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Dallas – Fort Worth Airports on Postcards

By Marvin G. Goldman

In view of Airliners InternationalTM, the world’s largest airline history convention and airline collectibles show, to be held June 21-24, 2023, at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), this Captain’s Log “Postcard Corner” article describes the background and development of the major airports in Dallas/Fort Worth, illustrated by historic postcards.

The large cities of Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas, are located only slightly more than 30 miles (50 km) apart. Economically, it made sense to develop one major airport to serve both cities. However, numerous proposals from the 1920s on for such a combination all came to naught until 1968 when, at the insistence of the U.S. Federal Aviation Agency (FAA), the two cities agreed to jointly build a single major airport to serve the area encompassing both Dallas and Fort Worth. That airport became Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), located equidistant between Dallas and Fort Worth, and today the second-busiest airport in the world by passenger numbers.

Prior to the agreement to build DFW, Fort Worth and Dallas both competed to develop the dominant airport in the area for scheduled commercial flights.

Fort Worth – Meacham Field

In 1925 the City of Fort Worth purchased Barron Field, a World War I-era aviation training field, and named it “Fort Worth Municipal Airport.” In 1927 the airport was renamed Meacham Field after former Fort Worth Mayor Henry C. Meacham. American Airways (later to become American Airlines) established its base at Meacham Field in 1927, and the airport became the main airport for commercial airlines in the Fort Worth-Dallas area.

On April 4, 1937, Meacham Field dedicated a new terminal and control tower. The terminal was designed in the “Art Moderne” or new streamlined style, and it was the first air-conditioned passenger terminal in the U.S. Here is a selection of postcards showing Meacham Field and its new terminal.

American Airlines Douglas DC-2, NC14280, at Meacham Field, Fort Worth, Texas’ municipal airport,
with the newly built terminal and control tower in the background, probably in early 1937 before their completion.
Airline issue A-245-C.
Meacham Field, Fort Worth, Texas, probably in April 1937 when its new terminal and control tower were inaugurated.
On the ramp are two American Airlines Douglas DC-3s.
Publisher Graycraft Card Co., Danville VA, no. F-156.
Al Canales collection.
Aerial View of Meacham Field, Fort Worth, Texas, showing American Airlines and Braniff Airways aircraft, the terminal building and control tower that opened in 1937, and the large American Airlines hangar.
Other airlines utilizing Meacham were Central, Pioneer and Trans-Texas.
Real photo postcard.
Al Canales collection.
Closeup of the 1937 terminal building and control tower at Meacham Field, Fort Worth. The terminal was designed in the “Art Moderne” style, also known as “Streamline Moderne,” an austere outgrowth of the earlier Art Deco architectural style.
This was the first airport terminal in the U.S. with air conditioning.
Pub’r Atlas News Shop, Fort Worth; Printer E. C. Kropp Co., Milwaukee, nos. 65, 6945.

Greater Fort Worth Airport (Amon Carter Field; Greater Southwest Airport)

During the early 1940s, Fort Worth decided to develop a larger airport to handle rising air traffic and allow future expansion that was not possible at Meacham Field. The site selected for reconstruction was that of Arlington Municipal Airport. It was located at the eastern edge of Fort Worth and was almost equidistant between the centers of Fort Worth and Dallas. Fort Worth invited Dallas to jointly develop the site to serve both cities. However, as Dallas was developing its close-in airport Love Field and that airport was preferred by its residents, Dallas declined to participate. Ironically, this new Fort Worth site was located almost adjacent to what later became today’s Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

The new Fort Worth airport finally opened on April 25, 1953, and was named Greater Fort Worth International Airport at Amon Carter Field (Amon Carter was the Mayor of Fort Worth). Airlines then transferred from Meacham Field to the new airport, Since 1953, Meacham has been used by corporate aircraft, commuter flights, and for student pilot training.

In 1962 Fort Worth changed the name of its new airport to “Greater Southwest International Airport” as part of an effort to again entice the city of Dallas to join in further development of the airport. However, that overture was turned down as well.

Here are some postcards of Greater Fort Worth International Airport, also known as Amon Carter Field and, from 1962, as Greater Southwest International Airport.

“Copter-view” of Greater Fort Worth International Airport at Amon Carter Field, about 1956.
Postmarked July 9, 1958.
Photographed and published by John A. Stryker, Fort Worth, no. ART-6293-2.
Main lobby of the terminal building at Greater Fort Worth International Airport at Amon Carter Field.
It was furnished in “modern western style” and finished in fine marble from Portugal.
The bas-relief murals on the left wall depicted early Texas history and were covered with 18-karat gold leaf.
Photographed and published by John A. Stryker, Fort Worth; printer Colourpicture, Boston, no. P5928.
Postcard image from the internet.
Braniff International Airways Convair 340, N3423 (in service with Braniff during 1953-1967), and American Airlines Convair, at Greater Fort Worth International Airport, Amon Carter Field.
The reverse side states: “Looking from the south passenger loading concourse, one sees the east side of the main Airport Building and the north loading concourse….The main dining room of the terminal building and observation deck are on the left side with the air traffic control tower.” Photographed and published by John A. Stryker, Fort Worth; printed by Colourpicture, Boston, no. P6166.
Greater Fort Worth International Airport, Amon Carter Field, with American Airlines Convair 240, N94211, in the foreground.
I have seen one of these postcards postmarked January 1954.
Photographed and published by John A. Stryker, Fort Worth; printed by Colourpicture, no. P6167.

Love Field Municipal Airport, Dallas, Texas

While scheduled airline service and facilities at Fort Worth’s Meacham and then Amon Carter Fields grew relatively slowly, its neighboring larger city, Dallas, developed Love Field which grew faster because more passengers preferred its proximity to downtown Dallas.

Love Field originated in 1917 as the site of an aviation training base established by the U.S. Army Air Service during World War I. It was named after Lieutenant Moses L. Love, an early Army pilot who was killed during flight training at another site. In 1927 the City of Dallas purchased Love Field from the military to serve as its site for commercial air service which developed during the 1930s. After the end of World War II in 1945, Love Field grew expansively, reflecting significant increases in passenger traffic. By 1965 Love Field featured new terminals and a second parallel runway, effectively doubling its capacity, and its passenger numbers that year were, astoundingly, nearly 50 times those of Fort Worth’s airport.

Here is a selection of postcards featuring Dallas Love Field.

Dedication of Love Field Lemmon Ave. Terminal, October 1940.
Printer Curteich, Chicago.
Love Field Municipal Airport, Dallas, Texas, with a Trans-Texas Airways Douglas DC-3 at left and an American Airlines Douglas DC-6 aircraft at right, probably late 1940s.
Pub’r Stellmacher & Son, Dallas, no. SC1900.
Love Field, Dallas, with American Airlines Douglas DC-7s. In the background is the newer terminal at Love Field which opened for airline service on January 20, 1958. The terminal had three one-story concourses, 26 ramp-level gates, and the world’s first airport moving walkways.
Airlines serving Love Field at that time included American, Braniff, Central, Continental, Delta, and Trans-Texas.
Airline and airport postcard collector Al Canales remarked in the Spring 2016 40th anniversary issue of the Captain’s Log, “[This is my] favorite postcard [of about 11,000 cards in my collection]. [It’s] not a rare one but one that brings back many happy memories of hours spent on that observation deck visible under the wing of the DC-7 doing what I truly enjoyed”.
Pub’r H.S. Crocker Co., Los Angeles, no, TPC-166; distributor Texas Post Card Co., Dallas.
View towards observation balcony of Love Field, Dallas, probably about 1960.
Ex-Allan Van Wickler collection.
Pub’r All-Tom Corp., Dallas-Ft. Worth; printer Colourpicture no. P44211.
View of the ramp and a taxiway at Dallas Love Field, probably in 1961.
Note the mix of propeller and jet aircraft types, and a Continental Airlines Viscount turboprop on the taxiway.
Pub’r Texas Post Card & Novelty Co., Dallas; printed by Dexter Press, West Nyack NY, in 1961, as no. 43446-B.
American Airlines 707 and 727 at Dallas Love Field. That Braniff BAC 1-11 in the upper right looks headed for a nosedive – an example of how some publishers add some pizzazz to their postcards.
Pub’r All-Tom Corporation, Arlington, Texas; printed by Dexter Press in 1967, no. D-21998-C.
Love Field Airport of “BIG D” refers to Dallas, probably in late 1960s. The back of this postcard states: “A spectacular view of one of the nation’s ten busiest airports and one of the world’s most modern airport facilities.”
Pub’r Mission Card Co., Dallas; printer Colourpicture, Boston, no. P74205.
Southwest Airlines started flying from Love Field in 1971, eventually becoming the dominant airline there.
The aircraft image on this postcard is Southwest’s 737-300, N352SW, which entered its fleet in late 1990 and was painted in the “Lone Star One” livery, Southwest’s homage to its home state of Texas.
Photo by Sackett and Associates; pub’r A-W, Dallas, no. D-132; printer John Hinde Curteich.

Transition to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)

By 1965 Fort Worth’s Greater Southwest Airport at Amon Carter Field (GSW) was severely underutilized, while passengers and airline scheduled service flocked to Dallas Love Field which was bursting at the seams with air traffic and had insufficient room for expansion. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) decided it would no longer assist in funding improvements at two separate airports so close together. At the insistence of the FAA and the Civil Aeronautics Board, the two cities agreed to set aside their rivalry and jointly develop and operate a single larger and more modern airport equidistant between them. The agreement also provided that all airlines would have to move from GSW and Love Field to the new airport. The site chosen was a huge swath of undeveloped land just north of the Greater Southwest Airport. This is the site that became Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport – DFW. Ground was broken for the construction of DFW airport in 1968, and scheduled flights at DFW commenced on January 13, 1974.

Meanwhile, passenger traffic continued to sharply decline at GSW, and by 1969 all scheduled flights there had ceased. GSW continued in use for general aviation, some charter flights, commuter and air taxi traffic, and crew training, while also serving as a diversionary airport for Love Field. However, upon the opening of DFW in January 1974, GSW was closed. In 1979 GSW was sold for redevelopment as an industrial and office park, and its airport facilities were soon demolished. Today the headquarters of American Airlines’ parent company, AMR Corporation, is located where GSW’s terminal once stood, and American Airlines’ C. R. Smith Museum is opposite the GSW site.

Love Field continued its prominence while DFW was under construction. However, when DFW opened in 1974, all airlines – with one notable exception – moved their operations to DFW. The exception was Southwest Airlines which refused to move and prevailed on that issue in a lawsuit brought by the cities of Dallas and Fort Worth and the DFW Airport Board. Subsequently, Southwest fought several legal battles to lift restrictions imposed by the “Wright Amendment” on its ability to fly to destinations outside Texas. Full success was achieved in 2006 by a federal law that served to repeal the Wright restrictions. Since then, Southwest has financed several expansions of its facilities at Love Field, and it remains the dominant airline by far at Love Field. Other airlines currently operating scheduled flights there include Alaska Airlines and Delta Air Lines.

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport – DFW

As mentioned above, DFW airport opened to scheduled airline service on January 13, 1974, and all airlines except Southwest moved there from Love Field. With 27 square miles of land, DFW is the second largest airport in the U.S. by area (next to Denver); and with 72 million passengers in 2022, it is the second busiest airport in the world by passenger numbers (behind Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport – ATL). Presently, 28 airlines serve a total of about 260 destinations from DFW.

Commensurate with its growth in passenger numbers, DFW airport is continuously expanding its facilities. Most recently, DFW approved in 2021 a $2 billion project, to be completed by 2026, including the renovation and expansion of Terminal C serving American Airlines and the addition of gates at other terminals.

Here is a sampling of postcards showing DFW.

Aerial view of Terminal C at DFW with its many gates filled by American Airlines aircraft.
Pub’r The Texas Postcard Co., Plano, Texas, no. D-150, 711; photo by Raff Frano.

American Airlines utilizes DFW as its primary hub and its corporate headquarters and aviation museum are nearby.
In the upper center of this postcard, close to the control tower, is the Hyatt Regency Hotel, site of the Airliners InternationalTM airline history convention and airline collectibles show, June 21-24, 2023.
Aerial view of the vast expanse, half-moon terminals, and runways at DFW, with the Delta Air Lines’ gates in the foreground.
Published in 1981. Pub’r A.W. Distributors, Irving, Texas.
Braniff International Airways terminal at DFW, probably in the late 1970s. Note the standout orange Boeing 747 of Braniff, nicknamed the “Great Pumpkin” or “Fat Albert.” DFW was Braniff’s main hub until the demise of the airline in May 1982.
Pub’r Texas Postcard Co., Plano, Texas, no. /d-111; printer MCG, Kansas City, Missouri; photo by Gordon Smith.
DFW at night, with an American Airlines Douglas DC-10 at Terminal C, probably in the 1980s.
Pub’r Texas Postcard Co., Plano, Texas, no. D-102; Joe Towers photo.


All the postcards shown in this article are from the author’s collection unless otherwise noted. My estimate of rarity: Rare: the two aerial views of Meacham Field; Uncommon; American Airlines at Meacham Field; Love Field with Trans-Texas and American aircraft; Love Field with Continental Viscount; and DFW Braniff terminal. The rest are fairly common.


  • Cearley, Jr., George W. A Pictorial History of Airline Service at Dallas Love Field, 200 pp. (1989).
  • Friedenzohn, Daniel. “DFW: The Texas-Size Airport,” Airways (Oct. 2003, pp. 32-37).
  • (on Greater Fort Worth Airport).
  • Airport websites:;
  • Texas State Historical Association websites: field and airport.
  • Wikipedia articles on “Fort Worth Meacham International Airport,” “Greater Southwest International Airport,” “Dallas Love Field,” and “Dallas Fort Worth International Airport.”

