NASA DC-8 to visit the Philippines

Aviation enthusiasts in the Philippines can catch a glimpse of a rare aircraft as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) deploys its sole Douglas DC-8-72 for a foreign deployment in Southeast Asia, including the Philippines.

The NASA DC-8 in pre-flight at Punta Arenas Airport. Photo by Jharbeck, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The aircraft, bearing the registration N817NA, has departed for the Philippines on January 29, 2024, and will remain in the country until February 15th before continuing to South Korea, Malaysia, and Thailand.

This marks the final mission for this iconic 54-year-old aircraft, which will be retired from service in April 2024.

This deployment is part of NASA's Airborne Science Program, which utilizes specialized aircraft like the DC-8 to conduct air quality studies across the globe. While specific flight details within the Philippines are yet to be public, will update this article as more information becomes available.

For aviation enthusiasts, this is a unique opportunity to witness a piece of aerospace history. The DC-8, first flown in 1958, has served as a versatile platform from passenger to cargo operations as well as various research missions. Its distinctive four-engine design and sleek silhouette will undoubtedly draw attention wherever it flies.

As of press time, N817NA is currently on its first leg enroute to the country. NASA817 departed from Palmdale Regional Airport, US, at 10:51 AM (UTC-8), with its first stop being at Kona International Airport, US.

Update (February 2, 2024): The DC-8 is now on its final leg to the Philippines and is expected to arrive today. N817NA has departed from Guam's Antonio B. Won Pat International Airport and is scheduled to arrive at Clark International Airport at 4:36 PM (UTC+8). {alertInfo}