Category AN AIRIINE AN0 ITS AIRCRAFT

Early Air Taxi Links

 

Ozark Enterprise

As narrated on pages 82-87, Ozark Airlines, one of the more successful Local Service airlines, had started life as a one-route and almost one-plane operator. It would be classed as a Com­muter airline today. It grew steadily through DC-3s, twin turbo­props, and short-haul jets. In 1985, it was able to adopt a junior partner, when it made an agreement with Air Midwest, which took over some of the smaller routes, using Swearingen Metros. Ozark itself had been in to the small airplane field when, on 15 March 1972, it used two de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otters to operate between the Illinois state capi­tal, Springfield, and Chicago’s lakeside airport Meigs Field, next door to the downtown business district.

 

The Grand Canyon

A little-remembered feature of T. W.A. pioneering was its spe­cial connection to the Grand Canyon in the summer of 1935. A special arrangement was made whereby passengers on Flights 2 and 3 (Sky Queen and Sky Master, respectively) could trans­fer at Winslow to the Bach tri-motor planes of Grand Canyon Airlines. The operation was under the supervision of Miss Edith McManus, who was an established local trader in Indian artifacts and products. The round trip Winslow-Grand Canyon fare was $19.00. This must surely have been one of the earliest, if not the first, example of a local interline agreement between a trunk carrier and what today would be termed a commuter air­line. So that the clientele would not be too fatigued to enjoy the scenic view and stopover at the Canyon, T. W.A. also offered a no-charge overnight hotel break, including taxi fare to and from the airport, at Kansas City.

For a month or two during the summer of 1935, this unusual service appeared in the T. W.A. timetables, but it was not repeated in 1936, as T. W.A. itself stopped at the Canyon when the airstrip was improved; and subsequently, instead of stopping, the DC-2s overflew the Canyon (as close as they dared). The timetables, uniquely, marked this amenity with “OVER” instead of the conventional “arr.” or “dep.”

 

Short Cut to JFK

One such operation was started by a Piper aircraft distributor in Bridgeport, Connecticut, who provided connections to New York’s LaGuardia and JFK airports, thus avoiding a cir­cuitous and sometimes grid-locked road journey via the Whitestone or Throgs Neck bridges. The Piper Twinair serv­ice was advertised in the later 1960s as connecting with T. W.A. trans-Atlantic flights. Although not exactly a code­sharing operation, such an arrangement seems to have been a harbinger of things to come.

 

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  Early Air Taxi Links

Early Air Taxi Links

Dignity and Impudence: an Ozark/Midwest Metro II lines up with a DC-9-30

 

Scheduled Air Taxi

During the 1960s, when air transport was spreading its wings near and far, the first diminutive airlines that were later to be termed Third Level, and later still Commuter, began to emerge. Not yet dignified by the Civil Aeronautics Board for certifica­tion as bona fide airlines, they were able to operate as air taxi services, under Part 135 of the F. A.A. regulations. Under popu­lar pressure from the public, which appreciated the convenience of a non-scheduled air taxi flight that seemed to depart every morning and/or evening at the same time every day, many such services started to operate regularly.

 

Early Air Taxi LinksEarly Air Taxi Links

Early Air Taxi Links

SAAB SF-340A

37 seats ® 325 mph

 

Engines

General Electric CT7-5A2

Length

65 feet

MGTOW

(1,735 slip) x 2 28,000 lb

Span

Height

70 feet 22 feet

Range

500 miles

 

Early Air Taxi Links

A Trans World Express Jetstream 31 circles over the Mississippi at St. Louis, with Busch Stadium on the left and the famous arch, the Gateway to the West, on the right.

 

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Early Air Taxi Links

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Early Air Taxi Links

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Early Air Taxi Links

Trans States connects with T. W.A. at St. Louis and New York, which have become
connecting hubs for T. W.A. ’s main transcontinental route network.

 

Early Air Taxi LinksEarly Air Taxi Links

Подпись: More ConnectionsEarly Air Taxi Links

Early Air Taxi Links

Подпись:Подпись: Cape Girardeau I J CORPORATE Подпись:Подпись: REGDПодпись: Stoux City  Waterloo л -0.1 i Fort Wayne Lincol ' 4 л Подпись:Early Air Taxi LinksПодпись: LexingtonПодпись: Knoxville CHAUTAUQUA Подпись: A Corporate Airlines Jetstream 32Подпись:Early Air Taxi LinksEarly Air Taxi Links

BAe Jetstream

19 seats • 300 mph

Early Trans World Express Connections

Several early commuter airlines were connected with T. W.A. Air Midwest, founded by Gary Adamson in Wichita in 1987, had an extensive network throughout the Midwest, and was associated with Ozark Airlines from 1 My 1985. This operation became T. W. A.’s in 1987, when the fleet consisted of Metro IIs, SAAB 340s, and Embraer Brasilias. It was purchased by Trans States Airlines in November 1990 (see page 99).

Jet Express, founded at Atlantic City in 1968, using CASA aircraft, became a T. W.A. connector in February 1989, feeding traffic into New York. Metro Airlines Northeast, a division of the nation’s largest regional carrier at the time, head­quartered in South Burlington, Vermont, became a connector in July 1989, feeding traffic to T. W.A. from cities of the Northeast. Most of its routes passed to Trans States Airlines.

Virgin Islands Seaplane Shuttle became a TWE carrier on 1 June 1988 but ceased operationson 17 September 1989, when its fleet was destroyed by Hurricane Hugo.

Gulfstream International Airlines

A former Eastern Airlines captain, Tom Cooper, founded Gulf – stream International in November 1968. He began scheduled services in December 1990 in southern Florida, with Cessna 402s, flying to Haiti and the Bahamas, by which time the fleet had been upgraded to Beech 1900s. Service was expanded during the 1990s, also with Shorts 360s, under agreements with various airlines. Among other ventures, Gulfstream established a hub at San Juan on 1 November 1999, and T. W.A. is one of the beneficiaries of this important Caribbean focal point of sev­eral main routes from major cities of the U. S.

Fairchild Metro

19 seats • 320 mph

Early Air Taxi Links

Burlingto

Corporate Airlines

This airline was founded by Charles Howell IV in 1996 as Corporate Express Airlines. It started TWE partner service on 16 December 1999, with routes radiating from St. Louis for Trans World Express. Its fleet consists of nine Jetstream 32s.

Chautauqua Airlines

Joel Hall founded Chautauqua Airlines as an Allegheny Com­muter on 3 May 1973, based at Jamestown, New York, and serv­ing western New York State and Pennsylvania with Beech 99s, Shorts 330s, and SAAB 340s. It added a southern division at Orlando, Florida, in 1980, and it became a T. W.A. Express con­nector on 2 April 2000, centred on St. Louis. It is currently adding at least 15 50-seat Embraer EMB 145 s to its TWE fleet.

