This month our Destination Airport of the Month is Dublin International Airport (EIDW), Dublin, Ireland. Thirty one flights by Aer Lingus, BEA, KLM, SAS and LoganAir call Dublin their destination. This includes the 707, BAC 1-11, MD82, Viscount, Saab 340 and the Fokker F-27. In 1936, the government of Ireland established a new civil airline, Aer Lingus. They also wanted a new airport for their capital, Dublin. Work began in 1937 and the airport opened with a grass strip in 1939. The first airline flight from Dublin left on January 19th, 1940 for Liverpool. In 1948 Dublin Airport built paved runways and a new terminal that resembled an ocean liner superstructure. Aer lingus was the dominant carrier, though KLM brought service to Amsterdam in 1947. Others joined in, like BEA and Sabena. Aer Lingus started Boeing 720 jet service to North America through Shannon beginning in 1960, then the 707 in 1964. Aer Lingus was one of the launch customers for the Vickers Viscount, and it became a common sight in the skies over Dublin. The Viscount was vastly superior in speed and passenger comfort compared to anything else at the time and it contributed tremendously to the success of Aer Lingus and Dublin International Airport. That is why we have made the Vickers Viscount the Aircraft of the Month for March.
Also for March we have completed several extensive updates to schedules, including Aeroflot, Swissair, TWA and SAS. East Germany's Interflug is back. Interflug was East Germany's answer to Lufthansa, but they never became nearly as successful. Interflug operated Russian Ilyushin-18 during the 1960's as the backbone to their fleet, while Tupelov 134's were introduced as their first jets. Interflug was state-owned, and as such suffered from aging equipment and annual financial losses. Easing of tensions between East and West allowed Interflug in 1988 to order three modern Airbus A310's. However, when East and West Germany were united the following year, Interflug was liquidated in 1991. If it's quality IL-18 flying you desire, Interflug may be just the airline you are looking for.
A lot is happening at HAG right now!
Qantas: We have just redone Qantas Airlines. New, historically-correct routes for the Super Connies from1958, Electras from 1962, 707 from 1968, B747 from 1985. This was a big project that took quite some time to complete properly. This is a great time to explore routes Down Under, for it's summertime down there now!
Piedmont: We deleted the old 727 routes and replaced them with historically-correct routes. We now have both the -100 & -200 series flights, representing 1978 and 1983 respectfully. Overall, our Piedmont 727 flights have nearly tripled! We hope to redo the 737 flights this spring.
Destination of the Month: Our destination airport of the Month for February is Miami, Florida. Miami International Airport is the United States primary entry from the Caribbean and South America. Overall, it is the 13th busiest airport in the US, but for international travel it ranks 3rd. Many airlines have used Miami as a hub, including American, Braniff, Eastern and National Airlines to name but a few. PanAm Field opened in 1928, centered near the threshold of today’s runway 26R. In 1931 Eastern began, followed by National in 1936. It was adjacent to a similar field known as Miami City Airport, but the two were normally considered as one airport divided by a railroad track. In 1945 the city of Miami took over control of the airport from the Army, who moved to Homestead AFB. Business boomed. The railroad tracks were rerouted and runways expanded. Every type of Douglas and Boeing was flying into Miami. From DC-3’s to 747’s, the Historical Airline Group has over 35 airlines flying to Miami International, 389+ flights altogether. Eastern dominates Miami of course, but almost everyone else has at least one flight to Miami.
Aircraft of the Month: The Douglas DC-8 (all series). Eighty-five DC-8 flights call Miami their destination at HAG. Remember, anyone logging a trip to Miami in a DC-8 gets double miles!
Destination of the Month: Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport
Aircraft of the Month: Boeing 707
This year we begin a new series called DOM/AOM, Destination of the Month and Aircraft of the Month. We encourage pilots to try out the highlighted destination and aircraft. When you fly to a highlighted destination airport during the specific month, using the aircraft of the month, you will earn double the flight hours!
For January we are featuring Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport and the Boeing 707 (all models). Sydney (YSSY) is unique in that it is one of the few major airports that does not have international in its name. It started out as a grazing field in 1919 when Nigel Love returned from World War I and created the Mascot Aircraft Manufacturing Company. However, business was difficult and in four short years they closed their doors. The Commonwealth took over ownership of their airport and Sydney Airport was born. In 1936 the name was changed to Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport, in honor of Sir Charles Kingsford Smith, an early Australian aviation pioneer who had died the previous year during a record-breaking attempt to fly from England to Australia.
Dirt runway gave way to three gravel runways in 1933. The first paved runway didn’t come along until 1959, for the jets. That runway is now the longest runway in Australia at 14,300’. The first jumbo jet, a PanAm 747, landed in Sydney in 1970. The airport is built using a lot of reclaimed land in Botany Bay. For decades they have discussed how best to expand the airport and finally in 1992 a major redesign and update took place. In 2001 Sydney was awarded World’s Best Airport. This, despite being limited by a 11pm to 6am curfew and a limit of 80 aircraft movements per hour. Today, fifty airlines serve Sydney.
