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 John Schmidt (dc8schmidt@twc.com) | Home > 
Pan American, The Flying Clippers 10/16
There was no other airline like Pan American.  In 1927, Pan Am began making the world smaller, with a Fokker F-7 flying from Key West to Havana.  Soon Pan Am was operating from Miami and Brownsville, connecting America to Latin American destinations. Then it was the Pacific, The Atlantic, and Around the world.
Pan Am pioneered new routes and new Aircraft  throughout its 64 year existence making international travel a practical proposition for many Americans.
Album by John Schmidt. 1 - 76 of 76 Total. 13489 Visits.
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Enlarge photo 1
Pan Am Fokker F-10 #1
The Fokker F-10 replaced the initial F-7s in 1928, They carried 12 passengers and were mostly transferred to Mexican affiliates. By 1932 they were gone. This card is from a rare bluetone collector card set from Sanitarium Health Foods that illustrated early Pan Am aircraft.

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Pan Am Sikorsky S-40 #3
The year 1931 brought the S-40 to Pan Am. The first flight was Nov. 19th, 1931 from Miami to Kingston, to Barranquila to Cristobal in Panama. This is a near mint Pan Am issue.

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Pan Am Sikorsky S-40 #2
The S-40 carried from 24 to 38 passengers, depending on stage length, and was the first airliner designated a Clipper. This card is a remarkably common colorized version of an airline issue.

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Pan Am Sikorsky S-42 #1
The S-42, a substantial technical improvement over the 40, entered service on August 1,1934, arriving two days later in Rio de Janeiro.
This is a little more modern looking Pan Am issue.

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Pan Am Sikorsky S-42 #5
A nice airline issue of the S-42 in flight, one of a number of Pan Am issues of the 42

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Pan Am Sikorsky S-43
Pan Am ordered a dozen of the smaller twin engined S43s for shorter distance routes in the Caribbean and Latin America.
This is the only Pan Am issue of the 43.

Enlarge photo 7
Pan Am Martin M-130 #1
The Martin M-130 was ordered at the same time as the S-42s, and was delivered in 1935. There were 3 , which inaugurated Trans Pacific service and operated through WW II. It could sleep 30 passengers in 3 ten berth compartments.
This is one of a number of Pan Am issues

Enlarge photo 8
Pan Am Martin M-130 #4
The first Trans Pacific flight took place on Nov. 22, 1935. Ultimately all three "China Clippers" were destroyed in crashes, the last in 1945.
This is another splendid Pan Am issue.

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Pan Am Martin M-130 #7
An excellent Sunderland issue of the M-130.

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Pan Am Boeing 314 #1
The last of the flying boats was the Boeing 314, shown in this more modern Pan Am Issue. The 314 inaugurated the first Trans Atlantic service in 1939 and carried up to 74 passengers. Although the Martin M-130 had served on the Pacific, the 314, was far more practical and efficient.

Enlarge photo 11
Pan Am Boeing 314 #4
La Guardia was the air/sea port of choice for the Trans Atlantic flights. This is a nice LaGuardia Issue from approximately 1940.

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Pan Am Boeing 314 #5
One of many 314 cards is this Thomas West issue from the early 1940s. Nine 314s were delivered to Pan Am between 1939 and 1941.

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Pan Am DC-2 #1
The DC-2s began to arrive in 1934, but almost all were allocated to affiliate airlines such as Panagra and Mexicana. This card is sort of a combination Pan Am / Mexicana issue. Strangely, this image was also used on a LOT postcard.

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Pan Am DC-2 #3
Brownsville served as the terminus for Pan Am Central American Flights, as this common, but nice Pan Am issue suggests. Approximately 1938 issue.

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Pan Am DC-3 #5
Pan Am began receiving the DC-3s in 1937. Again, many of the DC-3s were assigned to affiliate airlines. But they did operate in Pan Am colors from Argentina to Alaska. This outstanding card was issued by the Sanitarium Health Food Company about 1941

Enlarge photo 16
Pan Am DC-3s
Pan Am pioneered many flights to and within Alaska. This card of DC-3s at Juneau is the only color Pan Am issued DC-3 card.

