ssides
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Pan Am Transatlantic Aircraft In '30s-'40s?

Tue Aug 02, 2005 12:40 am

I just finished watching "The Aviator," and was intrigued by the competition between TWA and Pan Am back during the early days of commercial flight. I was very interested in Howard Hughes' purchase of the Lockheed Constellation and his desire to use it for transatlantic flights, competing with Pan Am.

My question: what aircraft did Pan Am use on its early transatlantic routes, and how were those flights routed?

Many thanks!
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dogfighter2111
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RE: Pan Am Transatlantic Aircraft In '30s-'40s?

Tue Aug 02, 2005 12:44 am

http://www.panam.org/default.asp

Try that link, all of the Pan Am news etc.

Thanks
Mike
 
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PA110
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RE: Pan Am Transatlantic Aircraft In '30s-'40s?

Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:49 am

Pan Am's transatlantic service began in 1939 with the Boeing 314 "Dixie Clipper". Routes included New York to Marseilles via Lisbon. These aircraft were were consigned to the military during WW2 and unfortunately retired and scrapped after the war. Following the war, Pan Am operated DC 4's followed by Stratocruisers,Connies, DC6 and DC7 aircraft before the 707 entered service in 1958. Like most other European carriers, most early post-war flights to Northern Europe were routed via Gander and Shannon.
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timz
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RE: Pan Am Transatlantic Aircraft In '30s-'40s?

Tue Aug 02, 2005 2:06 am

Nonstop LGA/IDL to LHR was at least occasionally possible starting with the Constellation 049 in 1946; Pan Am always (?) showed an eastward nonstop in the schedule, though maybe with a fuel-stop-may-be-needed footnote.
 
philb
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RE: Pan Am Transatlantic Aircraft In '30s-'40s?

Tue Aug 02, 2005 6:06 am

Pan Am placed on record its wish to start transatlantic services in letters to the Bureau of Air Commerce in 1935 and they received a permit in September 1936.

A base was established at Port Washington, Long Island and long discussions were entered into with the Portugese government regarding access to the Azores as well as with the French government for access to Marseilles.

Whilst these protracted negotiations dragged on, a plan to operate from Copenhagen to Iceland was looked at with the idea that this would be extended to New York by 1938. Both the Danish and Norwegian national airlines were involved but discussions became mired and the plans were abandoned.

On February 22 1937 the UK and US authorised Pan American and Imperial Airways to start a service from London to New York and vv via Newfoundland and Bermuda, for 15 years at the rate of 2 round trips per week. Eire, Canada and Bermuda joined the agreement and on May 25 1937 Pan American began a survey flight with a Sikorsky S-42B from Long Island to Bermuda whilst Imperial Airways flew the reciprocal from Bermuda. This became a weekly service (one per airline) until January 1939 when Imperial withdrew after an accident due to icing. Pan American carried on alone and supplemented the Sikorsky with a Boeing B314 that spring.

Pan American ordered both the B307 Stratoliner which it intended to use in Alaska and, as it didn't have the range for passenger flights between Newfoundland and Ireland, as a mail plane for services to London and, for passengers the B314 flying boat.

After a series of survey flights out of both Long Island and Baltimore using S-42Bs both the northern (New York, Shediac, Botwood, Foynes, Southampton) and the mid Atlantic (Bermuda, Azores, Lisbon, Marseilles, Southampton) routes were declared feasible.

The range of political, communications and operational protocols which were involved are too deep to go into here but, on March 26 1939, the first B314 made its first transatlantic flight. On May 20 the first scheduled flight was made from New York to Marseilles followed on June 24 by a flight on the northern route to Southampton.

Both these flights carried only VIPs, the first fare paying passengers were carried to Marseilles on June 28, followed by Southampton on July 8.

The outbreak of European hostilities brought the civilian service to a close but Pan American did not withdraw from the Atlantic.

In 1940, Lend Lease aircraft were being ferried to the UK and on June 21 1941 Atlantic Airways was formed by Pan American and BOAC and started by flying aircraft to Africa via the Caribbean and South Atlantic. Pan American Africa Ltd and Pan American Air ferries Inc were established, the former using B-24s on a scheduled cargo, return of ferry pilots service to Cairo, the latter ferrying aircraft to Khartoum.

Meanwhile the B314s fleet was split, some going to Imperial Airway's successor, BOAC, others appearing in quasi civilian guise, all continuing to serve Lisbon and Foynes/Southampton but the wartime need to ferry land based aircraft across the Atlantic on a routine and safe basis led to the building of runways at Gander, Goose Bay, Prestwick and, for different reasons, at Shannon and in Iceland.

The flying boats, whilst providing regular communications between the allies on both sides of the pond - under the guise of quasi civilian operation (the US aircraft had ostensibly Pan American pilots, the UK ones BOAC crew) to suite the neutrality of Portugal and Eire - proved to be too slow and the need for calm tideways and special handling became ever more unwieldy.

The die was cast for a postwar change to land based aircraft.

Prior to the US entry into the war, TWA had been involved with the design of the Constellation. With no need for over water capability the aircraft was designed for transcontinental service and Howard Hughes made sure that no competitor would have the aircraft until his company had established a dominance. Those plans came to nought when the aircraft were delivered to the USAAF.

Douglas had developed the unwieldy DC-4E to compete but the only example was over size, over weight and unwanted.