Airliners International 2023 DFW

I hope to see you at Airliners International™ 2023 DFW, June 21-24, 2023, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, next to Terminal C at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. This is the world’s largest airline history and airline collectibles show and convention, with more than 200 vendor tables for buying, selling, and swapping airline memorabilia (including, of course, airline and airport postcards), seminars, the annual meeting of the World Airline Historical Society, annual banquet, tours and more.
I hope you’ll consider entering the Postcard Contest at the AI 2023 show. More information and contest rules are available by clicking this link:

Until then, Happy collecting. Marvin

American Airlines poster, artist Joseph Charles Parker, 5 x 7 in (12.7 x 17.8 cm).
Part of a set of historic posters in postcard form believed to have been issued several years ago by American Airlines’ C. R. Smith Museum, Dallas.

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Safety cards

HISTORY OF SAFETY CARDS, Part 4: 1960s – Mandated!

By Fons Schaefers


Until the early 1960s survivability of transport aircraft accidents was not an issue. The attitude towards accidents was that they were a fact of life. All funds for safety should be allotted to learning from them so as to prevent future accidents. Investigations focused on the causes of accidents, not on their consequences in terms of survivability. It took two pioneers a decade or more to teach the aviation world it was worthwhile to expand the focus to survival factors, also known as “passive safety.” They proved that many improvements could be made in making aircraft more crash-worthy.

Those pioneers were Hugh DeHaven (1895-1980) and Howard Hasbrook (1913-2000). In 1942, DeHaven started the crash injury project at Cornell University (New York). In 1953, this was split into an automobile section, which he further developed (and which inspired car safety belts and Ralph Nader’s “unsafe at any speed”), and an aviation section. The latter was run by Hasbrook, who in the 1950s and early 1960s did pioneering work in investigating survival factors of major aircraft accidents. One of his earliest investigations was that of the National Airlines DC-6 crash near Newark in February 1952. He was the first to make sketches of the crash kinematics illustrating how and why aircraft broke up. Curious? Then go to

Not only were his methods innovative and his findings unprecedented but he also spent much time and effort in advocating them to airframe manufacturers, airlines, and aviation authorities, not only in the US but also abroad. His recommendations were well ahead of their time. Already in 1952, he suggested passenger seats be tested dynamically. It would take more than four decades before this became mandatory, first in the USA and later worldwide.

His safety campaign was successful. In 1963, the FAA proposed rulemaking for a host of cabin safety measures, ranging from improved exit signs and markings to mandatory evacuation demonstrations by airlines, and passenger briefings. Of course, it was not only Hasbrook who triggered the FAA to come into action. Less than three years after the first jets entered service in the US, the first crash of a jet with survivability issues happened: a United Airlines DC-8 at Stapleton Airport in Denver, CO, on July 11, 1961. Hasbrook investigated the circumstances in the cabin, which were painfully shocking [1]. To understand what follows, I reproduce the exit plan of United’s safety leaflet next to a sketch of the accident’s wind-steered smoke and fire pattern. The safety leaflet is dated 6/61, so released just weeks before the crash.

[1] FAA CAMI AM 62-9, Evacuation pattern analysis of a survivable commercial aircraft crash

The crash itself was mild, but a fuel fire erupted, gradually entering the cabin. All passengers in the first class section, which was large and extended from the front back to the wing and included all four overwing exits, survived. In the tourist class section, however, 16 passengers died of smoke inhalation. In that section, there were only two exits, only one that could be opened. The aisle was narrow and the divider between the two classes reached from floor to ceiling, obscuring the view forward. There was no indication, such as a sign, that there were exits beyond it. No passenger briefing had been given, even not after it had become clear that the landing would not be normal.

Whether the tourist passengers had boarded aft and were thus unaware of the forward section and the exits there, is not reported but it would not surprise me.

This accident was the first of a jet that should have been survivable to all occupants. It provoked a lot of attention. Four months later, a survivable, yet fatal accident occurred with a Lockheed Constellation on a military charter with young army recruits, many of whom died. That accident got much less attention for reasons unknown. In any case, the time was ripe for improved cabin safety measures. Something had to be done to increase the chances of passengers who survive the impact to escape from an aircraft before a fire overtakes them. The Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) came into action and, as said, in 1963 proposed a plethora of new cabin safety regulations. [3]

[2] FAA CAMI AM 70-16, Survival in emergency escape from passenger aircraft

[3]NPRM 63-42, Federal Register October 29, 1963

1965 – First Safety Card Rule

Although in 1962 Hasbrook recommended passengers be instructed in evacuation procedures prior to “any anticipated, unusual landing situation,” he did not go as far as asking for safety cards. Neither, in 1963, did the FAA. But, at a hearing in June 1964 on the proposed regulations, somebody suggested safety cards as an additional measure. By whom, I could not find, but I would not be surprised if it was one of those operators already voluntarily using them. United Airlines, perhaps?

When the final rule was issued in March 1965, the FAA mandated printed safety cards for all US airlines per June 7, 1965. Here is the text of the regulation – focus on section (b):

As you can see, the requirements for the card were simple. They must show:

  • diagrams of the emergency exits;
  • methods of opening emergency exits;
  • other instructions necessary for use of emergency equipment.

These requirements were broadly worded. The first was generally interpreted as showing the location of the exits on an airplane plan. The second was met by illustrating how to open the exit. The third one was quite vague – does this include emergency equipment like fire extinguishers or first-aid kits? Not so if we look at the safety cards of the time. They showed oxygen masks, escape slides and for overwater operations, life vests and, occasionally, life rafts, but nothing more.

1965 Safety Cards

The new rule must have triggered several US airlines to issue a new range of safety cards. I will discuss some that directly resulted from it and some that were simply continuations of what was already there. Eastern Airlines issued new cards immediately, in June 1965. Eastern was one of the airlines that had separate cards for each aircraft type, as opposed to fleet cards. For an example see the DC-7 card in Lester Andersons’s July 2020 contribution below. Eastern’s Constellation card was a bit hybrid, as it showed three variants, each having a different exit layout. I reproduce the trio here, rotated 90 degrees to allow easier reading of the exit captions.

Eastern Airlines’ Constellation Safety Card

Ozark Air Lines had a fleet card labeled “OP-65,” which may have been in response to the new rule. It showed exit locations for three aircraft types: DC-3, Martin 404, and Fairchild F-27. This mix indeed uniquely reflects their 1965 fleet composition so it was likely released that year. But other than exit locations, nothing else was shown so it did not fully meet the new rule. On the reverse side, it said “occupied” in large letters, for passengers to reserve their seats during transit stops.

Delta Air Lines used fleet cards before the cabin safety card rule came into effect. I present the card used in the period 1962-1965, copied from the internet. It was called “Special Procedures for Emergencies.” This shows aircraft plans for the Convair 340/440, Douglas DC-6, DC-7/7B, DC-8, and Convair 880. Note the cockpit is on the right. The emergency exits consisted of either doors or window exits and were well indicated, with the means of opening explained in small panels.

This card survived the June 1965 regulatory change, as it already met it.

The single card was replaced about six months later by a leaflet with four vertical folds, like an accordion. It was issued in conjunction with the introduction of the new DC-9. In appearance, it was a complete makeover. The rather technical presentation was gone and replaced by a more attractive and modern look, making optimum use of the Delta logo. Other than that, it featured the same types as the previous card. I reproduce the front, but see also Brian Barron’s July 2017 entry.

Northwest Orient Airlines renewed its leaflets in September 1965. Northwest re-issued the “emergency water landings” leaflet in use since the early 1950s. While it indeed included diagrams of four different types showing exit locations, it lacked the method of opening them. This would rate it as not meeting the new rule. However, Northwest, while continuing this line of overwater leaflets, augmented them with a separate leaflet explaining the automatic oxygen system, exit locations, and opening method. Thus they met the new rule. On that leaflet, the Boeing 727 was added to the overwater types, but not the Lockheed Electra and DC-7C. Apparently, separate cards were made for those, non-automatic oxygen-equipped types (see Lester Anderson, July 2020).

Western Airlines changed its cards in December 1965. They were fleet cards, showing three types on one leaflet: Boeing 720B, Lockheed Electra II, and Douglas DC-6B. It had airplane plans, exit operation method panels, and more. I reproduce the plan for the Electra as that has some interesting features, which could easily have led to passenger confusion:

  • the main cabin entrance door, forward left, was not shown as an emergency exit. This was allowed under the period regulations;
  • the door on the left aft side is marked as “forward door exit,” even though it was well aft, being situated behind the wings.
Lockheed Electra II Emergency Exits

1967 – First Amendment to the Safety Card Rule

I could not find any cards dated 1966. That year however stands out as it saw a proposal by the FAA for already modifying the new briefing card rule. Two new requirements were presented for public consultation, which the FAA believed would improve passenger knowledge and avoid confusion:

  • each passenger over 12 years of age must be given one copy of the printed briefing card upon entering the airplane;
  • the cards must be pertinent to the type and model of airplane being used on the flight. 

The first proposal met with resistance from the airlines and was not adopted. The second, however, was well received and took effect on October 24, 1967:

This meant the end of fleet cards, at least in the USA.

Delta responded quickly and first issued type-specific cards in September 1967, one month before the rule deadline. They diligently made separate cards for each type and model, as the new regulation stipulated: one each for the DC-9-14, DC-9-32, DC-8-33, DC-8-51 (shown), CV-880, etc.

Delta DC-8-51 safety card

Five years later (8/72), they joined the two short DC-8 models (DC-8-33 and DC-8-51) on one card, as the exit locations and method of operation were identical. Yet, on the cover, a different type appeared. Delta later corrected that.

Which of these two appeared on the 1972 Delta DC-8-33/51 card? And what is it?

1968 and 1969 Safety Cards

The revised regulation led to an abundance of cards. Like Delta, the major carriers, aware of the upcoming rule, had already started re-issuing their cards in 1967. Scroll below to the articles by Barron and Anderson in this Captain’s Log safety card section to see some examples.

The next two years saw many more airlines introducing or revising them. Let me reproduce a selection to illustrate the artwork and methods of presentation.

in March 1968, Ozark Air Lines issued this Fairchild FH-227B card. On one side it has some technical data, plus text cautions about electronic devices, lighters, and a notification about flotation cushions. On the reverse side, there is graphic safety information showing exit locations and their operation.

Ozark FH-227B safety card-front
Ozark FH-227B safety card-back

Pacific Southwest Airlines introduced the Boeing 737 in September 1968, a brand new aircraft type. They had the safety cards prepared well in advance, as evidenced by the issue date: June 21, 1968. Emergency exit location, operation, and the slide were shown on one side; oxygen, bracing position, and flotation equipment were on the other. Note the rather primitive way of portraying the cabin.

PSA 737 safety card
PSA 737 safety card

Air West was formed in April 1968 by a merger of Pacific Air Lines (which started in 1941 as Southwest Airways, not to be confused with the later Southwest Airlines), Bonanza Air Lines, and West Coast Airlines. They all operated the Fairchild F-27. Their operating area covered the eight westernmost United States, so the new name, Air West, was apt. Air West’s December 1968 card was identical on either side, but for the language: English on one side, Spanish on the other. Safety information was limited to bracing position, flotation seat cushions, exit locations, and operation of the window exits plus the exit in the lavatory. The F-27 (both as built by Fokker and Fairchild) was probably unique in that one exit could only be accessed via the lavatory! For that purpose, its door needed to be secured open during take-off and landing. How the oppositely located integral stair-equipped entrance door opened was not shown. The illustrations were black on red, which would not have helped in conditions of poor lighting. When former TWA-owner Howard Hughes bought Air West in 1970, it became Hughes Airwest. In 1980 it was bought by Republic Airlines, which itself was absorbed by Northwest Airlines in 1986, which, in turn, was acquired by Delta Air Lines in 2008.

Air West F-27 safety card

In February 1969, TWA issued an extensive 18-page booklet for their 707 “Starstream” in five European languages. Large in size and print, and well-illustrated, not only are exit locations and their operation explained as well as oxygen, life vests, and rafts, but also seat belts, smoking, and portable radios and TVs. It had separate pages for infant life vest use and even how rescue is organized. The exit plan shows internal escape routes which are confusing in the overwing exit area. The longitudinal arrow lines are not connected between the two pairs of overwing exits. Was there a barrier? No, actually, there were seats between these exits. Probably TWA wanted to stress the importance of the overwing exits for passengers seated in the center cabin and omitted this detail.

TWA 707 Starstream safety card
TWA 707 Starstream safety card

Braniff had much simpler cards, two sides only, with “quick exit locations” on one side and exit operation (plus smoking, seat belts, oxygen, and bracing opposition) on the other side. On the April 1969 card, two variants of the 727 are shown: “cargo-passenger” and “all passenger.” Would this meet the regulatory qualification for same type and model? The cargo-passenger version shows the cargo compartment forward of the wing. The only exits available for passengers are those over the wing plus the tail exit, which is ranked as a “primary exit.” For the all-passenger version, that exit is a “secondary exit.”

Braniff 727 safety card
Braniff 727 safety card

Like TWA, Pan American issued a booklet for their Boeing 707. It covered the same subjects as TWA did, but was smaller and in three more languages (Portuguese, Chinese, and Japanese). I reproduce from their July 1969 edition the front page and the illustration page. The latter folds out so it can be read along the subject page of the selection.

Pan Am 707 safety card cover
Pan Am 707 safety card illustration page

Outside the USA

The new rules directly affected US carriers. But they also inspired other countries to adopt the same, or similar regulations. I highlight three airlines from three European countries.

In Switzerland, Swissair replaced its fleet leaflets with type-specific leaflets around 1965, so actually before the US did. I show the type-specific leaflet for the Convair Metropolitan, the name that the Swiss used for the Convair 440. It is undated but I estimate it to be from around 1965.

Convair Metropolitan safety card
Convair Metropolitan safety card

Sometime in the 1950s, KLM of the Netherlands introduced a generic leaflet with emergency preparation instructions in six languages and included illustrated life vest instructions. Unfortunately, I do not have a copy to show. It was not a fleet card as it lacked type-specific information, like aircraft diagrams, but was likely used on all types. Exit information was limited to one line:

    “The escape hatches are marked ‘Emergency exit’ and the method of opening them is clearly indicated.”

