Category From props to jets

Aircraft of the Era

Progress in aeronautics is nothing if not fast. Starting in the mid-1930s, commercial aircraft design took a huge leap skyward with the first DC-2 and DC-3, which at the time were termed the “Giant Douglas Flagships” by American Airlines. These twin-engine airliners were soon eclipsed by the four-engine Douglas DC-4E and Boeing 307, followed by the pro­duction DC-4 and Lockheed Constellation, with the Douglas DC-6 being considered the thoroughbred of that era. This significant march forward spanned a total of only 12 years, and took us from airplanes carrying 21 passengers in sometimes grueling unpressurized multi­stop transcontinental service, all the way to luxurious skyliners carrying 50 passengers in pressurized comfort spanning the great oceans, and doing so at about twice the speed of the fastest aircraft a decade earlier. Even at the intercity level, the modern new “twins” from Convair and Martin enjoyed the same speed and habit­able higher-altitude cabins as the larger aircraft. We see that the world of postwar commercial aviation enjoyed a quantum improvement from its pioneering forebears of the Depression era.

Lockheed Constellation 049 through 149

It is easy to lose sight of the fact that what started in 1936, as the modest 36-passenger Excalibur airliner from Lockheed, became the 049 Constellation only three years later, which was an airplane with a pressur­ized cabin capable of carrying 46 passengers over a dis­tance of 3,500 miles. At TWA’s behest for nine orders, Lockheed commenced with the airplane, making it the company’s largest undertaking to date. Pan American ordered 40 of the transoceanic type 149 (decreased in 1945 due to an order for the Boeing Stratocruiser). The prototype Constellation made its first flight on January 9, 1943, smack in the middle of the war. The airplane wore standard olive-drab-and-gray USAAF camou­flage and insignia. This date highlights the reason that the very advanced Constellation became available to the airlines so soon after the war. The first Constellations were actually Army Air Force C-69 transports, and prior to the war’s end, Lockheed manufactured 31 of these airframes making them available to the airlines at incredibly low prices.

High speed for the Constellation was derived from its powerful Curtiss-Wright R-3350 Duplex Cyclone engines, which gave the aircraft a 25-percent boost in power versus the Douglas DC-4. The “Connie,” as the flying public knew it, also offered greater range, faster speed, higher payload capability, and a commensurate lowering of cost-per-seat-mile [the cost of moving one passenger seat over a distance of one mile] some 23 percent below the Douglas air­liner. (Note: This book chronicles the ongoing and ever-present crosstown rivalry and “back and forth” success between the designs of Lockheed and Douglas during the 1940s and 1950s. There always seemed to

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Aircraft of the Era

Despite the rapid delivery of DC-6s, United Air Lines continued to operate well-maintained but older DC-4s for sev­eral years. Mainliner Yellowstone, pictured at Oakland, California, in 1952, looks smart in the carrier’s new white crown livery. (William T. Larkins)

Aircraft of the Era

Inflight portrait of the Lockheed 049 Constellation shows the classic lines of the big Connie, triple tail and all. The outer-wing planform borrowed heavily from the lines of Lockheed’s twin-tail World War II fighter, the P-38 Lightning.

(TWA/Jon Proctor Collection)






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Aircraft of the EraThe "front office" of an early-model Constellation shows cockpit state of the art, circa late 1940s. Note fabric – covered alcohol pans above the pilot and co-pilot glare shields that were used for de-icing the inner panes of the aircraft’s windshield. Although appearing rather primitive by today’s standards, this cockpit was considered just as advanced in its day as GPS navigation and digital instrumentation are now. (Craig Kodera Collection)

Aircraft of the Era

be a competition for orders between these two Southern California airliner giants.) The 049 was also the first production transport to have hydraulically boosted controls.

Pan American began the first scheduled transat­lantic service via the Constellation on January 20, 1946, from New York to Lisbon, while the first transconti­nental service came from TWA on February 15, 1946. TWA offered one-stop service between Los Angeles and New York for a scheduled time of 9 hours 45 min­utes. This was in stark contrast to United’s and American’s unpressurized DC-4s that made two stops while crossing the United States. This advantage made TWA the leader in postwar transcontinental service, although that would dissipate one year later as the DC-6 began its work at American and United.

Impending Introduction of the Jets

Even though the first turboprops were entering service and using existing airports without any major problems, airline and airport planners wisely realized that the next generation of pure-jet airliners would require a host of new and improved airport features to
safely and effectively accommodate their operations. In addition to the obvious need for longer runways and safety overrun areas, the larger jetliners would require more ramp space for turning and parking, plus wider taxiways and runways to keep their outboard nacelles from hanging out over adjacent grass areas full of potentially engine-damaging debris.