Подпись: Trans-World Express
Подпись: ATR-42 48 seats *310 mph

Early Air Taxi LinksПодпись: Engines P&W Canada PW120 Length 74 feet (2,000 shp) x 2 Span 81 feet MGTOW 36,800 lb Height 25 feet Range 800 miles Подпись:The New York Connection

One of T. W.A.’s feeder affiliates came and went, after a chequered history. It was founded in 1967 by J. Dawson Ran- some in Philadelphia, and with the Volpar Turboliner (an upgraded Beech 18) he built up an excellent commuter net­work in the northeast, concentrating on feeds into all the New York airports. By 1972, he had become a member of the Allegheny Commuter system, and with a succession of inno­vations, he built Ransome Airlines into the largest commuter airline in the world. This was achieved by the use of ever – larger aircraft: Twin Otters, Nord 262s, de Havilland Canada Dash Sevens, and finally 48-seat ATR-42s.

Ransome parted company with Allegheny in 1982, flirted with Delta for a year or two, and finally sold his airline to Pan American on 1 June 1986. Pan Am continued to oper­ate services as Pan Am Express to feed into its New York international base, and in June 1989 and May 1990 opened branches in California and Miami, respectively. But “the world’s most experienced airline” was itself in deep trouble, and folded on 4 December 1991.

At midnight on 3 December, Carl Icahn had purchased the operation, which then became Trans World Express (T. W.E.). Carl departed from the T. W.A. scene in 1993, and at a time when belts were tightening, all the T. W.E. landing slots were sold on 6 November 1995, effectively wiping out the former Ransome local commuter empire.

Pan Am Express became T. W.E., Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of T. W.A.

Early Air Taxi Links

Early Air Mail Experiment

As early as 1938, T. W.A. sought to improve air mail service times. A Kellett autogyro wore its colors during an air mail experiment in connecting service in Chicago.

Early Air Taxi Links

Kellett autogyro, 1938

Going To The Fair

In 1964/65 TWA offered direct service from JFK Airport to the New York World’s Fair, through an arrangement with New York Airways, using Sikorsky S-61 helicopters.

Best Connections

During the 1980s, T. W.A. advertised “best connections” with New York Helicopter. International and transcontinental first class and Ambassador Class passengers could travel free between New York aiiports and downtown heliports and East 34th Street or the World Trade Center.

Подпись: One of Trans World Express’s ATR-42s at New York’s JFK International Airport in January 1995 (photo: Felix Usis III) Today, T. W.A. offers many “best connections” to many more places with larger aircraft through its Express Connec­tions throughout the northeastern States, (see also page 99)

War Effort

Wartime Service

When the Douglas DC-4 went into service, it was popularly thought to be a commercial version of the military C-54. But the C-54 was the production version of the original DC-4 that was the result of a joint specification by the “Big Four” air­lines and Pan American for a four-engined airliner. The com­bined order, placed on 26 January 1940, was 61 aircraft. The first one flew on 14 February 1942, only two months after the United States entered the Second World War.

The Stratoliner at War

On 1 April 1941, with war in Europe, and the United States supporting the Allies with Lend-Lease, T. W.A. established the Eagle Nest Flight Center at Albuquerque for training and engineering work. The Boeing 307s were withdrawn from service on 24 December, and contracted to the War Depart­ment. During February 1942, they were flown to Albuquerque for conversion (see page 47) and designated C-75s. T. W.A. cre­ated the Intercontinental Division (ICD), headed by Otis Bryan, and which operated separately from the domestic air­line network.

By the beginning of April 1942, T. W.A.’s ICD 307s were in Africa. On 26 February one had made its first long­distance flight across the South Atlantic (see map), with a cargo of 25,000 rounds of armor-piercing shells for the British Army in North Africa. On 20 April the first flight across the North Atlantic landed at Prestwick, Scotland, and from 22 April the South Atlantic crossings were made regu­larly. One flight, returning from Cairo, picked up Jimmy Doolittle, returning from his famous raid on Tokyo. On 10 July, the airfield was completed at Ascension Island, and by October the crossing was essentially a shuttle service. A thousand crossings were made in eighteen months—the equivalent of a round trip every day.

T. W.A. Tests the C-54

Pan American Airways was the airline with the flying boats and its aircraft were transferred to the U. S. Navy for wartime logistics work. Meanwhile, C-54s were delivered to the U. S. Army, which, however, was inexperienced in overseas and over-ocean flying and navigation. With its Boeing 307s already requisitioned for military service, T. W.A. was entrusted with the task of making special proving flights. Two aircraft were leased to T. W.A. in 1942 (see tabulation) and the airline had the honor of operating the first C-54 to be built.

Page 13 of 13 Pages April, 1943

SUMMARY C? TV? A OPERATIONS OVER ROUTES C? FAA-AFRI0A. LTD.

MONTH 0? APRIL 1943

STATICS

TIKE OF ARRIVAL Sate Tlae

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4/2/43

1240

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4/8/42

4/8/42

4/9/42

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1600

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1800

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4/5/42

4/6/42

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1131

1637

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KRT

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4/13/42

4/14/42

4/17/42

4/18/42

4/13/42

4/25/42

4/27/42

1246

144?

1150

C515

1440

1500

1102

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N-19907

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ACR

КАК

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4/25/42

4/23/42

4/2T/4S

4/28/42

4/28/42

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1835

1610

0650

1517

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USAAF records show that T. W. A. was soon contributing to the war effort, with its Stratoliners flying across Africa. (National Archives, courtesy Tom Culbert)

DOUGLAS C-54 FLEET

War Effort

BOEING 299 (B-17G) FLEET

The T. W.A. Flying Fortresses

On 16 November 1943, a T. W.A. Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress (Boeing 299) was contracted by the USAAF to engage in a weather research program. Based at Kansas City, it flew to all corners of the world: Alaska, South America, South Africa, and across the Pacific. The title passed to T. W.A. on 3 July 1944, and Three Kind Words—as the aircraft was called—completed 32,000 miles of research flying before it was returned to the Air Force on 30 April 1946.

Another B-17G was also flown by T. W.A. after the end of hostilities. It was converted for executive use and used to fly a delegation to an IATA (International Air Transport Asso­ciation) Conference in Cairo on 29 October.

War Effort

War Effort

One of T. W.A. !s Stratoliners, in wartime uniform.

SST and the Second Line

Подпись: N1801T

French Initiative

In 1952, in England, de Havilland and B. O.A. C., with the Comet, had demonstrated that a well-matched airframe and engine could combine to produce an efficient jet airliner. But just as until then, the aviation sages had warned that jet propulsion could not be applied commercially, they then claimed that, in spite of the Comet, jet airliners would be totally uneconomic for short-haul work. The world’s first short-haul jet, the twin-engined Sud-Est 210 (later the Sud Aviation Caravelle), proved that this was not so. The 210 had the proven Rolls-Royce Avon engines, and even the Comet nose; and surprised the designers all over the world by putting the engines at the rear of the fuselage. There were many advantages: the wing was left clear of protuberances such as engines—the ‘clean’ wing; they were easily accessi­ble for maintenance; and their position substantially reduced the noise level in the cabin. Nevertheless, the idea was looked upon with skepticism, even scorn, in some aviation circles.

