I only flew on a "Connie" one time.
I believe you are correct. Electra was prime, Connie backups, after that DC-9 prime Electra backups, eventually 727 prime DC-9 backup, finally all 727. (Well there was a period when A-300s went to Logan but not Washington)IIRC I saw them in regular use on Eastern Shuttle back in the mid-'60s at Boston Logan.
Absolutely, The B25 had a very distinct sound. Very loud. I watched 17 fly out of Orange County Airport where they had been refurbished for the movie Catch 22. and were heading for the shooting location in Guymas Mexico. My brother Mike.As a kid growing up in Levittown New York (which at one time had three small General Aviation airports) the Connie was just about worshiped between my brother and me. Seen heading to Idlewild (prior to 1964 now JFK) we’d watch them on a hot summer day until they were out of site.
We compared the tri-rudder Connie with the twin tail B-25 Mitchell that our Dad flew in WW2. When my Dad was ten the idea of seeing Lindbergh’s plane takeoff - biking 20 miles, Bayside to Roosevelt Field - was nixed by his Father. For a couple decades Roosevelt Field was the epicenter of aircraft development. 25/30 years after the Spirit of Saint Lewis flight - the Connie become in use along with Boeing 707 - another biggie.!
Airplane sitings were fun and you’d ask “Was it a Connie?” But the ultimate siting was on the only Day ever my brother and I accompanied my Dad to his workplace, yet on a Saturday in the early 60s. As we were walking downtown NYC my Dad stopped us in our tracks. “Listen” “Lookup” he said. The airplane engine noise became more and more pronounced. It then was DIRECTLY overhead - it was a B-25 flying out of the Brooklyn Navy Yard airport.
It would be last time for my Dad to see a B-25 Mitchell in military service. Although this one was converted to be a passenger plane from bomber. So, there the three of us, somewhat stunned, somewhat overjoyed headed to a surprise my Dad was keeping / lunch at the Horne & Hardart Automat.
BUT WAIT there’s more. Minutes after the siting and happily on the way to the Automat - a pigeon swoop over me and bombed the heck out of my head. My Dad and bro couldn’t stop laughing. Fortunately my Dad had a handkerchief in his suit pocket. Then later I clean up at the Automat ... and that’s the rest of the story!
That would be a great throw down of what’s the loudest - B-25 or a Connie. : I lifted the B-25 engine sounds from Catch22 for a war film my Dad filmed in 8mm which I’n restoring now in 10K.
Interesting…. Both the Constellation and the DC 7 had R-3350 Duplex Cyclones. The DC 6 had the Pratt and Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp. The R-3350 was such an interesting power plant with its turbo-compound setup of turbines driven by exhaust gas geared to the crankshaft to delivery more efficiency and power.I worked graveyard shift cleaning planes for United Airlines at LAX back in the day of piston powered aircraft. Most of the time you tell the difference from a Douglas DC 6 or 7 from a TWA Constellation on final. It was too dark to see the plane but you could hear that Cyclone engine barking. (Backfiring) going over the threshold . Another long gone happening, TWA flight engeneers always walked out on the wing and sticked the fuel tanks before a flight.
There are still a few places a civilian can land on a PAR approach. KSTJ St Joseph MO, KCYS Cheyenne WY, KFHU Sierra Vista AZ, KPSM Portsmouth NH, KTOI Troy AL, and KVUJ Albemarle, NC (it may not be a complete list). I have looked at trying the one into St Jo as a training exercise but it is continually NOTAMmed inop. There does seem to be at least one ASR approach in many states (radar course guidance, no glide slope just step down altitudes, higher minimums).Another interesting aspect of the film was seeing the state of Air Traffic Control / Navaids in 1953. Looks like they were still using the low frequency ADF's with VOR's still in their infancy. No Air Route Traffic Control Center, the plane was more or less on its own until it contacted Approach Control. The use of the Precision Approach Radar (PAR) with course and glide slope monitoring, I think at least in commercial aviation that was phased out early on in favor of better ILS systems. In the USAF we were still doing PAR approaches, I witnessed some of them at our RAPCON when I was in Communications Maintenance at Cannon AFB, Clovis NM. I recall we still had a low frequency beacon as the T-33 trainers had an ADF as a backup to the TACAN system (military version of the VOR) but none of the other aircraft used ADF anymore and it was decommissioned when the T-33's were retired.
Thanks for posting the link to the film BTW.
Yeah, my memories are just from trying to guess whether it was a United landing or one of the other airlines landing. If it was barking just before touching down I thought TWA as they flew Lockheed.Interesting…. Both the Constellation and the DC 7 had R-3350 Duplex Cyclones. The DC 6 had the Pratt and Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp. The R-3350 was such an interesting power plant with its turbo-compound setup of turbines driven by exhaust gas geared to the crankshaft to delivery more efficiency and power.
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