The first class cabin on Anthony Toth Boeing 747 mockup in a Los Angeles-area warehouse. Photo: Mike Kelley.
We at L.A. Airspace love Anthony Toth. How can you not embrace a man who built a replica of a Pan Am Boeing 747 inside a Los Angeles-area warehouse.
By now, if you read this space regularly, you know about Toth. He has spent more than $100,000 to recreate the plane he loved to fly as a child. If you’re not familiar with the man and you think I’m crazy, you should read the feature story I wrote about him last year.
Anthony recently teamed up with photographer Mike Kelley, who took some glamour shots of the mock-up. They gave me permission to use this shots, and I think you’ll be impressed. For more details on the shoot, you’ll want to go to Kelley’s website.
Clipper Class on Anthony Toth’s Pan Am 747 mock up. Photo: Mike Kelley.
The upper deck lounge. Photo: Mike Kelley.
First class passengers watch a movie. Photo: Mike Kelley.
The spiral staircase to the upper deck. Photo: Michael Kelley.
Toth likes to have catered meals on board. Photo: Michael Kelley.
You can call me an Aviation Geek, but I can’t get enough stories about Anthony Toth, the man I featured last year who built a replica Pan Am 747 inside a warehouse outside of Los Angeles.
Anthony was recently featured in a three-minute video made by MSN. The video has some of the best pictures I’ve seen about life on board this mock-up. (Incidentally, you’ll likely be seeing some of Toth’s aviation collection on this year’s season of “Mad Men.”)
Anthony Toth built a 747 replica inside a warehouse. Here, he stands in front of the first class cabin. Photo: Stephen Carr.
You may remember Anthony Toth. He’s the California man and United Airlines executive who built a replica of a Pan Am 747 inside a Los Angeles-area warehouse.
This is not a joke. He dedicated years of his life to his pursuit because Pan Am was the airline Toth loved to fly as a child.
As of a year ago, when I wrote a long story on him, Toth had hired a contractor and spent more than $100,000 on his life’s dream. At the time, Toth had a first-class section, complete with 18 seats, and a Clipper Class section — sort of like premium economy — with 26 powder blue seats. He had also built an upper deck lounge. And Toth had all the soft goods — the Pan Am branded napkins, the drink stirrers, the headphones, the glassware — to go with it. He even piped in the sounds of aircraft noise.
But Toth wanted more. I caught up with him recently and wrote an update for our main website. Here’s some of what I learned:
- Playboy did a one-week shoot on his plane for an upcoming issue. There were 12 naked women around. “It was a shocking week for me,” Toth said.
The cockpit, with help from some special effects. Photo: Anthony Toth.
Toth bought a cockpit for $6,000 off a retired Air Canada plane and had it installed on the front end of the upper deck. Before, Toth had a cockpit door, but if you opened it, it actually just led to a storage area.
- “Mad Men” rented some props from Toth. It was a top secret mission. Someone from the show called Toth and asked him for stuff from a specific airline and specific time period. He says he is not allowed to say anything about what he rented out because it might give away a plot point. But he said he loves the “Mad Men” gigs. “They want everything to be validated,” Toth said. “They are true to their craft. They re-create vintage aviation in the way I want it to be recreated.”
- Toth is now partnering with a company called Air Hollywood that specializes in aviation sets and props for airplane-related entertainment shoots. The company is based in Pacoima in the San Fernando Valley and Toth is considering moving his replica there. Why? It would give him a lot more room. Perhaps enough for a full 747 mock-up. “If I want to play in this space,” he said, “I’m going to need a bigger airplane.”
- He is in the market for old airline uniforms for his rental business — not just Pan Am, but other airlines as well. The acquisition costs are high . A Pan Am uniform hat? That runs $700 to $800, he says. A Pan Am uniform? Toth says he recently bought two — for $1,000 apiece.
The Clipper Cabin on Toth’s mockup.
This 747SP first flew for Pan Am and then for United. Image Credit: NASA / Carla Thomas
What happens to a plane after its finishes commercial service?
Sometimes, as we detailed last month with a Fiji Airways 747 (registration: DQ-FJK) the airplane is immediately scrapped. But other times, the plane continues flying for a decade or even longer.
I recently came across N747NA, a 747SP operated by the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) — part of NASA — since 1997. According to the website touting the plane: “NASA and the German space agency, DLR, are working together to create and operate SOFIA – a Boeing 747-SP aircraft modified to accommodate a 2.5 meter gyro-stabilized telescope.”
According to NASA, the plane was first owned by Pan Am and later United, which got rid of the early-model 747 in 1997. (Here’s a 1980 photo of the Pan Am livery, and a 1994 photo of the plane wearing United titles.
NASA put together some interesting facts about the history of the plane. Read on to learn them.
Remember Anthony Toth? He’s the guy who created a replica of the interior of a Pan Am Boeing 747 inside a Los Angeles-area warehouse. From the outside, it’s completely fake. But the interior? It looks almost exactly like the real thing.
On Saturday night, Anthony played host to an “on-board” dinner. And according to an excellent blog post by Brett Snyder, who helped organize the event, the evening was a rousing success. Tickets were actually available to the public, though they sold out very quickly.
The pictures on Brett’s blog are just unreal. Read on to see a few of them.