Airlines of Great Britain – Part 2

Written by Charlie Dolan

Taking up from where I left off in February, there are a few more insignia used by British carriers. There have been many airlines operating from England, Scotland and Wales (and the Channel Islands) and I think it will take many months to cover those which I have represented in my collection.

This issue’s first wing is that of a carrier which began in 1948 and lasted until 1968, operating under the names Eagle Aviation, Cunard Eagle, and British Eagle International Airlines. Several mergers and corporate “divorces” led to those name changes. The second wing featured belongs to British Mediterranean Airlines. Back in the 1990s, when I was participating in nuclear non-proliferation operations, I made a round trip from London Heathrow (LHR) to Tblisi, Republic of Geargia (TBS) and return. It was a good carrier with very good service.

British Eagle / Cunard Eagle    EG / EG    1948 -1968
British Mediterranean Airways    KJ / LAJ    1994 -2007

British Midland will be represented by an early style wing and later style wing and cap badge. The company had been formed in 1938 as Air Services, Ltd. and was merged with British Airways in 2012.

British Midland Airways    BD / BMA    1938 – 2012     merged with BA

British South American Airways was formed shortly after World War 2 and had an unenviable record of disappearances. Two Avro Tudors were lost while flying over the Atlantic, the first in January 1948 somewhere between the Azores and Bermuda and the second in January 1949 while flying from Bermuda to Kingston, Jamaica. No traces of either aircraft were found. In August 1947, an Avro Lancastrian disappeared while on a flight from Buenos Aires, Argentina to Santiago, Chile.  Parts of the aircraft and human remains were found in 1998 and 2000, indicating that it had flown into the mountainside and been covered by an avalanche. The debris and remains were only exposed as the resulting glacier  receded.  It was reported that one of the main gear tires still had air under pressure inside. The BSAA insignia are a pilot wing and a flight attendant cap badge.

British South American Airways         1946 -1950

British World Airlines, Ltd. had its origins with Silver City Airways back in 1946. It had mergers with British United Airways which lasted for only a few years and also had dealings with Sir Freddie Laker. At the end of its fifty year history, British World was a provider of aircraft and crews to other carriers during peak periods as well as a charter carrier for inclusive tour companies and the British military.

British World Airlines, Ltd.    VT / BWL    1946 – 2001  began as Silver City (named British World 1963)
British United Airways    BR / BR    1960 – 1970    to British Caledonian

Caledonian Airways was formed in 1961 and had a single DC-7 at the outset. Its founders had wanted to name the carrier “Scottish Airways” but that name had already been registered by British European Airways. In 1970, Caledonian Airways merged with British United Airways to form British Caledonian Airways.

Caledonian Airways    CA / CA    1961 – 1970
Cambrian Airways (Wales)    CS / CS    1935 – 1976 (merged slowly into BA)
British Regional Airlines    TH / BRT    1996 – 2002
Britannia Airways    BY / BAL    1961 – 2005    (stars indicate years of service)

Now that I have muddied the waters with all the talk of mergers and de-mergers, I’ll step aside until the next article and allow you to enjoy the images of the insignia.

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Departed Wings — Golden West Airlines (GW)

Written by Jon Jamieson

1969-1983  — Orange County, California

Wearing brand new Golden West colors, N63119 a de Havilland DHC-6-100 “Twin Otter” awaits passengers at Los Angeles International Airport in October 1969

Golden West Airlines was the result of the initial merger of three local California commuter carriers; Cable Commuter, Skymark Airlines and Aero Commuter in March 1969 and only month later with the purchase of Golden West commuter based in Van Nuys, California did the airlines take the name of the former carrier to become collectively Golden West Airlines in May 1969. With a fleet of de Havilland DHC-6 Twin Otters and a few Beech 99s, the new commuter was flying a route network across Southern and Central California and advertised itself as the “Largest commuter airline in the world.” Within a year however, financial difficulties arose with such a large operation, and Golden West consolidated its operations to Southern California and its popular Catalina Island service using Grumman Goose aircraft. An attempt was made to provide helicopter service with the purchase of Los Angeles Airways (LAA) but this venture became cost prohibitive and was halted in 1972.

After the merger, Golden West flew a handful of Beech 99s acquired from Aero Commuter before returning the aircraft in 1970. Parked on the ramp at San Francisco International Airport in September 1971 is N9995, a Beechcraft B-99.

Parked on the ramp at Ontario International Airport in June 1973, is N66180, a de Havilland DHC-6-200 perfect for commuter flights between the various Los Angeles regional airports

By the mid-1970s, Golden West had established its hub of operations from Los Angeles International Airport and had hourly “shuttle” flights from both Ontario and Santa Ana-Orange County into Los Angeles-LAX. A well published mid-air collision took place on January 9, 1975 when a DHC-6 Twin Otter collided with a private Cessna 152 over Whittier, California resulting in the deaths of all parties. Although a bleak moment in the carrier’s history, passenger bookings continued to grow and Golden West took delivery of its first Shorts SH-330 “wide-bodied” aircraft in 1977 with seats for thirty and a need for a flight attendant, the first for the airline.