The redesigned DC4 quickly established itself with the military as the C-54 and this, converted to civil standards, was Pan American's first post war aircraft on the Atlantic.

But the scene had changed. During the war American Export Airlines (the overseas arm of American Airlines) had flown flying boat services between new York and Foynes with Sikorsky VS-44s and on June 1 1945 the CAB announced it and TWA would be licensed to join Pan American on the Atlantic for a period of seven years.

The first scheduled passenger flight by landplane was an AEA DC4 which left New York for Hurn (Heathrow not being ready) on October 24 1945. The Sikorskys were retired.

TWA, having taken delivery of some L-049 Constellations flew a proving flight to Paris in November 1945 then flew schedules from early 1946 which were extended to Cairo.

TWA had, however problems to face. Fuel leaks causing fires on the L-049s and the fact that they had not shielded their position in terms of delivery slots as had been the case with their first orders, meant that Pan American took delivery of L-049s and actually started using them on the Atlantic three weeks before TWA. American Overseas (renamed from AEA) started their L-049s in June that year.

Apart from the TWA L-749s, that was it - almost. Except that Pan American and American Overseas were both determined to beat TWA and the Constellation with something better and both ordered the Boeing Stratocruiser, PA's first appearing on the Atlantic on April 15 1949 to Bermuda and to London on June 2. AOA started with theirs on August 17. Too few Starocruisers were ordered to affect the dominance of the Constellation and TWA, long haul, became a totally Constellation airline until its first 707s arrived.

The DC6 didn't appear on Pan American's Atlantic services until 1952 in the form of the DC6B.

In the 1940s, all east and westbound landplane civil flights were multi sector with stops in one or more of Gander, Goose Bay, Lajes, Shannon or Prestwick.

As for the L-049 making eastbound nonstop runs - hardly!

With a payload reduced from a standard 18,400 lbs to a totally uneconomic 7,800 lbs the 049E could make 3,600 miles in still air. The shortest, totally Great Circle, route between New York and London (almost impossible to attain and fly under commercial conditions in the 1940s) is 3451 miles, leaving no operating margin for error.

Pan American introduced the first non stops with a Stratocruiser fitted with extra tanks on 15 November 1954 and the DC7B took over the service in 1955.
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Pan Am Transatlantic Aircraft In '30s-'40s?

Tue Aug 02, 2005 6:27 am

Quoting Philb (Reply 4):
Pan American introduced the first non stops with a Stratocruiser fitted with extra tanks on 15 November 1954 and the DC7B took over the service in 1955.

Great info Philb! Do you have any idea how long those non stops from NY to London took?
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dtwclipper
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RE: Pan Am Transatlantic Aircraft In '30s-'40s?

Tue Aug 02, 2005 6:43 am

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 5):
Great info Philb! Do you have any idea how long those non stops from NY to London took?

The DC7C "brought London within 12 Hours of New York."

I can find trans pacific times for the strat, but not on the atlantic, I'll keep looking for you.
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Starlionblue
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RE: Pan Am Transatlantic Aircraft In '30s-'40s?

Tue Aug 02, 2005 6:44 am

Quoting Dtwclipper (Reply 6):
Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 5):
Great info Philb! Do you have any idea how long those non stops from NY to London took?

The DC7C "brought London within 12 Hours of New York."

I can find trans pacific times for the strat, but not on the atlantic, I'll keep looking for you.

12 hours sounds bearable until you remember this was hardly at turbulence free altitude and Noise Cancellation headphones weren't invented yet (or IFE, laptops, iPods...) But I'm pretty sure you got better food...
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philb
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RE: Pan Am Transatlantic Aircraft In '30s-'40s?

Tue Aug 02, 2005 6:44 am

Depending on the winds, between 11 hours 30 mins and 12 hours 15 in the Stratocruiser - so the sleeper berths and the downstairs lounge came in handy and, on the DC7B, between 10 hours 15 mins and 11 hours.
 
philb
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RE: Pan Am Transatlantic Aircraft In '30s-'40s?

Tue Aug 02, 2005 6:49 am

The DC7C time quoted above is more accurately a westbound time.

The DC7C eastbound was comparable to the DC7B, the difference being the 7C could go non stop westbound in almost all wind/weather conditions, the 7B couldn't unless uneconomically loaded - though few airlines took advantage and made a stop somewhere to preserve traffic rights.
 
dtwclipper
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RE: Pan Am Transatlantic Aircraft In '30s-'40s?

Tue Aug 02, 2005 6:57 am

Some times of interst:

Stratocuiser:
SFO-Tokyo via HNL and Midway 25.5 hours

1948 flying times:
Mia-EZE 21 Hours 15 Min.

48.5 hours SFO-SYD
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timz
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RE: Pan Am Transatlantic Aircraft In '30s-'40s?

Tue Aug 02, 2005 6:58 am

Quoting Philb (Reply 4):
As for the L-049 making eastbound nonstop runs - hardly!

That may be the right word-- dunno how often they did do succeed in doing it. But the NY Times does record more than one nonstop flight to London in the pre-749 era, and I do believe there were even a few to Paris.
 
dtwclipper
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RE: Pan Am Transatlantic Aircraft In '30s-'40s?

Tue Aug 02, 2005 7:01 am

I found the Strat time @ 10.5 hours New York London, however this is from a PAA advert, and not sure how accurate this is.
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philb
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RE: Pan Am Transatlantic Aircraft In '30s-'40s?

