Tag: flying

10 Pan Am Facts You Should Know

Pan Am was one of the most iconic and innovative companies that have ever existed. What started as a simple mail and passenger service grew into an airline that spanned 6 continents and connected millions of travelers each year. Pan Am was an innovator and one of the main reasons why aviation is the way it is today.

Creating the Jumbo Jet (Boeing 747)

During the 1960’s, Juan Trippe pressured Boeing into developing an aircraft twice the size of the Boeing 707. This is how the 747 was born. Juan Trippe had hands on involvement with the development of this revolutionary new aircraft.

Launch Customer

Pan Am was the launch customer for both the Boeing 707 and Boeing 747 aircraft.

6 Continents Club

At its peak in 1968, Pan Am flew to 86 countries on all six continents over a route network of 81,410 miles (131,000 km).

Humble Beginnings

Pan Am was founded in 1927 as a scheduled air mail and passenger service with flights between Key West (Florida) and Havana (Cuba).

International Air Transport Association (IATA)

Pan Am was the founding member of the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Supersonic Flying

Pan Am was among the first airlines to sign options to purchase the famous supersonic Concorde. However, Pan Am never took delivery of the aircraft along with other airlines. The only airlines to take delivery of the Concorde were BOAC (British Airways) and Air France. Pan Am was the first U.S. airline to sign a purchase order for 15 of the Boeing 2707 (American version of the Concorde), however, this aircraft never made it off the drawing board due to Congress voting against funding it.

The Worldport

Pan Am built an airport terminal called the “Worldport”. This building was located at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York. It was designed with an elliptical four acre roof that suspended from the outside columns of the terminal. This designed was intended to allow the passengers to get on and off the aircraft via stairs without getting wet since the front of the aircraft is under the overhang. Once the jetbridge was introduced, this feature became obsolete.

More than just an airline…

Pan Am was more than just an airline. Pan Am owned the InterContinental Hotel chain, which would play a part in opening hotels and resorts around the world. In 1945, President Roosevelt and Juan Trippe, the head of Pan Am, met to discuss their concerns over Latin America. They came up with an idea to offer luxury hotels in key cities to attract both businessmen and tourists. The hotels would also be important for the crews of Pan Am and their passengers in destinations where luxury hotels were non-existent. Intercontinental Hotel Corporation was created in 1946, and opened its first property in Belem, Brazil. The chain would continue to grow and expand to its present numbers of 180 hotels and resorts.

The Berlin Wall

Pan Am operated a high frequency network of flights between West Germany and West Berlin during the Cold War days. These flights lasted from 1950 until 1990 with Douglas DC-4 and DC-6B aircraft, until they were later replaced with Boeing 727’s.

Record Setting Flight

During the outbreak of World War II in the Pacific, a Pan Am Clipper named (Pacific Clipper) was flying to New Zealand from San Francisco. Instead of risking being potentially shot down on their return eastward journey, they decided to take the much longer route back by going west. This flight covered 31,500 miles (59,694 km) and became the first commercial aircraft to circumnavigate the world.

When Horses Fly… Wait. They Do Fly.

Horses are a beautiful and majestic animal, and they are also a good friend to airlines and the revenue they bring in for transport. The average cost of transporting a horse via airplane is between $25,000 to $40,000 depending on the length of the flight. However, these horses aren’t sitting in First Class and drinking Champagne. Instead, there is a whole process setup for these horses to travel safely and humanely.

The horses who typically travel by air are the top 1% of all horses in the world. These can include race horses, show horses, jumping, and breeding. Chances are, you won’t see the 99:1 long shot horse from your local track hoping on a flight across the world.

When a horse is preparing to travel, there is actually an entire team of people that travel with the horses in these specially outfitted cargo/transport aircraft. Some of the people that typically travel with the horses are grooms, masseurs, chiropractors, doctors, and sometimes even horse-psychologists.

The horses are transported inside stall like containers, however, the horse is not placed in the container and loaded onto the flight like cargo. Instead, the horse would walk on board the aircraft and on to the base of a special collapsible cargo container. The horse will spin around on the pallet, and the container itself would be erected around them. This process is much less stressful to the horse and carries less risk of injuries occurring.

With many horses traveling on older aircraft (for example, Boeing 727), the value of the horses far exceed the value of the aircraft they are flying in. These horses are typically insured for hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars. Their worth is not just in the ability to race or jump, but also the studding fees once their career is over.

The world of Equine Flights is rather interesting and we encourage those with more details to share their stories below!