I’m taking you back to the 1970s for this installment of Vintage Airline Seat Maps with a United Airlines DC-8-52. Seating a total of 12 passengers in first class (four more in the lounge) and 124 in coach (five additional in the rear lounge), this aircraft exited service with United around 1980. The most shocking detail to we modern day flyers is the seat pitch in coach at 38”, which is the same as first class on this bird. This, of course, was in a day of more civility and the soft product in first class had to be simply amazing. Heck, I’d assume even the service in coach was top-notch! Also interesting to note are the seat widths and that United revealed the middle seats in coach were 0.2” shorter at 16.4” total. I think the minimum width these days is 17″.
In first class you’d find me in row two and definitely in a window seat, as the windows on the DC-8s seemed exceptionally large. I had flown on United’s DC-8-70s in the 1980s and noticed then just how large they were. Just about any seat in coach would be a good pick, but you’d find me in the first two rows for a great view of the wing & engines. The darker brownish shaded areas were the smoking sections.
Where would you sit?
As an added bonus for this post, check out this short video of a United DC-8-52 apparently on display right here in Los Angeles at the California Science Center. I didn’t see it listed as an exhibit on their website just now, but will definitely put a call into them. If it’s there I’ll certainly go for a visit!