Musings from a Passenger’s Seat: Pleasant Memories ~ Flight Segment 2

Written by Lester Anderson

Am I getting old?

I think of my years of travel often, and with great enjoyment.  It sobers me to realize that virtually every airplane I flew on during my business flying career has most probably been sent to the aircraft graveyard to be scrapped.  Many great memories now in the recycle stream.

By Richard Silagi

I sat next to who?

America West was a relatively new airline and when they started their frequent flyer program, so of course I joined.  Just after I got my card, I had a business trip that took me to Phoenix and back. On the way back I was on the red-eye.  Waiting in the gate area, they are calling for volunteers because they need the seats.  Then they call my name.  At the podium I was told I was being upgraded to First.   I thanked them but asked why me since I don’t fly America West that much. They said I as the only one in Economy in their frequent flyer program so they would reward me.  I boarded and was in the window seat in the last row of First.  There was someone next to me, and during the flight the cabin staff were offering him drinks and amenities.  Since I was an upgrade not a full fare First I thought little of it (plus at 11:00 I don’t want a lot).  As we started to land, a few more cabin crew came by and asked for (and got) autographs.  I have no idea who this gentleman was (my guess a singer that I did not know), but he certainly made an impression on the flight crew.  I remember I did not want him to think I was ignoring him, so I just wished him a great day, and he said thank you and that was it.

With my travel volume I got my share of normal upgrades to First where the famous almost always fly.  And at the airport, celebrities are often given access to the Airline clubs.  I saw Phyllis Diller in the Eastern Ionosphere club in Newark, and Cher in the United club in Newark. I am sure there were celebrities on the flights that I did not know who they were, but two I remember were Dr. Joyce Brothers who sat in the seat in front of me on one flight (and was both beautiful and very petite) and on another flight James Doohan sat diagonally across.  My personal rule was never to bother anyone famous I saw, but after I landed in LA, Mr. Doohan was met by someone from “the studio” and had him wait for the car. I broke my rule and just thanked him for giving me and his fans such enjoyment as he played Scotty in Star Trek. He smiled and said Thank You.


Today any meal on an airplane is something special (or at least unusual).  Back in the day, both First and Economy got meals. On transcontinental United flights that involved a hot breakfast about 40 minutes after takeoff, and a box lunch an hour before landing. The service carts were well designed with a heated plate that went under the hot meal dish on each tray.  I found that no matter how they served eggs, they never survived well.  A better bet was the pancakes rolled around apple pie filling. Unfortunately eggs were on 80% of the flights, pancakes or something else was 20%.

My favorite snack of all times was on Eastern.  They had a Disposable clear plastic tray and Saran wrapped an apple; a packet of cheddar cheese, packets of crackers, and a knife (plastic) and napkin.  The apple was always crisp, and the amount of food was perfect for a mid-afternoon snack. And at the end of the meal, they did collect (and recycle) the plastic trays.

When the airlines tried to save a little on flights like Newark to Florida they would give a box of cereal, a container of 2 milk and a banana to each passenger.  That was better than a lot of the meals I am sure cost the airlines much more money.

National Air and Space Museum Archives

The Flying Nosh

In the lucrative NYC-DCA market (where the one-hour flight could often cost $300) New York Air had a “flying Nosh” service where they promoted the service by giving you a fabric bag with a bagel, a packet of cream cheese, and a small container of jelly.  The bags were great because you could keep them.  My children used them as lunch bags for a while.  The other thing about NY Air was they had MD-80s in their fleet.  Entering the MD-80 through the main cabin door you could easily see and read (because the line moved slowly) the metal plate which gave the serial number of the aircraft, and the manufacture date.  I recall most of those on which I flew were in the 1983 vintage.

And they did compete with the Eastern Air-Shuttle of guaranteed seat fame. So they booked multiple plane loads on the same flight.  And when you were at the gate area, they would call your flight and say if you have the grey boarding pass go to this gate, if you have the red boarding pass, go to this gate.  This system worked very smoothly (at least every time I experienced it).

By InSapphoWeTrust from Los Angeles, California, USA – Denver International Airport

Denver International Airport

In the 1990’s Denver had a massive building program to replace Stapleton Airport with DIA, Denver International Airport.  If you travelled on United or Continental, you were often changing planes in Denver as it was a major hub.  Stapleton was showing its age and there was (especially in the business traveling public) an excitement of a new and more passenger friendly terminal in a major hub. Like any program there was a lot of publicity and promised made and fact sheets about the new terminal left in the airline clubs and the gate areas. We saw artist conceptions and early photographs of the “circus tent” roof structures of the main terminal.  Originally scheduled to open in the fall of 1993, there was delay after delay.  We frequent travelers joked that DIA stood for “Done in August” but August came and went and we were still at Stapleton.  When it finally opened in February 1995, it was grand.  Because I controlled my own flights when traveling, my first trip after it opened, I scheduled a 3 ½ hour layover between flights and I went through the entire Airport. And I will say it was worth the wait.

A PDF of the souvenir opening booklet is available at  If your search for it is not successful, google inside dia souvenir guide and it will link you to download the PDF.

How to Manage your Business Flights

My first job after teaching was ideal for someone with a love for commercial aviation.  My cubicle was right outside of the corporate travel office (and of course I made friends with the staff to the point where they showed me some of the workings of the Sabre reservation system), and I showed them (because we subscribed to the Lockheed database online services), the OAG online database.  Both systems would give you flight data and seat availability for each fare class (I remember Sabre would tell you up to 7 seats available, and I recall OAG only told you if 4 were available.  And of course you could search for the best fares.  Corporate travel was run by a travel agency, and Phil (my key contact) told me that I could see virtually anything he could see on his Sabre terminal on my desktop computer and the OAG database.  And he concluded that travel agents were dinosaurs.

The key to getting any corporate travel department to like you was making their job easy.  Go in with a set of flights have space on them and a fare basis that was close to the least expensive ones.  Once you established you knew what you were talking about and you were able to prove it, I never had a problem with getting flights I wanted. This gave me the ability to fly the airplanes I liked and the airlines I liked – or when feeling adventurous, flying new ones I had not experienced before. And I was successful in doing that in every company for which I worked thereafter.

I only wish I had done as well in booking of hotels.


I have one claim to fame (very minor to everyone else).  While I was still teaching I worked part time for a computer programming company.  I programmed and consulted on the earliest microcomputers (Apple II, TRS-80, and Commodore Pet).  This was about 3 years before IBM released the first PC.

Boeing Computer Services (a computer division of Boeing Airplane Company) wanted to learn about these new microcomputers and what they could do (they typically worked with large mainframe computers). I got the assignment and gave a half day lecture/discussion of these new small computers.  For weeks thereafter (and even to this day when I think of it) I float on air thinking that I had information that was of interest to the Boeing Company and they paid my employer to have me share it with them.

Interesting Airplane Information

I am not a pilot, nor am I an airplane mechanic.  I never went to formal school to learn about airplanes.  I read as many books and magazines about the airplanes I could find.

But a lot of my best information comes from a source most people do not use.

For example, did you know that:

The Lockheed Constellation had its emergency life rafts stored in the wings, so in case of a water landing they would pop out.  This was both fast and removed requirement of pushing rafts out doors or windows.

The 727 has pitot tube sensors to gauge the airspeed of the aircraft on the tail assembly.  This information is used to control how much force is needed by the pilots on the cockpit flight controls for the tail surfaces.

Facts like these as well as a wealth of information about how airplanes work (and sometimes don’t) area found in the US Government published Aircraft Accident Reports.  In the 30’s it was the Department of Commerce. In the 40’s thru the 60’s it was the CAB (Civil Aeronautics Board), and now the NTSB.  The government reports are not grim stories of crashes (as some books are), but are scientific, methodical studies of what happened and why and how to prevent it from ever happening again. And they were a great educational resource on how airplanes were designed, assembled, and maintained.

By Jon Proctor

San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives [Public domain]

I started being interested when a United DC8 and TWA Constellation crashed over New York in 1960 (I was 13).  I had lived on Staten Island not far from where the TWA crashed, and my great aunt lived in Brooklyn not far from where the United crashed. My parents (probably rightly) would not allow me to go and try to see the sites, but there were a lot of newspaper pictures. I was interested in how they could figure out what happened from this mess of wreckage.

In those days you needed to write to the CAB and ask them to mail you a copy.  And they did find and mail me about 275 of them over the years I was in high school and college.  Now historic and current reports are available as PDFs online for download (most Wikipedia entries about a crash link to the AAR in the footnotes).

The science of accident investigation has truly advanced in the 90 years of reports that I have read (my earliest was a 1936 crash of a Transcontinental and Western DC-2).  They have gone from typed, mimeographed pages to PDFs that are almost books, many with color photos or illustrations where needed.

