AkzoNobel, United Airlines and students help to restore DC-8-52 N8066U

Science students in the US are getting a daily dose of inspiration from a retired United Airlines McDonnell Douglas DC-8-52 aircraft (N8066U, msn 45850) which has been lovingly restored with coatings supplied by AkzoNobel.

After flying more than 18 million miles in 14 years, the plane – named “The City of Los Angeles” – was donated by United Airlines to the California Science Center in 1984. It’s now on static display by the entrance to the Dr Theodore T. Alexander Jr. Science Center School.

The newly restored plane was retired in 1980 after carrying more than a million passengers. Four years later, its wings were removed and it was towed through city streets before being reassembled at the museum, eventually being mounted on a pedestal in 2002.


Due to the easy application and with the aircraft being located outdoors, the coating was rolled on, rather than sprayed. The low emission Eclipse system was applied by International Aerospace Coatings (IAC) to ensure that the DC-8 looks as good as the day it first rolled out of the hangar.


“United is thrilled that the DC-8 is being preserved to educate future generations on the history of air travel,” says Janet Lamkin, United’s California President. “We have been part of Los Angeles and California for more than 90 years, and I’m proud to see this important part of our heritage restored so beautifully.”

Adds Dr. Perry Roth-Johnson, Assistant Curator for Aerospace Science at the California Science Center: “We’re thrilled to see our DC-8 airliner restored. With its new paint job, the plane is starting to shine again for the enjoyment of our guests, as well as the students and staff at the Science Center school. We are grateful for the support of AkzoNobel, IAC, and United Airlines in this important project.”