The World’s Last Martin 202 Lives… in New Jersey!

Written by Shea Oakley

One of the few remaining vestiges of the golden age of piston powered air transport in the New York area can be found in the outside display yard of a small air museum in Teterboro, New Jersey. The collection of the Aviation Hall of Fame and Museum of NJ contains a Martin 202A, a short-to-medium range twin-propeller airliner produced just after World War II. The Museum’s 202A is unique in that of the 48 produced, this is the last remaining example of the type.

Martin 202A serial number 14074 was built in 1950 at the company’s factory in Baltimore, Maryland and delivered to Trans World Airlines (TWA) with the registration N93204. The legendary carrier ordered the unpressurized 202s as a stop-gap aircraft until Martin could deliver their larger and pressurized 404 model. The original 202 suffered from metal fatigue problems involving its wing spar almost immediately after entering service, leading to it being temporarily grounded and modified into the 202A with a strengthened airframe. The final 13 airplanes off the line were built straight to the 202A standard, including N93204. The modified 202A was only offered for a short time, as the 404 would soon be ready, resulting in the short 48-frame production run of all 202 variants. TWA leased 12 from the manufacturer and used N93204 for most of the 1950s and into the 1960s. The airplane would have flown routes for TWA such as LaGuardia-Philadelphia-Pittsburgh-Chicago-Kansas City.

N93204 then went to regional carrier Allegheny Airlines who flew it for several years in the 1960s. Allegheny’s service in the New York area included  routes like Newark-Atlantic City-Wildwood-Salisbury-Washington and Newark-Wilkes Barre-Bradford (PA)-Jamestown (NY)-Erie-Detroit. The 1950s and 60s saw rapid development in airliners, and Allegheny soon retired the obsolete type, despite being less than 20 years old at that point.

The airplane is believed to have been stored at Wildwood Airport in Southern New Jersey for about 15 years starting in the late 1960s and ending with the museum’s acquisition of the airframe in the early 1980s. A few years later, the museum opened the airliner’s 35-seat cabin to the public. Since that time, tens of thousands of museum visitors, many of them children, have had a chance to get a feel for what it might have been like to fly out of nearby Newark Airport in a classic “propliner” nearly 70 years ago.

During the past three years, a nearly complete cabin restoration has been completed on N93204, and the museum expects to have a cockpit restoration finished in the spring of 2018. The next step is to repaint an exterior that has borne the brunt of a four-season climate and the Meadowlands region’s sub-optimal air quality since it was last refinished in generic white paint over three decades ago. A somewhat happy consequence of the extreme wear on the current finish is that the previously covered-up Allegheny “Speed-Wedge” logo on the vertical stabilizer is becoming visible again.

The estimated cost to do a complete strip and repaint in full period Allegheny colors, taking environmental regulatory costs into account, has been estimated at $60,000. The museum hopes to be able to accomplish this in stages over a period of years as this is quite a large sum for a relatively small institution. In the meantime, the public will be able to fully enjoy the inside of one very rare and special airliner residing at historic Teterboro Airport.

(Article first published on NYCaviation.com)

Continue Reading 1 Comment

Oh, Canada – Air Canada

Written by Charlie Dolan

Air Canada (AC – ACA) began life as Trans Canada Airlines in 1937. It operated under that name (in English) until 1965, when the carrier adopted its French name “Air Canada” as its identity as the flag carrier for our neighbor to the north. The change of name was reflected in new livery for the aircraft, new corporate logos and extensive uniform changes.  Over the years, Air Canada and Canadian (Canadien) Pacific Air Lines were the major competitors for air travel by Canadians. Smaller carriers, such as Nordair, Quebecair, Pacific Western Airlines and Eastern Provincial Airways were merged into one or the other of the big two carriers. It was during this period that Canadian Pacific Air Lines became Canadian (ien) Airlines. In 2000, Air Canada acquired Canadian Airlines, thus removing its biggest competitor.

In 2019, Air Canada received approval to purchase Transat A. T., which was the parent company of Air Transat. It’s anyone’s guess as to how large Air Canada will grow.

Future (several) articles will cover other Canadian airline companies. I was stationed at Dorval Airport (CYUL) for eight years and that was where I began collecting.

Wing and cap badge for Trans Canada Air Lines

TCA flight engineer wing. An “E” replaces the “speedbird” at the center of the wing. The navigator’s wing had an “N” at the center.

