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50 Years Ago: First American Jet Service  
User currently offlineSparky35805 From United States of America, joined Dec 2007, 287 posts, RR: 0
Posted (6 years 2 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 5906 times:
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Can any of you remember October 26 1958? On that day 50 years ago Pan Am started the first american jet service New York Idelwild to Paris Orly with 707-121 N711PA.
Sparky

26 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offline707lvr From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 585 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (6 years 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 5815 times:

Sparky, I remember it so well, if it's okay to say that a few weeks early  Smile There were a lot of events happening in the world at that particular time which pointed toward the future (the IGY, the Russkies and Sputnik, the World's Fair,) and that flight just seemed to be a symbol of everything we had to look forward to. The jet, and especially that one, made other forms of transportation seem dismally old fashioned.

User currently offlineCarduelis From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2001, 1586 posts, RR: 10
Reply 2, posted (6 years 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 5800 times:

Yes, but the first ever transatlantic jet service was inaugurated by a Comet 4 of BOAC on 4 October 1958.


Per Ardua ad Astra! ........ Honi Soit Qui Mal y Pense!
User currently offlineCAL764 From United States of America, joined May 2008, 377 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (6 years 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 5643 times:



Quoting Carduelis (Reply 2):
4 October 1958

I suppose, as of tomorrow, we've come a long way, wouldn't you say?



1. Fly to Win 2. Fund Future 3. Reliability 4. Work Together CO: Work Hard, Fly Right...
User currently offlineCarduelis From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2001, 1586 posts, RR: 10
Reply 4, posted (6 years 2 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 5550 times:

Yes, 50 years tomorrow!

In the early 60s I was Cabin Crew for BOAC, and from 1962 to 1966 I worked on BA's 707-436 aircraft - great fun and a wonderful education. My last three years of flying were all around the world, and overall I did 208 transatlantic crossings. One of them with Catain Jimmy Linton on a record breaking BDA LHR in 5h25! Jimmy was co-pilot on the first Comet transatlantic!

Bon Voyages!



Per Ardua ad Astra! ........ Honi Soit Qui Mal y Pense!
User currently offlineContrails From United States of America, joined Oct 2000, 1833 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (6 years 2 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 5458 times:

What an incredible 50 years! From the 707 to the 747 to the 777. From pax who were genteel, to pax who are anything but genteel. From the days when flying was not only enjoyable but prestigious, to today when flying is something to be endured (at least with me).

There's one thing that nobody can argue - regardless of the stress involved the jet aircraft allows us to get from coast to coast or across an ocean in hours instead of days. I guess it's not a bad trade. It's allowed me to see a good bit of the world.

I just wish PanAm were around to celebrate. That would make it a lot nicer.



Flying Colors Forever!
User currently offlineRayChuang From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 8018 posts, RR: 5
Reply 6, posted (6 years 2 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 5415 times:

However, the BOAC Comet 4 flights were NOT true non-stop transatlantic flights--I believe they had to stop at Shannon westbound and Gander eastbound on flights between New York--Idlewild (as JFK was known back then) and London-Heathrow. I believe Pan Am did not continue the New York-Paris flights with the 707-121 for long because the plane had barely enough fuel to fly this route--Pan Am soon reverted the 707-121 back to the Latin American routes the early 707's were better suited for.

It wasn't until Pam Am introduced the 707-320 Intercontinental in late 1959 that we finally saw non-stop transatlantic jet service flying both directions.


User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25626 posts, RR: 22
Reply 7, posted (6 years 2 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 5358 times:



Quoting Sparky35805 (Thread starter):
Can any of you remember October 26 1958? On that day 50 years ago Pan Am started the first american jet service New York Idelwild to Paris Orly with 707-121 N711PA.

Almost correct. It landed at Paris Le Bourget (LBG), not Orly. See the 1958 entry in the following timeline. It also made a fuel stop at Gander.
http://www.aeroportsdeparis.fr/Adp/e.../Presentation/Histoire/De1945A981/


User currently offlineCarduelis From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2001, 1586 posts, RR: 10
Reply 8, posted (6 years 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 5349 times:

Yes, in Gander only on the westerly direction, but nontheless both were direct transatlantic jets - New York and Gander being on the one side and Great Britain on the other. The Comets operated the first transatlantic jet service.


