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airbear
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Re-birthing The B377 Stratocruiser

Thu Aug 15, 2013 8:07 am

Hi all, I am currently reading one of the many Pan Am history books, and I'm starting to wonder if it would be viable to resurrect some of the old aircraft for a taste of "how things used to be" in air travel.

I am sure Boeing still has the blueprints for the Stratocruiser, or even the earlier 314 flying boat. Would it be possible to build a few new from scratch, re-engined perhaps with those huge Allison turboprops from decommissioned Electras, Orions or Hercs, and fit them out in the luxurious manner & replicated style of the 1950's (or the 30s/40s in the case of the 314), with cabin service to match? Could be operated by the likes of DL or UA, or even BA.

I imagine there might be a premium market for such nostalgia on trans-continental routes in the USA, or perhaps trans-Atlantic. How about it?
 
denverdanny
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RE: Re-birthing The B377 Stratocruiser

Thu Aug 15, 2013 8:28 am

I dunno. I wouldn't fly on the Stratocruiser. I don't think those planes had good flight records at all. Beasts to maintain and more than their share of high profile crashes/ditchings. The flying boats do look interesting. Maybe if you recreated the stops along routes like Pan Am had--that could be cool. Sort of a blast from the past resort trip thing.
 
Birdwatching
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RE: Re-birthing The B377 Stratocruiser

Thu Aug 15, 2013 8:35 am

Quoting airbear (Thread starter):
"how things used to be" in air travel.

Everything about air travel that "used to be" was bad.

Planes were very unsafe, polluting, loud, uncomfortable, people were smoking, flying was expensive, only a few people could afford to fly, and the list goes on.
I've said it before, the golden era of air travel is today. If you want to save a few old planes for museum flight that's fine, but to put them back in revenue service, that makes no sense at all.

Soren   
All the things you probably hate about travelling are warm reminders that I'm home
 
airbear
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RE: Re-birthing The B377 Stratocruiser

Thu Aug 15, 2013 10:27 am

Quoting denverdanny (Reply 1):

Hi denverdanny... I think a lot of those high profile problems came courtesy of the piston engines. I'm talking about new-build airplanes, powered by very reliable turboprops. Still a no-go under those conditions? And you're right... the staged hops from HNL to TYO or across the Atlantic in flying boats would be great.

Quoting Birdwatching (Reply 2):

Hi to you too, Birdwatching... really? Wouldn't you like to travel (yeah, OK... Aside from the noise) in great comfort, seated or sleeping with room to move about, being served great food in company with people who dressed and behaved with a sense of occasion? I agree, the smoking can be done away with.

But these days, flying - for most people - is affordable sure. But a pleasant experience? Hardly, with the exception of 1st class on some carriers. Even business class is cramped compared with "how it used to be", never mind Economy,

Cheers, Airbear
 
bobnwa
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RE: Re-birthing The B377 Stratocruiser

Thu Aug 15, 2013 11:27 am

To do what you suggest would cost an unbelieveable amount of money which neither the airlines or the manufacturers would want to assume. Nice idea but not practical.
 
airbear
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RE: Re-birthing The B377 Stratocruiser

Thu Aug 15, 2013 11:55 am

I'm sure you're right bobnwa, but it's nice to dream isn't it.

The money is there somewhere though ... For instance, here in Austrlalia, we have a mining billionaire who is seriously talking about financing, rebuilding and sailing, a new-build replica of...wait for it... the Titanic ! He has also founded a political party, and has fantasies of becoming our prime minister in the federal election next month, but that's another story. But compared to a new replica Titanic, a new Strat or 3 would likely be chump change.
 
dstc47
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RE: Re-birthing The B377 Stratocruiser

Thu Aug 15, 2013 1:09 pm

Quoting airbear (Thread starter):
or even the earlier 314 flying boat

Not exactly what you want, but Foynes Aviation Museum in Ireland used Boeing plans to recreate a firmly ground based replica of the Boeing 314 as the centrepiece of their commemorative display. So the plans are there, if you can raise the money for series production!
 
hiflyer
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RE: Re-birthing The B377 Stratocruiser

Thu Aug 15, 2013 6:19 pm

First, for me, the sound, sight and smell (grin) of those mighty piston engines was a big part of the allure of that generation of aircraft....but yeah...the pratt wasp radials on the strato were the updated ones off the B29 and those had a history.

