Posts tagged ‘boeing’

Jets and Rockets!

Bell X-15 Rocket Plane and Boeing B-52 Flyover (Public Domain)

The Cold War was an amazing time of wholesale fear tied to the rise of technology.

As world powers tread lightly on subjects of military might, atomic weapons, and troop deployments, the engineering behind the power was being displayed and used in other ways.  Rocket power and jet bombers were perfect examples of technology which had come to fruition in the 1950s, and ultimately fine-tuned into the factors we see in the picture above.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Bell X-15 and the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress.

The X-15 was built to test the limits of aerospace technology, operating from 1959 to 1970 with NASA.  It set many records in both speed and altitude,

An American icon of power and aviation, the B-52 first flew in 1954 and went into service with the US Air Force in 1955.  Of the original 744 built through 1962, about 85 continue to fly.  I started looking for cool B-52 pictures recently after reading that the planes were now being configured with Sniper Pods, which will make them an even-more effective tool when collaborating air strikes with ground forces.  Current fitment timelines have it flying – with continuous maintenance – until its full retirement in the 2040s.

That’s right; it will be flying the skies in our military for nearly 90 years.

HL-10 Lifting Body and B-52 Flyover (Public Domain)

 

Now that’s what I call Long Range!

The Friendly Skies [1968]

United Airlines Stewardesses [1968]

Courtesy San Diego Air & Space Museum

There was a time when people traveled in something other than sweats and slip-ons.

And security was taken care of at the gate, no shoe removal required.  Flight attendants were called stewardesses, which at the time made sense because the term Steward was given to service personnel who took care of the traveler.  Many facets of air travel have changed; while I would never consider taking a “short hop” flight to places like Spokane or Portland from Seattle, because it would take me longer to get through security than it would to fly there.  While to the younger segments of our society this is standard, many of us remember when air travel was kinder on the soul.

Bad Apples who wanted to do us harm changed all that.

At Portland International Airport 05/1973

The fact remains that flying was once glamorous and fun, especially during the 1960s glory days.  It was the closest thing to space most of us would ever see.  Rarely was a motto so accurate: The Friendly Skies.  I still love flying, just not at the same levels as I did at 14.  I’m still amazed that a huge metal tube can hurl through thin air without falling.  Goofy me: I still love looking out the window at the passing Earth below.

While the golden age of air travel may be long past, it lives on with vibrance in an unexpected place: Pinterest.  In the past year I have found more airline, airliner, and flight crew photos on Pinterest than anywhere else.  It’s clear that people have a love for the style and feeling of the age, which embodied a sense of hope for air travel’s future that was seemingly quelled when hijackers started ruining the trips.

So today, thanks to the Internet, we can continue flying The Friendly Skies. Shoe removal not required.

Eastern Airlines Commercial [1965]

Glimpses of Lockheed, Boeing 720, and 727 airliners – in glorious Black & White.  I love the screech of a 1960s jet engine.  Rest In Peace Eastern Airlines [1926 – 1991]

EAL 727 N8154G

Courtesy Michael Bludworth (Creative Commons Lic.)

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