Saturday, August 08, 2020

Airplane Stuff

I sure wish I had lots and lots of old slides featuring airplanes and airports. But alas! I don't have that many. We must treasure the few, as if they were blue diamonds. (Did you know that the Hope Diamond - a large blue diamond - will phosphoresce red when exposed to ultraviolet light?).

This first one is just a cool picture, presumably taken as a traveler walked across the tarmac toward their airplane. I love those planes, whatever they may be - I'd look them up, but know that A) I will probably get it wrong, and B) you guys will know for sure and inform all of us, leaving me with more time to watch cartoons.

The slide was unlabeled and undated, but I think it's safe to say that this is from the 1950's. Strange to see no jets out there! Anyway, the presence of that what appears to be several bridges in the distance made me surmise that this could be LaGuardia airport in New York. 

I found this neat photo from LaGuardia online, it has a very similar feel to the first photo.

Next we'll jump ahead all the way to 1978, where we see a wonderful Aloha Airlines plane (the "King Lunalilo") as passengers board fore and aft. I've always loved the playful, colorful graphics on Aloha Airlines' jets. I need an orange "aloha shirt" to match!

Aloha Airlines ceased operations on March 31, 2008.

I hope you have enjoyed today's airplanes and airports.


Budblade said...

Wow. I’m the first to comment? I wish I had something to say.
I like these pictures mainly because they are different and still relatively colorful. Aloha airlines rocked. We could use some of their type in today’s world. I’m not really up on airplane identification, but as a guess I’d say DC4/5? In the first pic And l111 in the third.

stu29573 said...

About the only prop plane I can reliably ID is the Lockhead Constellation. You see, TWA flew "Connies" at the same time the Rocket to the Moon attraction was built and the Moonliner landing gear were heavily influenced by the Connie's nose gear.
Also, the triple vertical stabs in back are pretty much a dead giveaway.
These are nice, though.
I remember on my first plane ride as a kid, I was confused that we didn't walk up stairs into the plane. Since we flew out of a big city, they had already converted to the "long hallway" boarding method. Bummer.

Chuck said...

In the first photo, the tail of a Douglas DC-6. This particular airplane, the fourth DC-6 off the production line in Long Beach, served with American Airlines from 1946-60. Remarkably, it's still in existence today in Germany, having been converted into a coffee bar in 1969. It's the oldest DC-6 left on the planet.

The next two airplanes are Convair CV-240s. Built between 1947 and 1954, American operated 75 of them. I can't quite read the registration numbers and have not been able to find any specifics on their service history. The CV-240 was odd in that the main passenger door was on the starboard (right) side of the fuselage.

The four-engine airplane beyond that with the four-bladed propellers is probably a Douglas DC-7, built between 1953 and 1958.

I was going to suggest Addis Ababa International, but La Guardia is as good a guess as any. That does look like the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge in the background.

The last photo shows an Aloha Airlines Boeing 737-200. I had a good-sized. friction-powered toy of one my grandmother brought back from Hawaii in 1979 or 80.

Thanks for a great start to the weekend, Major!

Chuck said...

Edit - "In the first photo, the tail of a Douglas DC-6 dominates the foreground."

Nanook said...

Geez - you're busy watching cartoons, and Chuck is doing all the heavy lifting-? What's up with that-? Harrumph-! And through it all, you've managed to 'feature' what seems to be an historic DC-6.

Thanks to Chuck and you.

Major Pepperidge said...

Budblade, I guess people aren’t as into vintage airplanes/airports as I thought? Oh well, you can’t win ‘em all! My experience with identifying planes is that I will look at other photos and do my research, and come to a conclusion - which will turn out to be wrong! The DCs always mess me up, especially.

stu29573, yeah, the Connies are very distinctive - plus they are super cool! I have a couple of scans of vintage photos of Constellations ready to go, I’ll share those on a future post. Or not, if there isn't much interest in this sort of thing. There is a TWA postcard that features a Connie and the Disneyland Moonliner, it’s a fun collectible that doesn’t cost that much. I always enjoyed the walk out on the tarmac for the view that you got from on the ground, I guess those are only at smaller airports nowadays.

Chuck, wow, you sure did your “Chuck thing” today! I was mostly hoping somebody would say, “That plane’s a DC-6, and those two are Convairs”. But you found the actual histories of some of the planes! It’s neat to think that the one in the foreground is still around and is the oldest DC-6. What are the odds? Good eye on the plane with 4 props, I had to zoom in to see it. The Bronx-Whitestone Bridge, you say? Looking at a map, I honestly started to doubt my La Guardia theory, but I don’t know where else it could be! Thanks for all your research.

Chuck, welcome to my world! I do stuff like that all the time.

Nanook, as I said to Chuck, I was just hoping somebody would say what kind of plane was what, I didn’t expect a complete history!

"Lou and Sue" said...

Major, please do post more pictures of planes! I don’t know a lot about them but I enjoy the pictures and comments.

Omnispace said...