It must have been used well into the next decade. For the DC-8, DC-9 and “Super DC-8” (DC-8-63), introduced in 1960, 1966, and 1967 respectively, it was augmented with separate leaflets for oxygen use, in no fewer than 12 languages, reflecting KLM’s standing as a global airline serving passengers of many tongues. Here is a poor-quality internet reproduction of the top portion of the DC-9 oxygen card.

KLM’s DC-9 oxygen card

Later, and likely prompted by the developments in the USA, KLM replaced the generic leaflet and oxygen supplements by type-specific cards. That change was drastic. From nearly text-only, KLM went for a low-text, all-graphic presentation, quite possibly to avoid the burden of having to translate in so many different languages. The new cards showed exit locations and their operation plus the brace position, oxygen use, and life vests. None of the early cards had an issue date making it difficult to determine a year. My best guess is 1968. There were separate cards for two versions of the DC-8 as well as two versions of the DC-9, all uniquely coded. The DC-9 cards carried the striped KLM logo which lasted until 1972. The DC-8 cards did not have any logo, possibly because they regularly flew for partner airlines such as Garuda Indonesia and Viasa (Venezuela) and KLM wanted to avoid confusion on the part of the passengers. I reproduce two panels from the DC-9 series 10 card.

KLM DC-9 safety card

The UK was one of the few countries with a strong civil aviation industry and authority, which had its own agenda. It did not follow the US as closely as many other countries. Many of the cabin safety measures invented in the US took a long time before they landed in the UK. In Britain, the airlines presented passenger safety information in their traditional in-flight magazines until well into the 1970s without issuing separate cards. I show the 1968 example of British Eagle, one of the independent airlines of the time. On the front cover, there is a reference to the safety on board pages, in three languages. The instructions are extensive and clear, but in text only, except for pictures of life jacket use. Further down the magazine technical data appears for the airplane types, with exit diagrams. I reproduce those for the Britannia (top) and the abundantly-exited Viscount (bottom).

British Eagle Welcome Aboard

In the next part, I will review safety card developments in the 1970s and 1980s.

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Fons Schaefers / January 2023


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My Catalina Story

By Arthur Smit-Roeters

What it was like to fly on board a Catalina in the early 1950s in Indonesia

Recently, a good friend presented me with a fantastic book: 80 Years, A Tribute to the PBY Catalina, authored by Hans Wiesman. Some of my flying time in the 1950s with the national airline of Indonesia, Garuda Indonesian Airways (GIA), was being in the air as a steward on a PBY-5A Catalina amphibian flying boat, a period of pioneering. I remember being accepted for training after passing some tests and I was ready to make my first trip after about three weeks of classes. One of my first flights was on board a Catalina flying boat, an ex-WWII long-range patrol seaplane converted into one carrying 16 passengers. Long-forgotten images pop up in my mind.

The front office or cockpit was not my realm. Before today’s glass cockpits became the norm, in my days they had “steam gauges.” I flew on board a “steam gauge” airplane. A somewhat condescending term used to indicate a plane is equipped with old-fashioned and almost obsolete instruments. The electronic Flight Management System now commonplace had not appeared in anybody’s dream. The pilots were it. Navigation was by dead-reckoning and a simple Radio Direction Finder (RDF) was an essential piece of equipment. Yes, it was all manual labor. For me, 88 years old in 2018, it’s unbelievable how things have changed.

What a Garuda amphibian PBY-5A looked like inside

My workspace, located between the cargo area in the tail and cockpit, consisted of two cramped compartments, each holding eight passengers. The wheel wells were located between them. One had to stoop through three hatches to get to the front passenger compartment from the cargo area where my rudimentary pantry was located. I could almost lean on the cargo in my back when I was facing the portside located pantry in front of me. I had to stoop through another hatch, the fourth one, to get to the pilots.  

Each passenger had access to a life preserver. There were no emergency exits. An inflatable life raft was not part of the inventory. The lavatory was just a bucket covered by a seat and located in the tail section. Space was very limited and one could not stand straight up.

The only thing I didn’t like during my flying time was the smell of even an empty airsickness bag that was made of asphalt tar-impregnated paper. The smell induced the user to have a quicker barf time. Since the plane was not pressurized, we could not fly over the weather. Turbulence made this bag a popular item for an airsick passenger.

The inside of the plane was a bare-bones affair. Only the two cabins had a fuselage covering, the rest of the plane inside was just aluminum skin painted chromate green. There were no reading lights or airvents over the non-adjustable passenger seats. No night flights were scheduled, but there were delayed flights with arrival times past sundown. A sunken aisle divided each eight-passenger compartment along the keel into four seats on either side. Passengers faced each other. When two people sitting opposite each other wanted to stretch their legs they had to first figure out where to place their feet.

My guests had to board via a door with a high threshold where the port-side gun position was located in the war years. Thus, stairs with a lot of steps had to be rolled up to the side for entry or a bobbing launch when on water. After the first obstacle, the passenger had to crawl through the hatches in the bulkheads to get to the front cabin. There were no overhead bins and suitcases of all sizes had to stay in the cargo area, the space where once the two gun positions (blisters) were formerly located. Carry-ons as we know them today didn’t exist.

Getting aloft

Prior to getting aloft, I had to make sure everybody was strapped in. The sounds and sights of a Catalina flying boat takeoff from the water were always spectacular.

Before the start of an engine, one could hear the groaning and clanking valves as the propeller was rotated through nine or more blades with the ignition “off” to clear accumulated oil out of the bottom cylinders of the double-row, 14-cylinder engine. Then with ignition “on” the engine burped a few times before a smooth sound indicated all was going well.

After taking in the floating anchor and when the aircraft was lined up, takeoff power was applied and with the increasing speed, foam started to blow past the windows. The plane was about ready to leave the water when we could hear a sound like skimming over a gravel road under our keel, announcing the aircraft was hitting the top of the waves. With the two engines close overhead and no sound isolation, it was very noisy inside, but the auditory sensation of healthy engines was always music in my ears.


As seen from the aircraft’s window the jungle below looked like an endless and dense cauliflower field with an occasional bare patch where natives had slash burned the area and planted their corn or cassava. The soil looked yellowish. It certainly was not loam. Over the years hardwood trees were able to survive and thrive with the help of the monsoon rains with precipitation of 120-145 inches a year in the lowlands. A downed airplane would disappear in the dense jungle foliage. It seemed all the water in rivers had a brownish color and crocodiles were ever-present.

With an average cruising speed of 108 knots, and being in the air for many hours, it was difficult to get out of one’s seat for some leg stretching, but some people did.  The distance between Jakarta and Singapore is about 550+ miles. With a cruise speed of 108 knots per hour, the flight, with a stop in Billiton (Belitung), and a Singkep sea landing, made the flight an all-day affair. Logging 100 hours of flight time per month in PBY-5As, C-47s/DC-3s, and Convair 240/340s was almost normal for me.

Tasks on board

Once in the air, I doled out cold lemonade drinks, first to the cockpit crew since they were at their stations to do their checks long before the pax boarded. Then I went around with reading material including various magazines and newspapers. Safety cards? Are you kidding? On the Singapore flights, I had to help passengers with deciphering and filling out their customs and health forms printed in English. Inflight meals were very simple. No alcohol was served.

Flight impressions

I still remember landing on the river where the Dutch Bruynzeel lumber company had their sawmills at Sampit, a jungle outpost. The slow-moving river water had a brownish color due to suspended sawdust, tree saps, and rotting leaves. The employees were always happy to see the Catalina since we brought with us one or two tall wooden reinforced boxes filled with movie reels for their entertainment during the coming week.

Although a ground crew in their boat made sure that the landing surface was clear of obstacles, we always made a pass over the site, looking for submerged logs. We had no problems getting back in the air, but I remember there was a bend in the river at the end of the takeoff run. The tree-lined jungle river was wide enough for maneuvering when checking the magnetos of each 1200-horsepower P&W R-1830 before departing. It was great to look up at the tall trees on both sides of the “water runway” at the start and then feel how slowly but surely the big 104-foot span barn-door wing (it was not equipped with flaps) lifted us over the trees at a leisurely speed of 75 to 80 knots indicated air speed (KIAS) and then continued at a leisurely cruise speed of about 108 knots or about 124 mph.

All landings on smooth water were power landings. One time the captain allowed me up front to witness a stall landing, normally used when the waves were choppy. The airplane’s nose was up high and the rudder pedals were useless. The Dutch ex-Navy WWII cockpit crewmembers were excellent pilots and sailors.

I made many flights to Kallang Airport (Singapore), via Billiton (Belitung) Island and Singkep Bay where passengers were transported to and from the plane by a motor launch. On days when the sea had light swells, it was awkward to transfer some passengers between the up-and-down movements of the Catalina and the launch.  It took some time for the landlubbers to deplane or board.

 While waiting for the Singapore-bound passengers it became unbearably hot inside the plane. The crew, in various stages of undress, moved to the top of the wing. At one time the board engineer had to relieve himself and went to the end of the portside wing that had its wing float in the water. A devilish crewmember suggested that the rest of us run towards starboard at the “right” time and see if we could flip the engineer off the wing tip. Running towards the high starboard end, the portside float lost its suction, and the engineer, wearing only his briefs, lost his balance and tumbled into the sea. The few seagulls looking for handouts could not stand his loud and unhappy cursing and left.

Another time on short final to the steel-matted Billiton strip in bad weather, one of the engines acted up and the propeller had to be feathered. After circling the area at what seemed just above treetop level, the pilots spotted the strip, and then the remaining engine called it quits! The PBY became a big glider, which took up valuable runway space and thus overran the airstrip. No power meant losing hydraulic pressure in the lines and no brakes. We didn’t have to disembark in the mud since a truck picked us up. There was a light drizzle and our miserable bunch was taken to the terminal, a simple bamboo structure with a palm frond roof.

In the early 1950s, all countries along the western Pacific Ocean rim were still in the process of recovering from the devastation caused by the Japanese war machine. I remember many items were exorbitantly expensive if you could find them. This included nylon stockings, parachute nylon, yardage of nylon, yardage of silk, cigarettes like Lucky Strike and Chesterfield, Johnnie Walker Red or Black Label Scotch whiskey, oranges and apples imported from Europe, etc.

A few crewmembers thought they could make a quick buck, but since nobody was a professional smuggler, things didn’t turn out well. The customs people were smarter than the would-be smugglers.

I remember on a return trip from Singapore somebody was going to make a lot of money by illicitly importing a shipment of 144 cartons of Chesterfield cigarettes. The customs officials in Billiton got word about the attempt and the crew was warned about it while in flight. The response was quick and the big package was pushed out of the plane through the ventral gun hatch below in the tail. Some fishermen may have found lots of cigarettes, manna from Heaven, in their fishing nets,

Billiton customs always came on board to check for suspected contraband from Singapore. On a flight before me, they hit the jackpot. The Catalina had a wooden floor and when the law man picked up a loose string, he unknowingly untied a knot. A bundle of nylon burst out from under the floor. There was no owner who claimed this expensive shipment.

The crew always pulled jokes on each other. When the captain’s billfold, including passport and customs/health papers, landed on the floor under his seat, the front office staff decided to pull a good one on him. After landing in Singapore the Garuda representative was motioned to come up to the door. It was explained to him that after he received the captain’s belongings, he should move to a spot on the ramp below the portside cockpit window and then later get the attention of the man in the left seat. Then he would innocently explain that a plane before him had delivered his credentials. Our pilot in command was sweating bullets while he was crawling all over the cockpit to find his papers but was mighty happy that he got them back. Not having papers at an international airport meant problems galore. He was a good sport, but the rest of the crew knew revenge would be sweet.

I also remember flights from Jakarta to Pontianak via Billiton and landing on the wide Kapuas River in Borneo (Kalimantan). Once we were coming in (on the way to Pontianak) below treetop level to chase crocodiles sunning on mud banks alongside the river back into the water. It was no surprise to pull up and fly over a cargo ship that appeared in front of us. I was part of a crew on many Catalina flights to Balikpapan (a town dominated by a big oil refinery and oil tanks) routed via Banjarmasin (a major trading center). I had to give up my seat on the short ±75 mile flight from Balikpapan to Samarinda due to heavy passenger demand. There was room for only 16 people, eight per compartment. There was one compartment in front of the landing gear and one behind it. I had to stoop through hatches from the galley area to the cockpit with drinks and food. Those were the days. All the PBY pilots were easygoing and came from the Dutch Navy after WWII, which made them different from cockpit personnel manning other types of planes. 

I accompanied President Sukarno on a charter trip through the Lesser Sunda Islands on board the Catalina “Enu.” On a second trip with the president, he addressed me by my first name. Wow, what an honor. The “Djoronga” was the second plane accompanying us on this trip. During one of the flights a crew member, I think it was our wireless operator, with a good Leica 35mm camera (extremely expensive in those days) took some unique shots of the other PBY flying in close formation below us, through the opened gun hatch below in the tail.  See attached photo.

The Garuda Indonesian Airways Catalinas were all phased out in the mid-1950s.

Memories, just memories.

An in-flight shot of Garuda Indonesian Airways (GIA) PBY-5A Catalina, PK-CPD circa 1952.
                                      Photo courtesy of the Arthur Smit-Roeters Collection.

Article last revised on December 18, 2018.

Mr. Smit-Roeters flew West on February 11, 2023. You can read his obituary by following this link.

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Airline Butter Pats

By Richard Luckin

What ranges from 1-7/8 inches to more than 4 inches, is round, and used by airlines worldwide? The answer is simple: butter pats. Depending upon the manufacturer, they have different names: Butter, Butter Chip, Butter Dish-Coaster, Butter Pad, Butter Pot, Butter Tray, and Individual Butter. No matter what the name, they’re ALL butter pats.

However, butter pats can and are used for more than serving butter. They are also used for serving nuts or sauces in first and business classes on international flights. For this reason, some have a side wall that measures from 3/8” to 3/4” deep.

While some butter pats have only a front design, others are marked (back-stamped) with the manufacturer and airline name. While other forms of transportation have used butter pats, the airline variety is usually much lighter in weight and commonly made of bone china or fine porcelain.

