Boeing 747-200 - Pan Am
21 January 1970 is the day of the world's first widebody commercial flight. Pan Am flew a Boeing 747 from New York to London Heathrow. The US airline was the first customer for the Jumbo Jet and played a major role in the emergence of the aircraft type. In total Pan Am operated 65 Boeing 747-100's, 747-200s and 747SPs. The picture shows two Jumbo Jets in different liveries at Frankfurt Rhein-Main Airport, where the airline operated a European hub.
Pan Am was a real aviation pioneer. It was founded in 1927 in the Key West as Pan American Airways by Juan Terry Trippe. Pan Am's first activity was flying mail between Key West and Havana. With the arrival of a Fokker F.7 it started a passenger service on the same route in January 1928.
During the 1930s flying boats played a major role in the expansion of Pan Am. They were used to start services to South America, over the Pacific and over the Atlantic Ocean.
Pan Am became a mostly international airline. It lacked a large domestic network like American, Delta and United had. This meant that Pan Am couldn't effectively compete after US deregulation in 1979, when its competitors started intercontinental services as well. To rise money Pan Am sold its Pacific routes to United and the transatlantic services to Delta.
On 21 December 1988 PanAm 747 'Clipper Maid of the Seas' was blown up in the air by a terrorist bomb when it flew over Lockerbie in Scotland on its way from London Heathrow to New York. The disaster took the lives of 270 people, including eleven inhabitants of Lockerbie. Pan Am didn't survive. In December 1991 the airline stopped flying, marking an end to one of world's proudest airline histories.