The introduction of the Shorts-330 in 1977 allowed Golden West to increase capacity on trunk routes. Parked at Santa Ana-Orange County Airport in April 1978 is N330GW, a Shorts SD330-100.

By 1980, Golden West was serving ten cities across Southern California including San Diego, Los Angeles, Santa Ana-Orange County, Palmdale, and Santa Barbara. With the dawn of a new decade, Golden West had its sights on continued growth and longer routes and placed an order for the new de Havilland DHC-7 aircraft which its first was delivered in March 1980. The new fifty-seat, four-engined turboprop would be used on popular routes into Los Angeles-LAX as well as placed on new services to Lake Tahoe airport in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

A new “Dash 7,” N701GW a de Havilland parked at the airlines maintenance ramp at Los Angeles International Airport in November 1980.

Just after the delivery of the new de Havilland DHC-7 airplanes, Golden West unveiled a new corporate image showcasing the warm colors of a California sunset and soon repainted their aircraft in this eye-catching livery. Things continued to shine for the airline in 1981, as flights expanded to destinations in both Central and Northern California including services to San Francisco and Sacramento, cities that had been given up during the airlines consolidation in 1971.

Lake Tahoe provided to be a popular year-round destination when service was started in 1981. Rolling out after landing at Lake Tahoe Airport in February 1981, is N702GW, a de Havilland DHC-7-102.

Awaiting takeoff clearance at San Diego-Lindbergh Field in March 1981, is N702GW, a de Havilland DHC-7-102.

By 1982, Golden West had grown to serve eleven cities across California, with a fleet of sixteen aircraft and no less than one hundred daily flights. Code share agreements with almost all the airlines operating from Los Angeles, both domestic and international, allowed seamless connections and kept the airline popular amongst passengers.

Even the Shorts got the new corporate colors as is evident on N331GW, a Shorts SD330-200, parked on the ramp at Sacramento International Airport in March 1983.

In an effort to modernize its future fleet, Golden West placed an order for three of the new de Havilland DHC-8 turboprops as well as considering the new British Aerospace BAe-146 to start jet operations. It was only a year later that Golden West started to suffer financial woes caused by the purchase of the new de Havilland DHC-7s as well as management changes that compounded the already struggling finances. There was the possibility of a minority purchase by Pan American Airlines (Pan Am) for $3 million to help get the carrier out of its mounting debt, however  this deal fell through and the airline continued to struggle until Friday, April 22, 1983 when the carrier was forced to shut down and  layoff all employees. Although there were plans to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to allow for reorganization, this failed and the airline ceased operations, setting the sun on a carrier which had brought together the outlaying airports of Southern California and brought a ray of golden light to the millions of passengers making their convenient connections into LAX.

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Wien Air Alaska Junior Wings

Written by Lane Kranz



Wien Air Alaska was known as the first airline in Alaska and one of the first airlines in the United States.  Wien was formed in 1924.  Northern Air Transport of Nome merged with Wien in 1936.  In 1968 Wien merged with Northern Consolidated Airlines (NCA) and became known as Wien Consolidated Airlines until 1973 when the company name was changed to Wien Air Alaska.

The company pioneered jet service to gravel runways, and helped develop the Boeing 737-200 Combi aircraft configuration which allowed mixed freight and passenger loads on the main deck of the aircraft. By the spring of 1984, the Wien route network extended from Point Barrow in northern Alaska to dozens of Alaskan communities as well as to cities in the lower 48 states in the western U.S. including, Albuquerque and Phoenix.   Wien ceased operations on November 23, 1984.

Wien issued 3 known Junior Wings.  Pictured above Junior Pilot and Junior Stewardess wings, believed to be from the era 1955-1979.  The lower wing was used from 1980-1984.

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Around the world in 80 Planes

Written by Brian Keene

We all have had that defining moment when we became captivated by aviation.  For some, it was their first flight. For others it was watching long white jet contrails high overhead. For me, it was my first trip to Kennedy International Airport.

It was the early 70’s and the Jumbo jet age was really beginning to surge. My family and I were seeing off my older sister who was heading off to India for a two year project.  From my vantage point at the Pan Am building, I gazed out over the airport ramp for the first time.  I marveled at the multitude of sparkling, brand new, 747’s arriving, loading, or departing at the International Arrivals Building (IAB).  Beacon lights and strobes were a kaleidoscope of color.  Freshly painted tails that were bright blue with the Star of David of El Al, large stylized Green A’s with red accents of Alitalia, and the unmistakable red cross and bandit mask of Swissair.  And there other lesser known jumbos,  but equally exotic,  including Air India, TAP, Sabena, Pakistan, Viasa, KLM, Alia Royal Jordanian, Royal Air Maroc, and Varig.

