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  • This Day in Edmonton History - used to be Journal History - Journal dropped the segment.

    When the Edmonton Journal revamped their style recently, it introduced a new feature on page A2 called This Day in Journal history. It reprints a news story on this particular day that happened decades ago.

    I love this feauture because it brings back memories and recalls Edmonton's history.

    I will start with April 8, 1963:

    $11 flights to Calgary

    Pacific Western Airlines’ air-bus service between Edmonton and Calgary costs travellers $11 one-way.

    The new PWA service offered a minimum of frills for the passengers.
    They had to carry their own luggage aboard, buy tickets during the one-hour flight from a ticket agent/cabin attendant, and move quickly through a 10-minute airport check-in time.

    PWA flights departed from Edmonton Municipal Airport.

    Officials said the reduction in driving time and check-in time for travellers would reduce serious objections to air travel.

    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/trave...546/story.html
    If it costs $11 to fly to Calgary, imagine how less the cost of gasoline was back in 1963??

  • #2
    I'm just curious about what were the "serious objections to air travel" that's mentioned. It was long before I arrived here, but well before 1963 I don't recall any objections to air travel back in the UK. In fact, it was a time when inexpensive package holidays to various continental resorts were really beginning to ramp up.
    Nisi Dominus Frustra

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by howie View Post
      I'm just curious about what were the "serious objections to air travel" that's mentioned. It was long before I arrived here, but well before 1963 I don't recall any objections to air travel back in the UK. In fact, it was a time when inexpensive package holidays to various continental resorts were really beginning to ramp up.
      Good question. Maybe hurting small communities between the cities? Safety or noise pollution?

      Comment


      • #4
        Here's the full index of This Day in Journal History stories:
        http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/history/index.html


        * New City Hall in the 1950s:
        http://www.edmontonjournal.com/busin...974/story.html

        * Hey, remember when Edmonton had powerful representation in the House of Commons? Thanks, Anne McLellan:
        http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/...512/story.html

        * Oh noes! 2% Alberta sales tax!
        http://www.edmontonjournal.com/busin...442/story.html
        “You have to dream big. If we want to be a little city, we dream small. If we want to be a big city, we dream big, and this is a big idea.” - Mayor Stephen Mandel, 02/22/2012

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by KC View Post
          Originally posted by howie View Post
          I'm just curious about what were the "serious objections to air travel" that's mentioned. It was long before I arrived here, but well before 1963 I don't recall any objections to air travel back in the UK. In fact, it was a time when inexpensive package holidays to various continental resorts were really beginning to ramp up.
          Good question. Maybe hurting small communities between the cities? Safety or noise pollution?
          Hi KC. I can't see those suggestions as being impediments to air travel then or now. Still plenty of small rural communities. Safety and noise pollution really only come into play in fairly close proximity to airports. Commercial aviation had been around 40 years or so prior to 1963. Surely it wasn't viewed by the general public as some kind of new fangled thing. Still scratching my head about this.

          Mr. Hinderks, any ideas about this "objections" business?
          Nisi Dominus Frustra

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by howie View Post
            Originally posted by KC View Post
            Originally posted by howie View Post
            I'm just curious about what were the "serious objections to air travel" that's mentioned. It was long before I arrived here, but well before 1963 I don't recall any objections to air travel back in the UK. In fact, it was a time when inexpensive package holidays to various continental resorts were really beginning to ramp up.
            Good question. Maybe hurting small communities between the cities? Safety or noise pollution?
            Hi KC. I can't see those suggestions as being impediments to air travel then or now. Still plenty of small rural communities. Safety and noise pollution really only come into play in fairly close proximity to airports. Commercial aviation had been around 40 years or so prior to 1963. Surely it wasn't viewed by the general public as some kind of new fangled thing. Still scratching my head about this.

            Mr. Hinderks, any ideas about this "objections" business?
            Tell you what I know.

            Bear in mind the Jet age of air travel was just dawning, the speed, comfort, reliability of the aircraft and scheduling was no where near what it was to be even 10years later.

            As a percentage of income cost where fairly high and passenger capacity low by today's standards.

            Fly on a piston engine airliner...it's darn noisy! Heat, too much or too little this was long before jet engines provided "bleed air" heating and AC was not on the plate yet.

            The top A/C of the day were ether Second World War designs or derivatives of them. Narrow, low ceilings, loud.

            You were flying basically 1/2 the height you do today at best...so you were not going over the weather...you were going through, rough, nasty.

            Accidents, while not common, were not unheard of compared to today where its a major deal if there is a minor incident.

            In this environment the AirBus was a big break through.

