Vintage Luxury: Boeing 314 Clipper

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by jpatokal, Feb 18, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. jpatokal
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    jpatokal Silver Member

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    I'd heard vague rumors before about the awesomeness of Pan Am's Clippers, but until I found the link below I didn't really have any idea what the whole story was... and it blows my mind that air travel in one of these in the 1930s was arguably more luxurious than the fanciest modern "suite" (still just an overgrown chair) in a sparking new A380!

    [​IMG]

    Vintage Luxury: Boeing 314 Flying Boat in Detail

    (see also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_314 )
     
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  2. JasonH
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    JasonH Silver Member

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    Yes, the Pan Am Clipper fleet was extremely luxurious. I picked up a book on the history of the Pan Am Clippers and read through it in a day. The level of luxury and attention to detail was amazing. Juan Tripp wanted to create luxury liners in the air and I think he succeeded. Pan Am pushed the boundaries of what was technically feasible with their aircraft designs. It is really sad that no B-314s survived. There is a mock-up in a museum in Ireland, but that is it.
     
  3. misman
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    misman Gold Member

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    However, that luxury came at a steep price, I assume, and would probably not be affordable to most of us today... even with points.
     
  4. JasonH
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    JasonH Silver Member

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    I think I read that in 1936 it cost $6000 per person round-trip from SFO-AUK. Which is something like $96,000 today. I'd have to find the book at the library again to verify that, but it is a number that sticks in my mind.
     
  5. Sean
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    Sean Gold Member

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    Wikipedia lists some old ticket prices: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_314

    Apparently SFO-HKG was $768 one way in 1939 and "only" $675 roundtrip to Southhampton.

    From the article, basically if you could afford the Concorde in 2006 then you were at the level that could afford the 314.


     
  6. JasonH
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    JasonH Silver Member

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    I do know SFO-HKG was also served by the Martin flying boats. Same with Southhampton. Only the B-314 could make the SFO-AUK run so it was a premium run. Maybe it was $3000 round-trip and I just doubled it. Either way, it wasn't cheap, but it would have been an amazing journey.

    Incidentally I recreated the flight of the Pacific Clipper when she flew SFO-AUK-LGA (actual routing SFO-HNL-CIS-SUV-NOU-AUK-GLT-DRW-SUB-TRR-KHI-BAH-KRT-FIH-NAT-POS-LGA) in Flight Simulator X using a 738. It was amazing to think of them flying that route without using GPS or VOR. It was literally like an ocean going ship with wings.
     
  7. Sean
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    Sean Gold Member

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    What was the title of the book?
     
  8. JasonH
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    JasonH Silver Member

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