A collector may ask, why does an airline bother to order butter pats from china companies? A butter pat adds a special touch to the meal service. For some airlines, particularly carriers that use a combination butter or nut dish, this ware permits multiple uses that provide cost savings.

Basically, there are three companies that supply butter pats to most of the world’s airlines. They are Royal Doulton and Wedgwood of England, and Noritake of Japan.

While it is not an absolute division of the market, it seems Royal Doulton has carved out its territory in Europe, Canada, the Middle East, some of the African continent, and New Zealand. Wedgwood caters to some of the smaller airlines of the world while Noritake has a foothold along the Pacific Rim, in South America, and in the United States.

Royal Doulton often features pinstripes and logos although it certainly has the capability of producing some very unique designs. Noritake often incorporates colorful floral designs which appeal to some of the Asian airlines. All three companies produce high-quality, fine bone china. Another strong contender for the airline china market is Hutschenreuther of Germany.

While COVID has altered airline travel and in-flight service, china is still being used.

Rich Luckin displays most of his airline butter pats in this wall-mounted display case. They represent over 40 years of collecting.
Founded in 1929, Cubana is Cuba’s flagship airline as well as the country’s largest one. This china is used in Club Class.
Business Class passengers on Air Malta are served their meals on Royal Doulton china. The airline operates flights to destinations in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.
Royal Nepal Airlines was founded in 1958. The airline is now called Nepal Airlines and serves 36 destinations. This china was made by Noritake.
Known as the “Hibiscus” pattern, this china was used in First Class class service on Malaysia Airlines. Japanese china maker Noritake produced this floral design.
Iran Air was created in 1962 by the merger of other airlines. The pattern is called, “Simorgh” after the flying god of ancient Persian legends. Noritake also produced this pattern.
British Airways used this repetitive design for their Concorde service. Manufactured by Royal Doulton, this was the first china designed exclusively for the airline’s Concorde service.
Laker Airways operated two DC-10s for their transatlantic flights. The airline offered a “Regency Service” in 1966 where this butter pat was used.
Wedgwood of England supplied this bone china. Laker Airways ceased operations in 1982.
Malaysia Airlines is the flag carrier of Malaysia and it was formed in 1947. Manufactured by Noritake, this colorful pattern is known as “Golden Club” and was used in business class.
This is one of the oldest butter pats in my collection. Aeroflot was founded in 1923, making it one of the oldest active airlines in the world.
Ghana Airways was the flag carrier of Ghana. The airline ceased operations 2004. This butter pat was made in Thailand.
Pakistan International Airlines was founded in 1946. I believe this is a current pattern used in First Class service.
It’s always a bonus when a butter pat is marked with the airline’s name on the back. This one was made by Cera-e-Noor which claims to be the world’s oldest crockery manufacturer.
Shanghai Airlines was founded in 1985 and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of China Eastern Airlines.
China Airlines is the state-owned national carrier of the Republic of China. The airline operates over 1,400 flights weekly to 102 cities.
This pattern, known as “Golden Dragon Service,” was used by Continental Airlines in 1978 in First Class service between Los Angeles and Taipei, via Honolulu and Guam.
The airline used this unique pattern for 6-9 months. It was a stock pattern but the Contrails Logo in red was back stamped on each piece.
Backstamp for the Continental “Golden Dragon Service” butter pat.
Western Airlines used this butter pat with their brand mascot, Wally Bird. The airline merged with Delta Air Lines in 1987. The piece was made by Mayer China Company.
The Western Airlines butter pat has a full backstamp.
A gold-trimmed butter pat was produced for Peru’s President Alberto Fujimori. They were used until 1990 on his presidential Boeing 757 aircraft.
England’s Royal Air Force uses fine bone china for their VIP service. The planes are catered at Royal Air Force Brize Norton Base in Oxfordshire, located about 75 miles northwest of London.
This Royal Air Force butter pat was produced by Royal Doulton of England.
For this older Air France butter pat, the pattern name is known as “Hippocampe.” The logo was used until 1976. Haviland China of France produced this butter pat.
Ethiopian Airlines was founded on December 21, 1945. It is the country’s flagship carrier. This piece was made by Rosenthal of Germany.
Iberia is Spain’s national airline and was founded in 1927. Kaelis, who supplied this piece, is the world’s leading independent provider of onboard products and services.
Transaero was founded in 1990 in Moscow. It ceased operation in 2015. Imperial Porcelain produced this butter pat.

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El Al,Israel,Stickers

EL AL Israel Airlines – Labels (Stickers)

By Marvin G. Goldman

Since EL AL’s first scheduled flight in July 1949, it has issued numerous labels (sometimes called stickers) for promotional and identification purposes. Airline labels appeal to aviation enthusiasts as they form a historical record of the development of an airline’s logos and advertising themes.

I have more than 200 different EL AL labels in my collection, and even more exist. Each has an adhesive side, typically on the back, for placement on baggage, cargo, stationery and other items, while a few have adhesive on the front for affixing to windows. This article features a selection of some of my favorites.

EL AL’s earliest labels feature its first logo: a six-pointed star with added flying wings, designed by the noted Israeli artist, Franz Krausz. The six-pointed star has served as a Jewish symbol for several centuries, and some say it recalls the star symbol on the shield of the most famous Israelite monarch, King David. The star has adorned the tails of each EL AL aircraft since the founding of the airline shortly after the birth of the modern State of Israel in 1948. The logo with added flying wings remained EL AL’s principal logo from 1949 until the creation of the EL AL “block” logo in 1962.

Let’s start with EL AL’s first four non-cargo labels.

EL AL’s first label, designed by Israeli artist Franz Krausz, 1949. 9.7cm. diameter. This beautiful label is still surprisingly common today and can be obtained on eBay at a relatively low price.
Reproductions of this label (and of the next two shown) are also being sold, so if you want an original, check the description carefully.
EL AL’s second label, 1951, features its third aircraft type, a Lockheed Constellation (its first two types being the Douglas DC-4 Skymaster and Curtiss C-46 Commando). Designed by Franz Krausz. 10cm. diameter.
This label is still fairly common, but less common than the first one.
EL AL’s third label and its first vertical one, early 1950s. Designed by Franz Krausz. 9cm. width x 12cm height.
There are two printings of this label, with different type fonts
and wing details.
The one shown is by Artone Press and is uncommon. The other
printing is by Rand Litho and is fairly common.
EL AL’s fourth label not designed expressly for cargo. 12x8cm.

EL AL started all-cargo flights in 1950 and introduced several cargo label types to give
special handling instructions and to identify cargo destinations.

In the early 1950s EL AL issued its first set of special instruction cargo labels, each with the same typeface of “EL AL” on the bottom. This one was placed on containers holding animals. 13.8×8.5cm.
Other such labels stated “Danger. Do not load in passenger
planes”; “Must Ride. Do not offload on route”; ‘Fragile”; and “With Care”.
Each is very uncommon.
On the left is the style of EL AL’s first cargo destination label. Early 1950s. The
destination would be filled in by a printed stamp or handwriting. 10.2x14cm.
Very uncommon.
On the right is the style of EL AL’s cargo destination label that replaced the left
one later in the 1950s and into the 1960s. 10.2×14.5cm. These have the destination
I have 17 different destinations in this set – Amsterdam, Athens, Cologne,
“Diseldorf”, Geneve, Hamburg, Istanbul, Johannesburg, London, Munich, New York,
Nicosia, Paris, Rome, Teheran, Vienna and Zurich — and there probably are more.
In 1961 ELAL introduced Boeing 707s to its fleet and issued the left label in the shape of an EL AL 707 tail. 6.2×8.3cm.
In 1962 Otto Treuman of the Netherlands and George Him, EL AL’s design consultant, created a new block logo for EL AL that became its principal logo, and soon thereafter EL AL revised its 707 tail label to include the block
logo as seen on the right.
The left label is uncommon.
The right one was included in seat packets in-flight and is more common.
In 1963 EL AL’s design consultant George Him created a logo that placed the EL AL block between the words ‘”EL AL” in Hebrew (read right to left). This label shows that logo with an outline of a 707, EL AL’s main aircraft type at the time. An identical label exists with a mint green background. 11.5×7.3cm.
About 1965 George Him modified the original EL AL flying star logo, giving it a more modern look. His revision appears on this label, along with the EL AL block logo introduced in 1962. This label was issued in at least three background colors, blue, white and red, and a similar label issued after 1970 also shows an EL AL 747.
6.5×11.5cm. Very uncommon.
In 1969, for its 20th anniversary, EL AL issued its ‘flower plane’ designed by ADVICO of Zurich with artwork by Ruedi Külling. It appears on this label as well as on EL AL desktop and wall posters. 2.5x4cm.
EL AL label publicizing service to the United States. Probably issued in the 1970s.
Similar to a series of EL AL destination posters designed in the late 1960s by noted
Israeli artist Dan Reisinger, where one of the letters in “EL AL” is transformed into a
symbol of the destination. This label also was issued in poster form. 18×15.5cm.
Very uncommon.
Several EL AL memorabilia, including this label, feature the Israeli character “Srulik,” created by the Israeli illustrator Kariel Gardosh, known as “Dosh.”
Here Srulik. as an EL AL Captain, offers a flower welcoming visitors to Israel.
Probably issued in the 1970s. 4×4.5cm. Uncommon.
The Boeing 747 entered EL AL’s fleet in 1971, and the airline issued this label featuring a
747 bearing the EL AL “linear” logo designed by Israeli artist Dan Reisinger. 25x5cm.
The “linear” logo intertwines the English and Hebrew words for EL AL using the
typefaces of the separate English and Hebrew block logos. The overall label design
was created by Israeli artist Effi Ryvkind. This label also exists with Hebrew text and no
747 aircraft, and another variation was issued as a poster.
Very uncommon.
Two EL AL labels issued in the 1970s with a play on words based on phrases from the
Bible. 37.5×9.5cm. and 37.5x9cm.
Very uncommon.
EL AL airmail etiquette probably issued in the 1970s. This is the only EL AL airmail sticker that I know of. 5x2cm.
Fairly common.
Sheet of EL AL aircraft labels issued in 1979, with artwork by Israeli artist Danny Shalom.
These scenes were also produced in postcard and poster form. Each label is 4×2.2cm.
Fairly common.
Label publicizing EL AL’s inaugural flight to Cairo, March 1980. 8.3×10.3cm.
Fairly common.
Label honoring 30 years of EL AL service between Tel Aviv and Frankfurt, June 11, 1992. 5x5cm.
EL AL cargo label featuring one of its open-nose 747-200 freighters. The Hebrew text says “EL AL – Cargo” and “Efficient. Fast. Reliable.” Probably issued in the 1980s. Another version of this label exists with different Hebrew text. 32.8×23.2m.
Very uncommon.
Label issued in 1988/89 with EL AL’s 40th-anniversary logo. It features the four aircraft types in EL AL’s fleet at the time, the Boeing 757, 747, 767 and 737, each a -200 series.
The label also exists without the 40th-anniversary logo, and both variants were also issued in see-through form with adhesive on the front for affixing to windows. 22.5x9cm.
Each variation is common.
With the arrival of Boeing 747-400s in EL AL’s fleet in 1994, EL AL revised its aircraft fleet label to show its five aircraft types at the time, all Boeing: 757-200, 747-200, 767-200, 747-400 and 737-200. This label also shows that EL AL slightly modified its aircraft livery by changing the colors of the EL AL name from black and gold to light blue and
dark blue, and by having the cheatline on all its 747s come to a point near the nose to conform with that change already introduced on its other aircraft types. 19.7×12.4cm.
Fairly common.
At various times EL AL has served Eilat, the Israeli resort town at the southern tip of the country by the Red Sea, in either domestic or international flights.
This label promoting Eilat was probably issued in the early 2000s. 10cm. diameter.
This label publicizes EL AL’s Boeing 787 Dreamliners, introduced In 2017 and serving as its main long-haul aircraft type. The 787 has EL AL’s blue and silver ribbons livery, first introduced in 1999 during EL AL’s 50th anniversary. Note also that the EL AL linear logo on this label has different typography, a change made by EL AL in 2006 and in continuous use since then. This label also exists in a see-through form for application to windows. 13.7x8cm. Issued in 2017.
In 2018 EL AL started promoting its proposed new nonstop route from Tel Aviv to Tokyo, originally set to start at the beginning of 2020, and this label was part of that promotion. The new route was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The airline now plans to start flights to Tokyo in 2023. The Hebrew text in this label says: “New! Direct Flights to Tokyo”. 20×9.7cm.
This label announces the availability of Wi-Fi on all of EL AL’s 787 Dreamliner aircraft. The Hebrew text says: “So you will also be connected in the air.” Issued in 2018. 11.8cm. diameter.

Article text copyright 2023, Marvin G. Goldman. All images from the author’s collection.

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Pan American,PAWA,varig

The History of Safety Cards, Part 3: The Jets Arrive (Turn of the decade 1950s/1960s)

By Fons Schaefers

Early attempts

One of aviation history’s most narrated events of failure is the false start of air transport by jets. I am referring to the years 1952 to 1954 and the operation of the first iteration of the British-built De Havilland Comet. Safety card-wise, this was a non-event as no leaflets specific to the type were carried. BOAC, at the time, used a generic leaflet focusing on surviving a ditching without identifying aircraft types. The other users of the first Comets were Air France, UAT, and Canadian Pacific which, as far as I know, neither used safety leaflets that showed the aircraft type.

Neither meant the introduction of the Tupolev 104 in the Soviet Union in 1956 jet-specific safety cards. Aeroflot was then far away from using safety leaflets at all. CSA, the Czech flag carrier and the only non-Soviet user of the type, did have Tupolev 104-specific safety leaflets but I doubt that was from the start (see 18 July 2017 contribution by Brian Barron under the ‘safety cards’ tile on this website for the CSA Tupolev 104 card and other cards relevant to this part).

Proper start

In the western world, jet airliners properly began in 1958. In Britain, De Havilland, now better understanding the phenomenon of metal fatigue, launched the Comet 4, which was put in service by BOAC in October 1958. The French Sud-Est Caravelle took off with Air France and SAS in May 1959. In the USA, the Boeing 707 was introduced by Pan American in October 1958 and by American Airlines and TWA in early 1959, while United and Delta started with the Douglas DC-8 in September 1959. The third US airframe contender was Convair with its 880 model (followed later by the 990 derivative), which started commercial service with Delta in 1960.

