(Originally submitted by: David Bellamy)
We’ve traveled backwards against the tailwinds of time in recent weeks, revisiting what it was like to fly in the birth of the commercial airline industry in the 1930s and then looking back on how innovation and industry really began to pump the gas in the 1940s. Now we get along to the real meat and potatoes (carved by hand and served on fine china in first class, naturally). Welcome to the golden age of commercial aviation! This is what it was like to fly in the 1950s:
Welcome to The Jet Age. The Boeing 707 made its first flight on December 20, 1957, and was put into commercial service the following October by Pan Am. Boeing had dedicated $16 million in the 50s to develop a commercial jet of its own following the tragic British de Havilland Comet midair explosions. At $142,807,547.16 with today’s inflation, Boeing president William Allen is said to have bet the company on the jet’s success, putting up nearly the entire profit that Boeing had earned since the end of WWII. And you know what? It worked. Boeing may have made the 707, but the 707 also made Boeing, and continued to be sold until 1994.