March 28, 2011

Pan American World Airways 3...

Welcome to the world of PanAm (montage).

The Boeing 707 was Gramp's favorite aircraft. He had the seniority to train and fly the 747 when it came out, but said to me once, "when I once looked out my 707 cockpit window and only saw the underside of the 747's huge wing, I knew my 707 was plenty". While visiting us in Miami, he did get access to one of the 747's at the terminal in MIA, so we all got a tour of the relatively new Jumbo Jet Clipper.  I suppose our reaction was something similar to the people in this video (introducing the flying public to the "Jet Age" when the 707 was first brought into service):

And who can forget those great commercials (and jingles) that PanAm bombarded our TV's and Radios with over the years?

You Can't beat the Experience!

Over and "Out" from Portsmouth, VA


Anonymous said...

If only today's flying matched that shown in 6 1/2 Magic Hours. Thanks again for such great posts!

Peace <3

Will said...

Interesting comment re: the 707. My dad flew B720's (I think it was a mid-range variant of the B707 - before Boeing had the 727) for United and, for whatever reason, that really was his favorite plane. As the family grew and his children approached college age, he dutifully moved up tp DC8's (an old man's airplane according to him) and ended his career on DC10. One thing that I realized years later was that he truly loved his work. There may have been crazy schedule hours or lousy weather, but he looked forward to going to work. I was fortunate to have grown up with that example. How many of us can say that today? Hope your grandfather was able to let you in on that part of the story.

Thomas (Tom) Rimington said...

Will: was your Dad with UAL or PAA>>? I would love to hear any comparable stories>?


Will said...


Dad was with UAL. His career was entirely during the period in which passenger air service was a regulated industry and UAL was strictly a domestic carrier. He did a lot of the mid-range routes from the LAX flight operations (lot's of Detroit, Pittsburgh, Chicago). I remember him coming home and describing some of the innovations in instrumentation. This was from a man who went in with 3-4 buddies, purchased a plane and taught themselves how to fly (before WWII). Interesting to see how technology bends the arc of a career. Unfortunately, I was just a dense, self-centered kid who didn't think to ask all the questions so I could hear all the stories. I'm glad that your grandfather took the time with you and that you had the good sense to listen.

PS It still is the Pan Am Building to me.

the cajun said...

"Experience" was the key word at Pan-Am. Looking at the floor plan with the lounge area makes the plane look larger than it was. Too bad that concept was dumped for the bottom line. Oh...real food on real plates with real flatware and glasses. I remember that too.

An aside: my first flight on a PAA 747 was to Rio and the second level contained a bar/lounge with piano. Yes, there was literally 'dancing in the aisles on the 747' just like that old disco tune goes.

Great posts. Thanks

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