TCA cap with badge

Bullion TCA wing and cap badge circa 1949 during a “tiff” with BOAC when the “speedbird” was removed from the uniforms. The metal TCA insignia with the “speedbird” returned and were used untll 1965, when Air Canada became the new name

Air Canada’s first insignia. The cap badge was short lived, but the wing is a mystery to me and other collectors. The wing had various colors behind the maple leaf. I have seen blue, yellow, white, red and green (or turquoise) enamel. Whether these colors represented crew members’ home base or job  classification has not been determined. Air Canada pioneers and the wing manufacturer hav been unable to answer the question. Any information would be greatly appreciated

More colorful cap badge and squared off wing in metal and bullion. These were used in the 1960s and I have seen white behind the maple leaf of the cap badge which might be related to the color issue with the former wing insignia. All pilot ratings wore the same style wing

New wings of the 1980s indicated the rating of the pilots. Captains had three stars over the center disc, which was surrounded with leaves.  First Offices had leaves around the disc, but no stars. Second officers had a plain disc

The current style wing has the disc in red with the maple leaf in brass metal color. With only two flight crew, the F.O has a plain disc and the Captain has a wreath around the disc. I understand that the new cap badge has the maple leaf and circle in gold bullion thread, but the scroll with “Air Canada” has been deleted. A plan to have “AIR CANADA” in gold bullion at the front of the chin strap was not adopted

Continue Reading No Comments

Carriers of the Caribbean

Written by Charlie Dolan

As I continue to bounce around the globe, I thought that after the recent meteorological events of the past month called for a visit to the Caribbean. When my wife and I were stationed in Bermuda between 2002 and 2007, we experienced two hurricanes, but nothing like the devastation wrought on the Bahama Islands. We hunkered down for almost a full day during each event, but our houses withstood the winds. I can’t begin to understand what the people on Abaco went through or when they will be able return to their former lives.

I will open the display with the wings of Bahamasair. I am not sure which of the wings has the proper orientation, but I suspect that the bullion thread wing is aligned properly. The solder on the metal might have allowed slippage during assembly.

The ALM insignia show six stars. The later insignia lost one of the stars when Aruba became independent. Air Jamaica was helped “off the ground” by Air Canada which sent crews to train the local pilots on the operation of the Boeing 727s, DC- 8s and 9s, some of which came from Air Canada.

The CDA cap badge of Dominicana shows the outline of the island of Hispaniola, with Haiti and the Dominican Republic in different colors.

With hopes that the tropical cyclone season ends quickly, I attach the wings and badges of the Caribbean carriers.

Continue Reading No Comments

Junior Wings of Transamerica Airlines

Written by Lane Kranz

Transamerica Airlines was a fascinating airline with an intriguing past. The website www.transamericaairlines.org is operated by former employees. They provided the following brief history.

Brief History of Trans America Airlines
Kirk Kerkorian started operations of Los Angeles Air Services in 1948. The airline was renamed Trans International Airlines (TIA) in 1960. Kerkorian took TIA public in 1967 and used the additional cash to build a casino in Vegas called The International (later the Las Vegas Hilton). He managed to get Barbra Streisand and legendary Elvis to perform and the new hotel and those two helped to set Vegas attendance records. In the early Super70s, he bought MGM Studios in Hollywood and returned to Las Vegas to build the MGM Grand hotel (now Bally’s).

The financial services giant Transamerica began diversifying in the 1960s and ended up owning a movie distributor, a car rental agency, a machinery manufacturer, and yes this airline – though it did not change it’s name to Transamerica Airlines until 1979.

After buying TIA in 1968, Transamerica acquired Universal Airlines and Saturn Airways in the Super70s. TIA was a cargo and charter airline until deregulation. On November 2, 1979, scheduled passenger flights began for the first time on a New York-Shannon-Amsterdam route, which was just the beginning of several transatlantic routes.

An inability to operate profitably left Transamerica, which was divesting itself of its non-core businesses, looking for a buyer for the airline. It could not find one and shut down Transamerica Airlines on September 30, 1986.

Trans International issued one junior wing (1960s) and Transamerica issued one junior wing (1979-1980s).

Continue Reading No Comments

Departed Wings ~ Muse Air (MC)

Written by Jon Jamieson

1980-1985 || Dallas, Texas

In the few years after deregulation, many airlines were started to serve a niche market and take advantage of the new, un-regulated environment. One such airline was Muse Air, which took the name of its founder, former Southwest Airlines President, Lamar Muse. Hoping to capitalize on a new “class” of service, Muse Air was officially formed on October 27, 1980, and within a few months $34 million in start-up capital had been generated.