Second...a few were redone with turboprops and made into guppies then pregnant guppy then superguppies and other variants but to move freight with a larger diameter fuselage. Some, redone for Aero Spacelines as the Super Guppy Turbine, were even stretched. Airbus used variants during the 80's and early 90's...dunno if any of them still exist.
 
Venus6971
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RE: Re-birthing The B377 Stratocruiser

Thu Aug 15, 2013 6:33 pm

The higher the horsepower output on a piston engine the higher the failure rate, there's a reason you still see more single radials Pratts flying than the multi radials. Just look at the problem of the CAF's B-29 Fifi, its always engines keeping them on the ground.
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DiamondFlyer
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RE: Re-birthing The B377 Stratocruiser

Thu Aug 15, 2013 6:37 pm

Quoting venus6971 (Reply 8):
Just look at the problem of the CAF's B-29 Fifi, its always engines keeping them on the ground.

Actually, they've done quite well for the last few years. By combining parts from different variants of engines, they've made a reasonably reliable engine.

-DiamondFlyer
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FlyHossD
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RE: Re-birthing The B377 Stratocruiser

Thu Aug 15, 2013 6:59 pm

Quoting hiflyer (Reply 7):
the pratt wasp radials on the strato were the updated ones off the B29 and those had a history.

The B-29s used Wright 3350s.

The Boeing 377s used Pratt and Whitney Wasp Majors (4360s).

I've read that Clay Lacy is restoring a KC-97 to 377 status, but I don't know the status of this project.
My statements do not represent my former employer or my current employer and are my opinions only.
 
psa188
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RE: Re-birthing The B377 Stratocruiser

Thu Aug 15, 2013 7:06 pm

I personally think that converting a C-97 would be difficult, BUT I heard a report through the grapevine that there is a man in Germany who is putting together ( or is trying to raise sponsorships and money) a rare Stratocruiser 377 that he is going to paint with the Pan Am vintage paint job. It is a cargo plane that they are going to convert into a passenger plane. They need to buy 2 or 3 other older ones just for the parts. It will take a lot of money to do, but reportedly they have a bunch of guys out at Greybull, Wyoming who can work mechanically on it.

Personally, I'm skeptical but given enough $$$$ it would be possible.

Actually, when I saw the thread title, I thought it might be a report on this guy.

I have no other knowledge of this, just passing on what I heard. Take it for what it's worth.

[Edited 2013-08-15 12:08:21]
 
incitatus
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RE: Re-birthing The B377 Stratocruiser

Thu Aug 15, 2013 7:09 pm

Quoting airbear (Reply 3):
Wouldn't you like to travel (yeah, OK... Aside from the noise) in great comfort, seated or sleeping with room to move about, being served great food in company with people who dressed and behaved with a sense of occasion? I agree, the smoking can be done away with.

We have that today. It is called First Class. And it was called First Class back then too. Of course, if it is a US carrier, you got to skip the part about dressing with a sense of occasion.
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Venus6971
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RE: Re-birthing The B377 Stratocruiser

Thu Aug 15, 2013 7:12 pm

Quoting DiamondFlyer (Reply 9):
Actually, they've done quite well for the last few years. By combining parts from different variants of engines, they've made a reasonably reliable engine.

true, the B377 had a even bigger more mx intensive R -4360 as compared to the R- 3350-3 that was on mounted on the B-29 . When these engines were in commercial service the turbojet was being introduced though fuel hogs compared to the big radials they were more reliable and required less mx. The ETOPS we use now were written with the failure rate of the big radials in mind. By todays standard I could not comprehend having to replace a engine every 600 hrs for overhaul or replacing 56 spark plugs just because a improper starting technique was used and fowled them. As an A&P I thank the creators of the CFM-56, JT8D, and the CF-6 for a very reliable and ease of mx to work on powerplant.
Though I do like the sound of the big round engines going out to service oil on them with a 50 gal barrel and hand crank pump does not give me the feel of nostalgia.
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canoecarrier
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RE: Re-birthing The B377 Stratocruiser

Thu Aug 15, 2013 7:22 pm

Quoting DiamondFlyer (Reply 9):
Actually, they've done quite well for the last few years. By combining parts from different variants of engines, they've made a reasonably reliable engine.

