Douglas D-890, D-895 and D-900 transport proposals (pre-CX-HLS)

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The Douglas D-890 was a proposed USAF transport aircraft, sharing over 65% of its airframe with the DC-8. The upper lobe of the DC-8 fuselage was enlarged considerably, with a hinged, side-swing nose section. The wings, empennage and systems were carried over from the DC-8, with TF-33 engines (same as the Lockheed C-141).

The D-890 was part of a 3-aircraft proposal from Douglas Long Beach, dated July 2nd, 1962. The other two aircraft were the D-895 (a swept-wing, jet conversion of the C-133 fleet) and the all-new, high-wing D-900. The D-900 would evolve considerably over the next few years, culminating in the CX-HLS entry.
 

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Pioneer

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DouglasD-895 (a swept-wing, jet conversion of the C-133 fleet)

Has anyone got any models pic or drawings of this proposal?

Regards
Pioneer
 

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Factory proposal model of the Douglas D-900 logistics transport aircraft.

The D-900 was an all new transport aircraft proposed to the USAF, with a high wing, swing-nose loading arrangement and TF-33 engines (same as the Lockheed C-141).

The D-900 was part of a 3-aircraft proposal from Douglas Long Beach, dated July 2nd, 1962. The other two aircraft were the D-890 (a DC-8 with enlarged upper fuselage lobe and swing-nose -- see Reply no.4, above) and the D-895 (a swept-wing, jet conversion of the C-133 fleet). The D-900 would evolve considerably over the next few years, culminating in CX-X and CX-HLS proposals.
 

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Jemiba

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Just a question : The fuselages of the D-890 and D-900 were basically the same ? That's at least my
feeling looking at those pictures, although you wrote about the "all-new" D-900.
 

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Jemiba said:
Just a question : The fuselages of the D-890 and D-900 were basically the same ? That's at least my
feeling looking at those pictures, although you wrote about the "all-new" D-900.

Yes, the D-900 was all-new, and represented the ideal configuration for a modern, dedicated airlifter. That configuration hasn't changed much to this day: high wing box and landing gear in fairings (to keep interior cargo space free from obstructions), circular, large diameter fuselage with hinged nose for large payloads, etc.

The D-890 was a low-cost alternative with a smaller, twin-lobe fuselage, where the bottom lobe, wings, empennage and landing gear came straight off the DC-8 airliner. The attached photo shows a same-scale comparison of both designs. There is no commonality, except for the TF-33 engines.

The D-895 (not shown) was an even lower-cost option -- an upgrade of existing C-133 airframes, with swept wings and TF-33 engines.

None of these proposals would be retained by the USAF, but the D-900 configuration became the basis of a long evolution that culminated in the CX-HLS (C-5) competition, won by Lockheed-Georgia.
 

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Many thanks, in this photo the difference is visible, in the other two pictures the shape of
the noses looked the same, leading me to this question.
Are there any 3-views around ? Would be an interesting object, but maybe I would be just
re-invent the wheel.
 

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circle-5 said:
The D-890 was a low-cost alternative with a smaller, twin-lobe fuselage, where the bottom lobe, wings, empennage and landing gear came straight off the DC-8 airliner.

Ok, that was a good basis, I think. Used some other details of the DC-8, too, like the doors or the tail bumper (actually part of the bottom lobe ! ;) )

EDIT: For the drawing please the post #23
 

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A really great drawing of an unusual & quite attractive aircraft, Jemiba. Thanks.
 

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Thank you Jens. I've attached a side view of the model, to help you tweak the drawing. Please note the use of TF-33 engines, like on the C-141.

If anybody needs better photos to do a drawing of a model I posted, feel free to ask via PM. Most of these items are in my collection and I can usually accommodate your request within a few days, including at full resolution. Remember to specify top, bottom, profile, etc. Many factory models have scribed gear doors, missile and bomb bays and other useful details.
 

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Thanks ! A near perfect sideview ! Will use it soon. For the engines, I actually used the Starlifter as pattern.
 

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... and here is a side view of the Douglas D-900 factory model, if anybody is interested.
 