Tue Aug 02, 2005 7:08 am

Now you are saying pre 049 era, so we are talking pre 1941.

Well you'd better come up with some sources, types dates and operators because eastbound non stops for commercial flights were the Holy Grail of the late 1940s and early 1950s.

Before writing my piece I checked the many reference works and aircraft/airliner profiles in my library because, in 50 years in the hobby, I can't recall having seen anything about an L-049 managing New York - London nonstop, even at very restricted weight. Paris is just too much!!
 
philb
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RE: Pan Am Transatlantic Aircraft In '30s-'40s?

Tue Aug 02, 2005 7:13 am

Dtwclipper, with really favourable winds, possibly.

Cruise in a Strat was around 288 mph, climb was much slower. Average distance prior to NAT tracks was around 3500 miles.
 
dtwclipper
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RE: Pan Am Transatlantic Aircraft In '30s-'40s?

Tue Aug 02, 2005 7:19 am

Quoting Philb (Reply 14):
with really favourable winds, possibly

I have to agree, as I said, that "published time" was from an advert, so I just don't see how they could have scheduled it.

How about his one: SFO-LHR-ORY DC-7C 18 hours.
First flight of this Polar service was Sept. 10, 1957
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timz
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RE: Pan Am Transatlantic Aircraft In '30s-'40s?

Tue Aug 02, 2005 7:22 am

"Now you are saying pre 049 era, so we are talking pre 1941."

Take another look.

Do you have the Air-Britain book on the Constellation? It probably mentions circa 1946-47 LGA-LHR flights in less than 10 hours. I'll check that and the NYTimes and get back tomorrow.
 
philb
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RE: Pan Am Transatlantic Aircraft In '30s-'40s?

Tue Aug 02, 2005 7:25 am

I remember that well. It was actually a sub polar service and the track was similar to one I've been on on 747s in the winter, well up over Lake Athabasca and Cambridge Bay.

SAS pioneered the trans Polar flights from CPH to the west coast and made a point of routing at least some flights over both the magnetic and geographic poles - a major feat of navigation in the days prior to INS/GPS with compasses subject to large variations, the Loran chains minimal and the skies often too cloudy for regular, accurate star/sun shoots.
 
dtwclipper
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RE: Pan Am Transatlantic Aircraft In '30s-'40s?

Tue Aug 02, 2005 7:28 am

Quoting Timz (Reply 16):
It probably mentions circa 1946-47 LGA-LHR flights in less than 10 hours. I'll check that and the NYTimes and get back tomorrow.

"TWA started New York-Paris flights on February 6, 1946....East bound flights took nine hours, fifteen minutes with one stop.....West bound flights took eleven hour, twenty five minutes...."

Lockheed Constellation
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timz
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RE: Transatlantic Aircraft In '30s-'40s?

Tue Aug 02, 2005 7:41 am

NY-Paris in 9-15 with one stop does sound unlikely. Offhand, I'm guessing they never managed a nonstop that fast-- until the 1049C, anyway.

"SAS pioneered the trans Polar flights from CPH to the west coast and made a point of routing at least some flights over both the magnetic and geographic poles..."

CPH-LAX = 9050 km direct, or 10081 km via the geographic pole-- but they probably flew via Sondrestrom or some such, so the added distance would actually be greater.

[Edited 2005-08-02 00:51:05]
 
philb
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RE: Pan Am Transatlantic Aircraft In '30s-'40s?

Tue Aug 02, 2005 7:57 am

Quoting Timz (Reply 11):
That may be the right word-- dunno how often they did do succeed in doing it. But the NY Times does record more than one nonstop flight to London in the pre-749 era, and I do believe there were even a few to Paris.

I took another look and your quote says "pre 749 era".

As far as the Air Britain book goes, if it mentions less than ten hours it is WRONG, period. Check the cruise speeds, add time for initial climb, climb to cruise "step" at lower speeds and slow down for descent and approach. Check the great circle distances and rhumb line distances.

Quoting Dtwclipper (Reply 18):
"TWA started New York-Paris flights on February 6, 1946....East bound flights took nine hours, fifteen minutes with one stop.....West bound flights took eleven hour, twenty five minutes...."

Sorry, you are misreading the context. The whole para states, and it is confusing,

"Capitalizing on the Connies range, TWA started New York - Paris flights on February 6th 1946, followed by Los Angeles - New York service on March 1. Eastbound flights took nine hours 15 minutes with one stop, easily beating competing competing airlines which were then using the DC4s. Westbound flights took eleven hours. Some publicity flights with reduced payload made it coast to coast non stop but such regular service had to wait until 1953."

You can see how the para can be interpreted ambiguously but, reading carefully you can see the times relate to the transcontinental services, not trans Atlantic.

Indeed, the shortest route between LGA and Le Bourget is 3631 miles and the 049's best cruising speed is 313 mph, giving an elapsed time, if 313 mph could be attained blocks to blocks, of 11 hours 40 minutes.
 
tymnbalewne
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RE: Pan Am Transatlantic Aircraft In '30s-'40s?

Tue Aug 02, 2005 8:05 am

Marginally on topic...if you haven't read it, pick up Ken Follett's "Night Over Water". It's a well-crafted mystery that takes place on a Pan American Clipper from Europe to the US in the '30's.



