Saturday, November 07, 2015

At the Airport

Remember when traveling by plane was exciting and romantic? Neither do I, but apparently it was a thing back in the 1950's and 60's. Oh, who am I kidding, when I was a child it was exciting to go to the airport. The hustle and bustle! The planes coming and going! The anticipation at eating airplane food - the most delicious food ever (actually, some of it wasn't too bad, in my kid-memory)! Those weird seat belts! My complimentary "Junior Pilot" pin! And finally... arriving at our destination to find grandma and grandpa waiting for us at the gate, which was the best of all. Good times!

Well, today's photos harken back to that rosy era. How about this first one, featuring a group of smartly-dressed travelers, waiting to walk out onto the tarmac and up the movable staircase into their planes. I have no idea where this was taken, but there are a lot of overcoats. The lovely ladies brought plenty to read. My favorite details are the triple tails of several Lockheed Constellations in the background - one of the more beautiful propeller-driven airplanes. 

Speaking of Constellations, here comes one now! This is from another mystery airport. All of the trucks, luggage-haulers, planes and buildings (love that Shell fuel truck!) look like an elaborate toy layout (see these photos of Madurodam). 

Suddenly I feel the urge to travel.


Nanook said...


Back in the days when "getting there was half the fun". I do enjoy the snappy shirt the young gentleman is wearing underneath his sport coat, with the arm length equivalent of "flood controls". Hmmm, some things never change.

Thanks, Major.

Chuck said...

In the second photo, from left to right, we see the tail of a Capital Airlines Vickers Viscount and another Viscount behind the fuel truck, a Delta Airlines DC-6, and what I think (but am not sure) is a Lockheed L-049 Constellation on final (or perhaps levitating; hard to tell on a still frame), although it may be an L-749 Constellation.

Nice set today, Major. Thanks.

Unknown said...

Boy, the Connie is sure one of my favorite airplanes! That gorgeous swoopy fuselage is just so swell. I think of British aircraft when I see graceful organic curves like that.

And I thought I could swoop in and do the planes ID but I'm slow and I can merely say that Chuck is on target. I do wonder why the artwork on the DC-6 reads "Delta C5" or "Delta CS".

Unknown said...

Some better searching on my part now shows that the artwork reads "Delta C&S" for Chicago & Southern, a regional Delta sub.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, the young man looks to be around that age when boys tend to grow a lot in just a year or two. I know I did! It was probably hard to keep him in clothes that fit.

Chuck, the Constellation is actually backing up for another try at parallel parking. “Vickers Viscount”, what a great name.

Patrick Devlin, that’s right, you’ve got to get up pretty early in the morning to beat this group! “Chicago and Southern”, hmmm, so I wonder if this is airport is in Chicago? That would at least explain the overcoats. Trouble is, that plane could be based there and could land anywhere. Phooey!

K. Martinez said...

When it comes to planes and automobiles I'm outta my league. It was good to sleep in today.

I remember the days of flying from OAK to LAX on a PSA jet many times during the early to mid 1970's to visit my sister in Westwood. It was how my parents leveraged trips to Disneyland for me every year, because they didn't care to go themselves anymore. Air travel was certainly more enjoyable in those days. Does PSA even exist anymore?

Nanook said...

@ Major-

I'm sure you're correct, but that's never stopped me from "pointing out" these little fashion don'ts-!

I'm no plane expert, either, but isn't that a DC-3 in the first image-? And evidently flown by Northwest-?

Chuck said...

Ken - Sort of. PSA was bought by USAir in 1988, and USAir assigned the PSA name to Jetstream International Airlines (a subsidiary that had been acquired when they bought Piedmont in 1987) in 1995 to protect the PSA trademark.

I recall eating lunch in the elevated restaurant at Oakland International in the mid-70s and watching all of the airplanes go by, and I remember a fair amount of PSA birds among them. They were my favorites because they had painted-on smiles under the noses.

My dad worked at the Air Force's Military Airlift Command (MAC) Headquarters a few years later, and around that time there was a taxiing accident where the wingtip of one C-5 transport cut a big gash through the underside of another C-5's radome on the nose. I remember a B&W print of the damaged nose tacked to a bulletin board at his office with the hand-written caption "MAC - We don't just paint our smiles on."

Nanook - you are correct about the Northwest DC-3. I also missed the Constellation nose directly behind the "To Pl[anes]" sign on the right-hand side of the same image.

Wish I'd been able to see this age of air travel.

Tom Metzke said...

The first photo was taken at LAX, before the new jet age terminals were opened west of Sepulveda Blvd in the early 1960s. The dc-3 belongs to Southwest Airlines. Not the one we know now, but one that started in after WW2 in Southern California. They changed their name to Pacific Airlines in the late 1950s. Through many mergers over the years, they are now a part of Delta Air Lines.

The 2nd photo, with the TWA Constellation on short finals was definitely taken at Chicago'S Midway Airport

Major Pepperidge said...

Tom Metzke, wow, thanks for that amazing info! It makes sense, because the pretty lady in the first photo has definitely been seen in other California photos. I love that this one is from the early LAX. Thanks also for the ID on the Chicago Midway ID, that is super awesome.