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Jemiba said:
For the engines, I actually used the Starlifter as pattern.

OK, I see that now -- sorry. The engines just look bigger on your 3-view than on the model.
 

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circle-5 said:
... and here is a side view of the Douglas D-900 factory model, if anybody is interested.

You could read my mind ! ;)
I've corrected the first drawing of the D-890 in the meantime (a bit too long, cockpit windows
too high and radome resized).
The D-900 will be one of the next ones.

EDIT: For the drawing look at #27, please.
 

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Jemiba said:
circle-5 said:
... and here is a side view of the Douglas D-900 factory model, if anybody is interested.

You could read my mind ! ;)
I've corrected the first drawing of the D-890 in the meantime (a bit too long, cockpit windows
too high and radome resized).
The D-900 will be one of the next ones.

Excellent -- the nose contour is spot-on this time! As for the D-900, please allow me to send you some additional photos before you get started. For example, there is a quadruple main gear fairing that is not self-evident. If you don't mind, please send me your e-mail via PM, as these will go via Dropbox. Cheers!
 

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Douglas D-900 partial mock-up. This mockup appears to have been built primarily to demonstrate loading of drive-on cargos. The swing nose was stored in the backlot at Long Beach as late as 1975.
 

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aim9xray said:
Douglas D-900 partial mock-up. This mockup appears to have been built primarily to demonstrate loading of drive-on cargos. The swing nose was stored in the backlot at Long Beach as late as 1975.
Amazing photos, aim9xray... Thank you! The inside view of the cockpit hinge area is interesting, with control cable tension system and flexible hydraulic lines. It's easy to see why the weight and complexity of swing-out flight decks were avoided in later CX-HLS proposals.

I assume these D-900 mockup photos were taken in 1962. I can't think of any prior airlifter that featured front & rear drive-through loading.
 

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With the kind help of Circle-5, who provided great additional material, I could rectify my
drawing of the D-890 in essential aspects. That design actually owed even more to its
DC-8 ancestor, than I was aware before : Wings and tail, lower fuselage and the whole
flight deck of the DC-8 were joint by a new upper fuselage with a larger diameter and a
swing nose.
As a pun: It was a kind of "McDonald's Douglas DC-8" ! ;)
Thanks again for that support and the great source material, Circle-5 !
 

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Jemiba said:
With the kind help of Circle-5, who provided great additional material, I could rectify my
drawing of the D-890 in essential aspects. That design actually owed even more to its
DC-8 ancestor, than I was aware before : Wings and tail, lower fuselage and the whole
flight deck of the DC-8 were joint by a new upper fuselage with a larger diameter and a
swing nose.
As a pun: It was a kind of "McDonald's Douglas DC-8" ! ;)
Thanks again for that support and the great source material, Circle-5 !


Great job Jemiba!
 

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Big thanks, Jemiba. Another excellent drawing from you. Love it.
 

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Out of curiosity, how do the -890 and D-900 compare with the stillborn XC-132?
 

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To add some colour, I've chosen a paint scheme, that maybe was still used by US transports in the
early '60s. Principally it was used during the '50s, I know, so the D-890 probably would have had
more modern colours, but maybe the first examples could have carried the last livery of that kind ? ;)
 

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Congratulations Jens, your profiles look wonderful in full colour!
 

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Fantastic work, Jens. Your 5-view drawing is better than if it had come out of Douglas, and the color profile is just spectacular!
 

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Glad you like it !
@ elmayerle: Both the 890 and 900 are on my "to-do-list" for the next time.
 

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For the time after the D-895 and 900 ! ;)

The shape of the nose and cross section reminds me of the Lockheed Constitution,
but judging the cockpit windows, there's a consíderable difference in size. Are there
any data/details (e.g. type of engine), that could be used for a rough estimation of
the dimensions ?
 

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Good clue ! Could be the counterpart to the D-890 then, where principally the upper part was replaced.
Then the tail probably is well known, too. Could be the the kind information about the dimensions, I need.
 

