b741
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Pan Am 747 Inaugural

Thu Jan 22, 2004 3:30 am

Today is the 34 year anniversary of Pan Am's first 747 revenue service. Can anyone in the forum relate their memories of this famous date?
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nwacrew
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RE: Pan Am 747 Inaugural

Thu Jan 22, 2004 5:24 am

I remember the innaugural JFK to Orly flight was delayed several hours. (Am I wrong in thinking Pan Am had to make a last minute aircraft switch???)
 
Tom in NO
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RE: Pan Am 747 Inaugural

Thu Jan 22, 2004 5:28 am

For some really odd reason, I'm thinking that the aircraft substitution was on the 707 inaugural.

Tom at MSY
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dtwclipper
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RE: Pan Am 747 Inaugural

Thu Jan 22, 2004 5:28 am

You are correct about the delay, as a matter of fact, the aircraft selected had an overheating engine. Pan Am had a stand by A/C catered and ready, but it never the less was a very late departure with the spare A/C!

I have heard horror stories about the service on the first few 'jumbo' flights until the flight crews got used to working on them it was very bad.

Can any Pan Amers confirm this.
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Tom in NO
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RE: Pan Am 747 Inaugural

Thu Jan 22, 2004 5:32 am

I could be mistaken, I'll look at a Pan Am "Airways" magazine this evening. I think that's where I saw the notation.

Tom
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Aaron747
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RE: Pan Am 747 Inaugural

Thu Jan 22, 2004 5:42 am

The early teething problems with the JT9Ds screwed up many an airline's inaugural 747 flight - not just Pan Am's.
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dtwclipper
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RE: Pan Am 747 Inaugural

Thu Jan 22, 2004 5:43 am

"Clipper Young America was scheduled to make the first passenger flight on January 21....the trip gained headlines mostly on the account of a series of engine troubles which prevented it from even leaving the ground until the small hours of January 22, when its sister ship Clipper Victor had to be substituted"

Pictorial History of Pan American World Airways, P.St. John Turner, 1973
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Greg
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RE: Pan Am 747 Inaugural

Thu Jan 22, 2004 5:46 am

The first aircraft had an engine surge during taxi for takeoff...so back to the terminal it went...aircraft substituted...left about seven hours late....

Not a very elegant beginning to the the Jumbo era....
 
panamair
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RE: Pan Am 747 Inaugural

Thu Jan 22, 2004 6:16 am

BTW, the inaugural 747 was from JFK to Heathrow, not Orly. The inaugural 707 was to ORY.
 
Thrust
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RE: Pan Am 747 Inaugural

Sat Jan 24, 2004 5:38 am

While I was not alive to witness this historic flight, I know everything about it. The aircraft had some mechanical problems that delayed the flight by many hours. I believe it took off a day later than expected. Panamair is also correct in that the flight was from JFK-LHR, and I think this route was a perfect choice for the 747's first commercial flight. The aircraft was called "Clipper Young America," and its registration escapes me. However, I know there are photos of it in the database. The aircraft was later renamed later in its career.
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Triple Seven
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RE: Pan Am 747 Inaugural

Sat Jan 24, 2004 6:14 am

From the “Boeing 747 Design and Development Since 1969”
_________________________________________________________________

The 747 service life began rather painfully in the early hours of January 22, 1970, when Pan Am Flight 2 finally left New York, bound for London. The flight had been due to leave several hours earlier, on January 21, with 336 passenger, but problems had cropped up with faulty door closing mechanism, the cargo loading, and almost inevitably, one of its engines. Clipper Young America, the first 747 actually delivered to Pan Am, taxied ou for take-off but returned to the terminal with an overheating number four engines.

Clipper Victor, which had been delivered less than 48 hours before, was substituted, and passengers who had not found other transport by than reboarded at about 1.30am local time, more than 6 hours late. Some were determined to be on the flight, having reserved seats two years earlier at a price of $375 for first class one way ticket.

The historic flight finally got away at 1.50am, as recalled by Steve Eastman, Boeing general supervisor who had flown on the first commercial 707 flight 12 years earlier. Writing in Boeing News he said,

“…a festive mood prevailed among the passengers as we had all ample opportunity by this time to become well acquainted on the ground and our recent adventures gave us much in common.
By 2.10am, we were at 18,000ft and passing over Nantucket while the most efficient stewards and stewardesses (18 in all) busied themselves to see to passenger comfort. They set up a beautiful and tasty buffet and a well stocked bar which we attacked with relish at 2.30am. During the next 3 hours most of us walked ‘halfway across the Atlantic’, strolling through the luxurious first class space, the elegant upper deck, and peeking into the busy flight deck area where the business of flying the airplane was being conducted.
In an incredible short 6 hours and 16 minutes after takeoff we landed to the cheers of passenger. We were greeted by an enthusiastic crowd of Britons who turned out to be the most courteous and helpful people we have encountered to date”
 
LatinPlane
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RE: Pan Am 747 Inaugural

Sat Jan 24, 2004 6:21 am

Clipper Young America, N747PA, was the aircraft that was supposed to have inaugurated the world's first 747 service on Pan Ames blue ribbon JFK - LHR route. Due to the overheated engine situation it suffered, the honor went to Clipper Victor, N736PA. Clipper Victor is also the infamous aircraft that collided with the KLM 747 at Tenerife, Norte in 1977.


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Thrust
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RE: Pan Am 747 Inaugural

Sat Jan 24, 2004 2:18 pm

That is quite surprising news to me. My airliner books say Clipper Young America operated the flight. But Clipper Victor substituted for it, eh? Quite interesting. By the way, I think the registration of Clipper Young America was N733PA, right? Can someone confirm this, or give the correct registration should this be wrong? Thanks.