The arrival of jet airliners was generally welcomed as a major improvement in air travel. Some even considered it a quantum leap. The new propulsion method meant much shorter traveling times. This was entirely due to their higher speed, as their range was not better: the number of hops on the longest route at the time (the Kangaroo route from London to Sydney) remained about the same: typically eight. The jets also brought a capacity step. Pre-jet aircraft had maximum seating capacities of up to about 100; the first jets jumped to around 180, although initially, airlines employed luxury rather than high-density seating arrangements so typically installed around 110 to 140 seats.

Jet engines vibrate less than piston engines and are most economic at altitudes higher than where the props fly, where ‘weather’ and associated turbulence can be avoided. This brings a smoother and more comfortable ride. Yet, as air at altitude is thinner, it requires back-up oxygen for all occupants in case of a decompression. Here, there was a difference in policy between the two sides of the Atlantic Ocean. In the US, automatic oxygen presentation capability to all passengers was required when flying above 30,000 ft. In Europe, that altitude was 35,000 ft. This meant that aircraft such as the Caravelle and most Comets did not need automatic oxygen as they stayed below 35,000 ft. Exemptions were the long-range Comet 4 which BOAC operated at higher altitudes and the Caravelle when operated under US rules, such as by United Airlines.

Jet’s effect on safety cards

Did the introduction of the jet mean a quantum leap in safety cards? The answer is both no and yes.

No: piecemeal changes

Most of the first airlines to fly jets were flag airlines. Many already had safety leaflets in use for their propliners covering their entire fleets (hence called fleet leaflets). The new jets were simply added to the existing leaflet designs with minimum changes. Good examples of this were BOAC, SAS, TCA and Pan American.

Comparing BOAC’s 1957 elaborative, ditching-oriented safety leaflet edition with that of 1958 shows only one change: the aircraft exit diagrams of three types (Stratocruiser, Argonaut, and Constellation) are replaced by that of the Comet 4 (the Britannia and DC-7C remained).

As BOAC flew their Comet 4 up to 40,000 ft it had oxygen provisions for all passengers, so a separate text only leaflet was made to explain those. Its use was no longer required when in 1960 the main leaflet was updated when the Boeing 707 was added to the fleet, and thus to the leaflet. A text plus an illustration on the oxygen equipment was added and, in true piecemeal change style, an illustration of how to open a window exit was added.

At SAS, we see something similar: in the 1959 edition of the leaflet, the Caravelle is added to the diagram page without any further changes to the leaflet. Even the front page still sports the DC-6B!

SAS, 1959
SAS, 1959: front page and exit diagrams panel. Note that entrance doors on the Caravelle (in the tail) and Metropolitan (left forward) are not rated as emergency exit.

But in the 1962 edition, which has both the DC-8 and Convair990 Coronado added, window exit pictures appear and, for these two types only, so not for the Caravelle as it had none, a page explaining the automatic oxygen system. (See Brian Barron’s contribution for the interim edition, which has the DC-8 added but not yet the 990). In 1962, SAS adds a caution against the use of portable radios on board, as they may affect navigation equipment.

TCA’s 1960 edition of its safety booklet (coded TCA-853) only adds a diagram of the DC-8 but without any exit operation or oxygen guidance. The latter, however, came in the form of a separate card (coded TCA 853-1), with both Trans-Canada Air Lines and Air Canada titles.

The early Pan American World Airways (PAWA) Boeing 707 folder sees automatic oxygen added to the traditional life jacket and life raft instructions (not shown) bu is otherwise very similar to the previous folder for the DC-7C. The latter’s handheld chute is replaced by an inflated slide and the window exit now depicts that of the Boeing.

In 1961, PAWA added a note about the dangers of using portable radios and other electronic devices as they may cause interference. Although labeled as important, this note was not translated into any of the other seven languages the folder had. So, perhaps it was added last minute.

PAWA, 1961

Yes: new concepts

Maybe calling them a quantum leap in safety card development goes too far, but several US airlines did use the new jets as an incentive for launching new concepts and ideas.

American Airlines (AA) was probably the first in safety information history to use a double-sided but unfolded heavy paper card. It is coded ‘T-352’ and is believed to be made for the introduction of the type in January 1959. Another AA innovation is to use graphics as the primary means of information, with text in a supportive role. That broke the industry standard of having text prevail with the occasional supporting graphic or photo. AA kept the information on the card to a minimum: an aircraft layout with all seats and exit locations/window exit operation/illustration of a deployed slide/an explanation of the passenger service unit and the automatic oxygen system. There were neither emergency preparation instructions nor brace positions. Also, there was nothing about life vests or rafts, but that matched the route pattern of AA which was then domestic-USA only. Only one language was needed: English.

Curiously, all exits are marked with arrows that point inwards. Only later became it custom to have arrows pointing outwards, in the direction of escape!

American Airlines, 1959

TWA, which introduced their first jet only two months after AA, also came with a double-sided, unfolded card for their 707. This was laminated, which would be a first. The presentation was similar to that of AA, minus the window exit, but with the supporting text appearing in four languages. The window exit and PSU/oxygen illustrations closely resemble those of AA, so was likely provided by Boeing.

United, already known for its very detailed safety information (see previous part), continued that policy for their new DC-8s and Boeing 720s. In its eight-page 1959 DC-8 folder, it uses a mix of illustrations and text, e.g. to explain how to use the seat-mounted oxygen masks.

United Airlines DC-8 overwater booklet, 1961

In 1953, United became the first airline to show how to open and use exits and continued as the first to do so for the jets. No other airline at the time showed how to open door exits (as opposed to window exits) and, in detail, how to attach and inflate the escape slides. In early DC-8s (and 707/720s) these were ceiling mounted and required quite a few actions before being operational. The illustrations shown are from the 1961 overwater DC-8 booklet edition, but the 1959 folder fielded the same.

United Airlines DC-8 overwater booklet, 1961

Qantas and Cathay

I’d like to share the details of two more leaflets. They are from two airlines deep in the eastern hemisphere: Qantas from Australia and Cathay Pacific from Hong Kong. Both do not fit the patterns described above as their leaflets are neither next iterations of a series, nor truly novel. Yet they are of interest as they have some features not seen elsewhere. They are from a Qantas 707 leaflet c. 1963 and from a Cathay Pacific fleet leaflet that dates from around 1966.

Both show emergency equipment locations, a practice not applied widely in those days. Cathay included the cockpit windows of their Convairs as emergency exits for passengers. This wasn’t something widely-practiced then, although some other Convair 880 operators did it as well, perhaps on instigation by Convair.

Qantas ordered the smallest 707 variant (which was even smaller than the 720), but I doubt whether their fuselage tapering was indeed as shown. Boeing was very keen on keeping constant diameter cabins, so perhaps Qantas’ artist was still a bit distracted by the curvatures of the 707’s predecessor, the Lockheed Super Constellation.

Qantas explained the use of the escape slides on their new jets by comparing them to, what looks to me, as a playground slide. Qantas explains that they “operate on the same principle as a slippery dip, or in the French translation: toboggan de plage, which, in turn, translates as beach slide.”

Cathay fleet leaflet 880/Electra, c. 1966
Qantas 707, c. 1963


The turn of the decade 1950s/1960s was not only marked by the introduction of the jets but also by increasing awareness that many accidents were survivable and passengers needed education on matters other than ditching. As a result, there were quite a few changes in what safety information was given to passengers and how it was presented. Let me summarize the main trends.

Less water, more land

As mentioned, in the 1950s it was realized that the ditching scenario was not unique in being survivable. Crash landings on land became more frequent and often turned out to be survived as well. The safety leaflets, booklets, and cards started to reflect this and the long lists of preparation for a ditching were replaced by information on opening window exits and using escape slides. Some major airlines that did not fly overwater and had never provided safety cards now started to do so. Life jacket and life raft information remained, but for overwater operations only.

Less reliance on crew, more self-help

Before, leaflets stated the crew would open exits and passengers had to obey their orders. An evacuation would be led by them and no further guidance was provided. This example is by Air India.

Air India 707 folder, c. 1960

In the new decade, passengers were called upon to take responsibility and help open exits. Opening instructions were given, especially for those exits near where they were seated. This was already recognized by TWA and United in the early 1940s (see previous part), but since then had faded away, perhaps overshadowed by the focus on ditching.

The new cards gave detailed floor plans (sometimes even showing all seats), evacuation routes, exit locations, and emergency exit operation. The jets brought automatic oxygen systems for which passenger education was considered essential. The cards were ideal for that, but as we have seen, not all airlines were ready for this so had to improvise by making impromptu cards.

Less text, more graphics

In the ditching years, text prevailed in the leaflets, often repeating the same message in many languages. PAWA and BOAC had up to eight different languages on their folders. This led to large folders with endless text in small print that even fond readers may have found hard to digest. The introduction of the jets coincided with illustrations replacing words. Text became of secondary purpose. This trend developed gradually into today’s graphics-only cards.

Fewer folders, more cards

More graphics and less text meant the large folders could be compressed on smaller but heavier paper. The term safety card started to become a reality.

Less fleets, more type-specific

A trend that was slightly less pronounced was that of single aircraft type leaflets/cards replacing entire fleet leaflets/cards. Many airlines still found it convenient to have a leaflet that would suit all the aircraft in their fleet. I estimate at the turn of the decade, about half of the airlines used fleet leaflets, sometimes showing up to five or six different aircraft types, such as BOAC and SAS as shown above. But how would passengers know which aircraft type they were on? Perhaps it was mentioned in their ticket folder or at the start of the flight, but would they remember that when consulting the card or worse, when they needed to heed its lessons?

Other airlines issued separate leaflets or cards per aircraft type, such as American Airlines and TWA. Interestingly, a hybrid form came into use, made possible by the fact that the trio of early US jets had the same exit pattern. American Airlines used one and the same card for the 707, 720, and 990, collectively called the Astrojet. The exit pair that did not exist on the 720 and 990 was dashed.

American Airlines, c. 1962

There was one airline that flew all three first-generation US jets: Varig from Brazil. This was not by careful fleet development choice, but rather by inheritance. Varig itself, in 1960, had bought the Boeing 707. When it took over REAL in 1961 it inherited its order for three Convair 990s. And when in 1965, Panair was amalgamated into Varig, its two DC-8s were added to Varig’s fleet. Varig used a single safety card for the three types. Only the asterisks on the aft pair of window exits, explained as ‘Boeing and DC-8 only,’ betray this was indeed the case. (see Brian Barron’s contribution for entire card).

VARIG, c. 1965

Survivability issues

As the decade unfolded, jets became involved in accidents, some of which raised survivability issues. These triggered a host of cabin safety improvements later in the decade, including that safety cards were mandated by law. More about that in the next part.

August 2022

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AeroMech,AirLA,Allegheny Commuter,Atlantic Southeast,Bandierante,EMB-110,Embraer,PBA


By Robert G. Waldvogel

The Embraer EMB-110 is the story of a turboprop regional airliner, the aircraft manufacturer that was established to build it, and the foundation of the Brazilian aviation industry. Two people were instrumental during these developments: Ozires Silva and Max Holste. Previously, Embraer built various models of Piper aircraft under license and continued well into the 1970s.

The former, who served in the Brazilian Air Force, earned an engineering degree from the Aeronautical Institute of Technology in Brazil, and a master’s degree from the California Institute of Technology in the US. He was promoted to the CTA’s Institute of Research and Development at the Aeronautical Technical Center in 1964 and became the catalyst for the country’s first commercial aircraft.

The former, who served in the Brazilian Air Force, earned an engineering degree from the Aeronautical Institute of Technology in Brazil, and a master’s degree from the California Institute of Technology in the US. He was promoted to the CTA’s Institute of Research and Development at the Aeronautical Technical Center in 1964 and became the catalyst for the country’s first commercial aircraft.

“The CTA’s market research showed that a vacancy existed in a market segment in what would later become known as “feeder lines,” according to Jeffrey L. Rodengen in The History of Embraer (Wright Stuff Enterprises, Inc., 2009, p. 36).  “The research also revealed that airlines served just 45 Brazilian communities by the 1960s compared with 360 a decade ago.”

What was needed was a simple, rugged, reliable, low-capacity airplane that could operate from small-community, unprepared airfields that generated low-traffic demand, yet be profitable on short sectors characterized by comparatively high ratios of climb and descent to inflight cruise profiles.

The result was the IPD-6504, a low, straight-wing, twin-turboprop, conventional tail, retractable undercarriage design capable of carrying a dozen passengers.

Although its assembly began in 1966, conditions were hardly ideal: funding was rechanneled from other projects to breathe financial life into the transport, and only a single computer existed at the CTA’s campus three miles away. In order to avoid interference with student use, it was usually used throughout the night. The IPD-6504 designation also sounded too industrial.

To provide it with a better-sounding name, CTA Director Colonel Paulo Victor da Silva re-designated it “Bandeirante”—or “Pioneer”—to reflect the country’s 17th-century settlers who colonized the western portion of Brazil.  As what would later prove to be the first of Brazil’s turboprop and pure-jet airliner designs, it served in a pioneering role of its own.

Taking to the sky for the first time two years later on October 22, 1968, it rose into the air after a short acceleration run, at which time the numerous witnesses of the historic event raised their arms in unison “to commemorate a moment that was ours alone,” Ozires Silva later commented.

Two other prototypes respectively first flew on October 19, 1969, and June 26, 1970.  All three were Pratt and Whitney PT6A-20-powered and featured circular passenger windows and partially exposed main undercarriage wheels in the retracted position. They were alternatively designated  YC-95s for military use.

Integral to it was the aircraft manufacturer that was established to produce it, Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica, or Embraer, which was approved by Brazilian Congress decree 770 on August 19, 1969, creating the country’s first state-owned concern, located in São José dos Campos.

“Since the beginning, the successful Bandeirante prototype served to inspire Brazil’s aviation ambitions,” according to Rodengen (ibid, p. 39).

