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Old Timer's Airline Quiz and Discussion.

Old Timer's Airline Quiz and Discussion.

Old Apr 21, 2024, 9:23 pm
  #29161  
 
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Almost 'round the world

Here's an itinerary that some might find interesting:

In 1992 I had completed my assignment in Bujumbura and was being transferred to Sofia (via New York for consultations). My employer paid only for direct, economy-class air transportation (first class was still allowed on surface travel, and I got to travel on the QE2 once), but I wanted to go via India and Japan to visit some friends and avoid sitting up in economy class. The rules also required leaving from and arriving in the U.S. on an American carrier and booking government contract fares (where available). Any diversionary travel and upgrading came at the expense of the traveler. There was no travel agency in Bujumbura able to book contract fares, so I was to fly Bujumbura-New York-Sofia in full-fare economy class. I asked Ethiopian Airlines to put together a business-class itinerary Bujumbura-Bombay-Osaka-New York. ET's upgraded and diverted fare to New York was 587570 Burundian francs (=$2750), and they billed me $1554 for my exceptions. The direct one-way economy-class fare to New York therefore was $1196. I flew Bujumbura-Kigali-Addis Ababa on an ET 757-200. The ET station manager insisted I was in first class on this segment, but in fact in 1992 ET had given up F and offered only C and Y accommodation. Then Addis Ababa-Bombay on an ET 767-200, Bombay-Hong Kong on a Swissair 747-300, Hong Kong-Osaka on an Air France 747-200 (it must have been so, as AF had only 3 747-400s then, and they were no doubt busy flying to New York and Tahiti), and Osaka-JFK on a Northwest 747-400 (this was the last segment of NW's short-lived Sydney-Osaka-JFK route). From New York to Sofia it was all in economy class: Delta A310 JFK-Vienna and Austrian MD-81 or MD-82 Vienna-Sofia. It was certainly worth the $1554 to ride in some comfort and return to some interesting places.
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Old Apr 21, 2024, 11:17 pm
  #29162  
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Now, my March 23 set only has one remaining unaddressed question, #6. I can understand why nobody jumped at question 6 (it resembles an college opinion essay assignment and I'm guessing that 1930 isn't really in anyone's wheelhouse...certainly not mine, at least). But, I did a little bit of research and think a good case can be made that one (fundamental) aspect of the Air Mail Act was particularly important and created a ripple effect that set a lot of important things in motion.

Originally posted in #29096

Most recent update before trimming #29113

6. What was the significance of the 1930 Air Mail Act in the United States, and how did it impact the development of commercial aviation?
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Old Apr 22, 2024, 6:35 pm
  #29163  
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6- I'll take a cue from Seat 2A and open the discussion

there were several aspects of this legislation, but I'm wondering if the forced "divorce" between the airlines and the airframers is the answer we're looking for here ... United was spun out of Boeing Air Transport, American split off from Robertson Aircraft, and the very cozy (but I don't think formalized) relationship between Transcontinental Air Transport and Douglas began to diverge, as the airline merged with Western to become TWA

and speaking of our illustrious Quiz/Discussion-Master up there in Alaska, here's hoping for timely and complete resolution of those medical issues
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Old Apr 22, 2024, 7:47 pm
  #29164  
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Thanks for the itinerary and tale there, Track I am reminded of Harold Edmonson's Intercontinental Diary column that used to be part of the original Airliners International magazine (Kalmbach Publishing 1973/74) Were you in Business or First for the SR / AF / NW flights?

Back in the spring of 1987, I had the back end of a First Class award on United from Tokyo to Denver waiting to be used. I, however, was down in New Zealand. So, I needed to get from Auckland to Tokyo. I don't know if this provision still exists today, but back in '87, international routes had base Y and F fares and it was possible to employ a provision allowing you to use any combination of airlines over any routing, so long as the total mileage of your routing was not more than 25% more of the nonstop mileage of the origin and destination cities you were basing the fare upon. As you might imagine, this was referred to as the Maximum Permitted Mileage provision, and it was particularly appropriate to routes that had no nonstop flights, such as Bujumbura to New York.