Impending Introduction of the JetsImpending Introduction of the Jets

Nicely showing the evolution and progress in airport terminal design is this series of photographs depicting terminals at Los Angeles and New York International Airports. Passengers gather at the ticket counter at LAX in 1952. (Craig Kodera Collection)

Several years later, the terminals did not look all that different as this American Airlines Captain checks in at the ticket counter in February 1961. Type for flight information board in background was set by hand, one letter at a time! (Craig Kodera Collection)

Impending Introduction of the Jets

Overhead view of LAX in November 1959 shows the very beginning of the integration process as the new jets entered airline fleets. Note the position of the 707 parked at the end of one of the terminal fingers, away from the gaggle of propliners lined up at the original airport concourses. A United DC-8 can be seen parked under a main­tenance hangar overhang at lower left. (Craig Kodera Collection)

Impending Introduction of the Jets

Newly designed airport infrastructure was also planned with novel features such as blast fences to keep ramp vehicles from being blown over by jet exhaust. Fully enclosed moveable “jet bridges” designed to shield passengers from the weather would be attached directly to terminal buildings, completely eliminating the need for passengers to be exposed to the elements. After all, it was rather hard to sell luxurious jet service when passengers were being drenched while walking

from the gate across a rain-soaked red carpet and up slippery metal boarding stairs to the airplane.

In anticipation of serving both the aircraft and passengers of the Jet Age, airline terminals themselves moved upscale. Large two – and even three-story com­plexes with floor-to-ceiling dark-tinted plate glass windows and arched or cantilevered roof structures were designed to replace simpler terminal buildings with their cinder-block walls, chain-link fences, and

Quonset-hut extensions. In most cases, this new modern look was referred to by the marketing forces of the day as being the “Airport of Tomorrow” to foster even more excitement at the thought of futuristic air travel by jet.

American Airlines’ new terminal facade at New York’s Idlewild Airport was the largest single-frame mosaic ever con­structed when it was finished in 1960. This structure, along with other inde­pendently constructed terminals for Eastern, United, Pan Am, and TWA comprised the "terminal city" concept at Idlewild. The terminal also featured separate upper and lower entrance roadways for departures and arrivals, respectively. (Mike Machat Collection)

Impending Introduction of the Jets

Inside the new terminal, a roomy grand concourse housed ticket counters and flight information, putting passenger boarding gates within an easy walk at either end. Aircraft nosed into the gates and were connected to the building by short enclosed jet bridges that kept passengers warm and dry at all times. (Mike Machat Collection)


Enjoy Red Carpet service on United Air Lines’ DC-7s…nation’s fastest airliners, nonstop coast to coast!


You can look forward to “red carpet* service when you travel on one of United’s deluxe DC-7s like "‘the Hollywood*’ or “the Continental. It’s in keeping with the luxury you enjoy every mile of the way on the nation’s newest, fastest and most comfortable airliners!

On United’s DC-7s you relax in deep, richly upholstered seats •.. you’re served beverages, and delicious, full-course meals prepared by United’s famous chefs… there are games, magazines, music… other service “extras” in the famous Mainliner® manner.

Cruising at 365 m. p.h. in the smooth upper air, you enjoy the added comfort of improved soundproofing, automatic pressurization, and air conditioning that keeps the cabin ever-fresh.

Also — your luggage gets “white glove treatment.” It’s stowed in a special compartment (exclusive with United) adjoining the main cabin for extra-fa^t deliverv upon arrival.


lor the iinest service in air transportation, ily United’s great Mainliner fleet. For reservations, call or write United or an Author­ized Travel Agent.







Ш Мяв I me limr—ti 89 C/ftes






Серг. 1954, United Air lines


Enjoy Red Carpet service on United Air Lines’ DC-7s...nation’s fastest airliners, nonstop coast to coast!

Enjoy Red Carpet service on United Air Lines’ DC-7s...nation’s fastest airliners, nonstop coast to coast!

Representing the peak of modern American illustration were the famed, colorful airline ads of the 1950s. Painted by such commercial illustration legends as Joe Henninger and Ren Wicks, these glorious vistas often showed pas­sengers boarding a sleek, giant, modern airliner with the ever-present red carpet and stanchions standing at the ready. Here we see the typical ad showing a bird’s-eye view of a United DC-7 deplaning its happy passengers on an equally typical beautiful sunny day. Note the bevy of press photographers taking pictures of the Hollywood movie stars who were sure to be aboard. (Mike Machat Collection)

best speeds production commercial aircraft of the time could muster were in the 300-mph-plus range. This was a more-than-200-mph differential between military and civilian airplane types! (Of course, had the Republic Rainbow actually been consummated, speeds would have been half this.) And if one includes the fighter air­craft in the inventory or in flight test in 1954, the once – elusive speed of sound was being easily exceeded on a daily basis, and advanced experimental aircraft were now attaining more than twice that speed.

