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.
The coating was rolled on, rather than sprayed. The low emission Eclipse system was applied by International Aerospace Coatings 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," said 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."
Only a handful of DC-8 airplanes are still in use today as cargo carriers. The DC-8 is one of only two aircraft – along with the Soviet Tu-144 – to have flown supersonic before Concorde.