Curtiss Condor CO

18 seats • 120 mph


The Model 53 CO was an early attempt to create a passenger air­craft from a military bomber. More modern examples include the Boeing Stratocruiser (from the B-29/B-50), and the Russian Tupolev Tu-I14 (from the Tu-20 “Bear”).



Curtiss GV-1570 Conqueror (625 hp) x 2


17,900 lb.


500 miles


58 feet


92 feet


16 feet


Curtiss Condor COCurtiss Condor CO

Подпись: mmПодпись: Т.А.Т. 's Condors operated briefly between Columbus and Waynoka, but never went into regular service. Tommy Tomlinson called it an “aerodynamic monstrosity. ”Curtiss Condor COПодпись:

The Condor

The Curtiss Condor was the last large biplane built in the United States. T. A.T. put it into service early in 1929, and until the Douglas DC-2 came along, it supplemented the Fords on routes where the traffic demand was high. It was much bigger, weighing nine tons against the Ford’s six, and could carry more people with a more attractive cabin. But it was not much faster, and its life span with the United States airlines was only about three years. T. AT.’s Condor COs (also designated the Condor 18, the B-18 or the B-20) were N185H, N725K, and N726K (manufacturer’s serial numbers G-l, G-2, and G-4, respectively).

A later version, the T-32, went into service with Ameri­can Airlines and Eastern Air Lines in 1934 as a much-publi­cized sleeper transport; but by all accounts, the passengers did not get much sleep. The low-altitude flying tended to be a little rocky, and the segments were too short. In any case, the modern airliners would soon be outlasting the obsolescent Condor design. Biplanes were becoming a thing of the past.

Подпись: Air Mail Scandal

The NlcNary-Watres Act

The spur to the spectacular growth of air transport in the United States in the early 1930s was the result of imaginative legislation, enacted after substantial persuasion by the Post­master General, Walter F. Brown. The Third Amendment to the Air Mail Act, named after its Congressional sponsors, was approved on 29 April 1930. Its far-reaching provisions gave permanence to the contracted operators, paid them according to space offered, not by the weight of mail carried, and gave Brown powers to extend or consolidate routes to improve the system. This encouraged the airlines to invest in larger aircraft, which were more economical to operate; and gave Brown almost unlimited authority to draw the airline map as he pleased.

The "Spoils Conferences"

Things went mainly according to Brown’s plan, which was to fashion a rational system of air routes that would not suffer from the excessive fragmentation he had observed in the railroad system. No single railroad, for example, ran from coast to coast. Brown’s pressure and advice to the incumbent air mail carriers resulted in three transcontinental airlines that followed different routes, but offered opportunities for competition between the main traffic-generating areas: California and the Northeast.

But to do this, he sometimes overstepped the mark in what was perceived to be selective manipulation of the exact intentions of the Air Mail Act, and even, it was alleged, a cer­tain degree of favoritism. This led to an investigation of the circumstances of a series of meetings that he had held with the airlines between 15 May and 9 June 1930, and which became known as the Spoils Conferences.

The Air Mail Scandal

Many of the small airlines felt that they had been by-passed deliberately; and although their case was not well docu­mented and of doubtful legality, it was intensively publi­cized—so effectively, in fact, that, responding to political pressure, the Senate set up a Special Committee. Its adverse report resulted in President Roosevelt taking the unprece­dented step, on 9 February 1934, of cancelling all the air mail contracts and asking the Army Air Corps to carry the mail. This it did, with remarkable success, bearing in mind the extreme difficulties of weather and inexperience with which it was faced. But some pilots were killed, mostly in training, and this led to a national outrage that forced Roosevelt to retract his decision.

A New Life

Подпись: Douglas 0-38 observation plane, used by the Army Air Corps in March 1934 to carry the mail. Подпись:Подпись:On 30 March 1934, the Post Office Department invited the airlines to submit new bids, and these were duly accepted by the new Postmaster General, James A. Farley, on 20 April. During the two months during which the Army carried the mail, the airlines struggled on the best they could. Drastic measures had to be taken, as the revenues from passengers and express were insignificant compared with the mail pay­ments—effectively a life-sustaining subsidy. In the case of T. W.A., President Richard W. Robbins sent a letter to all the staff, which began: “Effective February 28th, 1934, the entire personnel of T.& W. A. is furloughed.”

Curtiss Condor CO

Postmaster-General Walter Folger Brown was the czar of the U. S. air transport industry in the early 1930s. By awarding air mail contracts for specific routes (with­out which no airline could operate profitably), he laid the foundation for a nationwide airline network.

