’s.
(Our records indicate that fin 876 CF-TIU and Fin 877 CF-TIV were converted by Aerovali, Venice. CF-TIU flew first revenue flight April 26th 1986 YUL-PWK-BRU, and sold to Airborne Express Intl November and December 1988 respectively. – eds)
All the DC-8 freighter aircraft were removed from service by the summer of 1994.
Garnet Ross, (retired)
Air Canada Cargo