Thursday, July 21, 2011

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A reader writes "On the Playboy DC-9 'Big Bunny' "

Well what it did was cause two of the largest airplane manufacturers to merge: Douglas Aircraft Company/all Commerical, McDonnell Aircraft Company/all military aircraft.

I was working at Douglas Aircraft in Long Beach California plant, and the Black Bunny DC 9 had been sitting on the tarmac with "no engines" for a few months along with many other DC 9's DC 8's - NO engines - we could not purchase.

McDonnell aircraft in St Louis was getting all the engines they wanted for the military airplanes; they had priority over commercial.

They had a meeting and the two companies joined together; McDonnell-Douglas Aircraft Company formed. We received all the engines we wanted in two weeks and delivered all the planes on the tarmac.

I worked for them (toolmaker) when a union was a union and pension was a pension. 37 years and get a check ever month. Laid 0ff 13 times in 37 years. Retired from the Apache Helicopters division.

In those days we all could go out and watch the new aircraft take off for the first time. We extended a DC8 60 feet in the middle body and we did not know if it would clear the Holiday Inn at the end of the Long Beach Runway. So they made everybody leave the Holiday Inn for the first take off; it made it with room to spare.

Ronald Reagan visited our plant there many times during the tooling and fabrication of the First DC 10. He would ride around with Mr MAC on a golf cart.

In those days you had to take a 8 hour aptitude test for tooling training (and you better know your TRIG tables) If you were hired you worked 4 full years to advance to a journeyman. On the job training with a journeyman tooling crew. 5 cent raise automatic ever 16 weeks.

Hefner would visit the plant with a girlfriend and look at the the plane fab. He seemed kinda stuck up.

Okie in Arizona

Big Bunny Rabbit -

An original but

NOT THE original!