JULY 2004 NEWSLETTER US DIVISION
Members will have noticed that the US pages carry an earlier date than the main newsletter. This is because the US page is added to the main paper newsletter when it is circulated in the US in arrear of the UK edition, so it is actually published between UK paper editions.
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OCTOBER 2004 NEWSLETTER US DIVISION
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THE AIRLINE HISTORY MUSEUM, KANSAS CITY
By Peter J Marson
The Airline History Museum (AHM) at Kansas City Downtown Airport, Missouri is the owner and operator of the last commercial Super Constellation flying - the other few Connies flying are all former military aircraft. The AHM formerly traded as "Save a Connie"(SAC) but was renamed a few years ago when the emphasis changed to include anything and everything to do with propeller airliners and airlines. The museum is fortunate in being based in a former TWA and Slick AW Constellation hangar at the downtown airport which houses the magnificent Super Connie plus a Martin 404 and a genuine DC-3 and several rooms of airline memorabilia including many postcards on display.
The AHM published its own postcard showing the Super Connie N6937C in full TWA colours in flight, having formerly published a similar view in Save a Connie colours.
The latter card is no longer available and the remaining stock was destroyed when the museum was re-named or so I was told when I tried to buy some.
They also sell a card of the same aircraft in its original Slick Airways scheme, actually a reprint of the Flite Lite card (FLF-020) with additional Save a Connie details on the back.
As the museum is based at Downtown Kansas City airport, there is also a strong interest in the history of the airport, formerly the main airport for Kansas City. The AHM sells reproductions of three historic Kansas City airport postcard published under the local "Historic Postcards" name. They can be distinguished from the originals only by the back ( So Internet buyers beware - DB) which is as shown
The originals of two are shown , the third is of the terminal building with two TWA DC-3s plus other aircraft. The colours on the reproduction cards are not perfect, the TWA markings come out black and the cards are overall yellower. But the original colours were not perfect either. These are No s 109 and 110, linen cards for Max Bernstein of Kansas City by Curteich of Chicago. The 1950 date on the repro is too late, one of the originals was mailed in 1943.
The SAC/AHM Super Connie also appears on several hobby cards. I have come across Skyliner 094 (SAC), Air Pictorials International API-080 (labelled at TWA Super G) and an oversize card published by Aviation Slide and Postcard Service which shows the aircraft in the very short lived "SAC-South American Continental" scheme for the fim "Voyager" (1990) . Flite line Fotocards also advertise the museum on the back of their "TWA G over new York@ card FLF-018.
Finally, it is remarkable that SAC/AHM have now been flying their lovely Super Connie for more years than most airlines ever did. In July 2004 it was 18 years since the aircraft was flown out of dsert storage to Kansas City. Long may it continue to fly!
If you get an overseas parcel for Christmas it is probably about 90% certain that it came by air. This feature looks at postcards of air freight and, in particular the parcel carriers. As commented on in September, passenger airlines seem loth to issue many cards, and those they do issue rarely feature airliners. One bright spot in the industry remains the parcel carriers, and, to a lesser degree, the freight operations of the passenger carriers. Both still use cards as a publicity device, although with the rise of E-Commerce, the earlier use of the postcard to notify the progress of a parcel is now history. Apart from low weight, high value items such as diamonds, air freight did nor really get going until post WW2 - with the exception of that special form of freight , airmail which is a whole collectors world in itself. However one or two odd loads did justify a postcard, like this publicity card issued by Munich Franziskaner-Leichtbrau in the middle of the beer festival in October 1926. It claims to show the first air transport of beer and contracts the horse-drawn dray with a Swiss Ad Astra Junkers G.23.
Post WW2 freight operations can be split into 2 phases. The first involved "sky tramping" operations using cheap war surplus DC-3s, DC-4s and especially in the Americas C-46s. One such was Flying Tiger, formed by the chief of the Chinese based USAAF squadron of that name. By the 50s they had progressed to Super Constellations as on this airline issue card.