The First Short-Haul Jet

Sud-Est went ahead. The Caravelle made its maiden flight on 27 May 1955. Air France ordered twelve, and introduced it on the Paris-Istanbul route on 6 May 1959. By this time, 50 air­craft had been ordered, and eventually more than 250 were sold. In the United States, United Air Lines was the only cus­tomer and put it on the New York-Chicago route on 14 July 1961. T. W.A. ordered 20 Mark 10A “Nouvelle Caravelles” on 7 September, but cancelled the order in May 1962. The airline had already ordered ten Boeing 727s (see below and following pages.)

What Might Have Been

(the three drawings are on the same scale)

Boeing 2707

Supersonic Dreams

T. W. A.’s disregard for the 68-69-seat Caravelle—which would have given good service on much of the domestic route system where the traffic demand did not justify the larger jets—was in contrast with its enthusiasm for supersonic air­liners. To be fair, it was not alone, as most of the world was queuing up to put down names on the Concorde and U. S. SST order books. On 14 October 1963, T. W.A. advised the

U. S. government of its intention to buy six Boeing SSTs, and deposited $600,000 with the Federal Aviation Agency (F. A.A.). The order was even increased to ten on 14 Novem­ber 1963, and to 12 on 18 October 1967.

Hedging its bets, T. W.A. also ordered four Anglo – French Concordes, and increased this to six on 1 April 1964. The supersonic aspirations were always a dream, and were never supported by economic considerations. The T. W.A. management could not now blame Howard Hughes for this diversion from the main stream of equipment development, but at least it had taken care of the less exotic side of the busi­ness, with less spectacular operations.

The Third Level

The awareness of the need for aircraft to serve smaller cities and feeding into the trunk routes was prevejfant during the 1960s. The high interest in the hub principle had not yet developed. Aircraft such as the Caravelle, Boeing 727, and DC-9 fulfilled these needs, and supplemented the Boeing 707s and Convair 880s, often overlapping in their applica­tion and deployment. The Boeing 727 could fly coast-to – coast with only one stop. But below this Second Level was an even lower level of air service, sometimes referred to as the Third Level, or Scheduled Air Taxi, or, later, the Com­muter. To protect this end of the travel market, T. W.A. made agreements in the early summer of 1965, with San Francisco Helicopter Airways (guaranteeing a break-even need) and with New York Airways (sharing financial support with Pan American). The following year, T. W.A. was associated with Piper Twinair, a small commuter airline in the New York area, which fed passengers into T. W.A.’s JFK terminal from neighboring communities.

Troubled Times

Carl Takes Over

On 14 June 1985, one of T. W.A.’s Boeing 727s was hijacked en route from Athens to Rome. Three months later, on 26 September, many T. W.A. veterans felt that their entire airline had been hijacked by Carl Icahn. On that day, he took over control (see page 91), accepted wage concessions already agreed by the unions, and appeared to compensate them in a profit-sharing plan, with the promise of setting up an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). Though he seemed optimistic about the airline’s prospects under his control, there was a catch: there were few profits to share.

A Promising Start

Carl seemed to start well. T. W.A. moved strongly into the Caribbean, expanding service from New York and St. Louis to several resort destinations; and in the New Year, reaching agree­ment for a Piedmont Airlines feed into New York. On 26 Feb­ruary 1985, he asserted “to combine two losers, we hope to create one profitable carrier.” On 11 March 1986, he won a vic­tory in the courts, when Judge Howard F. Sachs ordered the machinists back to work during a strike by 5,700 flight atten­dants who had walked off the job less than a week earlier.

The Clouds Darken

But T. W.A.’s problems went deeper, and were exacerbated in the months to come. In April 1986 a terrorist bomb exploded in mid-air on an Athens-bound flight, killing 4 and wounding 9 passengers. Remembering the incident less than a year previ­ously, the European-bound travelling public edged away from, rather than up-and-awayed with T. W.A. With diminishing returns, Icahn extracted further concessions from the pilots. The 1987 figures were no better, and the October “Black Monday” stock market mini-crash led Icahn (who held 70 percent of the stock) to delay all the previous plans for privatization by a year.

This was eventually spelled out in September 1988. Icahn and other shareholders received $20 in cash per share. Carl’s amounted to $469 million, which was $25 million more than his original investment. He also received some preferred stock. The stock had previously been held by A. C.F. Industries, described as the cornerstone of Icahn’s empire. One description of this financial juggling was very simple; “a leveraged buyout that added $1 billion in debt.” Icahn himself described T. W.A. as “not one of my most stellar investments,” a statement that strongly suggested that his interest in becoming an airline emperor like Howard Hughes was waning. He proceeded to sell off much of the airline’s assets of equipment and routes.

In 1989, he sold eleven jet aircraft and five gates at Kansas City. Early in 1990 he agreed to sell the Chicago-London route to American Airlines for $ 195 million. He threatened to sell the domestic route system if the pilots did not agree to more con­cessions. He sold and then leased back ten more aircraft. By the summer of 1990, the situation had reached crisis level — $3 bil­lion debt, no less. The unions proposed a restructuring plan, for Icahn to swap most of his now 90 percent stake for money owed, and thus reduce the debt. He responded by proposing the termination of unprofitable routes (this could have been most of the system at that time) and announced a two-tier salaries plan. In October, 450 staff were furloughed, and service terminated at many points in the system.

Selling The Farm

Worse was yet to come. It was a time when other airlines were also facing disaster. On 11 November 1990, Icahn offered to buy Pan American — an almost ludicrous proposal. On 12 December, American Airlines offered $445 million for all T. W.A.’s routes to London. On 21 January 1991, Icahn announced the halving of all services to Europe and furloughed 2,500 employees. Some palliatives were derived from a long­term contract with Military Airlift Command (MAC) and the D. O.T. award of a route to Moscow and Leningrad. But this was immediately offset by the effect of the Gulf War, which seri­ously eroded txrans-Atlantic traffic for all airlines. T. W.A. had always depended upon European and Middle Eastern routes as its best money-earner. Now the political fates were weighted heavily against them.

“Cheer up” they said, “things could be worse. So I cheered up. And they were worse.” And so it went with T. W.A. On 14 March 1991, the blow came. The D. O.T. approved the sale of routes to American, but restricted the sale to New York-London, Los Angeles-London, and Boston-London. Icahn protested strongly: “This order could well become a disaster for T. W.A.”

This inspired financier Kirk Kerkorian to step into the ring; but his intervention only led to American agreeing to buy the three routes for the full price for the five that had been included in the original offer.

Goodbye to Heathrow

No single event in T. W.A.’s history could have epitomised its decline and fall from the heights of the world airline hierar­chy than its departure from London’s Heathrow Airport, the busiest international airport in the world, the biggest gateway to Europe, the jewel in every trans-Atlantic airline’s crown.