The Historic Airline Group has 71 flights with Sydney as the destination, including twelve 707 flights from Honolulu, Tokyo, Singapore, Aukland, Jakarta, Hong Kong, Tahiti, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth using Qantas, Malaysia-Singapore and Canadian-Pacific.
Calling all freight dogs! At the Historic Airline Group, we love classic cargo. For your Christmas this year, we are happy to present Air Transport International (ATI). We are adding 51 flights for their classic DC8-63F aircraft. These are not the usual freight runs though. Domestically we have flights from Boston to Cincinnati and Nashville, Charlotte to Long Beach, Los Angeles to Seattle continuing on to Toledo Express, and Houston to Anchorage. Internationally we are circling the globe! Six new flights to South America. From Toledo we fly to Vatry, France and on to Abu Dhabi. From Washington-Dulles we travel to Hahn-Frankfurt and on to Moscow. For the US military we fly three flights from Bahrain- to Kandahar, Karachi and Diego Garcia.
Across the Pacific! We fly to Honolulu from Long Beach, then on to Kwajalein Atoll and Guam. From Guam we continue to Singapore, then up to Guangzhou, China. From China we head to Anchorage and then south to Long Beach.
ATI was founded in 1978 as US Airways, then changed the name to Interstate Airlines. Interstate started with Convair 580's but quickly expanded in the thriving 80's to include 727's, L188 Electra II's and DC8's. In 1984 they went international. The ATI name came about in 1988. Initially, ATI's normal routine was to fly routes for other cargo companies. ATI reduced the fleet to a single type, DC8's, eventually operating 32 of them, including Sixty and Seventy series. On it's own, ATI had several military contracts. Their work with other cargo carriers brought them a reputation for reliability and flexibility. In 1994 they bought ICX International and their four DC8-73 aircraft.
The cargo industry was changing. Large holding companies bought several cargo carriers and used them to fly contract flights generated by the parent holding company. ATI was no exception, and their reputation put them in good with the largest and best cargo holding companies. In 1998 ATI was bought by BAX Global, continuing to operate under it's own name and certificate. In 2006 ATI was sold to Cargo Holdings International, but again retained it's name. In 2008, while the world airline market was struggling, ATI continued to prosper and add new 767 freighters, replacing the DC-8's. ATI was sold again to ABX Holdings, then later to DHL Aviation. Under DHL, ATI acquired a big contract with Amazon as Amazon Air. Today, ATI operates 30 767 freighters, and six 757's for cargo and passenger charters.
Air freight is a big part of classic air flying, and Zantop International was a powerhouse in its day. Zantop Flying Service began with brothers Duane, Lloyd, Howard and Elroy Zantop as partners in 1946. They hauled car parts for General Motors from Jackson MI using small Cessna aircraft. In 1952 the CAB granted them a commercial certificate and they changed their name to Zantop Air Transport. With a few ex-USAAF C-46's, they began hauling car parts for the Big Three automakers from a hangar at Ypsilanti Airport. In the early 1960’s they got ahold of some Armstrong-Whitworth Argosy cargo planes, and started adding more planes, including DC-3’s, DC-4’s, DC-6’s, anything that could haul freight. In 1962 they bought Coastal Air Lines of San Francisco, formerly Coastal Cargo. This happened for two reasons: First, it gave them facilities on the west coast for expansion; and it also gave them a passenger-carrying certificate. Zantop sold Coastal’s Lockheed Constellations.
In 1967 the Zantop family sold the operation to Universal Airlines. About this time the Kalitta family began a cargo operation at Ypsilanti, and eventually went big into international air freight with large jets (747's and L1011's included), leaving the auto industry market virtually untouched. Universal had focused on freight within the US, and though they remained in Ypsilanti, they were not exclusive to the auto industry. Universal’s President/CEO was M. Lamar Muse, who would later be co-founder of Southwest Airlines. Universal brought new equipment to the fleet, including DC-7’s, L-188’s and DC-8’s. Universal began doing charters for the military, both cargo and passengers. A nationwide recession and the end of the Vietnam war brought hard times on Universal. In 1972 Universal went up for sale.
Now the Zantop family still had friends in the auto industry and in the Ypsilanti Chamber of Commerce. GM, Ford and Chrysler were not happy with the current state of the air freight industry as it related to their business. Previously, Zantop had been dedicated to their auto factory needs, and when parts were needed ASAP, Zantop was always there. When Universal went up for sale, the Zantop family saw opportunity and decided to get back in the game.
