This 1970, color film reviews the maintenance process for a DC-8 jet airliner at the United Airlines maintenance base in San Francisco. It was originally an episode of "Discovery", a kids program that ran on ABC between 1962-1971.
The film shows how the DC-8 undergoes a periodic overhaul that lasts for five full days. We follow the maintenance crews through the detailed process of maintaining these incredible machines. The film opens with a DC-8 jet airplane landing on the tarmac in San Francisco. The DC-8 is in the service dock. Main titles: Five Days to Flight Time. Discovery ’70. With Bill Owen and Virginia Gibson 2:00. Jets on the tarmac outside San Francisco’s International Airport 2:20. Dock 3, one of the huge overhaul hangers at the United Airlines maintenance base 2:52. Each plane in service has its own number and the DC-8 getting serviced here is number 2601. The DC-8 enters Dock 3 3:33. The tow hauls the DC-8 into the hangar with mechanics in the cockpit 4:04. The rudder is tested 4:30. The first mechanical shift is responsible for “unbuttoning” the aircraft 4:59. Bolts and fasteners are removed and put in cloth bags 5:20. Any metals that could be affected by paint are covered 5:35. Many areas need to be cleaned before they can be worked on 5:40. Man removes excess fuel from the tanks 6:12. Three hydraulic jacks will help support the jet while it is in the dock 6:25. The plane is raised so that the landing gear can be worked on 6:36. All the mechanics coordinate their jobs for complete safety 7:01. Red tags say “remove before flight” – these tags are there for safety 7:25. A large scaffold is hand towed into the hangar 7:30. Flop boards drop into place on the scaffold which allows men to work at several different levels on the plane 7:50. Motorized stands move in around the plane 7:55. Services that can be removed on the plane are called cowling and cover surfaces that need to be regularly maintained 8:09. The fixed covering of an aircraft is called “skin” which gets cleaned and polished 8:28. Items labeled “AOG” which stands for “aircraft on ground” take top priority 8:50. The mechanics work quickly but efficiently to maintain their five day schedule 9:35. The rudder is removed and its weight supported in a sling 9:54. The rudder is lifted and then lowered to the dock floor 10:18. The rudder is rolled to the sheet-metal department for review and rebalancing 10:35. The seats are taken out of the cabin to be completely redone 10:50. Bill Owen and Virginia Gibson speak to the camera 11:45. Virginia Gibson speaks to the camera and then enters the plane which is completely stripped down 13:25. The light connections are displayed 13:40. The raw floors will be re-carpeted 13:50. Mechanics work on the wing 14:10. Government inspectors must approve processes and any changes the mechanics make 14:30. Bill Owen talks to us from outside the planning office as employees line up for a shift change 15:00. Mechanical tracking system is shown - this is a manual process 15:34. The rudder of 2601 is maintained, painted and rebalanced 16:05. The rudder is attached to 2 balance stands 17:03. Bill Owen speaks to the camera 17:40. Virginia Gibson speaks to the camera and explains the different signals within the maintenance deck 20:20. Wings are tested for drag and balance 20:35. Navigation lights are tested at the end of the wing 20:50. Static wicks get rid of static electricity that builds up in an aircraft 21:10. Booties must be worn when walking on the wing 21:25. A Gamma Ray projector creates a radiograph of the jet engines 21:40. The flap gate goes up when the jet engine blasts 22:10. Gas tanks are inspected from the inside 22:20. Virginia Gibson stands by new rudder being tested 23:11. The trim tab is measured and is very delicate 23:20. Each job needs to be signed for by the men who works it 23:55. The carpet, the upholstery, the seats – everything is checked from the inside out 24:15. The final check is called a walkaround and it is a final visual check of the aircraft 24:35. Bill Owen and Virginia Gibson speak to the camera from outside the aircraft on the tarmac 25:00. Bill Owen and Virginia Gibson sit in the plane and talk to the camera 27:45. United. The Discovery Production Unit’s Domestic Transportation Arrangements and Promotional Consideration Provided by United Airlines. Executive producer, Jules Power. Written by Mary Dornheim. Directed by Vincent Scarza.
This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD and 2K. For more information visit http://www.PeriscopeFilm.com