Another was Seaboard Western, later Seaboard World. Originally DC-4 operators they also used the L1049 and then the CL44 before going jet with DC-8s - this card at Zurich is by beringer & Pampaluchi D287
The second era began with the rise of the hub and spoke parcel carriers, a business pioneered by Federal express using, initially Dassault Falcons as on this company issue large multiview.
In a few years FedEx had absorbed Flying Tiger, who themselves had earlier taken over Seaboard.
This business is dominated by a few global carriers UPS and FedEx from the US, TNT which has been in Australian ownership but now belongs to the Dutch Post Office , and DHL, now also a Post Office subsidiary, in this case Deutsche Post. This UPS 747 , painted in Sydney Olympic colours was from the Prague office and the only card known from UPS.
By contrast European Air
Transport of Belgium whop operate for DHL and TNT have issues sets of card. The
DHL ex-BA 757 is in the new yellow colours
The TNT A300 shows a type which, with the 757 is rapidly displacing the previous favourite parcel carrier, the 727.
In between, the major carriers had moved in and out of dedicated freighting. British Airways briefly had dedicated 707 and 747 freighters but now only uses under-floor containers or sub contractors. Lufthansa has stayed with a dedicated freight fleet , now based around the MD-11, a type that will soon only be seen in freight configurations. The card below is typical of the publicity cards with pre-print backs, often large, size put out by the major carriers, in this case American. I think it's a passenger MD-11.
By Leonardo Pinzauti
I do very much like small post card fairs and flea markets. There I can spend a few hours inspecting dusty boxes of what I call "mixed salad". Drowned by hundreds of general views and greetings cards, some thematic cards appear from time to time. Cats, flowers, girls, trains and…even a few planes. Sometimes diamonds are hiding among cards that will never be sold. This happened to me a few months ago when I found an unusual card at the end of just such a "mixed salad" box that I was about to abandon due to the poor condition of most of the cards. Because of the low price and rainy weather I bought it straight away. Back home, what I had thought to be a lesser known Soviet plane revealed itself as a Dornier Komet II and a Ukrainian airline issued card too.
The airline was named Ukrvozdukhput and this is its history.
The first Soviet airline, named Dobrolet was formed in March 1923, following the approval in February of plans for the development of civil aviation under the supervision of the air force. Those plans also included the set up of carriers in the other Soviet republics. That for the Ukraine was to be based in Kharkov. It would have the support of local banks and commercial enterprises and would have an initial fleet of 2 German Dornier Komet II 6 passenger monoplanes. Scheduled services were launched on 25 may 1924 Kharkov-Poltava-Kiev and Kharkov-Poltava-Yelisavetgrad-Odessa. By suspension of operations at the end of September 760 passengers, 649 kilo of freight and 137 kg of mail had been carried. The service was reactivated in 1924 and routes to Rostov and Moscow from Kharkov were added. Russian aircraft were added in the form of the Tupolev 9 passenger ANT-9 in both 2 and 3 engined forms, Polikarpov R5 single engined biplanes , Stal-2 monoplanes and Shavrov Sh-2 amphibians. The Kalinin K5 , a true Ukrainian 8 passenger monoplane design was used in 1919. Here is one on an Aeroflot history card.
In the second part of 1924 Ukrvozdukhput absorbed Zakavia , established in 1923 to connect Tbilisi in Georgia with the Caucasian republics. This allowed air travel from Moscow through to Baku, Tbilisi and Yerevan in Armenia, although it took 3 and a half days and two night stops. In the following years the network expanded to add Simferopol and Kiev-Odessa direct and extended the Caucasian route from Baku into Iran to Pahlevi. In 1928 the Ukrainian carrier was integrated into a single Soviet carrier Dobrolet with a full merger in 1929, as Dobroflot. This was renamed again in 1932 as Grazdanski Wozdusznyi Flot, soon better known as Aeroflot. A Ukrainian national airline was not to be seen again until independence in 1992 .
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