How they all intermingled and operated in that tight space was mesmerizing. I vaguely remember saying goodbye to my sister as I preferred wandering the terminal gazing out at the 747 activity and at the departure boards, while absorbing the dizzying number of destinations flickering by.  The announcements for boarding to Paris, London, Rome, Frankfurt, Madrid, Lisbon, Milan, Tel Aviv, and Casablanca combined with the liveries of the regal ships transporting hundreds of people to those locations, was intoxicating.

Since we lived on Long Island, as soon as I had my driver license, my trips to JFK became more frequent and lengthy.   My career choice was easy.  I would work in aviation for the rest of my life.  After graduating with an Aviation degree from Florida Institute of Technology, I worked for Pan Am, PEOPLExpress, Continental, and United, I ultimately retired after 35 years in the airline industry.  Today I work for ABM, a service provider to airlines and airports.

Over the years, when I had a little discretionary income, I would purchase small 1:500 scale airline models (mostly Boeing 747’s).  I was amazed that they had such detail due to a process called “tamp” printing.  My collection of 747’s grew.  However- keeping them in a storage box just didn’t seem fair.  They needed to be displayed in a way that I, and others, could appreciate their beauty.

Second to my love of aircraft, I was very interested in how airports accommodated these big behemoths’.  A trip to the new Hong Kong International Airport cemented a new vision and goal.  Taking a page from the model railroad hobby industry, I would build a 1:500 scale replica of the airport and display my aircraft as a miniature reminder that the precision and technical aspect of this world could also look beautiful, and might inspire a new generation of aviation enthusiasts.

I started with a large rigid, but thin, foundation board, and painted it a light ramp gray. I measured out the terminal size and realized I would need four of these boards!  This was going to be big! I studied many aerial shots of HKG and the unique positioning of jet bridges, parking stands, taxiways, and runways.

I built the terminal with wood and a flexible cardboard to simulate the stylized curved roof.  I found myself wandering through hobby shops and looking for simulated grass and racing tape.  The grass was installed between the taxiways and runway and the speed tape was used to create the lead in and taxi way lines.  I even re-created the ramp stains that result from spills and activity at a busy airport.

The first time I set the whole airport up with aircraft models, it took me right back to that day in the early 70’s, when as a kid, I remember that view of the 747’s with their explosion of color and design. Maybe that’s why I was so driven to complete this project.  It was a reminder of how I fell in love with aviation, as well as a simpler time.

We called the diorama “Around the world in 80 Planes”.  My son and I ended up entering the airport diorama in an art show at the Orlando International Airport and hey, we were awarded First Place!  The award simply validated that I, like many other Aviation buffs, love the business and appreciate it not only as a technical marvel, but also as a true art form.

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Airline Aircraft Art on Postcards

Written by Marvin G. Goldman

From the early days of aviation to the present, many airline postcards have featured artistic expression in promoting destinations and highlighting their aircraft.  This article covers a selection of aircraft art postcards from a variety of airlines and artists.

Postcard showing a mural by aviation artist Mike Machat, dedicated in 2012, at the Museum of Flying, Santa Monica, California. The mural is 20 feet wide (6.1m) and depicts Douglas Aircraft types from the DC-1 to the DC-10. Oversize postcard, issued by the Museum of Flying.

Mike Machat is one of the world’s leading aviation artists and was the first president of The American Society of Aviation Artists.  He is well known to participants in the World Airline Historical Society and related Airliners International shows.  Mike was the keynote speaker at the Airliners International 2014 LAX banquet, and hosted an airline art exhibition at the AI 1992 show.  He has illustrated numerous airline books, including several written by Ron Davies, and authored ‘The Art of Mike Machat: Painting Aviation’s Legends’ (Specialty Press, 2016).  His airline art also appears on several other postcards, including the following:

Eastern Airlines Douglas DC-8-21 N1801.  Aviation World card AACS-1.  Artist: Mike Machat, California, U.S.

Finnair Douglas DC-10-30.  Airline issue, oversize postcard.  Part of a series of 13 postcards of different aircraft types flown by Finnair, each illustrated by Mike Machat.

Let’s turn now to a selection of aircraft types on postcard art, progressing from older to newer aircraft and featuring different airlines and artists.

Compagnie des Grands Express Aeriens Latécoère Breguet XIV F-AEIZ.  Publisher Shinsai-do.  Artist: Masao Satake, Japan.