Shortly before Britain enters the war in 1939, a group of desperate people escape on the Pan Am Clipper bound for New York--unaware that there's a plot to sabotage the 30-hour flight.

Great read!

C.

[Edited 2005-08-02 01:12:17]
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philb
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RE: Pan Am Transatlantic Aircraft In '30s-'40s?

Tue Aug 02, 2005 8:07 am

The so called trans Polar flights were, as I suggested, normally sub Polar, Arctic flights. SAS started them on 15/16 November 1954 with a DC6B which called at Sondre Stromfjord and Winnipeg, the time taken being 20 hours in total. Canadian Pacific joined in in June 1955, again with DC6Bs and the US airlines waited until they could eliminate the Canadian/Greenland stops by introducing DC7Cs (Pan Am) September 10/11 1957 and TWA L1649A on October 2/3 1957.
 
philb
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RE: Pan Am Transatlantic Aircraft In '30s-'40s?

Tue Aug 02, 2005 8:13 am

Follet's book is very interesting and well structured using a great deal of fact.

I live 30 minutes from Foynes, where there is a small commemorative museum and many a time, driving to Shannon in the early morning along the banks of the river, I hope to see, but never do, the ghosts of the B314s and Empire and C class flying boats that for such a short time inhabited the river.

Perhaps if I had a glass or two of Irish Coffee, which was invented at Foynes for the wartime, often incognito, passengers, I might stand a better chance but the Gardai might have something to say if I were stopped and I mentioned the flying boats!!!
 
milesrich
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RE: Pan Am Transatlantic Aircraft In '30s-'40s?

Tue Aug 02, 2005 10:30 am

American Export Airlines, was a division of the shipping line, American Export Lines, the company that owned the transatlantic liners, SS Independence and SS Constitution. They sold the airline in 1945 to American Airlines, which then called the division, American Overseas Airlines. American then sold it in 1950 to Pan Am. AOA flew DC-4's, L-049 Connies, and B-377 Stratocruisers, and operated the first DC-4 transatlantic land plane flight. They flew to northern Germany, England and Scandanavia. The reason told that AA sold it was CR Smith got tired of finding out that many of his executives had flown to Europe for "business purposes."
 
dtwclipper
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RE: Pan Am Transatlantic Aircraft In '30s-'40s?

Tue Aug 02, 2005 11:35 am

Quoting Philb (Reply 20):
You can see how the para can be interpreted ambiguously but, reading carefully you can see the times relate to the transcontinental services, not trans Atlantic.

Thank you Philb, you are correct, I read it again, and see your point.

Sorry, send me out for verbal abuse and humiliation now!
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philb
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RE: Pan Am Transatlantic Aircraft In '30s-'40s?

Tue Aug 02, 2005 4:07 pm

No need Dtwclipper, the para is badly written!!

Some other points:

Milesrich, you are 100% correct, I over paraphrased.

The first AEA DC4 flight to Hurn took 14 hours 5 minutes, at the time the fastest ever trip to that date.

On September 3 1947, American Overseas announced the 15,000th trans Atlantic crossing since its first service in June 1942.

An interesting sidelight is that, from the start, New York - Foynes was attained non stop with fully operational and useful loads and this was maintained throughout the war.

A fascinating period. For an authoritative view of U S airlines, R E G Davies' book Airlines of the United States since 1914 is indispensable
 
timz
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RE: Pan Am Transatlantic Aircraft In '30s-'40s?

Wed Aug 03, 2005 7:45 am

I went back thru the NYTimes and I couldn't find any 049 flights that were definitely nonstop to London or beyond with a regular payload on a scheduled flight. Maybe the best one was in December 1949 when a BOAC Constellation on a "scheduled commercial run" flew IDL-LHR in 9 hr 11 min elapsed time; the article doesn't say whether that was nonstop. The Air-Britain book does say it was nonstop, with an 049-- it seems BOAC's 749s were on the Australia run?

In November 1949 Clipper Flying Cloud flew IDL-LHR in 8-55 with 24 pax-- doesn't say whether nonstop, and I haven't yet seen whether that name was a 749 or not.

In January 1947 a KLM 049 flew to AMS in 11-04 elapsed time with 9 crew and 19 pax, but it doesn't say whether that was nonstop.

There were several one-time 049 flights nonstop to London or beyond. I forgot to get the details on that C-69 flight in August 1945-- to Paris, was it? In 1/46 a PA 049 flew LGA-LIS in 9-58 nonstop.

PA started showing an LGA-LHR nonstop in their timetable in August 1947-- but it seems they got their first 749s a couple months before that? By 1948 Air France was claiming an LGA-ORY weekly nonstop, presumably a 749.
 
philb
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RE: Pan Am Transatlantic Aircraft In '30s-'40s?

Wed Aug 03, 2005 10:00 pm

Hi Timz,

I've spent a very sunny morning slaving over reference works and a hot computer to try to get to the bottom of this one!

First off, in my original piece on Pan American I didn't mention the 4 L-749s they had in service in the late 1940s.
When I was editing and spell checking the piece I managed to chop half a sentence where I mention the TWA L-749s.

There seems to be a great deal of conflicting evidence and half information around regarding non stop eastbound flights and which aircraft operated them.