In 1987, the exchange rate on the US dollar relative to the Kiwi dollar was phenomenally in our favor, and as such, I found that the one way straight Y class fare from Auckland to Tokyo came to about $660.00 USD, one way F fare was only about $330 USD more. Oh my... there were some great routing possibilities between AKL and NRT, and my intention was to enjoy First Class on as many hitherto unflown airlines (except Air New Zealand) as I could. It was also important to ensure that the flights I booked were meal service flights. After all, for me at least, a good First Class meal is the best form of inflight entertainment there is. So - here's what I booked - First Class all the way:

Auckland to Melbourne ~ Air New Zealand ~ 747-200 ~ Luncheon
Melbourne to Brisbane ~ Ansett Australia ~ 767-200 ~ Snack & Luncheon (Flight made an enroute stop in Sydney)
Brisbane to Singapore ~ Singapore Airlines ~ 747-200 ~ Snack & Dinner (Flight made an enroute stop in Sydney)
Singapore to Bangkok ~ Thai International ~ 747-200 ~ Dinner
Bangkok to Hong Kong ~ Cathay Pacific ~ 747-200 ~ Luncheon
Hong Kong to Tokyo ~ Swissair ~ 747-300 - Luncheon

It's worth noting that I spent about three weeks in Australia, where I purchased separate Economy Class tickets from Melbourne down to Hobart, Tasmania and back. Here's that itinerary -

Melbourne to Hobart ~ TAA Trans Australian ~ 727-200 ~ Dinner
Hobart to Melbourne ~ Air New South Wales ~ F.28-1000 ~ Snack (Flight made an enroute stop in Devonport)

My First Class United award flights from Tokyo back to Denver were as follows -

Tokyo to Los Angeles ~ United ~ 747SP ~ Dinner & Breakfast
Los Angeles to Denver ~ United ~ DC-10-10 ~ Luncheon

The day after I arrived in Denver, I loaded up my trusty Mazda B2200 and lit out for the east coast where I joined friends to tour with the Grateful Dead with stops in


The Centrum, Worcester, MA (4/2/87)
The Centrum, Worcester, MA (4/3/87)
The Centrum, Worcester, MA (4/4/87)
Brendan Byrne Arena, East Rutherford, NJ (4/6/87)
Brendan Byrne Arena, East Rutherford, NJ (4/7/87)
Pavilion (U Illinois At Chicago), Chicago, IL (4/9/87)
Pavilion (U Illinois At Chicago), Chicago, IL (4/10/87)
Pavilion (U Illinois At Chicago), Chicago, IL (4/11/87)

What a great trip that was!
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Last edited by Seat 2A; Apr 24, 2024 at 12:31 pm
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Old Apr 24, 2024, 4:07 pm
  #29165  
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sad news from FAI yesterday

the pilots of a DC-4 carrying fuel oil to a remote Alaska village reported a fire on board shortly after takeoff, and were attempting to return to the airport when the plane crashed on the Tanana River about 7 miles from the airport; rescue teams found no survivors
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Old May 2, 2024, 3:00 pm
  #29166  
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~48 hrs from departure on what we hope will be a very enjoyable trip ... Mrs767 will be enjoying the company of a dozen or so fellow knitters for a week's tour of Yorkshire, during which time I will indulge in some solo avgeekery and meet up with a college classmate for a few days of history and technology exploration:
  • Sat 2 May SEA-LAX-LHR-MAN (AA CR7, AA 773, BA 320)
  • Wed 8 May ABZ-KOI (Kirkwall, Orkney, Scotland) (LM AT7)
  • Thu 9 May KOI-WRY-PPW / PPW-KOI (LM BNI; world's shortest flight between Westray and Papa Westray)
  • Fri 10 May KOI-ABZ (LM ATR)
  • Mon 13 May Imperial War Museum, Duxford
  • Tue 14 May Shuttleworth Collection, Old Warden Aerodrome and The National Museum of Computing, Bletchley Park
  • Wed 15 May STEAM (Museum of the Great Western Railway), Swindon
Mrs767 and I will then reunite at MAN and proceed across the Irish Sea before returning home:
  • Thu 16 May MAN-DUB (EI AT7)
  • Tue 21 May DUB-CLT-SEA (AA 777, AA 321)
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Old May 4, 2024, 6:45 am
  #29167  
 
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Originally Posted by moondog
3. During World War II, this airline played a significant role in ferrying military aircraft and personnel. What was the name of the airline, and which routes did it operate during this period?
Just looking here after a while, and straight into an interesting question.