Instone Airlines (a predecessor of Imperial Airways) De Havilland 34, flying over Croydon U.K. airport about 1926.  Modern card produced by Croydon Airport Society.  Artist: Kenneth McDonough, U.K.


Florida Airways (a predecessor of Eastern Air Lines) Stout 2-AT Pullman, ‘Miss Tampa’, flying over the coastline between Fort Myers and Tampa, Florida.  #28465.  Artist: Keith Ferris, U.S.  Keith Ferris is a founding member of The American Society of Aviation Artists.

Ansett Australia Fokker Universal VH-UTO.  Issued by Fokker, card B006.  Part of a commission by Fokker to document the complete range of their production.  Artist: Serge Stone of The Netherlands.

Societa Aerea Mediterranea (S.A.M.) Savoia-Marchetti S.71.  Airline issue, about 1931.  Artist: T. Corbella, Italy.

Imperial Airways Short ‘Scipio’.  Published by Salmon, U.K., no. 4106.  Artist: C. T. Howard, U.K.

Imperial Airways Armstrong-Whitworth ‘Argosy’, G-EBLF.  Publisher postcard #FSM103666/219.  Artist: Colin Ashford, U.K.  Ashford was a founding member of the Guild of Aviation Artists in the U.K.

Pan American Sikorsky S-40 ‘American Clipper’ departing Dinner Key, Florida.  Airline issue.  Part of a series of art postcards depicting different Pan Am aircraft.  Artist: John T. McCoy, U.S.

LOT Polish Airlines Lockheed L-14H Super Electra SP-AYB.  Airline issue.  Part of a series of art postcards depicting different LOT aircraft.  Artist: Janusz Grabianski, Poland.  Grabiaski was also a noted illustrator of children’s books, and many of his illustrations for LOT postcards include children and pets in the scene.

CSA Czech Airlines Douglas DC-3.  Airline issue, oversize postcard.  Artist: Vladimir Bidlo, Czech Republic.  Bidlo has illustrated many of CSA’s aircraft, including a set of 16 continental-size cards with informational backs issued by CSA in 2003 for its 80th anniversary.

EL AL Curtiss Commando C-46.  Airline issue.  Part of a set issued in 1979.  Artist: Danny Shalom, Israel.

MALEV Hungarian Airlines Ilyushin IL-14.  Airline issue.  Part of a series of postcards on MALEV aircraft.  Artist: Akos Bánfalvy, Hungary.

Trans World Airlines (TWA) Douglas DC-4 over Lake Geneva, Switzerland.  Airline issue.  Part of a set of aircraft/destination postcards.  Artist Manlio D’Ercoli, Italy.

Air Katanga Douglas DC-4 OO-KAT (formerly SABENA OO-ADN).  The back of this rare card has Katanga postage stamps showing the aircraft, postmarked Elisabethville (now Lubumbashi, Dem. Rep. Congo) on 1 August 1961.  Artist unknown.

KLM Lockheed L749 Constellation, PH-TER, over Java, Indonesia.  Skyliner postcard no. 10.  Artist Thijs Postma, The Netherlands.  Thijs Postma is one of the most noted aviation artists and has illustrated several aircraft postcards of KLM and Martinair.  He participated in the aviation art exhibition at Airliners International 1992, Orange County, California.

British West Indian Overseas Airways Vickers Viscount at Piarco Airport, Trinidad.  Airline issue by BWIA.  Oversize postcard.  Artist: David Moore, Texas, U.S.

Aeroflot Tupolev TU-114, CCCP-75712. Airline issue. Aeroflot has issued several postcard sets of its aircraft depicted in art form, but the artists are not identified.

VARIG Hawker Siddeley HS-748 Avro, PP-VDU.  One of a series of aircraft art postcards published by the Artist, Nelson Francisco Anaia, Brazil.

United Airlines Sud-Aviation Caravelle VI-R.  Airline issue and part of a large postcard set of United’s aircraft from inception to the 1970s.  Publisher Johns-Byrne Co., Chicago, early 1970s.  Artist: Roy Anderson, U.S.

United Airlines Douglas DC-8.  International Airlines Museum Historical Post Card #3.  Artist: Tom Kalina, U.S.  Tom Kalina has provided airliner art for several of the Captain’s Log issues of the World Airline Historical Society and has also been active at Airliners International shows.  He is a member of The American Society of Aviation Artists.

AVIANCA Boeing 720B.  Airline issue, 1969.  Artist: Roberto Sanmartin, Colombia.

Air France Concorde.  Airline issue.  No. 4 in series interpreting “The Fine Art of Flying”, 1988.  Artist: Jacques Monory, France.


Trans-Canada Airlines Lockheed L-10A Electra, with Air Canada Boeing 767.  Air Csnada issue on its 50th anniversary, 1987.   Artist: Robert Bradford, Canada.