As tantalizing as these now-shattered limitations were, reality within the airline boardrooms dictated an attitude that was something entirely different. The pre­vailing thinking was that jet propulsion was too much of everything: too radical, too dangerous, too undepend­able, too fuel consumptive, and too expensive. “Best to leave all this risk taking to those jet jockeys in the mili­tary, and if you want to know why we think this way, just look across the pond at Britain’s travails with their Comet,” said the airline mavens. Flying in the strato­sphere and utilizing kerosene blasting out of a pipe was just too dangerous for commercial applications. The air­lines had just spent a decade and a half, and lots of adver­tising dollars, convincing people that airline flying was safe and dependable. No risks for us, thank you, said the airline bosses. Boeing, however, had other ideas.

What transpired when the prototype XB-47 was pulled out into the Seattle sunshine for the first time in late 1947 was nothing less than the standing of the avi­ation world on its proverbial head. This included the airline business as well, for every aspect of engineering that Boeing pioneered with its revolutionary Stratojet (which begat the even larger B-52) was transferred to its Model 367-80 prototype jet transport and the 707 jet­liner. As a matter of fact, all basic high-Mach-number transports from the B-47 onward have been shaped to include the basic tenets developed in Seattle all those many years ago. That single airplane was absolutely transformational in nature.

In 1950, William Allen, Boeing’s president, and his Chief Engineer for Preliminary Design, Maynard Pennell, visited the Farnborough Airshow in England to view the de Havilland Comet for the first time. After the fly-by in the afternoon, Allen asked Pennell what he thought of the English jetliner. “Its a very good air­plane,” Pennell responded. “Do you think we could build one as good?” asked Allen. “Better,” said Pennell. “Much better.” And they did.

From the point in May 1954 when the Dash 80 was rolled out at Renton, Washington, until the first jetliner revenue flight in late 1958, airline trepidation would slowly but inexorably start crumbling, bit by bit, just

Enjoy Red Carpet service on United Air Lines’ DC-7s...nation’s fastest airliners, nonstop coast to coast!

President William Allen and the Boeing board of directors literally bet the company with a decision in 1952 to launch the 707 jet transport. Employees and the media gathered at the company’s Renton, Washington, plant to witness the prototype Model 367-80 rollout on May 15, 1954. (Boeing/Jon Proctor Collection)


like a sand castle in the surf, until finally, outright enthusiasm was the order of the day in those staid boardrooms. But you can’t run an airline operation without passengers. What did the folks at home think about all of this?

The postwar period, especially in the United States, was filled with one breakthrough or broken record after another. Pilots were already flying in jets or rocket-powered airplanes. Space travel was on everybody’s mind, the Air Force and Navy leading the way in both instances. Cars that flew, houses that were smart enough to clean themselves and cook for us — everything futuristic was now within our grasp.

Of course we should be flying coast-to-coast in jet­liners! Of course we should link the continents by over­flying great bodies of water at high speeds and altitudes with the reliability and simplicity that the turbine engine promised. Even linking city centers via jet-powered heli­copters was just around the corner. It seemed everything we could imagine, we could do. The age of optimism had coupled with the age of speed, and air travelers couldn’t wait to experience the jetliner. The airlines were begin­ning to lay the foundation to indulge these yearnings, and the world was ready to enjoy The Next Great Thing: the Jet Age.

In the meantime, however, passengers would have to be content with wide seats and lovely meals in airlin­ers, which were taking 9 or 10 hours to cross the coun­try, and with a stop or two at that. What a study in contrast between those futuristic articles we read in LIFE, POST, or Collier’s, and the realities of commer­cial aviation at the time.

"By-Pass" Turbojets and First-Generation Turbofans

The turbofan engine was a significant leap forward in the early jet era. Its design was the logical evolution of conventional jet engines, adding a larger propulsion fan to the basic core to provide substantially greater thrust and greatly reduced fuel burn that in turn allowed more range.

Rather than just settling for the turbine section of an engine powering one set of axial-flow compressors and producing anemic thrust levels, Rolls-Royce engi­neers added another low-pressure compressor section, independent of the first, and ducted the additional air around the core of the engine. This exhaust was routed around the combustion chamber and exited the engine along with the hot core exhaust through the same tailpipe. This helped cool the engine, all the while cool­ing the jet effluent and lowering the decibel level as well. The by-pass ratio of air in Rolls-Royce’s Conway, its first “by-pass” engine, was only a tiny 0.3. The later Spey model increased this to 0.6. It was a win-win com­pared to a straight turbojet, but obviously not the per­fection of a true turbofan.