The best account of the North Atlantic side (there were ferry operations elsewhere of course) is in the book "Croissants at Croydon", by Jack Bamford, which I'm sure has come into this thread before. Bamford was the Air France London manager from 1920 to 1939 (at London Croydon airfield, hence the title, and again 1945 to 1960, fascinating in itself, but in WW2 went into the RAF and took up control of the Return Ferry Organisation.

Croissants at Croydon: The Memoirs of Jack Bamford - Bamford, Jack; France: 9780907335153 - AbeBooks

The operation was based at Prestwick, it wasn't so much concerned with the ferrying over of aircraft, more the return of the crews. It actually gets a significant amount of the book, you almost get the impression it was a highlight of his career. The ferry pilots seemed to have come from a range of US domestic carriers, it is not apparent whether they were still civilians or in the military. The Return Ferry was viewed suspiciously as sending keenly needed aircraft back to North America, but previous crew return by ship was just taking too long. Bamford describes the various airline contributions, TWA were main from the USA, along with Trans-Canada. A very large number of British designs were licence made in Canada and flown over.

Personnel by air was very limited, to key VIPs, and there was a considerable risk, as indeed there was to the ferry crews. It was principally bringing over new heavy aircraft, mainly 4-engined bombers, also a lot of Catalinas. Single engine fighters were brought as deck cargo by ship with reassembly at a nearby airport (the current Liverpool airport was key in this).

It's notable how the various domestic carrier participants after 1945 hung on to their specific overseas experience, which had previously been a Pan Am monopoly. Apparently US President Roosevelt had been OK with this, whereas US president Truman, following on, was not. So TWA got onto the North Atlantic, as did American (who later sold out American Overseas to Pan Am); Braniff to South America; Northwest to Alaska and Asia; Eastern to the Caribbean; United to Hawaii, it all came from this sudden experience.

Bamford's book has a fascinating chapter where he had to take, personally (as senior officer in charge) key documents to Washington DC supporting a covert Roosevelt-Churchill conference, right in deepest winter and icing conditions. In the end he took a Catalina, which flew for 24 hours from Prestwick to Gander.
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Old May 4, 2024, 10:15 am
  #29168  
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Originally Posted by WHBM

The best account of the North Atlantic side (there were ferry operations elsewhere of course) is in the book "Croissants at Croydon", by Jack Bamford, which I'm sure has come into this thread before. Bamford was the Air France London manager from 1920 to 1939 (at London Croydon airfield, hence the title, and again 1945 to 1960, fascinating in itself, but in WW2 went into the RAF and took up control of the Return Ferry Organisation.....

The operation was based at Prestwick, it wasn't so much concerned with the ferrying over of aircraft, more the return of the crews. It actually gets a significant amount of the book, you almost get the impression it was a highlight of his career. The ferry pilots seemed to have come from a range of US domestic carriers, it is not apparent whether they were still civilians or in the military. The Return Ferry was viewed suspiciously as sending keenly needed aircraft back to North America, but previous crew return by ship was just taking too long. Bamford describes the various airline contributions, TWA were main from the USA....
I'm currently re-reading a book entitled "Howard Hughes' Airline: An Informal History of TWA" by Robert Serling. Here's what Mr. Serling writes about TWA before and at the outbreak of World War II....