DC-3 Replacement

Post-war Problems

When the Second World War ended, the leading airlines rushed to put into service the new longer-ranged airliners that had been stimulated by technical advances during the war, as well as by the commercial pre-war design innovations that had been frustrated by wartime needs. T. W.A.’s Stratoliners were recalled from the military, and the C-69 Constellations and C-54 Skymasters were quickly refurbished with comfortable seating layouts. The emphasis was on the main inter-city routes; but the networks dated back to the 1930s, and with the “grandfather” route certificates in 1938, the airlines had sought, and the C. A.B. had granted, full service con­tracts to serve almost every city in the U. S.A. that was big enough to have an airport.

The problem was that many of the cities—and there were dozens of these—were too small to generate enough passengers, mail, or freight to justify service by such mainliners as the Con­stellation. Other cities were able to generate the traffic, but did not have the airfields to cope with the four-engined types. Also the airlines themselves chose to deploy their best equipment on the prestige routes, which generated the highest revenues. And so the veteran Douglas DC-3, obtain­able as conversions from military C-47s, C-53s, and other DC-3 variants, and which could land or take off almost anywhere, was in great demand to back up their newer brethren in the fleet.

Life in the Old Dog

The old Douglas DC-3 “Gooney Bird” was the obvious choice, as there were thousands of them. T. W.A. alone had 96 altogether—a large fleet during that period. Under the C. A.B. man­date, and like the other trunk airlines, it had to serve the smaller points, or lose its certificate for the whole route. Exemptions were sometimes granted, but every’ one had to be argued sep­arately, in an often protracted series of meetings in Washington. Later, during the 1950s, the Local Service airlines were established, and these provided the answer to the problem for sev­eral decades, relieving the trunk airlines from the obligation of providing “whistle stops” on prestigious point-to-point services.

But this took time, and this is why T. W.A. continued to keep the old DC-3s in service. Bill Halliday recalls that in 1947 “T. W.A. was flying so many DC-3s that as we approached Amar­illo to turn westward to Albuquerque (at night) we could see the flight ahead of us headed west and after we had completed our turn, we could look back and see the flight behind us.”

DC-3 Replacement

While Douglas, Lockheed, and Boeing were concerned with providing the front-line fleets, it was left to other manufacturers to come up with a formula for a modem airliner to replace the DC-3s which, even if they were not too old, were regarded by air travelers as old-fashioned and obsolescent. Postwar airliners needed, at the very least, a pressurized cabin, tricycle landing gear, on-board amenities such as ample luggage and coat space, good lavatories, and above all, faster speed. Two manufacturers came to the fore to meet this requirement: Martin, with its Model 202, and Convair, with its Model 240.

At the Martin plant in Baltimore, Allan Roshkind and his team started work on the Martin 202 (at first called the Mercury) immediately after Japan surrendered. But this 36-seat design was unpressurized, and its first customer, American Airlines, changed its mind and ordered Convair-Liners instead. Nevertheless, by the end of 1945, Martin had orders for 155 aircraft and the 202 made its first flight on 22 November 1946, four months ahead of the Convair-Liner. United had ordered a pressurized version, the Model 303, but this was cancelled.

DC-3 Replacement

This Martin 404, Skyliner Louisville, displays its registration number unusually, reading downwards on

the vertical stabilizer.

DC-3 Replacement

The Martin 202A went into service on 1 September 1950, to relieve the DC-3s on T. W.A. ’s shorter routes.
It carried 36 passengers, had a З-man crew, and cruised at 220 mph. Its built-in boarding stairs, includ-
ing a ventral access at the rear, accelerated boarding and disembarking at the “whistle-stops. ” This pic-
ture is of Skyliner San Francisco.

Boeing 747-131

342-433 seats • 590 mph

Boeing 747-131


*Pratt & Whitney JT9D-3 (43,500 lb) x 4 Length

232 feet


734,000 lb Span

196 feet


4,000 miles Height

63 feet

^Initially, later JT9D-7A (46,9501b)

Подпись: This Boeing 747, landing at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, carries the airline’s revised “outline” TRANS WORLD paint scheme, (photo: Roger Bentley) The Boeing 747, called the “Jumbo Jet” from the time it first went into service in 1970, has already served the airlines for three decades, and will probably still be in front-line flagship service for for many more years yet. This will be as long as all the generations of airliners before 1970, at least from the debut of the first DC-3. Its reign covers half of the proverbial three-score years and ten—quite a lifetime. When they started service, the 747s cost $21 mil­lion each. Now, a Series -400 would cost about $140 million.

In mixed class seating layout, it accommodates between 350 and 390 passengers; but in Japan, where a special short-haul version is used to connect the majoi centers of population, the airlines put in 530 seats, or the capacity of an average-sized London theater. Like all the trans-Atlantic jets, it makes a round-trip between Europe and the United States within 24 hours, and its productivity is thus about five times higher than that of an ocean liner such as the Queen Man. At least two of T. W.A.’s 747s were retired only after no less than 100,000 hours of flight time, a truly impressive record of aeronautical achievement.


