Page 12

Frontiers May 2013 Issue

across the Pacific—San Francisco to Sin-gapore. In June 1939, regular trans-Atlantic passenger service began from New York to Marseille. The service was twice weekly, weather permitting, and took about 23 hours. The cost one way was $395, or about $6,500 in today’s dollars. Those who could afford to fly in the Clipper were treated as if in a luxury hotel. Although the plane could accommodate 10 crew and 74 passengers, most overnight flights carried fewer than 30 passengers. The 314’s inte-rior included a separate honeymoon suite known as the “Deluxe Compartment,” fully set dining room tables, a bar, a full-service galley, and passenger compartments with plush chairs, sleeping berths and vanities. But the 314 was introduced as war clouds gathered over Europe, making the 12 BOEING FRONTIERS / MAY 2013 Atlantic routes covered by the Clipper a vital military lifeline. Of Pan American’s 12 Clip-pers, three were used by British Overseas Airways Corp. and the rest drafted into service with the U.S. military. One of those military Clippers served as the first “Air Force One,” transporting Franklin D. Roosevelt from Miami to the Casablanca Conference in Morocco in January 1943, where the U.S. president met with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill to discuss war strategy. As amazing as the Clippers were, the rapid pace of technology during the war drove flying boats into obsolescence. Even as the Clipper entered service, aircraft such as the Focke-Wulf FW-200 Condor and the pressurized Boeing 307 Stratoliner were able to cross the Atlantic, foretelling a future dominated by land-based transports. After a mere decade of service the Clippers disappeared—all were scuttled or scrapped. But the Clipper began the Boeing heritage of pioneering large, globe-spanning commercial planes that would eventually make airline service possible for everyone, not just a privileged few. Today, Boeing’s emphasis on an outstand-ing passenger experience on all of its jetliners, especially the 787 Dreamliner, is a tribute to the romance of flight symbolized by the Boeing Clipper, a plane that after 75 years still serves as a reminder that air travel once was, and can still be, a thrilling adventure. n michael.j.lombardi@boeing.com Read more about the Clipper on Page 30. To see a related video, visit www.boeing.com/frontiers/videos/may2 HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE


Frontiers May 2013 Issue
To see the actual publication please follow the link above