Great Moments in Travel History – August 2014

Lobby staircase, Ritz-Carlton, Vienna

Lobby staircase, Ritz-Carlton, Vienna

By Jesse Sokolow on 1 August 2014
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The United Kingdom officially entered the First World War on August 4, 1914, with a declaration of war against Germany.

The International Air Traffic Association was formed on August 28, 1919, in The Hague, Holland.  The organization is the predecessor to the International Air Transport Association, which currently represents 240 airlines that make up approximately 84% of all airlines’ passenger carrying capacity.

On August 18, 1934, Jeannette and Jean Piccard flew the “Century of Progress” balloon from Dearborn, Michigan to an altitude of 57,579 feet (17,550 meters), setting an altitude record for female balloonists that would hold for three decades.  Jeannette Piccard was the first licensed female balloon pilot and the first woman to fly into the stratosphere.

On August 20, 1935, Boeing test pilot Les Tower flew the Model 299 aircraft nonstop from Seattle, Washington, to Dayton, Ohio, and established an unofficial record of flying 2,100 miles (3,379 kilometers) at an average speed of 232 miles per hour (373 kilometers per hour).

On August 13, 1940, a major airplane crash occurred near Canberra, Australia.  All ten people aboard the RAAF Lockheed Hudson bomber perished in the crash, including three members of the Australian Cabinet and the Chief of the General Staff.

The last of the famous Douglas Skymasters to be built, DC-4 number 1,242, was delivered by Douglas Aircraft to South African Airways on August 11, 1947.

Pan American World Airways took delivery of the country’s first commercial jet airliner, a Boeing 707-120, on August 15, 1958, four months ahead of schedule.  Clipper America, with 111 passengers on board, entered service in October of that year on a flight from New York’s Idlewild airport (currently JFK International) to Le Bourget in Paris, France, with a refueling stop in Gander, Ireland .  The 707 remained in production through 1979 and is credited with having ushered in the jet age.

The Douglas DC-10, the first jumbo jet from Douglas, made its first flight on August 29, 1970, and officially entered into service (with launch customer American Airlines) on August 5, 1971.  The aircraft is a three-engine wide-body jet that can carry up to 380 passengers.

The Königs Wusterhausen air disaster occurred on August 14, 1972, when an Interflug Illyushin II-62 crashed shortly after takeoff from Berlin Schönefeld Airport in Germany.  All 156 people onboard the plane died, in what was the second deadliest aviation accident at the time, and remains the deadliest aviation accident in Germany’s history.

On August 3, 1973, the Grand Central Hotel, located on Broadway between Bond Street and Great Jones Street in New York City, collapsed killing four and injuring twelve.  Designed by Henry Engelbert, the hotel opened in 1870 and featured an elegant façade with elaborate mansards with dormers in the French Second Empire style.

Chautauqua Airlines, now part of Republic Airways, began operations on August 1, 1974 with a flight from Jamestown, N.Y. to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

On August 3, 1975, a Royal Air Maroc flight on the way to Agadir Inezgane Airport in Morocco, crashed into a mountain killing all 188 passengers and crew.  The incident remains the deadliest ever to involve a Boeing 707.

Click here to continue to Page 2Boeing 757 Start of Production, Boeing Merges with McDonnell Douglas, and ANA Buys the Pan Am Flight Academy

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