It has long been the practice of airlines to offer non stop service with "technical stop" en route, i.e, we're not really stopping here, you can't get on or off and we know it's inconvenient but we do need fuel!" This could explain some of the timetabling showing non stops during the period.

It doesn't, however, explain the timings, some of which are exceptionally fast and must have had a great deal of wind assistance.

I dug out a book I'd forgotten about, Scott E Germain's Airtech Series publication, The Lockheed Constellation and Super Constellation. At the back this lists flight records on various sectors. The Atlantic sector makes for interesting reading, for example:

22 Sept 1945 Stephensville - Paris 9 hrs 22 min
11 Febr 1946 New York - Hurn 12 hours 6 mins
11 Jany 1947 New York - Amsterdam 11 hours 4 mins
15 April 1947 Montreal - London 10 hours 54 mins
18 Jany 1949 New York - London 10 hours 2 minutes.

Unfortunately the author doesn't detail the sub types or the airlines, if the flights were scheduled, delivery, or if on a special flight.

We can certainly deduce that all but the April 1947 and the 1949 flights were L-049s because the L-749s were not certificated before March 1947.

So, what about range? We know the L-049 had a still air range of 3,600 miles but improvements were made to bring this up to 3995 miles in later production L-049s but only at maximum fuel and with a significant reduction in payload. This would, however, bring Paris well within range using the most efficient, Great Circle, route. The problem, of course, is that winds aloft and the weather don't understand navigation and the average flight between the USA and Europe at the time was in the area of 3,600- 3,700 miles making the need for a stop more likely than not and certain if anything like a commercial load were to be carried.

As the flight times are listed as "records" they would seem, in the face of lack of further evidence, to be exceptional, lightly loaded, for whatever reason, and to have benefitted from exceptional wind assistance.

The 1949 flight could well have been an L-749 which had a range of around 4,800 miles and a marginally increased cruise speed.

Now we have another question. If the L-749 and later L-749A had a range of 4,800 miles, why did Pan American order the Stratocruiser which needed extra tanks to do the non stop? Well, again the need to trade range and payload were the factors. With a full payload the L-749 could manage only 2,600 miles whilst with a light payload and maximum fuel (not the ideal for commercial operation) the range went up to 4,800 miles.

R E G Davies, long associated with the Smithsonian and probably the leading expert in matters of airline history, is categoric that eastbound non stops were not achieved on regular scheduled flights until 1954 (and that has been my received wisdom over the last 50 years).

Quoting his "Airlines of the United States since 1914", page 383,

"Altogether, 1953-1955 saw Hughes' airline, with its all Constellation fleet, make a bold effort to overhaul Pan American in the fight for passengers. On 19 October 1953, TWA introduced the L-1049C Super Constellation, fitted with Wright turbo compound engines developing 3,250 bhp, thus permitting considerable increases in take off weight and payload compared to standard versions. The airlines were now striving to attain non stop capability between New York and the major traffic centres of Europe, particularly London and Paris. This objective supplemented the continued rivalry in scheduled timing, with the resultant demands on the manufacturers for improvements in cruising speed. On 15 November 1954, Pan American introduced Stratocruisers with extra fuel tanks to achieve a non stop eastbound crossing and followed this with a DC7B service on June 13, 1955."

He then goes on to mention the introduction of the Super G Constellation by TWA and the DC7C by Pan American where both airlines leapfrogged each other in introducing eastbound non stops and, eventually with the DC7C and Starliner, non stop westbounds.

Even with the L-1049C, TWA could not regularly achieve commercially viable eastbound non stops as the range at max payload was only 2,880 miles. At max fuel and a light load this would increase to 4,760 miles.

In summary it would seem that, whatever the timetables said in the 1940s, whatever the range of the aircraft, regular scheduled non stop eastbound trans Atlantic flights were not a feature of the 1940s. Some one off flights were made, the range of two sub types of Constellation was, on occasion, pushed to attain records but, right up until the mid 1950s, any eastbound non stop was operated at the cost of a significant payload reduction, when the winds were just right and all other conditions were 100%.
 
timz
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RE: Pan Am Transatlantic Aircraft In '30s-'40s?

Thu Aug 04, 2005 1:59 am

You quoted Davies: "On 15 November 1954, Pan American introduced Stratocruisers with extra fuel tanks to achieve a non stop eastbound crossing..."

That presumably is a reference to the "Super Stratocruisers"; if you have a mid-50s PA public timetable they even distinguish between the "Super" and the regular B377 (which PA continued to use in the Pacific). The Super had a couple other mods besides the extra tankage. The article at the time said the Super B377 was intended to increase the percentage of eastbound Atlantic nonstops and westbound one-stops-- in other words the regular B377 was already making eastward nonstops some now-unknown fraction of the time.

(Another article mentioned that the Irish-US bilateral said that any flight that was scheduled to land in Ireland could not overfly Ireland-- if it didn't stop at SNN it had to fly around Ireland. Ever heard of that?)

Quoting Timz (Reply 27):
In November 1949 Clipper Flying Cloud flew IDL-LHR in 8-55 with 24 pax-- doesn't say whether nonstop, and I haven't yet seen whether that name was a 749 or not.

My mistake-- the Times article did say it was a Stratocruiser.

By the way-- I see you still think TW had L1049Cs. Tell me again: do you think they were conversions of their 1049s or what?
 
philb
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RE: Pan Am Transatlantic Aircraft In '30s-'40s?