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Pan Am Stratoliner #4
The year 1940 brought the revolutionary new Pressurized Boeing 307 Stratoliner. Service was launched on July 4, 1940 to South America. Its wider body and pressurized comfort were well received by passengers, but ultimately only 3 operated for Pan Am. The Clipper Flying Cloud, shown in this rare Jumbo Postcard Issue is now restored.

Enlarge photo 18
Pan Am Stratoliner #3
After their service in support of the war effort the Stratoliner returned to service, first on the New York to Bermuda route, but the last Pan Am operations were in 1948. Pan Am issued 200,000 of this splendid  card of the Clipper Comet in 1945. There was at least 1 additional printing, undated.

Enlarge photo 19
Pan Am Stewardess
The final card featuring a Stratoliner was this great image featuring a Stewardess around 1948.

Enlarge photo 20
Pan Am Lodestar #1
Pan American received their first Lodestars in 1941, operating in Alaska, and often under the Pacific Alaska identity. This very rare Pan Am issue was most likely produced by Lockheed, and this image was widely used in Lockheed magazine advertising.

Enlarge photo 21
Pan Am Lodestar #2
A substantial number went to serve in South America with PanAir do Brasil, but Alaska seems to have been the focus of Pan Am Lodestar operations. This is an uncommon  Johnston card of a Lodestar operating in Alaska.

Enlarge photo 22
Pan Am DC-4 #4
In 1945 Pan Am began taking delivery of DC-4s, effectively ending the era of the Flying Boats. The DC-4s flew the system and stayed dry in the process. I believe this early Pan Am issue may be a pre-delivery card, and I'm not sure it actually flew in these colors.

Enlarge photo 23
Pan Am DC-4 #2
This is a very nice Pan Am issue of N88948, the Clipper Westward Ho, in flight. It only operated for Pan Am from 1947 to 1953.

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Pan Am DC-4 #5
The DC-4 served intra European services as well as trans-continental. This splendid card of N88951, The Clipper Racer was a Hannover Airport Issue. This aircraft also was retired in 1953.

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Pan Am DC-4 #8
Hawaiian flights were made routine by the DC-4. This view of the DC-4 over Diamond Head features  N-88888, delivered in 1945, and operated through 1961. During its service it was the Clipper East Indian, Cinerama and Bonita.

Enlarge photo 26
Pan Am DC-4 #11
Even after the arrival of the jets, the DC-4s were operating Central American services in the newer colors. Shown on this Tegucigalpa airport card is N 88907, the clipper Fleetwing which served until 1963.

Enlarge photo 27
Pan Am Constellation #2
In 1946 Pan Am took another leap forward, introducing the fully pressurized Constellation. Twenty two were received in 1946 alone, adding speed and comfort to Pan Am's world wide routes

Enlarge photo 28
Pan Am Constellation #1
In 1947, Pan Am inaugurated "Around The World" flights with this L-749 model Constellation, the Clipper America. Delivered in 1947 the aircraft was in service only a short time before being sold to Air France, along with Pan Am's other 749s.

Enlarge photo 29
Pan Am Constellation #3
The last Pan Am post card of the Constellation is this excellent 1953 issue of N88861, the Clipper Winged Arrow. I believe it operated for Pan Am until 1955, when it went to Cubana, and ultimately to El Al Israel

Enlarge photo 30
Pan Am C-46
The year 1948 brought the C-46 to Pan American's fleet. Pan Am obtained 10 aircraft to provide cargo capability to the Caribbean, Central, and South America. I've heard that some passenger operations were conducted with C-46s, and this card doesn't really suggest freight activity. It is a Miami Airport issue from about 1950. The image has been cropped to feature the C-46.

Enlarge photo 31
Pan Am Convair 240 #1
The year 1948 also introduced the entire Convair 240 fleet of 20 aircraft to Pan American's operation. The new Convairs provided quick and efficient service on Caribbean and Central American routes. Shown on this 1953 Pan Am issue is N90673, which operated until 1957, when it was delivered to Varig.

Enlarge photo 32
Pan Am Stratocruiser #4
Pan American made another leap forward with the introduction of the Boeing 377 Stratocruiser in 1949. The spacious and comfortable interior with lower deck lounge was welcomed by long distance passengers, and the Stratocruiser became a symbol of Pan Am for a decade. Shown in this 1949 1st issue is N1025V, the Clipper America. There were two more printings in 1951. Ultimately this image was used on at least 6 issues, as liveries evolved.