On 1 July 1991, the last T. W.A. flight, a Boeing 747, took off, accompanied by a multiple fire-truck hose salute. As the air­craft was permitted a sentimental fly-by, the Heathrow tower called “it was nice knowing you.” T. W.A. transferred its London terminus to Gatwick. The effect was a reprieve from imminent bankruptcy, but this was a case of merely putting off the evil day.

Chapter Eleven

The acquisition of Pan Ant Express on 4 December 1991 (see page 101) was a momentary diversion from far more serious considerations for T. W.A. On 31 January 1992, the airline filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Carl Icahn called it “pre-planned,” a euphemism that can be compared with second-hand cars being called “pre-owned.” T. W.A. was in a bad way. Its total debt of $1.7 billion was more than its net worth. By the summer it was losing $2 million a day. Opening a New York-Moscow service on 17 March did not exactly reverse the balance sheet.

For the employees, the month of August was Make or Break. On 14 August, the flight attendants agreed to take pay cuts; on 24 August (at 5 a. m.) the Machinists’ Union followed suit. On 26 August, the pilots agreed, with the condition that Icahn would lend the airline $200 million and forgive $170 mil­lion owed. In exchange for the collective concessions, amount­ing to about 15% in value, all workers had 45% of the equity of a reorganized T. W.A.

On 15 November 1992, Carl Icahn agreed to the terms, and in a key decision, on 6 December, the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation, the largest creditor, agreed also. Mis­souri Senator Jack Danforth described the events thus: “I don’t believe in my lifetime that I have seen people who believe so strongly in their company.” The confirmation and justification for all their sacrifices came on 8 January 1993, when Carl Icahn relinquished all control, interest, and direc­tion of T. W.A. Ten months later, on 3 November, T. W.A. emerged from bankruptcy.

This was a triumph for unqualified loyalty and dedica­tion. It was in striking contrast with what happened at East­ern Air Lines in Miami in 1990. When Eastern’s union leaders learned that Frank Lorenzo had finally said “enough is enough,” and closed down the airline, they celebrated with champagne and shouts of “we’ve won.” And 30,000 employ­ees lost their jobs and their living. In T. W.A.’s case, the employees remained loyal, made a deal, and kept their jobs. They made a major contribution towards the survival of one of the world’s great airlines. They really did win.

Подпись:BOEIMIS 757 FLEET LIST

All aircraft listed are Boeing 757-231s, except the leased
aircraft (lessors indicated), which are 757-2Q8s

Boeing Takes Another Gamble

When Boeing announced the Boeing 757, almost simultane­ously announcing the 767, many airline observers thought that the Seattle manufacturer, already noted for its readiness to take chances (albeit successfully) had this time gone too far. The two aircraft appeared to be aimed at markets which, if not identical, seemed to overlap. Yet there was a method in their apparent madness. When the announcements were made, in the late 1970s, the airline industry was booming, world-wide. Airlines were being selective, with many choices available, and there was an advantage in having a range of types that could meet every particular need.

The 767 was a completely new design, but the 757, orig­inally to be a refined 727-300, was built on the same fuselage jigs as on those of previous Boeing winners, from the first 707, then the 727, and the 737. Certainly the wings and empennage
were new; but there were economies in the construction, and that permitted Boeing to sell at a very competitive price. Most important, the 757 and 767 had almost identical cockpits, which allowed a common pilot rating.

Troubled Times

Подпись: 178 seats • 570 mph Troubled Times

Perhaps the best application of this airliner to T. W.A.’s network was on 10 September 2000, when it opened nonstop service from Los Angeles to Washington’s downtown air­port, Reagan National (formerly National). Wide-bodied aircraft (such as the Boeing 767 or the Airbuses) are not allowed there. But the airport is only ten minutes on the local subway from the business district and political quarters of the nation’s capital, a huge advantage over service to Dulles Inter­national, which is at least an hour’s taxi ride from the center, and where public transport is usually conspicuous by its absence. With its narrow-bodied 757, T. W.A. has effectively cut an hour off the Los Angeles-Washington journey.

Post-War Reconstruction

Подпись:Post-War Reconstruction

Return of the Stratoliners

On 28 April 1944, the last Boeing 307 Stratoliner was returned to T. W.A. when Air Transport Command had received suffi­cient Douglas C-54s, which could carry more load and for a longer distance. During their military use, the 307s had been flown intensively and were badly in need of renovation. This was done at Albuquerque; and between 14 March and 24 April 1945, the fleet was re-certified for commercial use, and desig­nated SA-307B-ls, after thorough modification and inspection. Scheduled services were resumed on 1 April and, until 15 Feb­ruary 1946, they were the only four-engined landplanes in service by U. S. airlines.

Early Coach Class

The fate of all airliners is to be relegated from the front line when a new generation makes its appearance. In the case of T. W.A.’s Boeing 307s, they stayed in service and added one more claim for recognition in their eventful history. On 31 May 1949, the Stratoliner Coach Service began between New York and Chicago, via Pittsburgh. The fare was $29.40, a reduction of 30% from the regular fare of $44.10. No meals were served and reservations had to be paid for in advance. But it was one of the best of the such promotional fares, first launched by Cap­ital Airlines in 1948, in response to the growing popularity of bargain offers by the non-scheduled charter airlines.

Old 307s Never Die

As the Constellations took over all the overseas routes from the DC-4s; and the DC-4s supplemented the DC-3s on the domes­tic network, even the veteran ‘Gooney Birds’ were retired. Their departure was speeded by the pending arrival of the Martin 202 (see page 61), one of the airhners sometimes described as the “DC-3 Replacement,” about the same size as the Stratoliner, but more powerful, faster, and, with two fewer engines, more economical. The Boeing veterans were retired from May 1950, the last one on 1 July 1950. They were sold to the French airline, Aigle Azur, which operated them in var­ious roles in Europe, and when the French met with the grow­ing nationalism in their Indo-China colony, they flew troops to and from Saigon. They performed a variety of missions there, and during the Vietnam War, were used for United Nations liai­son work, flying between Saigon and Hanoi, under the title (if not the colors) of CIC (see caption to photograph.) All the T. W.A. 307s came to ignominious ends, but one of the Pan American planes is preserved (see page 45).

Some of the Stratoliners had an interesting fa te. After service with the French airline Aigle Azur, they were dispersed after the French colonial regime in Indo-China came to an end. Early in 1964, two of them passed to the Compagnie Interna­tionale de Transports Civils Aeriens (CIC). They provided a service between Saigon and Hanoi, on behalf of the International Control Commission, (photo courtesy Roger Bentley)

Boeing 727-31

Artist’s Note

Note use of T. W.A. ’s new ‘Golden Globe’ logo.

