The Boeing 377 Stratocruiser was a long range aircraft that was used by various airlines from 1949. It featured sleeping berths and a lower deck lounge, providing a luxurious experience for passengers.
Of the 56 aircraft built, there were 11 that crashed during airline service which is a rather high percentage. Let’s have a look at what flying on board was like on United Airlines in 1950.
United Airlines Stratocruiser
Flights to Hawaii on the aircraft were common back in 1950, with the sleeping berths being used on the long overnight sector. This 8 minute promotional film made by United shows what the experience was like.
Of interest is the Hawaii Room where passengers could relax with “coffee and apple juice” before the flight. The large cutaway model of the aircraft is pretty cool.
The private suite at the back of the Stratocruiser brings to mind things like the Residence on Etihad. I immediately wonder if anyone got up to any mile high high jinks during the flight!
United offered a proper sit down meal and for the second service it’s a buffet. The girl in the film is clearly hungry as she’s taking quite a lot of the options from the buffet.
Flying Hasn’t Changed Much
Apart from the fact people are smoking on board the aircraft and the fact there is no video entertainment, the video shows that flying hasn’t changed all that much. It’s still sitting in a comfortable seat and eating to wile away the hours.
I’m sure the cabin was far noisier than today, but otherwise it’s quite similar. Some airlines offer a bar on board, similar to the Stratocruiser lounge. Others offer snacks from the galley which would be like the buffet.
Keeping an eye on history is always important when considering things today. People are the same as they always were and while technology has changed, human beings largely still have the same desires and needs.
Did you ever get a chance to fly on a Stratocruiser or on any of the piston aircraft from way back when? Thanks for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.
Featured image via Pinterest.