            Cheap, easy and a short flight geared to the business traveler that needed to hit Edmonton and get home.

            PWA did an amazing job of creating the current system of domestic travel with the AirBus and as the equipment improved (Turbo props, Jets, wide fuselages) it just worked better and the increasing volume meant the prices stayed low, routes expanded first Provincially then Western region and eventually beyond.

            Remember at that time Edmonton was the Provincial powerhouse and the traffic was coming here and returning.

            Neat stuff

            Comment


            • #7
              Well, I can see some pretty valid reasons in there, Tom, but expectations were less then. The first flight I ever took was in 1967 on a (long gone British Eagle airine) Vickers Viscount and I thought it was wonderful. That said, I wonder if I'd feel the same way now. And all that booming UK-continent business was conducted on turboprops of one sort or another, so I still don't fully get the slow start to the business here.

              BTW, is that a Viscount pictured in the Journal article? Looks pretty similar to this lay eye.
              Nisi Dominus Frustra

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by howie View Post
                Well, I can see some pretty valid reasons in there, Tom, but expectations were less then. The first flight I ever took was in 1967 on a (long gone British Eagle airine) Vickers Viscount and I thought it was wonderful. That said, I wonder if I'd feel the same way now. And all that booming UK-continent business was conducted on turboprops of one sort or another, so I still don't fully get the slow start to the business here.

                BTW, is that a Viscount pictured in the Journal article? Looks pretty similar to this lay eye.
                DC-4 in the Journal pic...some might think a DC-6 but the windows give it away.

                Howie
                By 1967 the game had already changed dramatically with the penetration of both Turbo props and Jets into the travel market.

                I flew the Viscount as a kid and had the chance to do it again in the 80s, much more like flying today than flying in the 40s, 50s and early 60s.

                Look up an AVRO Lancasterian on the internet or an AVRO Tudor it will give you a Viscount equivalent built in England.

                Air Canada was the big user of the Viscount in North America BTW.

                And all that booming UK-continent business was conducted on turboprops of one sort or another, so I still don't fully get the slow start to the business here.
                Wasn't a slow start here, Canada was hauling more freight and passengers than Europe but Turbo Props and Jets were not as easy to adapt to our market and the availability of Piston engine airliners, ground equipment and spares was much easier here for the big pistons than turbines.

                Traveling was because you had too...not for fun.

                - Our distances were greater
                - Temperatures more extreme
                - Runways shorter and very often rougher if paved at all up North

                These factor meant expensive

                Europe is
                - Pretty much short haul
                - Great runways
                - More temperate

                Made transition to Turbo props and Jets easier and short haul high load made it easier for the tourist market sooner.

                So while we didn't get to the high volume tourism till later Canada was hauling Cargo and moving people like crazy for other reasons.

                Look up the "Distant Early Warning Line" or "The Pine Tree Line" huge projects all air supported, crews moved that way too!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Cheers, Tom. I'm always impressed with your depth in this subject.
                  Nisi Dominus Frustra

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thanks

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post
                      Originally posted by howie View Post
                      Well, I can see some pretty valid reasons in there, Tom, but expectations were less then. The first flight I ever took was in 1967 on a (long gone British Eagle airine) Vickers Viscount and I thought it was wonderful. That said, I wonder if I'd feel the same way now. And all that booming UK-continent business was conducted on turboprops of one sort or another, so I still don't fully get the slow start to the business here.

                      BTW, is that a Viscount pictured in the Journal article? Looks pretty similar to this lay eye.
                      DC-4 in the Journal pic...some might think a DC-6 but the windows give it away.
                      Actually, that's a DC-6 in the Journal pic.

                      The DC-4 has round windows, but the DC-6 has square windows. That plane in the pic has square windows.

                      I was tempted to say DC-7 (PWA did have a few of those in its fleet), but the DC-7 has four-bladed props, while the DC-6 has only three-bladed props. Once again, the plane shown in the pic has only three blades per prop.
                      Is there hope for Edmonton? Yes!!! The Oilers? Wait and see.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by MikeK View Post
                        Originally posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post
                        Originally posted by howie View Post
                        Well, I can see some pretty valid reasons in there, Tom, but expectations were less then. The first flight I ever took was in 1967 on a (long gone British Eagle airine) Vickers Viscount and I thought it was wonderful. That said, I wonder if I'd feel the same way now. And all that booming UK-continent business was conducted on turboprops of one sort or another, so I still don't fully get the slow start to the business here.

