Pan American World Airways, or "Pan Am" as most recall it, dominated the skies until 1991. Its first commercial flight carried passengers and mail from Key West to Havana, about 90 miles, Oct. 28, 1927. Lucky passengers has a close-up and personal sea view on a Fairchild FC2 floatplane.
Fifty years later, Pan Am celebrated its inaugural jaunt with another historic flight, circling the world, flying over the North and South Pole, and in record time. It flew 26,230 miles in 48 hours, 3 minutes. The entire flight, including stops, took 54 hours and 7 minutes. The stubby "Junior Jumbo", a Boeing 747SP, was about 47 feet shorter than a standard 747, while equipped with the same engines and wingspan, allowing it to fly longer distances between fueling.
Alki resident Brian Baum, now 53, was one of the 172 passengers on that flight. And while most of us define a good flight as one that is routine, with no surprises, Baum's experience was quite the opposite, thrilling, and one he will never forget. A former employee of the Museum of Flight, he will share his memories of his Pan Am trip with photos and possibly some video at the museum Saturday, Oct. 27, at 2:00 p.m. The public is invited. There is no charge other than admission to the museum. Members can attend free.