To Atlanta in a DC-9

41 minutes in a Delta DC-9 brings back memories – I arrived at Delta on December 20, 1965, the same month 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 J79 engine which, with afterburner, powered the F-4 Phantom used by all three air services (USN, USAF, USMC).

General Electric CJ-805

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.


Last built: Tue, Apr 29, 2014 at 2:56 PM

By Don Hodges, Saturday, July 13, 2013 at 11:42 PM. Yeah well, that's just, you know, like, your opinion, man.