QANTAS Airways Boeing 747-300 in “Nalanji Dreaming” livery.  Published by Artist Terry Johnson, born U.S., studio in Australia.

Singapore Airlines Airbus A380.  Airline issue, an example of computer art.  Today, many aviation art postcards are produced by graphic designers using computer software.

Speaking of computer graphic art, note that the most recent publicity postcards issued for the annual Airliners International shows have been designed by U.S. aviation artist Chris Bidlack.  Here is an example of his art for these shows:

Airliners International 2021 Phoenix show card. Artist Chris Bidlack.

I hope you enjoyed this selection of postcards showing passenger aircraft art.  There are many more postcards of this type available.  Also, there is a whole other category of airline art postcards that emphasize destinations served or contain other advertising – all of which can form a beautiful collection.

All the postcards shown are from my collection.  They are standard or continental size except when stated to be oversize.  I estimate their availability as follows:  Rare: the S.A.M. S.71 and Air Katanga cards; Uncommon: the Florida Airways Stout 2-AT, Imperial Scipio, TWA DC-4, BWIA Viscount and Aeroflot TU-114 cards.  The rest are fairly common.

If you have any comments on my articles, I would be pleased to hear from you.  Just email me, Marvin Goldman, at

Until next time, Happy Collecting

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Airlines of Great Britain — Part 1

Written by Charlie Dolan

I began the year 2021 with the first article about British carriers featuring Imperial Airways and the subsequent BOAC, British, and British Airways. Over the next few months, I plan to highlight some of the many other airlines, which were formed over the years in Great Britain. Some were small, some large. Others lasted only a few years before succumbing to bankruptcy or merger and others are still in business.

So, while my wife is watching the super bowl, I’ll press on to the skies of England, Scotland and Wales.

Ace Freighters / Ace Scotland 1964–1966 (5 aircraft)

Air Europe AE AOE 1979–1991

Air UK   UK UKA 1980–1998

Airlines Cymru (Wales) AK CYM 1984–1988

Airtours (became My Travel). VZ MYT 1990–2008

Alidair (Scotland) 1972-1983

Aurigney Air Services GR AUR 1968–present

B K S (named for founders: James Barnby, “Mike” Keegan and Cyril Stevens) 1952–1970 merged into Northeast

B E A British European Airways BE BEA 1946–1974 (merged into BOAC)

British Caledonian BR BCC 1970–1988

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The British Are Coming

Written by Charlie Dolan

Now that we’re entering a new year, I thought that I’d re-locate to another part of the world. I was born on Long Island, NY, went to high school on Manhattan Island and finished my career on the islands of Bermuda, so I thought a trip to the British Isles would be in order. I have quite a few insignia from those islands in my collection, so they might take care of most, if not all, of my 2021 contributions.

I usually try to submit images in alphabetical order, but because they pretty much were the flag carriers of Great Britain, I will begin with the insignia worn by Imperial Airways (1924 – 1940) and those of British Overseas Airways Corporation and British Airways.

Imperial Airways operated between 1924 – 1940, greatly reducing the time it took to reach all areas of the Commonwealth. The routes were operated by land and sea planes and connected London with the empire both east and west.  With the advent of World War Two approaching, the major carriers of the U.K. were merged into British Overseas Airways Corporation. In anticipation of this merger, the insignia of Imperial Airways were modified to remove the letters “I” and  “A” from the center shield while new insignia were designed for BOAC.

BOAC operated between 1940 – 1974 when it merged with British European Airways to become British Airways.  Over the years, the BA insignia have changed many times. The first BA insignia was very ornate with quite a bit of gold bullion thread and a three colored shield at the center of the wing and cap badge. There is also a metal version of this first BA insignia. The Next version was very plain in comparison with silver bullion thread on blue material. The center of these wings featured  a “speedmark” or “servicemark”  in red or white / red thread.

British Airways current wing is a well made silver item which looks very substantial.  I do not know if there is a metal hat badge or the silver threads badge has been retained. There have been several replica wings offered on Ebay, but I do not want one of those so I’m hoping that someday a real wing will find a place in my collection.

I was told many years ago that the insignia worn by Commonwealth engineering officers have purple fabric at the center of the wings behind the “E” and between the rank stripes on their sleeves and epaulets in tribute to those engineers who remained at their stations as the RMSS Titanic sank. I have recently read of a challenge to this theory, but I still put it forward.

Imperial Airways cloth wing insignia and cap badge

Imperial Airways metal wing

Metal wing without “IA”

Bullion wing without “IA”


BOAC wings and cap badges in metal and fabric with bullion thread.

