Allen’s plan paid off in November of 1945, when Pan American World Airways – often shortened to Pan Am – purchased 20 of the new Stratocruisers. At the time, it stood as the largest order of commercial planes ever, costing the airline $24.5 million for all of their new aircraft.
But Pan Am’s President, Juan Trippe, had great faith in the Boeing planes and their promise. Indeed, he had witnessed the success of the 314 Clipper, another of manufacturer’s aircraft. The Stratocruiser also promised to be the most luxurious and largest airplane of its time, which undoubtedly interested him, too.
The Stratocruiser, in fact, boasted a slew of amenities that hadn’t always come as standard in transport aircraft. Namely, the plane had a pressurized cabin. That allowed the craft to fly higher without any adverse health effects for the passengers and crew. The Stratocruiser also boasted a double-deck layout with space for 100 passengers above and 14 below, sleeping berths, dressing rooms and even a cocktail lounge.