Saturn Airways ended up buying Universal, mostly for their DC-8’s and property assets. The Zantop’s offered to take the older aircraft off their hands, along with some ground service and maintenance equipment that Saturn had no use for. Saturn already had an operating certificate, so Zantop got Universal’s certificate (their own original certificate) in the deal. Much to the automaker’s delight, Zantop was back in business.
Earlier, after the airlines had moved to DTW, Zantop had leased numerous hangars and offices at YIP. Those facilities were largely untouched when they returned in 1972. Zantop had the Electra’s, DC-6’s and Convair’s, a lot of ramp and hangar space, fresh contracts in hand and immediately put the fleet (and the local economy) back to work. The Electra was a perfect workhorse and more were bought, 25 altogether. More DC-8’s were acquired, where and when they could, for a total of 23. The DC-6's and Convair's soldiered on for years. Zantop flourished. They expanded cautiously into the international market, setting up contracts with Channel Express and DHL in Europe. They contracted with Lynden Air Cargo in Alaska, and the US Air Force and US Navy for logistical air support services. For over thirty years they ran a tight ship, moving freight and keeping the old airplanes running. If you were a young pilot in love with classics, Zantop was the place to be. Over the next thirty years business was steady, but eventually the economy and aging aircraft caught up with them. The Zantop family wasn’t getting any younger, so they closed their doors in 2001, leaving behind a true legacy in the air freight business. At the Historic Airline Group, we have new Zantop flights, including L188, DC-6 and DC-8 flights. Like Zantop, HAG knows freight.
Avro was a well known aircraft manufacturer in Great Britain. They built a couple of aircraft designs between 1910 and 1920, but in the post-WW1 recession the market was thin for new aircraft. In 1920 Crossley Motors bought Avro and used their work space to build motorcar bodies. In 1928 Crossley sold Avro to Armstrong Siddeley Holdings Ltd. Avro was back in the airplane design business, and built several smaller civilian types. With war in Europe looming, Avro began to design large military aircraft, including the heavy bombers Manchester, Lincoln and Lancaster. Over 7,000 of the highly successful Lancasters were built, putting Avro in a strong manufacturing position.
After the war, Avro designed the Tudor, a pressurized, four engine airliner for the civilian market. However it had stability issues among other troubles, and was considered unsuitable for trans-Atlantic operations. Most airlines went with the DC-4 or Lockheed Constellation. The Avro Tudor was also considered a dated design. Avro needed to do something and quick. The design department had been working on a twin engine airliner idea, possibly to be powered by the new Rolls Royce turboprop engine. In the early 1950’s the DC3 and others were getting pretty worn out. Passengers wanted speed and pressurization. The Vickers Viscount had shown that turbine power was smooth and reliable. The Viscount could carry 48 passengers with four Rolls Royce Dart engines. Avro worked with customers to create an airplane they wanted. The main competition was the Dutch Fokker F27. Avro worked carefully on their design, making short-field performance a design feature. The low wing design allowed for stronger landing gear, and a large wing provided plenty of lift for short field operations and good load carrying ability. Systems were designed to be simple and easy to maintain. The structure was built to new international fail-safe design criteria, making for a strong airframe with no life limit. Twin engines meant lower purchase and operating costs. She would cruise at 250 knots for up to a thousand miles at 23,000’ with a full load, and operate from any airfield with only 4000' of runway. 40-48 passenger seats made airline executives smile.
The Avro 748 took to the air in June 1960, and less than two years later the first deliveries were made. By now the Avro identity within Armstrong Siddeley Ltd was merged with the Hawker group and the aircraft was now referred to as the Hawker-Siddeley 748, the Avro name being dropped entirely in 1963. By 1976, 312 HS748’s had been sold. Most sales went to customers in South America, Caribbean, Canada and the Far East, where it’s STOL performance was put to good use. Most versions were delivered as combi models. These aircraft could be easily changed from all cargo to all passengers, or anything in between. The last 748 rolled off the assembly line in 1988, with 381 being built.
At the Historical Airline Group, we have good representation of the HS748 in service, including Austrian, Cascade, Air North and First Air. Look for more airlines and routes in the near future!
In 1944 a group of men in Houston started an air charter business called Aviation Enterprises. This charter company got CAB approval for scheduled intrastate airline service in 1947 and named themselves Trans Texas Airways. They started with a few DC-3's purchased from American Airlines. Before long they were making a profit, got approval to serve adjoining states and more DC-3's were bought. Throughout the 1950's TTA was a regional airline with a record of growth and profit. In 1961 they bought some Convair 240's from American, the first major aircraft improvement for them. Soon after, they began converting the Convair's to Convair 600's with Rolls Royce turboprops. Business was good, and in 1967 they decided to take the plunge and go all in for DC-9 jets, purchasing nine new airplanes. They also changed their name to Texas International Airlines. Within a few years, Texas International was an all-jet airline.