And if anyone were to ever be concerned about flying being safe, todays’ reports confirm that many things must go wrong all at once for an accident to happen.

Lester Anderson

I hope you enjoyed my flights down memory lane as much as I did.  I am sort of out of things to say, but if Shea has any ideas on future articles to which I can make a positive contribution, you may hear from me again.

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Convair 880 Ship One

Written by Ken Miller

I first learned about the Convair 880 when I was in elementary school and read a library book titled The World’s Worst Aircraft written by James Gilbert.  There are two other books with the same title written by Bill Yenne and Jim Winchester.   The Gilbert book has a chapter dedicated just about the Convair Jetliners.  Mechanically and design wise the planes were very good but financially they were an utter failure for General Dynamics.

General Dynamics had purchased the Convair Corporation in March of 1953. The Convair division began development of a medium-range commercial jet in April 1956 to compete with both the Boeing 707 and Douglas DC8.   Initially the design was called the Skylark, then Convair 600 and finally the 880.

The numbers referred to the plane’s top speed of 600 miles per hour and 880 feet per second.  The plane’s first flight was on January 27, 1959.  The FAA mandated additional instrumentation for the plane for which Convair added the hump along the top of the fuselage.  Convair 880 sales were not successful and production ended just three years later.

The Convair 880 offered five abreast-seating in contrast to the six abreast seating of the 707 and DC8.  Boeing also outcompeted Convair by offering the 720 medium range version of the 707.  The Convair 880’s General Electric CJ-805-3 turbojets had a higher fuel consumption rate than that of the Boeing 707 Pratt and Whitney JT3Cs. TWA and Delta both placed initial orders for the first forty Convair 880 aircraft.

Convair promised the first forty delivery slots to both airlines which likely further discouraged other airlines from ordering the type.  Final assembly of the aircraft was at the Convair plant in San Diego California.  General Dynamics lost approximately $185 million dollars over the short lifetime of the Convair 880 and 990 programs.  At that time the losses were the greatest incurred by any corporation.  Only sixty five Convair 880’s were produced.

During the time of Convair 880 production Boeing built and sold three hundred sixteen 720 and 707 airliners.  Howard Hughes was the majority stockholder of TWA at the time and he played a major role in the Convair 880 program.   Hughes wanted TWA to have a faster jet than any other airline.  TWA initially ordered sixty two of the 880’s and purchased thirty of them.   The purchase agreement was not beneficial for TWA in that Hughes purchased the aircraft through his Tool Company and leased them back to the airline for an inflated price.  Minority shareholders of TWA sued and Hughes ended up losing control of TWA because outside creditors did not want Hughes controlling both development and operation of the aircraft. TWA operated Convair 880s from 1961 to 1974.

Convair initially used ship one N801TW for test flights. The plane entered service with TWA in 1964 and flew until 1973 when it was stored at Kansas City.  In 1978 the plane was sold to American Jet Industries and ferried to Harlington Texas.  It was then ferried to Mojave California in 1980. In 1990 the cockpit was refurbished and painted in Delta colors by Delta Technical Operations employees.  A portion of the fuselage was shipped to Minneapolis MN for a film about the Sioux City DC-10 crash. The remainder of the aircraft was scrapped.  The cockpit was put on display at the Heritage Row Museum at Underground Atlanta.  Heritage Row closed in 1997 and the cockpit remained on display at the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Center. It was moved to the Delta Museum in 2015.

My Convair house colors 880 is the second 880 model that I have built.   This kit is by Microscale.   Per Jim Striplin and Jim Lund the molds were originally by Allyn and later Topping. Microscale released their kit in 1975.   The kit is very simple having approximately six parts in addition to a two part stand.  The kit included decals for Delta, Civil Air Transport, and TWA.   Jim Lund gave me his well-worn kit in Civil Air Transport markings.  I stripped the decals off, sanded down a considerable amount of paint, re-scribed the control surfaces and primed the model.

Around the same time Vintage Flyer decals released new decal sets which included the Convair house colors so I decided to give them a try.   I painted the model gloss white and the nose gloss black.   I painted the engine intakes Tamiya gloss aluminum.   Since the kit was a “hand me down” I didn’t have a stand so I made one from a wooden trophy base and acrylic rod.  I bent the acrylic rod to shape in almost boiling hot water.   The original model may have had exhaust noise suppressors which I faked using styrene rod painted dark metallic. I also had a plaque made at a trophy shop for the base which adds a nice touch.  My only complaint about the kit as well as the Hawk/Glencoe release is that the horizontal stabilizers are missing the counter balances.   One could add them but I chose to leave my model as is.

I’d known about the Microscale kits but was never willing or interested in paying collectors prices for one.  Having a donated kit the unique Convair house colors decals available sealed the deal for me to build one.   The markings, kit, stand, and plaque all turned out to make a very nice model of Convair 880 ship one.

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Flight Attendants and more

Written by Al Meder

The crew are unquestionably a critical component for a safe and pleasurable flight.

This starts up front with the cockpit crew.  A few airlines have issued playing cards with a cockpit view.  Japan Air System (JAS) is shown below.

Swedish carrier, Novair, and more recently, China Airlines, have issued a cockpit view with the crew.   Before 9/11 it was possible to sit in the cockpit jump seat as a passenger if you had the right connections. In late 1999 I was invited up to sit in the jump seat on a British Airways flight flying in to London from Chicago.  What a view, and at the time – the London skyline was dominated by the huge Millennium Dome Ferris Wheel built for the Millennium celebrations.

However, it’s the flight attendants that are front and center with the passengers.   Many airlines have highlighted flight attendants on their playing cards.

Braniff Airways, the long defunct US carrier, issued a wonderful pair of playing cards in the late 1940’s showing a flight attendant with a silver tray and silver tea-service.  One deck is brown and the other one blue. These were the first decks featuring flight attendants that I’m aware of.

Flight attendants continue to this day to be a popular topic of playing cards issued by airlines.  The examples below are just a few:

Top Row: Sterling Airways (Denmark), Singapore Airlines, 2 x Air Asia (Malaysia), Aer Lingus (Ireland) Bottom Row: Singapore Airlines, Thai International; 2 x ANA (Japan), Aer Lingus (Ireland)

One of the China Airlines annual set of 12 designs featuring flight attendants was issued in 2008.  This is a sought-after series of playing cards.  Single decks can be found from time to time on eBay and elsewhere.

Singapore Airlines has featured close-up shots of “Singapore Girls” and shots of flight attendants in various scenic and not so scenic locations.

Many other airlines have featured flight attendants include this older design from Cathay Pacific Airways showing the crew standing alongside a Lockheed 1011.

Interior views of the passenger compartment are hard to find on playing cards. Brazilian carrier, Varig, issued this design of the interior view of its DC-10.

In 2003 Singapore Airlines started to promote their Krisworld entertainment service.  What better way than introduce playing cards to help with the promotion?  Ironically, electronic entertainment has become so dominant and this has reduced the demand for playing cards. But airlines should understand that electronic entertainment is “for the moment” and playing cards can provide advertising repeatedly over many years each time the cards are played with.

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Promoting Travel Destinations

Written by Al Meder

Promotion of new destinations has always been popular topic for playing cards issued by the airlines for obvious reasons.

Perhaps the most iconic are the late 1920’s Imperial Airways designs showing an Imperial Airways biplane over the Egyptian Pyramids on the multistep flight from London to Basra, Iraq.

Some of these cards were issued in a neat little leather holder with a snap closure.  The Imperial Airways and logo were hot-stamped in gold on the surface of the leather.

It is the years after World War 2 that destination cards became more popular, the result of passenger aviation changing from focusing on transporting businesspeople and movie stars, to the larger aircraft when promotion of taking families on vacation became an important goal.  No doubt, the introduction of the wide-body aircraft and the Boeing 747 in particular bought prices down and started the upward surge of passenger traffic on the airlines.

In the late 1960s and through the 1970s, Singapore Airlines contracted with local artist Seah Kim Joo to paint a series of destinations Singapore Airlines flew to in the 1970’s. The designs to the left are just part of the series – take a guess what destinations they represent. The Seah Kim Joo playing cards are popular with collectors as there are multiple variations in the colors and designs with later printings.

Scandinavian airline, Conair, has issued a series of playing cards showing vacation destinations. Most of these cards have design variations as well, so a serious collector needs to hunt to find them.

St Louis-based Ozark Airlines had a wonderful set of playing cards featuring cities and states they served.    What is of further interest is that Ozark had two versions of each destination, usually a color change of the graphics. Ozark Airlines, based in St Louis was purchased by TWA in 1986 but their playing cards can still be found rather easily on Ebay and at airline collector shows.

The cards below were issued relatively recently by Southwest Airlines.  There were two different decks published.  This is just a few of the many destinations they showed, all framed by the aircraft window.

