Such Glamour When Flying on Airliners Decades Past

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Such Glamour When Flying on Airliners Decades Past


air travel 1945

Circa 1945: Stewards serving passengers on board an airplane. (Hulton Archive/Getty Images) 


smoking permitted

Circa 1936: Air hostess Daphne Kearley of Golders Green tending to the crew of the new luxury air service from Croydon, England to Paris, operated by Air Dispatch. (Ward/Getty Images)

lad flying

Circa 1937: A young boy, with his arm in plaster, sits in a chair on an airplane looking out of the window. (London Express/Getty Images)



31st March 1937: A sleeping berth on an Imperial Airways aircraft. (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)

The engines made such a racket that earplugs were required for sleep which the woman in the photo above is wearing. On military and civilian aircraft the cabins were not pressurized so civilian aircraft did not fly much higher than 7,000 feet. (The crew of military aircraft went on oxygen as they approached ten thousand feet). The engines made such a racket that earplugs were required for sleep. Usually, the flying boats stayed around 5,000 feet because it used less fuel. The flights weren’t comfortable because the plane would be shaken by turbulence. that comfortable.



Circa 1945: British and Overseas Airways air stewardess Peggy Keyte brings a tray of coffees to the passengers in her aircraft, during a World War II flight. (Fred Ramage/Keystone/Getty Images) 



Circa 1946: Air hostess Patricia Palley attends to passengers in the decorated cabin of a Pan-American airliner over the Atlantic. (William Vanderson/Fox Photos/Getty Images). Flying on one of these planes made you naturally happy as you can see from the smiling passengers. Of course, cocktails and lots of them were served and if flying made you nervous you could get completely wasted and pass out.



Circa 1950: Two air hostesses walking away from a BOAC Comet. (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

This aircraft had a serious lack of glamour.  This DH 106 Comet (pictured above) was the first civilian jetliner ever produced. Designed and manufactured by de Havilland Aircraft Company Limited, owned by Geoffrey de Havilland, one of the most brilliant aircraft designers of the era. (Half-brother of Oliva de Havilland).

The de Havilland Comet began regular passenger service in 1952. Tragically, in the first year after it was introduced, three of these aircraft broke up in mid-flight, killing all on board. Metal fatigue was later identified as the cause and the plane was completely redesigned.




By | 2018-08-20T14:27:39-04:00 April 28th, 2018|airliner, Britain, Charles McCain|0 Comments

About the Author:

Charles McCain is a Washington DC based freelance journalist and novelist. He is the author of "An Honorable German," a World War Two naval epic. You can read more of his work on his website: