AI2024,Airliners International,Kansas City,Kansas City Municipal Airport,KCI,MKC,New Kansas City Terminal

KANSAS CITY AIRPORTS ON POSTCARDS

By Marvin G. Goldman

The first airport in the Kansas City, MO metropolitan area was Richards Field which opened in 1922 at the border between Kansas City and Raytown, MO. It had limited commercial airline passenger service and was mainly utilized for air mail and military purposes.

As Richards Field proved inadequate for expanding commercial airline passenger operations, Kansas City built in 1927 a new airport in a sharp bend along the Missouri River close to downtown. Initially called “New Richards Airport,” its name soon became “Kansas City Municipal Airport” and was sometimes referred to as the “Downtown Airport.” The new airport received airport code “MKC,” presumably taken from “Municipal Kansas City.” A modern passenger terminal opened at this new airport in December
1929.

Another airport, called Fairfax Airport, was also established in the 1920s, located across the river from the Kansas City Municipal Airport. Some commercial airline flights operated from Fairfax in the late 1920s and into the 1930s, but it was mainly used for industrial purposes.

Kansas City Municipal Airport (MKC)

Aerial view showing Kansas City Municipal Airport (MKC) and its four runways at a sharp bend of the Missouri River with downtown Kansas City in the foreground. Fairfax Airport is on the other side of the river. Airline Issue by United Air Lines, no. 201, probably early 1930s. The scene on this postcard also appears in a colorized version published by Max Bernstein, Kansas City.
Passenger terminal at MKC that opened in December 1929, showing on the ramp Transcontinental Air Transport (T-A-T) Ford Trimotor 5-AT-5, NC9607.
Publisher (‘Pub’r’) Max Bernstein, no. 33548.
Upper view: Western Air Express Fokker F32, NC334N, at MKC;
Lower view: Administration building at Fairfax Airport across the river from MKC.
Linen finish card.
Pub’r Max Bernstein, Curteich no. 2A-H1029, 1932.

In October 1930 Transcontinental Air Transport, Western Air Express, and three other airlines merged to form Transcontinental and Western Air, later named TWA (Trans World Airlines). TWA established its headquarters in Kansas City and became the most prominent airline at MKC. It also established its maintenance and overhaul base nearby across the river at Fairfax Airport.

TWA Douglas DC-3 at MKC. Pub’r Max Bernstein, Curteich no. 2B-H1307, linen finish, 1942.
Night view at MKC with three TWA Douglas DC-3s. Pub’r Max Bernstein, Curteich no. 2B-H1308, linen finish, 1942.

The next most prominent airline at MKC after TWA was Mid-Continent Airlines, originally formed under the name Hanford Airlines in 1936. In 1938 the airline changed its name to Mid-Continent and moved its company headquarters to Kansas City’s Fairfax Airport. Mid-Continent merged into Braniff International Airways in 1952.

Mid-Continent Airlines Douglas DC-3 at MKC. Pub’r Max Bernstein, Curteich no. 7B- H400, linen finish, 1947.
American Airlines DC-3 at MKC. Pub’r R. B. Harness Greeting Card Co., Kansas City, no. 31716N.
Entrance to passenger terminal at MKC, late 1940s. Pub’r J. E. Tetirick, Kansas City, no. JT-3, ‘Mirro-Krome’ Card by H. S. Crocker Co., San Francisco, CA.
TWA Constellation at MKC, 1950s. Pub’r Smith Sales Co., Kansas City, no. 30384.
By 1955 TWA’s ramp area at MKC was crowded as seen in this group of TWA Lockheed Constellations and Martin aircraft. Pub’r Kansas Distributing Co., Junction City, Kansas, no. KC-8.
Braniff International Airways Lockheed L-049A Constellation, N2521B, at MKC, 1957. Pub’r Air Pictorial International, no. API 058. Braniff was another airline with a long history of service to Kansas City. The airline operated until 1982.
Braniff International Airways Convair 440-0, N3437, at MKC, October 1963.
Pub’r j j Postcards for Airliners International 2007 MCI, no. 1; Bob Woodling photo.
Frontier Airlines (the original Frontier) Douglas DC-3, N65276, and Central Airlines DC-3, N88794, at MKC, June 1962. Pub’r j j Postcards for Airliners International 2007 MCI, no. 5; Bob Woodling photo.
The original Frontier Airlines and Central served Kansas City for many years. Frontier purchased Central in 1967 and ceased operations in 1986.
A new airline using the same “Frontier Airlines” name was founded in 1994.
Continental Airlines Viscount 812 at MKC, April 1963.
Pub’r j j Postcards for Airliners International 2007 MCI, no. 2; Bob Woodling photo.
Continental operated from 1934 to 2012 when it merged into United Airlines.
Its first regularly scheduled service to Kansas City was in 1946.
TWA Boeing 707-331, N765TW, landing at MKC, January 1963.
Pub’r j j Postcards for Airliners International 2007 MCI, no. 7; Bob Woodling photo.
TWA eventually was acquired by American Airlines in 2012.

The Original “MCI” – Mid-Continent International Airport

In 1951 Kansas City suffered a great flood that severely damaged TWA’s maintenance and overhaul base and many other facilities at Fairfax Airport across the Missouri River from the downtown Kansas City Municipal Airport (MKC). Some facilities at MKC were also damaged. Moreover, the Kansas City, Missouri Municipality recognized that there was little room for any expansion of airline activity at the two airports. The Municipality started planning a new airport facility 15 miles (24 km.) northwest of downtown Kansas
City in Platte County, MO, away from the Missouri River.

The new airport opened in 1956. It was named Mid-Continent International Airport and received the IATA airport code MCI.

TWA moved its main overhaul base there, and Braniff established a hub at the new airport. However, the runways and terminals at each of MKC and MCI were too small to serve in the future as Kansas City’s main airport.

Most passengers still preferred to travel out of MKC because of its proximity to downtown. However, once jet aircraft started flying in and out of MKC, the jets had difficulty landing on the short runways, and taking off presented challenges because of the downtown skyscrapers. MKC was also congested. A 1963 report by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) described MKC as “one of the poorest major airports in the country for large jet aircraft” and asked that no more federal funds be disbursed for it.

The New MCI – Kansas City International Airport

As a result, Kansas City, with the encouragement of TWA, decided to convert the MCI site into a major, modern airport. This new airport, built on the MCI site and named Kansas City International Airport, was dedicated October 23, 1972 and officially opened for commercial service on November 11, 1973. The original IATA airport code MCI was retained for the new airport, so that’s how Kansas City International is MCI (rather than KCI).

After the new MCI opened, all airlines serving Kansas City moved their operations there, and Kansas City Municipal Airport (MKC) was converted to serve only general aviation. In October 1977 the name of Kansas City Municipal Airport was changed to Kansas City Downtown Airport, and the name was changed again in August 2002 to Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport (Wheeler was Kansas City’s mayor 1971-
1979).

Kansas City International Airport (MCI) aerial view, probably in the 1980s, showing its three novel circular terminals with openings adjacent to car parking areas for easy passenger access. MCI opened for commercial flights in November 1973, replacing MKC (Kansas City Municipal Airport) as Kansas City’s main airport.
Pub’r Paragon Products, Kansas City, no. 881784; Bob Cunningham photo.
Curbside entrance to one of the circular terminals of MCI, showing the proximity of the car parking area. From each entrance, it was only a very short walk to check-in and the desired gate.
Pub’r J. Tetirick, Kansas City, no. 621143; Bob Cunningham photo.
Frontier Airlines (the original Frontier in a later livery) Boeing 737-200, N7389F, at MCI on May 26, 1979, with the gate side of one of the circular terminals in the background.
Pub’r LeAllan Henneberg, Platte City, Missouri; Dan Donovan photo. Ex Allan Van Wickler collection.
Aerial view of MCI, in two similar but different postcards.
When the airport opened with three terminals, a fourth was contemplated as drawn here, but it was never built. The airport authorities also envisioned that SST supersonic aircraft would regularly use its mid-continent location, but that did not happen either. Here the postcard publisher apparently couldn’t decide the direction in which the ‘SST’ would land, so both directions were printed, each having the same postcard number.
Pub’r Holiday Productions, Independence, Missouri; printed by Dexter Press no. 60505-C.

New Terminal at MCI, 2023

With mandated new airport security procedures following the 9/11/2001 terror attacks, the design of MCI’s three circular terminals became increasingly inefficient because there was inadequate room and separation areas available for passenger security screening. Moreover, the other terminal facilities were becoming crowded and outdated.

