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Ooh La La: 1960 Jet Service Via Swanky French Caravelle - Oui!

  The French were running right on the leading edge in 1959 when the Sud Aviation Caravelle went into service as the first short/medium-range jet airliner. This cool video gives a great feel for the times and how the 'jet-age' was definitely something special. Check out that abrupt rotation at 28 seconds... jet age, here we come!

 United Air Lines was the only U.S. operator of the Caravelle, and I can remember riding on one of the smooth nose beauties at least once at about age 6. I really liked the triangular shaped windows and the stab mounted well up on the vertical fin. My dad flew for United, but he went from the DC-6 to the DC-8 and never flew the Caravelle. He was really looking forward to flying the UAL Concordes that were at one time expected to be put into service, but of course that never came to pass. That's one of the many reasons our Concorde ride at Oshkosh 88 (with video) was such an awesome experience!

 Looking back, the Caravelle was really a great accomplishment and has earned a nice spot in aviation history. Vive la France!


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Reader Comments (1)

In the early Nineties, I flew from Marseilles to Paris on one of the last Air Inter Caravelles remaining in service. It was a quirky glimpse into the past. First Class was in the rear - they boarded first, of course. There was no real overhead storage, just a netting arrangement for hats and small articles - you should have checked everything else, after all. Acceleration, takeoff, and climb out were definitely unhurried - this was a potential issue taking off to the west, and I got my first close view of the hilltops. Still, it was an interesting experience.

September 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAirPigz Lurker

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