 

Engines

Pratt & Whitney JT8D (14,000 lb) x 3

Length

133 feet

MGT0W

152,500-164,500 lb

Span

108 feet

Range

1,700 miles

Height

34 feet

Short and Medium Haul

Once again, to follow the example of the Caravelle, the initiative had been taken overseas, when de Havilland supplemented its Comet production by launching the world’s first tri-jet, the D. H.121 Trident. Like the Caravelle, all three engines were in the rear, two on the sides of the fuselage, and one faired into the base of the vertical stabilizer. It first flew on 9 January 1962. But the British missed their chance by some incredible bungling. Under pressure from British European Airways, the 100-seat Trident design was irrevocably compromised by reducing the size to 86—not much bigger than the Caravelle. The first Trident had been sized just right for both the European and the U. S. markets. Not only that, de Havilland allowed a Boeing team to inspect it.

Three weeks later, the Seattle team announced the 100-seat Boeing 727, remarkably sim­ilar in design to the Trident. The 727 made its first flight on 9 February 1963, and more than 1,800 left the Seattle factory. It first went into service with Eastern Air Lines on 1 February 1963. T. W.A. ordered ten Boeing 727s in March 1962, and it was to become one of the most versatile airliners ever produced. T. W.A.’s entered service on 1 June 1964.

Подпись: This Boeing 727 Series 31QC was affectionately known to the pilots as Piggy Sue. Shortly thereafter, on 20 July, T. W.A. ordered 20 twin-jet, rear-engined Douglas DC-9s, once again taking the home-built product in preference to the British Aircraft Corporation’s BACOne-EIeven, This was the first second-generation rear-engined twin-jet to follow the Car­avelle, and it had already made inroads into the American market. But T. W.A. chose the DC-9 and started service on 17 March 1966 (see page 77).

Into the 21st Century

Picking up the Pieces

T. W. A. set about the task of recovery, after the departure of Carl Icahn. In July 1993, William Howard had been named chairman and C. E.O., but he resigned in January 1994, to be replaced by Donald F. Craib, Jr. Some sense of purpose returned to the air­line when Jeffrey H. Erickson was elected president in April. He had airline credentials, having started as a Pan American engineer, moved on to various airlines, and had launched the low-fare new entrant, Reno Air, in July 1992. He took action to restore confidence. Service was started from St. Louis to some mid-west points, as well as to Sacramento and Ontario. Inter­national service was restored to Saudi Arabia, where T. W.A.’s tradition went back a long way, having served Dhahran, on the Gulf, from July 1946 to May 1971. Now the terminus was Riyadh, the handsome capital, which has one of the world’s most beautiful terminal buildings. But service to Geneva and Zurich was terminated, and the Los Angeles-Paris Polar route was suspended, as these routes were just not paying their way.

The employees responded, as best they could, support­ing from their pay packets the $223,000 per month lease pay­ments for a new McDonnell Douglas MD-83 (#9408) appropriately named Wings of Pride. Delivery was made at a proud ceremony on 2 September 1994.

But Pride is often accompanied by a Fall. By October, T. W.A. was asking its major creditors to “forgive” almost half of its $1.8 billion debt, in exchange for more equity. This would increase the creditors’ stake in the airline from 55% (the legacy of Carl Icahn) to 70%. But the creditors were wary, and in no hurry. T. W.A. was once again forced into a corner.

Chapter Eleven Again

When John Cahill was elected chairman of the board on 28 Feb­ruary 1995, the prospects were grim, and on 30 June, T. W.A. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy for a second time. However, there was a silver lining. In August, the three unions agreed to $130 million per year savings in wages and through increased productivity, at the same time reducing their ownership in the airline from 45% to 30%. The wary creditors accepted the 70% shareholding in exchange for debt.

In February 1996, T. W.A. ordered 20 Boeing 757-200s, with options for another 10. They were to replace the Lock­heed TriStars, which were becoming costly to maintain. The 757s had a common cockpit with the 767, another cost saving; and in the long term it was the beginning of a program of reducing the average age of the fleet.

Perry Flint, of Air Transport World, was encouraging: “Somehow, T. W.A. survived its near-death experiences and the long-awaited obituary never appeared… is in better shape than at any time in this decade.. . (it) has a sense of purpose, rising pride in its product, and a confidence bom of having survived the worst that man and nature could throw at it.”

The Cruel Hand of Fate

On 17 July 1996, Flight TW800, a Boeing 747, disintegrated at the eastern end of Long Island, still on its initial climb out of New York’s JFK Airport. The direct cause was the explo­sion of the center fuel tank, but the cause is not known for certain. After four years of research, the official explanation was that it might have been an inducted spark into low-ten­sion wiring, but most aviation folk are skeptical.

In an interesting, though unfortunate, parallel, this dis­aster, which killed more than 200 people, occurred just when T. W.A.’s financial situation was improving; and was a tragic repetition of a similar situation in December 1988, when the Pan American 747 exploded at Lockerbie, Scotland, just when the airline was striving to recover its North Atlantic market share. In both cases, the effect on the travelling public’s perception was detrimental — to put it mildly.

Firm Hands at the Wheel

T. W.A. was undeterred. On 17 September it announced the acquisition of ten more MD-83s, making 15 in the fleet. Gerald Gitner became chairman and C. E.O., while Erickson retired. Gitner was joined, on 3 December 1997, by William (Bill) Compton, who became president and chief operating officer (C. O.O.). Bill was a veteran T. W.A. pilot, who had joined T. W.A. at the age of 21, had risen in the ranks to become the elected leader of the pilots’ union, ALPA, and had the distinction of having been furloughed three times. During T. W.A.’s turbulent years, the term distinction was indeed the operative word.

In 1995, the debt to Carl Icahn had been re-structured. T. W.A. agreed to pay off the debt by making available to Carl’s airline ticket agency the right to sell tickets. The arrangement was for eight years, and the airline will be relieved of the obligation in September 2003.

The Largest Order

The year 1998 ended on a high note. In December, T. W.A. announced orders for 100 new airliners. The order comprised 50 111-seat Boeing 717-200s (formerly McDonnell Douglas

MD-95s) and 50 106-seat Airbus A318s. Both aircraft are at the lower stratum of jet airliner size, and will fulfill the need for the sparser traffic-generating routes, with considerably lower operating costs that those of the aircraft they replace. This was the first order for the A318 and one of the first for the 717, and T. W.A. was able to negotiate a good price, taking advantage of what is known in the industry as “launch eco­nomics.” T. W.A. also indicated its intention to order 25 more Airbuses, unspecified variants of the Airbus A320 family.

This acquisition — valued at around $4 billion, the largest in T. W.A.’s history — was marred slightly by the beginning of a “sick-out” by some flight attendants on Christ­mas Eve. They made a rapid recovery on the day after Christ­mas, by order of Judge Nina Gershon. But confidence was maintained in financial quarters in March 1999, when Boeing arranged $2.4 billion of financing to protect 82 unfilled T. W.A. orders, including the 717s.

