STT757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 16559 posts, RR: 52 Posted (4 years 10 months 3 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 3061 times:
50 Years of Transcontinental Jet service!
Quote: Lobster on the Menu and History in the Air
By ANDY NEWMAN
Published: January 25, 2009
The flaps deployed, the landing gear descended and the gleaming Boeing 707 touched down on New York asphalt. More precisely, according to a contemporary account, the jet “settled like a snowflake on the icy runway at Idlewild Airport.”
It was a few minutes after 4 p.m. on Jan. 25, 1959, and aviation history had just been made by American Airlines Flight 2: the first transcontinental commercial jet trip, from Los Angeles to what was then known as Idlewild, and is now known as Kennedy International Airport.
Quote: The scene was straight out of “Mad Men.” Alcohol and cigarette smoke flowed freely. The flight attendants, who would have been called stewardesses, wore heels with their snug blue uniforms — “Most people wouldn’t fit into it today unless you were anorexic,”
Arrow From Canada, joined Jun 2002, 2646 posts, RR: 2 Reply 1, posted (4 years 10 months 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 2990 times:
A little overblown, don't you think? Here's the third paragraph of the story:
It was not the first commercial jet flight (that was B.O.A.C. from London to Rome in 1952) or the first nonstop transcontinental flight (T.W.A., Los Angeles to New York, 1953) or even the first commercial long-haul jet trip (Pan American, Idlewild to Paris, October 1958).
As an editor, I'd challenge the reporter on a) the lead (not very well backed up) and b) the significance of the story. There are enough qualifiers in this story to render it almost irrelevant.
But, hey, if it sells newspapers ...
Never let the facts get in the way of a good story.
Viscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 23180 posts, RR: 23 Reply 2, posted (4 years 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 2766 times:
Quoting STT757 (Thread starter): It was a few minutes after 4 p.m. on Jan. 25, 1959, and aviation history had just been made by American Airlines Flight 2: the first transcontinental commercial jet trip, from Los Angeles to what was then known as Idlewild, and is now known as Kennedy International Airport.
AA's first 707, the 7th 707 built, shortly before AA retired it after almost 20 years service. It was of course originally delivered as a 707-123 with turbojet JT3C engines, and later converted to a -123B with JT3D turbofans.
Quoting Arrow (Reply 1): As an editor, I'd challenge the reporter on a) the lead (not very well backed up) and b) the significance of the story. There are enough qualifiers in this story to render it almost irrelevant.
The first US coast-to-coast jet service was a significant event in US aviation history. It cut travel time almost in half, and was much more reliable and comfortable, not to mention quieter (at least for passengers, not for people living near airports). In fact, flight times on routes like JFK-LAX were faster on the first 707s (and DC-8s) in 1959 than they are today.
Richierich From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 4139 posts, RR: 6 Reply 4, posted (4 years 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 2608 times:
Quoting Acabgd (Reply 3): Which is, I must say - tragic!
50 years and instead of improving the way people travel, we seem to be going backwards.
Oh please - it was faster by merely a few minutes. It's not like it was an hour quicker....
Modern planes are more efficient than any 707 could have dreamed of being - it is completely arguable as to whether or not they are more comfortable than today's jetliners. For every person that thinks the sexist, cigar-smoking elitist era of the early jet age was the halcyon days of air transport, there is another who thinks that bringing it to the masses with equal, inexpensive and safe travel is the real success story.
The only time, in my opinion, we have stepped backwards in aviation is with the retirement of the Concorde. I know that aircraft was a gas hog and was very expensive to maintain. It was 1960s technology that operated well into the 2000s. However, unlike those that lament the 707, there is nothing to replace the Concorde and no full-scale supersonic airliner projects on the horizon. Granted the Concorde had a very limited use but the point is that it existed and was a viable alternative to subsonic jet travel.