60 Years Ago, American Airlines Made History

60 years ago, on this day, American Airlines made history by flying the first scheduled United States transcontinental flight from Los Angeles to New York in a Boeing 707-123 Astro-jet aircraft. The flight was flown on N7503A, nicknamed ”Flagship California.” Captain Charles A. Macatee III flew the Boeing 707 from Los Angeles International Airport on the coast of southern California, to New York International Airport in New York City, in 4 hours and 3 minute flight time.

image N7503A, the Boeing 707 that flew the first transcontinental flight between Los Angeles and New York

The aircraft departed Los Angeles off of runway 25R at 9:05AM local time, with over 25,000 spectators watching. The flight was delayed by 20 minutes due to all the ceremonies and celebrations in and around the airport. This was no worry though, as tailwinds up to 150kts helped the aircraft arrive into New York early.


The Crew onboard the historic flight, including Captain Macatee and Captain Smith

The aircraft made the trip back to Los Angeles that very same day, with the names of AA CEO Cyrus Rowlett Smith, actress Jane Wyman, and World War Two Pilot General Robert Lee Scott, Jr.

As imaginable, the ticket prices were not cheap. Flying First Class one was $198.88, and $124.40 for coach class. Even with the expensive tickets, the flight was completely sold out with not a seat empty for the west and eastbound flights.

The flights were flown by Captain Macatee and Captain Smith, who has flown the Boeing 707 for 200 hours before this special flight. In an interview thirty years later, Macatee remarked, “But those four hours three minutes were the big ones for me. They always will be.”

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Wow the Boeing 707 was a great plane I always thought of it as the American a340 coz the a340 has a single fuselage and 4 engines

Didnt even know American had a 707

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Wow! Always so neat to see how far we have come in flying, we used to not even be able to connect L.A. to N.Y. Now we can connect almost all corners of the globe!

The A340 is a European 707, the 707 came before the a340.

The A340 is a widebody aircraft made by Airbus and made it’s maiden flight in 1992 (I think)

What a beautiful livery. Went perfectly with the 707 as well!

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