Crossing the Pacific with PBS

Friday, July 21st, 2023

Pan Am: Crossing the Pacific

PBS: UK PREMIERE Monday 24 – Wednesday 26 July at 20:35

During the interwar period the flying boat would enjoy its golden age, as long-distance air travel brought the furthest reaches of the planet closer than ever.

With no need for expensive runways, these increasingly large planes were an attractive proposition for commercial operators, who would eventually complete a chain of airways spanning the globe. Among the most famous flying boats of the time was the China Clipper, built for Pan Am in 1935. In a series of island-to-island hops from the starting point of San Francisco bay, it successfully delivered airmail across the vast expanse of the Pacific.

Employing dramatic re-enactments, interviews with experts and archive material, this three-part documentary reveals the daunting multitude of technological challenges that lay behind a key moment in aviation history.

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