Historic Prototype

The World’s First Modern Airliner

In 1933, the Boeing Aircraft Company had produced a twin – engined aircraft that most authorities, notably Britain’s Peter W. Brooks, considered to be the world’s first modern airliner, in that its monocoque fuselage and stressed skin wing, par­tially retractable landing gear, engines faired into the wing, together with other improvements, marked a big technical advance over the steel framework and heavy wing spar design of aircraft like the Ford Tri-Motor. The resultant superior aerodynamics gave the Boeing 247 a 60% speed improve­ment over the Ford, reducing the transcontinental flying time to about 18 hours, or less than a day.




General Performance Specifications
Transport Plane


1Xtt* All metal trlnotored oonoplane preferred but combination structure or biplane would be considered.

Mo. in internal structure mist be natal.

Power» Three engines of 500 to 650 h. p. (Wasps with 1Э-1 auperohmxgerj 6*1 compression O. K.),


Historic Prototype
Historic Prototype

lao be made for oomplate instruments,

_ Г~Гlying equipment, fuel oapaoity for oruiaiag range of 1000 miles at ISO a. p.h., orew of two, at leaat 12 pee – aengera with oomfortabie aaata and ample room, and the usual mieoallaneoua equipment oerried on a passenger plane of this type. Payload should be at leaat 2,300 lba. with full equip* sent and fuel for maxtixim range.


Top (peed tea level (minimus) 185 a. p.h.

Cruising speed aea level – 79 % top apeed 148 o. p.h. plus і-єга-и ng apeed not more than 65 a. p.h.

Rate of olloh aea level (mlnlnaim) 1200 ft. p. a.

Barrios celling (minimus) 21000 ft.

Serwioe oelling any two engines 10000 ft.


Transcontinental & Western Air ii interested in purchasing tan or eore trlaotorad tram port plena*.

X ta ettaohlng our general perforaenee ipeolflcatlont, ooTorlng this equipment and would appreciate your a d ті * і ng whether your Company la interested in thla mamif soturing Job.

If ao, approximately how long would It take to turn out the Гіг at plane for service teataT


Vary truly youra,


The Jock Frye Letter

At the time (before the Black-McKellar Air Mail Act of 1934) aircraft manufacturers were allowed to own airlines, and Boeing Air Transport had been the foundation of United Air Lines. When Jack Frye wanted to place an order for the superior 247, he was politely told that United had booked the first 60 aircraft off the line, and that he would have to wait.

Frye’s exact reaction is not recorded; but it did result in a letter which he circulated to five other manufacturers, in which he set out a specification for a tri-motor that, in effect, was ten percent better than the 247 in every respect: size, speed, airfield performance, and comfort.

His wish was granted. The Douglas Aircraft Company, of Santa Monica, California, not only met all the require­ments, but did so with a twin-engined design that eliminated the shortcomings of the fuselage-mounted center engine: noise, vibration, and pilot visibility.


Historic Prototype

Jack Frye’s role in specifying
the basic design of the Douglas
DC-1 (by his famous letter to the
manufacturers in 1933) was a
landmark of inspired leadership.
On 30 April 1935, he broke the
transcontinental speed record
by delivering the mail from
Los Angeles to New York in
11 hr. 30 m.


Thia plane, fully loaded, oajst melee satisfactory telce-offs under good oontrol at any TWA airport on any combination of two angina a.




Please oonaider thia inforamtion confidential and return ipeolfioatIona if you are not interested.


Aeneas City, Missouri. August 2nd, 1932


This is a copy of the two-page “Jack Frye Letter” that laid down the specification for the aircraft that emerged as the first of the Douglas twin-engined series, DC-1, DC-2, and DC-3. It changed the course

of airline history.


This photograph, of the Douglas DC-1 at the Grand Central Air Terminal, Glendale, epitomizes the maturing air transport industry in the United States. T. W.A. ’s line of twin-engined Douglases eclipsed all others for a decade.


The Boeing 247 was the first passenger transport airplane that could be described as a modern
airliner, flying some 60% faster than the Ford Tri-Motors that it replaced.


Historic PrototypeHistoric PrototypeHistoric Prototype

Martin 202

Problems with the 202

The launch customer for the Martin 202 had been Northwest Airlines, which had picked up the first-in-line privilege when Pennsylvania-Central had to withdraw because of financial stringency. The Minneapolis airline opened service by October, but was to regret the choice. It had a series of accidents, some of which were caused by a weakness in the wing structure. After the first one, on 29 August 1948, the 202 was grounded by the C. A.A.; and thereafter, in 1950 and early 1951, more accidents (not all attributed to the aircraft) resulted in the Northwest pilots refusing to fly them again.