Per Ardua ad Astra! ........ Honi Soit Qui Mal y Pense!
User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25626 posts, RR: 22
Reply 9, posted (6 years 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 5341 times:



Quoting Carduelis (Reply 2):
Yes, but the first ever transatlantic jet service was inaugurated by a Comet 4 of BOAC on 4 October 1958.

While the BOAC Comet 4 service was the first transatlantic scheduled commercial jet service, it wasn't the first jet service. The Royal Canadian Air Force operated two Comet 1s on transatlantic services carrying military personnel between Canada and various Canadian military bases in Europe starting in 1953. They were also used for VIP travel by government officials until the Comet 1s were grounded in 1954 following the BOAC crashes.

After the cause of the BOAC accidents was discovered (metal fatigue etc.), the RCAF Comets were ferried to the U.K. for structural modifications, including replacement of the original rectangular windows with round windows. They were returned to service in November 1957, almost a year before the BOAC Comet 4 service London-New York. They were retired in 1963.

Article on the RCAF Comet 1 operations.
http://www.airforce.forces.gc.ca/site/hist/histarticles1_e.asp


User currently offlineCarduelis From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2001, 1586 posts, RR: 10
Reply 10, posted (6 years 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 5328 times:



Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 9):
between Canada and various Canadian military bases in Europe starting in 1953

Great, thanks also for the interesting link, especially the comparison with the non-jet service!



Per Ardua ad Astra! ........ Honi Soit Qui Mal y Pense!
User currently offlineImperialEagle From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 2630 posts, RR: 23
Reply 11, posted (6 years 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 5284 times:

It is also interesting to observe the differences in operational dependability we tend to take somewhat for granted today. Although-----------
Even as jet travel in the early years as I remember it was very sheik, it was not without its trials and tribulations and jet aircraft crashed with alarming regularity considering the advancements made in engine and systems reliability as compared to piston and some propeller-turbine powered aircraft. The early 707's,DC-8's, CV880's/990's were still rather primitave beasts.

It is interesting to observe as well the learning curve everyone had to go down to become familiar with jet ops. Many of the original cockpit crew learned to fly the aircraft well but never did really grasp some of its ops complexities not the least of which was jet-upset. And some of these guys were real "jockeys" and the leopards did not change their spots easily. I can remember some pretty wild rides.  eyepopping 

It was such an exciting time and in quick succession so many new types were introduced--Caravelle, Trident, 727, DC-9, stretched -8's,-each type bringing its own ops issues to be dealt with. I remember vividly the fits the B72's gave everyone while they tried to get a grip on how to properly ops it.

Just when everyone seemed to finally start to "get it" here came the widebodies and a whole new type of jet engine as well. In the meantime many of the world's airports were still not set up for jet usage and the air traffic control systems were still woefully inadequate.

The timespan from the initial introduction of Boeing 707's and DC-8's to the introduction of Boeing 747's will always be (at least in my mind) the most thrilling time in commercial aviation history. I am so glad I lived it.  bigthumbsup 



"If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough!"
User currently offlineSparky35805 From United States of America, joined Dec 2007, 287 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (6 years 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 5267 times:
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I think that the LBG flight was a pre inaugural flight.My source was a book on Pan Am by P St-John Turner,which has been accurate.Also the October 1 1958 OAG shows all Pan Am flifgts into Orly.Pan Am operated the 121s on the winter of 1958-1959 season.707-321s were used later in 1959.The 121s usually made fuel stops in both directions.
Sparky


User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25626 posts, RR: 22
Reply 13, posted (6 years 2 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 5251 times:



Quoting ImperialEagle (Reply 11):
Even as jet travel in the early years as I remember it was very sheik, it was not without its trials and tribulations and jet aircraft crashed with alarming regularity considering the advancements made in engine and systems reliability as compared to piston and some propeller-turbine powered aircraft. The early 707's,DC-8's, CV880's/990's were still rather primitave beasts.

Flight simulators were also much less sophisticated in those days and many of the more potentially risky maneuvers could only be practiced on the actual aircraft. Nowadays those things would probably only be done in a simulator. The first 3 707 crashes were on training flights -- 2 AA 707-120s and Braniff's first 707-220 on a training/acceptance flight just prior to delivery.