Historical Precedent

In May 1999, Bill Compton was appointed C. E.O. as well as holding the office of president. Many years had passed since T. W.A. had been directed from the top from someone who had risen from within the ranks. As a pilot — he still kept his license current by taking the left-hand seat on an MD-83 flight deck from time to time — he enjoyed the respect of the flying crews. In his first months as CEO, he oversaw agree­ment on new contracts for all union-represented employees with pay increases that were mirrored by wage boosts pro­vided to non-union workers as well. Although T. W.A. still trailed other major airlines’ pay scales, it marked the first time in 15 years that T. W.A. workers had been given more pay rather than more concessions in a contract.

Trans World Airlines moves into the twenty-first century in good spirits, even though its finances are still precarious. It has the best on-time record in the industry (“worst to first in three years.”) Its once old, almost time-expired, fleet (one Boeing 747 was retired with more than 101,000 hours flying time behind it) is being replaced by new aircraft, and the aver­age fleet age is rapidly decreasing. Its loyal staff have increased productivity and the management is keeping its head. In the year 2000, T. W.A. celebrates its 75th anniversary, with a pilot up front, just as, in the great years of the past, with Jack Frye and Howard Hughes, the pilots built the airline to greatness. Bill Compton can inspire the re-creation of those great days again, and rejuvenate this great airline to its former standing as a pio­neer and leader of the United States air transport industry.

Into the 21st Century
Into the 21st Century

Engines

BMW Rolls-Royce BR715 (18,500 lb) x 2

Length

124 feet

MGTOW

114,000 lb

Span

93 feet

Range

1,650 miles

Height

29 feet

 

Farewell Jo a Workhorse

On 30 September 2000, T. W.A. retired its last Boeing 727. The fleet of tri-jets had paid its dues. In addition to its extensive scheduled work, it had been on hand for specialized charters, for clients who included the St. Louis Rams football team (for whom one aircraft was specially painted); sixteen baseball teams; and one named Shepherd One, which took the Pope on tour. But its time had come, to be replaced by a more modern, more efficient aircraft.

Last of Another Fine Line

The McDonnell Douglas MD-80, the largest of the original DC-9 line, had supplemented the Boeing 727 for several years. It carried almost as many passengers (142 v. 145) but burned much less fuel (954 v. 1,214 gallons per hour). Now, to meet the demand for a smaller, even more fuel-efficient partner, to serve routes of lower traffic density, another fine aircraft was added to the T. W.A. fleet.

The Boeing 717 is the renamed ultimate development of Donald Douglas’s original twin – jet, the DC-9-10, which first flew on 25 February 1965. The 717’s first designation was the MB-95, and it first flew on 2 September 1998, by which time the McDonnell Douglas Corpo­ration had been acquired by the Boeing Company, which promptly found a slot in its traditional numbering series. It was first ordered by Valujet (now AirTran) and T. W.A. ordered 50. The first one entered service on 2 March 2000, between St. Louis and Dallas/Fort Worth.

The Boeing 717 has the standard DC-9 fuselage cross-section, and is slightly longer than the DC-9-30, but with the MD-50 wing and an MD-87 extended vertical stabilizer. The flight deck is digitally equipped, with the new “glass cockpit.” Its BMW Rolls-Royce BR715 engines are more fuel efficient, have less exhaust emission, and are significantly quieter than any of the previous members of the famous Douglas twin-engined series. As indicated in the fleet list, deliveries will continue until the Summer of 2003.

T. W.A. can thus claim to have been part of this great family of Douglas airliners, from the first (see page 77) to the last, with almost every sub-series in between.

 

Into the 21st Century

Into the 21st CenturyПодпись:Подпись:

Ford 5-AT Tri-Motor

13 seats 0 105 mph

Engines

Pratt & Whitney

Wasp (450 hp) x 3

MGTOW

13,500 lb.

Range

500 miles

Length

50 feet

Span

78 feet

Height

12 feet

An All-Metal Airplane

The aircraft that was to become almost standard equipment, until the advent of the Boeing 247 in 1933 and the DC-2 in 1934, derived its design from a smaller aircraft built in 1923. William B. Stout had apparently watched the success of the German Junkers all-metal air­craft built in 1919 immediately after the end of the Great War; and had perhaps noticed the consistency of success of the Fokker thick-wing aerofoil. Stout’s 1-AS Air Sedan combined elements of both and first flew on 17 February 1923. Although under-powered with a 90-hp OX-5 engine, it was developed into the Stout 2-AT Air Pullman, with a 400-hp Liberty engine.

Ford Takes an Interest

The great Ford Motor Company—Edsel Ford himself—took an interest in Stout’s work. On 15 October 1924, Ford opened an airport and a manufacturing plant at Dearborn, near Detroit. The airfield would soon be equipped with two paved runways, 3,400 ft and 3,700 ft, possibly the first of their kind in the world. Ford established its own private airline, to connect its plants at Chicago and Detroit, and opened service on 13 April 1925, with the Stout 2-AT Maiden Dearborn. On 31 July of that year, Ford purchased the Stout Metal Air­plane Company.

The Ford Tri-Hsfor

When the Wright Whirlwind radial engine became available in 1925, the Stout 2-AT was modified to a tri-motor design, the 3-AT. It was not an attractive airplane, made a few test flights, and was destroyed at Dearborn on 17 January 1926. Flowever, the idea of three engines stuck, and the outcome was the famous Ford Tri-Motor. It was built under the direc­tion of William B. Mayo, Ford’s Chief Engineer, and made its first flight on 11 June 1926. The design team was led by Thomas Towle, and included John Lee, Otto Koppen, and H. A.Hicks. The test pilot, Major Shroeder, insisted on an open cockpit, but this was soon abandoned. A total of 199 Tri-Motors, in a variety of versions, was built, and because of the sturdy all-metal construction, they lasted a long time, with one or two still in flying condition even today.

Artwork size does not allow accurate scale representation of the Tri-Motor’s corrugated aluminum skin.

T. W.A.

T. A.T.

No.

No.

Regn.

MSN

Delivery Date

Name

Disposal and Remarks

614

A-9

NC9606

5-AT-4

24 Nov 28

City of Columbus later City of New York

Used by Charles Lindbergh as a flying office when surveying T. A.T.’s transcontinental route. T. W.A. 6 Apr 31. Sold 14 Feb 35, subsequently several owners, incTACA Niceragua. Crashed on takeoff at Choteau, Montana, 6 May 53

607

A-2

NC9607

5-AT-5

22 Nov 28

The Kansas City

T. W.A. 6 Apr 31. Crashed, Quay, New Mexico, 29 Aug 33

612

A-6

NC9643

5-AT-6

28 Nov 28

City of Albuquerque

T. W.A. 6 Apr 31. SACO, Colombia. 5 Apr 35. Destroyed in collision with another Ford at Medallin, 24 Jun 35.

603

A-7

NC9644

5-AT-7

18 Jan 29

City of Washington

T. W.A. 6 Apr 31. Grand Canyon Airlines 27 Mar 36. TACA11 Dec 37

608

A-3

NC9645

5-AT-8

18 Jan 29

City of Wichita

T. W.A. 6 Apr 31. Grand Canyon Airlines, 16 Jul 35. to TACA Honduras 11 Dec 37. To Mexico, Jan 46. Repaired in 1951 as the "smooth-skin Ford." To U. S.A. 1955, eventu-

ally to Evergreen Aviation, Oregon in 1990.