T. W.A/s Choice

The competition between Martin and Convair was intense, as orders for hundreds of aircraft were in their sights. The performance characteristics between the two types (Martin had upgraded the first design with pressurization) were very similar. During 1949, Howard Hughes himself, together with his new president, Ralph Damon, and Bob Rummel, newly – promoted to chief engineer, conducted exhaustive tests on both the Martin 404 and the Con­vair 240. Hughes liked the Martin better, telephoned Eddie Rickenbacker of Eastern Air Lines, and ordered 100 404s. 60 were for Eastern (whose route structure was ideal for the 40- seater) and 40 for T. W.A. Hughes took one for himself. T. W.A.’s contract was signed on 22 February 1950. Pending deliveries, which would take a couple of years, Hughes leased a dozen of the earlier, 202s, modified as Martin 202A. During its service life through the 1950s, only one 404 was lost (see fleet list, page 62), and the reason could hardly be blamed on the manu­facturer. The 404s followed into service on lONovember 1951, and served T. W.A. well, in the shadow of the Constellations, for a whole decade.

Martin 202

The Martin 404, with one more row of seats than the 202, served T. W.A. throughout the 1950s, starting service on 10 November 1951. This is a picture of Skyliner Baltimore, recognizing the city where it was built.

Martin 202

Ralph Damon joined T. W.A. on 1 January 1949. A veteran airline administrator, he had been president of Curtiss-Wright in 1932, and became vice-president and later general manager and president of American Airlines for 13 years. He was ‘drafted’ in 1941 and for two years supervised production at Republic Aviation. In 1953, President Eisenhower appointed him to the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, but he did not complete the five-year term. For six years he was the ideal partner for Howard Hughes, complementing, with his managerial experience, the intuition and enterprise of his mercurial chief. During the festive season after Christmas, 1955, he attended a ceremony in Times Square, New York, in bad winter weather. This was to exhibit a huge T. W.A. Constellation replica, floodlit, and with its own lights. He caught pneumonia and died on 4 January 1956. His death was a great loss not only for T. W.A., but for the U. S. airline industry as a whole.

More Range

The Need for Non-Stops

Airline passengers as a rule wish to take their journeys with­out the inconvenience of having to stop en route. They simply wish to reach their destinations as quickly as possible. Thus, during the best years of the piston-engined era, the airliner manufacturers were able to develop their products so that the Douglas DC-7s and the Lockheed Constellation series could offer first, non-stop transcontinental range in the U. S.A. (about 2,500 miles), then non-stop trans-Atlantic (about 3,500 miles). Later improvements brought non-stop U. S. west coast to Europe, and, in the 1970s, California-Japan.

New York – Tokyo

The Boeing 747 could accomplish all these missions with ease. But Pan American Airways wanted something more: no less than New York to Tokyo non-stop, a distance of 6,754 statute miles, with a full payload. The Boeing Company obliged with a special version of its Jumbo Jet, the Special Performance variant, or the Boeing 747SP. This was achieved by providing extra tankage and more powerful engines, but mainly by shortening the fuselage to lighten the all-up weight.

Pan American opened its New York-Tokyo route on 25 April 1976; but quite surprisingly, the airline world did not rush to Seattle to join the long-range club. Even Japan Air Lines, which would have been expected to react with match­ing non-stop service, chose not to; and — perhaps wisely— waited for the expected development of the standard 747 series.

Limited Demand

The main reason, however, why the SP did not shake up the procurement patterns (and much to the satisfaction of Doug­las, which found difficulty on matching such range with its DC-10s) was because the market was inadequate to justify large fleets of extremely long-ranged airliners. Transport economists and forecasters are acutely aware of the “gravity model” or theory which, in general principle, states—quite reasonably— that the greater the population, the greater the demand. More people, more traffic. But also, the further people are apart from each other, the less they are likely to travel; and this applies to business and leisure travel alike, the influencing factors being mainly time and cost.

The Boeing 747SP was a victim of the gravity theory. Lines drawn on a world map to link big cities that were far apart from each other were found to be optimistic in terms of potential traffic demand, because of the gravity model. Aus­
tralia’s population, for example, is less than that of New York or California, so the potential traffic for non-stop routes, although measurable, was not enough to justify an airline fleet. And the traffic across the Atlantic still concentrated on the major destinations in northwest Europe, and did not need Special Performance.

Today, a quarter of a century after the Boeing 747SP opened service, the urban populations all over the world have grown considerably, to bring one element of the gravity model up to acceptance level for fleet forecasting purposes. Southern and eastern Asia, especially, contain many cities, each with more than ten million inhabitants, and with strong commercial travelling requirements. But special versions of the world’s leading airliner types are no longer needed. The basic versions can all fulfill the most demanding ranges required by all the intercontinental airlines.

