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This fantastic series of LIFE magazine images taken before, during and after a flight is the closest we are ever going to get to a 'real' walk-round of a Boeing B-314 'Clipper' nowadays. If any flying boat enthusiast could get this close to to a B-314 today, can you imagine the pictures we could take! 

So, with the recent public release of these images all we flying boat enthusiasts can do is express a great big 'Thank-You' to those behind-the-scenes who made this gallery possible and to the photographer for capturing not only the moment, but the essence of the era in each of these photographs and then sit back and just stare at what it was like to take a flight aboard one of the most iconic flying boats ever flown. Modelers, take note of all the amazing details in the shots.  

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Images the LIFE Archive : Note - for private viewing only - strictly no commercial use
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The images below show the preparations for a flight, loading the mail bags aboard, checking the engines, crew boarding - note the manner and style - very smart(!) and of course, the great man himself Juan Trippe, Boss of Pan American Airways, just prior to boarding. No wonder the crew marched in!
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Below, are some fabulous images of the vast cockpit area, almost 'room' sized and far larger than modern cockpits today. Here we see the crew at their various stations going about their normal in-flight duties as the flight progresses together with close-up's of the flight controls.
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Meanwhile, below in the lounge area the passengers also go about their normal business during the flight, chatting amongst themselves, snoozing, just passing the time away - nothing different to today - as the flight drones on. 
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Here's a view of dining aboard the B-314 with the waiter serving the passengers; note the type of meal being served - not the re-heated silver trays of today, this is full dinner service with 'proper' silver cutlery. 
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Leading rearwards from the Lounge area we come to the the Sleeping area where all the bunks are situated and here we see a member of the flight staff preparing the beds for use later and at the end a passenger having a shave.
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These extra photographs show a selection of different things, the first four are 'in-flight' views, from the cockpit over the nose and the sort of view that a passenger would have looking out of various windows. The last three show disembarkation at the end of the flight and a couple of images of the emergency life rafts carried in the B-314 being checked.
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