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If You Wait Long Enough . . .

United Airlines DC-8 with Pratt & Whitney JT4D engines (Wikimedia Commons)

As the old saw goes, "If you wait long enough, it will come back in style." As it has been with fashions, it now is with aircraft. Yes! the narrow-body, single-aisle designs are coming back!

I've long felt sorry for those who had to sit in the center rows of four and five seats. Chances are, they did not know the person sitting at least to one side of them. Heaven help them if they were sitting in the center and had to visit the restroom.

Now, when the airlines realize that tourist-class seats are pitched too closely together, allowing the thoughtless Clampett in the row ahead to recline his seat in our laps, aviation just might start making its way back to the enjoyable pastime it once was.

The first US commercial jet was the Boeing 707. It was followed some ten months later by the Douglas DC-8. Both are (yes, they're still flying, albeit in small numbers) narrow-bodied, as seen in the picture of a United Airlines DC-8, above, and have only one aisle. You can see the interior of a DC-8 on Hawaii Five-0, especially the episode "3000 Crooked Miles to Honolulu" (Season 4), available on Paramount Plus, among other sites. You'll see it in two scenes: When a member of the bogus faculty club (portrayed by Glenn Cannon in a pre-DA John Manicote appearance) makes his way down the aisle, muttering incoherently, and at the end, when McGarrett arrests the bogus faculty club members, saying, "Aloha, Suckers!"

Read about the return to narrow bodies and single aisles:

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