"No (U.S. based domestic) airline was better prepared for the aftermath of December 7 than TWA, but this was due not only to Jack Frye's (president of TWA) foresight, but that of Edgar Gorrell, president of the Air Transport Association (ATA). Shortly after Pearl Harbor, Franklin Roosevelt signed an executive order nationalizing the entire airline industry for the duration of the war. Fortunately for the carriers, FDR informed Gorrell of the document before putting it into effect, and the ATA chief raced to the White House. Gorrell, a tough ex-Army colonel himself, bluntly told Roosevelt he didn't need to take over the airlines if all he wanted was an efficient military air transportation system. As far back as 1936, Gorrell had warned the industry it might be nationalized if war ever came and that it needed to set up an alternative. In essence, his plan was to create a civil air reserve that could be turned over to the military virtually overnight, furnishing not only transportation aircraft, but ground and flight crews as well. Gorrell kept updating the plan almost to the eve of Pearl Harbor, and it was a ready-made blueprint for voluntary airline mobilization that he handed the president. Roosevelt listened carefully and then, with that ingratiating grin of his, tore up the executive order before Gorrell's eyes."

"Even without nationalization, the (U.S. based) airlines knew it was not going to be business as usual. Of the industry's fleet of 378 planes, more than 200 were taken over by the military - all in accordance with Gorrell's plan. TWA alone lost half its fleet, including the five (Boeing 307) Stratoliners that Jack Frye, in a burst of patriotism mixed with far-seeing acumen, already had agreed to turn over to the military's Air Transport Command before they were commandeered (the Boeing 307 Stratoliner was one of the very few four engine aircraft types being operated by U.S. based airlines before WW II).......General Hap Arnold (chief of the Army Air Corps) wanted those five 307s desperately. As America entered World War II, the (U.S. based) airlines possessed only fourteen commercial-type aircraft capable of flying the ocean and the military none. Six were Pan Am's huge but lumbering Boeing 314 flying boats, and the other eight were TWA's and Pan Am's (Boeing 307) Stratoliners. TWA, in other words, had the greatest number of transatlantic land planes, and the crews to operate them."

"On December 24, 1941, (TWA president) Jack Frye signed one of the most important documents in the airline's history - DAW 535 ac-1062, which directed TWA "to hire and train all personnel, procure necessary facilities, materials and supplies, and to secure necessary certificates of convenience and necessity, licenses and permits essential to providing air service on a worldwide basis for the United States Army." The contract was a direct result of meetings Frye had held as early as December of 1940, when he saw both General Arnold and Robert Lovett, assistant secretary of war for air. In that first meeting he had told them that if war came, TWA's (Boeing 307) Stratoliners would be available to the government. When war did come, TWA still was the only domestic airline operating four engine equipment.....On the same day the War Department contract was signed, Frye established the Intercontinental Division (ICD) of TWA to operate the services under DAW 535 ac-1062. Thus, under wartime pressures and the uncertainties of a global conflict yet to be fought and won, he laid the foundation of his airline's future as an international carrier".

Speaking of WW II, we recently returned from a visit to New Orleans (where my wife and yours truly celebrated our birthdays which just happen to fall on the same date). During our trip, we visited the National World War II Museum in New Orleans which has been greatly expanded over the years and now contains an impressive collection of U.S. WW II military aircraft (as well as one British airplane, being an RAF Spitfire), all of which are suspended from the ceilings of the buildings they are displayed in. I very highly recommend a visit to this museum which has now grown so large that everything in it cannot be seen in one day unless one is in an absolute rush (and thus we are planning a return visit).

And we will also be present in Normandy next month for the 80th anniversary of the D-Day invasion.
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Last edited by jlemon; May 4, 2024 at 9:31 pm Reason: clarification
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Old May 4, 2024, 2:56 pm
  #29169  
 
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In recent times, a development that may interest some here is the expansion of a UK website that has scans of complete timetables - including entire OAG and ABC (the UK equivalent), and also has downloads of complete PDFs of these.

Timetable World – Historical transport timetables and maps

Click on tabs for Timetables, then Timetable Search. Takes you to a page with, over on the right, Air (Worldwide). Takes you to a complete list. Click on the Item Title drop-down and you can go straight to a specific one. Click the picture image on the left and it opens the whole thing, which you can scroll around, expand, and use the shortcut image in the bottom right corner.

