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Old 01-27-2015, 09:10 PM   #28
Scraping Paint
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Yeah, the trans-oceanic flying boat days must have been great (as long as you didn't know there was a much faster means of getting there just around the corner). Boeing built twelve Model 314s, the so-called Clipper. Half went to Pan Am, the other half went to BOAC. Unfortunately, none of them have survived. The last one was being used as a charter (?) plane in the Carribean in the 1950s (I think). One day it made a forced landing at sea due to some sort of fairly minor engine problem. The USCG came along and took off all the passengers and crew (and put a big dent in the nose in the process) and then sank the plane with gunfire as a hazard to navigation.

We have a color film in our library of a typical flight in the Clipper during its heyday. The film shows the passengers boarding from a launch, the flight deck and the crew going about their duties, the passengers during the day enjoying the scenery and meals, then the berths being made up and the passengers going to bed for the night. Nice way to travel.

You can have something of the same experience on Emirates in their first-class roomettes. Fully enclosed compartment, full size bed, bar that comes up out of the counter at the push of a button, huge video screen, meals prepared to order. and so on. Ticket price one way from Seattle to Dubai is, as I recall, somewhere north of $10,000.

The Boeing Clipper fare was probably similar in 1930s dollars. Maybe even more.
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