Texas International learned a lesson that others had also learned in the new jet age. New aircraft were expense to own and operate. Banks don't care if there is a recession or if business is slow. Every month those bank notes are due, without exception. Debts mounted and TIA was facing liquidation. The DC-9's were a blessing and a curse for TIA.
Meanwhile, a businessman by the name of Frank Lorenzo had just started Jet Capital Corporation, providing management services to airlines. Chase Manhattan Bank, who owned the loans for TIA's airplanes, wanted Jet Capital to help Texas International avoid bankruptcy. Jet Capital came up with a solution, investors were found and bankruptcy was avoided. In two years, under Jet Capital's guidance, TIA went from the brink of financial collapse to profitability. Jet Capital Corporation bought 26% of the shares of TIA and 59% of the voting for only $1.15M, and in 1972 took control of Texas International Airlines. Lorenzo took TIA into the low cost market, bringing low fares, new marketing ideas and streamlining operations in order to compete with the majors. It worked. Their annual net income, after expenses, was up to $13 million.
Lorenzo used profitable Texas International to attempt a takeover of financially struggling National Airlines. It was a big move, for National was easily ten times larger than TIA. However, National resisted and in the end, the CAB approved PanAm's takeover of National. Frank Lorenzo learned a valuable lesson: when one airline tries to buy another airline, it requires CAB approval, and that takes political clout, which PanAm had in spades and he did not. However, Jet Capital sold their National stock to PanAm for a profit of $100 million. With the new money, Lorenzo went after struggling TWA, but Carl Icahn's New York holding company won out. Another lesson had been learned. When a non-airline business tries to buy an airline, no CAB approval is required. Frank Lorenzo created Texas Air Corporation, with TIA as a wholly owned subsidiary. Texas Air Corp was owned by Jet Capital Corp.
His next step was to start New York Air. NYA would provide low cost service in the Northeast, much as TIA had in Texas. NY Air though was non-union, and the pilots at TIA opposed it strongly. In the end though, there was nothing TIA pilots could do about it. Truth was, Lorenzo was not trying to break the union at TIA. He was trying to prove the validity of his low cost airline model, and he did.
NY Air and TIA showed airline industry shareholders that Frank Lorenzo could run an airline profitably. Using funds generated by TIA and NYA, Texas Air Corp and Jet Capital went after another struggling major, Continental Airlines. Continental had been struggling since deregulation, and investors were unhappy with the current management. Lorenzo wanted to buy 49% of Continental shares from current shareholders. Employees and their unions attempted to block this move by making Continental employee-owned, but financing fell through. Lorenzo's company was able to buy 49% of the company stock.
Unions opposed Lorenzo, but Lorenzo told them that he felt all employees had a right to union representation if they so desired. Continental's Chairman, Alvin Feldman strongly opposed Texas Air Corp's takeover attempt, and when the employee ownership deal fell through he committed suicide.
The takeover became official in 1981 but the problems were not over. Continental's financial state was worse than expected and a national recession didn't help. Lorenzo went to the unions for concessions but they weren't having it. Instead, strikes ensued and in 1983 Continental was forced to file chapter 11 bankruptcy. As a result, all union contracts were voided. This riled the employees even more, but Lorenzo negotiated new contracts, albeit at lower rates. Management pay was also reduced to match the pilots as a sign of solidarity. This worked, and Continental came out of bankruptcy on schedule. Lorenzo was now Chairman of a major airline. In 1984 Continental's new low-cost structure made them profitable, surpassing seat miles flown prior to banckruptcy with 25% fewer employees. Employees were given profit sharing and equity incentives.
Trans Texas Airways wanted to be a simple, regional airline making a reasonable profit. They were just that, until the jet age put them in financial straits and they became unwilling participants in a financial war of mergers and takeovers. But their model of local, low cost service became a model for other airlines, like a new upstart called Southwest Airlines. Long live Trans Texas Airways.
Two jets were key to developing jet travel in the US and much of the world. The 707 led the way, followed closely by the DC8. Both companies did what most US companies do- if this is good, bigger must be better.
In 1962, Boeing delivered the first 707-320B Intercontinental to PanAm. It was indeed the first 707 that could cross the Atlantic in either direction without making a fuel stop. Douglas stood with their basic DC8, the 55 Series representing the latest in technology. So which airplane was better? Let's compare.
In terms of passenger seats, both airplanes could carry 189 passengers in a single class cabin, though 142 was more typical in a two-class arrangement. Both aircraft used the P&W JT3D engines. The 707 was about 3' 9" longer than the DC8, yet both had identical wingspans (142'). The fuselage diameters were within 1" of each other. So in size and thrust, neither airplane has any real advantage.