British Airways first issue with metal and bullion thread cap badges

British Airways recent issue insignia with silver thread on blue material and showing two different center designs

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A miniature B747 retrospective on Cathay Pacific’s livery evolution (1970s-2010s)

By Fabricio Cojuc

As a teenager my adoration of the Boeing 747 ignited a lifetime passion for the aviation industry. What began as a very modest 1:600 scale diecast model collection in the early 1970s has grown exponentially in size and personal commitment.  My focus over the past two decades has been on building up an eclectic 1:400 scale commercial airplane replica fleet, with a preference for special or unique liveries involving of course the B747, with Cathay Pacific at the very top of my list.

The Hong Kong based carrier operated different variants of the B747 for 37 years, beginning in June 1979 with the rollout of its first aircraft.  B747-267B, line number 385, was fittingly registered VR-HKG and wore its magnificent 1970s/80s livery, including a prominent green color, owner Swire Group’s logo in front and the British flag in the upper tail.

With the handover of Hong Kong to China in July 1997 Cathay Pacific undertook a bold image evolution and livery makeover, reflecting a modern and stylish look. Delivered in September 1997, its first -400 series, B747-467 line number 1033 was registered VR-HNI for a short time only, as all VR- registered aircraft transitioned to China’s B- registry by the end of 1997 (B-HNI is applied on this model). The Swire Group logo was redeployed to a less visible spot aft of the last lower-deck window.

To commemorate Hong Kong’s new status, B747-267B (B-HIB) was unveiled on July 1 in stunning special colors. It featured the titles “The Spirit of Hong Kong 97” on the right side and its Chinese equivalent on the left side of the aircraft, a rendering of the city’s famous skyline on both sides and a traditional Chinese brushstroke character in the middle. It was retired in 1999 as the airline continued to build up its younger –B747-400 series fleet.

On July 5, 2002 special-liveried Boeing 747-467 (B-HOY) was rolled out, carrying “Asia world city” titles. Brand Hong Kong (its dragon logotype clearly visible) was launched as a government marketing initiative to develop Hong Kong´s image as a world class city, and what better way than to use a stunning globe-trotter flying billboard. This livery was removed in 2008 in favor of a B777-300ER.  The -400 series was phased out in October 2016, leaving Cathay with a cargo only B747 fleet since then.

Cathay Pacific received its first of fourteen new generation 747-867F cargo aircraft in November 2011. Line number 1427 (B-LJA) was delivered in the beautiful “Hong Kong Trader” livery in celebration of the airline’s new cargo terminal completion. The name was inspired from its very first 747-267F, dating back to the early 1980s. Elements of both B-HIB (city skyline) and B-HOY (Brand Hong Kong dragon logo) are visible on the fuselage, which was repainted in August 2018 into the latest image.

The current livery was implemented in late 2015. A variation of the former color scheme, it preserves the fundamental green/grey/white color combination and incorporates brush-winged markings, as displayed by B747-867F B-LJN.

Thanks to these great miniatures Cathay Pacific’s B747 legacy can be preserved and cherished.

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Airports for the Supersonic Age – Part 1: Planning for SSTs

Written by Marnix (Max) Groot

Published: October 6th, 2019 | Updated: January 31st, 2020
Original article published in

Dawn of the supersonic age

​In the late 1960s, the expectation was that, by the late 20th century, the majority of long-haul passengers would fly in supersonic aircraft.

At the time, all major aircraft manufacturers in Europe, the US and the USSR were developing concepts for ‘supersonic transport aircraft’, or SST. The largest SST model, the Boeing 2707 would carry 300 passengers, which was 60 passengers less than the first 747 in a three-class layout. The Anglo-French Concorde carried between 92 and 128 passengers.

In anticipation of this development, Boeing designed the 747 with the characteristic hump, so that it could be easily converted into cargo aircraft if its design became obsolete for passenger transport.

A 1967 Boeing image showing a contemporary 1960s airport concourse, surrounded by existing Boeing models at the time: the 707, 727 and 737 as well as its upcoming Boeing 747 and the supersonic Boeing 2707. With a length of 306 feet (93 meters), the Boeing 2707 was quite a bit longer than the 747 at 231 feet (71 meters).

Despite their spectacular design and performance characteristics, SSTs were designed to make use of existing runways and terminals. ​ However, SSTs did still have an impact the design of airports, or to be more specific, their location. SSTs were extremely noisy. Hence, new airports that were expected to handle SSTs were often planned far away from the cities they served.

In this article, we will examine how some prominent airports in the late 1960s prepared for the supposedly inevitable takeover of the SST!

East Coast


Being a world city and the primary US international gateway, New York was destined to become the SST capital of the world, with both US and foreign flag carriers operating supersonic service to cities and around the globe.

New York’s Kennedy Airport was the main base for Pan Am and TWA, America’s most prominent international airlines at the time. Both airlines had options on Boeing’s SST as well as the Anglo-French Concorde. In the late 1960s, both airlines commenced expansion projects of their terminals, that were prepared to accommodate the new generation of wide-body aircraft and SSTs.

