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PrincePembroke
13th Dec 2007, 13:24
Can anyone confirm the route that the DC-4s of Avianca took Trans-Atlantic from March 1950? Bogata-Bermuda- Azores- Lisbon-Rome- Paris possibly, but I have also seen it quoted as Lisbon-Madrid-Paris-Frankfurt. Anyone out there with old Avianca timetables? Many thanks
PrincePembroke

WHBM
17th Dec 2007, 09:06
I donít have an Avianca timetable for 1950, but do have for 1949 and 1952.

In 1949, there were no transatlantic services yet, but a twice-weekly DC4 operation to New York and Miami, and some DC4 operated domestic runs on the triangle between Bogota, Barranquilla and Medellin. Three DC4s were required to operate this network, the rest of Aviancaís operations were DC3s, all operated under the Pan Am name.

In 1952 Avianca was already operating L-749 Constellations, delivered the previous year, on its transatlantic schedule, if they had run transatlantic DC4s it must have only been for 1950. This was quite advanced, as on the mid-Atlantic route Iberia, Alitalia and Cubana were all still running DC4s. The schedule was :

Alternate weeks (Fortnightly)

AC 776
Bogota 1000 Tu
Barranquilla 1150/1235
Bermuda 1945/2030
Santa Maria 0635/0720
Lisbon 1235/1420
Madrid 1540/1625
Paris Orly 1905 We

AC777
Paris Orly 1200 Fr
Madrid 1450/1535
Lisbon 1705/1750
Santa Maria 1840/1925
Bermuda 0305/0350
Barranquilla 0900/0945
Bogota 1135 Sa

You will see no reference to Rome or Frankfurt. Avianca was unusual to operate into Paris Orly at the time, most foreign carriers used Le Bourget while Air France concentrated on Orly. It must have been a logistical challenge operating such a long-line route just fortnightly, crews being away from home for an age.

The Constellations operated a thrice-weekly service to New York in 1952 as well, alongside a weekly DC4 operated as a "tourist class" flight. Avianca took delivery of two L-749As in Spring 1951 to operate these services, HK-162 and HK-163. They were not ex-Pan Am but were new aircraft. This pair were supplemented by three L-1049Es in 1954, but in that year HK-163 operating the transatlantic service was lost in an accident in The Azores.

411A
17th Dec 2007, 09:33
It must have been a logistical challenge operating such a long-line route just fortnightly, crews being away from home for an age.

Could be.
OTOH, I think you will find the tech crews of that era were not the whiney folks of today, who complain of being away from the family for more than two days, or if the autoland or FMS doesn't work to perfection.
In other words, they were tough, and did the job for which they were paid, with few complaints.
And yes, I flew DC-4's for a short period, before moving on to DC-6's, which were far better.
Especially the DC-6B.
Superb, that aeroplane.:D

Brian Abraham
18th Dec 2007, 04:56
Especially the DC-6B. Superb, that aeroplane

Better than a Lockheed? :E

411A
18th Dec 2007, 10:36
Oh yeah, at the time.
The reason was the fantastic Pratt&Whitney R2800CB16 engines.
The DC-6B had the lowest operating cost/seat mile of any 4-engine piston transport.
Having said this, I also flew the 1649 Constellation.
Very fast (315knots TAS) but had problematical CurtisWright turbocompound engines.

Now, when we come to three engine widebody jets, there really is no comparasion...ahhh, Lockheed:E:rolleyes:

WHBM
18th Dec 2007, 11:32
Very fast (315knots TAS) but had problematical CurtisWright turbocompound engines
So what was it that persuaded Douglas, following on from the DC6, to do the DC7 with Curtis-Wright engines rather than Pratts ? Surely the Curtis reliability record (or lack of it) was well known by then ? The Connie was bad enough but the same engines on the B-29 in the Pacific at the end of WW2 were even worse.

411A
18th Dec 2007, 15:30
So what was it that persuaded Douglas, following on from the DC6, to do the DC7 with Curtis-Wright engines rather than Pratts ? Surely the Curtis reliability record (or lack of it) was well known by then ?
Ah, well actually, no, and this is where many folks make mistakes.
The engines on the B-29 were CurtisWright R3350's, but not turbocompound models.
These TC engines were developed for the DC-7, 1049G/H and 1649 Constellations (among a few others).
These engines offered lower fuel consumption for a greater BHP delivered, and enabled true north Atlantic westbound non-stop capability.
Good engine idea...poor reliability.
The exhaust driven power recovery turbines (three of these on each engine, fluid-coupled to the engine crankshaft) provided the extra BHP, and thus cruise speed, for the same 400 gal/hr (approximately) fuel consumption.
Jets came along...CurtisWright TC engines went away, along with the aeroplanes they were installed on.
Sad but true.:{

treadigraph
18th Dec 2007, 21:59
Welll... whatever the history, the R2800, R3350 and R4360 all sound superb to this old git's discerning ear... way better than the RB211 (but not as good as the Merlin or Griffon!) :ok:

Brian Abraham
19th Dec 2007, 02:03
Getting way off thread topic here, but what the .....

