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      Post #30488, posted on 11-24-2009 GMT-5 hours    
      With the help of "LS" Technical Adviser "Sparky", we're going to illustrate the major color scheme variations from the Eastern prototype 1955 markings to the 1964 color scheme (1964 727 Whisperjet "LS" upcoming). Initially, Eastern placed an order for (20) DC-8's plus (6) options in December 1955. The proposed color scheme would be the DC-7B delivery scheme and it appeared as the 2nd colors on the L-1049 and the Martin 404. The main difference would be the uniquely styled tail DC-8 "Falcon", which would essentially remain the same throughout the 1960-64 period. This 1956 scheme would never appear on the actual DC-8's as the "Golden Falcon" scheme was introduced with the first DC-8-21 delivery in January 1960. Prior to delivery, Eastern had canceled the first (6) DC-8-Srs. 10 delivery positions in favor of the improved DC-8-21 (15 actually delivered 1960-61). Delta Air Lines would take delivery of the (6)-11's. The first few DC-8-21's were delivered in the classic Blue Spear edged in White, Red and Gold window stripe with the Falcon on the tail and what may have been the longest U.S. fuselage titles "FLY EASTERN'S GOLDEN FALCON JET DC-8B". As you can see in the photo below there are already differnces in the size of the DC-8B letters in the 2 A/C. Also not the NMF on the nose, below the cockpit windows with a small anti-glare panel. After the 1st few DC-8-21's entered service, Delta and United filed a complaint to the CAB stating that Eastern was advertising their DC-8's as a newer more advanced model (which the -21 was!..United -21's arrived soon afterwords) and the CAB ruled that the DC-8B designation had to be removed from the A/C and all advertising. Notice the full anti-glare panel variation which was 1 of the 2 styles used. With the removal of the "DC-8B" title, the "FLY EASTERN'S GOLDEN JET" titles were now used. On some DC-8's, a 2nd US flag was added in place of the "DC-8B". Still in 1960, another change to the titles was made as the "GOLDEN JET" was dropped and replaced with "FLY EASTERN AIR LINES". Again, there would be variations as shown in this inflight photo(scroll down to B/W photo) which has no stripe at the top of the tail and a much larger Falcon! Now going into the end of 1960, this probably would have remained the color scheme for the next few years, had it not been for the Lockheed "Electra" accidents. After the FAA imposed speed restrictions and LEAP modification program, Eastern was worried that the public might not want to fly the "Electra's", so a new color scheme was created for the L 188. The first Boeing 720's were soon to be arriving and even though the new color scheme was first used on the "Electra's" when they re-entered service in February 1961, Eastern employees would adopt the name "720 Scheme" for identification purposes. The 'spear' was reduced in size and only the 720's had the model designation used in large numbers at the rear. In the above photo you can see that the new "Falcon" on the 720 tail had Red as it's main color but the DC-8 retained it's "Golden Falcon"(with Red trim). In late 1963, the final alteration took place (finally!). "FLY EASTERN" titles now replaced the previous titles and this would be the final color scheme into 1964. It's pretty amazing when you realize that most of these changes took place within the first year or so.........John3 (Thanks to "Sparky" for Eastern information and the great DC-8 images).