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Commerical Jet Travel in the Super70s

By Patrick Mondout

The age when only the wealthy traveled through the air ended with deregulation, but this was not the only innovation that transformed air travel in the Super70s. Some of the biggest, sexiest, and most popular civilian aircraft off all-time flew for the first time in our favorite decade.

We're talking about aircraft such as the Boeing 747, Concorde, McDonnell Douglas DC-10, and the Lockheed L-1011 TriStar). We're also talking about the planes that were still in the sky from the beginning of the jet era (included a special look back on the jet that started it all: the de Havilland Comet) through the sixties. In addition to those above, we also cover the 707, 720, 737, A300, A310, BAC-111, Caravelle, Convair-880, Convair-990, DC-8, DC-9, VC10, as well as Soviet aircraft such as the Tu-134, Tu-144, Tu-154, and the Il-62. (You can choose an aircraft from the drop down list on the far left of any of our aviation pages.) We also have aircraft of the 1980s.

Of course someone has to fly all these wonderful machines. From the small regional carriers like PSA and Southwest that grew up after deregulation to the major US carriers like Eastern, Delta and TWA to the international airlines such as KLM, BOAC and El Al, we're covering as many airlines as we can! (See list below.)

The introduction of the wide-body aircraft in the early Super70s made higher death counts in aviation accidents inevitable. By the end of the decade, all 10 of the top 10 worst aviation disasters had taken place in the previous 10 years. (You might think that is always the case, but by the end of the Awesome80s, four accidents from the Super70s were still on the list including what remains the worst of all time.) Take a look at our list of some of the worst disasters with links to 50 selected accident reports.

And no look at commercial aviation in the Super70s would be complete without an article on D.B. Cooper's exploits.

Navigation note: Throughout these pages you will see a pair of drop down lists on the far left of the page for both aircraft and airlines. These should help you navigate through the major airlines and jets we are covering.

Airnikon

We'd like to thank Airnikon for allowing us to use many of his great pictures. Our aviation sections would be far less colorful without his contributions. Thanks Mike!

Image courtesy of AirNikon. Find more of his photos at Airliners.net


We've received permission from NASA to include a number of articles first commissioned by and first appeared on NASA's U.S. Centennial of Flight web site. We gratefully acknowledge the authors, the commission, and NASA.

Here's a list of the airlines we're attempting to cover (with your help):
Aeroamerica
Aeroflot

Air California
Air Canada
Air Florida

Air France

Alaska

Allegheny / USAir

Aloha

American

Arrow

Braniff

British Airways (BOAC and BEA)
  
Capitol Air

Cathay Pacific

Continental

Delta

Eastern

El-Al

Frontier

Hawaiian

JAL

KAL
KLM
Laker

Lufthansa

Midway

National

Northwest

Overseas National (ONA)
Ozark
Pan-Am

Piedmont
PSA
Qantas

SAS

Southeast

Southern

Southwest

Swissair

Texas International

Transamerica

TWA

United

Western

World

(And more on Awesome80s.com.)

 

References:

Heppenheimer, T.A. Turbulent Skies. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.1995.
Montgomery, Jeff, executive editor. Aerospace: The Journey of Flight. Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama: Civil Air Patrol, 2000.
Pattillo, Donald M. Pushing the Envelope: The American Aircraft Industry. Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan Press, 1998.
Rodgers, Eugene. Flying High: The Story of Boeing and the Rise of the Jetliner Industry. New York: The Atlantic Monthly Press, 1996.
Serling, Robert J. Legend and Legacy: The Story of Boeing and Its People. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1992.
Gunston, Bill. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Commercial Aircraft. New York: Phoebus Publishing Co., 1980.
Mansfield, Harold. Vision, the Story of Boeing. New York: Madison Publishing, 1986.
Sabbagh, Karl. Twenty-First Century Jet: The Making and Marketing of the Boeing 777. New York: Scribner, 1996.


 

FLYING FACTS

Don't worry, this KLM 747 is not in distress. I've altered its orientation for convenience sake only!

AirNikon photo


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