Rolls-Royce’s introduction of the 17,500-pound – thrust Conway as the world’s first commercial by-pass engine, spurred Pratt & Whitney to get with the pro­gram and take the ratio of their JT3C up to an amazing 1.5. They accomplished this by using a separate fan

"By-Pass" Turbojets and First-Generation Turbofans

"By-Pass" Turbojets and First-Generation Turbofans

section on the first compressor. This then became the JT3D, the worlds first true operational turbofan jet engine. By-pass turbojets, however, represented a sig­nificant bridge, or transition, from the turbojet to the turbofan, and played an integral part in aviation power – plant history.

Not to be left out, General Electric took its 11,200- pound-thrust CJ-805-3B turbojet (civil version of its military J79 engine as used on the Convair 880) and added a separate fan section on the aft end of the hot engine core, using a ducted “flow-through” nacelle that shrouded the entire engine. This proved to be a more aerodynamically streamlined engine structure than hav­ing a wider nacelle on the forward fan section only (Boeing 707) or a tapered nacelle with mid-section fan

Boarding ramp view of the Caravelle 10B’s Pratt &

Whitney JT3D engine nacelle showing the unique ovaloid air intake shape. These new 18,000- pound-thrust fanjet engines gave the vener­able Caravelle a new lease on life, and it soon found success with European charter carriers that used the aircraft to carry revenue passengers well into the 1980s. (Mike Machat)

exhaust (Douglas DC-8). Thus, the 16,100-pound – thrust GE CJ-805-23 turbofan was created, as was tested on the Sud Caravelle, and used operationally on the Convair 990. (Later models of the Caravelle used advanced versions of the Pratt & Whitney JT3D.)


Jon Proctor, a seasoned veteran of the airline industry, served in various positions with Trans World Airlines (TWA) for 27 years and comes from an avia­tion family; his father was a pioneering pilot for American Airlines and his brother flew for TWA. He has written two books and numerous magazine articles on commercial aviation over the years and is also the former editor of AIRLINERS magazine. Jon con­tributed many of his stunning original airline pho­tographs for use in this book.

Mike Machat is a former aviation artist and staff illustrator for the Douglas Aircraft Company, and served as editor of Wings & Airpower magazine. Known for his love of commercial aviation, Mike has also designed airline color schemes for DC-9 and

DC-10 aircraft, painted airliner-model boxtops, and illustrated numerous books on airliners and airline his­tory. Having flown in every type of airliner from the Ford Trimotor to the Concorde, Mike brings a wealth of commercial aviation experience to this project.

Craig Kodera has lived a life immersed in aviation as the son of an engineer for Douglas Aircraft. Craig realized his dream of becoming an airline pilot having flown for both Air California and American Airlines, and also served as a transport and tanker pilot in the U. S. Air Force. Additionally, he is a world-class avia­tion artist whose artwork has been published by The Greenwich Workshop and who counts among his com­mercial aviation clients McDonnell Douglas and Airbus Industrie.

Air Routes of the Time

Traveling across the United States between major cities was relatively simple in the early 1950s. Trunk

carriers American, Northwest, United, and TWA offered direct, one-plane service to and from major des­tinations between the East and West Coast as long as one stayed within the central and northern states. Up and down the West Coast, travelers could choose between United and Western, while East Coast passengers, for the most part, relied on Eastern Airlines between New England and Florida. Delta operated a smaller route map, chiefly in the south, and Northeast Airlines, for the most part, served New England destinations.

Smaller cities and towns were the domain of 13 local service, or “feeder” carriers, that served a dual purpose. This second-level airline classification was established in 1944 on an experimental basis. Government-subsidized flights linked towns with populations as small as 5,000 inhabitants to major connecting cities. Permanent certification was finally granted to the 13 surviving operators (down from 20) in 1955. By the end of 1955, local service airline traf­fic had grown from 25,000 passengers in 1946 to nearly 3 million.

Local service carriers gradually added nearly 200 new destinations, a number that increased to 380 by 1957. Many were low-traffic stations taken over from trunk carriers that wanted to shed shorter routes. With these handovers, the local-service airlines continued to expand fleets, usually with DC-3s acquired from the same trunk carriers that surrendered the newly acquired towns and routes.

A large percentage of travelers utilized two airlines, and sometimes three, to reach their destinations. Trunk airlines formed “joint” fares with the locals and offered luggage checked through to the final destination, although passengers were obliged to check in again when changing carriers. Unlike today, the local carriers retained unique identities. United Express, Delta Connection, and similar monikers were unheard of in the 1950s.

Even some routes between major cities required the use of more than one airline, a constraint ignored by the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB), which had sole authority to award new routes. Until the Southern

Air Routes of the Time


Air Routes of the Time

This local-service carrier began upgrading its DC-3 fleet with second-hand Convair 240s in mid-1955, offering its customers pressurized-cabin comfort and increased speed over the prewar fleet. (Jon Proctor Collection)


Air Routes of the Time

Transcontinental Route case granted broad single-carrier rights in 1961, air travel between Los Angeles and Florida required two or three carriers to complete the trip.