From what I've seen of the progress on Fifi I would tend to agree, except I don't think it's flying yet and I don't know if that engine has ever been tested on another frame.

Quoting psa188 (Reply 11):
I personally think that converting a C-97 would be difficult, BUT I heard a report through the grapevine that there is a man in Germany who is putting together ( or is trying to raise sponsorships and money) a rare Stratocruiser 377 that he is going to paint with the Pan Am vintage paint job.

With enough money you can rebuild any aircraft. Lufthansa is partially funding the complete rebuild of a FW 200 found in small pieces in Norway.

http://www.dlbs.de/en/Projects/Focke-Wulf-Condor/index.php

The OP's question is a little like asking if people would want to sail on ships like the Titanic again. Some would, probably some very wealthy people. Would it be viable, as in someone who has enough money to build one, sure. Would it be economically viable to fly a plane like you describe for-profit as a stand alone business? I doubt it.
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rampart
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RE: Re-birthing The B377 Stratocruiser

Thu Aug 15, 2013 7:58 pm

Quoting FlyHossD (Reply 10):

I've read that Clay Lacy is restoring a KC-97 to 377 status, but I don't know the status of this project.


That's what I was going to suggest. As a going historic preservation concern, I think it's doable. It can make flights as fund-raising (as the various EAA and other historic societies do), but not as the sole support for the refurbishing and maintenance. For that, it will need benefactor support and non-profit status. But as the Stratocruiser is one of my favorite planes, I'd donate! (I have donated to Save a Connie, and I've taken flights on the EAA Trimotor, then became a member to support their restoration programs.)

I think this is more feasible than resurrecting Concorde, which pops up here periodically. But LET'S NOT hijack the thread for Concorde resurrection.

-Rampart
 
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mariner
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RE: Re-birthing The B377 Stratocruiser

Thu Aug 15, 2013 8:23 pm

Quoting airbear (Reply 3):
Wouldn't you like to travel (yeah, OK... Aside from the noise) in great comfort, seated or sleeping with room to move about, being served great food in company with people who dressed and behaved with a sense of occasion? I agree, the smoking can be done away with.

Not to burst your bubble, but I don't remember "great comfort" on the pistons - comfortable enough for the time, sure, but not much more than that. And with the noise came endless vibration, and turbulence could be a real issue. The use of sick bags was not uncommon, especially in tropical weather and I remember, more than once, hearing a passenger crying in pain during descent, from earache. That's why we were all given lollies to suck on.

The food wasn't up to much, either. There was only one class (let's call it first) the meal could be some cold roast chicken and a bit of salad, and a trifle afterwards. The IFE was a pack of playing cards and they were looooong flights - London-Rome was nearly four hours and Rome-Cairo was seven hours

And I remember the almost oven-like heat inside the aircraft when it was on the ground at tropic airports.

Yes, people were "dressed up" but we "dressed up" pretty much everywhere then - almost all men wore suits and ties all the time, on planes or not. We were "dressed up" for short train journeys.

I agree with this:

Quoting Birdwatching (Reply 2):
I've said it before, the golden era of air travel is today. If you want to save a few old planes for museum flight that's fine, but to put them back in revenue service, that makes no sense at all.


mariner

[Edited 2013-08-15 13:24:40]
aeternum nauta
 
DiamondFlyer
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RE: Re-birthing The B377 Stratocruiser

Thu Aug 15, 2013 8:28 pm

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 14):
From what I've seen of the progress on Fifi I would tend to agree, except I don't think it's flying yet and I don't know if that engine has ever been tested on another frame.

FiFi's been flying since 2010. They were down a few months for an engine problem, but it was fixed and they're flying again.

-DiamondFlyer
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seabosdca
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RE: Re-birthing The B377 Stratocruiser

Thu Aug 15, 2013 8:50 pm

Quoting Birdwatching (Reply 2):
the golden era of air travel is today.