Most airlines have promoted destinations one at a time on their playing cards. But what do you do if you want to promote a multitude of destination at one time.  Ethiopian Airlines decided to put an attractive flight attendant on the card standing against a listing of many destinations served at the time by Ethiopian.

Far Eastern Air Transport, an airline based in Taiwan has issued a series of exotic destination playing cards – Phuket, Bali, and Palau.

Singapore Airlines

When Singapore Airlines started flights to the U.S.A. the airline issued two decks of cards to celebrate the occasion.

Subsequently, Singapore Airlines issued playing cards to highlight some of the many destinations it flew to.  The cards at the right feature Las Vegas, Chicago and Moscow.

To highlight multiple destinations, Singapore Airlines issued two decks with destination baggage labels.

China Airlines, the most prolific issuer of playing cards by any airline, have issued a number of decks promoting service to new destinations. This 2018 issue highlights their London destination.

China Airlines has issued several hundred different designs of playing cards covering a wide range of topics.  This grouping consists of structures in various cities served by China Airlines.  From the left.  Osaka, Japan, Sky Tower, Auckland, New Zealand, and buildings in two major Taiwanese cities – Kaohsiung, and Taipei.

Malaysia Singapore Airlines (MSA).

When Singapore and Malaysia combined their National airlines for around a year in 1966, the airline – MSA for short, issued four different decks of cards where their destination focus was displaying like spokes in a wheel.  All four of these cards are hard to find.  In that short period of time MSA issued several more decks of playing cards, all of which are difficult to find today.

Now, as separate airlines again, both Malaysian and Singapore airlines cover the world.

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Back to Africa

Written by Charlie Dolan

When the Captain’s Log went digital, I sent in my first column with images of carriers from Africa. Since then I have added a piece or two to my collection and have managed to get clearer images of insignia, which had been in my files, but were not up to publication level. So here are some other airlines which  are operating or have operated from headquarters in Africa.

I recently was given the cap badge of Air Congo filling a gap in my collection, which had existed for ages.

The Oman Aviation insignia were obtained in the early 1980s as I started my collection. As I began to gather data for this article I was unable to pull up much information on the airline. I went back to one of my first reference books, The Airline Hand Book of 1983-84 and found that Oman Aviation operated domestic scheduled and charter service supporting  petroleum development. Their fleet included five Fokker    F-27s, one DeHavilland Twin Otter, five Shorts Skyvans, a Beech King Air and a Cessna 206. It was one of those small air carriers which had impressive insignia.

Saudia has used at least three variations of crew insignia over the years in which I have been collecting. When I was working at BWI Airport a Boeing 707, registered HZ-ACK, arrived to pick up a member of the royal family. I had R.E.J. Davies book about Saudia with me and had the page devoted to the 707 signed by all FOUR captains. It seems that when a royal is aboard the crew is augmented.

So, I hope you will find these new images interesting and informative. I will arrange them in alphabetical order.

                               Air Congo  1961-1971  became Air Zaire

                            Air Mauritius         MK  MAU     1972-present

           Air Namibia            SW  NMB     1946-present

Egypt Air     MS  MSR       1932 (as Misrair) – present

              Ethiopian Airlines    ET  ETH        1945-present

Middle East Airlines       ME  MEA      1946-present

           Nigeria Airways    WT  NGA      1958-2003

     Oman Aviation      WY     1983-?

       Saudia          SV  SVA         1945-present

                 Somali Airlines     HH  SOM       1964-1991

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Manufacturer’s Models of the Lockheed Constellation

Written by Jim Striplin

The triple tailed Lockheed Constellation, or “Connie” as it is affectionately referred to by pilots and airline enthusiasts, has been the subject of many excellent models.

The Connie is such a beautiful design, that models of the aircraft are more like “artwork” than just simply models.

The Constellation was designed in the late 1930s, and first flown in January of 1943.

WW II prevented the Connie from going into commercial service.  During the War, the Military was interested in the airplane and Lockheed continued to develop the Connie as the C-69 Transport.  Only 15 of the C-69s were delivered to the Army Air Corps. A total of 22 C-69s were built.  When the war was over, Lockheed began to convert Military C-69s into passenger carrying airliners. This was no small task as the C-69 was a whole different animal from what was to become a commercial Lockheed 049 Constellation.  Many problems with the airplane had to be worked out before the airplane was ready for the Airlines. It was Pan American World Airways that first put the Constellation into commercial service on January 3, 1946 on a New York to Bermuda run. This is ironic because Howard Hughes and his airline TWA (Transcontinental and Western Air), had put so much into the design and development of the airplane in its beginning.



The Lockheed factory itself, built early in-house concept and promotional models at its’ facilities in Burbank CA.  These models were big (usually around 1/43rd scale or larger), and made of wood.  These models could be found around the plant in engineering and executive offices.  After the war the factory model shop got serious about making Constellation models for airline customers.  The factory came out with magnificent “polished aluminum” hollow sheet metal models of the 049.  Sheet aluminum was pressed into female molds to make halves for the fuselage, and top and bottom pieces for the wings and tail.  Beautiful engine cowlings with rivet detail were also fabricated.  The propellers were cast metal.  The sheet metal parts were skillfully soldered together, the seams were filed and sanded, and then the completed model was buffed out to perfection.  Silk screened water slide decals were applied and the models were placed on a heavy cast aluminum stand.  These models were made in 1/43rd scale.  Most were “in flight-gear up” models, but some had landing gear with rolling wheels!  To top that, Lockheed even made huge sheet metal Connies with wing spans well over 40 inches.  Eastern Air Lines ordered quite a few of these big models.  Most of the huge Lockheed 049 sheet metal models found today are ex-Eastern and have landing gear.  Lockheed sheet metal models are a “must have” for serious vintage model collectors.  These models are highly prized and demand very high prices.


Lockheed also commissioned smaller models to promote the Constellation.  While the smaller models were not made by Lockheed “in house”, they were still “factory issued”.  These smaller models were made in CA by other vendors who did metal casting.


When the Lockheed Super Constellation was introduced in 1951, many model makers worldwide had already been building Connie models. As a result, the Lockheed factory did not build any big metal Super Constellation models.  They did however, build resin models of military Super Connies and special protypes.  Most of these were in the 1/72nd to 1/60th scale, and they made some desk models that were about 8 or 9 inches long.  The Lockheed factory built some resin 1/60th scale 1649 models for TWA.  Very few of these were made.



It is interesting to note that Sterling Riffe, owner of Riffe Models in Kansas City MO, used a 1/60th scale resin Lockheed factory 1649 model as a foundry pattern to cast the aluminum 1649 models he made for TWA and Air France in the late 50s.

(Riffe models of Kansas City MO will be the subject of a future article)


Raise Up Models of Rotterdam, Holland was perhaps the most prolific of all the aluminum model makers.  Raise Up produced thousands of models for the airlines from the 1940s to the mid-1960s.   They made gads of Constellations in scales ranging from appx. 1/200 scale to 1/43rd scale.  Raise Up Connie models were not always accurate (wings, noses, and tails), but, every now and then they would get it right and turn out a super nice replica.








Schaarschmidt had a close relationship with Deutsch Lufthansa, and Germany’s national Airline was their best customer.  Schaarschmidt made Constellation models of the 049, 1049, and the 1649.  Most of the models were cast aluminum made in two pieces consisting of a solid fuselage and a separate one-piece wing.

1/100th scale being the most popular.  A very unique thing about Schaarschmidt was that, for some reason, they made many models with a solid aluminum fuselage and hollow “sheet metal wings”.  The sheet metal wing Connies ranged from very small ones to large ones that were approximately 1/50th scale.  Today, finding a Schaarschmidt sheet metal winged Connie without “crushed wings”, is a real challenge.  Schaarschmidt had a very recognizable stand that was simple and functional.  Like Raise Up, some Schaarschmidt models were very accurate, but, in some cases pattern makers failed to pay close attention to cockpit and tail areas.  Schaarschmidt 1/100th scale two-piece solid aluminum models were very clean and well done.  The casting patterns were made in such a way that they almost always came out of the sand molds complete and without defects.




Peter V. Nelson models, in England, was another model maker that made many Super Connie and 1649 Connie models in the 1950s.  One recognizable feature that all Peter V. Nelson Constellation models had in common was that the front of the engines were always left “flat”.  Nelson never “machined out” the engine intakes as did other model makers.  Never the less, Peter V. Nelson models are highly sought out by collectors, and bring premium prices today.


Manufacturer models of the Lockheed Constellation were made by many companies, so numerous, that this article cannot cover them all.  Here is a short list of other major makers of “Vintage” Constellation models not covered in this article.