Some relief was offered on this and similar routes, in the form of “interchange” flights, where two or three airlines jointly operated single-plane, multi-stop service over a route. At intermediate points, one airline’s flight crew would turn the aircraft over to another. On the Los Angeles to Miami run, for example, American operated as far as Dallas, where Delta crews took over for the segment to New Orleans, only to be relieved by National pilots and stewardesses, who took their pas­sengers on to Florida. Separate ticket coupons were required for each carrier, but were taken by the origi­nating carrier’s boarding agent, thus giving the illusion of a single-carrier flight, although passengers were often startled to see a National Airlines DC-7 at Los Angeles, or an American Airlines Flagship at Miami.

Douglas DC-6

Beginning in 1944, designers at Douglas Aircraft in Santa Monica were working toward a stretched and pres­surized improvement of their then-current DC-4/C-54. The key to this stretch was the Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp engine. As we saw above with the Constellation, and indeed as would be seen for the decades following this time period, engine advancement and the proper mating with the appropriate airframe would literally make or break an aeronautical design.

The DC-6 (later known as “the straight-6”) incor­porated many firsts for an airliner, and learned lessons from the first Constellations, thus refining the air travel “product” even further. For instance, the DC-6 had the first cabin heated by radiant heat in the cabin walls and floor; no-fog passenger windows; electric de-icing of

Douglas DC-6

the wings, tail, and propellers; it was the first airliner to be air conditioned both in the air and on the ground; and it featured a cabin, which was pressurized automat­ically depending on altitude. The DC-6 boasted that a selected cabin temperature could be maintained within 3 degrees Fahrenheit because of the advanced heat – ing/air conditioning in the airplane.

One competitive aspect of the DC-6/Constellation duel was each airplane’s fuselage design. Lockheed created a beautiful and aerodynamically inspired curvaceous body for its airliner, and claimed lower drag and higher speeds (with a slight addition in lift). Douglas continued with its utilitarian approach to cabin design, and because it chose a cylindrical “tube” for its airplane, realized far more capability in terms of space and its utilization. It could also be argued that a constant-section cylinder is easier to adapt to a stretch and, therefore, easier to expand upon to grow the airframe (which we will indeed witness later). It is subjective, of course; we believe the early cabin interiors of the Douglas airplane had a more luxurious feel to them versus the Constellation, due to the use of a constant-diameter fuselage and cabin.

The DC-6 began life much like the 049: as a trans­port for the military services. The assigned number for the design was YC-112A. It flew for the first time on February 15, 1946 (a year after the Constellation entered airline service), and began flying in commercial service for American Airlines on April 27, 1947. This was also the day when United Airlines inaugurated its own DC-6 service. American had ordered 50 of the airplanes, United 35. American’s aircraft had accommodations for sleeper berths and the telltale small berth windows at the top of the fuselage. American’s config­uration was fifty passengers by day, or 24 by night using the berths.

As noted, the previous competitive edge enjoyed by TWA and its Constellations had, by September 1947, been replaced by the tripartite division of traffic across the United States that was pretty much in place prior to the war. The breakdown was as follows: American Airlines, 47 percent; TWA, 37 percent; and United Airlines, 16 percent.

A total of 175 DC-6s were built by Douglas before production ended in 1951.

Douglas DC-6



Modern Finnish architect Eero Saarinen created what is considered to be his masterpiece with this ground­breaking design for a terminal building that seemed to fly right off the ground. Located at New York’s Idlewild Airport as the crown jewel of its Terminal City loop, the concrete TWA "bird" terminal is seen here in front and rear elevation. (Jon Proctor Collection)


By Mike Machat


s a young airliner enthusiast growing up on Long Island during the 1950s, a trip to New York International Airport (then called Idlewild, and now JFK) was even better than going to Disneyland because real jet airliners were making their proud debut here by the end of that decade, turning the air­port into a virtual fantasyland of its own. A new, ulti­mate “Airport of the Future” was being built to accommodate the needs of air travel in the burgeon­ing Jet Age, and the revolutionary concept of each major airline having its very own distinctive terminal building was utilized in the creation of “terminal city,” a two-mile circle of individual buildings creat­ing a veritable skyline of airport architecture.

Located on either end of Idlewild’s new International Arrivals Building (IAB) on the airport’s southern flank were the brand-new terminals of both U. S. international flag carriers, with Pan American World Airways’ open-air umbrella-style building on the west side, and Trans World Airlines’ swooping “concrete bird” terminal on the east. These strategic locations allowed both airlines to disembark interna­tional passengers at the IAB for U. S. Customs pro­cessing, and then after towing the aircraft over to their respective terminals next door, they would service the aircraft and board passengers for new departing flights.

