The Douglas DC-9 entered service Dec. 8, 1965, and was produced until 1982. More than 976 DC-9s were built -- including 47 C-9 versions for military customers.
The C-9A "Nightingale" was used by the U.S. Air Force to transport sick and injured military personnel. The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps flew C-9B Skytrain IIs. Three VIP transport versions, the VC-9C, were delivered to the Air Force by the end of 1976.
The 90-passenger DC-9-10 was expanded into the 15-foot longer DC-9-30, which first flew on Aug. 1, 1966, and could carry up to 115 passengers. The DC-9-20, which first flew Sept. 18, 1968, was especially useful for short landing fields.
The DC-9-40, first flown Nov. 28, 1967, was 6 feet longer than the -30 and could hold 125 passengers, and the DC-9-50, which first flew in 1974, was 12 feet longer and had the "new-look" interior patterned after the wide-cabin DC-10. The DC-9-80, later redesignated MD-80, launched the family of commercial jet airliners with McDonnell Douglas "MD" designation.
More than 880 DC-9s were still flying through 1996, with many likely to remain in service well into the next century.
||Feb. 25, 1965
||89 feet 4 inches
||104 feet 4 inches
||27 feet 6 inches
||Two 12,250-pound-thrust P&W JT8D engines
||70 to 172 passengers