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BOAC in the 1950s


BOAC In The 1950s

There were two leading airlines in 1950s, one was Pan American, the other was BOAC which stands for British Overseas Airways Corporation. During the 1950s, the vast majority of the travelling public was still taking to ocean liners for inter-continental travel.

It was the job of the airlines to show public that getting onto an aircraft was safe, convenient and comfortable way to travel. An important communication medium of the day was motion picture ads, and special promotional films. These were produced by the airlines to play in movie theaters to educate the public about the world of airlines. British Overseas Airways Corporation was a major producer of airline promotion films during this period. Such films have extended advertisements for the airlines. Read more about BOAC Here.

We felt very pleased to present a nice collection of BOAC in the 1950s colour films. Which promote the aircraft, service and destinations of Britain’s leading international airline. All of the British Overseas Airways Corporation films presented here lovely Kodachrome prints. There colours and quality of the movies beautifully preserved for your viewing enjoyment.

BOAC Colour Films

The first colour BOAC film is titled “Everybody’s Flying” which highlights the virtues and luxury of BOAC’s then new Douglas DC-7 Seven Seas. Filmed largely on board the aircraft. The film shows us the high level of comfort and in-flight service which could be expected when flying on new DC-7. The BOAC operated on long haul passengers services up until the early 1960s.

The next film is titled “Royal Flight to the West Indies”. A short review of the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh’s 1950s visit to Jamaica (then referred to as “the fairest jewel of the British crown”) aboard BOAC Boeing Stratocruiser Canopus G-AKGK.

The third and final BOAC all colour 1950s film in this show is titled “Majesty in the Air”. The film shows the lovely footage of British Overseas Airways Corporation Hermes, Constellation, Britannia and Stratocruiser. “Majesty in the Air” was very informative film about the ample capabilities of BOAC and all that a visit to 1950s Britain had to offer visiting tourist of the day.

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7 Responses to “BOAC in the 1950s”

  1. <path_to_url> Martin J. WILLING

    Hello Henry, I really enjoyed these films, but on a point of order, and not your fault at all!!! The shots of the interior of ‘Everybody’s Flying’ are actually a BOAC Stratocruiser!!! You can tell this simply by looking at the window shapes (round), whereas the DC7c were square. Also the biggest giveaway was Capt O.P. Jones going around the cabin!!! He retired from the BOAC fleet when the Stratocruiser stopped doing the Atlantic (1957. He did’t like that at all, and hated it when they went on the West Africa run (Lagos and Accra), so off he went into gracious retirement!! I have very happy memories of Stratocruiser flights to Accra in 1958/9 and then the Britannia 100 took over!! Best wishes, Martin

    • <path_to_url> Henry Tenby

      Yes I noticed the round windows! So I thought it might be a Viscount cabin mock-up. Strange that they could film a whole movie like this back in the day, and fob off a completely different cabin interior to the aircraft they are boasting about. Did you actually meet Captain Jones? If I have not already asked .. do you have any old films or slides from your 1950s trips Martin?

  2. <path_to_url> Dieter Brueckner

    A bit late to the party, but I too noticed the round windows and Captain O.P. Jones in the supposed DC-7C interior. I have looked at some interior shots of Stratocruisers on the web, and in aircraft that did not have the berths, the interiors are alike, with the same markings over the windows (vents?), and the minimal reading lights on the coat rack underside. This, of course, still doesn’t tell us whether we are inside a real aircraft or a mock-up. There are BOAC videos on YouTube that show “practice” cabin interior mock-ups, where cabin crew are training. The interior is definitely not that of a Viscount, whose windows were much larger.
    One additional note: BOAC had Stratocruisers with both round (original purchase) and rectangular windows (purchased second-hand from United Airlines). But no DC-7C came with round windows.
    Like your previous commentator, I too got to fly on BOAC Stratocruisers on their West African runs, both times from Accra to Rome, in 1957 and 1958, once with rectangular windows (G-ANTZ, Cordelia) and once with round ones (G-AKGL, Cabot). On the earlier of these trips, we (my brothers and I) were enrolled in the BOAC Junior Jet Club and given logbooks that featured a welcome from Captain O.P. Jones, and into which our BOAC flights (and later other airlines’ flights) were entered. That is one reason I can recall the detail that I do. Cheers, Dieter.

    • <path_to_url> Henry Tenby

      Hi Dieter, Amazing observations and the post is very much appreciated. Perhaps you are right in that this was not even filmed on an actual aircraft and was filmed in some sort of interior mock-up set used for cabin crew training. It seems very weird that BOAC would be so sneaky and fob off a stand-in fake interior when promoting a specific aircraft. It is almost insulting to the travelling public of the day. Actually if it happened today, it would be all over social media and would be a huge embarrassment for the airline. You are one of the few people around who the BOAC Strat rides in their log books .. the envy of menu flight hounds. Very impressive!

    • <path_to_url> Henry Tenby

      Thank you Scott! I am glad you got to view them. It was a good stoke of luck that these three films surfaced for us.

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