In 2017 it was decided to build a single modern terminal to replace the three old terminals. The City broke ground on the project in March 2019. Old Terminal A was demolished to build the new terminal in its place. Terminals B and C continued in operation only until the opening of the new single terminal.

On February 28, 2023, the new $1.5 billion single terminal opened. Its spacious interior is filled with natural light, and features upgraded technology and amenities, beautiful local artwork, and convenient gate access. Security checkpoints have been consolidated into one area with flexible features. There are 40 gates and two concourses. Passageways and glass passenger boarding bridges provide expansive
views of the surrounding airfield. I do not have any postcards yet of the new MCI terminal, but it is featured in many photos, videos, and articles on the internet. For example, follow this link for photos by the architect.


NOTES: All postcards in this article are from the author’s collection. I estimate their rarity as follows: Uncommon: United Airlines aerial view of MKC; T-A-T Ford Trimotor at MKC; Mid-Continent Airlines DC-3 at MKC; group of TWA Constellations and Martins at MKC; and Frontier 737-200 at MCI. The rest are fairly common.

I hope to see you at Airliners International™ 2024 MCI, 26-29 June 2024, at the Hilton Kansas City Airport Hotel. You can see the outstanding new MCI terminal in person while attending the world’s largest airline history and collectibles show and convention, with nearly 200 vendor tables for buying, selling, and trading airline memorabilia (including postcards, of course), seminars, the annual meeting of the World Airline Historical Society, annual banquet, tours and more. Follow this link for more information: airlinersinternational.org.

Airliners International™ 2024 MCI will include an airline/airport postcard exhibit area. Please consider submitting an exhibit entry. Follow this this link for postcard entry guidelines.

Happy collecting. Marvin.

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Airliners International,airlines,American Airlines,Central Airlines,Continental,CR Smith Museum,Delta,DFW,Eastern Air Lines,Fort Worth,Frontier,Houston,Houston Hobby,Jefferson County Airlport,Love Field,Meacham Field,postcards,Rio Airways,Southwest,Spirit,Texas,Trans-Texas

SKIES OVER TEXAS IN AIRLINE POSTCARDS

By Marvin G. Goldman

A warm welcome to Texas. I hope you enjoy our postcard trip through the skies of the Lone Star State as well as the Airliners International™ 2023 show and convention at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

This postcard shows a Trans-Texas Airways Douglas DC-3, airline issue late 1940s, with ‘linen’ finish.

Let’s start with postcards of airlines that served Texas and are now history, followed by leading airlines that continue to operate in Texas skies.

Braniff Airways Douglas DC-3 over Dallas, early 1940s, airline issue. Braniff Airways was incorporated in 1930. Originally based in Oklahoma, it moved its operation and maintenance base to Dallas Love Field in 1934 and its administrative headquarters to Dallas in 1942.
Braniff International Airways Convair 340, N3423, in service with Braniff during 1953-1967 (with an American Airlines Convair in the background), at Greater Fort Worth International Airport, Amon Carter Field. Braniff Airways changed its name to Braniff International Airways in 1948 and to Braniff International in 1965.
Of course, we cannot leave Braniff without noting one of its iconic “Flying Colors” aircraft. Here is Braniff International’s famous “747 Braniff Place,” Boeing 747-100, N601BN, airline-issued oversize postcard, 9 x 23 mm.  The aircraft, based at Dallas/Fort Worth airport, served in Braniff’s fleet from 1971 until the airline’s demise in 1982.
Eastern Air Lines Douglas DC-2, NC13735, over Houston, Texas. Airline issue, 1936-37.  This postcard was republished in slightly different colors by Curteich in 1937 as no. 7A-H1739. Eastern’s predecessors started service in 1926, adopting the Eastern Air Lines name in 1934. In 1936 Eastern extended its route network to Texas by acquiring Wedell-Williams Air Service. Eastern continued as an airline until 1991.
Eastern Air Lines Douglas DC-3 at Houston Municipal Airport (renamed Hobby Airport in 1967), probably in 1940s. Pub’r Bluebonnet News, Houston; printer Colourpicture H-12, 16910.
Central Airlines was a local service airline headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, and operated in Texas and nearby states from 1949 until 1967 when it was acquired by the original Frontier Airlines. This postcard shows a Central DC-3 in a 1959 painting by Charles Hubbell to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the airline. Publisher John Stryker, Western Fotocolor, Fort Worth, Texas, no. 29462.
Frontier Airlines Convair 580, airline issue. On June 1, 1964, Frontier became the first airline to fly the Convair 580. This is the original Frontier Airlines that operated from 1950 to 1986.
Rio Airways de Havilland Canada DHC-6-300 Twin Otter at Dallas/Fort Worth airport. Published by jjPostcards as part of a set of eight new postcards of aircraft at DFW presented to full convention registrants at Airliners International 2023 DFW.
Rio Airways was a regional airline headquartered in Killeen, Texas, that operated from 1967 to 1987 in several Texas cities and eventually in neighboring states. At times it served at DFW under the Delta Connection brand and then as Braniff Express.
 Trans-Texas Airways Douglas DC-3 “Starliner” flying over San Jacinto Monument, located about 16 miles east of Houston, Texas. A/I about 1949, printer Colourpicture, Boston, no. P1496, photo by Jim Thomas, Houston. Founded in the early 1940s, Trans-Texas changed its name to Texas International Airlines in 1969, and in 1982 it merged with Continental Airlines.
Continental Airlines Boeing 727-200, N29730, in service with Continental 1973 – 1995, airline-issued postcard featuring nonstop service to Houston, one of its major airport hubs.
Continental Airlines Boeing 777-200 at Houston International Airport, issued for the Airliners International show in 2002. Photo by Duane L. Young, and sponsored by jjPostcards—The World of Aviation Postcards.  Continental merged with United in 2010.

Now let’s turn to some of the leading airlines currently serving Texas. We start with American Airlines which has the longest continuous operating history in Texas and maintains its headquarters in Fort Worth near Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

American Airlines Douglas DC-3 at Fort Worth’s municipal airport, Meacham Field, probably in early 1937.  Airline issue A-245-C. Predecessor airlines of American started operations in Texas in the 1920s, and American has grown its hub at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport to be the second largest in the U.S. (after Delta’s Atlanta hub). At DFW airport American has had a market share of up to 86% of all passengers.
American Airlines Convair 240 at El Paso International Airport, 1948 to 1950s. 
Publisher Petley 653.
American Airlines Boeing 707 and 727-100 at Dallas Love Field, probably in the 1970s. Pub’r All-Tom Corporation, Arlington TX, Dexter Press D-21998-C. 
(I hope that Braniff BAC-1-11 knows where it’s headed.)
American Airlines MD-80s converging on its DFW airport hub, 1990s. 
Pub’r The Texas Postcard Co., Plano TX D-150, 711.
Delta Air Lines started operating in Texas, from Dallas, in 1929. This postcard shows a Delta Convair at Jefferson County Airport serving Beaumont and Port Arthur, Texas, in the 1960s. Pub’r Edwards News Co., Port Arthur & Beaumont, printer Curteichcolor.
Delta Air Lines Boeing 777-200, introduced in 1995. Airline issue, 2000.
United Airlines “Houston” destination postcard. When Continental Airlines merged with United in 2010, United acquired Continental’s huge hub in Houston and then expanded it further. United is the largest airline at Houston, carrying over 70% of its passenger traffic.
Note: skyline pictured is actually Dallas, not Houston, TX.
Dallas, Houston, and other Texas airports are also served, of course, by many non-U.S. airlines. One of the earlier international entrants was KLM Royal Dutch Airlines. Here is a KLM Douglas DC-8 at Houston (Hobby) International, 1960s. Pub’r H.S. Crocker MW-6.
Spirit Airlines Airbus A321, issued by Airbus Deutschland GmbH, no. 148. Low-cost Spirit serves over 20 destinations from Dallas/Fort Worth airport alone.
Frontier Airlines 737-200, N237TR, which entered service from Dallas-Fort Worth to Denver on September 24, 1999. Airline issue. The current low-cost Frontier Airlines started service in 1994 and now flies to some 20 destinations from Dallas alone.