Muse Air started service with two leased McDonnell Douglas MD-80s while awaiting delivery of their own. Seen taxiing at Dallas-Love Field in July 1981, is N10029, a McDonnell Douglas MD-81.

The airline selected the new McDonnell Douglas MD-80 as its aircraft of choice with leather seating for 159-passengers and Stage III noise compliance. Wearing a stylized signature script along the fuselage of its new MD-80s, Muse Air officially launched service on July 15, 1981, from a Dallas-Love Field base to Houston-Hobby Airport. Unique and controversial at the time, Muse Air was the first U.S. airline to institute a “No-Smoking” policy on all of its flights.

Prior to delivery, one of Muse Air’s new MD-82s was used by McDonnell Douglas on a world-wide sales tour. Taxiing for takeoff at Long Beach Airport in November 1982, is N934MC “Friendship 82.”

Over the next year, Muse Air expanded operations beyond Texas, starting service to both Los Angeles and Tulsa. During 1983, Muse Air acquired the smaller Douglas DC-9-50 for intra-Texas services to San Antonio, Lubbock, and Austin. The airline struggled with main competitor Southwest Airlines for routes, gate space, and fares resulting in mounting losses that Lamer Muse stepped down in 1984, replaced by his son Michael.

Proudly displaying its “signature” logo, N933MC, a McDonnell Douglas MD-82, departs San Jose Airport in December 1984.

Although new cities were added such as the high-tech City of San Jose, the airline continued to struggle with finances brought on by fare wars with both Southwest and Continental Airlines. By early 1985, with continued management changes and finances in the “red,” the airline sought offers for possible purchase. During this time, the airline continued to expand adding passenger service to points in Florida and Oklahoma.

Awaiting takeoff clearance on Runway 25 at Las Vegas-McCarren Airport in February 1986, is N670MC, a Douglas DC-9-51.

In March 1985, Southwest Airlines offered $60 million for the purchase of Muse Air, much to the dismay of both Continental Airlines and America West Airlines. With approval from both the Justice Department and Department of Transportation (DOT), Muse Air became a wholly owned subsidiary of Southwest Airline under the new name Transtar Airlines on June 27, 1985.

Continue Reading No Comments

Junior Wings of West Coast Airlines

Written by Lane Kranz


West Coast Airlines (WCA) began operations in 1946 with a pair of DC-3s from Boeing Field in Seattle. In 1952 West Coast merged with Empire Airlines and in 1955 West Coast became one of the 13 Local Service Carriers granted permanent operating certificates. West Coast operated DC-3s, F-27s, Piper Navajo’s, and DC-9s. In 1968 a 3-way merger between West Coast Airlines, Pacific Air Lines, and Bonanza Airlines created a new carrier, known briefly as Air West, and later as Hughes Air West. Their legacy continued over the next several decades as Hughes Air West was acquired by Republic Airlines, then Northwest Airlines, and later Delta Air Lines. Ironically, Delta Air Lines now operates a growing and thriving hub at SEA, only 7 ½ miles from West Coast’s original headquarters at Boeing Field.

West Coast issued 4 known junior wings. Each of these wings are laminated plastic with a pin on the back. The wings with the WCA logo are from the 1940s and 1950s era. The wings with the newer, stylized logo are from the early to mid-1960s. A rare piece of history from a remarkable airline.

Continue Reading No Comments

While we’re in the neighborhood

Written by Charlie Dolan

The last article I submitted dealt with the air carriers of Australia through the years. Rather than spin the globe severely, let’s just go , as the locals in Bermuda would say, “Down ‘de road a bit.” Or, in this case, a bit north in the Pacific Ocean. Our destination – New Guinea and Papua New Guinea. Because of the distances involved and the difficult topography, air travel was, and remains, a necessity. Back in the late 1970s I was going through an in-flight magazine of one of these companies. I’m not sure which one it was, but a disconcerting fact was that one of the articles dealt with the discovery f a World War II crash site and the recovery of the remains of the crew. A difficult way to reduce the unease of the passengers.

Air New Zealand NZ ANZ 1940 (as TEAL) 1965-present

Air Niugini PX ANG 1973 – present (Papua New Guinea)

Air Pacific Now Fiji Airways FJ FJI . 1947 -present

Mount Cook Airlines NM NZM 1920 – present

New Zealand National Airways Corporation NZ 1947 – 1978 Merged with ANZ

Tasman Empire Airways Limited T.E.A.L. TE 1940 – 1965 Became Air New Zealand

 

Continue Reading No Comments

“Down-under” Airlines

Written by Charlie Dolan

Just to keep our heads and globes spinning, I decided to jump from the North Atlantic to the South Pacific for this Log article. Once you have all completed your crossing the Equator ceremonies we’ll get started with looking at those lines which operated under a completely set of constellations. (celestial, not Lockheed).