Walkers Westway-England
Maquette d’etude et d’Exposition-France
Ed Dickson-USA

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Junior Wings of Hawaiian Airlines


Written by Lane Kranz


Figure 1

Figure 2

Figure 3

Figure 4

Figure 5

Figure 6

Figure 7

Figure 8

Figure 9

On November 11, 1929 Inter-Island Airways’ first scheduled flight took off from Honolulu and in the decades that would follow, one of America’s finest airlines would emerge. Their name was officially changed to Hawaiian Airlines in 1941. Their brand has evolved into perhaps one of the most beautiful logos and incredible aircraft paint schemes in the industry. Sadly, Hawaiian does not currently distribute Junior Wings on their flights. There are 9 different known Junior Wings issued by Hawaiian.

PICTURED: Hawaiian issued 3 different laminated foil junior wings: Junior Pilot, Jr. Stewardess and Jr. Hostess (telling of the era). Figures 4-6: Hawaiian’s oldest known Junior Wings. Figures 7-9: Hawaiian’s last issued junior wings.


Hawaiian Airlines 1940

Hawaiian Airlines 1950

           Hawaiian Air 1973

           Hawaiian Airlines Logo 2017

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Musings from a Passenger’s Seat: Pleasant Memories ~ Flight Segment 1

Written by Lester Anderson

Over the years, I have flown 1.7 Million miles as a passenger (I state this both by my rough estimate and the fact that major airlines do keep and disclose these statistics to their frequent flyers). Fortunately I have no “horror stories” in that time. I have had my share of missed approaches; a few emergency landings being greeted by airport fire/rescue trucks; cancelled flights; missed connections; and trays full of both good meals and absolutely terrible meals served on board.

Shea Oakley asked me to write two articles, for Captain’s Log, and I thought the most appropriate thing I could do, considering the title of these articles, is to relate some experiences I had traveling those miles over 50+ years. I do not represent them to be significant (or even typical) but they are all memories that bring me back to a pleasant past.

The Changes in Air Travel

Air travel has certainly changed in these years. Probably the most notable thing that everyone experiences is that in the 1980’s and 1990’s the load factors were typically in the 70%-75% range. Not as good for the airlines as today’s almost fully booked airplanes, but more pleasant for the passengers—you often had an empty seat next to you. As a business traveler, I used to book a late flight returning home, knowing that if I was done early with my meeting, I could go to the airport and stand by for an earlier flight (at no additional cost), and usually get on the aircraft, and get a window seat. When American Airlines first introduced its frequent flyer program, they promoted that, as a frequent flyer, if you booked a window or aisle, they would put a hold on the center seat, and only use it if needed. The seating chart on the screen showed an asterisk in that seat indicating it was not occupied but only assigned if needed.

I was also a proponent of airline clubs. I lucked out early on with a membership in the Eastern Ionosphere club. I signed up for a $25 one-year membership. A few months later I was offered a 5-year membership for an additional $100 (which I took), and a few months later, I was offered and took a lifetime membership for an additional $250. Best investment I ever made because it then evolved into a lifetime membership in Continental’s President’s Club and now I am a lifetime member of the United Club. And this all started when I was a teacher and only flew once or twice a year to visit relatives in Orlando, Florida. When I left teaching and went to the corporate world, that membership became vastly more valuable. I also paid yearly fees to join Delta’s Sky Club, and before the merger I was a paid United Red Carpet Club member. Yes, the quiet surroundings and lounge chairs, and the often-free liquor were benefits, but the main reason—whenever you had a problem, the airline club helped. If a flight was cancelled or you needed to change a flight, you go into the club and there is no (or a short) line. And if you travel often, and they recognize you (and they did) you might even be treated into an upgrade (this was before the days when the computer automatically assigned them).

I was once on a Friday afternoon flight from Atlanta to Newark. Forecast was for snow to start in the late afternoon in the NY area. My 2:00 pulled back from the gate, and maybe we got 20 feet, when the aircraft stopped, and the pilot came on the intercom to give us the bad news that Newark closed due to snow. We all went back out to be reticketed. I was about 4th in line and they were trying to get people to the northeast. Hartford was open but was anticipated to close very soon. Same thing for Boston. I got to the front of the line and said “book me to Orlando” ( I have relatives there). They told me that was the opposite direction. I said, “but it’s not snowing there” and I got a round of applause from the rest of the line. And in those days interline ticketing was normal. Delta booked me on an Eastern L-1011 to Orlando on a flight leaving within the hour and an “open ticket” back to Newark when things cleared up (Sunday). Today, I am afraid I might be waiting in Atlanta for a few days just to find a flight with an open seat.

Be kind to your fellow passengers

I love to fly, and I am not ashamed to tell anyone that. But not everyone is, and sometimes my seatmate was not happy being on an airplane.

In the late 1970’s I was on a National DC-10 coming home from Florida. The DC-10 was a great airplane, and like all widebody planes it was “different” from the single aisle airplanes in that the cabin was divided into smaller sections. Reading up on everything I could find about airplanes, I learned that the cabin dividing walls were attached to the floor and would “float” on the ceiling so that as the aircraft cabin twisted (a normal situation in aircraft design) you might see the top of the walls move independently of the ceiling.

This flight was a very bumpy one. I would not call it severe turbulence, but enough that all meal service and walking around the cabin was stopped. The woman next to me (maybe my mother’s age) was afraid of flying. As we were bouncing around, she was upset, and I was talking to her explaining that is was nothing to be afraid of, that airplanes were built for this, that the captain was on the radio to see what altitudes had less turbulence, and that as soon as the captain could find smoother air I was sure he would get us a better ride. While I am talking to her calmly and trying to minimize her fear, I am watching the airplane twist and seeing the wall cabin barriers move what looked like 6 inches each way from their parked location on the ceiling. That excited me that I was actually seeing this, but I could obviously not say anything or even make reference to my excitement in seeing this engineering marvel as I was trying to calm down my seatmate.

In the late 1980’s I was on a United 747, upper cabin (my favorite place to be on a flight). I was traveling on business and sat next to someone a dozen years younger than I was. He was deathly afraid of flying. He had just started a job with one of the big-eight accounting firms as a consultant, would be traveling a great deal, and was very concerned. I took most of the rest of the flight trying to first explain the wonders of air travel and why he should not be afraid, and then explaining some tips I know from co-workers who didn’t like flying as to how to minimize their fear. On a 747 walking around is easy (especially in First) so a couple of times I told him that we should walk down to the lower deck First cabin to “stretch our legs”. He was concerned about long taxi times, and I gave him the simple trick of booking an early flight out. We went over the usual things they tell you (drink lots of water, little coffee, and almost no liquor) and to stay in shape for business meetings when you land. It was a coast to coast flight, so we spoke on and off for over 4 hours. At the end of the flight he thanked me and said he felt much more equipped to perform the duties of his new job—at least the part about flying to the client’s location.

I was on a US Air flight (I think from Charlotte) and we were on the airplane because of a weather delay in Newark. It was a few hours and because we could be given clearance to take off at any time, passengers could remain on the aircraft or go out to the gate are but were asked to stay close by. There was a passenger seated next to me who kept complaining about US Air and the delay. I finally suggested that if US Air could control the weather, they could make a lot more money doing that instead of sending people around the country in aluminum tubes. (By the way, he later got off and either found another flight or decided not to go, because he did not come back). Later the pilot came back to chat. Since it was a few hours delay (and I know about crew schedule times), I asked the odds of our taking off tonight. He said that the crew had plenty of time and that was not a concern. He was honest in saying that US Air would certainly like to get us to Newark as ticketed, but they were probably even more interested in getting the aircraft there for the early morning flights.

I travel much less now, and being retired, never for business. Add to that the hub/spoke system of airline scheduling and connecting no longer has to be “the only way” to get there. But in those days, when flights were delayed, one of the things I felt good about, both from the airline personnel who announced it, and from fellow passengers who allowed it, was the announcement that a number of travelers had close connections and if you were not in that situation, please let them exit first to make those connections. Both on the flights where I needed to rush out to connect and on flights where I waited because I was not in a rush I saw probably the best example of human teamwork and kindness to other fellow travelers anyone could experience.


Traveling on business I did my share of international travel. I went to the places many people go, Paris (truly the most beautiful city), London (a lot smaller than you think or expect), Melbourne Australia (a place that prides itself on being the most like the US—and if only it were closer I would go back) and of course Canada (which was easy because passport control and customs were on the Canada airport side, so on return you just got off the airplane).

Probably the most memorable trip was a Pan Am 747 from Kennedy to Moscow for a trade show my company was conducting there in 1991. The flight was great (I was on the upper deck) and efficient. Moscow was an interesting place. In those days (early 1990s) you only went to places where you could spend hard currency (not Rubles). I saw a lot (we all took a little time to be tourists) and the things I remember:

Children are the same all over the world. They will play and climb over monuments or memorial cannons in parks.

