Dec 4, 2011

Pan Am’s 747

Scenes from the View-Master packet Pan Am’s 747 (B747) from the World of Science.


View-Master Pan Ams 747 (B747), Packet Cover

Packet Cover


View-Master Pan Am's 747 (B747), Booklet Cover

Booklet Cover


From the 16-page booklet:

PAN AM’S 747

This is the story of two pioneering American companies: Boeing, world leader in the manufacture of commercial aircraft, and Pan American World Airways, world’s largest international airline. It is also the story of the Boeing 747, first of the wide-bodied jets and leading edge of a new system of air travel.

Pan Am’s 747 and its System of the Seventies evolved from a long list of airline firsts. In 1927, Pan Am made the world’s first overseas commercial flight—from Key West, Florida, to Havana, Cuba—via the three-engined Fokker F-7 pictured below.


The 90-mile haul took one hour. This was followed by the first service across the Caribbean to the north coast of South America, using twin-engined Sikorsky amphibians. In 1935 the first scheduled transpacific flight of the China Clipper was made; and in 1939 came the first scheduled transatlantic service to Europe, via the Boeing-built Yankee Clipper.

Since then, Pan Am has extended its service to 120 cities on all six continents, introducing new planes and equipment along the way. But perhaps the most significant development in aviation history came in 1970—when Pan Am was first to offer scheduled service with the Boeing 747.


Scene 1-1


View-Master Pan Ams 747 (B747), Scene 1_1: Construction in Everett Plant

Construction of the 747 in Boeing Plant, Everett, Washington


From the 16-page booklet:


While Pan Am was becoming a worldwide system, Seattle’s Bill Boeing was developing a few firsts of his own: the Boeing Monomail, world’s first all-metal plane, and the B-307, first pressurized plane ever used in commercial aviation. The famed “Flying Fortress” B-17 was built with his own money and was the only modern bomber available to the Army Air Corps, when Pearl Harbor was attacked on December 7, 1941.

Boeing’s Everett plant is the largest building in the world. It was constructed specifically as the building site for 747’s—each of which measures nearly as long as a 100-yard football field.


Scene 1-5

Big Engines

View-Master Pan Ams 747 (B747), Scene 1_5: Big Engines

Stewardesses Stand in Engine


From the 16-page booklet:


The engines used in the Boeing 707 and 727 were first tested on purely military versions of those aircraft. Pratt and Whitney’s JT9D3 engines, however, were built specifically for the 747. Consequently, they were subjected to the most rigid engine-testing program in the history of aviation.

Since Pan Am first introduced the 747 in January of 1970, it has proved to be the “most stable aircraft ever built.” Its combination of size, weight, and power help it weather many of the storms that plague lesser planes. The 747 is so quiet, those aboard can hear rain on the windows in flight.


Scene 2-1


View-Master Pan Ams 747 (B747), Scene 2_1: Taxiiing Out for Takeoff

Taxiing Out for Takeoff


From the 16-page booklet:


Its crew “checked out,” the latest and most impressive in the long line of Pan Am Clippers is ready for flight.


Scene 2-2

Take Off

View-Master Pan Ams 747 (B747), Scene 2_2: Take Off

747 Leaves the Ground


From the 16-page booklet:


Even here, off to one side of the landing strip, it may seem hard to believe that a plane as big as the 747 can actually fly. But take off it does, so smoothly and gracefully those aboard hardly know when the wheels leave the ground. The key to aerial navigation in the Seventies is the Inertial Navigation System, a vital part of the 747. This is the same navigational system used in Polaris submarines and space flights. It’s the INS that keeps the 747 perfectly “on track.”


Scene 2-5

Spacious Interior

View-Master Pan Ams 747 (B747), Scene 2_5: Spacious Interior

Spacious Interior, Economy Class


From the 16-page booklet:


Pan Am’s 747 custom-ordered interior has triple-seat units on the passenger’s left, two double-seat units between the aisles, and double seats to the right.

Elbow room in the 747 Economy Class sections is noticeably greater than that of conventional jets. Seats are two inches wider than those on a 707. There are two main aisles, both twenty inches wide. And large “cathedral” windows are standard throughout.


Scene 3-2

First Class Compartment

View-Master Pan Ams 747 (B747), Scene 3_2: First Class Compartment

First Class Compartment


From the 16-page booklet:


The real eye-catcher in the 747’s forward section is the spiral staircase leading up to the flight deck and First Class lounge. First Class accommodates fifty-eight people, in seats of a revolutionary new design providing gentle wrap-around comfort. Comfort is concentrated in positive body support in all positions.

The sketch below illustrates one of the Boeing 747’s unusual safety features: the canvas and reinforced-rubber emergency chutes that inflate automatically, in seconds.

View-Master Pan Ams 747 (B747), Scene 3_2: Emergency Chutes Empty 747 Quickly


Tatu said...

About the picture at scene 1.1, can you tell me if this was the first Pan Am's 747?

Best regards,

Raul Quintella

Tatu said...

Excellent work, congratulations!

Raul Quintella

JAM said...

Thank you Raul! One day I hope to finish this packet and publish all the remaining pictures. It is the story of the entire flight and the booklet contains some interesting facts about the 747.

I'm not sure if this was the very first 747 for Pan Am.

Paul F said...

My family and I flew on Flight 100 from JFK during July of 1970 on their new 747. Each one had a name and ours was "Clipper Star of the Union".
Although young I recall my dad being shocked on the size of the aircraft and we all wondered about all the runway it took to lift off (up to then we had flown the much smaller on 707's and 727's).
The coach cabin which they called "Rainbow Service", was so roomy vs. the cattle car seating of today. The flight crew were top notch but really overworked given having to service all those passengers. And Pan Am had high standards.
I remember their ad's prompting "meals on wheels" as the trays were loaded into a cart and serviced as they passed your seat. Seems it did not really workout and the flight attendants (stewardess as they were called then) gave up and just carried the trays back and forth.
I also recall when they served meals put on aprons over their uniforms and those were labeled with the crews names. The entertainment system was provided by Bell and Howell and dubbed "Theater in the Air". Magazines, newspapers and of course Timetables were stocked at the front of each section
Finally everyone got a postcard with a pic of the "coach" cabin.
It was an awesome experience for a young guy like me and one I will never forget.