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"Pan Am" shows off glamour of the Jet Age

"Pan Am" glamorizes the '60s and airline travel - no one is taking off their shoes or removing their laptops here - and will surely continue to show off exotic places and pilot-stewardess relations as the show continues. ( さらに...

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How nice of the ATC to relay questions from the cockpit to Pan Am ops. Also, I never realized 707s had only about the same number of seats as an ERJ-190 jungle jet. No wonder Pan Am went bankrupt. /sarc
royalbfh 0
This show is pathetic. Microsoft Flight Simulator for the exterior shots. Really? Captain of the newest Pan Am Airplane in his 30's with the new age haircut? AND he was the one making ALL of the radio calls. What was the co pilots job? Thank goodness there were some beautiful women in this show. Not gonna be on my "to watch" list
I'll give it another go.
I'll give it two or three more viewings. The sub-plots were poorly written and kind of hard to follow. I only watched it anyway for the 707 and older aircraft shots. Casting captains of a brand new 707 who are clearly in their low 30s (if that old) was ridiculous. Some of the shots from inside the terminal to the outside were cheesy and not very realistic. A 707 was landing on a runway visible from inside the terminal that couldn't have been more than 100 feet away. The boarding ramp for the 707 flight to London did not look very practical (was this a real boarding ramp from the 60s?) I liked the Pan am signage on the (former) Pan Am Building. But too much plot, too thick, almost gave me a headache.
boarding ramp--yes. that's how the worldport ramps were built.
Back in the early '60s there weren't even jetways yet. The tech advisors, art directors, set designers, etc. blew this one big time.
I don't think it was called "Worldport" until the 747-related expansion circa 1970.
JD345 0
We're really complaining about the 707 pilots being too young... it's a TV show, folks...
Exactly. It's just a show, it's not an educational video for "how to fly a real plane in the real world, under real conditions, with proper cockpit communications."

It's just entertainment. I liked it. Will watch again.
yes, i think we are being a little anal here. As pointed out, it is a TV show, made for the masses. If they made a show that was in every which way correct to our wishes, the majority of the audience would die of boredom!
a 30 year old guy can't expect to make Captain in an Airline these days?
royalbfh 0
These days? This was supposed to be the starting of the jet age. No airline put in some "kid" in the cockpit to go across the big pond in their newest jet.. I do understand that this is a TV show and the producers have to make it entertaining.. No worries from me.. I have Top Gear:UK BBC on DVR to watch...
I agree with Zachary.
But the CGI really needs some work.
And is the whole spy thing really needed?
I was Captaining Cessna 152's and 172's at age 23!!!
I watch little TV. I was excited for this show. PanAm was my first flight experience - 707 from JFK to San Juan. But the promos were better than the show. One more try and back to football for me.
1Robertg 0
It reminded me of the movie 'Airplane' .... during the takeoff roll, instead of calling out V speeds, the pilot and co-pilot look at each other and smile. Ahhh how sweet (gag)
Yep .. LOL. The gaze between them was so intense, I thought another secondary plot line was going to develop.
I thought the program was well thought out and actuly showed concenquences of having a inapropate relationships and stayed away making it like another Desprate Housewives. I would of liked to see more vintage aircraft, but all n all I'll be watching next week to see how the spy thing works out.
I thought the show lacked a lot of actual facts. The first flight of a 707 was by Pan Am, but was in October of 1958 not June of 1964. The first flight was from Idelwild in New York to Paris, not to London and it left New York in the early evening and arrived in the early morning in Paris, not at night as the program showed it landing in London.
It was the first flight of Pan Am;s *newest* 707. Not the first 707 flight.
Haven't had a chance to watch the show yet, but if you go to the show's website, there is a very nice video about the "Real Stewardesses of Pan Am".

Worth watching IMHO. Cheers!
Navy65 0
Garbage in-garbage out. You get what you pay for. The producers of this show could profit from a technical director. 1. Seems to me that National Airlines flew the first 707 revenue passenger flight. 2. Navigators were required crew across the oceans in the early years of the jets. 3. I don't recall PAA having the NYC to Paris route; I think TWA had that route exclusively. 4. PAA did not have a Captain in the early jet years under age 50. 5. The 707's for the airline I flew for had 129 seats.
Entertainment value?? Too many technical errors to make the series enjoyable. I suspect sleaze is next in order to bolster ratings.
I agree technical expertise is required. So many people in the biz, why not keep it authentic.
the "DC-6" in the first episode was actually a DC-7B.
Yes! Thank you.
The "DC-6" seen in the first episode was actually a DC-7B:
A close friend, who forgot more about aviation than I'll ever know, send me the following observations. He writes:


I enjoyed the premiere of "Pan Am" on ABC tonight. The period sets and costumes were great, and the aviation was pretty authentic for a dramatic TV series.

Most realistic:

The shots with the HFF/Carlos Gomez DC-7. Bridget even got oil spatters on her blouse from being behind the running engines.

The Pan Am Terminal, interior and exterior. And yes, they had gangways more or less like that for pax and crew to board the airplanes, under the umbrella structure.

Uniforms, printed materials, decor in the airplane cabin, configuration of cabin.

Medium realistic:

Sikorsky S-58 helicopter liftoff from Pan Am Building. Except Pan Am (sic: it was New York Airways) didn't have S-58s, they had Vertols...

They departed from what looks to be old Gate 8 (now Gate 18), the one against the roadway fence on the north side. But an inaugural flight going to primo destination London would have much more likely gone from Gates 4 or 5, the two gates on the end that had separate boarding lounge and nose-dock loading bridges.

