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DC-7C LAX-LHR/ORY Non-stop Flt Times?

Posted: Wed Aug 11, 2010 2:09 am
by Tango-Bravo
Looking at a Pan Am January 1, 1958 timetable I notice that they scheduled DC-7Cs on non-stop flights from LAX to LHR and Paris, departing LAX at 1100, arriving the following day at 1420 and 1605, respectively...assuming LAX was -9 GMT then as now, that would translate to flight durations of 16:20 and 19:05 (even longer westbound)...are my calculations correct?...or please feel free to correct if I am "off" in my calculations.

RE: DC-7C LAX-LHR/ORY Non-stop Flt Times?

Posted: Wed Aug 11, 2010 2:19 am
by Viscount724
Time difference is 8 hours LAX-LHR and 9 hours LAX-Paris when daylight savings/summer time isn't a factor.19 hours eastbound and about 21 or 22 hours westbound would probably be about average. That was typical for the L-1649A Starliner also. The DC-7C was more likely to require a fuel stop in Canada/Greenland/Iceland on those routes west coast-Europe routes when winds weren't very cooperative..

RE: DC-7C LAX-LHR/ORY Non-stop Flt Times?

Posted: Wed Aug 11, 2010 10:20 am
by vc10
I do not know in detail about the DC-7C , but it's main rival the L1649 had the following trip times recorded

Los angeles to London Sept 29 1957 ----------- 18 Hrs 32 mins

London to San Francisco Oct 1/2 1957---------- 23 Hrs 19 mins

Even with a good engine the oil consumption "per engine" I would imagine would be about 20 US gallons on this trip so I imagine the F/E would have been pumping oil from the reserve tank quite a lot during flight.

littlevc10

RE: DC-7C LAX-LHR/ORY Non-stop Flt Times?

Posted: Wed Aug 11, 2010 12:22 pm
by ImperialEagle
Quoting vc10 (Reply 2):
Even with a good engine the oil consumption "per engine" I would imagine would be about 20 US gallons on this trip so I imagine the F/E would have been pumping oil from the reserve tank quite a lot during flight.

Oh, you've got that right! A lot of times it was a shortage of oil, not fuel that required a stop. Those pesky 3350's sure did love their 'lube! The 1649's did have longer legs than the -7C's though.

RE: DC-7C LAX-LHR/ORY Non-stop Flt Times?

Posted: Wed Aug 11, 2010 5:20 pm
by timz
Pan Am's timetables didn't actually claim their polar flights were nonstop-- they just didn't show the Frobisher (?) stop. The westward schedule (and likely the eastward too) included time for a stop; maybe they occasionally could skip the stop eastward.

But TW could sometimes make it nonstop even westward.

RE: DC-7C LAX-LHR/ORY Non-stop Flt Times?

Posted: Sun Sep 12, 2010 7:03 pm
by Tango-Bravo
Quoting vc10 (Reply 2):
Los angeles to London Sept 29 1957 ----------- 18 Hrs 32 mins

London to San Francisco Oct 1/2 1957---------- 23 Hrs 19 mins

To clarify...are these flight times nonstop? (as I assume from the context of this topic)

...if indeed nonstop, that would mean an average speed of about 295 mph (475 km/h) on the eastbound LAX-LHR... would that be a typical/realistic average speed (especially) on an eastbound flight given the L-1649A's advertised cruising speed of 342 mph (550 km/h)?



Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 1):
The DC-7C was more likely to require a fuel stop in Canada/Greenland/Iceland
Quoting timz (Reply 4):
Pan Am's timetables didn't actually claim their polar flights were nonstop-- they just didn't show the Frobisher (?) stop.

Based on what I have found, Pan Am's preferred refuelling stop on their Polar Route was a Naval air station at Faeringhavn, Greenland known as Bluie 4 West.

RE: DC-7C LAX-LHR/ORY Non-stop Flt Times?