                        BTW, is that a Viscount pictured in the Journal article? Looks pretty similar to this lay eye.
                        DC-4 in the Journal pic...some might think a DC-6 but the windows give it away.
                        Actually, that's a DC-6 in the Journal pic.

                        The DC-4 has round windows, but the DC-6 has square windows. That plane in the pic has square windows.

                        I was tempted to say DC-7 (PWA did have a few of those in its fleet), but the DC-7 has four-bladed props, while the DC-6 has only three-bladed props. Once again, the plane shown in the pic has only three blades per prop.
                        Mike

                        I beg to differ, you are right on the window change but have the aircraft mixed up I do believe.

                        The DC-4 was unpressurized and had the square windows.

                        The DC-6 was pressurized and had the rounded windows.
                        The reason was to eliminate the sharp corners on the windows as they were a point where fatigue cracks would start (discovered in the DH Comet accidents.) on pressurized aircraft, and why today's airliners still have rounded windows not square.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post
                          Originally posted by MikeK View Post
                          Originally posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post
                          Originally posted by howie View Post
                          Well, I can see some pretty valid reasons in there, Tom, but expectations were less then. The first flight I ever took was in 1967 on a (long gone British Eagle airine) Vickers Viscount and I thought it was wonderful. That said, I wonder if I'd feel the same way now. And all that booming UK-continent business was conducted on turboprops of one sort or another, so I still don't fully get the slow start to the business here.

                          BTW, is that a Viscount pictured in the Journal article? Looks pretty similar to this lay eye.
                          DC-4 in the Journal pic...some might think a DC-6 but the windows give it away.
                          Actually, that's a DC-6 in the Journal pic.

                          The DC-4 has round windows, but the DC-6 has square windows. That plane in the pic has square windows.

                          I was tempted to say DC-7 (PWA did have a few of those in its fleet), but the DC-7 has four-bladed props, while the DC-6 has only three-bladed props. Once again, the plane shown in the pic has only three blades per prop.
                          Mike

                          I beg to differ, you are right on the window change but have the aircraft mixed up I do believe.

                          The DC-4 was unpressurized and had the square windows.

                          The DC-6 was pressurized and had the rounded windows.
                          The reason was to eliminate the sharp corners on the windows as they were a point where fatigue cracks would start (discovered in the DH Comet accidents.) on pressurized aircraft, and why today's airliners still have rounded windows not square.
                          No, I do not have the aircraft types mixed up at all when it comes to the windows.

                          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_DC-4
                          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_DC-6

                          PWA DC-4: http://www.airliners.net/photo/Pacif...30ffebf939c9c7

                          PWA DC-6: http://www.airliners.net/photo/Pacif...7dc872bfb8e517

                          Also, the fuselage of the plane in the Journal pic is a little too long to be that of a DC-4. In fact, it's a DC-6B, an all-passenger variant with no cargo doors and a slightly lengthened fuselage at 105 ft 7 in - this is actually slightly longer than the 737-200 or even the 737-600! PWA had at least a few of both aircaft types in its fleet.

                          However, it is stated in PWA's reunion site (http://www.pwareunion.com/) that the DC-4 was used on the Airbus route between Edmonton and Calgary, but I think also that the DC-6 was likely also often used on that route. There are several pics of the DC-6 in a.net showing the DC-6B at YXD (in fact, all of them!). You will also find pics of both the DC-4 and the DC-6 in the Aircraft section of pwareunion.com site as well.

                          But you're right in that the DC-6 was pressurized, while the DC-4 was not.

                          I've definitely heard about the De Havilland Comet disasters off Italy in 1954 and how they led to the changes towards windows with rounded corners as is the case with many modern aircraft, or sticking to ovoid windows like with the Fokker F28.
                          Last edited by MikeK; 10-04-2012, 11:08 PM.
                          Is there hope for Edmonton? Yes!!! The Oilers? Wait and see.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Mike K

                            My error....at least I was right someone had them mixed!

                            PWA used both 4s and 6s from here even after the 737s hit.
                            Eldorado even longer
                            Buffalo still uses them today

                            A number of our members flew 4s and 6s for PWA and then on to Hercs and 737s

                            Amazing stuff

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              So if you guys are now finished arguing about airplanes, some more interesting entries:

                              Muttart opens in 1976:
                              http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/...026/story.html

                              Principal Plaza (now CWB tower) opens in 1981:
                              http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/...837/story.html

                              Agricom opens in 1984:
                              http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/...746/story.html
                              “You have to dream big. If we want to be a little city, we dream small. If we want to be a big city, we dream big, and this is a big idea.” - Mayor Stephen Mandel, 02/22/2012

                              Comment

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