Not so realistic:

There was no "Clipper Majestic" in real life.

The 707 depicted (digital creation) was a 707-321 with straight JT4A turbojets. But in 1963, new Pan Am 707s were 707-321B models with JT3D turbofans. Mind you, Pan Am was operating 707-321s, but those were built 1959-61.

A young guy like that would *not* have made Captain in 1963. And any new Captain with Pan Am would have first been left seat on the Convairliner or maybe DC-6, not the 707.

Pilots would not look at each other and grin on critical takeoff roll.

Engine gauges did not register as thrust levers were advanced.

Flight crew had direct HF contact with PanOp, did not nead to realy through Boston Center or Gander Oceanic, but thanks for having the correct ATC facilities.

The cabin lighting was not nearly so bright and airy in 1963 jets.. Forgive them for the tremendous headroom and space in the 707, that's standard and necessary to shoot watchable film.

end quote.
This blog has a shot of a real one with a PA DC-8:

You have to scroll down.
twhiteca 0
Ah-hah - I told my wife that that was no DC6 but a DC7 and I never saw a 4, a 6 or a 7 that smoked like the aircraft in the show after they made their initial first bang and the prop got moving. I alway remembered the 6 with the little individual "shotgun" exhaust stubs not the bigger collectors.

And how many of the major carriers had female "pursers" in the 50's and 60's - I don't think that women made the assault on that male bastion title until much later.

Not too many East Indian flight engineers either in those days.
Not a TSA agent in site. Do miss when the passengers didn't look like WalMart refugees.
1Robertg 0
That was supposed to be 1963. 'Walmart Refugees' and TSA did not exist back then.
Having been around the airlines back in this time. I noticed too many inaccuracies to really take this show seriously. Normally I'm pretty good at suspending disbelief, but not this time. The story about the stewardesses being cold war spies is great and they should concentrate on that. Plus, I have never seen a cockpit crew so young. They look and act like they are going out cruising instead of flying a jet airliner. And, the bar scenes with pilots drinking? Tacky. Yes, it happened, but c'mon.
J T 0
I wasn't prepared to hear so much criticism over a "TV" show. What ever happened to just enjoying the show for what it is? How would the ratings have been if they got Ed Grimly as the captain? Think about it folks! It was created to be an escape back to times when people actually dressed up to travel and flying was an adventure. Don't be so critical...really its just television. Either enjoy it or turn the channel and watch something else. I'm sure history channel has a marathon of ice road farmers or the greedy pawn shop idiots if you prefer slime. I actually enjoyed the show and thought it was well acted and details inside the plane were impressive.
How can I see this video? Help!...
J T 0
You can watch the first two that have aired on this link
I think that this show is just as stupid as can be and as far from what the real Pan Am was all about. I am pilot a knew Juan Trippe when I lived in East Hampton N.Y. If he could have he would have grounded this stupid and insipid show before it ever got on the air.
It is not a show about the 60s it is also full of politically correct messages from the the now. If one wants to see woman in there underwear there are plenty of shows to do that. To use the great Pan Am name for this totally misguided show is a total rewrite of history. I mean you might as well say that dinosaurs flew the aircraft some people will believe it. I hope it is a true crash and burn program.
Now a well done program about Pan Am would be great, it’s connection to Charles Lindbergh and the pioneering work that Trippe and Lindberg did in developing the South American route structure let alone the intrigue of the Pacific Flying boats and all the Island stops, I guess I will have to wait for Masterpiece Theater to do something of substance.
J T 0
see my comment above Michael. It is just a tv show with a retro airline theme. Think about it more as a tribute to Pan Am instead of something historically accurat which it is not.
JT I guess I'm just tired of the dumbing down of America.
J T 0
That would be the main reason I have disconnected from mainstream cable tv. I still keep my locals and have access to international channels but I no longer have to sit through Ancient Aliens, Ice road truckers, shows glorifying violence and gangs and the biggest cancer which are reality tv shows. Pan Am is not even close to being on the same level as the other pond scum we have to sit through.
I wonder if people complained about the realism of other shows like LOST or Family Guy.
1Robertg 0
Well, considering that this is an 'aviation' blog, I believe that the focus is on 'aviation realism'.
royalbfh 0
Well let'e see, as far as I can tell, "Family Guy" is a cartoon, so I really don't expect it to be real. As for "Lost"? well, ......
The jury is still out for me on this TV show but I just can't remember what year Navigators were removed from commerical Trans-Atlantic flights. The show mentioned the JFK-LHR flight was in 1963 and I figured that they were missing the 4th crew member.
I'll admit...I enjoyed watching it. Probably more so for the B707, DC-6, and DC-3 goodness, but overall will more than likely watch another episode.
It did help to bring back the glamor of the '60s and the spacious leg room of days of old but yes, I do could without the "Flight-Sim" video footage done for the exterior <lol>
YIP - EE - KI - OH - KI - A . united airlines also did the same thing, WONDERFULL WAS IT NOT!
1Robertg 0
Wow, thinking back to the early 80's when I was with QH .... maybe some of those F/a's did do covert work for the cia ... Hmmmmm
I think it's pretty safe to say some of them amazing "undercover" work.
It was a beautiful time DC4, DC6 with many adventures during travel.
Shame on you all!!! I just watched this show online and that was an hour of my life I wont get back. The ladies were hot though.


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