Enlarge photo 33
Pan Am Stratocruiser #3
This splendid Stratocruiser card was issued with and without "The President" titles, extolling the option of "sleeperettes, or "roomy berths". Issued, I believe around 1953.

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Pan Am Stratocruiser #5
This later version of the 1st Stratocruiser card may have been printed in 1955. There is at least 1 other printing in this livery.

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Pan Am Stratocruiser #6
The final, and certainly most collectible Stratocruiser card features the jet age globe logo, and addresses comfortable Stratocruiser service to Alaska and the Yukon.

Enlarge photo 36
Pan Am Convair Model 37
In keeping with Pan Am's philosophy of leading with the introduction of new aircraft, the Convair 37 was ordered, which would have amounted to a super sized Stratocruiser, intended for Trans Atlantic service. Pan Am issued a whole series of cards showing the features of this proposed airliner, but the program was ultimately cancelled.

Enlarge photo 37
Pan Am DC-6B #1
The year 1952 saw the arrival of the workhorse DC-6B. The versatile 6B could be used in all tourist 84 seat configurations or even all First class, seating 44. Pan Am operated 50 DC-6Bs and began unloading them in 1960 with the arrival of the jets.
This splendid in flight card may be one of the most common airline issues. There were printings in 1953, 1955, and 2 in 1956 of which I'm aware but probably several more.
The aircraft shown is N6528C, the Clipper Midnight Sun, delivered in July of 1952.

Enlarge photo 38
Pan Am DC-6B #2
Another great view of the Clipper Midnight Sun is this vintage Editions PI "Ciel de France" issue

Enlarge photo 39
Pan Am DC-6B #3
A little less common is this card of N 6529C, the Clipper Fidelity, which may have been distributed on Trans Pacific flights. The text is displayed in multiple Oriental languages as well as English.  Issued in August 1954.

Enlarge photo 40
Pan Am Comet 4
In 1953, Pan Am placed an order for the proposed Comet 3. It was to be a 70 seat configuration, with substantial improvements over the 1 model. The catastrophic crashes of the 1s delayed the program to the degree that the new US offerings were near. Pan Am's options were changed to the 4 model, but ultimately the order was cancelled.
The card is an uncommon DRC issue.

Enlarge photo 41
Pan Am DC-7B #1
In 1955 the DC-7Bs arrived. I've never found a Pan Am issue of the DC-7B in the original colors, but this Flying Moose issue must certainly have been a Pan Am image.
Shown is Clipper Jupiter Rex, N777PA, delivered on May 25, 1955. It operated through 1964.  Pan Am only operated 7 of the B model DC-7s.

Enlarge photo 42
Pan Am DC-7B #3
On the other hand, this Pan Am issued DC-7B was released in 1960, concurrent with an early 707 card. Shown is the Clipper Nonpareil, N776PA, which operated only until 1964.

Enlarge photo 43
Pan Am DC-7C #6
In 1956, however the DC-7C was received with great fanfare, as shown on this large oversized card announcing its arrival.

Enlarge photo 44
Pan Am DC-7C #4
Another card was issued in 1957, over-length, describing the DC-7C's capabilities on Trans Pacific service. A 2nd printing featured text on the front describing Pan Am's new Polar routes to Europe from the west coast

Enlarge photo 45
Pan Am DC-7C #1
This is an excellent Plastichrome card from the late 1950s, showing passengers boarding the new DC-7C.
Shown is the Clipper Seven Seas, delivered on April 28, 1956.

Enlarge photo 46
Pan Am 707-120 #4
Late 1958 saw the arrival of the 707, which truly revolutionized international travel. As always, Pan Am led the world in the introduction of jet services. In keeping with the significance of the aircraft, Pan Am issued numerous cards of the 707-121, although advancements were already on the way. Shown is the 1st 707 card I received from Pan Am in 1959.

