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jst5150
06-23-2009, 12:58 PM
Hi all,

Could one fly from Los Angeles to New York City in 1964? If so, how many stops? Prop plane or jets? About how many hours? Typical stops along the way?

This is a small piece of my novel but I want it to be accurate ("For instance, I don't want to say "nonstop" if the flight wasn't nonstop) My Google Fu on this has turned up Expedia ads and other Bupkis mit Kuduchas.

Thanks.

Dommo
06-23-2009, 01:00 PM
Yes, you could fly across country, and you could do so by jets. By the late 1960s the 747 was in existence, and prior to that common planes like the 727 and 737 as well as other jets were routinely cruising around.

Gary
06-23-2009, 05:45 PM
Yes, you could fly non-stop LA-NY in the 50's, either by jet or prop. The first commercial jet, the Boeing 707, went into service during the late 50's and it could easily fly that distance without refueling.

jst5150
06-23-2009, 05:48 PM
So, about 6-7 hours nonstop I'm guessing in a 707?

Dommo
06-23-2009, 05:59 PM
Well, it had a cruising speed of like 500+ mph, so a 6 hour flight seems pretty reasonable to me.

jst5150
06-23-2009, 06:13 PM
That was my thought, too. Thanks, all. We can call this one closed. :)

Puma
06-23-2009, 07:30 PM
But - I don't agree. A lot depended on where you were flying from and whether the airfield was large enough to handle jets. Almost all the flying I did in the 60's was on prop jobs and planes like the TWA constellation were regularly making the cross country run (with stops along the way). There wasn't enough air travel going on to support many totally cross country flights - the airlines had to have the intermediate stops to keep up their revenue. Puma

jst5150
06-23-2009, 08:08 PM
OK, so, I'll reopen this again: the route is LA to NYC. In 1964. :)

The Constellation is a beautiful aircraft. There's one on display at the Munich airport.

firedrake
06-23-2009, 08:11 PM
Did it, I was a kid, it was either '64 or '65. I don't remember having to stop anywhere.

Mum was all embarrassed because my sister and I were fidgety and playing up and Victor Mature was sitting in First Class, on the other side of the curtain.

Fullback
06-23-2009, 08:40 PM
Yes, nonstop, transcontinental commercial flights were flown in 1964. The Boeing 707 and Douglas DC-8 flew those routes with a flying time of about 6 hours. Idlewild Airport was the name of the current JFK Airport in NY.

RJK
06-23-2009, 09:39 PM
Flight time from west to east was somewhat shorter, nearly an hour in some cases, due to the tailwind from the jetstream. Don't forget about the time zones.

Carlene
06-23-2009, 09:50 PM
Yes, you could fly jets from LA to NYC - I did it several times. I worked for two different International airlines from 1961 - 1968, NWA and TWA. Yup, always faster going west to east because of tail winds. If you have any other questions, give me a shout.

Carlene
carlenedater@sbcglobal.net

jst5150
06-23-2009, 10:40 PM
I think everything everyone has given me works great! Thanks for all the fantastic input.

Fokker Aeroplanbau
06-23-2009, 10:49 PM
Remember the non-smoking and smoking sections of the plane, the ashtrays and that the non-smoking light did sometimes turn off (gasp!) during flight.

Many people forget those little details but in that era even the President's helicopter (the Sea King) had pop out and personal ash-trays.

jst5150
06-23-2009, 10:57 PM
I do, as a child. But my travel memory only dates back until about 1974. :) i sat in the smoking section bcause my parents smoked. But we were in the row next to the nonsmoking section only once. I thought that would help. I did not. :)

Fokker Aeroplanbau
06-23-2009, 11:07 PM
Then I guess I'm preaching to the choir on that issue!

Sorry to hear you and smoking didn't get along well; sounds horrible.

jst5150
06-23-2009, 11:11 PM
:) I ended up growing up with it. Doesn't bother me in the least now.

ReallyRong
06-27-2009, 04:49 AM
Not sure that I'm adding anything, but I once had the "pleasure" of flying transatlantic on an old 707 in the early eighties. My one enduring memory of it was how tiny and claustrophobic it was inside compared to the wide bodied airliners, even of that time.

donroc
06-27-2009, 05:01 AM
I flew from SF to D.C. in the great prop driven Lockheed Constellation in 1954, and I still remember it as the best cross-country flight I experienced. Smooth, comfortable, and great service all the way.

Gary
06-27-2009, 07:33 AM
I flew from SF to D.C. in the great prop driven Lockheed Constellation in 1954, and I still remember it as the best cross-country flight I experienced. Smooth, comfortable, and great service all the way.

Yes, I also recall some early commercial flights in a DC-3 and a DC-6. The seats were like the recliner you have in your home, with loads of leg room and terrific service. People actually dressed up to fly and the ambiance was more like a social event than a sardine-can commute. And don't forget the complimentary 5-pack of cigarettes they handed out to all the passengers.

Military travel was a bit more spartan. My trip to Germany was on a military version of a DC-7. The seats all faced toward the back of the plane, and they were nothing like modern recliners! The trip back was on a chartered turboprop Vickers Viscount. It was faster than the old recip, but much noisier.

blacbird
06-27-2009, 08:52 AM
Yes, you could fly non-stop LA-NY in the 50's, either by jet or prop. The first commercial jet, the Boeing 707, went into service during the late 50's and it could easily fly that distance without refueling.

Actually, I believe the first commercial jet was the British Comet, ill-fated through a horrid engineering flaw. But otherwise, you are correct. The 707 was the workhorse airliner during the 1960s, and a huge success for the Boeing Corporation. Much of the Seattle area still owes its economic success to that beast and the boost it gave to Boeing.

caw

Terry L. Sanders
06-27-2009, 09:23 PM
It was certainly possible, but I wouldn't know any details. My family wasn't that rich. The only flight I took in the 60's was a 727 from Memphis to Denver in 69.

In 1964, piston planes were still very much around--Braniff made a HUGE deal of the fact that ALL their planes were jets. Generally, the piston planes were the cheap way to fly by then, with jets for the better-off.

One interesting reference you might look at (with a grain of salt, but hey) is PROPELLER ONE-WAY NIGHT COACH by John Travolta. It's a fictionalized account of a cross-country flight in a DC-6 that he claims was based on people and events he saw over the years. I didn't see any OBVIOUS errors of fact in it, and the atmosphere sounds about right, to maybe...