TWA’s magnificent terminal was designed by the renowned Finnish architect Eero Saarinen as a “living sculpture” to look like a giant bird poised for takeoff. Days after its official opening ceremonies on May 28, 1962, I visited the airport as a young teenager, full of anticipation at seeing what was, at that time, probably the world’s most futuristic and revolutionary piece of
industrial architecture. I stood there, staring up in awe at the brand-new building —a bit more diminu­tive in size than I’d originally expected, but visually stunning, none the less, in all its gleaming white con­crete and deeply tinted glass.

Walking inside that terminal for the first time was like entering a space station. Vast expanses of white hand-laid miniature circular tiles complemented by fire-engine-red upholstered furnishings led to large, airy waiting areas, curving ticket counters, posh restaurants, and a space-age information desk with flight information displayed in a pod seemingly hov­ering overhead. Most intriguing to me, however, was the tubular entryway to the satellite gate area. In the pre-security age of the early 1960s I simply strolled out to see the airplanes through this softly lit, Muzak – filled, red-carpeted passageway that looked as if it could have very possibly led to a waiting Martian spaceship.

I gazed longingly at the upstairs Lisbon Lounge Bar where such legendary personalities as Frank Sinatra and Ava Gardner sat waiting to board their flights to exotic locales all over TWA’s route system. Pope Pius IV was also there during his October 1965 visit to New York, and one can only imagine the col­orful stories of celebrities, movie stars, show-business legends, and heads of state, all of whom traveled through this terminal when it was new. And as if all this wasn’t futuristic enough, New York Airways Sikorsky S—61 helicopters shuttled TWA passengers from this terminal to yet another bustling fantasy – land—the New York World’s Fair in 1964 and 1965.

In retrospect, the future turned out a bit differently than we’d expected back then. Those atom-powered supersonic flying cars and helicopter jetpacks never quite materialized, but gave way instead to personal
computers, cell phones, BlackBerry Smartphones, and GPS. More amazingly, TWA’s first 707-131s car­ried only 111 passengers, yet were flown by a crew of four. They were powered by four turbojet engines that sported a voracious appetite for JP-4, and were deafening to boot. By comparison, the last Boeing 757 to depart this terminal in 2001 flew on two tur­bofan powerplants that each produced more than twice the 707 engine’s thrust. That airplane carried 178 passengers flown by two pilots, and was far more quiet, fuel-efficient, and ecologically friendly than anything ever dreamed of during the 707’s inaugural era.

Подпись: Photo of actual TWA terminal building showing the graceful bird-like shape seemingly touching down for a landing. Although no longer used as an active passenger terminal today the pioneering structure is still there, now preserved as a historical landmark. (Jon Proctor Collection) With air travel being such an entirely different experience today, we will simply have to remember the glory days of DynaFan-powered StarStream 707s pulling up to the jetways, with passengers dining in the Paris Cafe and celebrities having one last drink at the Lisbon Lounge before jetting off to Europe, Africa, or the Far East. Now, as an integral part of JetBlue’s stunning new JFK terminal, the former TWA “Terminal of Tomorrow” still stands silently in solemn tribute to the dawning of the Jet Age.

Подпись: TURNING RADIUS DIAGRAMПодпись: Not*: For ground mon*w*Hng with no»* wb**l i*4 of full loft or full right, th* oircroft pivot» about a point outboard of th* main g*or and requires a circle 172 ft 10 in. diam*t*r to turn. Подпись:Подпись: VERTICAL CLEARANCES VERTICAL STABILIZE* TIP 27 FT 6 3/16 IN FUSELAGE 17 FT 6 IN. ftOPfUH IN6OAR0 13 IN PROPELLER OUTROARD 30 IN THE TERMINAL OF TOMORROW

Larger ramp areas with a variety of different gate configurations were being built for the first time, and the grand interiors of these new terminals bore more than a casual resemblance to the large spacious shopping malls also making their first appearance in America. Depending on the size of the airport, these impressive new structures either housed many airlines collectively, or individual carriers by themselves in a cluster of sepa­rate new buildings. These grand assemblages were linked together by sweeping circular roadways, and were envisioned as being great new “terminal cities.”

The aforementioned blast fences were more than just a convenience, as jet exhaust waves would prove to be a formidable hazard for unprotected vehicles and personnel in close proximity. Also, before enclosed and elevated jet bridges protected people boarding or deplaning jetliners, unsuspecting passen­gers could be blown over or lose their carry-on lug­gage crossing an unprotected ramp while walking out to board their jet.