I love the grey and red feel of the 1950's photo. The photographer must have been boarding a plane and was impressed by the aircraft parked along the apron. Lucky he had his camera handy, (probably hanging around his neck). It looks like there is another flight boarding off in the distance.

Nothing says "1978" more than the Aloha Airlines photo! We did a lot of family travel during that time and this definitely picks up on that cool vibe. Not too many opportunities to board via the airstairs anymore - perhaps at Long Beach still? I know that Salt Lake City still uses them for the smaller aircraft, having flown through there recently.

JC Shannon said...

All I can say when I look at vintage aviation photos is let's dance. I can picture myself behind the yoke, big 'ol grin on my face, playing dodge the clouds. The glamour of commercial aviation when people dressed for flights and were treated like royalty. These are great photos Major, you made my day.

Melissa said...


In spite of all the inconveniences of modern air travel (especially for those of us over average height) I still love flying. Nothing beats that moment when you can feel yourself leaving the Earth.

I’ve boarded many planes via stairs, but mostly smaller ones. Our regional airports generally send smaller planes to the nearby big hubs like Philadelphia or NYC. When I went to California, our little hopper went all the way to Detroit!

The best flight ever, though, was the 12 hour trip from New York City to London on British Airways. It was during that whole hoof and mouth outbreak, so the tickets were dirt cheap and the coach section was practically empty. They let us stretch out across three or four seats each, they gave us blankets and pillows and slippers and toothbrushes, and they didn’t stop feeding us the whole way. It was like a big intercontinental slumber party with booze. Walking through trays of disinfectant at customs on the way home was a tiny price to pay. Those were the days.

Major Pepperidge said...

Lou and Sue… I dunno, only 10 comments. It feels like there has been a collective yawn in the GDB universe! We’ll see though, I have the slides, I’m sure I’ll get around to them sometime.

Omnispace, the composition of that first photo is really nice - one of the reasons I liked it so much. At Burbank Airport I’ve walked across the tarmac to board a plane, but it never occurs to me to take a photo! Maybe I would be tackled by security. I’ve never been to Hawaii, but I’m sad that I will never get to fly Aloha Airlines. I like that they weren’t afraid to be a little playful with their air fleet. Most of most recent flights have involved the covered boarding tunnels (what are they called, anyway?), not so exciting, but as long as you get there, I suppose.

Melissa, I agree with you The seating is not roomy, and they don’t give you a meal anymore, but I still feel a sense of adventure when I board a plane. The true frequent fliers are so bored they don’t even look up - how I pity them! I love to look out the window, especially on takeoffs and landings. I have a friend who is moving to the Reno area, and she said she’s leaving from a small regional airfield. The flight shouldn’t be much more than an hour. I guess I missed the news about the hoof and mouth outbreak. I’m not so worried about my hooves, but my mouth is important to me. I use it almost every day. Your flight sounds wonderful - it reminds me of a flight home from Europe (LONG ago) - we landed at JFK, and then boarded a plane to LAX. The flight was so empty that I was able to put up the arm rests and stretch out. It was glorious! They did not give us blankets, pillows, etc, though!

Chuck said...

I was living in the UK and getting ready to move back to the States when that hoof and mouth outbreak happened. We took a farewell trip up to Scotland, and it was kind of surreal - driving through trays of disinfectant-infused hay to decontaminate our tires as we left England and seeing (and smelling) the pyres of burning livestock in the distance.

We stopped in some village to see Hadrian's Wall, and there were official signs warning you to stay off the footpaths to avoid the spread of hoof and mouth. We had no intention of breaking the rules, only walking as close as we could without leaving the road. There was a woman in a house next to the road watching us like a hawk from her front window, just waiting for those arrogant American tourists (we were wearing jeans, a dead giveaway) to arrogantly break the rules in their arrogant fashion so she could give them a piece of her mind.

Once we got back home, we had to prepare all of our stuff for the move. With the hoof and mouth outbreak, we were required to disinfect everything that had been outdoors and prove it in a home inspection prior to the movers' arrival. Ever try disinfecting a lawnmower?

Melissa said...

Yeah, we had planned some day trips outside London, but in the end it seemed better to not venture out into the countryside.

JG said...

Major, I love these, please post more.

Thank you Chuck for the detailed ID. Major, I hope you could watch Coyote & Roadrunner while Chuck researched that.

As I mentioned before, my Dad flew for fun and we regularly visited airports just to watch the planes. These pics remind me of that.

I’ve been a regular, though not “frequent” flier, between work & pleasure travel for many years, about every other month to somewhere, until the current troubles. I miss it, and have never grown blase’. I feel like a kid every time I get on a plane, going somewhere new, or familiar, it’s still fun. Only difference now I want the aisle, not the window, because of my sore leg.

Except that one flight on Iberia. Don’t fly Iberia.

The boarding tunnels seem to be called “jetways” for some reason, and many European airports now have them with glass walls, which is great.

Cheers all.


"Lou and Sue" said...

JG, what flight on Iberia??

Melissa said...

What’s a jetway?
A couple hundred thousand pounds.
Thank you, thank you, I’m here all week.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Melissa - hahahaha! I love it!