While Max Holste left the project two months before Embraer’s approval was granted, the aircraft’s development continued to be led by his deputy.

Aside from Brazilian Air force C-95 orders, the Chilean Navy also operated three aircraft.

Reflecting its new manufacturer, the re-designated EMB-110, in production form, introduced several improvements, including 680-shp PT6A-27 turboprops that drove constant-speed, reversible-pitch propellers, a slightly longer fuselage with square passenger windows, a more aerodynamic windscreen, redesigned wings with integral fuel tanks, fries-type ailerons, double-slotted trailing edge flaps and modified engine nacelles in which the retracted main wheels were now fully enclosed.

Its single-wheel tires were developed by Goodyear’s Brazilian division and its cockpit was equipped with a Rockwell Collins Automatic Direction Finder (ADF) and a Very High Frequency Omni-Directional Range (VOR).  It first flew on August 9, 1973.

Powered by PT6A-27 turboprops, the commercial EMB-110C featured a 46-foot, 8.25-inch overall length; a 15-passenger capacity, an aft left downward-hinged air-stair, a 50.3-foot wingspan with a corresponding 312-square-foot area and a 12,345-pound gross weight. Range depended upon ratios of payload to fuel, increasing from 153 miles with the former to 1,379 miles with the latter. Speed was 262 mph at 15,000 feet.

Transbrasil, the launch customer, ordered six aircraft and VASP followed suit with an order for five in 1973.

Rio Sul, another Brazilian commuter carrier, proved instrumental in demonstrating the aircraft’s design merits to potential customers. Whenever airline representatives visited Embraer’s São José dos Campos facility, they would be flown to the airline’s headquarters so that they could observe its reliable operation firsthand.

The Uruguayan Air Force became the EMB-110C’s first export customer when it purchased five in 1975. (See illustration below).

Rectifying its principal deficiency, the EMB-110P1 introduced an 18-passenger interior, configured with six three-breast, one-two-arranged seats with an offset aisle, and 750-shp PT6A-34 engines optimizing it for commuter or third-level airline operations. Belem, Brazil-based TABA (Transportes Aereas de Bacia Amazonica) became its launch customer.

Several variants of the baseline version were produced. The EMB-110A, of which two were operated by the Brazilian Air Force, incorporated navaid calibration instrumentation. The EMB-110B was an aerial photography platform. The EMB-110E was an executive version, seating seven in a luxurious interior. The EMB-110F was a pure freighter and the EMB-110K facilitated bulky and outsize shipment loading through a large cargo door. The EMB-110S was a geophysical survey variant.

The EMB-110P2 was basically the same as the P1 with the exception that the large aft cargo door was replaced with a second airstair entrance door. Featuring the 49-foot, 6.5-inch length of the EMB-110P1, accommodation for 18-19 passengers in seven three-abreast rows, and 750-shp PT6A-34 engines, Both P1 and P2 versions were offered with a 12,500-pound gross weight or 5900KG  (13,007 pound) gross weight. and first flew on May 3, 1977.

Sales often depended upon country of operation certification.

“Many of Embraer’s foreign markets already had domestic aviation manufacturers, often established decades earlier,” according to Rodengen (ibid, p. 70). “While the Embraer brand was becoming better known throughout the world, manufacturers based in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and the United States already dominated their individual domestic markets.”

Because the Brazilian regional type had initially been influenced by French national Max Holste, it found its way “home,” to a degree, when it was awarded the French Direction Generale de l’AviationCivile (DGAC) certification, paving the way for its first European operation when local commuter carrier Air Littoral ordered two stretched EMB-110P2s on May 5, 1977.  Air Ecosse followed suit.

Other European certifications led to orders by Air Wales, BritAir, and Kar-Air, and Air Masling operated the type down-under when the Australian Department of Transportation granted its own type approval.

Gateway to the US market and FAA certification was Robert “Bob” Terry, who founded Mountain West Airlines, ordered three EMB-110P1s, and established the type’s sales agent, Aero Industries. Wyoming Airlines also ordered the Brazilian regional aircraft.

On the east coast, Connecticut-based NewAir, which was originally known as New Haven Airways, linked the state with the major New York airports, billing itself as “Connecticut’s Airline Connection,” as well as serving Islip’s Long Island MacArthur Airport, Philadelphia, and Washington-National. Some 20-weekday roundtrips, requiring 30 minutes for the aerial hop over Long Island Sound with its 18-passenger EMB-110s, connected New Haven and New London/Groton with the Metropolitan New York area.

Dolphin Airways, later Dolphin Airlines, was a significant operator based in Tampa, FL. It served cities in Florida plus Savanna, GA, Charleston, SC, and New Orleans, LA from 1982-1984 as a businessman’s airline.  In addition to a fleet of new EMB-110P1s delivered from the factory, short-term leases included a P2 (N614KC) and an older P1 (N101RA). 

PBA Provincetown Boston Airlines operated EMB-110P1s throughout Florida as a direct competitor to Dolphin Airlines and absorbed much of the Dolphin fleet after the latter ceased operations in January 1984. Seasonally, PBA fed PEOPLExpress and later Continental Airlines flights at Newark International Airport with its Bandeirantes, linking Farmingdale’s Republic Airport with five daily roundtrips.

Atlantic Southeast Airlines and Aeromech were other significant east coast operators as well as American Central Airlines and Tennessee Airways covered the Midwest United States.

On the west coast, Imperial Airlines provided its own EMB-110 shuttle between Los Angeles and San Diego. United Express and Dash Air were other significant operators in the Western States.

United States airlines ultimately operated 130 Bandeirantes—or more than a quarter—of the 501 aircraft of all versions produced between 1968 and 1990.

The EMB-110 competed in the regional airliner market with the Swearingen Metroliner and Beechcraft 1900 series but, suffered from a shorter range, slower speed, lack of pressurization, and a higher fuel consumption. Its acquisition price was lower because of the lower cost of manufacturing products in Brazil. All of the competing 18-passenger commuter types could comfortably accommodate those passengers while the double seats in the Bandeirante were quite cramped for adults. Most operators later reduced the seating to a total of 15 individual seats. Its commuter versions, particularly, demonstrated low-maintenance requirements, reliable service, passenger and cargo configuration flexibility, and enabled its operators to serve low-demand routes from unprepared fields previously never having received scheduled service and it often became the first type in a fledgling carrier’s fleet, enabling it to expand.

Many EMB-110 Bandeirante operators replaced their fleets with EMB-120 Brasilias and later went on to operate EMB-135/145 regional jet airliners.

“The existence of the Bandeirante led to the creation of smaller regional air travel services in Brazil and around the world, a global market that Embraer has come to dominate, thanks in part to the specialized, flexible, resilient Bandeirante,” Rodengen concludes (ibid, p. 43).

Brazilian Air Force Embraer YC-95 Bandeirante, FAB2131
Preserved in São José dos Campos, Brazil
Photo Courtesy: Raphael Albrecht
Uruguayan Air Force Embraer C-95 (110C)
Florianópolis Hercílio Luz International Airport (FLN) on July 7, 2016
Photo courtesy of Bruno Orifino
Note: the short fuselage and rear passenger entry door on this early Bandeirante model.
Allegheny Commuter, operated by Aeromech Commuter Airlines
Embraer EMB-110 P2, N614KC
Washington National Airport (DCA)
The P2 version had dual airstair doors instead of the large rear cargo door.
Photo Courtesy of Jay Selman via
Aeromech Commuter Airlines EMB-110 P2, N614KC
Pictured at Cincinnati (CVG) in May 1982
Photo Courtesy: Charlie Pyles/Air Pix
Note: The rear airstair is lowered.
Tennessee Airways EMB-110 P1, N103TN
Pictured at Cincinnati (CVG) May 1983
Photo Courtesy: Charlie Pyles/Air Pix
Provincetown Boston Airlines PBA
Embraer EMB-110 P1, N199PB seen at rest between flights
Photo Courtesy of Ellis Chernoff
Note: the modified horizontal stabilizer came about as a result of a mysterious in-flight loss of a PBA Bandeirante with the standard tail plane becoming detached from the aircraft in flight.
Atlantic Southeast EMB-110 P1s, N220EB and N404AS
As seen at Dallas/Ft. Worth (DFW) in 1987.
Photographer Unknown
Gary C. Orlando Slide Collection
Note: the standard Large Cargo Door found on the more widely produced P1 model.
Air LA Embraer EMB-110 P1, N101TN
Seen taxiing out from the Imperial Terminal at Los Angeles (LAX) in February 1993
Gary C. Orlando Photo.
Originally delivered to Tennessee Airways, it passed to Iowa Airways where it flew as a Midway Connection carrier as evidenced by the livery.

EMB-110 Article Sources

Green, William, and Swanborough, Gordon. An Illustrated Guide to the World’s Airliners. New York: Arco Publishing, Inc., 1982.

Hardy, Michael. World Civil Aircraft Since 1945. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1979.

Rodengen, Jeffrey L. The History of Embraer. Ft. Lauderdale, Florida: Write Stuff Enterprises, Inc., 2009.

Waldvogel, Robert G. “The Airline History of Long Island’s Republic Airport.” Metropolitan Airport News. October 2021.

Waldvogel, Robert G. “The Commuter Airlines of Long Island MacArthur Airport.” EzineArticles. August 5, 2019.

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Delft,Houses,KLM Royal Dutch Airlines

Miniature Delft-Style Collectibles of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines

By Pat and Keith Armes

Three Delft blue-style KLM houses
(Fig. 1) L-R: Houses 100-102)

Have you noticed the many Delft-style miniature ceramic Dutch canal houses produced for KLM Royal Dutch Airlines? They have become quite an airline collectible since their introduction in 1952. There are now 102 different houses that have been produced and distributed to KLM passengers.  In addition, KLM has added limited and special edition Dutch buildings, tile “coasters,’ and ashtrays to this unique area of airline collectibles.


Beginning in 1952, passengers traveling in “KLM Royal Class” (as first class was known at the time) on intercontinental flights were given one of these miniature KLM Delft Blue houses as a “gift” at the end of their flight. In order to be compliant with international rules and restrictions for gifts to passengers, KLM was quick to ensure the “gift” was a “last drink on the house” and cleverly served in a miniature Delft replica canal house. They were individually packaged in a blue box labeled KLM Royal Class, with the house number on top, and included a leaflet picturing previously-issued miniatures. (Fig. 2). The houses varied in size from about 3 to 4 inches tall to 1 ½ to 2 inches wide.  Depth varied slightly, most being around 2 inches.  Over the years the houses were filled with alcohol (Dutch genever/gin) produced in the Dutch distilleries of Rynbende, Henkes, and, since the 1980s, Bols. Today a miniature KLM Delft Blue house is given to all passengers with a business class ticket.

(Fig. 2)

Production and distribution of the miniature houses was sporadic between 1952 and 1994, with many houses produced at one time, and then none for several years. Through 1993, KLM had produced 60 miniature houses. The year 1994 was significant, as it was the 75th anniversary of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines. In honor of this milestone, an extra 15 houses (numbers 61-75) were produced to match the age of the airline. Annually since 1994, a new house is introduced on October 7th, KLM’s anniversary. The first production model is presented to the owner of the house the miniature is modeled after. The most recent house produced was #102, which began distribution on October 7, 2021.  It is modeled after the Tuschinski Theatre building in Amsterdam.

The houses were originally produced by Royal Goedewaagen in Gouda, the Netherlands. Even though not manufactured in Delft, they are made in the traditional Delft manner (tin-glazed porcelain, with blue printing and highlights).  KLM ended its contract with Royal Goedewaagen in 1995. Houses #75 and higher, as well as any additional production runs of the earlier numbered houses (reproductions), have been made in Taiwan. The houses are still in production today, so you may find some that have a low number, but are actually from a more recent production year. Beware if your plan is to complete your collection with “original” houses. In order to verify its authenticity, you should carefully examine any house you are considering for purchase. The reproduction houses were made from different molds and will normally have a slightly different “look,” with sharper features and different markings (Fig. 3).

(Fig. 3 additional description) The original house #1 (left) is marked on the base with an impressed “1”, stamped with “Rynbende Distilleries Holland,” and on the back there is a “KLM” stamp and a “Simon Rynbende & Sons” blue & white label. The second house is a reproduction of house #1 (center) which is marked on the base with an impressed “2015” and a “1″ stamped with “Blue Delft’s exclusively made for KLM by BOLS AMSTERDAM 1575” and the back has a “1” “BOLS AMSTERDAM 1575” and “KLM” stamped on it. The third house #1 (Right) is also a reproduction with a “1” impressed on the base along with a “Blue Delft’s exclusively made for KLM by BOLS Royal Distilleries Holland” stamp and “1”, “BOLS” and “KLM” stamped on the back.


KLM has a team of real estate professionals and historians that make the recommendation for the next KLM Delft Blue house to be produced each year. The current manufacturing contract is with Bols (Royal Distilleries Holland). According to their requirements, the house must have “Dutch” character and be interesting architecturally and/or historically. It should also be linked to a special historical or cultural event, if possible. Many of the model houses selected are currently privately owned. They are also many that are designated as “local” or “national” monuments.

Most of the houses KLM has used as models have been identified by address and city. The exceptions include numbers 1, 3, 4, 5 & 7.  Identification and location of these houses continues to baffle city and architectural historians. It is speculated they may be the result of an artist adding features from many different houses to create a Dutch “fantasy” house.


In addition to the canal houses, there are several well-known “Limited and Special Edition” buildings commissioned by KLM and produced by Bols in the same Delft style.  They were never given away on KLM flights, are not numbered, are larger than the miniature canal houses, and usually more valuable.  Shown below (Fig. 4-7) are the Frans Hals Museum (Groot Heiligland 62, Haarlem), the “Scheepvaart Museum” (National Maritime Museum), “The Royal Palace” (Palace on Dam Square), and “Kaaswaag Gouda” (Cheese Weigh House, Gouda).  They also produced the Hotel Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam (House Marot – Herengracht 548), Hermitage Museum (Amstel 5 Amsterdam), Royal Theater Carré (Amstel 115-125, Amsterdam), Royal Palace Het Loo (Koninklijk Park 1, Apeldorn), The Royal Concertgebouw (Concerthall – Concertgebouwplein 10, Amsterdam) and Huisterkleef (oldest inner tennis courts– Kleverlaan 9, Haarlem) as well as others.

