My last post made me aware of something that I had not known before regarding the Beatles and the planes they flew on. I hope you will all forgive me if I post something a little bit different today - a little bit of history with some hostie connections thrown in. It will bring my Beatles series to an end.
The Fab Four flew on many different airlines - there is film footage of them standing on the steps of many different aircraft at London Airport, Orly, Arlanda and many more but the royalties for these clips are very expensive. Such was the newsworthiness of these four young men who really did change modern culture permanently around the globe.
They flew with many different airlines - obviously BOAC and Pan Am, but also BEA, SAS, American, TWA, Qantas, TAA. The aircraft varied also but most pics show the flagships of the time - DC-8s, Caravelles, Connies, Electras and especially B707's.
Here is an assortment of pics...
Here are the Beatles arriving at Schiphol in Amsterdam. The aircraft is a Sud Caravelle (check out the funky windows!) and I believe that the pic may be their return from their tour of Denmark on 5 June, 1964. I think those are SAS stewardesses just inside the aircraft door.
Here is another shot of the band being mobbed by reporters on arrival in Frankfurt - the poor hostie is being crushed!
THis one is on the tarmac at Liverpool after a successful tour abroad. The BEA hostess is among the contingent walking across to the terminal.
Although it is often assumed that this pic is the Beatles arriving in Sydney for the start of their 1964 tour on June 11, it is actually taken at London Airport on their arrival home at the end of a harrying tour on July 2, 1964. The trip to Australia was made on a BOAC B707, having done a concert in Hong Kong on the 10th. The flight was via Singapore with an overnight stop in Darwin for refuelling (yes - they were even mobbed there) before arriving in Sydney in a downpour and being paraded before the assembled m***** at Mascot on the back of an open truck, soaked to the bones despite the umbrellas provided by TAA in something of a marketing coup!
This more famous one is February 22, 1964 at London after the Beatles first (and enormously successful) visit to the USA. The aircraft is a Pan Am B707 and the fuselage has had a sticker "Jet Clipper Beatles" affixed. See the 2 stews at left of pic?
The most famous of all was the arrival of the Beatles for the first time in the USA at JFK on Pan Am Flt 101 from London to New York on February 7, 1964 aboard Jet Clipper Defiance and pictured in the previous post. Never had such a crowd been seen at an airport.
That tour was really quite short and was mostly for the purpose of appearing on the Ed Sullivan Show. Shooting was done in Miami and the band caught a National Airlines DC-8 on Feb 13. Here is a pic at the door of the Pan Am DC-8 that brought them back.
Surprisingly, it is harder to find pics of their return to the USA in August of 1964 when they did their first real tour of the country, beginning August 19 in San Francisco. Here are the band arriving on August 18 with hosties just visible at left.
The 1964 took in 25 cities in just over 4 weeks between August 19 and September 20!! Most of the travel was done overnight to avoid problems of mass hysteria at the airports and in some cities (Chicago and Boston come to mind), their plane was forbidden to land at the major airport (O'Hare and Logan) and used a "minor" (Midway, Hanscom Field) airfield instead! During the tour, manager Brian Epstein hired an Electra from American Flyers Airlines
who did a lot of charter work.
The Electra provided spacious quarters and comfort during these overnight flights from one city to another as can be seen here.
Pictures of that Electra are hard to find but here is one.
Flying into Portland for the shows in Seattle and Vancouver, one of the Electra's engines caught fire! The plane was replaced with a L-049 Constellation for the trip down to Los Angeles the following day. Because the Connie was so much slower, their arrival to LAX was significantly delayed! Here is a photo of an AMerican Flyers Airline Constellation with a stewardess in front...
The story is to continue with more pics from the now-defunct American Flyers Airline
Sadly, it has a tragic ending.