That's all free. The PDF downloads are charged for, not a lot, really to just cover the website costs. The 1958 and 1964 (both summer) ABCs tempted me, easier to navigate. There is a lot more on there beyond aviation, UK trains and buses take up much of it. A lot to spend time on !.
.
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Old May 4, 2024, 7:17 pm
  #29170  
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Originally Posted by WHBM
... A lot to spend time on !
so much for trying to sleep on tonight’s LAX-LHR!
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Old May 9, 2024, 4:19 pm
  #29171  
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posted in error
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Old May 10, 2024, 2:58 am
  #29172  
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Kirkwall / Orkney aviation history miscellany


monument to Capt. E. E. Fresson, OBE — the pioneer of air service to the Orkney Islands — outside the terminal

of particular note is the DH.89 Dragon Rapide aircraft



various stained-glass representations of noteworthy aircraft, making up a divider in the cafe area

DC-3


Herald


Viscount


HS.748


ATP


SF-340


Shorts 360


DHC-6 Twin Otter


and of course the Islander
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Last edited by jrl767; May 11, 2024 at 12:59 am Reason: corrected, per WHBM
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Old May 10, 2024, 3:05 am
  #29173  
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when I got to Kirkwall on Wed evening I noticed a city local bus that would make a stop maybe 3 min walk from where I was staying (and bus fare of 1.80 was rather less than I was expecting to have to pay for a taxi)

took the bus back to the airport this morning, arriving ~0730 for the scheduled 0930 flight to Westray and Papa Westray, and discovered that a “day return” fare was only 3.25

Loganair has the same plane and pilot operating three “island-hopper” flights in fairly quick succession; when I was chatting with him in the coffee line (after he announced he would try the Westray trip out of sequence because the forecast looked better for one of the other islands), he mentioned that fully half of the pax on each flight were teachers who were likely to cancel their bookings if the delays got to be too long … the upshot of that was that the afternoon rotation would probably be a bit random, depending on how many people were booked on the return trips from each destination

long story short, my morning flight cancelled at 1130 and LM offered me a 1630 round-robin flight (Kirkwall-Papa Westray-Westray-Kirkwall)


topping off the Islander’s tanks before departure


initial climbout from Kirkwall


on the way to Papa Westray at 450 ft


lots of sheep near the PPW airfield


PPW airfield staff and embarking passengers (who had actually taken a morning ferry from Kirkwall after the 0930 was delayed)


about to touch down on return to KOI
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Last edited by jrl767; May 10, 2024 at 2:53 pm Reason: self-explanatory
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Old May 10, 2024, 1:09 pm
  #29174  
 
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I guess you got the better option for a classic "Shortest flight", by serving Papa first, which half the schedules do, but as you found the actual operation is a bit random. Papa is to the east of Westray, the two runways being visible from one another across open sea. Like LAX the wind is normally from the west, take off into wind. So doing it the way you ended up doing, that's lift-off, point, land. Opposite way round and it's take off again westerly, then circle round both islands and land. Much longer.

What was lift off to touchdown time ? About 45 seconds ? The distance is about the same as the length of a Heathrow runway.

when I got to Kirkwall on Wed evening I noticed a city bus
Kirkwall ... city ...

Last edited by WHBM; May 10, 2024 at 5:51 pm
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Old May 10, 2024, 3:40 pm
  #29175  
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Originally Posted by WHBM
What was lift off to touchdown time ? About 45 seconds ? The distance is about the same as the length of a Heathrow runway.
we landed and took off to the northeast at PPW, and landed to the west at WRY

I started the video on my phone when the pilot pushed the throttles forward we were off the ground in ~11 seconds and began a left turn; at approx 1:11 we rolled into a right turn to line up with the runway at WRY, and landed at 1:26 so total time in air was approx 1:15

Originally Posted by WHBM
Kirkwall ... city ...
corrected to local
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