When it comes to aircraft cabin pictures from the jet set era, there are plenty around. Marketing departments at airlines went hog wild on posed images to lure in potential customers. What is very hard to find are candid inflight photos taken by passengers from that time.

Clearly things are different today, with everyone having a camera on them at all times. Not many people travelling on flights back then thought to take a picture of the inside of the plane. Here is a collection from a few of those that did.

Air Ceylon/BOAC de Havilland Comet 4

First up, we have a super rare shot of the passenger cabin of a de Havilland Comet 4. This particular aircraft is BOAC’s G-APDC on lease to Air Ceylon on a flight on 30 November 1962.

The five abreast seating is far more spacious in this era. During the 1970s, charter airline Dan-Air bought a lot of Comet 4s and packed people in quite tightly, so this is bliss by comparison.

Pan American Boeing 707

First cab off the rank in for jet airliners in the United States was the Boeing 707. Pan American was the launch customer and their blue and white interiors reflect the colours of their livery.

Those round lights above the aisle are called dome lights and are a feature of the 707. At night, they had a blue colour and Australia’s Qantas designed theirs so that it represented the stars in the night sky over Sydney.

BOAC Vickers VC10

An aircraft with great passenger appeal during the era was the Vickers VC10. With its four Rolls-Royce Conway engines located at the rear, it meant a very quiet cabin.

It is remarkable that both the photos above were taken from almost the exact same point in the cabin. For those wondering, the image at the top of this article is also a VC10, the reverse view of the early shot here.

Japan Air Lines and KLM Douglas DC-8

Heading into the 1970s now and here are two images of the Douglas DC-8. One is of Japan Air Lines showing the hat racks filled with pillows and blankets which must have rained down on people during severe turbulence.

Later on the hat racks were changed into overhead bins as the KLM shot demonstrates. It must have been a long flight, with so many people standing in the aisle.

A Bonus Boeing 707 Shot

On Airliners.net, the photographer who took this photo mentions he is not sure which airline it is. His best guess is that this is a BOAC Boeing 707.

Some people did comment they thought the uniforms of the crew right at the back were BOAC, but others thought it might be some other airline. Do you know what it is?

Overall Thoughts

Candid inflight cabin photos are pretty cool. It is very interesting to see what was happening inside the aircraft, and it really illustrates how little has changed over the years.

Seats are generally the same size, and apart from individual inflight entertainment and more overhead storage, things are pretty much identical. I’d still liked to have experienced flights on these aircraft though, as I imagine they sounded and felt somewhat different to those of today.

Have you flown in any of these cabins? Do these bring back any memories? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

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Two G-ARVM VC10 interior shots by P. Human via A Little VC10derness.
Widebody VC10 interior by Dan Clark on Airliners.net.
Japan Air Lines Douglas DC-8 by clipperarctic via Wikimedia Commons.
KLM DC-8-63 by Dan Clark on Airliners.net
BOAC 707 interior by Dan Clark on Airliners.net.
Pan Am 707 on lease to Alaska Airlines by Peter de Groot on Airliners.net via Pinterest.
PA 707 with TVs via Pinterest.
de Havilland Comet 4 image by Frans Koop via JetPhotos.net.