Originally Posted by plane_madnz
Thanks Mr Klein and all who were involved in getting this model / livery into production. I have always enjoyed the Aeroclassic models, their 737-200's were the first in my 1:400 collection which is now sitting around 350 models. Small in comparison to some, but big enough for me
Cheers again for everyone's hard work in getting this underway
Well said mate and thanks Andrew for your reply to my post.
Here's some detail on the 'Mighty 8' in Air NZ service:
Air New Zealand's first DC-8-52 ZK-NZA performed its maiden flight from Long Beach California on February 14th 1965 and was delivered to the airline on July 20th 1965. The 6510 mile non-stop delivery flight to Auckland was completed in 13 hours 32 minutes.
Arrival of ZK-NZA was closely followed by sister ships ZK-NZB on August 12th then ZK-NZC on September 22nd 1965. Each of Air New Zealand's DC-8's were configured for 129 passengers and powered by P&W JT3D-3B fanjet engines. The airlines first 3 DC-8's were delivered in hybrid livery featuring dual "TEAL/AIR NEW ZEALAND" titles employed fleet wide during transition from old to new corporate brands.
Air New Zealand's DC-8 jetliners were the source of tremendous pride for the airline. Public acceptance was immediate. One aircraft was opened for inspection at Auckland International Airport on October 2nd 1965 by enthusiastic public eager for a close look the new jets. On October 3rd 1965 Air New Zealand operated it's first ever DC-8 jet service between Christchurch and Melbourne and on November 24th flew its first scheduled services through the new Auckland International Airport .... an L-188 service to Fiji along with a DC-8 to Sydney .... the airport was not officially opened until January 29th 1966.
This was a time of major expansion for Air New Zealand. The longer ranging DC-8's promoted services to new exotic places along with significantly reduced travelling times. Services to new destinations were often (unusually by today's standards) preceded by "non-commercial route proving/promotional flights" in advance of scheduled services.
The first of such flights operated between Auckland and Los Angeles on December 10th 1965. Air New Zealand's DC-8's then began operating twice weekly scheduled services to Los Angeles (via Nadi and Honolulu) on December 14th 1965. Similar promotional flights operated to the Orient during February 1966. First to Hong Kong on February 15th then Singapore on February 24th. Scheduled Air New Zealand DC-8 services to Hong Kong (via Sydney and Manila) then commenced on March 3rd 1966 followed by Singapore (via Sydney) on April 6th 1966.
Disaster occurred on the afternoon of July 4th 1966. DC-8 ZK-NZB crashed during a training flight at Auckland International Airport. The aircraft was performing a series of touch and go maneuvers during which simulated failed engine procedures were rehearsed. The accident occurred as the check captain rapidly retarded # 4 engine throttle moments after lift-off .... generated inertial forces then caused the associated thrust brake lever to rise and enter the reverse idle detent.
Recovery was impossible before the aircraft impacted the ground about its starboard wingtip and cart wheeled disintegrating for several hundred yards along the main taxiway. 2 of the 5 crew were killed in the accident which highlighted a potentially fatal flaw in the DC-8 throttle system not previously been encountered during developmental test flying.
DC-8's re-launched Air New Zealand flights to Tahiti on November 5th 1967 after a 2 year suspension of services to French Polynesia. This service was operated as first stage of a 3rd weekly frequency to Los Angeles. An additional 2 factory fresh DC-8-52's were purchased by Air New Zealand during 1968. The new aircraft became ZK-NZD (# 45932) delivered on January 29th and ZK-NZE (# 45985) delivered on February 28th .... increasing the airlines DC-8 fleet strength to 4 aircraft.
Both DC-8's were delivered featuring Air New Zealand's definitive "Five Star Jet" livery of the 1960's-70's era. These new aircraft retained passenger seating configuration of their preceding sister ships but were powered by slightly higher performance P&W JT3D-3B-D1 type fanjet engines.
A 5th DC8-52 was delivered to Air New Zealand during November 1970. This particular aircraft was leased from United Airlines to become ZK-NZF (ex N8036U # 45303). The aircraft did not enter service until December 14th 1970 and was eventually purchased by the airline on July 9th 1971.
In 1970 Air New Zealand DC-8's began operating Auckland/Melbourne services from July 1st then Christchurch/Melbourne from July 4th. From April 1st 1971 the airlines frequency to Los Angeles increased to 4 services each week with introduction of a 2nd flight via Honolulu. Air New Zealand's 6th and final DC-8-52 was also purchased from United Airlines on October 21st 1971 and became ZK-NZG (ex N8034U # 45301).
This aircraft entered service on November 29th 1971. The airlines frequency to Los Angeles was further increased during November 1971 and again in January 1972 with DC-8's operating additional Auckland/Nandi/Honolulu/Los Angeles and Auckland/Tahiti/Los Angeles services. Air New Zealand's final L188 Electra service operated on May 30th 1972 succeeded by DC-8's which then commenced international flights through Wellington from June 1st linking the New Zealand capital with Sydney, Brisbane, and Melbourne.
Air New Zealand entered the wide-body era on January 27th 1973 with delivery of the first of 8 new DC10-30's. Prior commitment to DC10's the airline was considering re-equipping with DC8 Super 61, -62, -63, or L1011 aircraft. DC10's also introduced the airlines new corporate identity featuring Maori "Koru" tail logo and stripping representative of sternposts on early Polynesian voyaging canoes from pre-European times. The first of the airlines 6 DC-8's were repainted in this new livery during May 1973 with conversion of the remainder of the fleet being completed prior the end of 1973.
From December 2nd 1973 DC8's commenced Air New Zealand Auckland/Rarotonga services and on December 4th reopened the airlines "Coral Route" linking Auckland, Tahiti, Nadi, Pago Pago, and Rarotonga. The "Coral Route" was originally operated by TEAL flying-boats from 1951-1960. Members of the British royal family travelled by Air New Zealand DC-8 between Rarotonga and Christchurch on January 30th 1974.
HM Queen Elizabeth 2 was accompanied by HRH Princess Anne and Captain Mark PHILLIPS for closure of the 10th British Commonwealth Games hosted by the city of Christchurch. The royal charter was commanded by Captain Ross JOHNSON. From March 1974 most Air New Zealand flights to Rarotonga, Tahiti, and American Samoa became direct services from Auckland rather than multi staged flights through the Pacific region. DC-8's also introduced Christchurch/Wellington/Nadi services from May 3Oth 1974.
As DC-10's entered service Air New Zealand began inevitable and progressive disposal of its DC-8 fleet from 1976. DC-8-52 ZK-NZF was sold to McDonnell-Douglas on March 25th 1976 for lease to Cyprus Airways. The aircraft became N99862 and was later damaged in a gun battle at Nicosia Airport on February 20th 1978.
It returned to McDonnell-Douglas for repair and was later sold to Evergreen International where it became N804EV. On September 27th 1976 DC-8-52 ZK-NZG was also sold to Evergreen International and became N800EV. DC8-52 ZK-NZA also joined Evergreen on January 14th 1977 to become N801EV.
All 3 ex Air New Zealand DC-8's served the remainder of their economic lives with Evergreen International until final withdrawal from service and eventual scrapping during the 1990's.