Were the 747SP to be reintroduced today, the market need would no doubt generate greater sales than in the 1970s. But today’s front-line flagships can all fly ranges sufficient for all the trans-ocean city pairs. The Airbus A340, the Boeing 767, and the Boeing 777 can theoretically encircle the world at the temperate zone latitudes with only one stop.

More Range

In addition to its shortened fuselage, the 747SP had a taller vertical fin and ‘clean’ wing trailing edges, devoid of ‘canoe’flap track faring s as seen on the 747-100 (see page 83).


More Range

Подпись: Engines Pratt & Whitney JT9D-7A (50,000 lb.) x 4 Length 185 feet MGTOW 630-700,000 lb Span 196 feet Range 7,500 miles Height 65 feet Подпись:More Range

More Range


Trans World Airlines did not join the initial rush to buy the Boeing 747SP. But on 17 October 1978, it ordered 3 aircraft for direct routes to the Middle East. They were operated for only a few years. Aside from the limitations imposed by the gravity theory, the new Boeing 767 was on its way, and the performance and potential of the new generation of this wide-bodied twin airliner usuiped the merits of the SP.

Start of a New Era

Start of a New Era

This is a rare colored photograph of a Douglas DC-2 during the mid-1930s. (Charles Baptie)


Start of a New Era

In addition to its superior performance, the Douglas DC-1 offered a comfortable cabin, upholstered seats, and an aisle that was uncluttered by the wing spar crossing it, as in the Boeing 247.


Start of a New Era

This beautiful picture was taken in the 1970s, when T. W.A. contrived to relive a glorious past. Although the Douglas DC-3 was to gain everlasting fame as the pre-eminent airliner of the latter 1930s, its progenitor, the DC-2, was the one that established the superiority of the basic design. It was (as T. W.A. president, Jack Frye, had specified) faster, bigger, more comfortable, and more economical to operate, than the Boeing 247.


Подпись: Engines Wright SGR-1820 Cyclone (710 hp) x 2 MGT0W 18,200 lb. Range 800 miles Length 62 feet Span 85 feet T.W.A. DOUGLAS ІС-2 FLEET Подпись:Start of a New EraПодпись:Подпись:Start of a New Era

The Second Line






Date into Service


Disposal and Remarks




20 Feb 52

Skyliner Baltimore

First T. W.A. aircraft with Hughes Ter­rain Warning indicator. Sold to Pied­mont Airlines 9 Jan 62. Written off at Wilmington, Delaware, 22 Aug 62




2 Feb 52

Skyliner Indianapolis, later Skyliner Chicago

Sold to East Coast Flying Service, 28 Jun 61. Then to Piedmont, 1 Feb 65; Mark Aero. St. Louis, 1972-74. Scrapped 1 Jul 76.




10 Nov 51

Skyliner Pittsburgh

Crashed Pittsburgh, 1 Apr 56




30 Nov 51

Skyliner Philadelphia

Crashed Las Vegas, 15 Nov 56




6 Dec 51

Skyliner New York

Sold to Piedmont Airlines, 2 Feb 62. With Piedmont until 1969. Several owners




13 Dec 51

Skyliner Washington Dt

Sold to California Airmotive 15 Feb 60. Leased to Hughes Tool Co. for radar testing. 18 Feb 60—Feb 61. With Piedmont Airlines, 2 Feb 65-Dec 69. Atlantic Southeast Airlines 1972.




14 Dec 51

Skyliner Indianapolis

Sold to Piedmont, 31 Jul 61. South­east, May 72; Provincetown – Boston/Naples Airlines, 6 Jan 76




25 Dec 51

Skyliner Columbus

Sold to Pacific Air Lines, 26 Sep 60. Then to Piedmont 9 Apr 66-Mar 73. Several owners, inc. Valley Marlin, Inc., cropdusting




28 Dec 51

Skyliner Dayton

Leased to Pacific, 24 Apr 60 and then sold to Pacific 30 Jun 60. With U. S. Atomic Commission, Las Vegas, 1967­76. In 1996, fuselage trucked to Fresno for "haunted house" attraction




3 Jan 52

Skyliner Cincinnati

Sold to Piedmont, 31 Jul 61. With Piedmont until 1968




15 Jan 52

Skyliner St. Louis

Sold to Piedmont, 31 Jul 61. With Piedmont until 1970




27 Jan 52

Skyliner Wheeling

Sold to California Airmotive, 11 Mar 60. Montex Drilling Co. 12 Mar 60. Several owners. Crashed, Atlanta, 30 May 70.




