FlightAware Discussions

Which was the 1st long distance aircraft?

Just curious which aircraft were the first in commercial service that could fly nonstop from the west coast to Asia, or the east coast to Europe? It seems like the 707 and DC-8 would need a stop going west, and would just barely reach Europe going east. The 747 looks like it had the range. But I think I have seen certain prop planes going this distance.

In 1971 I flew nonstop on a DC-8 from SNN to NAS and return. I also flew nonstop NAS to LUX that same year on the same plane.

To Europe, I believe it was the Focke-Wulf Fw 200 Condor

I guess my question has a number of facets to it. I am curious about trends in long distance flying. For example, a 1963 NWA maps shows flights to Tokyo stopping in Anchorage, while a 1962 Pan Am map shows nonstops from SFO to Tokyo. I assume these were both on 707’s, so it is interesting the difference between them.

My question can be rephrased as this: Which airline offered NYC to LHR nonstop first, and what type of plane was used? Which airline offered nonstop USA west coast to Asia first, and what kind of plane was used?

I think for TransAtlantic, DC-4 (per the above question, Pan-AM?) followed by 707’s for scheduled rev flights. I’m not sure about TransPacific since there are so many hop-points. SFO to HND I’d guess were frequented by 707’s as well. The Krauts (I am one, so don’t get offended anyone) were also flying FW200’s, but not sure if there were scheduled revenue flights due to the war.