In weights, the 707 has the larger maximum takeoff weight, 333,600 lbs vs 325,000 lbs for the DC8. However the 707's longer fuselage comes at a price: the 707-320B has an empty weight 10,534 lbs more than the DC8. This gives the DC8 a distinct advantage in useful load: 52,000 lbs vs 46,200 for the 707. Fuel loads were close, with the DC8's 23,393 gals being barely topped by the 707 with 23,855 gals. The Douglas had a higher maximum landing weight, 238,100 lbs compared to the 320B's 215,000 lbs. If you load up both airplanes to their maximum takeoff weight (MTOW), then the 707 will need to burn off 118,600 lbs of fuel in order to land within it's maximum landing weight limit. The DC8 however, only needs to burn off 86,900 lbs of fuel. With a typical fuel burn rate of 3500 lbs/eng, the DC8 will need to fly for 6+12 hrs, while the 707 needs to fly for 8+30 hrs. Advantage Douglas.
We loaded up both airplanes with 142 passengers, 142 suitcases and 6000 lbs of freight on a typical transcontinental flight between Los Angeles and New York. Currently, this will take 4 hrs and 22 minutes for each airplane cruising at FL350 and M.80. Each airplane, having identical engines, should burn 60,000 lbs, including taxi and climb. We added another two hours for reserve and alternate fuel, then rounded up for a fuel load of 90,000 lbs, or about 54% capacity.
We calculated the 707's takeoff weight at 273,910 lbs. The DC8 weighed in at a significantly lighter 263,976 lbs. Upon arrival in New York, the DC8 will weigh 203,376 lbs, 17.5 tons below maximum landing weight. The 707 though will be just one half ton below maximum landing weight. The DC8's lighter weight means better climb and easier cruise, so it should burn a little less fuel overall. This also means that the DC8 can easily carry more freight from LAX, and that translates into higher revenues. The 707 though is limited by its lower landing weight limit.
In the end, the winner is: The Douglas DC8-55. While both aircraft carry an identical number of passengers, cruise at identical speeds and burn fuel at nearly identical rates, the DC8's lighter empty weight and higher landing weight means it has more flexibility, allowing it to carry an even greater load over the same distance, as seen in our LAX-JFK example. When Douglas introduced the Sixty Series, 70 more revenue passengers could be carried. Boeing was forced to go with the 747, because bigger is better.
Canadian Airlines are like the yellow brick road, except instead of leading to Oz, they all lead to Air Canada.
There have been many airlines calling the Great White North home, but four of them played a big part in creating Air Canada. Trans Canadian Air Lines (TCA), Pacific Western Airlines (PWA), Nordair and CP Air. Just before World War 2, the Canadian National Railway and the Canadian Pacific Railway were arch-rivals in the passenger train business. CNR started Trans-Canada Airlines (TCA), based in Montreal and Toronto, because they wanted to get into the air travel business, a growing market as seen in the United States. The Canadian government was not happy calling charter bush companies airlines, and wanted a national airline for Canada. CNR provided the management expertise needed, funding was acquired, and with the government paving the way clear they bought some Lockheed Model 14 airplanes and began regularly scheduled flights. These airplanes proved that the business model was promising, and in 1945 they purchased 30 ex-C-47's for national routes. In 1947 they bought a fleet of Canadian North Stars, designed specifically by Canadair Aircraft Ltd for TCA. TCA put them to work on transcontinental routes as well as flights to Europe after the war. The DC-4M North Star wasn't just a DC-4 with Rolls Royce Merlin engines. It was more like a shortened DC-6 with a DC-4 tail and mid-section. They weren't very fast, and even though they were pressurized, they were still quite noisy.
Meanwhile, Canadian Pacific Railways, not to be outdone, started their own airline, Canadian Pacific Air Lines (CPA), based in Vancouver. To do this, they purchased ten charter bush companies and combined them all into one operation in 1942. Management was a mix of people from the ten companies. With the government heavily involved in TCA, CPA had an uphill battle with TCA for access to government-controlled routes, both transcontinental and international, throughout their history. Using Lockheed Model 14's and DC-3's (much like TCA), they focused more on developing a regional market within Canada, bringing airline service to a large number of small, isolated communities. When they went looking to go internationally to Europe with their own DC-4's and DC-4M's, they hit a roadblock. The Canadian government had already given these prize routes to TCA. Instead, CPA went to the Pacific, providing scheduled services from their base in Vancouver to Tokyo, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Honolulu, Fiji and Sydney. When long range jets became available (which replaced CPA's British Bristol Britannia's), the government relented and let CPA fly to European cites not served by TCA.