Young men are, too. I saw many soldiers in uniforms at the end of the day carrying one rose or a small bunch of roses to their wives or girlfriends.

Fresh fruit and tomatoes (technically a fruit but you know what I mean) at every meal—even in November.

And in my limited experience no one in Moscow knew how to make a good cup of coffee (but the tea was plentiful and good).

There are no “lines” at the airport. It is a mad dash of pushing. It took me 2 ½ hours to get into the gate area and be able to board the return flight with just 20 minutes to spare.

Because you don’t drink the tap water (or even brush teeth with it), everyone uses bottled water in Moscow, but even that safer water tasted salty. I think Pan Am gave everyone large tumblers of water when they sat down and asked for a drink from the flight attendants.

Lester Anderson

If you have enjoyed my ramblings, this article will continue in the near future. There will be more random experiences I remember fondly, and one of the ways I got to learn some fascinating facts about different airplanes.

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Atlanta International Airport on Postcards

Written by Marvin G. Goldman.

Atlanta, Georgia boasts the number one airport in the world measured by number of passengers.  Over 100,000,000 travelers fly from and to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (‘ATL’) each year.  Nonstop flights operate from this hub to over 150 domestic and 70 international destinations. This article traces the development of Atlanta’s premier airport as shown on postcards.

The original site of Atlanta International Airport was once an oval two-mile automobile and motorcycle race track or ‘speedway’, developed from farmland and swampy meadows in 1909 by Asa Candler, the founder of Coca-Cola and later a mayor of Atlanta.

Postcard issued in 1909 showing the Atlanta ‘Auto Speedway’ which site in 1926 became the original location of Atlanta airport, first named Candler Field after the site’s developer, Asa Candler.  The card is an artist’s rendition, and the grandstand was actually on the left side of the track while looking north towards the City in this view.  Today the north portion of Atlanta International Airport, and the corporate office of Delta Air Lines and the Delta Flight Museum, occupy the area of what used to be that auto race track.

The speedway was not financially successful, so Candler started air shows and air races to keep it alive, but by the end of 1910 the operation ceased and the race track was abandoned.  The infield of the track, however, started to be used occasionally as an aircraft landing field.

By the early 1920s the City of Atlanta recognized the need for a municipal airport and sought a suitable location.  William Hartsfield, an Atlanta city official at the time and later Mayor, suggested the site of Candler’s track.  Candler gave a five-year rent-free lease of the land to the City, and construction began in 1925.

The first commercial flight into the new airport, named ‘Candler Field’, occurred on 15 September 1926, by Florida Airways delivering mail, but that airline ceased operations in 1927.  Successful lasting scheduled air service in Atlanta started on 1 May 1928 by Pitcairn Aviation (later known as Eastern Air Lines).  On 13 April 1929 the City purchased the airport’s 287 acres of land for $94,400 and changed its name to ‘Atlanta Municipal Airport’, although the name ‘Candler Field’ continued to be used until the mid-1940s.  Delta Air Service (later known as Delta Air Lines) became the next airline to add regular service to Atlanta, starting 18 June 1930.  Eastern and Delta then dominated air service in Atlanta for many years.

On 7 May 1932 Atlanta airport opened a new administration and passenger terminal.  This terminal appears in the center of the following two postcards.

Candler Field, Atlanta, postcard, probably issued between 1932 and 1934, showing the airport’s new terminal in the center, which served from 1932 to 1948.  The building at the far right with the letters ‘E.A.T.’ (Eastern Air Transport, later known as Eastern Air Lines) previously served as Atlanta’s first airline terminal.  The hangar on the left originally was utilized by American Airways (later known as American Airlines) which operated in Atlanta only for a few years until 1934.  The three aircraft parked on the ramp are Stinson T Tri-Motors, a type utilized by American and acquired by Delta in 1934.

Eastern Air Lines Douglas DC-2 at Candler Field, Atlanta.  [Publisher (‘Publ’r’) R. & R. News Co., Atlanta, Tichnor Bros., Boston, nos. A13 and 65510, issued between 1934 and 1938].  Eastern’s DC-2s entered service in late 1934.  The back of this postcard boasts that “Twenty-six passenger and mail planes arrive and depart daily from this great modern airport with its great shops, hangars, radio beacons and complete Weather Bureau.”

In March 1939 Atlanta airport inaugurated its first control tower, erected atop the 1932 terminal building, seen in the center of the following postcard.

Candler Field (Atlanta Municipal Airport), showing its new 1939 control tower. (Pub’r R. & R. News, Atlanta, Curteich, Chicago, no. 9A-H83, issued 1939).  The back of this postcard proudly claims ‘28’ daily airline arrivals and departures — up from the ‘26’ mentioned in the preceding card.

Delta Douglas DC-2, NC14921, at Atlanta.  (Pub’r R. & R. News, Curteich, nos. 136 and 0B-H1385, issued 1940).  There are at least two versions of this card; this one refers to the ‘Merry-Go-Round’, as explained on the back: “Large crowds gather twice a day to view the arrival and departure, within a space of only a few minutes time, of seven large passenger ships; and this spectacular sight is known as the famous ‘Merry-Go-Round’”.

In October 1940 the U.S. Government designated Atlanta airport as a military base alongside the airport’s civil aviation role, and during World War II (1941-45) ATL doubled in size.  Meanwhile, Delta in 1941 moved its headquarters from Monroe, Louisiana, to Atlanta, further adding to the airport’s prominence.  With military and civil airline expansion, ATL in 1942 experienced a record 1,700 takeoffs and landings in a single day, making it the busiest airport in the U.S.

Delta Air Lines built this hangar at Atlanta airport in 1941, coinciding with its headquarters move from Monroe, Louisiana, to Atlanta. This postcard shows Delta Douglas DC-3s and a Lockheed L12A Electra Junior in Delta’s hangar during 1945-46. This hangar is now part of the Delta Flight Museum.  (Pub’r jjPostcards for Airliners International Atlanta 2015, card 2).

Delta Air Lines Douglas DC-4, NC37475, at Atlanta, about 1946-47.  (Pub’r jjPostcards for Airliners International Atlanta 2015, card 5).

By 1948 the Atlanta terminal built in 1939 could no longer handle the volume of passengers.  More than 1 million passengers came through ATL that year.  Airport officials worked on plans to build a much larger terminal, and on 9 May 1948 they moved ATL’s operations ‘temporarily’ into a war-surplus hangar, which became known as the ‘Temporary Passenger Terminal’.  The control tower atop the 1939 terminal, however, remained in use until a new one opened in 1961.

Atlanta Municipal Airport’s ‘Temporary Passenger Terminal’ established in a hangar in 1948, pending development of a new terminal.  (Pub’r R. & R. News, Curteich, nos. 137 and 8B-H706, issued 1948).

Delta Douglas DC-6, N1902M, and DC-3s of Delta and Capital Airlines at Atlanta Municipal Airport’s ‘Temporary Passenger Terminal’.  (Pub’r Atlanta News Agency, Dexter Press no. 50317).

Interior of the ‘Temporary Passenger Terminal’ at Atlanta Municipal Airport, 1948.  In this view you can see ticket counters for Eastern, Delta and Capital Airlines.  The back of the card says ‘The ticket counter, 200 feet in length, is the world’s longest’.  (Pub’r R. & R. News, Curteich no. 8B-H1640).

Eastern Air Lines Lockheed Constellation at the east side of Atlanta’s ‘Temporary Passenger Terminal’.  (Pub’r Athens News Agency, Atlanta, Colourpicture, no. K443, photo by Carolyn Carter).  Ex-Deke Billings Collection.

Atlanta’s ‘Temporary Passenger Terminal’ proved to be not so temporary.  It remained in use from 1948 until May 1961 when, after nearly a decade of planning and construction, the Atlanta Municipal Airport finally opened its new ‘Jet Age’ terminal, publicizing it as the ‘largest single terminal’ in the U.S.  The terminal was designed to accommodate 6 million passengers a year, but in its first year 9.5 million used it!

Entrance ramp to the new terminal building of Atlanta Municipal Airport, with the administration building and new control tower rising in the back.  (Pub’r Atlanta News Agency, Chamblee, Georgia, Colourpicture, Boston, no. P43445, issued about 1961).

The new Atlanta airport terminal shortly before it opened in 1961, seen from the center concourse of the ‘temporary’ 1948 terminal. At this stage, aircraft were still parked in front of the new terminal. The tail of Eastern Lockheed L-188 Electra, N5509, is at left.  (Pub’r Curteich no. 1DK-777, 1961).

Crowded ramp space at Atlanta for Piedmont Airlines aircraft in the early to mid-1960s, with Piedmont Martin 404, N40417 in the foreground. Note also the observation deck at right atop Concourse C-D.  (Pub’r Nelson Jones, Lakewood, Ohio).