   In the end, travel is about mobility. And we can move more cheaply, and to more places, than ever before. If I want a sense of occasion, I'll go have a very nice meal out, or throw a party.
 
canoecarrier
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RE: Re-birthing The B377 Stratocruiser

Thu Aug 15, 2013 9:24 pm

Quoting DiamondFlyer (Reply 17):

FiFi's been flying since 2010. They were down a few months for an engine problem, but it was fixed and they're flying again.

I had it confused with Doc. Thanks for the clarification.
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GSPSPOT
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RE: Re-birthing The B377 Stratocruiser

Thu Aug 15, 2013 10:02 pm

Quoting mariner (Reply 16):
The food wasn't up to much, either. There was only one class (let's call it first) the meal could be some cold roast chicken and a bit of salad, and a trifle afterwards.

I thought that back in the "golden age" we're discussing, that airlines served elaborate meals on long flights, and made quite the production of serving same, on some very nice china and flatware. That was common even on longer U.S. domestic flights until the 1970's. By contrast, today air travel is not much more than a seat in a tube. Nothing special about it, and you certainly do have a lot more hoops to jump thru just to get on the planes nowadays than back then. I think there's definitely something to be said for the "golden age" as described by the OP.
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mariner
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RE: Re-birthing The B377 Stratocruiser

Thu Aug 15, 2013 10:23 pm

Quoting GSPSPOT (Reply 20):
I thought that back in the "golden age" we're discussing, that airlines served elaborate meals on long flights, and made quite the production of serving same, on some very nice china and flatware. That was common even on longer U.S. domestic flights until the 1970's.

Not when I started flying in the pistons.

I flew in Hermes, Argonauts, Constellations, DC 3's, Vikings and Yorks - and, memorably, a Dragon Rapide - on several airlines and the service was fairly standard. Yes, there was (or could be) nice china and flatware, but the ovens, if they had them, were fairly basic and a lot of cold food was served.

It wasn't until the late 1950's that food became more interesting, but even then mostly in first class - which was expensive. You got a meal in economy, but it was nothing to brag about.

Quoting GSPSPOT (Reply 20):
By contrast, today air travel is not much more than a seat in a tube. Nothing special about it, and you certainly do have a lot more hoops to jump thru just to get on the planes nowadays than back then.

It was a seat in a tube then. Yes, there was the downstairs lounge in the Stratocruisers, but it was tiny. There was also a small "cocktail bar" at the back of the BOAC Argonauts, but it was banquette of seats for about four people, six at a squeeze, and it disappeared with the introduction of economy class (about 1954 on those routes?).

As for getting on the aircraft, they were mostly packed - and expensive. in about 1950 I was sent out to join my parents in the Middle East, it was the first time I used Heathrow. My father was staff and I was subject to load, and my uncle took me out to LHR four days in a row before I could get on the plane to Cairo.

In those days, for those flights, the "terminal" at LHR was a huge canvas marquee with duck boards to walk on over the ground so your feet didn't get muddy.

mariner

[Edited 2013-08-15 15:54:51]
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PA515
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RE: Re-birthing The B377 Stratocruiser

Thu Aug 15, 2013 11:12 pm

Quoting mariner (Reply 21):
Yes, there was the downstairs lounge in the Stratocruisers, but it was tiny.

Exactly, and the floor space was just a narrow strip of metal hardly wide enough to walk on and not wide enough to put your foot across. You had to sit on an angle, not very comfortable.

Would avoid flying on a Boeing 377 due to the accident record, but would be interested in a DC7-C or Electra flight.

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hOMSaR
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RE: Re-birthing The B377 Stratocruiser

Thu Aug 15, 2013 11:59 pm

Quoting airbear (Thread starter):
I am sure Boeing still has the blueprints for the Stratocruiser, or even the earlier 314 flying boat. Would it be possible to build a few new from scratch,

If we built these planes from scratch, would they have to meet modern safety standards? I can almost guarantee that those 1940s designs would not be certified today by the FAA. A lot of modifications would have to be made. Once you put in all those mods, you're talking a whole-new design. Who's going to pay for that all-new design?
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IMissPiedmont
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RE: Re-birthing The B377 Stratocruiser

Fri Aug 16, 2013 2:28 am

Quoting psa188 (Reply 11):

BUT I heard a report through the grapevine that there is a man in Germany who is putting together ( or is trying to raise sponsorships and money) a rare Stratocruiser 377 that he is going to paint with the Pan Am vintage paint job.