604

A-8

NC9646

5-AT-9

18 Jan 29

City of Los Angeles

T. W.A. 6 Apr 31. Guld Oil Corp. 22 Sep 37, then to Venezuela

615

A-10

NC9638

5-AT-16

16 Jan 29 (Maddux)

T. W.A. 21 Apr 31. SACO, Colombia, 5 Apr 35. TACA Honduras, Mar 39.

611

A-6

NC9639

5-AT-17

9 Feb 29 (Maddux)

City of Waynoka

T. W.A. 21 Apr. 31. PANAGRA, 5 Jul 34. Remodelled for heavy cargo work, with large hatch in top fuselage, for special haulage to mines in Peru and Bolivia.

613

A-8

NC9640

5-AT-18

26 Feb 29 (Maddux)

T. W.A. 21 Apr 31. Grand Canyon Airlines, 27 Mar 26. TACA Honduras, 11 Dec 37. To Mexico, 6 Jun 46.

602

NC9641

5-AT-19

3 Mar 29 (Maddux)

T. W.A. 21 Apr 31. Leslie G. Mulzer, Columbus, Ohio, 17 Feb 36. Aerovias Nacionales, Costa Rica, Mar 39

A-9

NC9649

5-AT-20

14 Jun 29

City of San Francisco

Crashed on Mt. Taylor, near Albuquerque, 3 Sep 29

609

A-4

NC9647

5-AT-21

26 Apr 29

City of Indianapolis

Used by U. S. Army for endurance tests. Accident on 22 Dec 29. T. W.A. 6 Apr 31. Crashed Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 27 Jan 31

605

A-10

NC9651

5-AT-34

16 May 29

City of Philadelphia

T. W.A. 6 Apr 31. R. C.A., Camden, NJ, 19 Mar 36, for extensive tests with secret radio and television projects. Star Air Lines, Anchorage, 10 Apr 41. After accident, Aug 43, stored until 18 Apr 52, sold to Clyde Sampson, California. Various owners.

610

A-5

NC9650

5-AT-37

22 May 29

City of St. Louis

Crashed 14 Dec 32

600

NC9686

5-AT-41

20 Apr 29 (Maddux)

T. W.A. 21 Apr 31. Sold to Fred Kane 3 Feb 36, Charles H. Babb, 8 Nov 38, Guinea Air-

616

NC8411

5-AT-49

18 Apr 30

ways, 28 Nov 38. Originally purchased by Scenic Airways, Phoenix, 18 Jun 29, then to United Aviation Corp. Chicago Mar 30. T. W.A. 30 Jan 31. Sold to St. Louis Flying Service, St. Louis, 27 Sep 37. Crashed in Colombia, 15 Apr 39

601

A-ll

NC8413

5-AT-51

24 Jun 29 (Maddux)

City of Columbus

T. W.A. 24 Apr 31. Sold 2 Sep 37. Destroyed by fire, Mankato, Minnesota, 11 Aug 38

606

A-l

NC9648

5-AT-57

3 Jul 29

T. W.A. 6 Apr 31. Republic Oil, Pittsburgh, 19 Jul 37. Modified to hold 1,800 gallons of

gasoline, 450 gallons of oil, to refuel Jimmy Mattern’s Lockheed 12-А The Texan. In search for Russian polar flyers in 1937, written off at Anchorage, 21 Aug 37

620

NC410H

5-AT-69

26 Apr 33

Originally delivered to New England and Western Air Transportation Company, 7 May 30; then to Eastern Air Transport, Brooklyn, 16 Oct 30; then to T. W.A. This was used briefly at New York’s Downtown Skyport on the East River of Lower Manhattan, from 29 Aug 35. Sold to SCADTA, Colombia, 11 Feb 36.

618

NC9665

5-AT-24

2 Mar 31

Ex-SAFE (del. 1 Nov 29). Crashed, Pittsburgh, 19 Aug 31.

617

NC9666

5-AT-25

2 Mar 31

Ex-SAFE (del. 5 Mar 29). Destroyed, Bakersfield, 10 Feb 33.

619

NC430H

5-AT-90

6 Mar 31

Delivered to Continental Co., 21 Jun 30. Sold to C. N.A., Guatamala, 29 Jul 35.

Note: 4 Model 4-ATs were also transferred to T. AT. when it bought Maddux on 16 Nov 29, but title transfer wos For its 20th Anniversary celebration in July 1949, T. W.A. leased a 4-AT-5S, NC9612, City ottos Angeles.

officially recorded as 21 Apr 31. (See page 20)

The Cabin Crews

United Air Lines was the first airline to introduce female cabin attendants, in 1929, but other airlines were not in a hurry to follow suit. The main qualification was to be a qual­ified nurse, because the fear of flying was not uncommon, and passengers often needed attention to calm the nerves as well as to calm the stomachs, resulting from the uneven, and sometimes roller-coaster-like rides in the 100-mph Ford Tri­Motors, which could not always avoid turbulent weather.

Reluctance to Hire Women

One reason why the airlines were reluctant to hire women as stewards was that the idea was thought to be somewhat undig­nified (in an age when women were still thought to be home­builders rather than wage-earners). The work was strenuous. Pan American did not hire women cabin attendants until the end of the Second World War, because of the long journeys. Just as the airlines followed railroad practice in many aspects of their operations, so it was with cabin attendants, with stew­ards emulating the Pullman Car service on the express trains— with the exception that airlines still employed white staff almost exclusively, from the top executives and flying crew to all who came into contact with the public.

T. W.A. Hostesses

T. W.A.’s stewardesses were called hostesses, to reflect the nature of the job more graciously, and implying that they did more than just bring round the drinks. The first group gradu­ated at Kansas City on 6 December 1935, and were assigned to the Douglas DC-2 flights.

T. W.A. provided the trainees with uniforms and was the only major airline to do so. The jackets carried a patch that read “TWA Student Hostess,” a practice that implied that they should comport themselves in training as would be expected when they started to work on the line.