(Fig. 4) The Frans Hals Museum, Groot Heiligland 62, Harleem

(Fig. 5) The Scheepvaart Museum (National Maritime Museum – Kattenburgerplein 1)
(Fig. 6) The Palace on Dam Square – The Royal Palace – Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 147
(Fig. 7) The Kaaswaag Gouda (The Cheese Weigh House – Markt 35, Gouda)

A larger version of the Palace on Dam Square (approximately 19.7” X 10.6” X 4.3”) is presented to the winner of the KLM Open Golf Tournament annually. Newlyweds flying KLM World Business Class on their honeymoon have, in the past, been gifted with a limited edition “The Palace on Dam Square” or the “Cheese Weigh house” in Gouda.

If you run across KLM houses #25, #26 or #27 that have purple-colored trim and lettering, you might want to add these elusive houses to your collection (Fig. 8).  They are a special set that was produced to commemorate KLM resuming flights to Bonaire, the Netherlands on April 23, 2000. They use the same design as the KLM houses, including the original numbers, and are appropriately called “Bonaire Houses.”

(Fig. 8) Bonaire purple lettered and highlighted houses

In 1999, the 100th anniversary of KLM, a 100th house was produced representing the Huis ten Bosch Palace (Fig. 1). A second version was also produced and given as a special gift to guests, business partners, and the employees of KLM.  This version was unique in that it did not have alcohol in it, and consequently did not need a chimney.  It also has a special dedication stamp on the back of the house (Fig. 9).

(Fig. 9)


During the 1980s KLM also produced Dutch ceramic tile “coasters” with blue felt affixed to the back. These were given to business class passengers, while the Royal Class passengers received the miniature KLM canal houses. These tile coasters featured classic Dutch house gables (produced in 1981), row houses that could be placed together to form a street (produced in 1984), and Dutch windmills, crafts, children’s games and ships (produced in 1986).   When Royal Class was discontinued in 1994, KLM discontinued producing these tiles. World Business Class passengers were then given the KLM miniature houses.

At one time KLM also produced ashtrays, in the form of miniature houses, for distribution in markets that did not allow alcohol to be served, such as the Middle East (Fig. 14).

(Fig. 14)
(Fig. 15)

Once smoking was banned on airlines, KLM began offering the same miniature houses with special notations on them: “empty due to customs regulations” (Fig. 15).  This is still the practice today for those destinations.


The KLM miniature canal houses produced through 2021 are House #1 through House #102. Photos of our collection are at the end of this article. While collecting, we noticed that the labels and markings on the KLM houses changed many times over the years. Our research indicates that Rynbende started the distillery in 1793, then in 1953 it was sold to Henkes and was then taken over by Bols in the 1980s. The earlier (original) houses have the Rynebende stamp, the house number impressed, and usually a “Simon Rynebende & Sons” paper label attached. The numbers are sometimes difficult to read and the labels may have been lost over time. In another version, the house number is printed on the base between the “Rynebende” and “Distilleries Holland” while others have “Blue Delft’s Made for HENKES Distilleries Holland” printed on the base (Fig. 16). At some point in the early years, the production year was added and impressed on the base of each house along with house number. This marking method was also used in later years on the reproductions (Fig. 17).

We have a House #1, in our collection, labeled as “made for KLM by BOLS” and a House #1 that has a “made for KLM by BOLS AMSTERDAM 1575” with the year 2015 on it (Fig. 3). Originally House #1 was distributed to passengers in 1952, but BOLS did not take over the distillery until the 1980s, so they are more than likely reproductions. In the center house on Fig. 17 you will notice that there is a marking “HKDNP” which is the abbreviation of “Hong Kong Duty Not Paid” so at some point it must have been in transit (from Taiwan) through Hong Kong.


Most of the houses have an interesting history that directly relates to when they were built and events that were taking place at the time. Most of the canal houses have had multiple owners over the years with some being built as early as the 1600s. Over the hundreds of years they have existed, and with many owners, the canal houses’ appearance has often changed from the original construction. These include cornice modifications and architectural embellishments.  Many of the houses have been saved from destruction and restored back to their original look thanks to preservation foundations. One of those is the Vereniging Hendrick de Keyser (named after the famous Dutch architect of the same name) which purchases, preserves and restores houses with architectural and historical value in the Netherlands.

Below are some of the more well-known buildings used as KLM Miniatures

  • House #47 at Prinsengracht 263, Amsterdam, known as the Anne Frank House. It was built in 1635. This is the canal house in Amsterdam where Anne Frank and her family hid to avoid persecution by the Nazis during World War II. They lived in hiding there from July 6, 1942, until August 4, 1944. Anne recorded her story in a series of diaries which her father had published in 1947 after his return from the concentration camps. The house is currently operated as a museum and is owned by the Anne Frank Foundation. It attracts more than a million visitors each year.
  • House #48 at Josenbreesstraat 4, Amsterdam, known as the Rembrandt House. The house was built in 1606 on three vacant lots. Rembrandt van Rijn owned it from 1639 until 1656 when he went bankrupt. The house was purchased by the Amsterdam City Council in 1906 and currently operates as the Rembrandthuis Museum.
  • House #75 at Hofweg 9-11, The Hague, known as the KLM House. The building was built in 1915 as a luxury department store. It was designed by the famous modern Dutch architect, H.P. Berlage. The corner building at 9 Hofweg was occupied by an automobile sales company on the 1st floor. KLM occupied the upper floors as a ticketing office beginning May 1925. KLM continues to operate, in the Berlage building, offering many services including a KLM Travel Clinic. The sandstone relief structure on the front of the building is of Saint Martin handing half of his cloak to a beggar.
  • House #76 at Vlamingstraat 40-42, Delft, known as “The Little Street.” Johannes Vermeer is an important Dutch painter who lived from 1632-1675. His famous paintings include “View of the Houses in Delft,” which is better known as “The Little Street,” and “Girl with a Pearl Earring.” His attention to detail required long periods of time to complete paintings so there are only 36 known paintings by this artist. After an exhaustive search, it was determined the house depicted in the painting by Vermeer was of the Little House which is also the model for KLM House #76.
  • House #26 at Nieuwe Uitleg 16, The Hague, known as a secret hideaway for secret agent Mata Hari. Mata Hari was a Dutch exotic dancer born in 1876 who later became a spy for Germany, England, and later France. She lived in the house at Uitleg 16 in 1914 until she was executed in France for espionage on October 15, 1917.
  • House #95 at Stadhouderskade 78, Amsterdam, known as the Heineken Brew House. The original red brick building on Stadhouderskade was built in 1865 with a boiler building next door to house the steam engine. The new brewhouse was erected in 1913 with distinct lancet-shaped windows and colorful stained-glass panes. A second brewery was built on the property in 1958 and a laboratory was added in 1968 but the complex became too small due to the demand and production moved out of Amsterdam in 1987. The house has reopened as a visitors’ center for the “Heineken Experience.”
  • House #102 at Reguliersbreestraat 26-34, Amsterdam is the Tuschinski Theatre, which is one of the oldest original theatres in the world. It is a 1920s movie palace located in Rembrandtplein (Rembrandt Square) in City Center. This cinema was opened by Polish immigrant Icek Tuschinski on October 28, 1921, and has been restored to its original grandeur. It is on the list of Rijkmonuments (National Monuments) of the Netherlands.


Below are images of our personal collection of KLM Houses (Fig. 18-27).

(Fig. 18) L-R: Houses 1-12
(Fig. 19) L-R: Houses 13-24
(Fig. 20) L-R: Houses 25-36
(Fig. 21) :-R: Houses 37-48
(Fig. 22) L-R: Houses 49-60
(Fig. 23) L-R: Houses 61-72
(Fig. 24) L-R: Houses 73-84
(Fig. 25) L-R: Houses 85-94
(Fig. 26) L-R: Houses 95-99
(Fig. 27) L-R: Houses 100-102


There are several ways to obtain these KLM Delft Miniatures. The first, and most expensive, would be to purchase a business class ticket on a KLM international flight and receive one on board that day. Airline memorabilia shows are another good source, where vendors usually have a selection of these KLM miniatures for sale. Information on these shows can be found on this site with the next annual Airliners International show scheduled in Dallas, TX, in June 2023. Internet Auction Sites, such as Ebay and Etsy, have sellers that offer these miniatures at varying prices (be careful of bidding wars that may overinflate the value). There are also two websites that offer the entire collection so you can fill in missing houses and obtain new releases for your collection. These websites are and The shipping is expensive to the U.S. but the cost is the same for a single house or multiple houses, so buying in quantity can greatly reduce the shipping cost per house.


The book, House No. 90, written by Bonnie Parren and Limoen Producties in 2009 for KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, is a very interesting introductory reading related to the KLM miniature houses. As indicated by its title, the history only goes through house #90 and the descriptions of the actual model houses are very brief. This book comes in a nice box with a “relief” style plastic house #90 glued to the cover.

House No. 90

The second book used for research and highly recommended is Little Kingdom By the Sea: A Tribute to Dutch Cultural Heritage written by Mark Zegeling and published in 2019.  It has very detailed information about the history of each KLM model house, including the current status of most of them.  It also has helpful maps of Amsterdam and the Netherlands which show the location of the model houses still in existence. See Appendix 1 for house listing.

Little Kingdom By the Sea


Hopefully, this review of the KLM miniature houses and other specialty items will help you in finding and identifying these unique collectibles. Or, as this is just one small group of the thousands of gift and advertising items airlines have produced from their beginning (from commemorative plates and glasses to kiddie wings and beyond), it will whet your appetite in seeking those airline items that you find most desirable to collect. After all, it’s finding that one special new or historical airline item that makes collecting so much fun!

Happy Collecting,

Pat and Keith Armes


Below is a listing of the KLM Houses, with numbering sequence and the Address and City of the modeled house as referenced in the book Little Kingdom by the Sea.

#11PIJLSTEEG 31 (Same as house #23)AMSTERDAM
#17SPIERINGSTRAAT 1-3  (Same as house #25)GOUDA
#23PIJLSTEEG 31 (Same as house #11)AMSTERDAM
#25SPIERINGSTRAAT 1-3 (Same as house #17)GOUDA

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Midway Airport

Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW) in Postcards

By Marvin G. Goldman

Chicago’s Midway Airport, originally named “Chicago Municipal Airport,” opened in 1927 at Cicero Avenue between 55th and 63rd Streets, about nine miles from the center of downtown Chicago. The site was owned by the Chicago Board of Education through a 19th-century federal government land grant that allocated one square mile of every 365 for a school. So, at the time the City of Chicago acquired use of the site in 1926, it was one square mile in size, with only a small grammar school in one corner, and the rest was devoted to growing onions. Because of housing development outside the perimeter of the field, Midway Airport today remains on that same one square mile (plus only a small extension with a few structures).

By the end of 1927, six airlines operated from Chicago Municipal Airport, including predecessor airlines of Braniff, Chicago and Southern, Eastern, Northwest, TWA, and United, and in the mid-1930s American joined them. Amazingly, by 1932 Chicago Municipal claimed the title of “busiest airport in the world,” and it remained so until 1961 when airlines moved to the new suburban Chicago O’Hare Airport.

Postcards of Chicago Municipal Airport through the years

The 1930s

United Air Lines Boeing 247D
United Air Lines Boeing 247D, NC13361, at Chicago Municipal Airport, 1933. Publisher Real Photographs Co., Liverpool, England, no. 396.
Chris Slimmer collection.

The Boeing 247 entered service in March 1933, immediately becoming the most modern aircraft at the time, with all-metal construction and much higher speed. United Air Lines received the first production models and placed 30 in service by June 1933. Chicago Municipal became a major hub in United’s coast-to-coast east-west service.

Photo of American Airlines aircraft at Chicago Municipal in Airport 1935.
American Airlines Curtiss Condor and Stinson aircraft at Chicago Municipal Airport, about 1935. Part of a set of at least four different Chicago Municipal Airport postcards. Pub’r C. R. Childs Co., Chicago, no. 5004-4.
Chris Slimmer collection.

Originally, United had a monopoly on the first Boeing 247s being produced, leaving other airlines, such as American, to rely on older types such as those shown.
Chicago Municipal Airport postcard with inset drawings of a United Air Lines Boeing 247D, NC13661, its interior and baggage handling and a drawing of the airport’s runways.
Chicago Municipal Airport postcard with inset drawings of a United Air Lines Boeing 247D, NC13661, its interior and baggage handling, and a drawing of the airport’s runways, 1937. Printed by Curteich, no. 7A-H725, and distributed by J.O. Stoll Co., no. 155, each of Chicago.

Amusingly, the dark larger stylized aircraft drawing on this card shows four engines, but the Boeing 247 only had two.
American Airlines Douglas DC-2, NC14922, and Braniff Airways DC-2 at Chicago Municipal Airport.
American Airlines Douglas DC-2, NC14922, and Braniff Airways DC-2 at Chicago Municipal Airport. Pub’r Gerson Bros., Chicago; Printed by Metrocraft, Everett, Massachusetts. Postmarked 27 September 1938.

The Boeing 247 remained the top airliner for only a very short time. By mid-1934 Douglas Aircraft introduced the DC-2 which was superior to the 247. TWA was the first to operate the DC-2, and other airlines serving Chicago soon followed.

TWA Douglas DC-3 DST, NC17314, at Chicago Municipal Airport. Pub’r Ferris, no. 106-1. Ex-Deke Billings collection.

The DC-3, introduced in 1936, improved on the DC-2 and became a classic success. The DST version included sleeping berths. TWA acquired the pictured aircraft in January 1937.
Some postcard publishers would take black and white photos and colorize them.
Here is the same view as the preceding, but colorized and with added blue sky, puffy white clouds, and trees! Pub’r A. C. McClurg & Co.,
Chicago, no. 5467.
United Air Lines Douglas DC-3 at Chicago Municipal Airport
United Air Lines Douglas DC-3 at Chicago Municipal Airport.
Airline issue, about 1937.
Back of the preceding card.
Back of the preceding card.
The text shows how United embraced the DC-3 following the short reign of its Boeing 247s.