Thu Aug 04, 2005 2:39 am

Quoting Timz (Reply 29):
(Another article mentioned that the Irish-US bilateral said that any flight that was scheduled to land in Ireland could not overfly Ireland-- if it didn't stop at SNN it had to fly around Ireland. Ever heard of that?)

No, but it doesn't surprise me. The vestiges of the policy still exist in the Shannon stopover policy which places restrictions on trans Atlantic flights to and from Dublin.

Re TWA L1049Cs, the quote from Davies is accurate but TWA didn't order the C version. What they did do was update their L1049s in 1953 with 2,800 hp 975C18B-1 engines which, as far as I can see, was not a turbo compound and was 450 hp short compared to the original turbo compound engine on the C.

I just wonder, though I can't prove it, if the C designation on their aircraft was a TWA marketing ploy. With such an incestuous relationship between Lockheed and TWA anything may have happened.

What is known is that the aircraft that were converted did not have the L1049 centre tank and were also considered underpowered. As a result they were the first Connies TWA retired.

Considering that all of this happened pretty much in my lifetime (I was born in 1947) and that so much documentation exists, it is amazing just how much contradictory information is out there.

I just hope that, 50 years from now with such a volume of "information" available about today's aviation, enthusiasts and historians will be able to sort out fact from fiction and half truths!!

Its good swapping info with you. The first aircraft to start my enthusiasm was the BOAC Stratocruisers which on rare occasions landed at Manchester rather than Burtonwood on the London- Manchester - Prestwick - Gander - New York weekly run followed a year later by Lufthansa's L1049s bound for Chicago.
 
timz
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RE: Pan Am Transatlantic Aircraft In '30s-'40s?

Thu Aug 04, 2005 2:57 am

"I just wonder, though I can't prove it, if the C designation on their aircraft was a TWA marketing ploy."

Where did TWA (or whoever) call them 1049Cs?
 
timz
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RE: Pan Am Transatlantic Aircraft In '30s-'40s?

Fri Aug 05, 2005 5:51 am

More on pre-1954 capabilities:

Flight mag 30 Oct 1953 p600 says a CP DC-6B flew Misawa-Vancouver nonstop with 9 crew 43 pax 3000 lb mail/freight. Based on 2005 lat-lons that's 7077 km. Doesn't say why Misawa instead of Haneda-- was Misawa the regular airport then?

Flight 25 Dec 1953 says a CP DC-6B flew nonstop Tokyo-Vancouver "4,700 miles" in 13 hr 51 min with 8 crew 57 pax. Based on 2005 lat-lons Haneda-Vancouver is 7577 km 4708 st miles, so maybe this one was Haneda?
 
vc10
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RE: Pan Am Transatlantic Aircraft In '30s-'40s?

Fri Aug 05, 2005 6:37 am

Regards the 1049 and the 1049C the following web site might be of some interest.

http://www.nasm.si.edu/research/aero/aircraft/lockheed_1049.htm
 
timz
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RE: Pan Am Transatlantic Aircraft In '30s-'40s?

Fri Aug 05, 2005 7:08 am

Thanks for that site, which says

"TWA, a co-sponsor with EAL on the design of the Super Constellation, first used the Model 1049 on its domestic network in September 1952, and when it received the higher performance "C" version, it began scheduled non-stop transcontinental service on October 19, 1953..."

Sounds like they think TWA got 1049Cs new, which they didn't. I suspect there were no conversions either; TWA's first Turbo-Compounds were the 1049Gs in 1955.
 
philb
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RE: Pan Am Transatlantic Aircraft In '30s-'40s?

Fri Aug 05, 2005 8:26 am

Timz,

Sorry, I was going to get back on this earlier in the day, got involved with some info on microbursts and aquaplaning probs with anti-skid re AF crash and forgot to get back!!

You are absolutely right that TWA's first turbo compounds were on the G. I checked the engine conversions on the 1049 and they were not turbo compounds, just piston engines with a a higher rating.

Now the link referred to above is interesting. The Smithsonian gives the game away and I'll put money on the text having something to do with R E G Davies.

Now, either he knows something you, I and those who have written profiles on the Connie don't or, since at least 1971 when he first published Airlines of the United States since 1914 (it is still in print and was on sale at The Udvar-Hazy Center when I visited in April), there has been an error which has certainly misled me and many others. I'll admit I took it that the upgrade he refers to brought the original 1049s up to at least quasi C standards.

My copy of the book is a first impression. It would be interesting, if anyone has a later impression, to check if the reference has been changed.
 
RC135U
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RE: Pan Am Transatlantic Aircraft In '30s-'40s?

Fri Aug 05, 2005 12:04 pm

Quoting Timz (Reply 32):
Flight mag 30 Oct 1953 p600 says a CP DC-6B flew Misawa-Vancouver nonstop with 9 crew 43 pax 3000 lb mail/freight. Based on 2005 lat-lons that's 7077 km. Doesn't say why Misawa instead of Haneda-- was Misawa the regular airport then?

Misawa is a military base about 400 miles north of Tokyo. I'd venture to guess
that the CP flight was in support of Canadian military efforts related to the
Korean conflict.
 
timz
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RE: Pan Am Transatlantic Aircraft In '30s-'40s?