In 1964, TCA changed their name to Air Canada. In 1968 CPA changed their name to CP Air. TCA moved into Vickers Vanguards and Constellations for long distance, then later acquired the DC-8. CPA went with the Britannia, DC-6 and DC-8. For years, both airlines had always been flirting with the idea of a merger. It only made sense. CP Air had the domestic route structure and the Pacific, while Air Canada was more into flying to the larger Canadian cities, the US and Europe. Air Canada was still controlled by the government though, so any ideas of a merger fell on deaf ears. When open skies came about in the 1970's, CP Air and Air Canada scrambled for bigger planes, purchasing and leasing DC-10-30's, 747's and long-range DC-8-63's. This rapid expansion would prove fateful for both carriers. Smaller Pacific Western Airlines, with some big financial backing, took over CP Air (and smaller Nordair) in 1987. They assumed CP Air's $600 million debt, but they were always struggling finacially after that. The new airline was called Canadian Airlines.
Air Canada meanwhile was finally freed from government control in 1989. The change went surpisingly smooth. In 2001 the idea of merging CP Air (now Canadian Airlines) and Air Canada finally came to pass, but when the deal was done, Air Canada officials discovered Canadian was in worse shape financially than they had thought. This, along with a worldwide downturn in the airline market, caused Air Canada to file for bankruptcy protection in 2003. They managed to come out of bankruptcy a year later. Since then, the airline has done well, modernizing it's fleet and cutting costs, but the road it took would confuse even a seasoned Wall Street trader. Despite the ownership fog, Air Canada has been profitable again since 2012.
Two other Canadian airlines have survived through all of this. First Air and Air North have their nitch markets and stick with them, improving their service and not looking to compete in the international marketplace. Both are owned by local native tribes, who helped them move into jets, primarily 737's. Though not as big as Air Canada, they have one thing Air Canada doesn't- sustained profitability and fierce customer and employee loyalty. Sometimes, small is good.
Your management staff continues to improve the quality of the flights at our Historic Airline Group. Aer Lingus (EIN) has been overhauled to improve the historical accuracy of flight schedules. While some EIN flights went away, others were expanded, espcially the BAC 1-11 operations. Republic (REP) and Northwest (NWA) DC9/MD80/757 flights were revamped to better indicate routes pre and post merger operations. Historically significant flights were also added. All of the Trans Australian (TAA) and Ansett (AAA) flights were replaced with more accurate schedules. Updates were made to Varig (VRG), Panair (PDB) and Cruzerio (CRZ). Portugal's TAP was completely redone, as was Korean Air (KAL), Luxair (LGL), Icelandic (ICE) and Nordair (NDR). Air North (ANT) HS748 flights are back on the Dawson City-Inuvik runs too.
We look at what airlines and aircraft types are the most popular, and focus improvements in these areas, as well as overall updates and a few new operations. We have significantly increased the number of turboprop flights, especially the Viscount and Electra II. Bringing you the best in historical airline accuracy is our ongoing commitment, and it shows with over 15,000+ flights worldwide.
We continue to make improvements to our data base of flights. Air North has gotten a complete update, putting their 737-200ADV's to good use in western Canada.
South of the border we have improved Pannair's Connie flights, Varig Electra II's and Portugal's TAP got new intercontinental 707 flights. TAP also got Connie service to the Canary Islands & Madeira.
IcelandAir got improvements done to their Viscount flights, and minor changes were made to Korean and Nordair. In Europe, Luxair got a complete overhaul and the F27 is back.
We continue to bring you over 15,000 historically correct flights from which to chose from. For the best in classic props and jets, you can't beat the Historic Airline Group.
American Overseas Airlines started out life in 1937 as American Export Airlines, a subsidary of American Export Lines, a shipping company. In 1945 they were awarded transatlantic routes to Europe under the condition that the shipping company divest itself of the airline, for shipping companies were not supposed to own international airlines too. At the time, American Airlines was looking to expand into the international market, and so C.R. Smith purchased AEA and renamed it American Overseas Airlines, marketing with American Airlines and connecting to American's vast domestic network. AEA had been operating C-54's for the USAAF in WW2, so in November 1945 they began airline service as AOA using six ex-C54's. One year later the unpressurized C-54's were replaced with seven new Lockheed L049's. Three years later, eight Boeing 377 Stratocruisers were introduced, eventually replacing the Constellations.
But all was not well. Though capable of the transatlantic route, the L049 just couldn't carry enough passengers to make a decent profit. The Stratocruiser increased the seating capacity, but they were expensive to purchase and operate. In 1950, American Airlines had had enough and sold AOA to PanAm, who took the Stratocruisers and created their Atlantic Division. Though five years is hardly what we would call a legacy carrier, American Overseas Airlines showed others how to set up the infrastructure needed to run airline service between New York and Europe with land-based aircraft. Better aircraft came along and made the route profitable, but it was AOA who set the initial groundwork for transatlantic service. At HAG, we have both L049 and Stratocruiser flights to and from Europe under the American Airlines name.