Enlarge photo 47
Pan Am 707-120 #8
N707PA, originally christened Clipper America in honor of other pioneering Pan Am aircraft, but later became the Clipper Maria. She was converted to turbo fans in 1964.
The card is a beautiful EF Clements issue, produced by Mike Roberts.

Enlarge photo 48
Pan Am 707-120 #16
This is an early, comparatively rare  over-length Pan Am issue of N707PA. It ultimately spent some time with THY before being scrapped in Miami

Enlarge photo 49
Pan Am 707-120 #19
The first Transatlantic Jet service to Paris was operated on October 26th 1958. This may not have been the first arrival, but the new 707 obviously drew a crowd at LeBourget, as seen in this Uncommon Editions PI Paris Airport issue.

Enlarge photo 50
Pan Am 707-320 #1
By July of 1959 Pan Am was taking delivery of the larger, longer range 320s. This artist representation was also used on an early Air France card.

Enlarge photo 51
Pan Am 707-320 #3
This is a great view of N728PA the Clipper Peerless, arriving at Kennedy in New York. It was delivered in March of 1960, operated for 10 years for Pan Am, and finished its life with Air Manila.

Enlarge photo 52
Pan Am DC-8-30 #1
March 1960 brought the first DC-8-32 to Pan Am. Pan Am hedged their bet and bought a substantial fleet of DC-8s to go with the 707 fleet. Ultimately settling on the 707, Pan Am might have made better use of the various DC-8 models as time passed.
Shown on this over-length Pan Am issue is N800PA, the Jet Clipper Flying Cloud, which flew for Pan Am for only a year before sale to Panair do Brasil.

Enlarge photo 53
Pan Am DC-8-30 #4
The DC-8s were phased out by the late 60s, with the majority going to United and Delta.
This splendid vintage Editions PI issue is one of my favorite DC-8 cards.

Enlarge photo 54
Pan Am DC-8-30 #5
Although Pan Am issued only 2 DC-8 cards, there are a number of nice airport views featuring the DC-8. This one is at Stuttgart.

Enlarge photo 55
Pan Am 707-320B #3
In April of 1962 the 707-321Bs began to arrive. This outstanding Pan Am Issue shows N762PA in flight, the Clipper Endeavour, which operated for 14 years before arriving at Korean Air.
Pan Am operated 21 of the 321Bs and 15 321Cs, including some Freighter configurations.

Enlarge photo 56
Pan Am 720B
In 1963 Pan Am acquired the first of 9 Boeing 720Bs. In a departure from previous Pan Am practice, they were leased, then purchased as 2nd hand aircraft. Most came from Lufthansa.
N785PA, the jet clipper Balboa operated for Pan Am for 7 years, and was sold to Ariana Afghan. The card is an Aero Gen issue.

Enlarge photo 57
Pan Am 707-320C#1
In 1964, the 707-321Cs began to arrive, and along with the 321B Advanced became the backbone of Pan Am's fleet. This beauty, N790PA, The Jet Clipper Courser, was delivered on Feb. 27, 1964, operated for 9 years, and was sold to Avianca.

Enlarge photo 58
Pan Am Concorde #2
In June of 1963 Pan Am ordered the Concorde, as the American SST program was treading water and going nowhere. An incident that infuriated then president Kennedy. Like most other orders for the Concorde, the Pan Am order was cancelled as economic realities were perceived.
This excellent pre delivery card was issued by Pan Am as well as an Editions PI Concorde card.

Enlarge photo 59
Pan Am 727-21 #3
Late 1965 brought the first 727 to Pan American, followed by 24 additional aircraft. The 727 filled a number of roles for Pan Am which included the intra- European services of the time.

Enlarge photo 60
Pan Am 727-21 #4
This is an excellent in flight view of N317PA, the Clipper Munchen. Sadly, it operated for less than a year before it was lost on approach to Berlin.
The card is one of a set issued in 1975 which include a 707, a 747, and a 747SP card.

Enlarge photo 61
Pan Am Boeing SST
Later in the 1960s, and probably under some duress, Pan Am ordered 15 of the Boeing 2707 SSTs. This Pan Am issued SST card is all that remains of that order.

