Air Travel: The Golden Age of The 707

October 18, 2011

in Travel Essays

  • SumoMe

As a kid growing up in Seattle, I watched prototypes of the  Boeing Airplane Company’s 707 jet passing over the city on test flights.  Although a few years earlier I had flown from Seattle to Vancouver, B.C. aboard a United Airlines DC-6 propeller driven aircraft, my first ride through the skies on a jet would not take place until another decade had passed.

Shortly after my twelfth birthday, Pan Am 707s began winging their way across the Atlantic from New York to London and Paris in about the same time as it took my parents to drive me across the State of Washington to my grandmother’s farm in Northern Idaho.  Although ten years later I would take my first flight aboard a 707, that aircraft went out of production and Pan Am descended into bankruptcy years before my initial crossing of “The Pond” from San Francisco to Paris in 1999 on an Air France plane built by Airbus, a company that did not even exist until twenty years after the 707 first took flight in the skies over Seattle.

What was trans-Atlantic air travel like in 1958 compared to today?  Watch this video to find out.

(Note that the captioning of the video on YouTube indicates that the flight was in 1954.  However, the Boeing Company Website says Pan Am did not initiate transatlantic service until October of 1958Dick Jordan worked briefly at Boeing’s Renton, Washington plant in 1967.)


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