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Using Circle-5's material, I've made a 3-view of the D-895, principally a jet powered version
of the C-133. The drawing suggests, that here, too, the wings and empenage of the DC 8 should
have been used, as Pometablava already mentioned here : http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,5977.msg48676.html#msg48676
The straked in nose radom turned it actually in a much more elegant aircraft, to my opinion.
BTW, somewaht OT, but some weeks ago, I talked to someone, who was working on Berlin Tegel
airport and before on Berlin Tempelhof airport, where the C-133 was seen relatively often. And
amongst the staff there, due to the shape of its nose and its radom, it was known as the "Fliegendes
Präservativ" (flying condom). Was that nickname just used here, or in the USAF, too ?
 

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OK Jens, this is much better than the original Douglas drawing. You're hired!
 

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Got a drawing of another version from Circle-5, probably an earlier one, as the wings still have dihedral.
So I would second Circle-5's suggestion, that here the original DC 8 wing was used, giving the C-133X a
somewhat strange appearance, as we are more used to anhedral on transports with shoulder wings.
Thanks again for the phantastic basic material ! ;)
I should add, that details are to be taken with a pinch of salt, as I used the C-133 as pattern for
windows, doors, panel lines etc.
 

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I'm actually not sure which D-895 version came first: the flat wing or the dihedral wing.

It could be suggested that Douglas initially bolted an entire D-1920 (DC-8) wing on the C-133 fuselage, including the wing box and its dihedral configuration, then later refined the design to a flat wing.

Or maybe they started with a flat wing by keeping the basic C-133 wing box, and later added the dihedral based on wind tunnel test results.

I just don't know, and there is very little surviving information on the D-895. What I do know is that Jens came up with another nice drawing, literally overnight! Thank you.
 

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Fabulous drawings, Jemiba. Great looking designs, both of them. Much appreciated.
 

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I was pointed by Circle-5 to an error in my drawing of the D-895/C-133X, which I will correct as soon as possible.
Problem in the moment ist just, that I'M sitting here at the lovely Danisch coast with a Corel versiôn 13 on my
lap top, whereas the drawing is in version 14, and so not compatible ... :(
So I'll go o with starting the D-900.
And my internet connection is at just under 20 kbs in the moment, so not really fast.... :-\
But it's holidays ! ;)
 

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Jemiba said:
I was pointed by Circle-5 to an error in my drawing of the D-895/C-133X, which I will correct as soon as possible.

Yes, it's the missing trim tab on the rudder. A real catastrophe. I don't know if we can wait that long...
 

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Have done the D-900 drawings during our holidays, sorry, couldn’t post them earlier. Internet connection was, if available at all, so slow,
that I gave it up after a week. 2G is already slow, but about 3 kbs just sucks …..

Drawings are based on the general arrangement drawings from Douglas via Circle-5, using and checking the dimensions shown there. Of he three
proposals (D890/895/900), the D-900 obviously was the most independent development, with lesser use of DC-8 components, than in the other
two designs. To my opinion, the tail surfaces still were of DC-8 origin (they actually show the same shape, as in the general arrangement drawings
of the D-895), but the wing wasn’t. At least the main characteristic, the straight trailing edge of the center section cannot be found and the hinge-
lines of flaps and ailerons seem to be different, too. Nevertheless there’s a point, were I didn’t kling to the manufacturers drawings. That is the
position of the shoulder wing, as its upper side is shown as being flush with the upper side of the fuselage. But such an arrangement probably
would have led to a reduction in the height of the cargo hold, where the main spar runs through and as all model photos show the wing to protrude
from the fuselage, I‘ve chosen to show this layout.
One point , that caused me some head scratching, was the landing gear. For the very short nose gear, somewhat similar to that of the C-130,
maybe a sliding wheel well door could have been used. But the kind of retraction of the very wide tracked main gear legs (I was already pointed
to this detail by Circle-5) and the use of two canoe shaped sponsons for each side suggests a different method of retraction, than in most other
transports. Have attached a small sketch, how maybe it could work, but of course I’m not sure, if this could be a practical solution.
 

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