Talking Transportation 2023
In the 1949, a Low and Slow Luxury Airliner for Pampering Transatlantic Passengers — Built, But Never Bought
Imagine a double-deck airplane with wings wider than a 747, sleeping berths, a sit-down restaurant and a separate movie theater, all designed to serve just 60 passengers crossing the Atlantic. Such a plane was built in 1949, but it never was adopted by the airlines. Built not by Boeing and long before Airbus even existed, the Brabazon was the creation of the U.K. company Bristol (and named after the government committee that dictated its specifications), a company best known for its heavy bombers in WWII. But the Brabazon’s design was inspired more by cruise ships than aircraft. Catering to the well-healed passengers who’d otherwise opt for a luxury sea voyage, this beast was designed to pamper, not provide low cost travel.