Want proof that you are getting old? The DC-9 is over a half-century old.
Today marks the 52nd birthday for the beloved “Diesel” -9 jet. Back in 1965, Douglas powered up the twin-engine short haul jet for the very first time at Long Beach Airport. The DC-9 took to the skies with the promise of the jet flight comforts on shorter regional flights.
The original DC-9 was a series -10 aircraft. Short and stubby, the first 90 seat passenger jet would be delivered to Delta Air Lines in December of that year. Delta operated the jet until 1993. They later inherited another fleet of DC-9-50s from the Northwest Merger. The final Delta DC-9 flight was flown in 2013.
The DC-9 fleet grew with the -15/-20/-30/-40 and -50 versions each increasing maximum performance and loads. The DC-9 family later gave birth to the MD-80, MD-90 and 717 versions. A total of 976 DC-9s were built with the last original DC-9 produced in 1982.
Even today, there are a few US operators of the original “Diesel” 9 fleet. US Jets and Kalitta Charters both operate small fleets of the elderly jet.
As a bonus, check out this video of the Douglas DC-9 test program. The stall testing is pretty impressive.