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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Los Angeles in Los Angeles County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

The Trans-Polar Air Route

 
 
First Trans-Polar Air Route Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Baker, September 24, 2019
1. First Trans-Polar Air Route Marker
Inscription.  Presented to the City of Los Angeles in commemoration of the inauguration of the trans-polar air route directly connecting the city of Los Angeles with the European continent by Scandinavian Airlines System, November 15, 1954.
 
Erected by Scandinavian Airlines. (Marker Number 44.)
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Air & SpaceIndustry & Commerce.
 
Location. 33° 55.921′ N, 118° 24.348′ W. Marker is in Los Angeles, California, in Los Angeles County. Marker is at the intersection of Imperial Highway and California Street, on the right when traveling west on Imperial Highway. Near the parking lot of Flight Path Museum. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 6661 Imperial Highway, Los Angeles CA 90045, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Capt. Lou Lenart, USMC (Ret.) (approx. 1.6 miles away); Eagle Squadrons (approx. 1.6 miles away); Dockweiler Hang Gliding Center (approx. 1.6 miles away); SV-5D Lifting Body (approx. 1.8 miles away); Flight Path
First Trans-Polar Air Route Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Baker, September 24, 2019
2. First Trans-Polar Air Route Marker
(approx. 1.8 miles away); Space Park (approx. 3.2 miles away); Beach Cottage (approx. 3.3 miles away); Manhattan Beach Pier (approx. 3.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Los Angeles.
 
Regarding The Trans-Polar Air Route. The term "polar route" was originally applied to great circle routes between Europe and the west coast of North America in the 1950s. A great-circle distance is the shortest distance between two points on the surface of a globe. SAS was the first commercial airline to fly the polar route. Their Douglas DC-6B flights between Los Angeles and Copenhagen, via Sondre Stromfjord Greenland and Winnipeg Canada, started on November 15, 1954.
 
Also see . . .  1950s: Over the North Pole. 2016 article in Scandinavian Traveler. Excerpt:
On November 19, 1952, the Arild Viking, a DC-6B, took off from Los Angeles, with 22 dignitaries on board, en route to Copenhagen. [Einar Sverre] Pedersen himself was the navigator on the trip — and he was SAS’s chief navigator on polar routes between 1953 and 1975. The first polar flight made stops in Edmonton, Canada, and Thule, Greenland,
Flight Path Museum image. Click for full size.
By Craig Baker, September 24, 2019
3. Flight Path Museum
and landed in Copenhagen 28 hours after it left Los Angeles.
(Submitted on November 14, 2020.) 
 
Hangar One image. Click for full size.
By Craig Baker, September 24, 2019
4. Hangar One
The original building at LAX, built in 1929. Located 1.5 miles east of Flight Path Museum.
Hangar One image. Click for full size.
By Craig Baker, September 24, 2019
5. Hangar One
This side can be seen from the street at 5701 N Douglas St. Now a private maintenance facility, not open to the public.
Marker, Inside the Hangar image. Click for full size.
By Craig Baker, September 24, 2019
6. Marker, Inside the Hangar
Hangar #1. Mission revival style. A symbol of the early aviation industry in Southern California. Built in 1929. Gable and Wyant, architects. City Historic Monument No. 44.
Scandinavian Airlines System Douglas DC-6B image. Click for full size.
Freeware via FlyAwaySimulations.com
7. Scandinavian Airlines System Douglas DC-6B
“The DC-6B’s of SAS became famous for opening the first ‘polar’ (great circle) route from Europe to the USA, flying from Copenhagen to Los Angeles via Greenland and Canada. SAS used 14 DC-6B's in 1952-64.”
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 14, 2020. It was originally submitted on September 28, 2019, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. This page has been viewed 178 times since then and 121 times this year. It was the Marker of the Week November 15, 2020. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on September 28, 2019, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California.   7. submitted on November 14, 2020, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
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Nov. 23, 2020