--Thrust

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b741
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RE: Pan Am 747 Inaugural

Sat Jan 24, 2004 2:26 pm

Thrust

Key in Pan Am Historical Site on the web and they have a complete rundown of every registration in their fleet. Please let me know if this works for you.

Robert
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duke
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RE: Pan Am 747 Inaugural

Sat Jan 24, 2004 7:50 pm

This Clipper story has me confused. Young America was N735PA if I recall correctly and Clipper Victor, N736PA, was part of the accident in 1977. In the first vsn. of the story I read, C. Young America was replaced by C. Victor. However, I later read that it was replaced by C. Constitution! Indeed, I think I read in an original Flight International that Constitution had landed at Heathrow. I know they changed names. Was either Victor or Young America originally named Constitution?
 
b741
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RE: Pan Am 747 Inaugural

Sun Jan 25, 2004 4:10 am

Duke

Clipper Young Americas was re-named Clipper Constitution, according to PA's Historical Society website.
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iflyatldl
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RE: Pan Am 747 Inaugural

Sun Jan 25, 2004 4:54 am

Growing up in So. California in the 60-70's I was a frequent visitor to LAX and I saw my first 747, PanAm of course at LAX. For me as a twelve year old, it was too cool! Even better a year later when I flew my first 747 on AA LAX-JFK and it had the lounges with the Piano Bar. My mom got smashed on Martini's and it was too funny(or at least, at the time) and I of course had a blast. Big grin
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HNLFlyBoy
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RE: Pan Am 747 Inaugural

Sun Jan 25, 2004 4:59 am

Can anyone share how CLIPPER JUAN TRIPPE fits into the picture of Pan Am's 747 Inaugural? I always thought that was the first production 747 to roll off the line and delivered to Pan Am.
 
dairbus
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RE: Pan Am 747 Inaugural

Sun Jan 25, 2004 6:47 am

Clipper Juan Trippe N747PA was the first production aircraft and the second off the line after the City of Everett. However, it was not the first aircraft delivered to PanAm since it was used for certification testing and rigged with equipment by Boeing. It was actually delivered to PanAm a couple months after the inaugural flight.

I had the pleasure of flying on N747PA in August 1988 and a recent post said it was now a restaurant in Korea.

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panamair
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RE: Pan Am 747 Inaugural

Sun Jan 25, 2004 6:50 am

N747PA was never used or intended for the LHR inaugural. N747PA was originally christented "Clipper America" when first delivered in 1970. It was re-christented "Clipper Juan T. Trippe" later (don't remember exactly when).
As mentioned above, N736PA "CLipper Victor" (later lost in the Tenerife accident) performed the inaugural honors, stepping in at the last minute for "Clipper Young America" (N735PA)
 
Olympus69
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RE: Pan Am 747 Inaugural

Sun Jan 25, 2004 1:07 pm

"Clipper Victor" was temporarily renamed "Clipper Young America" for the inaugral flight. This was probably because pre-inagural publicity photos had shown the "Young America" name.
 
DeltaGuy
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RE: Pan Am 747 Inaugural

Sun Jan 25, 2004 1:09 pm

I know the Captain who flew this flight...Captain Kimball J. Scribner...good guy, died recently though  Sad. Quite an honor!

DeltaGuy
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dc863
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RE: Pan Am 747 Inaugural

Sun Jan 25, 2004 1:33 pm

Are you sure Scribner flew the LHR inaugural. I know he flew the JFK-Orly inaugural. I think Capt. Weeks flew the London flight. He was the Chief pilot for the Atlantic division at that time.
 
rjpieces
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RE: Pan Am 747 Inaugural

Sun Jan 25, 2004 1:49 pm

I thought Pan Am's first 747 was the one that was later Pan Am 103.....?
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Thrust
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RE: Pan Am 747 Inaugural

Sun Jan 25, 2004 1:57 pm

No, RJpieces, the Lockerbie aircraft was "Clipper Maid of the Seas," N739PA. "Clipper Morning Light" was the Lockerbie's aircraft's original name. It was renamed "Clipper Maid of the Seas" later.
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HNLFlyBoy
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RE: Pan Am 747 Inaugural

Sun Jan 25, 2004 2:11 pm

Thanks for the info DAirbus! I knew somebody on here would have an answer.
 
b741
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RE: Pan Am 747 Inaugural

Sun Jan 25, 2004 4:45 pm

Captain Weeks flew the LHR inaugural, according to my Jan. 1970 copy of AW&ST.
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rg828
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RE: Pan Am 747 Inaugural

Sun Jan 25, 2004 5:29 pm

Capt. Bob Weeks - Atlantic Division Chief Pilot - commanded the inaugural PA 747 JFK-LHR flight, and Capt. Scribner flew the inaugural PA 115 JFK-ORY in March 2, 1970, together with Capt. Tranter.
Capt. Scribner had quite a career with PAA actually, flew nearly everything they had.
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DeltaGuy
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RE: Pan Am 747 Inaugural

Sun Jan 25, 2004 5:48 pm

Capt Scribner had one hell of a career with them...did the first 707 hop into Moscow too.

You're probably right...my bad  Smile

I'm tipping my beer mug to the good Captain now..God rest his soul.

DeltaGuy
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b741
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RE: Pan Am 747 Inaugural

Mon Jan 26, 2004 5:56 am

DeltaGuy

I hope you tipped a quality beer, not a Coors Light!
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