Good engine idea...poor reliability

411A - what was the nature of their reliability problems. Understand the PRT's were one source - due lubrication, metallurgy, cooling or what? Understand that at the end, once operators had learnt how to care and feed them, they gave good service. Gave long service in the Neptune.

PS - Lockheed all the way. Fell in love at the tender age of about seven with these two very aircraft
http://adastron.com/lockheed/electra/vh-abh.htm
http://adastron.com/lockheed/electra/vh-asg.htm
The affair lasted for about ten years and was left some very enjoyable memories of trips and dinner company at home with the crew.

411A
19th Dec 2007, 09:26
411A - what was the nature of their reliability problems. Understand the PRT's were one source - due lubrication, metallurgy, cooling or what? Understand that at the end, once operators had learnt how to care and feed them, they gave good service. Gave long service in the Neptune.



Cooling and metallurgy, is my understanding.
PRT's generally lasted about 250 hours, and one would let go, largish torch effect out the exhaust, BMEP decrease about 20 or so, followed by mandatory engine shutdown.
Perhaps the Neptune, due to the loiter at lower altitudes, and thus lower BMEP/temperatures, had better results.
Not a Navy guy, so don't know.

And, the R4360 was mentioned above.
I flew Stratocruisers for a brief time, and the 4360 engine was very smooth, almost turbine-like.
Used a lot of oil, however.
And, those equipped with CurtisElectric propellors had another problem.
Hollow steel prop blades, fractures under the de-ice boot, blade separation...bad.

PrincePembroke
28th Dec 2007, 10:40
Dear WHBM
do you have any timetables for TACA El Salvador from around 1960? I am looking for routes via Bermuda again.
Thanks
Tom

renfrew
28th Dec 2007, 12:22
I don't remember TACA ever operating across the Atlantic.
I do have a 1961 timetable with flights from New Orleans and Mexico City down through Central America.

Airlines serving Bermuda in 1961 are listed as-
BOAC/BWIA/Cubana/Cunard Eagle/Eastern/Guest/Iberia/PanAm/TCA

WHBM
28th Dec 2007, 12:28
I PM'd back to Princepembroke but we may as well all share it :

I don't have anything for TACA after 1956 until the 1970s.

Off the top of my head I don't recall them ever doing transatlantic flights or having a type able to do so. Once again it could possibly be some ad-hoc charter work they might have obtained, operated for them by grey-market charter operators out of Miami.

TACA themselves in 1960 had nothing more than a couple of DC4s and some Viscounts, used on their US flights to New Orleans (their US base), which lasted until they bought jets. Not really transatlantic material by the 1960s.

renfrew
28th Dec 2007, 12:47
Going back to the original query,I have found something in "A History of the World's Airlines"
It gives the original Avianca 1950 route as Bogota/Barranquilla/Bermuda/Azores/Lisbon/Madrid/Paris/Hamburg.

Spooky 2
29th Dec 2007, 16:43
Hey 411 just curious where you would been that you flew both the B377 and the 1649A? Sounds like maybe a Transocean / World Airways pilot?

BelArgUSA
1st Jan 2008, 22:44
A funny little story of my early PanAm days...
xxx
Many of my 707/727 captains were former DC-6/7 pilots... and of course, I would not fail to ask them questions about how it was to fly these airplanes. And I was also at a loss to recognize a DC-6 from a DC-7...
xxx
Of course, when parked, was easy to know. The DC-6s had 3 bladed propellers, while the DC-7s had 4 blades... But when in flight, how do you recognize them, so I asked one of my captains...
xxx
"That is easy...!" he told me...
"If one of the engines is feathered, it has to be a DC-7...!"
That tells you a little about the R-3350... versus the R-2800s.
xxx
Fact is, I recall having seen quite a few of DC-7s landing with a dead engine...
PanAm retired their DC-7Cs first, but continued to operate DC-6Bs for a few more years.
Many airlines did same...
xxx
:)
Happy contrails

treadigraph
1st Jan 2008, 23:50
BelArg, I've only ever seen a couple of DC-7s in the air and, yes, one of them was landing at Miami with one feathered! Trans Air Link I think it was... If I recall aright an Electra also landed with one out that day (this was getting on for 25 years ago)...

Happy New Year all...

WHBM
1st Jan 2008, 23:50
Indeed, the PanAm DC6Bs lasted to the mid-1960s, when they were replaced by 727s. This was both on the Berlin shuttle routes and in the Caribbean. meanwhile the rest of the fleet, Connies, DC7s, and Strats went the moment jets were available.

A lot of the DC7/Super Constellations for many operators built as late as 1958, both with Wright engines, were withdrawn within 5 years, and a good number of them never flew again. I believe the big R-4360 Pratts on the Strat were little better.

I believe there is still one DC7 operated commercially by a freight operator out of Opa Locka, Florida, in an ersatz-American Airlines livery (possibly done for a movie). I wonder how they keep it going commercially after 50 years. Picture here :

http://www.airliners.net/open.file/1277662/M/ (http://www.airliners.net/open.file/1277662/M/)