Great Moments in Travel History – November 2013

By Jesse Sokolow on 1 November 2013
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Boeing's 747-8 in Lufthansa livery

Boeing’s 747-8 in Lufthansa livery

On November 21, 1783, the first free flight with human passengers was launched.  Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier and François Laurent le Vieux d’Arlandes drifted approximately five miles (eight kilometers) in France in a balloon powered by a wood fire.  In attendance was U.S. envoy Benjamin Franklin.

The Hotel Kämp in Helsinki, Finland, opened its doors on November 1, 1887.  The hotel is still in operation today, and is part of Starwood’s Luxury Collection of hotels.

Delag, which stands for Deutsche Luftschiffahrts Aktiengesellschaft (German for Airship Travel Corporation), the world’s first airline, was founded on November 16, 1909.  Headquartered in Frankfurt, Germany, the airline operated airships manufactured by the Zeppelin Corporation.

The first municipal airport in the U.S. opened in Tucson, Arizona, on November 20, 1919.  Today, it is called Tucson International Airport.

Finnair, the flag carrier of Finland,  was founded on November 1, 1923, by Bruno Lucander, who previously had been in charge of Finnish operations for Aeronaut, an Estonian airline.  It is the country’s largest airline and the fifth oldest airline in the world that is still operating.

The Baker Hotel in Mineral Wells, Texas, opened its doors on November 9, 1929.  The hotel is on the National Register of Historic Places, and was featured on an episode of the Travel Channel’s TV show Ghost Adventures.

On November 28-29, 1929, Commander Richard E. Byrd made the first flight over the South Pole in a Ford Trimotor piloted by Bernt Balchen and two American pilots. During this first expedition to Antarctica, Byrd established a base located on the Bay of Whales that he named Little America.

The Boeing B-29 Pacusan Dreamboat set a world nonstop distance record of 8,198 miles (13,193 kilometers) on a flight from Guam to Washington, D.C. on November 20, 1945.

On November 28, 1945, Pan American World Airways ordered 20 Boeing Stratocruisers (Model 377).  The aircraft was a commercial version of the C-97 military transport.

The Douglas DC-7 began service with American Airlines on November 4, 1953, allowing the company to offer coast-to-coast, nonstop service.  The DC-7 was the last piston-engine powered transport made by Douglas.

On November 15, 1956, a Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) Douglas DC-7C set a new distance record for commercial airliners when it flew 6,005 miles (9,664 kilometers) nonstop from Los Angeles to Stockholm, Sweden.  The aircraft followed the Arctic great circle route on its flight.

The first production Boeing 727-100 rolled out on November 27, 1962.  It made its first flight on February 9, 1963, and on November 3, of that year, a Boeing 727 completed a 76,000-mile (122,310-kilometer) world tour, visiting 26 countries.  The aircraft is a mid-size, narrow-body three-engine jet.

On November 20, 1974, Lufthansa Flight 540, a Boeing 747-100, crashed after departing Nairobi, Kenya, killing 59 of the 157 people onboard.

Click here to continue to Page 2MGM Grand, Boeing 747-8, Jumbo Jet Stamps, and Charleston, S.C.

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