Jon Proctor: SFO
The following photos were taken by Jon Proctor, used with permission.
You can visit his site here
The SFO observation deck, seen in the Western Electra photo above, offered great photo opportunities. TWA 1049G ‘Super G’ Constellation N7103C, pulls out of the gate, bound for Los Angeles; too bad I couldn’t have hopped a ride on this airplane By chance, sister-in-law Ann Proctor was on board!
By March 10, 1963, when the next four pictures were taken, I was working for PSA in San Diego (details here), affording me unlimited passes. The airline only served SAN, LAX, BUR and SFO, so options were limited! Above, three-year-old DC-8-21 N8025, Jet Mainliner Annie E Johnson, sits at United’s circular, ‘pinwheel’ gate complex. Having flown 18 years with The Friendly Skies, it was withdrawn from service in 1978 and broken up.
Founded in 1946, cargo operator Slick Airways began with C-46 Commandos, gradually upgrading its fleet with the DC-4s and Constellations. It later began operating the Canadair CL-44, an offshoot of the Bristol Britannia. An example sits at the cargo ramp in December 1963; unfortunately the registration is not visible. The company’s assets were acquired by Airlift International in 1966. Only 39 CL-44s were built.
For years United flew Convair-liners up and down the West Coast on multiple-stop services. N73110 shows off its last color scheme, with slanted United titles and the oval logo on its nose. The carrier operated 75 Convair 340s without a single fatality, a remarkable record. Fourteenth off the assembly line and originally named Mainliner Detroit, N73110 was sold to Tex Johnston Inc. in 1968 and converted to -580 standards.
Fast forward to January 1967 for this look at a Pacific Air Lines Boeing 727-193 being pushed back from the gate, with a company Martin in Pacific’s updated livery visible in the background. One of three of tri-jets operated by Pacific and then successor Air West, N2969G wound up on lease to Alaska Airlines and crashed on approach to Juneau, September 4, 1971.
TWA Jumbo Jet service at SFO was inaugurated on April 5, 1970, utilizing 747-131 N93104, seen shortly before departure to New York, and bearing the name City of San Francisco, which was actually a paper banner removed after Shirley Temple Black christened the airplane with a bottle of champagne. I was lucky to get a seat on this nearly full flight.
We stopped traffic with our departure, as evidenced by all the ground vehicles sitting idle during pushback from the gate. Even the observation deck is filled with onlookers, and I remember cars pulling off the Bayshore Freeway as we taxied by, en route to the departure runway.
Dean also took this great reflection shot of PSA 737-293 N462GB in June 1973. Twentieth off the assembly line and built for Pacific Air Lines, it was instead purchased by a leasing company and operated by Air California, sub-leased to PSA and returned to Air Cal, flown by American Airlines and even did a brief stint with the reborn Braniff. The Boeing twin was finally scrapped at Kingman, Arizona in 1994.
SFO was among the early destinations for TWA L-1011s, first from Chicago in 1972. N41016 shows “1011” markings on the No. 2 engine inlet, changed from “L-1011″ at some point. Those marketing folks always had a new angle for advertising!