The first 4 Convair 880 hull losses all involved training flights.


User currently offlineAirNZ From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (6 years 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 5217 times:



Quoting RayChuang (Reply 6):
However, the BOAC Comet 4 flights were NOT true non-stop transatlantic flights--I believe they had to stop at Shannon westbound and Gander eastbound on flights between New York--Idlewild (as JFK was known back then) and London-Heathrow.

Hmmm! not really trying to nitpick here, but what exactly are you talking about? Considering that Shannon and Gander are on opposite sides of the Atlantic and, with no stop in between, how are you proposing that a flight between the two is not a non-stop transatlantic flight? Now, if you are trying to make a particular point about something else that is fine, but the fact remains that the BOAC Comets were the first non-stop transatlantic services.


User currently offlineImperialEagle From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 2630 posts, RR: 23
Reply 15, posted (6 years 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 5206 times:



Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 13):
potentially risky maneuvers

What an understatement!
Yeah, that BN crash was pretty bad,did a belly-flop on a creek-bed-------- but AA's first one was even worse. Seems to me LH had some 720B jockeys to contend with too.

OMG do you recall the DL -8 training flight that crashed (cartwheeled into a motel full of little children) at MSY? That was comparatively late in the game too, and the FAA was insisting on that training format. When they finally hashed it all out in court the company told the FAA to "stick it" and the courts backed 'em up. Crazy man!



"If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough!"
User currently offlineEBJ1248650 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 1932 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (6 years 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 5174 times:



Quoting Contrails (Reply 5):
What an incredible 50 years! From the 707 to the 747 to the 777. From pax who were genteel, to pax who are anything but genteel. From the days when flying was not only enjoyable but prestigious, to today when flying is something to be endured (at least with me).

I was a kid when I saw my first 707, a Braniff International 707-227. In the old paint scheme worn by their Electras and DC-7s. I also remember Mexicana Airlines flying Comet 4Cs into San Antonio. What a beautiful airplane!

Times have changed. I remember TWA advertisements for flights in the Super Constellation. Passengers dressed in their Sunday best. Flying was an adventure and nothing near the routine it is today. Now people hop a flight from the USA and arrive in England in their couch potato clothes. Incredible.



Dare to dream; dream big!
User currently offlineTimz From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 6867 posts, RR: 7
Reply 17, posted (6 years 2 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 5149 times:



Quoting AirNZ (Reply 14):
the BOAC Comets were the first non-stop transatlantic services.

Then what's an example of a transatlantic schedule that wasn't nonstop?


User currently offlineZippyjet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 5487 posts, RR: 13
Reply 18, posted (6 years 2 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 5144 times:



Quoting 707lvr (Reply 1):
There were a lot of events happening in the world at that particular time

You forgot the "Greatest Football Game Ever Played." The 1958 NFL championship between the New York Giants and our beloved Baltimore Colts (underdogs)



I was only 2 at the time and sadly I don't remember much if anything in 1958. My parents claimed during that epic football game, the TV picture crapped out (black and white) caused by a cameraman tripping over a cable. My dad had one of his screaming punk fits (a precursor to Tony Soprano's tantrums). Supposedly, I was so traumatized, I ran under the coffe table almost causing my dad's brewsky and food to topple over. Even food couldn't calm me down. But this according to my parents. Anyway, I do remember the first jets at BWI which was then Friendship Airport. Eastern, Delta and Northeast flew them as early as 1961 out of Baltimore. And a side note of aviation trivia; the Baltimore Colt's charter airliner for that championship was a United Airlines DC-7 Mainliner!


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © James A. Oliver





I'm Zippyjet & I approve of this message!
User currently offlineTimz From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 6867 posts, RR: 7
Reply 19, posted (6 years 2 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 4962 times:



Quoting AirNZ (Reply 14):
Considering that Shannon and Gander are on opposite sides of the Atlantic and, with no stop in between, how are you proposing that a flight between the two is not a non-stop transatlantic flight?

You could define "non-stop transatlantic flight" that way, but you'd be in a small minority.