That would be impossible, there are no surviving 377s.
The day you stop learning is the day you should die.
 
rampart
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RE: Re-birthing The B377 Stratocruiser

Fri Aug 16, 2013 3:10 am

Quoting iMissPiedmont (Reply 24):
That would be impossible, there are no surviving 377s.

There are a number of surviving C-97s and KC-97s. I don't think their specifications are different from the 377 apart from having a tail boom (on the tanker) and no interior. For the purposes of approximating an airliner configuration, it could be done.

-Rampart
 
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macsog6
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RE: Re-birthing The B377 Stratocruiser

Fri Aug 16, 2013 3:16 am

Quoting HomSar (Reply 23):
Who's going to pay for that all-new design?

No one will. This is just a pipe-dream, or, as someone who flew on these aircraft, a pipe-nightmare.

They were first of all slow. Even upgraded to T-56's, a 377 would be much slower than present aircraft.

You'd have to completely recertify the aircraft which would likely take more than one airframe. Certification is not an inexpensive process.

They were small, a 377 only carried about 50 pax give or take and the Boeing 314 had bunks for 36 pax.

Whilst the service was good, they lacked any IFE systems aside from windows and the galleys were quite basic. I don't recall the aforementioned cold food, but I was a kid and likely ate whatever I was told to eat.

And perhaps the best reason of all, we went to jets for a reason - Faster, higher, and cheaper.

It would be great to fly on one of these monsters again, but not trans-Atlantic. Couple of hours at the most.
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hangarrat
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RE: Re-birthing The B377 Stratocruiser

Fri Aug 16, 2013 3:40 am

My grandfather was a second officer on 377s for BOAC. My dad remembers going down to Heathrow to visit the aircraft and vividly recalls the smell: Gasoline, tobacco smoke, sweat and vomit. From what I gather, flying in those days was a bit of an ordeal, but better than traveling by ship or train or a combination thereof, if you were in a hurry.
I wouldn't mind a hop or an out and back trip, but I don't think I'd want to take a long trip on a WWII era airliner as a vacation.
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Type-Rated
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RE: Re-birthing The B377 Stratocruiser

Fri Aug 16, 2013 5:22 am

Quoting hangarrat (Reply 27):
My dad remembers going down to Heathrow to visit the aircraft and vividly recalls the smell: Gasoline, tobacco smoke, sweat and vomit.

In the 70's I always thought that when you boarded a plane it usually smelled like a hospital. Must have been the deodorizer they used.
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Venus6971
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RE: Re-birthing The B377 Stratocruiser

Fri Aug 16, 2013 5:59 am

Quoting hangarrat (Reply 27):
My grandfather was a second officer on 377s for BOAC. My dad remembers going down to Heathrow to visit the aircraft and vividly recalls the smell: Gasoline, tobacco smoke, sweat and vomit. From what I gather, flying in those days was a bit of an ordeal, but better than traveling by ship or train or a combination thereof, if you were in a hurry.
I wouldn't mind a hop or an out and back trip, but I don't think I'd want to take a long trip on a WWII era airliner as a vacation.

Hey that sounds like any Russian built aircraft you get in now, they always smell like Vodka and sweaty feet.
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United727
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RE: Re-birthing The B377 Stratocruiser

Fri Aug 16, 2013 7:06 am

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 14):
From what I've seen of the progress on Fifi I would tend to agree, except I don't think it's flying yet and I don't know if that engine has ever been tested on another frame.

Fifi was just in the midwest and I believe went to Oshkosh. It made stops at RFD and MSN for display and paid "fam" flights starting at a reasonable $600 or so pp. The crew mentioned that another set of the same hybrid radials used on that ship were on order for Doc!
 
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mariner
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RE: Re-birthing The B377 Stratocruiser

Fri Aug 16, 2013 7:22 am

Quoting type-rated (Reply 28):
In the 70's I always thought that when you boarded a plane it usually smelled like a hospital. Must have been the deodorizer they used.

