Many of us haven’t seen the inside of a plane since the beginning of the COIVD-19 pandemic. With more opportunities to travel on our horizons, we can reminisce on the flights of yesteryear with hope rather than despair. Bermuda has always been a hub for air travel, and when the tourism industry was booming Pan Am and other airlines made traveling to our island an event within itself.
APRIL 1 1930: A single-engined Stinson monoplane, Pilot Radio, arrived here from New York, the first aeroplane to make the flight. Courtesy of The Bermudian archives
“Bermuda Bound… Pan Am’s First Class passengers destined for Bermuda are in for a special treat. They can begin their trip right from Manhattan’s East 60th Street Heliport where the airline provides free helicopter service directly to Pan Am’s Worldport Terminal at Kennedy International Airport for First Class and Clipper Class passengers. Flight time: Eight minutes! The twin-engine Bell 222 seats six passengers and has two pilots.”
Specially Trained for service on jets were Pan American World Airways flight attendants who post with one of the five original Boeing 707 delivered to Pan Am in 1958. Powered by Pratt & Whitney JT3C6 engines, the Pan Am 707 inaugurated regular scheduled jet service on Oct 26, 1958 – service which continued uninterrupred across the transatlantic to such destinations as Paris, London and Rome. Today’s Pan Am jetliners fly to some 93 U.S. and international destinations around the world. Courtesy of The Bermudian archives
On June 18, 1837 Pan American Airways flew this 4-engine Bermuda Clipper, a Sikorsky flying boat, to the island in less than 6 hours. It was the first transatlantic passenger flight. The seaplane landed in Hamilton Harbor and the 24 passengers were taken to Hamilton in launches. Courtesy of The Bermudian archives