Read our full history on New York’s Kennedy Airport. Read more about the early days of the Pan Am terminal and TWA Flight Center.

Pan American Airlines, America’s de facto flag carrier, always was on the cutting edge of aviation. The airline had 15 options on the American built Boeing 2707 and 8 options on the Concorde.

A 1968 image showing a model of the upcoming expansion of the Pan Am terminal, which would be renamed the Pan Am Worldport. A Pan Am Concorde is parked at the gate, while a Boeing 2707 is taxiing by.

An advertisement announcing the expansion of the TWA Flight Center. Specific mention is made of SSTs.

A beautiful artist’s illustration of a Concorde in TWA livery. The airline had an option for six aircraft. TWA also optioned 12 Boeing 2707s.


Miami, being the gateway to Latin America and a major base for long-haul Pan Am flights, was expected to become a major SST hub. Miami International Airport was located in the middle of built up areas and SST noise was expected become a major issue.

In 1968, the decision was taken to build a huge new airport in the Florida Everglades, which planners envisioned would become a major intercontinental SST hub. The “Everglades Jetport” would have been five times larger than New York’s Kennedy Airport. ​

The airport was planned to have six runways in its final layout and would be connected to Miami by an expressway and monorail line.

Initially, the Everglades Jetport would supplement Miami International Airport but in the long term it would replace it completely. After completion of the first 10,499-foot (3,200-meter) runway in 1970, construction was halted due to a scathing environmental impact report. Named the Dade-Collier Training and Transition Airport, the airport nowadays is used as an aviation training facility.

We will soon post a separate article about the Everglades Jetport as part of our “Never Built” series!

A November 1970 aerial of the only completed runway of the Everglades Jetport. After cancellation of the project the airport lived on as a training facility.

Snapshot from a 1968 brochure announcing the Everglades Jetport project. The airport would have had six runways in its final layout and would have been five times bigger than New York’s Kennedy Airport.

West Coast


As the third largest US city at the time (now second largest), Los Angeles was surely to become a major destination for SST jets. Due to the location of LAX, noise considerations were also a major concern, even though most take-offs would have been over the ocean.

In 1968, the city started a search for suitable locations for a large-scale airport, which would supplement LAX and could accommodate SST jets.

One potential solution was the construction of an airport, two miles offshore, which could host SST operations without any noise problems.

Finally, however, planners chose to develop a new airport on a site near Palmdale, 62 miles (100 kilometers) north of Los Angeles. The city purchased 17,000 acres of land west of Air Force Plant 42, to develop what would be named Palmdale Intercontinental Airport, a mega jetport with four parallel runways.

Although a small passenger terminal opened in 1971, the scheme never came to fruition.

A separate article on Palmdale will be launched in the future as part of our “Never Built” series!

This Lockheed promotional image showed how a SST could park at one of LAX’s existing satellite buildings. Note that aircraft still parked parallel to the concourse.

An artist’s impression of the supplemental offshore airport serving LAX. The airport would be connected to the existing airport (bottom right) by means of a tunnel. The concept never got beyond the planning stage.


Being a major international gateway as well as a base for both Pan Am and TWA, San Francisco International Airport was projected to welcome significant SST traffic. This is evident in San Francisco International Airport’s 1967 draft master plan. Many of the stands on the newly built and reconfigured concourses show SSTs.

The master plan report mentions that the planners made a special trip to Boeing in Seattle to view the mock ups of the Boeing 2707 (as well as the 747) in order to obtain first-hand knowledge of the problems and possibilities of handling the new generation of aircraft.

Although SST noise was a concern, it was a bit less pressing than at other major airports around the nation. Due to its location bordering San Francisco Bay and its runway configuration, most SST flights would have been able to both land and take-off over the Bay.

A 1967 draft master plan for the future development of San Francisco International Airport. It’s evident that planners considered the SST in their plans with several stands being suitable for this new generation of aircraft. Can you spot them?

Mid-America’s jetports


Contrary to the coastal US cities, most cities in the Midwest and South had an abundance of space to build new airports.
In the late 1960s and early 1970s, a new generation of large-scale ‘jetports’ opened in the American heartland: Houston Intercontinental (1969), Kansas City (1972) and Dallas-Fort Worth (1973).

They were designed in the mid-to-late 1960s, at the height of the SST hype and when air traffic was growing by 15% annually. These airports were located far way from the cities they served and had almost unlimited possibilities to expand.

In 1966, Dallas-based Braniff International Airways took an option on three Concorde aircraft. This is reflected in the 1968 DFW master plan, which indicates various stands with parked Concorde aircraft.

