Saturday, September 29, 2012

Aeroplanes of Yesteryear

Planes, trains, and automobiles! No, not the movie... those are three subjects that I know little about, and yet I have a sort of layman's appreciation for them as things; masterpieces of industrial design, in the best cases. I'm always happy to find vintage slides of airports - because of the planes, but also because of everything else that one associates with travel. Adventure, reunions with distant loved ones, exotic locales, stuff like that.

In this first picture, we see two beautiful Lockheed Constellations with their distinctive triple tails. Dwight D. Eisenhower's presidential aircraft was a Constellation, you know. The fuselage is described as "porpoise-shaped", and coincidentally, the planes made high-pitched porpoise noises and ran on fish. They were popular for many years, but became obsolete once jets made the scene, daddy-o.

Hey, another Constellation! This one is a "Super Constellation", a "stretched" variety that could hold an additional 23 passengers. Remember Eastern Airlines? They went kaput in 1991.

This colorful photo was from a teeny tiny slide that was only about 1/2" wide, presumably taken with a Minox camera. Who knows what kind of plane this is? I sure don't! But the "Flagship Lake Ontario" sure is a beautiful machine.


Nanook said...

Wow-! Some mighty fine images. The couple on the tarmac may be "better-attired" than today's usual slovenly-dressed passenger, but they hardly look the picture of travel sophistication.

Me thinks the mystery plane is a DC-4. Anyone else care to chime-in-?

D ticket said...

Convair 600

Tail number N94237
Delivered to AA in 1948
Originally called Flagship Akron

Sold to Central Airlines in 1960, new tail number N74850
Crashed in Tulsa, 1965
Repaired and sold to Wright Airlines 1982
SMB Stage Airlines in 1985
Kitty Hawk AirCargo 1991
Retired and broken up 1995

Or something like that.

H Solo said...

Minox chewing on the power cables.

Rich T. said...

These are, indeed, beautiful planes, even if the Constellations' porpoise sounds drove homeowners near the landing approach batty.

I wonder where that couple was going. I wish hats like that would come back in style!

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I am bringing back the too-short tie! Everything old is new again.

D ticket, I was pretty sure we would hear from you! "Crashed in Tulsa, 1965"?! Yikes! Amazing, look at how long that airplane operated. Almost 50 years. THANKS for the great info!

H Solo, ha ha!

Rich T, like so many of my slides, I always want to know more of the back story. But I never get it...

Anonymous said...

Great pics as always! That second photo sure makes me miss the good old days when you traversed the tarmac to board your plane, walking among 55 gal drums of fuel(?) (some empty, some just sort of empty) that lined your route.

I do love those shiny planes!

Bill in Denver

Nanook said...

Yes, those yellow-painted 55-gallon drums - some of which look suspiciously as if they were the incendiary device to many a bonfire - lovingly linked together with heavy rope, are hardly the proper lead-up to the "porte cochere" of any sort of classy airport terminal. No wonder Eastern Airlines is no more.