Fiftieth Anniversary of Transcontinental Nonstops

By | January 25, 2009

Introduction to the Jet Age

The Census Bureau reminded us that today, January 25th is the 50th anniversary of the first scheduled, nonstop flight from Los Angeles to New York, operated by American Airlines using the Boeing 707 jet aircraft, which was the inauguration of domestic jet service. Many omit the National Airlines usage of the aircraft beginning December 10, 1958, when it used leased 707s to flying between New York and Miami. American did start the first transcontinental service.

With their service, American had an advantage over its two competitors on the route, TWA and United Airlines, neither having anticipated the imminent need for jets. TWA scrambled and received its first 707 in March of 1959, whereas Delta and United Airlines received their first jets, Douglas DC-8s in September of that year.

The Boeing 707 was already used by Pan Am for international service from New York to Paris with a fuel stop in Newfoundland. The last aircraft operated in the United States was operated in 1983 by TWA. For more information on the jet age, check out Delta’s blog tribute to the 50th anniversary of the international launch.

Truly it has been an amazing fifty years of commercial aviation.

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