Delta Douglas DC-8, N801E, and passengers deplaning at Atlanta. Delta was the launch customer for the DC-8, and this aircraft (originally a DC-8-11) was the first of the type delivered to Delta, on 22 July 1959.  (Pub’r Delta Heritage Museum, 2002).

Delta Douglas DC-9-14, N3309L, taking off from Atlanta, 1965. Delta was also the launch customer for the short-haul DC-9. It began scheduled service of the type on 8 December 1965.  (Pub’r Delta Heritage Museum, 2002).


Aerial view of the Atlanta airport terminal area and concourses about 1965.
At Concourses B and C in the foreground are an Eastern DC-7 with the blue and white ‘hockey-stick’ livery introduced in early 1965 and a Piedmont FH-227. Towards the top right are Concourses E and F almost entirely filled with a mix of Delta jet and prop aircraft.  (Pub’r Atlanta News Agency, Chamblee, Georgia, Dexter Pres, no. 6255-C).

Delta Air Lines aircraft at Atlanta airport showing rotundas and gates added to Concourses E and F in 1968.  (Pub’r John Hinde, Dublin, no. 2GA13).

On 22 February 1971 former Atlanta Mayor William Hartsfield died.  He was the person who, in the early 1920s while serving as an Atlanta alderman, suggested the site of Asa Calder’s former auto speedway to be the location of Atlanta’s main airport.  On 28 February, what would have been his 81st birthday, the airport’s name was changed to William B. Hartsfield Atlanta Airport in his honor.  Four months later, on 1 July 1971, when Eastern Air Lines introduced the airport’s first international service (to Mexico and Jamaica), the airport’s name was again changed — to William B. Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport.  The new name appears on the next two postcards.

Aerial view of the Atlanta airport terminal area and concourses about 1976. Almost all the aircraft are now jets. The top shows the airport’s new tall control tower built in the mid-1970s.  (Pub’r Atlanta News Agency, Atlanta/Dexter Press no. D-37335-D).  Ex-Allan Van Wickler Collection.

Eastern Air Lines Boeing 727s parked along Concourse B at Atlanta airport, about 1974-76.  (Pub’r Atlanta News Agency, Dexter Press no. DT-82467-C).

During the 1960s and 1970s passenger traffic at Atlanta continued to grow rapidly. The designed capacity of the 1961 ‘Jet Age’ terminal proved to be insufficient from the time it opened. Further concourse and gate additions were made, but passenger growth continued to outpace the expanded facilities.  As early as 1964, formal planning studies recommended a completely new ‘Midfield’ terminal concept, in a central location between the runways.  This concept was adopted, and after years of construction the new Midfield terminal opened on 21 September 1980.

The ‘Midfield’ design included two symmetrical landside terminal sections.  These were connected to four remote parallel concourses by an underground ‘transportation mall’ featuring moving sidewalks and a modern shuttle system. The design was modular, and this enabled the airport to extend the underground area and add more concourses as passenger traffic increased.  The Midfield complex, with expansions over the years, is still in operation today.  It is the largest passenger transfer hub in the world.

Atlanta International Airport view, about 1981, of the ‘Midfield’ Terminal that opened on 21 September 1980.  (Pub’r Aerial Photography Services, Atlanta, Dexter Press 70990-D). Ex-Allan Van Wickler Collection.  The main terminal is in the foreground, concourse T extends sideways from the terminal building, and concourses A through D are in four rows beyond that.  The grassy area at the top center now contains Concourse E and, to the right of the control tower, the international terminal.

Atlanta International Airport Midfield concourses, facing east with concourse A of Delta in the foreground, about 1980-81.  (Pub’r Thomas Warren, Atlanta, no. A-154).

ATL about 1991-93, looking north with downtown Atlanta in the distance. Concourse T in the center was still being used for international flights.  (Pub’r Aerial Photography Services, Atlanta, no. MC3-2543, photo by Jim Doane).

Atlanta International Airport, late 1990s. This view shows the north and south groups of runways and taxiways on both sides of the Midfield concourses. The main terminal is at the left, and one can see, from left to right, concourses T, A, B, C, D and a small portion of then new concourse E.

In October 2003, in honor of the late Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson, the airport was renamed ‘Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport’.

2017 marked the 20th consecutive year that Atlanta International Airport has been recognized as the busiest airport in the world.  ATL is the only airport  ever to reach the 100 million passenger mark in a single year.  2017, with nearly 104 million passengers, was the third consecutive year that ATL surpassed that milestone, and it is likely to have done so again in 2018.  ATL also is number 1 in the world in aircraft movements, with 879,560 operations in 2017.

Atlanta International Airport is now expanding and modernizing further as its passenger volume continues to grow.  It is implementing a 20-year master plan adopted in 2016 that includes modernization of the existing terminals, expansion of Concourses D and T, construction of a new international Concourse G, new parking and ground facilities, a new sixth runway, and many more features to enhance the flying experience.

                                                           Official logo of ATL. 


Official Airliners International ATL 2019 Postcard.

Come see the amazing Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport for yourself.  The 2019 annual Airliners International show and convention will be held during 19-22 June 2019 at the Delta Flight Museum located at the airport.  The following postcard shows the collecting scene at the previous (2015) Airliners International show in the Delta Flight Museum, with the Delta Boeing 767 ‘The Spirit of Delta’ right inside the show venue.

View of the Airliners International ATL 2015 show in the Delta Flight Museum. (Postcard issued by Airliners International 2015 and 2016, pub’r jjPostcards).

I also encourage all airline and airport postcard collectors who are members of the World Airline Historical Society to enter the Airliners International 2019 Postcard Contest in Atlanta, 19-22 June 2019.  Postcard contest rules are on the show website,  Whether you win or not, your entries stimulate others to start or expand airline memorabilia collecting, and it’s a great boost for all collectors.

All postcards shown in this article (except for the first two which are internet images) are from the author’s collection.


  1. David Henderson website ‘’, tab ‘ATL History’. This is an outstanding site with a remarkable detailed pictorial history of Atlanta airport from 1909 through the 1990s.
  2. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport website, ‘’, tab ‘About ATL’, subtab ‘History of ATL’.
  3. Delta Flight Museum website, ‘’.
  4. Cearley, Jr., George W., A Pictorial History of Airline Service at Atlanta, 168 pp. (self published, 1991).
  5. Braden, Betsy & Hagan, Paul, A Dream Takes Flight: Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport and Aviation in Atlanta (Univ. of Georgia Press, 1989).
  6. Davies, R.E.G. (a) Delta: An Airline and Its Aircraft — The Illustrated History of a Major U.S. Airline and the People Who Made It, illustrated by Mike Machat. Paladwr Press (1990); and (b) Eastern: An Airline and Its Aircraft, illustrated by Mike Machat. Paladwr Press (2003).

Until the next article, thank you for viewing, and Happy Collecting.  Marvin.

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Delta Air Lines and Predecessors on Postcards

Written by Marvin G. Goldman 

Delta ‘Welcome’ postcard in its ‘Keep Climbing’ series, issued by the airline about 2017.   

Delta Air Lines has a long and fascinating history, starting with a tiny operation in the mid-1920s.  In its early years Delta was not favored with government-subsidized mail contracts and route awards to the extent enjoyed by American, Eastern, Pan Am, TWA and United, but Delta grew internally with good management, and eventually it also acquired several large airlines, including Chicago & Southern (1953), Northeast (1972), Western (1987) and Northwest (2009).

By the end of 2017, Delta’s annual revenue totaled $41 billion (3d largest in the world, just after Lufthansa group and American Airlines group).  It carried 186 million passengers in 2017 (2d only to American’s group) with over 850 aircraft, to more than 335 destinations.

I devote about half of the postcard images in this article to Delta itself, and have selected one or two postcards for each of the more significant Delta predecessors.  I have also included certain dates of airline acquisitions, service periods and liveries to aid in assigning a time frame to postcards of Delta and its predecessors.

Compared to the other major U.S. airlines (such as American, Eastern, Pan Am, TWA and United), Delta in the pre-internet era distributed relatively fewer ‘airline-issued’ postcards.  However, in recent years the Delta Flight Museum in Atlanta (also known as the Delta Air Transport Heritage Museum) has been issuing several modern postcards showing Delta aircraft or reproductions of historic Delta posters that are available for purchase at the museum or on its website “”.  In addition, Delta has been issuing in the U.S. and from local offices in Europe some modern ‘advertising’ or ‘destination’-type postcards.

Delta traces its roots to Huff-Daland Dusters, a crop-dusting operation established in 1924.  I am not aware of any postcards issued by that company, but recently the Delta heritage museum published the following:

Huff-Daland Duster (Petrel 31) crop duster. Modern postcard of one of the company’s original aircraft, beautifully restored by Delta employees. Aircraft donated to the National Air and Space Museum in 1966, and on loan to the Delta Flight Museum, Atlanta, Georgia. Postcard published in 2002 by the Delta Flight Museum.