Sat Aug 06, 2005 1:20 am

The 1982 revised reprint of Davies' book still refers to TWA getting 1049Cs. That's probably the latest edition?
 
philb
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RE: Pan Am Transatlantic Aircraft In '30s-'40s?

Sat Aug 06, 2005 1:51 am

Not sure. Davies is still very much involved with the Smithsonian. At one time I had an email address for him and have sent him questions about various topics but he seems disinterested in replying.

You may be interested in a piece of TWA memorabilia I own. It is a 1936 Airway Map and Route Log printed by Rand McNally.

It features the DC2, has an introduction entitled "America on Gay Parade" and, in 23 pages, details the transcontinental routes in words and cartoon graphic maps.

I was given it some 25 years ago as a "thank you" for giving someone help with a short wave radio but I've never been able to establish if it is rare or not.
 
milesrich
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RE: Pan Am Transatlantic Aircraft In '30s-'40s?

Sat Aug 06, 2005 10:01 am

TWA received 10 L-1049A's. They were never operated in Trans Atlantic Service. They never had nose radar installed either. They did not have turbo compound engines. They did inaugerate the first West to East non stop trans con flights. They were not converted to C's and TWA never called them that. They were referred to as Super Constellations. They lost two in accidents, both collisions with UA flights. The first over the Grand Canyon on June 30, 1956 when the tail of the TWA plane was struck by a United DC-7 that climbed to its altitude, and the 2nd on December 16, 1960, when a United DC-8 sped through the Preston Intersection on its decent into IDL and struck TW 266 bound for LGA from CMH over Staten Island. Shortly thereafter, TW retired and sold the remaining 8 aircraft.
 
philb
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RE: Pan Am Transatlantic Aircraft In '30s-'40s?

Mon Aug 08, 2005 6:32 pm

Milesrich,

TWA never operated the L-1049A. That and the L-1049B were military models as follows:

L-1049A US Navy WV-2 and WV-3 and USAF RC-121D

L-1049B US Navy R7V-1 and USAF RC121C plus the sole VC-121E.

If TWA did not operate the L-1049 on the Atlantic, even after modification, this now leaves two questions - how did one of the most highly respected aviation historians and civil airline observers make such an error as to state an airline operated a type that it seems clear it didn't and not correct the error over a period of at least eleven years and, secondly, why did TWA not upgrade and did they let Pan American walk away with the "honours" as they, and European airlines, repeatedly introduced newer, faster and quieter types on what was then the world's premier route?

Between summer 1949 and November 1955, when TWA introduced the Super G on the Atlantic, they would appear to have soldiered on with L-049 variants and L-749 variants whilst Pan American introduced the Stratocruiser, the DC6B and the DC7B and European airlines such as BOAC (Stratocruisers), Sabena (DC6B), Air France (L-1049C) and KLM (L-1049C) operated the "latest types" at a time when "yesterday's model" was the last thing people wanted to be seen in - be that model a car, examples of haute couture or an aircraft.

There was an excellent history of TWA published some years ago. I don't have a copy - if anyone does I'd be interested to know what was going on at the airline as regards to equipment usage on the Atlantic during the years in question.
 
timz
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RE: Pan Am Transatlantic Aircraft In '30s-'40s?

Tue Aug 09, 2005 3:39 am

"If TWA did not operate the L-1049 on the Atlantic, even after modification..."

"Modification" being the 2800 hp engines?

"... this now leaves two questions - how did one of the most highly respected aviation historians and civil airline observers make such an error..."

Did Davies say TWA flew the 1049 transatlantic?
 
philb
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RE: Pan Am Transatlantic Aircraft In '30s-'40s?

Tue Aug 09, 2005 8:05 am

That is the mod, plus changes to cowlings. There seems to be a dispute as to if any or all were, or were not, recipients of centre tanks.

As to L-1049s transatlantic, as I've quoted before and has been confirmed by yourself, Davies says:

Quoting Philb (Reply 28):
Quoting his "Airlines of the United States since 1914", page 383,

"Altogether, 1953-1955 saw Hughes' airline, with its all Constellation fleet, make a bold effort to overhaul Pan American in the fight for passengers. On 19 October 1953, TWA introduced the L-1049C Super Constellation, fitted with Wright turbo compound engines developing 3,250 bhp, thus permitting considerable increases in take off weight and payload compared to standard versions. The airlines were now striving to attain non stop capability between New York and the major traffic centres of Europe, particularly London and Paris.

Now, as we are all agreed they didn't have any "real" L-1049Cs and the next version they bought was the L1049G which didn't fly until December 1954, the reference can only be to the L-1049s in the fleet, as there were no other Super Constellations available to TWA and, apart from the sub type, he also got the HP wrong.
 
milesrich
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RE: Pan Am Transatlantic Aircraft In '30s-'40s?

Tue Aug 09, 2005 11:48 pm

I have a TWA schedule, printed in the Janauary 1955, Official Guide to Railways. Yes, some of the airlines printed their schedules in this guide in the 1950's and earlier. TWA's international schedule says: Constellation equipment used on all flights.

The schedules does designate flights using Super Constellation equipment. They were:
94 LAX-MDW-IDL
36 SFO-MDW-PIT-EWR-IDL
98 LAX-IDL Nonstop
38 SFO-IDL Nonstop
90 LAX-IDL Nonstop
31 IDL-LAX Nonstop
91 IDL-LAX Nonstop
39 IDL-PIT-MDW-LAX-SFO
35 IDL-MDW-SFO
93 IDL-MDW-LAX

MDW was then known as CHI. And remember, airlines didn't run four engine piston airplanes 20 hours a day.