The smell I remember most (on any of the piston aircraft) is ammonium carbonate - smelling salts.

In those days there were nervous fliers, but it seriously affected some women, especially those who had never flown before.

In turbulence, especially in hot weather, they would become quite distressed and the cabin crew used smelling salts to help them.

mariner
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bobnwa
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RE: Re-birthing The B377 Stratocruiser

Fri Aug 16, 2013 11:35 am

Quoting macsog6 (Reply 26):
It would be great to fly on one of these monsters again, but not trans-Atlantic. Couple of hours at the most.

i flew C-124 aircraft (original Globemaster) for 8 years in the US Airforce including many many Trans Atlantic and Trans Pacific flights. These aircraft had 4360 engines which continually required maintenence. We generally flew cargo but were also used as troop carriers. Hardly luxurios but I got to see the world
 
Viscount724
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RE: Re-birthing The B377 Stratocruiser

Fri Aug 16, 2013 9:34 pm

Quoting bobnwa (Reply 32):

I flew C-124 aircraft (original Globemaster) for 8 years in the US Airforce including many many Trans Atlantic and Trans Pacific flights

The original Globemaster was the C-74, not the C-124 which was the Globemaster II. Only 14 C-74's were built. One was converted and became the prototype for the C-124.

C-74 Globemaster

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:C-74_long_beach.jpg
 
rampart
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RE: Re-birthing The B377 Stratocruiser

Fri Aug 16, 2013 10:03 pm

Quoting macsog6 (Reply 26):
Quoting HomSar (Reply 23):
Who's going to pay for that all-new design?

No one will. This is just a pipe-dream, or, as someone who flew on these aircraft, a pipe-nightmare.

Who will pay? Not for an all-new design, but for a rebuild or refurbishment, plenty of people. Same people who support Save-a-Connie, the EAA vintage fleet (Ford Trimotor, Aluminum Overcast), the Berlin Airlift aircraft, etc. People want to fly in them. People want to work on them. People want to donate to the cause.

The OP's question is really for historic airliner enthusiasts. If the topic doesn't enthuse you, why are you even here? Find another thread to grouse.  

-Rampart
 
IMissPiedmont
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RE: Re-birthing The B377 Stratocruiser

Sat Aug 17, 2013 1:28 am

Quoting rampart (Reply 25):

There are a number of surviving C-97s and KC-97s. I don't think their specifications are different from the 377 apart from having a tail boom (on the tanker) and no interior. For the purposes of approximating an airliner configuration, it could be done.

But it would still be a model 367. There would be no way to make the aircraft truly look like a 377. I wish it were not so but it is.
The day you stop learning is the day you should die.
 
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RE: Re-birthing The B377 Stratocruiser

Sat Aug 17, 2013 2:55 am

Rumor is that Clay Lacy is having an ex-Hawkins & Powers KC-97 rebuilt in Kalispell Montana as a 377. N29862 (52-2761) and N1365N (52-2698) are registered to "Sale Reported" at an address that matches the Clay Lacy Aviation facility at the Van Nuys Airport.

The two airframes:

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Photo © Gerard Helmer
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Photo © Charles Osta

 
prosa
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RE: Re-birthing The B377 Stratocruiser

Sat Aug 17, 2013 3:09 am

Quoting airbear (Reply 5):
For instance, here in Austrlalia, we have a mining billionaire who is seriously talking about financing, rebuilding and sailing, a new-build replica of...wait for it... the Titanic !

While he's at it, how about a replica of the Hindenburg? Complete with hydrogen for maximum authenticity.
"Let me think about it" = the coward's way of saying "no"
 
jetstar
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RE: Re-birthing The B377 Stratocruiser

Sat Aug 17, 2013 3:23 am

Quoting iMissPiedmont (Reply 35):
There are a number of surviving C-97s and KC-97s. I don't think their specifications are different from the 377 apart from having a tail boom (on the tanker) and no interior. For the purposes of approximating an airliner configuration, it could be done.

But it would still be a model 367. There would be no way to make the aircraft truly look like a 377. I wish it were not so but it is.