We just updated all the American Airlines DC-6B and DC-7B flights. The new flights were all taken from the 1958 AA schedule and represent the peak of American Airlines four engine piston operations. Using actual flight numbers, departure times and arrival times, these new flights are historically correct for this period. In addition, Mercury flights are listed. Mercury flights were American's long distance, all First Class flights. These DC-7B flights were the luxury air travel flights of this era. Five Star meals and an open bar was the reward for your First Class ticket. Our update to American's schedules resulted in a 13% increase in DC-7B flights, and a whopping 52% increase in DC-6B flights.
We also updated the TWA L1049G schedules from 1955. Ambassador flights competed with American and United's DC-7's. They all used Wright's R3350, straining them to their limits. This caused people to consider the Wright's unreliable, but in lower power settings/long-range cruise conditions (like crossing the Atlantic), the R3350 proved to be quite reliable. We've also updated the TWA trans-atlantic schedules, including continuing flights to Zurich, Rome, Athens and Cairo. When you want your flights to be as historically correct as possible, Historic Airline Group has them for you.
On June 13, 1923, a lone aircraft touched down on the new 1500' cinder runway at Boston Airport (Jeffries Field). Built by the US Army on 189 acres on Jeffries Point in East Boston, it was operated by the Army and MA National Guard for five years. The first commercial passenger flight was flown by Colonial Air Transport in 1927 to New York.
In 1928 the state of Massachusetts took over ownership of the airport, and in 1929 the city of Boston leased it from the state, placing it under the jurisdiction of the Boston Parks Department. Immediately they began making improvements, including lengthening the two runways, adding paved access roads with landscaping, building an administration building and hangars, and doubling the airport size by reclaiming land from Boston harbor. In the late 1930's, Colonial Air Transport became American Airlines, operating regular scheduled DC-3 service between Boston and New York. Air travel boomed, and World War II brought further expansion. Now run by the Boston Department of Public Works, the airport added 1,800 acres by reclaiming further land from Boston harbor. New runways, larger aprons and three new hangars were built. A larger terminal was built, on the same ground where terminal C is located today. Other airlines expanded their presence in Boston, bringing 471,000 passengers by the end of 1949.
Expansion and improvements continued. In 1953 the first nonstop flight from Los Angeles took place. Boston was a gateway airport to Europe. New jets needed long runways and the ever-growing number of passengers meant an ever-increasing number of gates. In 1956 the state created the Massachusetts Port Authority and placed Boston Airport under their control. The same year, the state legislature renamed Boston Airport/Jeffries Field as the Lt. General Edward Lawrence Logan International Airport. Lt. General Edward Lawrence Logan was not only instrumental in creating the Massachusetts National Guard, he also served in the Boston Common Council, the state House of Representatives, the state Senate and later as a municipal court judge in South Boston. By this time, Boston's “Logan Airport” was the tenth busiest airport in the country.
The early 1960's saw major improvements to the runways and lighting systems. In 1961 construction began on the new, two-level international terminal, where Terminal D is today. Runway 33L was lengthened even more to accommodate the newest intercontinental jets. By 1965, international passengers increased by 100% compared to 1951 and Logan was now the nation's eighth busiest airport. In the 1970's a new 285' control tower was completed, along with two new terminals. Bird Island Flats was filled in and became the new 234 acre cargo facility. As the airport grew, so did the noise. Massport spearheaded a drive to better soundproof surrounding homes and buildings.
By 1980, Boston Logan International Airport was seeing over 15 million passengers annually, and crowded terminals were a growing problem. Massport continues to make improvements, for both expansion and updating existing facilities. However, among the top twenty busiest airports in America, Logan is also the second smallest. This limits growth potential and causes frequent delays, especially during poor weather. Being located next to the water doesn't help either, with dense ocean fog being a common cause of delays. The two parallel runways (22L/22R) are too close together for simultaneous instrument approaches. Studies for the New England region look at many factors, including social and global issues, advances in aviation technology, changes in airline business models, providing airline service closer to centers of passenger demands, and alternative modes of travel. Logan will always be the dominant international terminal, but service from other regional airports may provide the relief that Logan Airport needs to reduce overcrowding. The future for Logan is similar to what it has always been- change and improvements, rolling with the punches. It's a Boston tradition.
The administrative team at HAG has been busy this month. We have revised the schedules for the Eastern's DC6B, DC7B, L1049, L749, Qantas Electra II, and National's DC7B, DC8, DC10 and B727. This means that we have replaced previous flights with flights from representative time period timetables, using actual flight numbers and departure/arrival times.
In addition, we added 22 Seven Seas Air Cargo VLR (very long range) 747 flights to the schedule. Most of these exceed 6000 miles. The SAS 737-201 was dropped and the New York Air 737 was changed to the 737-300.
The Historic Airline Group is dedicated to bringing you the world's most accurate classic airline schedules for your classic flight sim enjoyment.