Mr. Davies just made a mistake.

TWA took delivery of the following L-1049's

N6901C - N6910C Serial# 4015-4024 Model L-1049 - later referred to as L1049A's. These aircraft did not have turbo compound engines. As I said before, two were lost in collisions with UAL aircraft, the other 8 were retired in 1960.

The first 1049-C flew on 2-17-53 and was delivered to KLM.

KLM received #4501-4509,
Air France 4510-4519
Pakistan Government and PIA 4520-4522
Eastern 4523-4538
Qantas 4539, 4545-4546, 4549 which were converted to an E models,
Trans Canada 4540-44 Converted to E models, some later to G's
Air India 4547-48,

Eastern ordered and cancelled 4566-4571 which were to be C Models

4550-4565 were delivered as E's

THERE WERE NO OTHER C MODELS BUILT and TWA never leased a C or E model either, although they did lease some H's


Source: Piston Engine Airliner Production List by A. B. Eastwood, and J. Roach, published in England 1991. This book is the authority on the production, registration, sales and history of US And British Piston Airliners except the DC-3.
 
stirling
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RE: Pan Am Transatlantic Aircraft In '30s-'40s?

Wed Aug 10, 2005 12:27 am

Quoting Philb (Reply 38):
I've never been able to establish if it is rare or not.

I would say it's rare, and quite valuable.
Somewhere in the neighborhood of $200-$300. Based on comparable items I've seen at memorabilia shows.
Delete this User
 
philb
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RE: Pan Am Transatlantic Aircraft In '30s-'40s?

Wed Aug 10, 2005 2:01 am

Stirling,

Thanks for that. I did wonder. I took it to the Smithsonian in April but they declined to comment on value, only saying it was a very attractive piece of literature!!

Milesrich,

I think we are agreed that R E G Davies did make a rare mistake, the question is why wasn't it corrected in the second impression?

John Roach and Tony Eastwood have made a similar mistake re the L-1049A. The crazy thing is that I remember looking through the proofs of that edition at John's home. I'll phone him this evening and ask for his comments and check also what they have listed in later editions.

The two most authoratative monologues on the Constellation/Super Constellation both disagree with Roach and Eastwood:

"No 1049A or 1049B models were produced for civilian opeartors. These designations served as Lockheed identifiers for military WV-2, WV-3, RC-121C, RC-121D, R7V-1 and the single presidential VC-121E Constellation model". - Scott E Germain - Lockheed Constellation and Super Constellation.

"The 1049A and 1049B were military versions of the Super Constellations. Model 1049A applied to US Navy WV-2 and WV-3 and USAF RC-121D models. Model 1049Bapplied to Navy R7V-1 transports, USAF RC-121Cs and the single VC-121E presidential Columbine III" - Curtis K Stringfellow and Peter M Bowers - Lockheed Constellation.
 
timz
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RE: Pan Am Transatlantic Aircraft In '30s-'40s?

Wed Aug 10, 2005 3:06 am

Each of Davies' sentences is correct, by itself:

"On 19 October 1953, TWA introduced the L-1049C Super Constellation, fitted with Wright turbo compound engines developing 3,250 bhp, thus permitting considerable increases in take off weight and payload compared to standard versions."

"The airlines were now striving to attain non stop capability between New York and the major traffic centres of Europe, particularly London and Paris."

Looks like an editing problem-- being together like that they make it sound like he's saying they flew 1049Cs on the Atlantic, which he likely didn't intend.

As for 1049s on the Atlantic, I looked at several 1953-57 schedules and didn't see any. No mention in the Air-Britain book, either.
 
philb
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RE: Pan Am Transatlantic Aircraft In '30s-'40s?

Wed Aug 10, 2005 4:21 am

Timz,

Looks more and more likely that your reading of the situation is correct.

Odd for Putnam who usually had, in those days, excellent editors. It certainly is open to interpretation paricularly as the chapter is entitled "Post War International Boom" and all the foregoing and following paragraphs concern transatlantic services and no mention is made of transcontinental, internal US services!

Looking back to page 333 it would seem the error we have been discussing is a perpetuation of an earlier error. He states:

"TWA responded to this competition by introducing the Lockheed L1049 Super Constellation on 10 September 1952" - OK, no problem there and he then goes on to detail the increase in size, Eastern's order and the upgrades introduced thereafter. He then states:

"TWA exploited the added range capability by introducing the first sustained non stop transcontinental service when the L1049C began the Ambassador service between Los Angeles and New York on 19 October 1953."

It would seem that somewhere the suffix letter was acquired and the date of the transcontinental service was transposed to the section on transatlantic services.
 
timz
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RE: Pan Am Transatlantic Aircraft In '30s-'40s?

Wed Aug 10, 2005 4:43 am

Oops-- I forgot we're probably all agreed that Davies' first sentence isn't correct. No 1049Cs for TWA in 1953 or any other time.
 
philb
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RE: Pan Am Transatlantic Aircraft In '30s-'40s?

Wed Aug 10, 2005 8:30 am

John Roach was out tonite when I phoned. Left a message with his wife and I'll talk to him Wednesday evening UK time.

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