Airborne Memories

Подпись: These flight attendants participated in a big event on 7 July 1955for Walt Disney (fourth from left) at the opening day of Disneyland. The Constellation was named Star of Disneyland for the occasion. Подпись: Kathryn Rhodes, T.W.A.’s first chief hostess, 1936. The Cabin CrewsПодпись: By 1941, the semi-military style of uniform had given way, for training purposes, to a more practical dress style: two-tone green blouse and skirt, with a dashing tam- o'-shanter hat. (Photo courtesy John Wegg collection) Подпись:Подпись: This was the dapper uniform of the Jet Age in 1967. Подпись:The Cabin CrewsA camaraderie emerged that survived into the retirement years. This has taken the form of former flight attendant groups, such as Clipped Wings and Silver Wings. They meet regularly and keep in touch through newsletters, chap­ter meetings, and annual conventions. Clipped Wings pro­duced a handsome volume, Wings of Pride, honoring a great profession. The Clipped Wings maintain a ‘fashion archive’ of T. W.A. uniforms worn throughout the years and enjoy presenting fashion shows, in which members model their own uniforms from bygone days.

Подпись: Flight De<k Memories

Подпись:Подпись:The Cabin CrewsПодпись: Francis Harland at a Constellation Navigator’s Table (Photo courtesy John Malandro)The Cabin CrewsПодпись:Подпись:

The Importance of Navigation

During the earliest years of commercial flying, the importance of finding the way accurately was soon made clear. Too many pilots were killed simply because they were too busy trying to keep their machines in the air, especially in conditions of zero visibil­ity. A compass and air-speed indicator were simply not enough.

As time went on, improvements were made, at first on the ground, with the legendary “Lighted Airway,” a series of high-intensity beacons, acting like street lamps for the early airline pilots. Then came better radio and radio ranges by the early 1930s, and then ADF (Automatic Direction Finder) in the latter 1930s. With the improvement of airliners from the Ford to the DC-3, the need for accuracy was becoming criti­cal, as there was little time to find alternate places to land. Even the DC-3 needed something better than a small field surrounded by trees.

The Navigators

Until the outbreak of the Second World War, the only airline that needed skilled navigators was Pan American Airways, as it was the only operator privileged to operate long-distance trans-ocean flights. The exigencies of war, however, demanded “all hands to the plough” and T. W.A., possessing the only four- engined landplanes in domestic service, was called upon to transfer its Boeing 307 Stratoliners to the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) for important overseas logistics work.

T. W.A. hired the experience where it could find it: from the merchant navy, even from Pan American. The new mem­bers of the flight deck quickly assumed the vital role, in which their level of importance was such that, although only ‘two- ringers,’ no wise captain would take off without the naviga­tor’s approval. Also, with a landplane such as the 307, it was not enough to get close. Pan Am’s flying boats could, at a pinch, alight in a stretch of smooth water if it missed the exact destination flying boat base. When the 307 entered service, a mere handful of airports in the world had hard-surfaced run­ways, and few alternate airfields. T. W.A. ’s navigators, there­fore, had to be right on target. As described on pages 50 and 51, they won their spurs on the two Atlantic routes. Finding Ascension Island was a work of extreme precision. But few diversions ever had to be made.

Pressurization Problem

For efficient observations with a sextant or octant, the long-range airliners were fitted with an astrodome, a circular glass protu­berance on top of the fuselage which allowed the navigator to
prop himself into the circular aperture, and take the necessary sightings, either by day or by night. But the situation was differ­ent with pressurized types.

The Boeing 307 gave no trouble, as the pressurization dif­ferential was small. With the post-war Lockheed Constella­tions, however, the pressure differential was higher, and this resulted in tragedy. George Hart was on a trans-Atlantic flight in 1948, taking sextant readings in the astrodome, when he was sucked out when the glass canopy failed. Thereafter the navi­gators were supplied with a well-secured harness which they wore when using the astrodome. This was later eliminated with the introduction of a periscope sextant (see illustration).

End of a Profession

During and immediately after the Second World War, tremen­dous advances were made in navigational technology, aided by improvements in radio and especially radar. The introduction of doppler, a quadrantal echo-measuring device, was the har­binger of further developments. Then the arrival of INS (Iner­tial Navigation System), which combined the precision of gyroscopes with accurate accelerometers, sounded the death – knell for navigators. The accurate readings on the pilots’ instruments made them redundant. T. W.A. retired its last nav­igator in the fall of 1964. With today’s GPS (Global Position­ing System), thanks to the almost incredible accuracy of satellite monitoring, even a two-man crew can easily handle both the flying and the navigating.

The Engineers

Another profession which has been usurped by the march of technology is that of the flight engineer. When the four – engined landplanes were introduced, they carried an engineer, like Pan American’s Clipper crews, to monitor fuel consump­tion and balance, electric power and distribution, hydraulics, pressurization, and engine performance. The big airliners were sensitive to the balance of fuel in the tanks, an imbal­anced weight of which would affect the flying characteristics of the aircraft. But except for the bewildering complexity of very advanced aircraft such as the supersonic Concorde, all the engineers’ functions have been taken over by the comput­erized “glass cockpits’ which—especially with the trend away from four-engined types to twins—are self-monitoring and self-compensating. T. W.A.’s last flight engineers were retired in 2000, along with the last Boeing 727s. Today’s airline pilots need only their precision instruments and the ability to stay awake, or at least alert.

TWA’s First Short-Haul Jet Fleets

TWA&#39;s First Short-Haul Jet Fleets
T. W.A.’s BOEING 727 FLEET DOUGLAS DC-9-51 FLEET

This DC-9-31, N990Z, was inherited when T. W.A. absorbed Ozark Air Lines and its extensive fleet (see page 97).

TWA&#39;s First Short-Haul Jet Fleets

Подпись:Подпись:

Подпись: Fleet No. Regn. MSN Delivery Date Remarks and Disposal 8243 N943U 48132 12 Apr 89 Ex-KLM. Leased from 12 Apr 89 to 11 Nov 91. 8244 N944U 48133 21 Apr 89 Ex-KLM. Leased from 21 Apr 89 to 11 Nov 91.

Twin-Jet Choice

On 20 July 1964, T. W.A. ordered 20 Douglas DC-9-14s, plus 20 more on option) at a cost of $86 million, for its short-haul routes. It had flirted with the idea of the French Caravelle in 1962 (see page 74) and no doubt had considered the British ВАС One-Eleven, but it elected to stay with the American version of the twin-jet, a design formula that airline planners considered to be the most economical for short-haul routes.

Development of the DC-9 was rapid. The first flight was on 25 February 1965 and Delta Air Lines put it into service on 8 December of that year. T. W.A. followed soon afterwards, starting New York-Kansas City service with the -14 variant on 17 March 1966—just before Howard Hughes terminated his association with the airline that he had done so much to nur­ture (see page 73).

Not to be outdone—this was during a period when airline traffic was expanding vigor­ously—T. W.A. placed, on 2 September 1966 and 18 October 1967, two very large orders for Boeing 747s, 727s, and 707s, and augmented its order for the Boeing supersonic 2707. The airline was full of confidence, and showed it by a catchy slogan: Up, Up, and Away, with T. W.A.

TWA&#39;s First Short-Haul Jet Fleets

This early DC-9-14 is seen awaiting take-off at New York’s LaGuardia Airport.

T. W.A/S EARLY DOUGLAS DC-9 FLEET

DOUGLAS DC-9-32 FLEET