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Nov 28, 2013, 02:27 AM
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The old days

The early days of air travel, the vehicles & the crashes are an interesting read. It was as dangerous as it looked. There are no detailed descriptions of the accidents but engine failures seemed to abound. There were lots of water landings when engines failed. Water landings were usually fatal.

Gizmodo only covered Imperial Airways, which was real primitive. Your ride as an Imperial Airways passenger, on the very 1st flights in 1924 would have been this:

The De Havilland DH34. Early adopting was really early adopting in those days. The pilot sat outside. 1 engine was all you would ever need. The entire airline fleet amounted to 6 planes. If you were unlucky enough to be flying on Dec 24, 1924, you wouldn't have made it presumably because the 1 engine died shortly after takeoff, but there were no flight data recorders in those days.

In 1926, your ride was upgraded to the new & improved

Handley Page W.8. Those were real radiators with real antifreeze, exhaust manifolds, & oil pans hanging off the struts. At least it was easy to see if an oil line was broken, which they often were. It was quite large for a biplane. The pilot sat outside, behind the nose, all the better to reinforce if they were heading towards the ground.

What you would have seen on your ride. It was really a WWI bomber with the bomb bay converted into the dreamliner of the time. Wonder how rectangular it stayed during turbulence.

Interior of the next in the series, a Handley Page W.10. It was a bit more practical. Wonder how those wicker chairs stayed put, during turbulence.

The promotional photos showed lots of female passengers. In reality, they were mostly men. The tradition of business travelers being mostly men continues to this day. Had an employer who did not send women on business trips. He believed the women were more bound to raising the children at home, yet it was a bit strange to have our duties dictated by gender in 2010.

13 passengers was considered a full plane. They manely flew between London & Paris in the early days. Then the 1st expeditions to Egypt took a new but still primitive plane. If you were unlucky enough to be flying on Oct 21, 1926, June 17, 1929, or Oct 30, 1930, you would not have made it as engines died or fog impeded visibility enough to send you into the ground.

Despite all logic, there's no record of any of those early planes breaking up in flight. The crashes were manely engine failures, fuel exhaustion, or pilot error.
Last edited by Jack Crossfire; Nov 28, 2013 at 05:53 AM.
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