                     Aeropelican APL PO 1971-1980 (to Ansett)

                        Ansett Airways AAA AN 1936-2002

                    Ansett Flying Boat Service 1952-1974

                      Ansett New South Wales 1990-1993

                    Compass Airlines YM CYM 1990-1993

                   East – West Airlines EW EWA 1947-1993

                              QANTAS QFA 1920-present

                McRobertson Miller Airlines MV 1927-1993

     Trans Australia Airlines TN TAA 1946-1994 (to QANTAS)

Continue Reading No Comments

An Ode to the Observation Decks at JFK

                                         (Photo by Mel Lawrence, Shea Oakley collection)

You might notice the silhouetted figures of several individuals on the roof of the building above and behind the photo of this Pan Am DC-8-33 taken in the 1960’s. They are members of the public enjoying what was once the largest observation deck at JFK International Airport. It encompassed all of the International Arrivals Building (IAB) and its East and West Wing, including piers, for over a decade after the terminal’s opening in 1957.

While the IAB roof was perhaps the most impressive of the Idlewild/Kennedy observation decks it was by no means the only one. In those pre-terrorism days both the Eastern Terminal (on the site of the current Terminal 1) and, later, the BOAC Unit Terminal (the current Terminal 7) had open-air decks. There was also an enclosed viewing area just beneath the cab of the original control tower. This was open to the public until the early 1970s (the author remembers visiting it while a young Port Authority volunteer intern in the mid 1980s. At the time it still had identification photos and descriptions of airliners in use circa 1960 mounted under glass.)

By the 1970s, all that remained of the original IAB deck was a small section in what was called the “center of the U” in the central part of the building across from the control tower. It too was finally closed in the 1980s.

One other excellent place for public observation of JFK flight operations existed after 1973; the rooftop parking lot of the Pan Am “Worldport” terminal, which was the now-demolished Terminal 3. From here there were excellent views all around of takeoffs on the long “Bay Runway” (13R-31L), ramp action at the Pan Am terminal itself, and then the West Wing of the IAB and the Northwest/Delta terminal (now T-2) on either side. As security concerns mounted at Pan Am during the second half of the 1980s, a large fence with panels eliminated the view from the Worldport roof almost entirely.

Today, there is an open-air section of the new Delta Terminal 4 extension, but it is located post-security and open to Delta Sky Club members only. In a sad sign of the times, no dedicated viewing areas remain at John F. Kennedy International, though the developer’s plans for the upcoming TWA Hotel at Terminal 5 include mention of a 10,000 square foot public observation deck.

Article previously published on NYCaviation.com

Continue Reading No Comments

Airlines of the Atlantic

After bouncing around Africa and Asia, it felt right to follow along alphabetically and pay attention to air carriers which operate primarily from bases in or near the Atlantic Ocean. So, make sure you have your anti mal de Mer pills handy and enjoy the images.

Due to its longevity and several mergers, Icelandair is represented with several iterations of insignia. Carriers which formed today’s Icelandair included Flugfelag Islands, Loftleidir and finally Icelandair.  The story behind the two versions of Loftleidir insignia is that the “IAL” for “Iceland Air Loftleidir” was dropped because folks (and guessing those were New Yorkers at KIDL) would point to the insignia and say “Right, Icelandair’s Always Late”.

Air Atlanta Iceland  CC  ABD          1986 – present

Loftleidir         LL                               1944 – 1979

Eagle Air (Arnarflug) IS FEI 1970 – 1995

Greenlandair (Gronlandsfly)  GL GRL  1960 – 2002

Icelandair        FI  ICE                        1937 – present


Loftleidir         LL                               1944 – 1979

SATA (Air Acores)          SP SAT     1947 present (Sociedad Acoreana de Transportes Aereos)

Continue Reading No Comments


Airliners International™

 2020 Phoenix, AZ

July 8-11 / 2020

The Worlds Largest Airline Collectibles
 Show & Convention
returns to Phoenix, Arizona for our 44th Annual Show!

WAHS LogoWorld Airline Historical Society, Inc.
PO Box 83339, Hollywood, Florida 33081 USA
Contact Us

Archives

Copyright © 2020 World Airline Historical Society

Site by PixNinja