22 May 52

Skyliner Louisville

Sold to Piedmont 12 Nov 62. PBA/Naples, 1976




1 Jun 52

Skyliner Boston, later Skyliner Dayton

Sold to Piedmont, 31 Jul 61. Several owners after 1972. Used for fire drill at St. Louis, 1988




2 Jun 52

Skyliner Albany

Sold to Piedmont, 31 Jul 61. Several owners after 1973, inc. PBA/Naples 1976




2 Jun 52

Skyliner Binghamton

Crashed on Sandia Mountain, Albu­querque, 19 Feb 55




3 Jun 52

Skyliner Williamsport

Sold to Piedmont, 31 Jul 61. Several owners after 1968, inc. Atlantic South­east




3 Jun 52

Skyliner Newark

Sold to Piedmont, 31 Jul 61. Several owners after 1968, inc. Frontier Air­ways, in California, as cropduster.






Date into Service


Disposal and Remarks




13 Jun 52

Skyliner Wilmington

Used by Martin, 5-10 Jun 52, for gross weight testing. Sold to Piedmont, 31 Jul 61. Several owners after 1972, and registered in Haiti




7 Jun 52

Skyliner Allentown

Sold to Piedmont, 31 Jul 61. Several owners after Apr 69




14Jun 52

Skyliner Harrisburg, later Skyliner Washington

Sold to Piedmont, 31 Jul 61. After Nov 69 with U. S. Aircraft Sales and Atlantic Southeast. In 1988 reportedly used for smuggling in Bahamas




19 Jun 52

Skyliner Kansas City

Sold to Pacific Air Lines, 26 Sep 60. Several owners after 1968




20 Jun 52

Skyliner Reading

Sold to Piedmont Airlines, 31 Jul 61. Several ov/ners after 1972, inc. PBA/Naples and San­tiago Freighters (HI-501)




20 Jun 52

Skyliner Toledo

Sold to Piedmont Airliens, 31 Jul 61. Several owners after Jul 68, inc. Southeast and PBA/Naples, Nov 75




28Jun 52

Skyliner Zanesville, later Skyliner Easton

Sold to California Airmotive, 24 Mar 59; then to Houston Lumber, before Piedmont Airlines Moy 66—Apr 69. Several owners, inc. South­east and PBA/Naples. 1972-1978, then to Beringuen Air Leasing.




4 Jul 52

Skyliner Mansfield, later Skyliner Bethlehem

Sold to Remmert Werner (Beldex Corp.) 11 Feb 59, then to Kewanee Oil Co. From 1972 to 1976 with Danny Davis and the Nashville Brass band. In 1988 with Dade County Public School System, as instructional airframe.




12 Jul 52

Skyliner Fort Wayne

Leased to Pacific Air Lines, 25 Apr 60 and sold to Pacific 30 Jun 60. Several subsequent owners. Crashed 1 Sep 74, Norfolk, VA




16 Jul 52

Skyliner South Bend

Sold to Outboard Marine Corp., Milwaukee. Travel club in 1970. Several owners. Reported with CAMBA, Bolivia (CP-1318) 1988




17 Jul 52

Skyliner Peoria

Sold to California Airmotive, 10 Mar 59. Sev­eral owners, inc. Sun and Wind Co., 1988 U. S. Aircraft Sales Dec 68. Atlantic Southeast, 1972




21 Jul 52

Skyliner Quincy later Skyliner Oklahoma City

Sold to Piedmont Airlines, 31 Jul 61. U. S. Air­craft Sales Dec 68. Atlantic Southeast, 1972.




23 Jul 52

Skyliner Terre Haute

Sold to California Airmotive, 4 Aug 59. With Piedmont Airlines, Nov 64—Sep 68. Several owners, inc. Atlantic Southeast, 1972




25 Jul 52

Skyliner Detroit

Leased to Pacific Airlines, 12 Nov 59, and sold to Pacific 30 Jun 60. Several owners, inc. CAMBA, Bolivia, 1988 (CP-1570)




14 Aug 52

Skyliner Cleveland

Sold to Piedmont Airliens, 31 Jul 61




20 Aug 52

Skyliner Topeka

Sold To Essex Productions (Frank Sinatra) (N710E) 11 Jun 61. Several subsequent owners. Scrapped at St. Louis, Jul 76




21 Aug 52

Skyliner Wichita

Sold to Pan-Air Trading for СОРА, Panama, 2 Feb 61 (HP-302). Then to Piedmont Airlines, Oct 65. Crashed, New Bern, NC, 20 Nov 66




29 Aug 52

Skyliner Wilkes-Barre later Skyliner Scranton

Leased to Pacific Air Lines, 18 Jan 60, and sold to Pacific 30 Jun 60. Several subsequent owners.