The 1940s

Following the end of World War II in 1945, Chicago Municipal Airport became busier than ever. To cope with the high volume of passengers, it opened a new larger terminal in 1947-1948, with distinctive rounded upper floors in the center, including the noted “Cloud Room” restaurant.

American Airlines Douglas DC-4 and DC-3 at Chicago Municipal Airport about 1948
American Airlines Douglas DC-4 and DC-3 at Chicago Municipal Airport about 1948, with the newly built terminal in the background.
Real Photo Postcard, Groganphoto, Danville IL.

In June 1949 the Chicago City Council changed the airport’s name to “Midway Airport” in honor of World War II’s Battle of Midway in the Pacific Ocean.

The 1950s-1960s

By 1950 fifteen scheduled airlines, as well as several nonscheduled ones, served Midway Airport. By 1952 passenger volume reached 5 milliion, and passenger numbers peaked at 10 million in 1959. Continuing throughout the 1950s and until 1961, Midway remained a beehive of activity on its one square mile – the busiest airport in the world.

Chicago Midway Airport aerial view showing numerous propliners, 1950s
Chicago Midway Airport aerial view showing numerous propliners, 1950s.
Pub’r Cameo, Chicago; printer Colourpicture, Boston, no. K5484.
Ramp side of Midway’s new terminal building, with a Delta Air Lines Douglas DC-3. 1950s.
Ramp side of Midway’s new terminal building, with a Delta Air Lines Douglas DC-3. 1950s. Pub’r H. S. Crocker Co., Chicago, no. CGO39, William Nawodylo photo.
Midway Airport's Crowded Ramp Space in the 1950s,
Midway Airport’s crowded ramp space in the 1950s, showing North Central DC-3, N21729; Lake Central DC-3, N21713; TWA and Eastern Constellations; and an Ozark DC-3.
Published by, and issued by Airliners InternationalTM 2022 Chicago as postcard no. 1 of a 12 postcard set available at that show. Photo by Steve Pinnow.
TWA Lockheed 049 Constellation at Chicago Midway, 1950s.
TWA Lockheed 049 Constellation at Chicago Midway, 1950s. Pub’r Buss Bros., Chicago, no. 71839, Jack Taylor photo, printer Dexter Press.
TWA Martin 4-0-4 and Other Propliners
TWA Martin 4-0-4 and other propliners viewed from the observation deck, Chicago Midway. 1954. Pub’r Aero Dist’g CK-153,
Curteichcolor 4C-K776.
Chicago & Southern DC-4 and Northwest B377 at Chicago Midway, 1950s
Chicago & Southern DC-4 and Northwest B377 Stratocruiser at Chicago Midway, 1950s. Pub’r Dexter Press no. 50098.
TWA Lockheed 1049G Super Constellation Tail, N7117C, Northwest B377 and Other Propliners at Chicago Midway
TWA Lockheed 1049G Super Constellation Tail, N7117C, Northwest B377 Stratocruiser and other propliners at Chicago Midway, late 1950s.
Pub’r Cameo; Plastichrome no, P13985.
Capital Airlines DC-3, Vickers Viscount, and Constellation at Chicago Midway
Capital Airlines DC-3, Vickers Viscount, and Constellation at Chicago Midway, between 1955 and 1960.
Pub’r Cameo; Plastichrome no. P13986.
TWA Lockheed Constellation at Midway Airport, 1959
TWA Lockheed Constellation at Midway Airport, 1959.Pub’r Aero Dist’g, Chicago, no. CK.267, Curteichcolor no. 9C-1476.
One of the most beautiful airport postcards.

By the late 1950s, some foreign airlines started flying into Midway Airport, including Air France, Lufthansa, and Brazil’s REAL. Soon the airport was renamed “Midway International Airport.”

Meanwhile, the burgeoning number of daily flights and passengers at Midway in the 1950s, the increased use of larger, four-engine aircraft, and the lack of room for expansion, compelled the City of Chicago to develop another airport, which became O’Hare, to handle future air traffic as well as the new generation of pure jet aircraft arriving in 1959 and thereafter. Expansive O’Hare Airport, 31 miles from Midway, opened in 1955. By 1961 almost all the major airlines consolidated their Chicago operations at O’Hare, in July 1962 United was the last to move, and O’Hare took off on its path to becoming America’s busiest airport. Midway became a shadow of its former self, with only a little over 400,000 passengers being handled during all of 1963.

The 1970s-1990s

By the late 1970s, O’Hare Airport began experiencing its own growing pains and air traffic congestion. With the passage of the U.S. airline deregulation act of 1978, low-cost carriers developed. They found it difficult to get slots to operate at O’Hare, but noticed that Midway was largely empty, much closer to downtown Chicago, able to accommodate smaller, two-engine jets, and available. A startup airline, named Midway Airlines, launched operations in 1979 with Douglas DC-9 jets and made Midway Airport its home base. This was the beginning of Midway Airport’s revival.

Midway Airlines Douglas DC-9 Departing Chicago Midway Airport, 1980s
Midway Airlines Douglas DC-9 Departing Chicago Midway Airport, 1980s.
Published by the then Midway Chapter of the World Airline Historical Society and printed by McGrew Color Graphics.
Midway Airlines Takeoff from Chicago Midway Airport, Airline Issue,1980s
Midway Airlines Takeoff from Chicago Midway Airport, airline issue, 1980s.
The airline’s advertising emphasized the closeness of Midway Airport to downtown Chicago, appealing to businessmen and tourists alike.
Chicago Express Airlines, ATA Connection, Saab 340B, N306CE
Chicago Express Airlines, ATA Connection, Saab 340B, N306CE, airline issue by American Trans Air, between 2000 and 2005.

ATA, based in Indianapolis, IN, opened a hub at Chicago Midway in 1992. It set up “ATA Connection,” operated by its subsidiary Chicago Express Airlines, based at Midway, to provide commuter service from Chicago Midway to surrounding Midwest cities using Saab 340B aircraft.

Most significantly, Southwest Airlines started serving Midway Airport in 1985 and became, by far, its leading air carrier.  By 2001 Southwest was operating 121 daily flights to Chicago Midway.

Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-700, N918WN, in Southwest’s special ‘Illinois One’ livery
Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-700, N918WN, in Southwest’s special ‘Illinois One’ livery, honoring the State of Illinois, home of Chicago Midway.
Pub’r World Collectors Cards no. 1002. Joerg Jaeggin collection, and available from

In 1997, with air traffic at Midway rapidly increasing, the City of Chicago announced the Midway Terminal Development Program, and a new, modern terminal was opened in March 2001.  I have not seen any postcards showing this new terminal at Chicago Midway; if you know of any, please let me know.

The 21st Century

Over 10 million passengers utilized Midway Airport each year from 2014 to 2019, marking a return to its prior peak year of 10 million passengers in 1959. As of May 2022, 10 airlines were serving Chicago Midway. Southwest is by far the largest airline at Midway, operating 73 of 123 routes. The other airlines presently serving Midway, in order of activity, are Frontier, Delta, Volaris, United, Sun Country, Allegiant, J-Air, Tradewind Aviation, and Kalitta Charters.


All postcards shown are in the author’s collection except as noted. I estimate their rarity as follows: 

  • Rare: the American Airlines card in black and white;
  • Uncommon: the United B247 and DC-3, and TWA DC-3, cards in black and white; and the cards showing a Delta DC-3, Ozark DC-3, Lockheed Super G Constellation with fuel truck, and Chicago Express/ATA Connection Saab 340.
  • The rest of the postcards are fairly common.

A new set of 12 postcards related to O’Hare and Midway Airports, issued by Airliners International 2022 ORD and published by, will be available at Airliners International’s 2022 show and convention described at the end of this article.

For collectors interested in aviation trading cards, 60 airports in the U.S. and Canada that are members of the Airports Council International—North America, have been periodically issuing airport trading cards as part of a North American Airport Collectors Series.  The cards are 2-1/2” x 3-1/2” in size (about 6 x 9 cm.). Ken Bateman advised me that one of these airports issuing such trading cards in recent years is Midway Airport.


Lynch, Christopher. Chicago’s Midway Airport. Lake Claremont Press, 2002.

Author(s). “Title of Article.” Title of Periodical, Day Month Year, pages.

Lee, Chris. “Midway.” Airways Magazine, September 2018, pp. 32-43.

Chicago Midway International Airport. contains link to a large photo album by Midway historian Pat Bukiri.

Wikipedia entry on “Midway International Airport.”

See also my companion article, “Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) in Postcards,” in, Captain’s Log, Postcard Corner section (2021).

In closing

I hope to see you at Airliners International™ 2022 Chicago, June 23-25, 2022, at the Hilton Rosemont/Chicago O’Hare Hotel. This is the world’s largest airline history and airline collectibles show and convention, with over 200 vendor tables for buying, selling, and swapping airline memorabilia (including, of course, airline postcards), seminars, the annual meeting of the World Airline Historical Society, annual banquet, tours and more. The show. will have available a new set of 12 postcards published by related to Midway and O’Hare Airports.

Consider entering the Postcard Contest at the AI 2022 show. More information is available at Follow this link for the Postcard Contest Rules.

Until then,

Happy collecting. Marvin

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Britt Airways,Chicago Air Lines,Fairchild Hiller,FH-227,N239MA,N378NE,Tail chasers

FH-227 on ramp

My First FH-227 Flight

By Gary C. Orlando

It wasn’t until 1987 that I would actually get to fly on the Fairchild Hiller FH-227 having been obsessed with this aircraft since before I entered Kindergarten in 1972. It was first introduced to me serving our local airport of Rock Falls, IL (SQI) by Ozark Air Lines. Afraid of it at first because of its screaming-loud Rolls-Royce Dart engines, it soon became my favorite airplane of all time.

On September 25, 1987, I took a 25-minute flight from Moline, IL (MLI) to Burlington, IA (BRL) and back. The outbound flight was Continental Express/Britt flight 4723, scheduled to depart at 12:35 PM arriving at 1:00 PM. The aircraft that day was N378NE, the same plane that graced the skies over Rock Falls six years earlier while operating a charter flight for Britt. N378NE was originally delivered on November 2, 1966, to Northeast Airlines where it flew until Northeast merged with Delta in 1972. N378NE was one of only two FH-227Cs that Delta actually used in regular service before selling all of the former Northeast FH-227s to Air New England in early 1975.

Back at Moline with my ticket in hand, I walked across the ramp to climb the airstair door. I was giddy with excitement! As I entered the aircraft I noticed the interior was just the same as it appeared in the Air New England article written by my friend Rand Peck, that I had read many years earlier in an issue of Airline Quarterly magazine. There were no overhead bins; only racks for coats, hats or small carry-on items. Another curious thing was the seat numbers started with seat row number One in the rear of the plane, getting higher in number going forward, up to row number Twelve. I had my tape recorder with me and I took my seat: 10A, by the propeller on the left-hand side of the aircraft.

View looking out an airplane window
This was my view shortly after takeoff out of Moline headed down to Burlington. Seat 10A, quite noisy but, neat!

Since I was the only person getting on the plane in Moline, Sheri, our flight attendant, came directly over to give me a personal safety briefing. She didn’t announce who our pilots were. I guess I should have asked but, I was just too excited!

Flight attendant in airplane cabin
This was Sheri, our flight attendant, after landing in Burlington. She was very kind to pose for a picture.

I had actually flown on my first Fokker F.27 flight a year previously with Chicago Air Lines to and from Moline to Chicago Midway Airport (MDW). Engine startup was much the same on the FH-227 as it was the F.27; the only noticeable difference was the 227 was a lot louder. However, the real difference came at takeoff time. While the newer Fokker F.27 had been quieter, almost a muffled sound, the FH-227C was very loud. The typical staccato sound emitted by the pointed props was clearly heard in the FH-227. The F.27 was much quieter with its square-tipped props. I like loud, so I was happy.

Fokker F.27-500 on ramp
A year earlier on August 26, 1986, I flew on this Chicago Air Lines Fokker F.27-500, N239MA, seen here after arrival from Chicago Midway Airport prior to our eventual return.

After we landed in Burlington, the Britt agents allowed me to do a little walk-around photoshoot of this big ol’ bird that I had just flown on. I only wish we had digital cameras back then because I would have hammered that plane with pictures. Enjoy the shots of my walk around of N378NE.

Between the two flights, my time in Burlington was spent hanging out at the airport and exploring. I made quick friends with one of the Britt agents named Gary Freitag. We had a nice conversation about Britt and my interest in the airline and especially the Fairchilds. All too soon it was time to climb back aboard for my return to Moline.

Our return flight was Continental Express/Britt flight 4756. It was scheduled to depart at 3:15 PM and arrive back in Moline at 3:40 PM, where it would then return to Chicago.

As I boarded the airplane I would again be welcomed by Flight Attendant Sheri, along with Captain Wiles and First Officer Munson as our pilots. On this leg back up to Moline, I took a more central spot under the wing (Seat 7A) to get a different sound, which indeed it was. The sound wasn’t as “proppy,” as I coined the term. The row of seats was even with the center of the engine nacelle, providing an excellent vantage to hear the characteristic in-flight whine of the Rolls-Royce Dart engines and to watch the main gear cycle up and down. That whine really becomes more pronounced after takeoff when the pilot reduces engine RPM by opening up the props to take a bigger bite of the air. The approach for landing is interesting, to say the least. It’s almost a “dive bomber” approach, especially on short final. Altogether, it’s a different ride than in a low wing plane because it feels like the plane is hanging on the wings instead of sitting on the wing.

After my arrival back in Moline, I quickly headed back outside with enough time to record audio of N378NE starting up and taxiing out for its departure back to Chicago.

It was a great little adventure that I would repeat a month later on October 27, 1987, but next time on Britt Fairchild F.27, N386BA.

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