We close with the airline that, along with American, is most associated with Texas skies – Southwest Airlines, also headquartered in Dallas. Southwest commenced operations in 1971 from its base at Love Field, Dallas. At first, it was an intrastate Texas airline, but in 1979 it started expanding to other states and eventually to international destinations as well. Today Southwest is the third largest airline in the U.S. (behind American and Delta) in terms of passengers carried.

Southwest Airlines 737-300, N352SW, in special “Lone Star One” livery designed in 1990 for Southwest’s 20th anniversary, here with a special passenger. Al Canales collection.
Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-300 on final approach to Dallas Love Field.
Al Canales collection.

NOTES: All postcards in this article are from the author’s collection unless otherwise noted.

Below is my estimate of the rarity of the above postcards:

  • Rare: Trans-Texas DC-3 with hostess, Braniff DC-3 over Dallas, and Eastern DC-2 over Houston;
  • Uncommon: Central Airlines, Trans-Texas DC-3 over San Jacinto Monument, Continental 727-200 Houston, American DC-3 at Meacham Field, American Convair 240 at El Paso, Delta Convair at Jefferson County Airport, and KLM DC-8 at Houston;
  • The rest are fairly common.

I hope to see you at Airliners International™ 2023 DFW, June 22-24, 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 collectibles show and convention, with more than 200 vendor tables for buying, selling, and trading airline memorabilia (including, of course, airline and airport postcards), seminars, the annual meeting of the World Airline Historical Society, annual banquet, tours and more. 

Follow this link for more information on entering the postcard, model and photograph/slide contests.

Until then, Happy Collecting, Marvin

 
American Airlines postcard, 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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Airliners International 2023,American Airlines,Amon Carter Field,Dallas,Delta Air Lines,DFW,Fort Worth,GSW,Love Field,Meacham Field,postcard contest,Southwest Airlines

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.

Notes

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.

References

  • 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).
  • http://www.airfields-freeman.com/tx/airfields_tx_ftworth_ne.htm (on Greater Fort Worth Airport).
  • Airport websites: dfwairport.com; dallas-lovefield.com.
  • Texas State Historical Association websites: tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/love field and tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/dallas-fort-worth-international 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: airlinersinternational.org.

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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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 jjpostcards.com, 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 jjpostcards.com.

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.

Notes

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 jjpostcards.com, 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.

References

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.

Flychicago.com.

www.midwayhistorians.com/photos.html 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 wahsonline.com, 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 jjpostcards.com related to Midway and O’Hare Airports.

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

Until then,

Happy collecting. Marvin


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Chicago,O'Hare

Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) in Postcards

By Marvin G. Goldman

By the end of World War II in 1945, Chicago’s main airport, Midway, was barely coping with accelerating passenger numbers and no significant room for facility expansion. The City had no alternative but to select an entirely new location to meet future needs for additional capacity. In 1945 it selected Orchard Field, northwest of downtown Chicago. The site had been home to a Douglas Aircraft C-54 assembly plant during the war and had four intersecting runways.

In 1949 the Chicago City Council renamed Orchard Field as “Chicago-O’Hare Field,” in honor of naval aviator Lt. Cmdr. Edward H. “Butch” O’Hare, a Chicago native and Medal of Honor recipient. The original airport code “ORD,” taken from the Orchard Field name, was retained.

O’Hare became the first major airport in the U.S. to be planned and constructed after World War II. Development took several years, and it was only in 1955 that O’Hare officially opened to scheduled commercial airline service. Growth was slow at first, as Midway Airport, being close to downtown Chicago, was much more popular at that time. However, with the arrival of the “jet age” in 1958-1959, and the resultant need for longer runways that Midway Airport didn’t have and lacked room to build, O’Hare took off on its path to becoming America’s busiest airport.

I am aware of only two postcards of O’Hare issued prior to 1959:

1956-issued postcard of O’Hare. Publisher Aero Distributing, Chicago, no. CK211, Curteichcolor no. 6C-K1430. This shows the original terminal building and control tower. The word “International” on the front has already been added to the airport’s name. Three propliner aircraft are on the right side. The back of this card states that O’Hare is the “world’s largest airport” – an interesting claim because even a year later O’Hare only handled 36weekday departures versus Midway’s 414.
United Airlines Douglas DC-6B, N37581, at Chicago O’Hare Far North West Side, Pub’r Aero Dist’g no. CK-249, Curteichcolor no. 7C-K2639, issued 1957. Later versions of this postcard were issued, one with a border and another in a dual view with Chicago’s skyline. United established its presence at O’Hare early on, and developed a major hub there.

In 1959 pure jets started flying into O’Hare.  The early model pure jets, Boeing 707s and Douglas DC-8s, could not fly into Midway Airport because of Midway’s shorter runways.  My own first flight, on 17 December 1959, was aboard a new Continental Airlines 707 which flew from Los Angeles to Chicago O’Hare with a stop in Denver.

TWA and American Airlines 707s parked at O’Hare, in 1959 or 1960 (my card is postmarked September 10, 1960). Also on the ramp is a helicopter of Chicago Helicopter Airways. Behind the aircraft, you can see the observation deck with spectators enjoying the panoramic view of the airport. Pub’r Cameo Greeting Cards, Chicago, no. P30884.

Most postcards of O’Hare were issued during the 1960s, the early jet-age years. By July 1962 all scheduled operations at Midway airport were transferred to O’Hare. In that year O’Hare served 10 million passengers and claimed to be the “World’s Busiest Airport.” By 1965 that number doubled to 20 million, and by 1968 it rose to 30 million. Here is a selection of postcards from that decade:

In January 1962 O’Hare Airport completed a major construction project with the opening of new Terminals 2 and 3. This postcard shows one of those terminals and interior views. Pub’r Aero Dist’g, Curteich no. 2DK-1176, 1962. Each terminal included separate levels for arrivals and departures, innovative at the time. In the small images on this card, you can see two United Airlines Sud-Est Caravelle aircraft, introduced in July 1961.
Aerial view of O’Hare, 1962. Pub’r Aero Distr’g no. CK-294, Curteichcolor 2-DK-1176. Here you can see Terminals 2 and 3 in the background, separated by a round building under construction that would become a restaurant rotunda upon its opening in 1963. The ramp features a mix of prop and jet aircraft, and several jetways are already in use.

O’Hare (through United Airlines) and San Francisco International (through Pan Am) each claim to have been the first airport to use jetways.

Close-up of jetways, completed rotunda restaurant, and Terminals 2 and 3 at O’Hare, probably 1963. Pub’rHandleman Co., Chicago, no. P59106.
Aerial view of O’Hare, now called “The Aviation Crossroads of the World,” showing aircraft lining up for takeoff on its 11,600 ft. runway that opened in August 1960 – the longest civilian aircraft runway in the U.S. at the time. Pub’rCameo Greeting Cards, Chicago, Dexter Press no. 67044-B, Penrod Studio photo, about 1963.
Eastern Air Lines Lockheed L-188 Electras parked near the control tower at O’Hare. Pub’r Standard Map Dist., Chicago, no. SM-134.
Northwest Airlines L-188 Electra and Boeing 707, Continental Airlines707, and in the background an Air France 707, at Chicago O’Hare, Pub’r Cameo, Dexter Press no. DT-67051-B, Penrod Studio photo. In the background are 16 fuel tanks connected to hydrants at the aircraft parking stations, eliminating the need to transport fuel to airplanes by truck – another innovation at O’Hare.
United Airlines Sud-Est Caravelle and Douglas DC-8 at Chicago O’Hare. Pub’r Cameo, Dexter Press no. DT-67054-B. Penrod Studio photo.
Waiting Room Lobby, Terminal 2, Chicago O’Hare, postmarked 24 January 1964. Pub’r Cameo, Dexter Press no. 67043-B, Penrod Studio Photo. Note the many telephone booths. The seats, “Tandem Sling Seats” designed by Charles and Ray Eames in 1962, were first introduced at O’Hare and became an iconic standard at numerous airports.