By the mid-1950s, airport studies performed in con­junction with aircraft manufacturers were conducted to measure and extrapolate data for new jetliner flight – and ground-operation manuals. These studies revealed the need to cope with surprisingly strong amounts of jet exhaust blast. For instance, the four turbojets of a parked Boeing 707 spooled up to 80-percent power to move the aircraft off its tires’ flat spots and begin for­ward turning motion on the ramp would produce an

Manufacturer’s operating manual shows the turning radius and ramp clearances necessary for safe ground operations with the Douglas DC-4/C-54 aircraft. Clearances for wingtips, tail, and propeller discs were critical in avoiding potentially dangerous situations for both the aircraft and ground crew. (Courtesy of John K. Lewis via Mike Machat Collection)

Подпись: Chart from the Boeing 707 operating manual shows an added element of danger with the jet's exhaust blast being a factor in turning clearances. It is evident that the concept of enclosed jet bridges for passenger loading and unloading had not been thought of when this artwork was created in 1956. (Mike Machat Collection) exhaust velocity of nearly 30 mph at a distance of more than 100 feet behind the airplane.

Exhaust temperature was another dangerous factor, with heat of as much as 700 degrees F emanating from the engine exhaust aperture, diminishing to 150 degrees F at the tail of the airplane. Jet exhaust velocity at full takeoff power was measured at a formidable 1,000 feet per second at the exhaust cone of the engine nacelle. At that velocity, unprotected cars driving on a perimeter road behind a jet
at full takeoff thrust would be blown over like a child’s toy. The front of the jet engine also posed a potentially fatal hazard to ramp personnel with overpowering suc­tion from the air intake replacing spinning propeller blades as the number-one ground safety threat.

Fueling the new jetliners would also be a different experience for ground handlers. The days of placing ladders against wing leading edges, then climbing up and walking out on top of the wing while trailing a fuel hose and nozzle would soon be ending. The first big advance for fueling the big jets was underwing fueling capability, meaning that two men, each operating a 6,000-gallon F-6 fuel tanker truck, could hook up underwing hoses and fuel the entire airplane in one con­tinuous operation. This was a welcome change for ground crewmen having to walk around on top of the wings, opening fuel-tank caps and then filling one tank at a time on a Constellation or DC-7.

Further advances would eliminate the fuel truck altogether, as underground pipes fed fuel stored in large airport fuel-tank “farms” to valves and hose hook-ups located in the ramp itself just below the parked air­plane’s wings. This way, ramp fueling personnel could plug hoses from these outlets into small mobile pump­ing units and then connect those directly to the under­wing attach points of the jetliners, thus reducing the amount of large vehicles needed to service the airliner.

Speaking of vehicles, new types of ground equipment would also supplement, and in some cases eliminate


Graphically demonstrating the transition period from props to jets, we see a TWA Boeing 707 at Chicago-O’Hare surrounded by a sea of ground equipment as listed on page 99. Manually pushed boarding stairs exposed to the elements soon gave way to fully enclosed and extendable jet bridges attached directly to the terminal building. (Jon Proctor)



































This schematic shows the proper location relative to the airplane of all the ground equipment necessary for the new 707. Compare this layout to the photograph (on page 98) of an actual TWA 707 being serviced at O’Hare Airport in Chicago. (Mike Machat Collection)

altogether, standard prop-era ramp vehicles such as elec­trical power carts, lavatory trucks, and baggage-handling tugs. Engine-water trucks would be required to pump aboard the alcohol and distilled water mix for water – injected takeoffs. Galley delivery trucks the size of small moving vans would back up to the airplane, their aft sec­tions rising to the height of the cabin floor, to deliver meals and other galley provisions directly into the cabin. Large galley loading doors designed into the airframe would define how differently the new jets would be oper­ated from all the other airliners that had come before.

These new galley doors were located fore and aft on the right-hand side of the airplane at main cabin floor height. Also on the right-hand side but below the cabin floor were large forward and aft baggage doors that allowed baggage and freight to be loaded aboard con­veyer belts angled up to the open baggage bay. Ground power connections were also located on the right side of the jetliner’s nose to facilitate ramp personnel oper­ating safely away from passengers loading on the left side of the airplane.

As originally intended before the jets entered ser­vice, each airplane would be surrounded by an armada
of ground vehicles upon arrival at the gate and while being turned around for its next flight. A typical fleet of ground vehicles and service apparatus required for handling the new jets parked at a terminal was expected to include:

• External power cart

• Forward lavatory service truck

• Aft lavatory service truck

• Forward baggage bay cargo and baggage conveyer truck

• Aft baggage bay cargo and baggage conveyer truck

• Engine-oil and generator-drive filler service

• Ground tug for towing or pushing on the ramp

• Potable-water service truck

• Right wing F-6 tanker truck

• Left wing F-6 tanker truck

• Forward door passenger-loading ramp truck

• Aft door passenger-loading ramp truck

• Ground air-conditioning truck

• Water-injection service truck

• Truck for engine “air-starts”