Cyrus Rowlett Smith was born Sept 9, 1899 in Minerva, Texas. He attended the University of Texas, though he never actually graduated from high school. His passion was business and people. In 1928 Alva Barrett bought Texas Air Transport and hired Cyrus as the Secretary/Treasurer at the age of 30. The next year, Barrett formed Southern Air Transport and made Cyrus Vice President. Meanwhile, a group of investors formed Aviation Corporation and began buying up small airlines and other aviation-related companies. The airlines were formed into two, Colonial Air Lines and Universal Air Lines. Universal's name was changed to American Airways, then later they merged Colonial and American Airways to form American Airlines. AVCO's directors, impressed with how well Cyrus ran SAT, appointed him President in 1934.
Cyrus, or "C.R." as his employees knew him, organized their routes into a sensible network. It was his leadership and inspiration that made American a leader in the airline industry. AA was his baby, and he loved running the airline. He took their vast assortment of aircraft and went with the new DC-2, but he still wasn't satisfied. Cyrus was thinking transcontinental, and for that he wanted an airplane with sleeper berths so he wouldn't have to keep putting his passengers on trains at night. He convinced Donald Douglas to create the DC-3 for him with a promise to buy twenty aircraft. It flew in 1935 and the first ones went to American Airlines. Cyrus was married to Elizabeth Manget briefly, they had one son, but they soon divorced. Cyrus has always said that he was always married to American Airlines.
When World War II began, Cyrus Smith joined the Air Corps as a Colonel, playing a major role in organizing the Air Transport Command. He was instrumental in developing the routes across the North Atlantic, using American Airlines crews to test the route. When the war ended, he went back to his beloved American Airlines. Cyrus was looking to expand, but he knew the DC-4 was just a stop-gap measure. He worked closely with Douglas to help develop the DC-6 and later, the DC-7.
Soon after, he broke with his Douglas aircraft traditions and ordered the new 707 from Boeing. American led the way in studying the affect of high altitude weather and winds on airline flight planning, research they shared with other airlines worldwide. The first transcontinental jet service was introduced by American in January 1959 with flights between New York and Los Angeles. The national airway structure was not prepared for jets, and delays were common. American helped develop jet routes that allowed new jet airliners take better advantage of their speed and altitude capabilities within the US domestic network.
Cyrus retired in 1968, though he returned briefly in 1973. After he retired in 1968, Lyndon Johnson offered him the position of US Secretary of Commerce. He took the job, but the bureaucracy of the position frustrated him and he resigned after less than a year. Cyrus enjoyed his retirement, hunting and fishing being his favorite activities. He passed away in 1990 after a lengthy illness at the age of 90. He received many awards and honors throughout his life for his contributions to aviation. The American Airlines C.R. Smith Museum in Fort Worth was named after him.
Long Beach Airport started out as one of those training fields in the middle of nowhere. Earl Daugherty opened a flight school on 20 acres in 1919. The city was all for it. One year later the city turned sixty acres of farm field into a municipal airport and named Earl as the manager.
That same year, oil was discovered in Long Beach. The city was rolling in the money, so they went out and bought an even bigger area of land. This new airport was designed to be an air commerce airport, bringing income to the city and local workers. They called the airport Daugherty Field. Throughout the 1920's the airport grew and grew, with many commercial businesses going up adjacent to the airport, while administrative buildings, hangars and terminals were built. On December 28, 1920, Amelia Earhart discovered flying here. The Depression of the 1930's didn't do much at Long Beach except slow things down some. In 1939 Long Beach increased the airport size by an additional 225 acres. They built an office and a hangar for the Navy and leased it to them for $1 in 1928. Unfortunately, that cozy arrangement didn't last. The Navy wanted the city to take better care of the airport, the city balked, and so the Navy went and built their own airport nearby (Los Alamitos NAS). But they didn't leave Long Beach. Instead, they leased the property to the USAAF. Military politics aside, Long Beach Airport has always been about maintenance and manufacturing.
The 1940's were busy times for Long Beach. Douglas Aircraft was going full speed ahead with C-47, DC4 and DC6 production. As Los Angeles grew and Long Beach developed, the airport found itself surrounded and unable to expand beyond a single 10,000' runway. Over 200 businesses occupy airport property today. It wasn't until the 1960's that Long Beach Airport had non-stop flights to places other than San Diego and Los Angeles. Western, PSA, American, United, everyone at one time or another flew into Long Beach. Today it is monopolized by Southwest Airlines, drawing many passengers from the local area who prefer smaller Long Beach over mega-LAX. They still proudly refer to the airport as Daugherty Field. At the Historic Airline Group, we have United DC3 flights, JetAmerica MD80's, Western 737s, and a huge freight operation at Long Beach. It is the western hub for our own Seven Seas Air Cargo operations.
In addition, HAG has just completed making Eastern DC6B and DC-7B flights historically correct. We've also updated Capital and United Viscount flights. What you'll notice is the flight numbers and times are taken directly from historic timetables. Enjoy!