In late 1928 C. E. Woolman and a group of investors in Monroe, Louisiana, acquired the assets of Huff-Daland Dusters and formed Delta Air Service. This new company continued crop-dusting and, with two newly acquired Travel Air Model S-6000-Bs, started scheduled passenger service on 17 June 1929.  C. E. Woolman went on to serve Delta in leading executive positions for 38 years.

Curtiss-Wright 6B Sedan, restored and painted to represent Delta’s 1929 Travel Air S-6000B, and now on exhibit at the Delta Flight Museum.  Modern postcard issued by the Delta Flight Museum.

Delta’s original headquarters at Monroe, Louisiana, about 1930, with a Curtiss Robin J-1 at right.  Issued by Airliners International 2015 Atlanta, photo courtesy of Delta Flight Museum, published by jjPostcards, Bassersdorf, Switzerland.

From 1930 to 1934 Delta barely survived, as it could not obtain any useful airmail route from the U.S. Government in order to be profitable.  However, when the mail routes were rebid in 1934, Delta managed to land new Route 24 between Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas and Charleston, South Carolina, via Monroe, Louisiana; Birmingham, Alabama; and Atlanta and Augusta, Georgia.  Initially it used Stinson aircraft on the route, but at the end of 1935 Delta acquired the first of five Lockheed 10 Electras that served as its main aircraft during the last half of the 1930s.

Delta Lockheed 10 Electra at Augusta, Georgia. ‘Linen’ finish. Pub’r: John J. Miller Co., no. 67788; printed by Tichnor Bros., Boston.

In 1940 Delta acquired Douglas DC-2 and DC-3 aircraft, starting a long close relationship with Douglas airliners, followed by DC-4s in 1946, DC-6s in 1948, and DC-7s in 1956.

Delta Douglas DC-2, NC14921, its first of the type, at Atlanta, Georgia. ‘Linen’ finish. Pub’r: R. & R. News Co., Atlanta; printed by Curteich-Chicago, no. 0B-H1385, 1940. This aircraft was purchased from American Airlines and in service with Delta from February 1940 to January 1941.  There are at least three varieties of this postcard, with different text on the front and back.

Delta Douglas DC-3, NC28341, ‘Ship 41’. Airline Issue (‘A/I’) in 2004 to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Delta’s passenger service. Published by the Delta Flight Museum. This aircraft flew Delta’s first DC-3 passenger service, 24 December 1940, and DC-3s remained in Delta’s fleet until 1960. Ship 41 is on display at the Delta Flight Museum.                          

Delta Douglas DC-6 Over Miami Beach, Florida. ‘Linen’ finish postcard. Pub’r Curteich, no. 2C-N704, 1952. Delta operated DC-6s from October 1948 to December 1968.

Delta-C&S Douglas DC-7, N4871C. A/I, no. T106. This aircraft is shown in its original delivery color scheme and was the first one delivered to Delta, in March 1954, soon after the May 1953 merger of Chicago & Southern (C&S) into Delta. The image on this card was utilized on two other Delta-issued postcards, with slight modifications. First, the card was reprinted with the tail marking changed to show a ‘Golden Crown’, reflecting an enhanced service, still with the Delta-C&S name which was retained by the airline from the time of the merger until September 1955. Then, the card was reprinted a second time with the Delta-C&S name on the front changed to “Delta” and with other stylistic livery changes. The wording on the back of each version differs. Yet all three versions carry the same airline issue number. 

For shorter-haul routes during the 1950s, Delta modernized its fleet with Convair 340s starting in 1953 and 440s starting in 1956.

Delta Convair 440, N4820C, at Paducah, Kentucky. This aircraft was originally a model 340 acquired in 1954 that was modified to the 440 standard after 1956. Pub’r: Curteich no. 1DK-665; distributed by Wilson’s Book and Stationery, Paducah, 1961.

In 1957 Delta acquired five Curtiss C-46s from Civil Air Transport of Taiwan for air freight services.  These aircraft served until about 1967.

Delta Curtiss C-46 ‘Air Freighter’, N9884F. A/I, probably 1957. Oversize card. Peter Fu Collection.

Delta joined the jet age on 18 September 1959 by launching the first scheduled service of the Douglas DC-8 pure jet (New York to Atlanta route).  Just eight months later, Delta became the first to launch service of the Convair 880.  For short-haul routes, Delta introduced the DC-9 in 1965.

DC-8-11, N804E, at Miami. This was one of Delta’s first DC-8s, received in October 1959. It was subsequently upgraded to a DC-8-12 and then DC-8-51 standard. Pub’r: Curteich no. G.519; distributed by Gulf Stream Card, Miami. My card is postmarked 15 November 1961.

Convair 880, N8802E, Delta’s second 880, received February 1960. Delta initially called the 880 the “Aristocrat of Jets”, as stated on the reverse of this card and emphasized by the crown over the 880 on the front. A/I, no. T-315, also with an apparent Curteich number 0DK-606 indicating a 1960 issue date. This card was later reprinted by Delta (bearing the same postcard numbers) with the text on the front removed and different text on the reverse. The ‘Aristocrat’ wording was dropped and, in a preview of things to come, the number of passengers noted was increased from 84 to 92.

Douglas DC-9-14, N3303L.  This is an unusual ‘pop-up’ postcard issued by Delta. When opened up, the inside has an interior view on the left and a ‘pop-up’ view of the DC-9 with a sky background, giving a 3-D effect.

The 1970s saw the introduction of several wide-body jet aircraft. Delta operated a handful of Boeing 747s and DC-10-10s in the early 1970s, but found them not the best suited for its route system. Instead it turned to the Lockheed L-1011 Tristar 1 and later the Tristar 500, operating more than 50 L-1011s.

Lockheed L-1011 TriStar 500, N751DA, the first model 500 operated by Delta, introduced in 1979 particularly for long-range routes. A/I in 2000 as an historical postcard. This card shows the classic Delta ‘widget’ livery in use on Delta aircraft from 1962 to 1997.

Hartsfield International Airport in Atlanta, Georgia has served as Delta’s main hub for several decades. The dominance of Delta at this airport is amazing. Just like today, the following airport scene in the 1980s featured row after row of Delta aircraft.

Delta aircraft, including Boeing 727s, L-1011s and DC-8s, taking on passengers at multiple rows of gates, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Atlanta, Georgia. Pub’r: Thomas Warren Enterprises, Atlanta, nos. 561109 and A-153.

Delta’s later jet fleet includes a mixture of mainly Boeing and Airbus aircraft, the larger portion being modern Boeing types.  Here are a few postcard examples:

Delta Boeing 767-200, N102DA, its first 767, with a special livery symbolizing Delta’s role as the Official Airline of the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. A/I, no. P98303. There is another variation of this card, A/I no. P97977, with the aircraft closer up and lower, and with the Delta Olympic logo smaller. Named ‘The Spirit of Delta’, the funds to acquire this aircraft were raised by Delta’s employees through payroll deductions. The aircraft is now on display at the Delta Flight Museum, as seen in the next postcard image.

Delta Boeing 777-200, with Delta’s ‘Colors in Motion’ tail livery (also called ‘Flowing Fabric’), its main tail livery from 2000 to 2007. Delta introduced the 777 in May 1995. A/I, 2000.

Delta Boeing 757-200, N717TW, in SkyTeam logo, at LAX, 19 January 2009. Duane Young photo. Issued by Airliners International 2014 LAX. Pub’r jj Postcards. Delta is a founding member of the SkyTeam airline alliance.

Delta Airbus A350-900, N502DN, in Delta’s ‘Onward and Upward’ livery adopted 30 April 2007 and still current. This livery re-introduced the Delta ‘widget’ logo, in updated form. It took four years to complete the livery changeover on all its aircraft. The A350 is the latest addition to Delta’s fleet. Pub’r Flying Photos Magazine. Photo by Agustin Anaya, Atlanta.

Turning to more significant airlines that merged into the Delta system over the years, I have selected one or two postcards of each, generally showing an aircraft and color scheme in use at the time of the acquisition concerned.  Let’s start with the first major acquisition by Delta — Chicago & Southern Air Lines on 1 May 1953.

Chicago & Southern Lockheed Constellation 749. A/I, Nov. 1951. This aircraft type became a Delta-C&S aircraft upon the 1953 merger of C&S into Delta.

Delta’s next acquisition was Northeast Airlines (known as Boston-Maine Airways prior to 19 November 1940). This acquisition occurred on 1 August 1972.