Many design decisions for the new Kansas City Airport–whose terminals bore a strong resemblance to those of Dallas-Fort Worth–were driven by TWA, who operated a major base there.

The airline envisioned the new airport as a major intercontinental hub serving the heartland, using its fleet of 747s and SSTs.

In the near future, we will post full histories on the old and current airports of Dallas, Houston and Kansas City!

The January 1970 issue of Architectural Digest presented the new Houston Intercontinental Airport as an airport for the supersonic age.

This 1973 print called “Airport of the Future” by artist Wilf Hardy shows an SST flying over the new Dallas-Fort Worth Airport. I wonder what ”AOL” stands for?

A Concorde is preparing to land (or crash?!) on this artist’s impression of the future Kansas City Airport, which was conceived as a intercontinental hub for TWA.



​​In the late 1960s, at the height of SST development, the Canadian city of Montréal was one of North America’s most important international gateways–many inbound flights from Europe on their way to cities like New York, Chicago and Houston made a stopover at Montréal’s Dorval Airport.

The airport was quickly becoming saturated and planners started looking ahead. They assumed that traffic would grow with 15% annually into the foreseeable future and that the majority of people would be transported in SST aircraft.

Based on that assumption, it was decided to build a vast new airport one hour north-west of Montréal. In its final layout, the airport would boast six runways and six passenger terminals. A large buffer zone was established around the airport to ensure noise would never become an issue. The first phase of Montréal Mirabel Airport opened on October 4th, 1975.

A fantastic artist’s impression of Mirabel in the final layout. The airport would boast six runways, six passenger terminals and vast cargo and maintenance areas. The first terminal to be built was located in the top middle of the image.


Contrary to the American heartland and Canada, space in Europe comes at a premium. The development of large-scale greenfield airport projects is generally very difficult in Europe.

With the advent of the Jet Age and SSTs dominance on the horizon, several European capitals, such as London, Paris, Amsterdam and Copenhagen sought to build new airports.


Similar to New York, London was slated to become one of the busiest SST hubs. In 1964, the UK’s long-haul flag carrier BOAC (later British Airways) declared the intention to buy eight Concorde aircraft.

Heathrow, London’s primary airport, was located in the city’s western suburbs and aircraft noise was becoming a major concern. In addition, with traffic booming in the 1960s, both Heathrow and Gatwick were thought to reach capacity well before the end of the century. Hence, the construction of a third London airport was deemed necessary.

In 1971, the government selected Maplin Sands, located in the Thames Estuary, as the location for a new four-runway airport. With takeoffs and landings taking place over open water, London Maplin, would have offered an effective solution for the SST noise issue.

However, in late 1973, the Maplin scheme was abandoned due to rising construction costs and falling passenger demand due to the oil crisis.

We’ll be publishing a separate article on the search for a third London airport in the near future.

A rare artist’s illustration of the unbuilt London Maplin Airport, which was planned to be built on reclaimed land in the River Thames estuary.


​Similar to New York and London, Paris was bound to see plenty of SST operations. In 1964, Air France, declared the intention to buy eight Concorde aircraft. Air France’s home base, Paris Orly Airport, was nearing capacity and was located in the middle of built up areas, making it unsuitable for the operation of noisy SSTs.

In 1964, the French government gave the green light to build a new Jet-Age airport north-east of Paris. Planning work on Roissy Airport, named after a nearby village, started in 1966, when it seemed sure that 747s and SSTs would soon rule the skies.

In its final layout, the airport would boast five runways and five massive, futuristic, round terminal buildings, the perfect setting for the SSTs. Seemingly to match the high speeds in the air, the airport’s design was optimized for high-speed circulation, loading and unloading of aircraft. Roissy, renamed Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, opened for service in March, 1973.

A fantastic artist’s impression of Phase 1 of the “future” Paris de Gaulle Airport, an airport that was designed with both SSTs and 747s in mind.

South America


In the late 1960s and 1970s, Brazil enjoyed very high rates of economic growth. People started to speak about the “Brazilian miracle”. During this period, the government made large scale investments in infrastructure and industry.

​It’s within this context that in 1967, a study into the large-scale expansion of Rio’s Galeão Airport was commenced. As Brazil’s major tourist hub, Rio de Janeiro was expected to see its fair share of SST service. The government engaged Aéroports de Paris–the same organization that designed the brand new Paris de Gaulle Airport–to design a state-of-the-art gateway to Brazil.

The expanded Galeão Airport, called “The Supersonic Airport”, opened in 1977, almost three years behind schedule.

An artist’s impression of the expanded Galeão Airport. If you look closely however, you can count four Concordes on the ground. Note the similarity of the taxiway design to that of Paris de Gaulle.

To be concluded in Part 2!

Click here for Part 2, where we will continue the supersonic story and see how things actually worked out for the SST and how SST service was at airports around the world!

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