The Second Line







Acquired on 30 Jun 60 from Southwest Airways (later Pacific Air Lines) in trade



for Martin 404s. Never operated by T. W.A. 9131-9149 sold to Martin Air Leas-



ing, Inc., 17 Nov 61; 9162 sold to Delta Aircraft & Engine Company, 8 Sep 60







Delayed Debut (or the L-1011

The advent of the Boeing 747 wide-bodied airliner stimulated a surge of airline traffic growth throughout the world and across the United States. The potential market encouraged other man­ufacturers to add more wide-bodied types (8-10 abreast seating instead of 6). For the short-haul, the twin-engined European Airbus was to make its mark, and the traditional adversaries of piston-engined times entered the field. Douglas and Lockheed both offered tri-jet candidates that were quite similar in design. The former was quickly off the mark, and its DC-10 went into service with American Airlines on 5 August 1971.








Remarks and Disposal



1 TriStar




Leased from Eastern Air Lines Apr 72 – Oct 73, Apr 74 – Oct 74.




9 May 72

25 Jun 72,7W177 inaugural flight STL-LAX. Leased from and

returned to ING Aviation Lease, 20 May 95.




4 Jul 72

Destroyed by fire after aborted take-off JFK, NY., 30 Jul 92.




12 Aug 72

Stored Kingman, AZ., Jul 97.




30 Aug 72

Sold to Air Atlanta, Iceland, 25 Feb 98.




27 Sep 72




26 Sep 72

Eastern Air Lines leased 22 Nov 72 to 23 May 73.




7 Apr 73

Destroyed by ground fire, Boston, 19 Apr 74.




21 Apr 73

Stored Kingman, AZ., Jan 97.




16 May 73

Leased, returned to First Security Bank of Utah, 24 Nov 92.




29 May 73

Leased, returned to ING Aviation Lease, 19 Nov 92.




1 Jun 73

Leased, returned to Interface Group Inc., 19 Dec 92.




20 Jun 73

Shepherd II. Leased, returned to Interface Group Inc.,

19 Dec 92.




4 Jul 73

Sold to GP Aer Lease Limited, 15 Nov 97.




4 Jul 73

Sold to Air Transat, 30 May 96.




Leased from Eastern Air Lines Apr 75 – Oct 75.



Leased from Eastern Air Lines Apr 74 – Oct 74.




23 Jan 74

Leased, returned to First Security Bank of Utah, 7 Dec 93.




1 Feb 74

Leased, returned to Pegasus Aircraft Partners, 28 Apr 97.




23 Feb 74

Big Apple Express. Sold to Elmo Ventures Ltd., 31 Mar 98.




24 Feb 76

Sold to Saudi Arabian Airlines, 25 Feb 76.




23 Feb 76

Sold to Saudi Arabian Airlines, 24 Feb 76.


The Big Tri-Jet

The L-10U TriStar, N31001, shows the revised ‘outlined’ TRANS WORLD marking.


The Big Tri-JetThe Big Tri-Jet

The Big Tri-JetThe Big Tri-Jet

Подпись: Engines Rolls-Royce 211 RB-22B (42,000 lb) x 3 Length 178 feet N1GT0W 430,000 lb Span 155 feet Range 2,600 miles Height 55 feet The Big Tri-Jet

Подпись: MGTOW (lb) Sample TWA Seating TriStar 1 TriStar 50 TriStar 100 430.000 450.000 474.000 F28/C48/Y199 FI 8/C40/Y214 FI 8/C40/Y214 Otherwise the performance and dimensions of the different series were the same.

Lockheed was handicapped by its engine manufacturer, Rolls-Royce, coming face-to-face with financial ruin (its shares dropped briefly to one penny) and was saved from oblivion only by intervention by the British government. Production of the Lockheed L-1011 TriStar was in abeyance for many months. Then, on 29 March 1968, the program was launched in grand style, with a total order book for 144 aircraft, of which T. W.A.’s share was 44, but the uncertainties were such that the eventual firm order date was 7 May 1971. T. W.A. TriStar service started on 25 June 1972.

The Big Tri-Jet


Douglas DC-2

14 seats » 190 mph

Douglas DC-2

the unique douglas вс-в

Douglas DC-2

One of the early DC-2s poses for the camera.

Tine Douglas DC-1

Only nine months after the $125,000 contract was signed, the Douglas DC-1 made its first flight on 1 July 1933, and was delivered to T. W.A. On 13 September. Jack Frye and Paul Richter flew it to Kansas City, 1,450 miles, averaging 205 mph. The airline operated the unique DC-1 for a few years, even on a few scheduled services, then it was sold to Howard Hughes in January 1936. It eventually passed to Lord Forbes in Eng­land, and finished up as a military transport during the Spanish Civil War in 1938. It crashed at Malaga in December, 1940.

The Douglas DC-2

The DC-1 had 12 seats, two more than the 247’s 10; but T. W.A. and Douglas quickly realized that by adding two more feet to the fuselage, this could be improved to 14. The result­ing Douglas DC-2 first flew on 11 May 1934, went into serv­ice one week later, and the world of airlines was never the same again. It chased the 247s off the main-line U. S. airways, and when, on 1 August 1934, T. W.A. introduced it on the transcontinental “Sky Chief’ service, Jack Frye was more than vindicated in his vigorous initiative. A new era of airline serv­ice began, and as early as September, the Ford Tri-Motors were retired, to be used as freighters, or, in one unusual case, to be used as a floatplane ferry service in New York (page 44).