Northeast 727-95 in the famous ‘Yellowbird’ livery introduced in 1966, over the Miami Beach ‘Gold Coast’, Florida. A/I, 1966. In 1967 Northeast started to acquire the larger Boeing 727-200, and on 14 December 1967 it operated the first scheduled flight of that type, in ‘Yellowbird’ livery from Miami to New York (Kennedy).  Northeast’s 727s were all taken over by Delta upon their 1972 merger.

In December 1986 Delta acquired Western Air Lines, their operations being merged on 1 April 1987. This added numerous western U.S. routes to Delta’s system and made it the fourth largest airline in the U.S. at the time.

Western Air Lines McDonnell Douglas DC-10-10, referred to by Western as the ‘Magnificent Queen of Western’s jet fleet’ and the ‘DC-10 Spaceship’. A/I. There are two versions of this card, with different text on the reverse and a different destinations list. Western operated this type from 1973 until its 1987 merger with Delta.

Pacific Northern Airlines Boeing 720, taking off from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. A/I, no. P42365, issued late 1961 or early 1962. Artist card. Originally founded as Woodley Airways, the airline adopted the Pacific Northern name in 1945 and, in 1967, it merged into Western Air Lines which later merged into Delta.

On 1 October 2009 Delta made its largest acquisition ever — Northwest Airlines. This resulted in Delta becoming, by some measures, the largest airline in the world.  Northwest itself had absorbed several other airlines over the years. Here are some postcard examples of more significant ones, funneling into Northwest and then ultimately into Delta.

Northwest Airlines four-view postcard showing a Boeing 747-400 and 757, Airbus A320, and MD-80 in the color scheme featuring a logo on the tail having an ‘N’ and circle with a triangle pointing northwest. Probably an A/I, no. 23285-E. Postmarked 8 January 1994. Northwest merged into Delta on 1 October 2009.

Northwest Orient Airlines 747-100 tri-view card also showing two interior scenes. A/I, about 1970. Oversize, 6 x 8.5” (15.2 x 21.5cm.). 747 timetable on portion of back. Northwest dropped ‘Orient’ from its brand name upon its 1986 acquisition of Republic.

Republic Airlines Boeing 727-200, N715RC. A/I, no. 0-04 10-3-1186. Oversize, 3.75 x 8.5” (9.5 x 21.7cm.). Republic merged into Northwest Airlines on 1 October 1986.

One of Republic Airlines’ predecessors was Wisconsin Central Airlines, founded in 1944 to serve cities in Wisconsin.  As its service territory expanded Wisconsin Central changed its name on 16 December 1952 to North Central Airlines, which then combined with Southern Airways in 1978 to become Republic Airlines1

Wisconsin Central Airlines Lockheed Electra L-10A. A/I. Wisconsin Central started operating L-10As on 25 February 1948, and this postcard probably dates from that year.

North Central Airlines Douglas DC-9. A/I, printed by Cartwheel, Afton, Minnesota, no. 121383, issued about 1977. A variant of this card has North Central’s Philadelphia office phone numbers on the reverse. North Central was known as Wisconsin Central from 1944 to 15 December 1952. On 13 July 1979 North Central merged with Southern Airways to form Republic Airlines.

Southern Airways DC-9-31, N908H. A/I. Oversize, 4 x 7” (10.2 x 17.7cm). Southern merged with North Central Airlines on 13 July 1979 to form Republic Airlines.

Republic Airlines acquired Hughes Airwest (previously known as Air West) on 1 October 1980. Air West in turn was a combination of three airlines. Here is a selection of postcards from this group of airlines that eventually, through Northwest, melded into Delta.

Hughes Airwest DC-9-15, N9349, at Reno, Nevada. ‘Stippled’ edges. Pub’r: Smith Novelty, Carson City, Nevada; printed by Colourpicture, Boston, no. P305136.

Air West DC-9-31, N9344. ‘Stippled’ edges. Pub’r: Ellis Post Card Co., Arlington, Washington, no. 116593. Air West was formed on 17 April 1968 as a combination of three airlines — West Coast, Bonanza, and Pacific. It was renamed ‘Hughes Airwest’ in July 1970. This aircraft went on to serve in the colors of Hughes Airwest, Republic and Northwest.

West Coast Airlines DC-9. A/I, probably in 1966 when West Coast first acquired DC-9s. Artist postcard. West Coast was founded on 5 December 1946 and became a significant regional airline in the Pacific Northwest.

Bonanza Air Lines Fairchild F-27A ‘Silver Dart’, N149L, over Hoover Dam, Nevada. A/I. Oversize, 4 x 8.5” (10.1 x 21.5cm.). This card was issued attached to another Bonanza postcard showing a DC-9. Bonanza was founded 5 August 1946 and served major cities in Arizona, California, Nevada and Utah.

Pacific Air Lines Boeing 727-100, N2979G. Pub’r: Aviation World, nos. B-025, 77842-D. Pacific was founded in 1941 under the original name of Southwest Airways, the name being changed to Pacific on 6 March 1958. It was mainly a feeder airline serving southwestern U.S. cities.

Southwest Airways Martin 2-0-2, N93049, at Los Angeles International Airport, probably between 1952 and 1958. Published as an airport card by H. S. Crocker Co., Los Angeles, no. LA-1098; distributed by Souvenir Color Card Co.  Southwest Airways was formed in 1941.

To summarize how the world of airline mergers remarkably led Southwest Airways into the Delta family, (a) Southwest’s name was changed to Pacific Air Lines in 1958; (b) Pacific combined with West Coast and Bonanza to form Air West in 1968; (c) Air West’s name changed to Hughes Airwest in 1970; (d) Hughes Airwest merged into Republic (formed by the 1978 combination of North Central and Southern) in 1980; (e) Republic merged into Northwest in 1986; and (f) Northwest merged into Delta in 2009. Quite a voyage!

Lastly, at various times between 1984 and 2012 Delta owned some regional airlines and operated them as ‘Delta Connection’ carriers. These included Atlantic Southeast Airlines, Ransome, Comair and Mesaba/Northwest Airlink.  Today, Delta’s policy is to operate ‘Delta Connection’ services utilizing aircraft owned by other companies.

Atlantic Southeast Airlines (ASA) ‘Delta Connection’ ATR-72-210. A/I, 2002. ASA was founded in 1979 and became a Delta Connection carrier in 1984. From 1999 to 2005 it was wholly-owned by Delta. In 2011 ASA merged with ExpressJet, and ExpressJet is now one of the ‘Delta Connection’ carriers. ASA operated ATR-72 turboprops from 1993 to 2008.

Notes:  The original postcards of those shown are published, except as noted, in standard or continental size.  All postcards shown are from the author’s collection, except the Delta C-46 card. I estimate their rarity as — Rare: the Delta L-10 and C-46 cards, Wisconsin Central L-10A and Southwest Airways at LAX cards; Uncommon: the Delta DC-6, Convair 440, DC-8, Convair 880, and DC-9 ‘pop-up’; C&S Constellation; Northeast 727, Boston-Maine L-10; Pacific Northern 720; Northwest 4-view and 3-view cards; Hughes Airwest DC-9; and West Coast DC-9 cards. The rest are fairly common.

This article is a revision and update of a similar article by the author published in The Captain’s Log of the World Airline Historical Society, Fall 2012 issue.


  1. Davies, R.E.G.

(a)  “Delta: An Airline and Its Aircraft — The Illustrated History of a Major U.S. Airline and the People Who Made It”, Paladwr Press (1990).

(b) “Airlines of the United States since 1914”, Smithsonian Institution Press (1972).

(c) “A History of Airlines in the Jet Age”, Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum (2011).

  1. Delta Flight Museum Website –
  2. Cearley, George W. (author and publisher), ‘The Delta Family History’, 160 pages (1985).

Airliners International 2019 Atlanta

The annual Airliners International show and convention will be held in 2019 during 19-22 June at the Delta Flight Museum located at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Here is a postcard showing the collecting scene at the previous (2015) Airliners International show in the Delta Flight Museum, with the Delta Boeing 767 ‘The Spirit of Delta’ right inside the show venue.

Airliners International 2015 Atlanta convention in the Delta Flight Museum. Postcard issued by Airliners International 2015 and 2016. Pub’r jjPostcards.

I encourage all airline and airport postcard collectors who are members of the World Airline Historical Society to enter the Airliners International 2019 Postcard Contest in Atlanta, 19-22 June 2019. Postcard contest rules are on the show website,  Whether you win or not, your entries stimulate others to start or expand airline memorabilia collecting, and it’s a great boost for all collectors.

Delta Air Lines ‘Thank You’ postcard in its ‘Keep Climbing’ series, a Delta slogan introduced in 2010. Issued by the airline about 2017. There are at least seven different cards with this view, each saying ‘Thank You’ in a different language — English, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Italian, Chinese and Japanese.

Until the next article, thank you for reading, and Happy Collecting.  Marvin.

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