SOVIET ERA RUSSIA 1976
david taylor images
The best looking 'big jet' | KLM DC-8 PH-DCG | Singapore Paya Lebar October 1962
The early ‘60’s was when ‘the big props’ disappeared and ‘the big jets’ took over. Douglas made beautiful looking aircraft, all of them from the DC-4 to the DC-7, ‘just looked right’ when each first appeared. This continued with their 'big jet' the DC-8, it was much less brutal looking than it's competitor at that time, the Boeing 707 and this KLM paint scheme in light and dark blue complimented it superbly.
Taxying in off Paya Lebar’s runway 20 in October 1962, at just after 1600 local time is DC-8 PH-DCG ‘Guglielmo Marconi’ operating the KLM ‘Golden Circle Service’ weekly Flight KL831 arriving each Wednesday. Although they only came to Singapore once a week, KLM flew Amsterdam-Bangkok 3 times a week and they also flew an Amsterdam to Tokyo service directly over the Pole, something they had started doing with DC-7C’s in 1958. It stopped at Anchorage only for fuel. KLM gave out this little gem of information concerning the Polar Route: “Each crew flying the transpolar route over the Arctic was equipped with a winter survival kit, including a 7.62 mm selective-fire AR-10 carbine for use against polar bears in the event the plane was forced down onto the polar ice.”
Navigating over the Pole was still ‘interesting’ and the RAF took their trainee navigators on special flights to ‘see’ the problems.
KLM also did a DC-8 service to Tokyo using their standard Far East route, but missing out Singapore and going instead to Manila then Tokyo.
(KLM carrying a gun to protect from Polar bears: info from KLM website.)