Enlarge photo 62
Pan Am 747-100 #7
Pan Am took delivery of their first 747 in December of 1969, once again pioneering a revolution in international travel. Over 50 747s were operated through the years, becoming the symbol of Pan Am throughout the world.
Shown above is N738PA, the Clipper Defender on a beautiful Pan Am Issue.

Enlarge photo 63
Pan Am 747-100 #13
This stunning oversized Pan Am issue was the last card I received from Pan Am. Shown is N740PA the Clipper Ocean Pearl, which operated with Pan Am for 20 years. It is my favorite of all the Pan Am cards.

Enlarge photo 64
Pan Am 747 SP #3
Again, in 1976 Pan American left the competition behind with the introduction of the SP 747, launching the first non stop flights from the JFK Worldport to Tokyo. Ten were ordered to serve long range routes around the world.
The aircraft shown in this great Pan Am issue became N532PA, the Clipper Constitution. It is still showing the Boeing registration N347SP in this image.

Enlarge photo 65
Pan Am 747 SP #4
This is N533PA, the Clipper Young America, in the Final Pan Am colors. An excellent view at the JFK Worldport. Card is a Michel Moskal issue.

Enlarge photo 66
Pan Am 727-200 #1
Pan Am ordered the 727-200 Advanced aircraft for delivery in 1981, which were joined by the 727s in National's fleet upon completion of the National Airlines acquisition. The first of the 221s was N363PA, The Clipper Racer, shown in this Aviation World card.

Enlarge photo 67
Pan Am 727-200 #5
A very nice take off view on one of the oversized, blank back PAN Am Issues. The aircraft is the Clipper Good Hope, which was one of the National aircraft acquired by Pan Am in 1980

Enlarge photo 68
Pan Am DC-10-10 #1
As a result of the National acquisition Pan Am operated a fleet of DC-10s. This oversized card was most likely issued around 1981.

Enlarge photo 69
Pan Am 727-200 #2
This is an excellent landing view of N4735, the Clipper Daring. Miami was the place to spot the Pan Am 727-200s in the 1980s. They looked great in the bold new colors.
The card is a vintage Dennis Issue.

Enlarge photo 70
Pan Am Tristar 500 #4
As Pan Am developed new routes and destinations, there were numerous long distance routes that couldn't justify the capacity of a 747. Ultimately the Tristar 500 was chosen to supplement the 747 fleet. Deliveries began in 1980 and continued through 1981. This excellent Pan Am issue is remarkably hard to find.

Enlarge photo 71
Pan Am Tristar #1
This splendid card of N501PA, the Clipper Eagle is an IAWP Historical card issued in 1992. It's still wearing the Lockheed registration in this photo. The Tristars were excellent aircraft and most ended up operating for Delta for years after Pan Am was gone.

Enlarge photo 72
Pan Am 737-200 #2
In 1982 Pan Am added the first of 16 737-200s, which operated until 1990. Most served in Europe, such as the Clipper Schoneberg, shown on this uncommon Pan Am issue. They were gradually sold off to various airlines beginning in 1985

Enlarge photo 73
Pan Am Airbus Fleet
On September 14, 1984 Pan Am placed an order that literally rescued Airbus Industrie, Taking all the remaining unsold A-300s and ordering new A-310-300s. The aircraft were an ideal fit for Pan Am at the time, and Pan Am's order in the face of strong offerings from Boeing, gave a huge boost to Airbus.
This beautiful Airbus fleet card is the only Pan Am Issue showing the A-300.
Still wearing their Airbus Registrations in the card, The A-300 became N207 PA, the Clipper Panama, and the 310 became N801PA, the Clipper Berlin.

Enlarge photo 74
Pan Am A-300 #1
An excellent postcard view of N202PA, the last aircraft to bear the historic title Clipper America. The card is a US Publications Issue

Enlarge photo 75
Pan Am A-310 #2
A beautiful in flight Pan Am issue of N812PA, the Clipper Freedom, still wearing its Airbus registration.

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Pan Am A-310 #3
This is the last card, (Along with the oversized 747) that I received from Pan American. The end was near. Desperation sales of assets only prolonged the agony, and really destroyed Pan Am's ability to recover.
Deregulation policies opened the international markets to essentially every Trunk Airline, all of which had large hubs with enormous domestic feed.
A great era in aviation had ended.

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