I was an engine mechanic on the C-97 way back in my Air Force days and I think there were some major differences in the designs between the B-367 and the B-377.

I believe the cabin floor was higher in the 377, I remember the lower compartments, where on the 377 the aft compartment was a lounge was not very high, maybe 4 feet or so, I believe the lounge on the 337 was taller to accommodate the passengers

Most of the problems with the B-377 was not with the engines, but with the propellers, they all originally had the Curtis Electric props, which were nothing but problems that Curtis could not correct and eventually they converted over to the well proven Hamilton Standard Hydramatic propellers.

Actually one Air Force C-97 was converted to a passenger look alike B-377, here is a photo of it


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Photo © R.A.Scholefield



The major difference I see with this airplane and production C-97’s was the 2 lower lobe entry doors, one forward and the other aft, on this version the entry doors are located on the right side of the fuselage where on the production models the doors were located on the left side of the fuselage.

Also all KC/C-97’s had a large cargo door on the right side forward of the engines where the 2 round windows are on this airplane.

I don’t know if this particular airplane was built with the passenger windows installed and the cargo door removed or was it done later. The C-97/B-377’s were pressurized airplanes so that would involve some major engineering to install the windows.

JetStar
 
studedave
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RE: Re-birthing The B377 Stratocruiser

Sat Aug 17, 2013 7:01 am

How far did Aero Spacelines get with the certification of the turboprop Mini Guppy?
The piston powered one still survives...   



StudeDave
Classic planes, Classic trains, and Studebakers~~ what else is there???
 
bobnwa
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RE: Re-birthing The B377 Stratocruiser

Sat Aug 17, 2013 1:31 pm

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 33):
The original Globemaster was the C-74, not the C-124 which was the Globemaster II. Only 14 C-74's were built. One was converted and became the prototype for the C-124.

Yes you are correct,thanks for the reminder.
 
DTWPurserBoy
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RE: Re-birthing The B377 Stratocruiser

Sat Aug 17, 2013 2:59 pm

Quoting PA515 (Reply 22):
Would avoid flying on a Boeing 377 due to the accident record, but would be interested in a DC7-C or Electra flight.

The military version, the C-97, had a long and illustrious career. I would get on one today if I could.

Quoting dlednicer (Reply 36):
Rumor is that Clay Lacy is having an ex-Hawkins & Powers KC-97 rebuilt in Kalispell Montana as a 377. N29862 (52-2761) and N1365N (52-2698) are registered to "Sale Reported" at an address that matches the Clay Lacy Aviation facility at the Van Nuys Airport.

This was the idea that I could see--converting a C-97 to a passenger B377. It would be a great hit at airshows but would cost a fortune to rebuild. You would have to find a corporate sponsor with deep pockets (like Breitling or Lufthansa). With their name on the fuselage it would be a great advertising tool.

But then you have the issue of the feds certifying the airplane--that could take years.

The one Super Guppy with the piston engines was a former NW 377. But I guess it is more interesting in its role as a Guppy than trying to turn it back into a 377.

We had the chance to save the first DC-9 and DC-8 and let them be scrapped. I know that there are arguments that we can't keep one of everything. At least we have the Dash 80 safely tucked away. There just doesn't seem to be the level of interest in preserving passenger aircraft for posterity. Someday, somewhere, a young kid is going to say "Boy, I wish they had saved a 757 or 767."

One interesting note on the height of the lower deck lounge. Northwest hired male pursers to work down there and they could not be any taller than about 5'6". The number One flight attendant at Delta today was one of the original B377 pursers and he is still flying at the ripe old age of 88 and going strong. He started flying in October of 1951...I was 5 months old then. He jokes that he wants to die on a layover so Delta will have to pay to ship his carcass home.
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sassiciai
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RE: Re-birthing The B377 Stratocruiser

Sat Aug 17, 2013 3:49 pm

Quoting airbear (Thread starter):
I am sure Boeing still has the blueprints for the Stratocruiser, or even the earlier 314 flying boat. Would it be possible to build a few new from scratch, re-engined perhaps with those huge Allison turboprops from decommissioned Electras, Orions or Hercs

renovating old aircraft, like Lufthansa is doing with a (Super?) Constellation, and that other groups are doing all the time is great, and I heartily support these endevours.