Подпись:Commercial Avation’s Transition to the Jet Age 1952-1962

A large part of aviation’s popularity in the 1950s was due to the conve­nience offered for even inner-city travel. Los Angeles Airways began 10-passenger Sikorsky S-55 helicopter service from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on November 22, 1954. Having replaced the smaller Sikorsky S-51 car­rying mail and passengers around the vast L. A. basin, the S-55s proved to be a boon to local commuting and were later upgraded to turbine-powered 28- passenger Sikorsky S-61s in 1962. (Los Angeles World Airports)

The East Coast counterpart of L. A. Airways was New York Airways (NYA), linking that metropolis’ three major air­ports with downtown Manhattan. Commuter service was provided using twin-rotor 15-passenger Vertol 44s. NYA also upgraded to jet-powered helicopters in the early-1960s using 25-passenger Boeing-Vertol 107s. Note flotation gear mounted on the big Vertol’s landing struts to ensure passenger safety when flying over the open waterways of New York City. (Mike Machat Collection)


The de Havilland Comet 4’s massive flaps gave it slower approach and landing speeds. This more powerful and stretched version of the original Comet 1 resurrected the proud de Havilland name after suspension of Comet ser­vice following a rash of fatal accidents from 1952 to 1954. (Allan Van Wickler Collection)


Подпись: Unlike on the BOAC Stratocruisers and DC-7Cs that preceded it, the Comet 4's interior was virtually noise and vibration free. According to BOAC ad copy in 1958, the Comet 4 offered passengers a "fusion of speed and rock-like stability [yielding] an impression of being suspended comfortably in space." Interior configuration shown here featured 16 first-class sleeper-seats in the forward cabin and 43 tourist seats aft. (Craig Kodera Collection)

By the mid-1950s, airport management staffs and their in-house planners and designers had begun to look at the special needs of the new breed of jet-powered air­liners. At this stage, however, the very first seedlings of these new ideas were just beginning to sprout. As we will see, by the time the new jets actually entered com­mercial service several years later, more refined and effective advancements would be incorporated into air­line operations and modern airport design.

Lockheed 1049 Super Constellation

Stretching the basic design of an airliner airframe first began in the 1930s with the DC-1 being lengthened into the DC-2. The Constellation was the perfect can­didate for lengthening and weight increase due to the amount of power built into its Wright R-3350 engines. With the desire to accommodate either more range or more passengers (Tourist Class was becoming a reality for the airline companies), Lockheed added 18 feet 4■/ inches to the basic 749 fuselage and created the Model 1049 Super Constellation. An impressive total of 550 new design features were added to the airplane, including larger cockpit and cabin windows, larger ver­tical stabilizers, new fuel tankage, metal-covered ailerons, and a new electrical system.

Lockheed 1049 Super Constellation

Eastern bought 14 of these airplanes and TWA bought 10. The low number of total orders for this specific version indicates that the airplane was, in essence, a transitional aircraft, giving it new capabili­ties, but not being quite as advanced as later versions that would incorporate turbo-compound engines, or perhaps even turboprop powerplants such as the Allison T38 in a unique military configuration. What is significant, however, is that the Model 1049 con­firmed that getting the most from a basic design by
constantly improving it would pay huge dividends in the years immediately following this first stretch of the classic Constellation.

Impact on the Industry from the Turbofan’s Advances

Perhaps the most significant added benefit of tur­bofan engines was the propitious drop in noise levels to

Impact on the Industry from the Turbofan's Advances

What is a propeller-driven DC-6B doing in this chapter on fanjets? Making the point that some airplanes are almost irreplaceable, Northeast flew its DC-6Bs on shorter inter­city routes up and down the Washington-New York-Boston corridor until 1966. Despite the airline hav­ing new twinjets and turboprops flying by the late 1960sf nothing could beat the sheer economic advantage of the reliable Douglas propliner on those shorter; commuter stage lengths. (Mike Machat Collection)

the point where cumbersome external noise suppressors were no longer required. With the cooler fan exhaust literally shrouding the hot core section gases as they exited the tailpipe, the painful roar of the engine was mitigated to much more acceptable sound levels around airports, and even when the aircraft were flying over them at higher altitudes. From a purely power stand­point, the fanjet JT3D produced up to 18,000 pounds of thrust compared to the “straight” turbojet JT3C’s

12,0 pounds.

Around the country, initial public perception indi­cated that the first turbojet-powered airliners had earned an unenviable reputation for being much louder than the piston-powered aircraft they replaced. As a result, restrictive rules were imposed requiring some – times-complex, noise-abatement procedures, particu­larly on takeoff. The new generation of turbofan – powered jetliners combined the attributes of lower overall-engine-noise levels with improved thrust levels and the ability to climb more steeply on takeoff, thus becoming “good neighbors” wherever they flew.