The 1940s were the next decade to see a whole new generation of aircraft, with aviators and engineers straying from the traditional ‘flying boat’ design and entering the land-operating aircraft era, mainly developed for World War II. The events that followed led to an influx of leftover aircraft and runways, which paved the way for modern airport designs.
By the end of the 1940s, newer models of planes were seen at airports all throughout Europe, like the Avro Anson, with was converted from its original use as a communications aircraft with a turret equipped in the mid-dorsal area. This model saw a great deal of action between the years of 1935 up until 1968.
The Douglas DC models were another group of aircraft that managed to find work after the war. The DC-4 in particular was used as a cargo and troop transport during its time in the war, but was soon seen as an extremely valuable means of transportation by many airlines, having been able to seat up to 56 people. The DC-7C, also referred to as the ‘Seven-Seas,’ could hold even more passengers, and mirrored what most of today’s 747s look like. It could travel the span of the Atlantic Ocean with ease, but, unfortunately, it was rendered outdated once jet engine technology began to emerge, as this model ran on piston engines.
Fast forward to the 1960s and American saw jet engine technology become a staple among airlines across the country. Boeing 707s and Douglas DC-8s were just a few of many models that had then officially replaced all piston-engine aircraft. The Boeing 727 models specifically were the most advanced of their time. Able to seat over 100 passengers, these aircraft were used all over the world, most of them being seen throughout Europe.
1969 saw the Boeing 747, which was the world’s first “jumbo jet.” Pan American was the first airline to introduce this model alongside Trans World Airlines, and nearly every airline had purchased these models by the mid-70s soon after. This sparked an entirely new generation of plane, with airbuses becoming the most popular and practical. The Airbus A300 specifically could hold up to 267 passengers and travel at speeds over 550 miles per hour.
Today, Airbus models ranging from the A318 to A340 are used in nearly every airport across the world, as some can fit up to 350 passengers and travel extreme distances in one trip. Commercial flight has come a remarkably long way since its inception in the early 20th century, and one cannot help but think of the possibilities that will come with newer models of aircraft now that we have entered 2018.