View Full Version : 30 second film of Air France Super Connie in 1962

23rd Aug 2009, 11:48
At this link: YouTube - Air France Super Constellation at La Baule, France, September 4th 1962 (http://tinyurl.com/l47vmu)

This sequence shows passengers (including myself, aged 4) boarding an Air France Super Connie at La Baule on 4th September 1962. The aircraft then taxies out and takes off. It was shot by my late father on 4th September 1962-I know that date because he very helpfully wrote it on the film packet-on his 8mm cine-camera (sorry, no sound). Hope people like it-there ain't too much film of propliners from this sort of date. Aircraft is F-BHBF: I know that because the original film version picture is quite a bit wider.

23rd Aug 2009, 14:16
That must have been fun given that La Baule is under 1000m long.

Mind you, the French were always fond of putting large aircraft into small fields. I remember going to St Malo airfield just before it closed and there was a picture in the bar of a DC-6 sitting outside the clubhouse. From memory, the longest runway was around 600m and both were grass.

23rd Aug 2009, 18:15
That must have been fun given that La Baule is under 1000m long.

Mind you, the French were always fond of putting large aircraft into small fields.
I'd be surprised. Has the runway been chopped ? British Eagle used to put One-Elevens into La Baule in the 1960s, and while I can't find a timetable of this on line, here's one with a Britannia operating there, which must have a similar requirement.


Here I answer my own question. Montoir airport, La Baule (from the above timetable), LFRZ, has a runway of 2,400m, and is now knwn as St. Nazaire. La Baule Escoublac is 8km away and has indeed a 945m strip

Montoir Airport, St Nazaire - SNR LFRZ (http://www.handbook.aero/hb_airportpage.html?recnum=474)
La Baule-Escoublac Airport, La Baule-Escoublac - LBY LFRE (http://www.handbook.aero/hb_airportpage.html?recnum=319)

23rd Aug 2009, 19:42
Agree with the above but the apron layout and taxiway in the film seem to match Escoublac rather than St Nazaire.

23rd Aug 2009, 19:54
In Jan 1963, I travelled in an Air France Super Connie Plaisance to Antananarivo (Mauritius to Madagascar) via Reunion (I think). Tremendously exciting, memorably gorgeous stewardess (who will be a touch under 70 now- probably flying for United?). Never forgave the horrid people for not taking me up to the flight deck- after 46 1/2 years. Yes- you can give me free tickets and all the Camembert you can make, but you would still not be forgiven, and I prefer Philadelphia anyway!

Interestingly, it was seeing a F27 at night on the apron at Nairobi on that trip (in on an AF 707 and out on a BUA Britannia via Tripoli to Stansted in the start of that bitter winter) that the penny dropped, and Rainboe decided he wanted to be an airline pilot. And he's been pretending ever since, and will be pretending again tomorrow. And still fooling people after 40 years! (He's a good actor! A 'Richard Burton' voice gets you a long way).

23rd Aug 2009, 21:11
Sorry to be tedious here, but here's an Air France timetable from 1958, just 4 years before the clip, London to La Baule (in the bottom left hand corner), and the airport there is shown in small type as St Nazaire-Montoire as well.


In 1958 that was in a DC3, which could probably have got into the other La Baule if they had wanted.

24th Aug 2009, 15:01
Disregard my last. Having looked at it again, it can't be Escoublac although I note that it now has the same IATA code - LBY, that St Nazaire used to have.

24th Aug 2009, 17:38
What was that round horse thing symbol Air France used, and has it passed into history like the Speedbird of BOAC?

Atcham Tower
25th Aug 2009, 15:48
That was the winged hippocamp (hippocampe aile - acute acccent over last e, can't do it here). This was the seahorse badge of AF's predecessor Air Orient. I believe an AF aircraft is currently carrying it in a retro scheme. Pity there's no sound as I well remember an Air France Super G Connie freighter taking off at LHR in 1960. It was a damp misty morning, the air around the Queen's Building filled with the heady smell of burnt kerosene. The deep drone of those big radials was truly wonderful.