Very few postcards on Chicago O’Hare have been published from the 1970s to date. Here are some examples:

United Boeing 747-100, N4727U, taxiing on the bridge over expressway at Chicago O’Hare, about 1972. Pub’r Illinois Dist., Aurora IL, no. J12199, Phil Valdez photo. This bridge, which opened in December 1966 to improve aircraft maneuvering efficiency, was the first airport taxiway bridge spanning a public roadway.
Aerial view of Chicago O’Hare showing its newer control tower that opened in May 1971 and behind it the airport hotel that debuted in February 1973. At right is an American Airlines concourse. Oversize card, 4-1/2” x 6-1/2”. Pub’r Photoscapes, Glencoe IL no. CHI 284, Kanna Wang photo.
The expansion of O’Hare in the 1960s and early 1970s can be seen in this 1975 aerial view postcard. Note the numerous concourses and vast land area. Pub’r Aero Dist’g, Evanston IL, no. E-48, Curteichcolor no. 5ED-373.
United Airlines’ new Terminal 1 concourse at Chicago O’Hare that opened in 1987. Pub’r Postcard Factory, Markham, Ontario, Canada, no. 643925, P. Pearson photo. The new Terminal 1 was built on the site of the original O’Hare Terminal 1 and was dubbed “The Terminal for Tomorrow.”
United Airlines’ new Terminal 1 underground walkway that opened in 1987. It was created by artist Michael Hayden and called ‘The Sky’s the Limit’. Pub’r Pitt Souvenirs, Northbrook IL, no. PSK 3019, photo by Daryl R. Doulder.

Note: All the postcards shown are in the author’s collection. They are all fairly common.

Since 1990, Chicago O’Hare International Airport has continuously been expanding to meet the demands of growing passenger volume. In 1990 American Airlines, the second-largest carrier at O’Hare next to United, completed a large renovation and expansion of its facilities in Terminal 3; and in 1993 a newer international terminal, Terminal 5, opened.

In 2005 the airport embarked on an “O’Hare Modernization Plan,” a $6 billion airfield reconfiguration designed to transform O’Hare from an air traffic bottleneck into a more modern airport with fewer ‘”system-impact delays.”. Sixteen years later, in September 2021, O’Hare celebrated the completion of this project which included four new runways, the extension of two other runways, two new air traffic control towers (South and North), and the replacement of intersecting runways with parallel runways.

Yet more plans are underway at O’Hare. In 2018, a year when O’Hare handled over 84 million passengers, with about 2,400 daily flights to over 200 scheduled destinations, the airport adopted its latest master plan, called “O’Hare 21.” This plan includes, most significantly, a Terminal Area Plan whose centerpiece is a new O’Hare Global Terminal, to replace Terminal 2 and be a gateway to the airport. The Plan also intends to integrate domestic and international terminal operations, allowing airlines in each of the three major airline alliances (Oneworld, Skyteam, and Star Alliance) to consolidate operations in one terminal. Other features include increasing gate capacity by 25%, improving baggage and security services, and near-term expansion of Terminals 3 and 5.

References

  • flychicago.com. Chicago Department of Aviation site, tab “O’Hare History.”
  • wikipedia.org. “O’Hare International Airport.”
  • chicagotribune.com/news. “O’Hare International Airport timeline: From farm to global terminal,” by Kori Rumore (September 9, 2021).
  • Spiselman, Anne, “Chicago O’Hare and Its Next 25 Years,” Airways Magazine, March/April 2019, pp. 78-87.

With all the new developments and activity at Chicago O’Hare International Airport, I hope to see you at Airliners International™ 2022 Chicago, June 23-25, 2022, at the Hilton Rosemount/Chicago O’Hare Hotel. This is the world’s largest airline history and airline collectibles show and convention, with nearly 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. You might want to enter the Postcard Contest at the show. More information on AI2022 is available at airlinersinternational.org. Follow this link for Postcard Contest Rules.

Until then, Happy Collecting,

Marvin

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Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (‘PHX’) in Postcards

Written by Marvin G. Goldman

‘Sky Harbor’ Airport, named by the owner of the original Scenic Airways, opened in Phoenix, Arizona, in early 1929 with one modest runway. It was soon nicknamed ‘The Farm’ because of its rural, isolated location. Its first scheduled passenger flight was operated by Maddux Air Lines on 23 February 1929. The City of Phoenix acquired the airport from its developer six years later, on 16 July 1935.

The airport’s first modern terminal was Terminal 1 which opened, together with the first control tower, in 1952. The control tower became an iconic symbol of the airport at that time.

‘Phoenix Sky Harbor Municipal Airport’ soon after its opening in 1952. Curteich no. 3C-H898, distributed by Lollesgard Specialty, Phoenix. On the ramp you can see two American Airlines DC-6s, a TWA Constellation, and a DC-3. The postcard back says “Its unique Control Tower, one of the world’s tallest, over 125 ft. in height and built of a steel tube 9 ft. in diameter, is the first of its kind in the world”.
Closeup of the Terminal 1 Control Tower, 1950s. Pub’r Petley Studios, Phoenix, no. C10786.
Beechcraft Queen Air 65, N110Q, with passengers arriving at Phoenix Sky Harbor, 1960. Promotional postcard issued by Beechcraft.

In 1962 Terminal 2 opened, a major and modern addition with 19 gates. That same year Sky Harbor handled one million passengers for the first time. In 2019 more than 46 million passengers utilized the airport.

Ramp view showing Terminal 2 which opened in 1962, with a mix of jet and prop aircraft at the gates, including TWA and American 707s. Terminal 1 is in the background. Pub’r Petley Studios, no. C15570, color photo by Mike Roberts.
Parking and entrance view showing Terminal 1 in foreground and Terminal 2 in background. Pub’r Petley Studios, Mike Roberts photo, no. B847. Ex Allan Van Wickler collection.
Interior waiting room at Terminal 2. The back wall features a 3-panel, 3-dimensional mural by Paul Coze, a Phoenix artist, with the center panel displaying a mythological ‘Phoenix’ bird. Pub’r Petley Studios, no. 66283.
American Airlines Boeing 737-200, N459AC, at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. Pub’r Terrell Pub. Co., nos. 1699 and 02890042, photo by Ken Raveill.

Terminal 1 was demolished in 1991 (except the iconic control tower was relocated to Cutter Aviation in the general aviation section of the airport), and Terminal 2 was closed on 4 February 2020. The airport’s website states that the noted Coze mural of Terminal 2 was saved for display in the Rental Car Center in 2021.

Terminal 3 with an additional concourse of 23 gates, and a new control tower and large parking garage, all opened in 1979. Since then portions have been modernized, and an additional concourse opened in 2019. In that year Terminal 3 was officially named the ‘John S. McCain III Terminal’.

Aerial view of Terminal 3, its concourses, the parking garage, and the control tower that opened in 1979. Downtown Phoenix can be seen in the distance. Pub’r Petley Studios, no. X115599, photo by Don Ceppi. The 1979 control tower has since been replaced by a more modern one that opened in 2006.

Terminal 4, the largest of the airport’s terminals, opened in November 1990. Originally having 44 gates, it now has 86, with several concourses. It is also known as the ‘Barry M. Goldwater Terminal’.

United Airlines 737-500, N957UA at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. Pub’r: Mary Jayne’s no. MJ1226, issued in 1994 with photo sourced from Ken Bateman.
Southwest Airlines 737-300, N383SW, in special ‘Arizona’ livery, at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. Pub’r ljm 15, no. 09/94b, photo by Fliteline/B. Shane.

Notes: All postcards shown are in the author’s collection except for the Beechcraft and United cards. The Beechcraft postcard is uncommon, and the rest are fairly common.

Best wishes for the success of Airliners International 2021 PHX,
Marvin Goldman

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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 worldairsociety@aol.com.

Until next time, Happy Collecting

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Airline Menu Postcards

Written by Marvin G. Goldman

Many airlines, particularly on longer flights, have typically handed out beautiful menus in advance of their meal service.  One type of menu, popular in the past with certain airlines, served a double purpose – it had a postcard back, as the airline hoped the passenger would mail the postcard, and this would publicize the airline more widely.  Some of the early menu postcards even state on the back: “Please address and return to Stewardess, who will stamp and mail for you”.

Surprisingly few airlines actually issued menus in postcard form.  I know of only 17 airlines that did so, although probably more exist.  Also, at least three other airlines issued menus with postcards attached so they could be separated and mailed or saved.

The late 1940s through the early 1960s were the high point for the popularity of airline menus with postcard backs.  Some, however, date as early as the1930s and the latest I know of were issued by TWA in 1987.

All the postcards shown in this article are airline issued; standard or continental size; and from my collection except for those of B.O.A.C., Ghana, and South African Airways.

The airline that issued the most menu postcards, by far, was United Air Lines.  I estimate that more than 80% (and maybe 90%) of the menu postcards that you can find at airline collectible shows or on the internet are those issued by United.

