To Atlanta Today

41 minutes in a Delta DC-9 brings back memories – I arrived at Delta on December 20, 1965, the same day as the first DC-9 delivery. As it evolved, I became a powerplant engineer for the DC-9, so learned a lot more about the little airplane over the next few years. A real workhorse as they say, and pretty much bulletproof. My fun assignment, though, was the CJ805 that powered the Convair 880 – still the speed record holder for airliners. The CJ was a civilianized (non-afterburning) GE J90 engine which, with afterburner, powered the F-4 Phantom used by all three air services (USN, USAF, USMC). Lord knows the CJ burned enough jet fuel without a burner – Delta wasn’t set up for mid-air refueling that was required to feed the burner. And jet fuel was expensive – between 10 and 12 cents a gallon! If you had told me you could operate Delta profitably on $3.75 a gallon fuel, I’d never have believed it. Of course, many things that seemed impossible in 1965 are realities today. But that will be a post for another day.

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About donaldhodges

An observer on the Emerald Coast of NW Florida...
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