Posted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 1:26 am
by prebennorholm
Quoting Tango-Bravo (Reply 5):
Based on what I have found, Pan Am's preferred refuelling stop on their Polar Route was a Naval air station at Faeringhavn, Greenland known as Bluie 4 West.

I can't believe this. Bluie West Four - Faeringehavn - Kangerluarsoruseq is a small, long time abandoned fishing village which never had a runway.

I think that you mean Bluie West Eight - Soendre Stroemfjord (Sonderstrom) - Kangerlussuaq.

Kangerlussuaq had a good runway built by USAAF during WWII. It is today the hub of Air Greenland, from where helicopters for decades have served Greenland's domestic air traffic, and more lately DHC Dash-7 planes to some new-built runways around the country. And it is the only place in Greenland which can accommodate large airliners. Except Thule Air Base way up north, which also carried the name Bluie West Six in the old days. But hardly ever had AVGAS for sale for civilians.

RE: DC-7C LAX-LHR/ORY Non-stop Flt Times?

Posted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 2:43 am
by Viscount724
Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 6):
Quoting Tango-Bravo (Reply 5):
Based on what I have found, Pan Am's preferred refuelling stop on their Polar Route was a Naval air station at Faeringhavn, Greenland known as Bluie 4 West.

I can't believe this. Bluie West Four - Faeringehavn - Kangerluarsoruseq is a small, long time abandoned fishing village which never had a runway.

I think that you mean Bluie West Eight - Soendre Stroemfjord (Sonderstrom) - Kangerlussuaq.

I've seen several sources mentioning that Pan Am's most usual DC-7C fuel stop on the west coast US routes was YFB (now Iqaluit, then Frobisher Bay) on Canada's Baffin Island. They kept a spare DC-7C engine there and I believe at least one Pan Am engineer was based there. Of course that wouldn't prevent them from using other airports like SFJ, KEF or more southerly airports in Canada, if weather conditions or winds etc. warranted.

RE: DC-7C LAX-LHR/ORY Non-stop Flt Times?

Posted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 4:41 pm
by Tango-Bravo
Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 6):
Reply 6
Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 7):
Reply 7

Thank you for the information in these (and other) replies to my questions concerning Pan Am's "Super-7" Polar Route operations.

Speaking of Pan Am's reference to their DC-7Cs as "Super-7s" ...interesting to note, perhaps confusing, that they used the same moniker for their less-capable DC-7Bs, at least before the arrival of their '7Cs... comparing ads from Pan Am timetables c. 1955-58 it seems that following the introduction of their '7Cs the '7Bs were simply referred to as "DC-7B."

RE: DC-7C LAX-LHR/ORY Non-stop Flt Times?

Posted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 7:24 pm
by timz
Quoting Tango-Bravo (Reply 5):
given the L-1649A's advertised cruising speed of 342 mph

If they were actually cruising at 342 statute miles/hour airspeed, with good tailwinds they could reasonably hope to do LAX-LHR in ... maybe 13 hours? Which as far as we know they never did. Long range cruise was probably more like 250 knots.

RE: DC-7C LAX-LHR/ORY Non-stop Flt Times?

Posted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 11:52 pm
by Viscount724
Quoting timz (Reply 9):
Quoting Tango-Bravo (Reply 5):
given the L-1649A's advertised cruising speed of 342 mph

If they were actually cruising at 342 statute miles/hour airspeed, with good tailwinds they could reasonably hope to do LAX-LHR in ... maybe 13 hours? Which as far as we know they never did. Long range cruise was probably more like 250 knots.

In the real world, the DC-7C was slightly faster than the L-1649A.

RE: DC-7C LAX-LHR/ORY Non-stop Flt Times?

Posted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 2:22 am
by 411A
Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 10):
In the real world, the DC-7C was slightly faster than the L-1649A.

Quite true, and I've flown them both.
Standard LRC for the DC-7C was 265 KTAS.