AntonioMartin
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US-Soviet flights during the cold war?

Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:00 am

Hi..wonder if there were flights between the USA and Soviet Union during the cold war, like Aeroflot to JFK or Pan Am to Moscow for example...

Any idea?

Thanks i advance and God bless!
 
GalaxyFlyer
Posts: 4413
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Re: US-Soviet flights during the cold war?

Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:51 pm

PAA to the Eastern Bloc including Moscow. Aeroflot to JFK and IAD. An acquaintance was the engineer on the first 707 into Prague, IIRC, a team came out and starting photographing the plane up close, engines, landing gear, wings

GF
 
AntonioMartin
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Re: US-Soviet flights during the cold war?

Wed Jan 15, 2020 12:35 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
PAA to the Eastern Bloc including Moscow. Aeroflot to JFK and IAD. An acquaintance was the engineer on the first 707 into Prague, IIRC, a team came out and starting photographing the plane up close, engines, landing gear, wings

GF

Could regular people fly o n these, or were they charters?
 
e38
Posts: 651
Joined: Sun May 04, 2008 10:09 pm

Re: US-Soviet flights during the cold war?

Wed Jan 15, 2020 2:35 am

AntonioMartin, the answer to your question, "were there flights between the USA and the Soviet Union during the Cold War?"

Yes, there were. But, the history is complicated.

Here's the short version . . . Juan Trippe of Pan American originally proposed the idea of flying to Moscow as early as the 1930s. Multiple factors--political, diplomacy, world events, technical issues, agreements, and many more issues, needed to be overcome for air service to actually begin.

All this was eventually resolved, and on July 15, 1968, Pan American World Airways and Aeroflot, on the same day, inaugurated scheduled passenger air service between New York (JFK) and Moscow (SVO)--Pan American operating a Boeing 707 (Flight 44) from New York to Copenhagen to Moscow. Aeroflot's flight operated Moscow-Montreal-New York with IL-62 equipment.

Pan Am's flight operated twice per week--Mondays and Fridays--and on the other days of the week operated New York-Copenhagen-Stockholm.

This was a BIG DEAL at the time. The following issue of LIFE magazine featured the inaugural service on the cover-a Pan Am flight attendant and an Aeroflot flight attendant embracing one another at Kennedy airport adjacent to an IL-62. Inside the magazine was a multi-page spread covering all aspects of this historic event.

Interestingly, for several years before this inaugural event, press releases and news articles announcing the proposed service between New York and Moscow featured Aeroflot's Tupolev TU-114 turboprop as the expected aircraft to operate Aeroflot's service. I am not aware how long before the actual inaugural that Aeroflot decided to use the IL-62.

With regard to your question above, "could regular people fly on these . . .?" Yes, regular people could fly on them--they were regularly scheduled flights--but there were restrictions concerning travel between the United States and the Soviet Union so most of the passengers were diplomats or employees of non-governmental organizations. The average traveler could not buy a ticket between New York and Moscow unless travelling with a special interest group or by special invitation of the governments (i.e., performing arts, athletes, education, research, etc). It may have been similar to some of the restrictions currently in place concerning travel between the U.S. and Cuba. Tourism in the Soviet Union (at least for U.S. citizens) was not yet developed and fares for the average Russian family who might want to visit relatives in the United States initially were prohibitively high. The Russian tourist agency, Intourist, was the general handling agent for issuing tickets on Aeroflot.

If you would like more "in-depth" information concerning air service between New York and Moscow, google "Pan American's first flight from New York to Moscow," and you will get multiple sites that describe the development of this air service. As a disclaimer, I got much of the information above from these sites. Nevertheless, although I was very young at the time, I DO remember the excitement in the news of these inaugural flights as well as the historic issue of LIFE magazine.

I hope this helps.

e38
 
Max Q
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Re: US-Soviet flights during the cold war?

Thu Jan 16, 2020 8:01 am

Didn’t Pan Am eventually phase out the 707 service via CPH and operate a non stop 747 from JFK to Moscow?
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
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Tabito
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Re: US-Soviet flights during the cold war?

Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:37 pm

Pan Am Nonstop Boeing 747 service between the United States and Soviet Union, 1988
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KkTTgaTKm5Q
 
PSAatSAN4Ever
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Re: US-Soviet flights during the cold war?

Thu Jan 16, 2020 5:19 pm

e38 wrote:
AntonioMartin, the answer to your question, "were there flights between the USA and the Soviet Union during the Cold War?"

Yes, there were. But, the history is complicated.

Here's the short version . . . Juan Trippe of Pan American originally proposed the idea of flying to Moscow as early as the 1930s. Multiple factors--political, diplomacy, world events, technical issues, agreements, and many more issues, needed to be overcome for air service to actually begin.

All this was eventually resolved, and on July 15, 1968, Pan American World Airways and Aeroflot, on the same day, inaugurated scheduled passenger air service between New York (JFK) and Moscow (SVO)--Pan American operating a Boeing 707 (Flight 44) from New York to Copenhagen to Moscow. Aeroflot's flight operated Moscow-Montreal-New York with IL-62 equipment.

Pan Am's flight operated twice per week--Mondays and Fridays--and on the other days of the week operated New York-Copenhagen-Stockholm.

This was a BIG DEAL at the time. The following issue of LIFE magazine featured the inaugural service on the cover-a Pan Am flight attendant and an Aeroflot flight attendant embracing one another at Kennedy airport adjacent to an IL-62. Inside the magazine was a multi-page spread covering all aspects of this historic event.

Interestingly, for several years before this inaugural event, press releases and news articles announcing the proposed service between New York and Moscow featured Aeroflot's Tupolev TU-114 turboprop as the expected aircraft to operate Aeroflot's service. I am not aware how long before the actual inaugural that Aeroflot decided to use the IL-62.

With regard to your question above, "could regular people fly on these . . .?" Yes, regular people could fly on them--they were regularly scheduled flights--but there were restrictions concerning travel between the United States and the Soviet Union so most of the passengers were diplomats or employees of non-governmental organizations. The average traveler could not buy a ticket between New York and Moscow unless travelling with a special interest group or by special invitation of the governments (i.e., performing arts, athletes, education, research, etc). It may have been similar to some of the restrictions currently in place concerning travel between the U.S. and Cuba. Tourism in the Soviet Union (at least for U.S. citizens) was not yet developed and fares for the average Russian family who might want to visit relatives in the United States initially were prohibitively high. The Russian tourist agency, Intourist, was the general handling agent for issuing tickets on Aeroflot.

If you would like more "in-depth" information concerning air service between New York and Moscow, google "Pan American's first flight from New York to Moscow," and you will get multiple sites that describe the development of this air service. As a disclaimer, I got much of the information above from these sites. Nevertheless, although I was very young at the time, I DO remember the excitement in the news of these inaugural flights as well as the historic issue of LIFE magazine.

I hope this helps.

e38


A beautifully written description - great job!! Thank you for sharing!!

Growing up, my dad had purchased a set of encyclopedias in 1959, and each year from 1960-1969 there was an update published, entitled "Book of the Year", detailing events of that year. In browsing through them, looking for civil aviation information, in one of them there was a picture of the inaugural IL-62 arriving at JFK via Montreal.

I remember later that the official travel bureau for the Soviet Union was called "Intourist", which handled all tour groups to the USSR. After the fall of the Soviet Union, I believe individual travel to Russia and the 14 newly-independent republics became possible, but each under their own different rules. Visa requirements, however, for anything other than transiting SVO or DME need to be taken care of ahead of time for entering Russia, but it is certainly a different world from the Cold War era!

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