Flight 28 Oct 1955 p697--

"The DC-7C and L.1649A are unlikely to show any marked improvement in operating economy over their predecessors. Economies stemming from their ability to cross the Atlantic non-stop in each direction may well be offset by..."

Flight 6 July 56 p 51--

"Douglas felt that the DC-7B should be improved sufficiently to attain the frequently promised (but never attained) non-stop all-the-year-round North Atlantic airliner."

The Aeroplane 23 Nov 56 p767--

"In the Summer of 1948, before the first Constellations were introduced, there were no non-stop services-- every flight was scheduled to stop either at Shannon or at Prestwick. The years between have seen the gradual development of a substantial proportion of services scheduled to operate non-stop, so that today about 40% of the Summer peak services and 50% of the Winter frequencies are scheduled to operate non-stop." (I guess they meant to say "749 Constellations".)

History of the World's Airlines, by Davies--

Writing of the Britannia 312, he says "B.O.A.C. brought this, the first regularly non-stop Atlantic aircraft, into service on the London-New York route on 19 December 1957."


User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25626 posts, RR: 22
Reply 20, posted (6 years 2 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 4899 times:



Quoting Sparky35805 (Reply 12):
I think that the LBG flight was a pre inaugural flight.

I'm aware of the pre-inaugral but the first scheduled flight on October 26, 1958 also landed at Le Bourget. Every source I've been able to find confirms that. Also see Page 9 of the July issue of the Boeing Frontiers magazine.
http://www.boeing.com/news/frontiers...hive/2008/july/july08frontiers.pdf

Pan Am operated a special 707 flight to Paris on October 26,1983, the 25th anniversary of the inaugural. That commemorative flight also landed at LBG to make it as authentic as possible. Photo below of the aircraft used on that flight taken at LBG.


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Michel Gilliand



User currently offlineTimz From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 6867 posts, RR: 7
Reply 21, posted (6 years 2 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 4853 times:



Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 20):
the first scheduled flight on October 26, 1958 also landed at Le Bourget.

Looks like they stayed at Le Bourget for a while-- Flight for 19 Dec 1958 p949 says "Mr. Buck went on to mention acceptance of the 707 by airport authorities at Le Bourget. Operations at this airport, he said, had not produced a single complaint about noise from nearby residents."


User currently offlineRayChuang From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 8018 posts, RR: 5
Reply 22, posted (6 years 2 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 4810 times:



Quoting AirNZ (Reply 14):
Hmmm! not really trying to nitpick here, but what exactly are you talking about? Considering that Shannon and Gander are on opposite sides of the Atlantic and, with no stop in between, how are you proposing that a flight between the two is not a non-stop transatlantic flight? Now, if you are trying to make a particular point about something else that is fine, but the fact remains that the BOAC Comets were the first non-stop transatlantic services.

What I meant by "non-stop transatlantic flight" was essentially flying between New York-Idlewild and London-Heathrow non-stop with no stops for fuel along the way at Gander or Shannon. I believe by 1957 airlines were flying this route non-stop in both directions using DC-7C's and later-model Constellations, and by 1958 El Al was flying this route non-stop using the then-new Bristol Britannia.


User currently offlineTimz From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 6867 posts, RR: 7
Reply 23, posted (6 years 2 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 4618 times:



Quoting Sparky35805 (Reply 12):
the October 1 1958 OAG shows all Pan Am flifgts into Orly.

The 4/59 timetable and the 10/59 OAG shows all PA flights into Le Bourget; in the 4/60 they're back at Orly.


User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25626 posts, RR: 22
Reply 24, posted (6 years 2 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 4597 times:



Quoting Timz (Reply 23):
Quoting Sparky35805 (Reply 12):
the October 1 1958 OAG shows all Pan Am flifgts into Orly.

The 4/59 timetable and the 10/59 OAG shows all PA flights into Le Bourget; in the 4/60 they're back at Orly.

I think there was some kind of a restriction on jets serving ORY until a new terminal building then under construction was completed.


25 ImperialEagle : Well, they could haul a lot of fuel, especially the 1649, but they would both run out of oil for those Wrights. So you had to add that to the list of
26 SWABrian : I was under the impression that it was runway construction.
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