So let’s start with menu postcards of United Air Lines.  United issued many types of menu postcards, including those celebrating special events, holidays or destinations, menus with suitable illustrations for breakfasts, and a lengthy set with photographs of United destinations.

Here are my three favorite United menu postcards.  I was fortunate to acquire them over 30 years ago from collector Randy Lieberman, and I have never seen other originals of each.

United Air Lines postcard celebrating Navy Week: Oct. 26-Nov. 1, 1941’. It is ironic that this menu postcard was handed out one month before the attack on the U.S. Naval base at Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii. Note also the border resembling the rope of a ship.

United Air Lines menu postcard issued especially for St. Patrick’s Day, 16 March 1940.  There’s a lot of Irish in the text of this card.

United Air Lines menu postcard issued especially for Valentine’s Day, 14 February 1942.  This menu has a lot of hearts as well as ‘Cupid’s Ice Cream’. 

In the 1940s United several menu postcards with the symbol of a chef running to serve a steaming hot meal, such as the following:

United Air Lines menu postcard showing a DC-3 and noting ‘Los Angeles’, postmarked 20 January 1943.  The message on the back says: “This meal on the other side of card I just finished while in flight between Los Angeles and San Francisco. It was very tasty and I enjoyed it very much. Best to all the office.”  I’m sure this was the kind of publicity that United desired. 

United Air Lines ‘Breakfast menu’ postcard, 1950s.  The image of the very early milk delivery suggests the freshness of the food served.  United also widely publicized its Flight Kitchens and chefs, as can be seen in the text above the menu. 

United Air Lines menu postcard commemorating its 25th anniversary, April 1951.

 In the early 1950s United issued a set of menu postcards, each with a photograph of a particular United destination.  I know of at least 20 different destinations in this set, and there may be more.  A particular destination card was sometimes used for several different menus, so the varieties multiply.  The postcards in this set are the most common of all the menu postcards and are widely available.  Here is one example,

 

United postcard with menu prepared by United’s Chicago Flight Kitchen, Eugene Ertle, Chef, and destination photo of Santa Catalina Island, California.  Another menu postcard with this view has the logo of the 50th anniversary of powered flight on the postcard side and so must have been issued in 1953. 

Let’s now turn to the other U.S. airlines that issued menu postcards.

American Airlines foldover menu postcard.  When folded the AA logo appears on the picture side and the postcard side is on the back, while the menu appears inside. This style exists with different menus.  The one shown was served on American’s ‘New York Toltec’ flight.  ‘El Tolteca’ was American’s name for its service to Mexico City in the 1950s.  So this menu is in Spanish as well as English.  One of my cards of this type is postmarked 29 April 1950.

American Airlines menu postcard showing symbols of California as a destination.  The postcard back says ‘First with Jets Across the U.S.A.’.  This is part of a destination set issued in the early 1960s.  The same destination can have different menus.  Other destinations in this set include Mexico, New England and New York, and there may be others.

Eastern Air Lines postcard showing actual photo of what’s on the menu aboard a Lockheed Constellation, postmarked 18 July 1955.  Part of a set that shows photos of different meals served on Eastern.  On this postcard a child wrote “Hi Grampa !  Just ate all of it.  Not sick at all !”    Well, I guess that’s a good enough testimonial for airplane food.

Northwest Orient Airlines menu postcard, ‘Orient’, 1960s.  This is part of a set with beautiful illustrations of symbols and foods of the particular destination.  Other destinations in the set include Alaska, Atlanta, Florida, Pacific Northwest and Philippines, and there are probably more.

Pan American menu postcard, ‘On Board: Bermuda Clipper’.  This rare card dates from the late 1930s or 1940, and was probably used on Pan Am’s Baltimore – Bermuda seaplane route.

Pan American ‘Clipper Menu’ postcard, Seattle – Juneau, ‘Alaska Service’, with DC-3, late 1930s or early 1940s.  Ex Deke Billings collection.

 

Pan American ‘Alaska Service’ menu postcard, Seattle – Juneau with a destination photo, in the style of the 1950s.    Ex William Demarest collection.  There are other views in this set, and they are much harder to find than the corresponding United menu postcards of the same style.

TWA (Trans World Airlines) foldover menu postcard, showing the postcard back and foldover view, here Monterey Peninsula, California.  The menu takes up the entire other side of the postcard and view portions.  Issued March 1953.  The postcard back says: “This in-flight menu is printed in post card form, so that you may mail it home to family or friends as a remembrance of your TWA flight.”  I am aware of similar postcards with views of Naples and New York, and there may be others.

 

TWA ‘Menu a la Card’ postcard, with artwork typifying ‘Phoenix’.  Card is slightly larger than continental size.  Part of a set of destination menu postcards issued in 1987.  This is the latest date I know of for an airline menu with a postcard back on the menu itself.  The postcard back says: “TWA is pleased to present our new Great Destinations Series.  Through an artist’s vision we wish to share with our passengers the spirit and the aura of some of the Great Destinations that TWA serves.  Rather than depict famous landmarks, we have chosen scenes that we think typify the life style, the feel for a country or city that no monument can convey.”  Other destinations in this series include London, Paris, Puerto Rico, St. Louis and San Francisco, and there probably are others.

National Airlines ‘Bar Service’ menu service, 1950s.  Note the text ‘Liquor may be served outside the three mile limit or over the State of Florida’.  Before 1949 U.S. airlines generally did not serve alcoholic beverages in flights over the U.S.  Thereafter, for a brief period into the 1950s, various States did not permit the serving of alcoholic beverages in flight.  Apparently, on the flight where this card was handed out, National could serve drinks only when the aircraft was over Florida, or more than three miles offshore, considered to be ‘international waters’.

Pacific Northern Airlines ‘flying high above Scenic Alaska’ menu postcard, late 1950s.

Hawaiian Airlines menu and adjoining postcard that can be easily detached and mailed, issued about 1995.  Ex Kuo-ching (‘Peter’) Fu collection.  The other side of the postcard portion shows artwork of Hawaiian artist Juno Galang, and the reverse of the menu portion advertises Lion Hawaiian coffee, served on Hawaiian Airlines flights.

 Not illustrated here, but in my collection, are menu cards with detachable postcards issued by three other airlines: Finnair (with attached DC-10 postcard), KLM Amsterdam-Los Angeles service menu postcard (with attached 737-300 postcard), and Virgin Atlantic (one with attached artist’s depiction of people in London looking up to sky, and another depicting a London double-decker bus).

Now let’s turn to menus with postcard backs issued by airlines outside the U.S.

Trans-Canada Air Lines – Air Canada postcard with French and English text and rodeo photo, issued September 1963.  Part of a set with other menus and views. 

 

Canadian Pacific ‘Princess Menu’ postcard with photo of Victoria Glacier and Lake Louise, Canada. Card postmarked 27 October 1962. Part of a set with other menus and views. Canadian Pacific also issued menu postcards with the menu surrounded by the insignia of the various Canadian provinces.

I am not aware of any South American, European or Middle East airline menu cards with a postcard back other than those issued by B.O.A.C. (British Overseas Aircraft Corporation)

B.O.A.C. (British Overseas Aircraft Corporation) menu postcard, with artist’s view of the Drakensberg mountains, South Africa. 1950s. Internet image. Part of a set with other menus and views. Note the ‘Speedbird’ logo in the lower right. B.O.A.C. also issued, probably in the 1960s, another set of menu postcards with destination illustrations and the tagline ‘all over the world B.O.A.C. takes good care of you’ and with no Speedbird logo.

There are two African airlines that apparently have issued menu postcards, as to which I have never seen an actual card.  They are illustrated on the Famgus Aviation Postcards website, as follows:

Ghana Airways menu postcard with view of Accra.  1960s.

 

South African Airways menu postcard in two languages, Afrikaans and English. Late 1950s. 

From Asia and Australasia, I am aware of three airlines that have issued menu postcards.

Civil Air Transport (CAT), Taiwan, menu postcard showing a painting of an elf offering peaches symbolizing a long life.  Probably 1950s.  Ex William Demarest collection.  CAT issued other similar menu postcards, including one showing two Chinese boys greeting one another.

Philippine Airlines menu postcard showing folk art, postmarked 17 August 1971.

TEAL (Tasman Empire Airways Limited] menu postcard highlighting the ‘enchanted isles of the South Seas’, postmarked 22 April 1961.