Подпись: Single-Engined Swan Song

Douglas DC-2Подпись: This Northrop Alpha incorporated Jack Northrop's innovative engineering ideas, including all-metal monocoque fuselage and stressed-skin metal wing. Douglas DC-2

The Northrop Alpha

Jack Northrop left Lockheed, and started his own com­pany, at El Segundo, California, to build his first high-speed aircraft, which incorporated all-metal construction, stressed skin for the wings, and a monocoque fuselage, together with other aerodynamic improvements, such as engine cowling and wing fillets. The main objective was to save weight; but it also improved the strength; and Northrop’s innovations became standard practice. T. W.A. introduced the Northrop Alpha in April 1931. It was a beautiful air­craft, and used only for mail. As indicated in the table below, it must have been difficult for the pilots to handle.

The Lockheed Orion

The wooden Vega (see page 36) was quickly superseded by the metal Lockheed Orion, the first airliner in the world to exceed 200 mph. It was welcomed especially by airlines that competed with the Ford operators, and captured the public imagination with the publicity value of speed.

The Orion was the first aircraft to employ flaps, to reduce speed on descent and landing. Nevertheless, its sur­vival rate was not as good as the new generations of multi­engined all-metal Douglas and Boeing modern airliners.

The Consolidated Fleetster

Also appearing in the early 1930s was the neat Consoli­dated Fleetster, a high-winged monoplane, with clean lines and a speed of 150 mph. But it carried only six pas­sengers, and was used sparingly by T. W.A. Like the Condor, it was recognizably, in the light of the Boeing 247 and Douglas DC-2 that came on the scene in 1933-34, the last of the generation of airplanes that had been outpaced by the explosive growth of air transport in the early 1930s.

Swan Song

The use of single-engined transport airplanes ended quite abruptly. Their record was not encouraging; and the con­ditions of the McNary-Watres Act ensured their speedy retirement front the commercial airways.


Подпись: Fleet No. Regn. MSN Delivery Date Remarks and Disposal Alpha 1 NC947Y 7 17 Apr 31 Crashed near Roaring Springs, Penn., 11 Dec 33, severe icing 2 NC961Y 8 Apr 31 Sold to China, Jul 35 3 NC942Y 6 13 Apr 31 Destroyed by fire at Mobeetie, Texas, 14 Jan 32 4 NC933Y 5 13 Apr 31 Sold to China, Jul 35 5 NC999Y 4 Apr 31 Written off after emergency landing, Newhall, Cal., 15 Nov 34 6 NC966Y 9 20 Jun 31 Crashed near Steubenville, Ohio, 21 Mar 32 7 NC985Y 10 20 Jun 31 Crashed near Cross Forks, Penn., 26 Feb 33 8 NC986Y 11 24 Jun 31 Crashed 22 Sep 34 9 NC992Y 12 25 Jun 31 Crashed Pittsburgh, engine failure on takeoff, 10 Jan 33 10 NC993Y 16 25Jun 31 Engine fell off, pilot bailed out, aircraft landed by itself near Alton, Missouri, 3 Jul 32. Subsequently written off 11 NC994Y 17 25 Jun 31 Written off after crash landing near Glendale, Cal., after engine problem, 31 Jan 35 12 NCI 1Y 3 27 Nov 31 (N.A.T.) Only surviving Alpha. Donated to the National Air and Space Museum, Washington, 1976 14 NC127W 2 9 Mar 32 Crashed near Portage, Penn., 11 Dec 33, after encountering severe icing Delta 15 NCI 2292 3 4 Aug 33 Crashed near Albuquerque, 12 Nov 33, after engine fire Gamma 16 NR13757 8 Apr 34 Crashed 21 Jan 35 18 NC13759 10 Jul 34 17 NCI 3758 9 Jun 34 Made first transcontinental moil flight on 12-14 May 34 after the cancellation of mail contracts. Set transcontinental speed record, 11 hr 31 m., for mail planes. Subsequently used for high-altitude research by 'Tommy" Tomlinson. Aircraft retired in 1940 Подпись:Подпись: CONSOLIDATED FLEETSTER 20A FLEET
Подпись:“Tommy” Tomlinson, one of the great experimental test pilots of the 1930s,
is seen here with the Northrop Gamma which he used to demonstrate
“over-the-weather” flying. This led to the introduction of pressurized
airliners, the first 307s (see page 44).

Douglas DC-2

In contrast with Northrop’s low wing and Lockheed’s high wing design,
Ruben Fleet’s was unusual. At least the pilot had a good view.