But the idea of starting from scratch - as suggested by the OP - is quite silly! The manufacturers are commercial companies, who build state-of-the-art products that need to compete with those of their competitors. There is no room for sentimental rebuilds of now-inefficient aircraft from yesteryear!

In this day and age, once a product is out of production, the factory space used in its production is cleared out and turned over to the next product. There is no great rationale for keeping tooling and jigs from aircraft that are out of production, beyond what may be necessary to provide spare parts and support during the active life of the product (which will outlast the production line by 20+ years)

Perhaps less true in the civil sector, I am aware of Government orders (in the UK) when cancelling military aircraft development projects to destroy the tooling - TSR2, HS681 transporter, and Nimrod latest versions, to name but three (of a much larger set) - to make it impossible in the event of a change of political party for the program to be restarted!

A prototype aircraft these days costs an absolute fortune. Even while churning out A320/B737s at more than one a day at, what, $50M a go, a new prototype represents costs of $10B or more (if the program stopped at that point and costs were not amortized over a large production run)
 
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hOMSaR
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RE: Re-birthing The B377 Stratocruiser

Sat Aug 17, 2013 4:01 pm

Quoting rampart (Reply 34):
Who will pay? Not for an all-new design, but for a rebuild or refurbishment, plenty of people. Same people who support Save-a-Connie, the EAA vintage fleet (Ford Trimotor, Aluminum Overcast), the Berlin Airlift aircraft, etc. People want to fly in them. People want to work on them. People want to donate to the cause.

The OP's question is really for historic airliner enthusiasts. If the topic doesn't enthuse you, why are you even here? Find another thread to grouse.

The OP's question was about building from scratch using blueprints, not about refurbishing an old one.

Also, I wasn't aware that we weren't allowed to post in topics where we didn't think the OP's suggestion is feasible.

I guess I'd better go start a "Boeing should restart 757 production" thread, and anyone who disagrees should simply stay away from that thread, because if they're not a 757 enthusiast, they shouldn't bother reading the thread, right?
I was raised by a cup of coffee.
 
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macsog6
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RE: Re-birthing The B377 Stratocruiser

Sun Aug 18, 2013 1:47 am

Quoting rampart (Reply 34):
The OP's question is really for historic airliner enthusiasts. If the topic doesn't enthuse you, why are you even here?

It is a far cry from restoring a Connie that has a type certificate issued and can fly as an experimental aircraft to building a new airframe with new systems and engines which would require certification before one could sell tickets to pax.

Rampart, I'm here because I love flying and aircraft. I flew on all these birds as a child. I love them. But I built airframes for over half my life and know what this would entail. It's fine to talk about it, but in realistic terms, it could only happen if you had a ton of money. Being a realist does not mean that my fondness - and indeed love - of classic aircraft has diminished one iota.

I've been flying for sixty years and I love it. That is why I am here. At least I know why I'm here.
Sixty Plus Years of Flying! "I fly because it releases my mind from the tyranny of petty things." - Saint Ex
 
rampart
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RE: Re-birthing The B377 Stratocruiser

Sun Aug 18, 2013 8:08 am

Quoting HomSar (Reply 43):
I guess I'd better go start a "Boeing should restart 757 production" thread, and anyone who disagrees should simply stay away from that thread, because if they're not a 757 enthusiast, they shouldn't bother reading the thread, right?

Essentially, yes. I don't know why people bother. If I'm interested in a thread such as this one, I might debate how to go about refurbishing or returning an aircraft to production, as we are doing here. Disagreeing how it might be done, but working toward getting it done. I would not actively seek out a thread for the sole purpose of being a wet blanket by commenting on how ridiculous the OP is. What's the interest in that?

Go ahead and start your 757 production thread. It won't interest me, so I won't bother you.   Nothing personal, but this is my recreational reading, and I have time to read about 20% of the topics on A.net, tops. There's a lot on A.net that doesn't interest me or I don't agree with but I don't care, so it passes.

Thankfully chat forums are not an accurate cross section of normal conversation, otherwise we'd be an awfully negative and depressed society. Come to think of it, with the expansion of internet comment sections in the last 15 years....

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