I hope you enjoyed this overview of airline menu postcards.  If you know of any other airlines that issued menu cards with postcard backs, or if you have any comments on my article, I would be pleased to hear from you.  Just email me, Marvin Goldman, at worldairsociety@aol.com.

Until next time, Happy Collecting.
Marvin

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TWA – Trans World Airlines on Postcards

Written by Marvin G. Goldman

TWA served as one of the foremost airlines in the United States, tracing its origin to 1925 when Western Air Express was founded, and operating until acquired by American Airlines in 2001.

TWA itself was formed in 1930 from a combination of Western Air Express and Transcontinental Air Transport (T.A.T.)-Maddux, and was originally known as Transcontinental & Western Air.  Briefly, during 1925 to 1930 TWA’s three main predecessors evolved as follows:

— Western Air Express, formed on 13 July 1925, developed a substantial airline network spanning the western U.S. from 1926 to 1930.

Western Air Express Fokker F-32, NC334N, at Glendale Central Airport, California, 1930.  Real photo postcard by Talbot, no. 28.  Ex Deke Billings collection.  The Fokker F-32 was the largest airliner of its day and the first four-engine transport in the U.S.  Western Air Express operated the only two F-32s utilized in passenger service, and the aircraft type had a very short life, only carrying passengers in 1930-31.

— Maddux Air Lines, founded in 1927, developed a significant network in California plus service to Phoenix, Arizona and Agua Caliente, Mexico.

Maddux Air Lines Ford 4-AT Tri-Motor, NC4532, and Route Map. Airline Issue. Ex Deke Billings collection.

— Transcontinental Air Transport (T.A.T.), established in 1929 and backed by railroad interests, started a transcontinental Air-Rail service on 7 July 1929, operating western and eastern portions by air, with passengers transferring to rail service for the central part of the journey.

Transcontinental Air Transport (T.A.T.) Ford Tri-Motors at Port Columbus Airport, Ohio, 8 July 1929, at the inauguration ceremony for the eastern link of their Air-Rail transcontinental service. One of a set of postcards issued by Port Columbus Airport for their 75th anniversary in 2004. T.A.T operated a western segment from Glendale, California to Clovis, New Mexico, where passengers would transfer to rail service to Columbus, Ohio, and then resume with T.A.T. aircraft to New York. The Air-Rail arrangement continued into 1930, but thereafter T.A.T.’s aircraft operated the entire transcontinental route.

— T.A.T.-Maddux arose from the merger of Maddux with T.A.T. on 16 November 1929.

T.A.T.-Maddux Curtiss Condor CO at Port Columbus, Ohio, 1930. Pub’r W. E. Ayers Co., Columbus. Printed by Curteich, no. 2268-30. The Curtiss Condor was the last large biplane built in the U.S.  T.A.T.-Maddux utilized it to supplement its Ford Tri-Motors.

Under pressure from then Postmaster General Walter Folger Brown, who controlled the awarding of valuable airmail routes and wanted to promote a single transcontinental airline, in a ‘Shotgun Marriage’ the aircraft and other assets of Western Air Express and T.A.T.-Maddux were transferred on 24 July 1930 to a single company, named Transcontinental & Western Air (TWA).

In August 1932, Jack Frye, then Vice President-Operations of TWA, sent a famous letter to Donald Douglas with specifications for a desired new, modern aircraft type.  This resulted in a single Douglas Aircraft DC-1 prototype, delivered to TWA on 1 December 1933.  The unique DC-1 served as publicity for TWA, and here are two postcards.

TWA Douglas DC-1 on display at Glendale Central Air Terminal, Glendale, California. Real photo postcard. Ex Allan Van Wickler collection.

Interior of TWA Douglas DC-1 in a staged scene. Airline Issue. The back of the card states: “QUIET PLEASE! One of the most marvelous achievements contributing to the advancement of air travel is the quiet passenger cabin of the TWA Douglas Luxury Airliner. Conversation may be carried on in normal tone of voice. The cabin is carefully insulated from the engine and propeller noise and vibration. Luxurious deep-cushioned chairs and a wide aisle contribute to absolute comfort.”

Based on the DC-1, Douglas and TWA decided to lengthen the aircraft by two feet, thereby raising the number of seats from 12 to 14. This and other improvements became the DC-2, with the first being delivered to TWA on 18 May 1934, followed by 30 more. The DC-2 represented a tremendous improvement over all other airline types then in operation, and it transformed airline service.

TWA Douglas DC-2, NC13728, delivered to TWA on 21 August 1934. Airline issue. Ex Allan Van Wickler collection.

 

TWA Douglas DC-2 Cockpit. Pub’r C. R. Schneider Co., New York NY. Probably airline issue.

The DC-2 was followed by the even more advanced Douglas DC-3, including a sleeper version called the DC-3 DST (Douglas Sleeper Transport).  The DC-3 exceeded all expectations and became one of the most famous aircraft types in history.  TWA introduced DC-3s to its fleet (initially with the DST version) on 1 June 1937, in transcontinental service.

 

TWA Douglas DC-3 DST at Burbank, California, Airport. Airline issue. My card is postmarked 18 November 1938.

TWA Douglas DC-3 DST, NC17312, at New York. The back of the card states: “TWA’s luxury Skysleepers let you dream your way across the nation. You can leave New York in the evening–and breakfast in Los Angeles the next day, flying the route that’s shortest, fastest, coast-to-coast.”

In May 1940 TWA introduced the four-engine Boeing 307 into service. The Boeing 307 was the first commercial aircraft with a pressurized cabin, allowing it to fly up to 20,000 ft. (6000m), above the often more turbulent weather of lower altitudes. Only 10 examples were delivered — five to TWA and five to Pan American. The aircraft type had a short life due to the intervention of World War II and the post-war development of the Douglas DC-4 and Lockheed Constellation.

TWA Boeing 307 ‘Stratoliner’. Airline issue, 1940.

Interior of TWA Boeing 307. Airline issue, probably 1940. The aircraft seated 33 passengers who enjoyed a pressurized cabin for the first time in commercial service.

On 5 July 1945 TWA received authority to operate trans-Atlantic routes for the first time, breaking the monopoly of Pan American. In February 1946 it started adding to its fleet the first two main post-WWII commercial aircraft types — the pressurized Lockheed Constellation, particularly sponsored by TWA, and as backup the unpressurized Douglas DC-4. Each included some models converted from their initial military types.

TWA Lockheed 049 Constellation. Airline issue. This is a fold over card with a postcard back.  Inside is a Captain’s flight report with details about the specific flight, to be passed around to the passengers.  (This is the predecessor of today’s moving maps and information on the screen at each person’s seat). The inside text offers to make a duplicate for mailing if desired. My card’s message is dated 26 September 1946.

TWA Douglas DC-4 over Cairo. Airline issue, probably late 1940s or early 1950s. Pub’r Umberto Boeri Editore, Rome. Painting by the Italian artist, Manlio D’Ercoli. One of a set of at least five TWA-issued destination cards by this artist, including two other DC-4 cards (Athens and Geneva) and two Constellation cards (Shannon and Rome). The Cairo card is the least common of the set.

TWA changed its full official name to ‘Trans World Airlines’ on 17 May 1950.  Meanwhile, the airline continued to sponsor and introduce newer and faster versions of the Constellation.  This culminated with its introduction of the Lockheed 1649A Constellation in January 1957, considered by many as the most beautiful airliner ever built.  Although this was still solely a propeller aircraft, TWA called it the ‘Jetstream Starliner’, knowing that pure jet aircraft were already in production and would soon enter service.

TWA Lockheed 1649A Constellation. Airline issue. I acquired this postcard from the seat pocket of this aircraft type while on a TWA flight from Rome, Italy to Bombay, India in July 1960.

For short-haul service in the 1950s, TWA introduced Martin 202s in 1950 and Martin 404s in 1951. These aircraft types served for about a decade.

TWA Martin 404 at Wichita Municipal Airport, Kansas. Pub’r Newfer Color Card Co., Wichita, no. 83207; printed by Dexter Press.  With the Martin 404, TWA introduced its ‘white top’ livery.

TWA entered the pure jet era when it received its first Boeing 707 on 17 March 1959, and the type immediately became its leading aircraft. Its 707 service was launched on 20 March 1959, on its transcontinental New York-San Francisco route.  707s served in TWA’s fleet until October 1983.

TWA Boeing 707-100. Pub’r H. S. Crocker Co., San Francisco, no. HSC-270. The earliest 707 engines spewed a lot of smoke on takeoff.

