UPS DC-8 Fleet Modifications

UPS DC-8 Fleet

In the now obsolete aircraft that I once worked on category is the DC-8 for UPS (United Parcel Service).

In 1980 UPS opened its first major hub in Louisville, Kentucky and began acquiring recently retired commercial jet aircraft. These Douglas DC-8s, Boeing 727-100s and Boeing 747-100s were converted from passenger aircraft to freighters. Of 556 DC-8 aircraft manufactured from 1958 to 1972, around 200 were still in commercial service in 2002, mostly used as freighters and nearly half (97) operated by UPS.

I worked with a team of electrical, systems and structural engineers on a multi-faceted project including an instrument panel re-design, and cabin and service bay modifications.

By 2009, UPS had retired their fleet due to aging, increasing operating costs and strict noise and emissions regulations. The UPS DC-8 final flight landed at Louisville International Airport on May 11, 2009. The first flight of a UPS DC-8 had occurred 21 years prior, on February 1, 1988.

Texas Transportation Institute Research Assistant

Texas Transportation Institute
As a college senior and during my first year of graduate studies in Land Development, I worked as a research assistant with Texas Transportation Institute (TTI). Now Texas A&M Transportation Institute, TTI is the largest transportation research agency in the United States addressing all modes of transportation–highway, air, water, rail and pipeline. Some of the work performed during my employment were traffic counts along urban Interstate Highways, and digitizing one of the first computer simulations of a transit system for the Houston metropolitan area.

Master of Science in Land Development – Texas A&M University

Fat Mac 512K enhanced
While working to earn a Master of Science degree in Land Development at Texas A&M University I bought my first Macintosh—a Mac 512K enhanced—finally, a computer for non-programmers. The Mac opened up creative minds beyond the ability to rearrange bits and bytes. This first “Fat Mac” would, years later, inspire the construction of a macquarium. Numerous subsequent Macs have served as productivity tools in my design, engineering and marketing career. I also operated as an information systems consultant and an Authorized Apple VAR (Value Added Reseller) for many years when Apple was still Apple Computer.

Gig ’em Spirit Warm Fuzzy

The year was 1984. There were no cell phones. Email and the Internet were in their infancy. MTV was a music video channel that was widely watched. The simplest form of showing emotion and speaking one’s mind was the simple weepul (wee people), a precursor to the emoji when everything on the computer began with a cursor. This creative critter was the product of three Texas A&M University students and could be found in campus bookstores and other point-of-purchase locations in Aggieland.

Gig'em Spirit as a weepul, pom pom critter, or warm fuzzy
Gig’em Spirit® as a weepul, pom pom critter, or warm fuzzy—the emoji of the early 1980s.