The Douglas DC-7 was the last piston engine aircraft produced in Long Beach by the Douglas Aircraft Company. First flying on 18 May 1953, it entered service with American Airlines later that year on 29 November.

It was initially designed to operate coast-to-coast flights in the United States in around eight hours. Eventually it evolved into the DC-7C which could fly non-stop on transatlantic routes. This led to the aircraft being sold to many European carriers as it now fit their networks.

United Douglas DC-7 Video

Following on from last weeks video about the Fokker 50, this week we head over to the United States to look at the Douglas DC-7. Titled, “An Airplane Trip”, this film by United Airlines runs for about 10 minutes and is presented in black and white.

Some things in the video are unbelievably corny, such as some of the dialogue and the little girls massive smiles at everything that is happening to them. Even so, you get to see a lot of the aircraft and of operations in the era.

There are great shots of the cabin, rear lounge and the cockpit, with easily digestible explanations for the layperson. Lunch service shows that airline good perhaps hasn’t evolved all that much in the intervening years!

A shame we no longer have the pilots visiting the cabin to hand out Junior Stewardess Pins to little girls anymore. Nowadays, I doubt girls would be restricted to those. It’s a fun look at a bygone era though.

Overall Thoughts

A total of 338 Douglas DC-7s were produced from 1953 to 1958. Many of the major airlines of the day used the aircraft, such as American Airlines, United Airlines, Eastern Air Lines, Delta Air Lines, BOAC, KLM, Sabena, Scandinavian Airlines and of course Pan American.

The Seven Seas moniker was given to the long-range DC-7C for obvious reasons. Once the jet age began in earnest in 1958, they were quickly relegated to freighter service in favour of the more modern jets.

Have you ever flown on board a Douglas DC-7? What did you think of the film? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

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