For short-haul routes in the early jet age years, TWA introduced Boeing 727s and Douglas DC-9s.

TWA Boeing 727-31H, N831TW, at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, Ohio. Curteich no. 5DK-1973. Distributor, George R. Klein News Agency, Cleveland. Ex Allan Van Wickler collection. This aircraft was in TWA’s fleet from May 1965 to January 1992.

TWA Douglas DC-9-14, N1051T, its first DC-9, at New York LaGuardia Airport on a demonstration trip prior to delivery in 1965. Postcard produced by Airliners International 2010 New York, from a photo in the collection of Jon Proctor via Terry Waddington. Pub’r j.j.postcards, Bassersdorf, Switzerland.

In 1965 Boeing initiated development of the first wide body aircraft, the Boeing 747, which was twice the size of the 707.  TWA ordered 12 of them in 1966, and received its first one at the end of 1969.  The type, often called the ‘Jumbo Jet’ or ‘Queen of the Skies’ became the pride of TWA’s fleet, carrying its banner around the world.

TWA 747-100 and crew. Pub’r Kruger, no. 918/54, Printer Michel & Co., Frankfurt, Germany. 4 x 8-3/4” (10 x 22 cm.)

Douglas and Lockheed entered the wide body aircraft market with tri-jets — the DC-10 and L-1011 respectively.  Delta chose the L-1011, eventually operating over 40 at various times between 1972 and 1998.

TWA Lockheed L-1011. TWA Brussels office issue. This postcard shows TWA’s revised livery introduced in 1975, but with the ‘Trans World’ titles in solid red as introduced in 1980(rather than the 1975 version of white with a red border). This dates the postcard to 1980 or later.

Boeing then developed the long-haul, wide-body 767 which featured two engines, using less fuel than the three or four-engine wide bodies.  It also had a completely new flight deck design, requiring only two pilots instead of three or more and incorporating computer screens.  TWA introduced this successful aircraft type on 2 December 1982.  On 1 February 1985 a TWA 767 operated the first trans-Atlantic scheduled passenger service under the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s Extended Twin-Engine Operations (‘EROPS’, later known as ‘ETOPS’) which allowed twin-engine commercial aircraft to cross the ocean provided they operate within 120 minutes from an alternate airport (the maximum number of minutes has since been increased).

 

TWA Boeing 767-200. TWA Brussels office issue.

TWA paid close attention to its cargo operations and issued a few postcards advertising them.  Here is my favorite:

TWA Cargo Advertising Card, Airline issue. 6 x 9 (15 x 23cm.)

TWA’s Douglas DC-9 fleet for short-haul service expanded with successive larger models, culminating with the DC-9-82, subsequently called the MD-82 (entered TWA service in 1983) and the MD-83 (entered TWA service in 1987).  On 26 September 1986, the regional air carrier Ozark Air Lines, which also had a significant fleet of DC-9s and MD-80s, was merged into TWA.

Ozark Air Lines MD-82, N952U.  Airline issue.

From time to time TWA entered into arrangements with several commuter airlines that acted as feeders to its main operation.  Although operated by the local airline concerned, the flight and aircraft would be branded as ‘Trans World Express’.  Here is one postcard example:

Trans World Express Saab 340B, N749BA, operated by Metro Air Northeast. Pub’r Plane Views no. 85102024.

In September 1995 TWA unveiled its final livery, featuring “Trans World’ titles and a stylized world map.  Its final postcards show this livery.

TWA Boeing 767-200, N602TW, in color scheme adopted September 1995. Airline issue no. PAS-964, April 1996.

In 1985 TWA, while battling a takeover attempt by the notorious Frank Lorenzo and his company Texas Air Corporation, found itself taken over instead by corporate raider Carl Icahn. Icahn orchestrated the merger of Ozark Air Lines into TWA in 1986, burdening TWA with excessive debt. His subsequent maneuvers further contributed to financial difficulties for the airline.  TWA went through ‘chapter 11’ bankruptcy reorganization proceedings twice, in 1992 and 1995, but it never fully recovered.  In 2001 American Airlines acquired TWA, ending a remarkable 75-year span for one of the world’s pioneering and most highly respected airlines.

Notes:  Originals of all the postcards illustrated are in the author’s collection.  My estimate of their availability: Rare: the Western Air Express F-32 at Glendale, Maddux Ford Tri-Motor with route map, TWA DC-1 interior, DC-2 in flight and DC-2 cockpit, DC-3 at Burbank, and Constellation 049; Uncommon: the TAT-Maddux Curtiss Condor at Port Columbus; TWA DC-1 at Glendale, TWA DC-3 at night; Boeing 307 in flight and interior; DC-4 over Cairo, Martin 404 at Wichita, 747 and crew, 727 at Cleveland, L-1011 Brussels issue, and TWA Cargo cards.  The rest are fairly common.

References:

Davies, R. E. G., ‘TWA: An Airline and Its Aircraft’, illustrated by Mike Machat, 112 pages (Paladwr Press, 2000).

Cearley, George W., Jr., ‘TWA: A Pictorial and Illustrated History of Trans World Airlines 1925 – 1987’, 136 pages (self published, 1988).

Proctor, Jon, ‘TWA 1925 – 2001’, 64 pages (Airways Classics No. 6, 2012).  The late Jon Proctor had a career with TWA spanning 28 years, including in-flight management positions.  He is remembered as an outstanding airline historian and gentleman.  He is the first recipient of the new annual ‘Paul Colllins’ award for excellence in serving the airline history community, awarded to him earlier in 2020 by the World Airline Historical Society.

I hope you enjoyed this article on TWA and its postcards, and until next time,

Happy Collecting,

Marvin G. Goldman

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EL AL Aircraft on Postcards

Written by Marvin Goldman

EL AL Israel Airlines was founded in November 1948, six months after the birth of the State of Israel.  The name ‘EL AL’ is taken from the Bible’s book of Hosea and means ‘to the above’ or more poetically ‘to the skies’.

To help identify the dates of postcard issuance and their aircraft images, I have provided information on dates of the aircraft types and different liveries utilized by EL AL over the years.  EL AL also issued many advertising postcards, and these will be the subject of a separate article.

The airline started scheduled service in July 1949 with two Douglas DC-4 aircraft acquired used from American Airlines, and soon thereafter it added a handful of smaller World War II surplus Curtiss C-46 Commandos acquired from the Israel Air Force.  EL AL did not issue any postcards of these two aircraft types during the years they were in service — 1949-1955.  However, two airport cards show EL AL DC-4s among other aircraft, one in London (see the first image below) and one at Ciampino Airport in Rome, and I also have a 1949 postcard produced by the photographer of Lod Airport (now Ben-Gurion Airport) showing three early EL AL crew members with a portion of a DC-4 in the background (second image below).

Also, in 1979 EL AL issued an eight-postcard set showing art drawings of its aircraft by Israeli artist Danny Shalom.  The set included a military C-54 (labeled a ‘DC-4’ and registered 4X-ACA) utilized on a special flight in September 1948 to bring Chaim Weizmann from Geneva to Israel to be sworn in as Israel’s first President, which aircraft was the first to bear the ‘EL AL’ name.  Another postcard in the set shows an EL AL C-46 (third image below).

EL AL Douglas DC-4 (either 4X-ACC or 4X-ACD) at London Airport, behind the BOAC B377 Stratocruiser. Postmarked 26 July 1951. Pub’r: Bridge House S20543.

EL AL DC-4 (either 4X-ACC or 4X-ACD) with early crew members including its first steward, Herb Kweller, in center, and stewardess Miriam Gold on right. Published by photographer of Lod Airport (now Ben-Gurion Airport), Tel Aviv, 1949.

EL AL Curtiss C-46 Commando, 4X-ALC, with Yemenite Jews awaiting airlift to Israel. Art by Danny Shalom. Airline Issue, 1979. (Aircraft utilized on the airlift actually bore substitute titles, such as ‘Near East Air Transport’).

The earliest postcards issued by EL AL itself featured its Lockheed Constellation aircraft which served the airline from 1951 to 1961. Here is the first postcard issued by EL AL itself.

EL AL Lockheed L149 Constellation, in Test Flight as N90827 in Southern California, March 1951, later registered 4X-AKA. EL AL New York Office Issue, 1951.

EL AL issued two other Constellation postcards in the early 1950s.  Each is a graphic art card showing an aircraft with a map of Israel in the background.  Here is one of them.

Saw one postmarked 3 April 1957

In addition, an EL AL Constellation is shown on airport postcards at Zurich (at least four different cards), Rome and Johannesburg – Palmietfontein.

EL AL Lockheed 149 Constellation, 4X-AKA, at Zurich. Pub’r WBZ, Zurich, no. VF19.

In December 1957 EL AL introduced the new jet-prop Bristol Britannia, becoming the first airline outside England to do so. Simultaneously EL AL launched a broad advertising campaign, which included the following rare detachable group of six Britannia postcards.

EL AL Bristol Britannia. Airline New York Office Issue, 1957. This is a composite card, 10” x 28” (26 x 79 cm.), consisting of six detachable 4-1/4” x 7” (11 x 23 cm.) postcards (5 vertical; 1 horizontal), each described on the back as ‘a piece of the plane’.

EL AL Bristol Britannia, ‘Fly Britannia’. Airline Issue, probably by Paris Office, about 1958. Pub’r Carisse.

The Britannia’s reign was short-lived, with the last departing EL AL’s fleet in early 1967.  The pure jet era supplanted the front-line role of the Britannias soon after the Britannias entered service.  EL AL’s pure jet era began with its acquisition of Boeing 707s in 1961 and Boeing 720B’s in 1962. Since 1961, EL AL has acquired only Boeing aircraft.

EL AL Boeing 707-420, in original livery. Airline Issue, early 1960s. There are three versions of this postcard, each with a different imprint on the back, and a similar postcard with clouds only partially covering the bottom.

EL AL Boeing 720B, in second 707/720 livery adopted by 1966. Airline issue.

EL AL Boeing 707-320B, 4X-ATT, at Paris-Orly, in third 707/720 livery adopted in 1971. Pub’r SWAT, no. 4.

In 1971 EL AL introduced the Boeing 747-200 ‘jumbo jet’ to its fleet, eventually operating eleven -200s with Israeli ‘4X’ registrations and one -100 series freighter . The 747 series (including the 747-400 model first acquired in 1994) served as the flagship of EL AL’s fleet from 1971 to early 2001 (when EL AL’s first 777s entered service), with the last 747-200 exiting the fleet in 1999 and the last 747-400 in November 2019.

EL AL Boeing 747-200B, 4X-AXA, its first 747. Airline issue, 3.8 x 9.2 in. (9.6 x 23.3 cm). 4X-AXA was delivered with three upper deck windows (usually associated with the original -100 series); however it was indeed a -200B series, and additional upper deck windows were added soon after delivery. This postcard also exists in standard size in English and French text versions, and a variation exists with the aircraft pointing upwards. With the 747-200, EL AL introduced a new classic livery for its fleet, designed by noted Israeli artist Dan Reisinger, which remained as EL AL’s standard livery for 28 years – until 1999.

EL AL Boeing 747-200B, 4X-AXB, at Tel Aviv – Ben-Gurion Airport. ‘Welcome to Israel’ card with McCrory group. Pub’r Palphot 25312SC, 1988. The aircraft bears EL AL’s 40th anniversary logo to the right of its titles.

During 1980-89 EL AL operated four different 737-200s on short-haul routes.

EL AL Boeing 737-200, 4X-ABN, June 1984. Pub’r Blue Air no. BA 04. A Czech airline enthusiast published many airline postcards under the name ‘Blue Air’, featuring EL AL aircraft. EL AL itself issued only one 737-200 postcard, showing a side aerial view.

In 1983 and 1987 respectively, EL AL introduced Boeing 767s and 757s to its fleet, featuring more modern cockpits and improved fuel efficiency.  EL AL operated six 767-200s at varying times between 1983 and 2013; ten 757-200s between 1987 and 2013, and seven 767-300ERs between 2004 and March 2019.

EL AL Boeing 767-200ER, 4X-EAA. Airline Issue, about 1983. The Hebrew writing on top says: ‘Boeing 767 – EL AL in a New Direction’.

EL AL 757-200, 4X-EBT, in livery of its affiliate Sun d’Or. Airline Issue, about 2005. The Hebrew text says ‘To fly on vacation super-assured’.

EL AL 767-300ER, 4X-EAP, landing at Tel Aviv – Ben-Gurion Airport, 1 June 2006. Pub’r Blue Air BA-42. EL AL did not issue any postcard showing a 767-300. Its New York Office issued a postcard in 2015 promoting Boston-Tel Aviv nonstop service with 767-300ERs; however, that postcard showed a 767-200ER.

In 1994 EL AL acquired the first of eight Boeing 747-400s for its fleet. With this aircraft type, EL AL changed the colors of its livery ‘EL AL’ titles from black and gold to light blue and dark blue.

El Al Boeing 747-400, 4X-ELA, in the type’s original livery. Available only as the last postcard in EL AL-issued ‘Israel’ and ‘Holy Land’ postcard booklets (the other cards in the booklets show Israeli scenes).

In 1999, on EL AL’s 50th anniversary and the acquisition of its fourth  747-400 (4X-ELD), EL AL introduced an all-new livery with dark blue and silver ‘ribbons’ and lettering on a white base.

EL AL 747-400, 4X-ELD, featuring the airline’s new dark blue and silver ribbons livery. Airline Issue no. 60-301420/99, 1999. A similar card, showing the aircraft over clouds, was issued in 2005 (no. 60-301420/05. EL AL’s New York Office issued another variation showing modified ‘EL AL’ titles introduced on its aircraft in 2006.

In early 2001, to modernize its long-haul route aircraft, EL AL started to acquire Boeing 777-200ERs, with the number rising to six.

EL AL 777-200ER, 4X-ECA. Airline Issue by New York Office, about 2010.

For short-haul routes, EL AL turned to Boeing 737 New Generation aircraft, starting in 1999. These included two 737-700 (in fleet 1999 – 2016), fifteen 737-800 (acquired between 1999 and 2018 and still current), and eight 737-900ER (acquired between 2013 and 2016 and still current).  I am not aware of any 737 New Generation postcards issued by EL AL.  Here are two publisher-issued cards.

EL AL Boeing 737-700, 4X-EKD, at Geneva, 2000. Pub’r Air Hobby #375.

EL AL 737-800, 4X-EKA, at Zurich, March 1999. Photo by Aviatrade, Pub’r Blue Air BA-11.

EL AL’s long-haul fleet renewal started in 2017 with the arrival of the first of 16 Boeing 787 ‘Dreamliners’ ordered.  By the end of 2019, 13 Boeing 787-9s and one 787-8 had joined its fleet.  Three more 787-8s are on order and expected to be received by March 2020.

EL AL Boeing 787-9 ‘Dreamliner’. Computer art postcard. Issued 2018 by EL AL’s New York Office.

EL AL 787-9, 4X-EDF, landing at Paris-CDG, 2018. Photo by Daniel Dane. Pub’r World Collector’s Cards #WCC-1154. This is the first aircraft to be painted in an EL AL ‘retro’ livery; it is similar to the original 1961 livery of EL AL’s first three 707s.

On 3 November 2019 EL AL operated its last 747-400 flight — Rome to Tel Aviv with 4X-ELC.  EL AL marked the occasion with many souvenirs, including a five-card ‘747 Farewell’ postcard set.  Only 500 sets were printed, and all were distributed to the passengers who filled the aircraft and others close to the airline.  Here is one of the postcards from the set.

EL AL Boeing 747-400, 4X-ELD, heading for takeoff runway at Tel Aviv – Ben-Gurion Airport. Photo by Yochai Mossi. Part of a five-card ‘747 Farewell’ postcard set issued by EL AL on 2 November 2019.

I hope you enjoyed this article on the postcards of EL AL aircraft, and until next time, Happy Collecting!

Marvin G. Goldman

Notes:  Originals of all the postcards illustrated are in the author’s collection except for the fourth card shown (an EL AL Constellation on a test flight in Southern California) which is in the collection of Greg Smith.   My estimate of their availability: Rare postcards–the DC-4 crew, Constellation on test flight, Constellation at Zurich, and Britannia six-card composite; Uncommon–DC-4 at London, Constellation on map, Britannia and globe, 747-200 ‘Welcome to Israel’, Sun d’Or 757, 747-400 original livery in booklet, and 747-400 ‘Farewell’ card; the rest are fairly common.


References
:

  1. EL AL’s website, elal.com, and Facebook page ELALIsraelAirlinesUSA.
  2. Website israelairlinemuseum.org.

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