DECEMBER 2005 NEWSLETTER US DIVISION
Members will have noticed that the US pages sometimes 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.
|original size page 1 (273 KB)
|original size Page 2 (206 KB)
AIRLINE POSTCARDS OF BRAZIL
on the narrowest point of the South Atlantic Brazil was both a gateway to
South America from Europe and a valuable destination in its own right. In
the 1930s the former colonial powers Spain
and Portugal was economically depressed and did not develop significant
commercial aviation. The initiative to develop service from Europe was therefore
contested between France (Aeropostale, Air France) and Germany (Lufthansa,
Deutsche Zeppelin Reederei and their Brazilian offshoot Syndicato Condor)
All published postcards, particularly for the Christmas/new year mail.
Condor card with Dornier Wal & Zeppelin. Right Aeropostale, with Latecoere 17
During WW2 the German owned Condor Syndicate was taken over by the
Brazilian State and renamed Cruzeiro Do Sul ( Southern Cross).
In the 1990s Cruzeiro was absorbed by VARIG which had started life as a
partner of Condor in the 1920’s, not expanding in its own right until 1939.
VARIG issued this next history card of a Focke Wulf Condor operated by
Condor at the airport of Porto Alegre where VARIG was founded.
had some success with their light biplane transports in South America. Sao Paulo
airline VASP was founded with Dragons and Monospars in 1933, and much later
issued this history card.
origins of Panair do Brasil as Pan Americans Brazilian subsidiary are touched on
in the piece on Rio – Santos Dumont airport. By the late 40s they would
commence service to the US and Europe with 049Constellations, as here.. Later
these gave way to DC-7C s and DC-8 s before the company, like so many others,
was absorbed by VARIG in 1965.
dominant force in domestic airlines was REAL, founded in 1946, initially as a
DC-3 operator but later moving up to Convairs and Super Constellations as on
like all the others was absorbed by VARIG in 1961. VARIG was by this time a jet
operator, having just taken delivery of 707
s to take over the existing jet service to New York operated by Caravelles,
backed up by L1049G Constellations. Both these cards have a Rio-NY map on the
Cruzeiro, the one-time Condor, was also a Caravelle operator. But they too were
shortly to fall into the hands of VARIG in 1975 – although the name continued
to be used for almost another 20 years, appearing on 727s and 737s.
seem that VARIG had become a monopoly but VASP were still around, also now with
727s after Viscounts and 111s and new
airlines had also been formed and prospered. Among these was
another operator of British- built Heralds and 111 s, SADIA, founded
1955. The right hand card is in those titles but the back logo is overprinted
with the new title of Transbrasil which appears on the left card .
went on to be Boeing operators of 727,737 and 767 before collapsing in 2001.
This time VARIG itself was in no state to pick up the pieces.
It was facing competition on its international
and domestic services from TAM – a 1976 start-up initially with Fokker
F27, F100 and later Airbus A320 and A330. Later Transbrasil and TAM cards follow.
The Transbrasil 767 shown from above recalls many earlier Movifoto cards.
established VASP also collapsed in 2005. It had expanded into long-haul and
acquired a small fleet of MD-11s, as also
cards were the last known from both airlines. Although VARIG is now phasing them
out for 777’s its financial future is uncertain and there have been
discussions with TAM. In recent years VARIG has been the official carrier for
Brazilian football and the MD-11 is painted to reflect this. Between the current
fleet and the MD-11 era the company has also issued 727 ,737 ,747 ,767 ,CV990
,HS748 Electra and DC-10 cards, with the two shown probably being the hardest to
its financial troubles VARIG had continued to take over other companies,
although the most recent ones retained their names while adopting a VARIG livery.
Such were Rio Sul and Nordeste. The Nordeste card was also produced in identical
form but with Rio Sul titles after that company’s takeover.
Sul card features the Embraer ERJ-145. Unfortunately the decline of the airline
issue postcard coincided with the
rise of this Brazilian regional jet in the fleets of the worlds airlines so it
is relatively under represented. Also under-represented are the latest
generation of Brazilian airlines. One
short-lived carrier ViaBrasil produced a 2000 new year card with views + a
small model 727 on the face but this larger image on the writing side.
New low-cost, one-word-name carriers such as Gol ( = Goal, of course)
have not produced cards themselves but see later. The card below of
local carrier Aero Express of a Cessna Caravan does however appear to be airline issue
FEW MORE FROM BRAZIL…
Frank Litaudon, apparently a Sud issue
card to commemorate the delivery of the first VARIG Caravelle – the back is
autographed under a pre-printed message and has a special postmark.
cost carrier Gol 737 features on this Porto Alegre airport card with an F100 of
Tam and VARIG group 737
SANTOS DUMONT - THE AIRPORT
airport now known as Santos Dumont is currently the “downtown” airport for
Rio de Janeiro and operates regional
services, notably a shuttle service to Sao Paulo. The airport is situated on
reclaimed land in Rio harbour and its first use for aviation was to
serve the pioneering NYRBA (New York, Rio and Buenous Aires Airline)
Curtiss Commodore flying boats. All operations in Brazil were nominally by a
subsidiary NYRBA do Brasil. NYRBA gained little from its pioneering work, being
absorbed for Pan American by their
Brazilian subsidiary, Panair do Brasil in 1930. This real photo card (from
a photocopy) shows one of the Commodore boats at the future Santos Dumont in the
markings of Panair do Brasil.
km from central Rio it rapidly became the city’s airport for domestic and
later international service, until being replaced by
Galeao. Its origins in maritime operations are recalled by the proximity
of the ramp to the harbour waters as shown on some of the following cards,
including this air view which also shows the proximity to the city centre.
1960s judging by YS-11 and Electra on ramp but also lots of DC-3 and a
real photo cards. A waterside Panair L049 Constellation – this card is usually
found plain-back although with “Rio Aereoporto”
text on the face as here.
wider view again features a Packet foreground and a selection of that
least-postcarded airliner, the Curtiss C-46 background. ( Colombo card 72) –
by the time it was mailed the writer was on a “wonderful trip by jet – 10
hours from New York.
some “chromes” . Another Panair Constellation + (?) DC-7C + Cruzeiro
Convairs, DC-3s and C-46s, VARIG Electra and C-46s. Also an Air Force Lodestar.
Fascinating mix on Grafica Franco Brasiliera No 132.
Also look city-wards at duck with more C-46s of VARIG and Paraense, VARIG
Convair, VASP Viscount by Italbras of Sao Paulo 1964.
BRAZIL CARD CARNIVAL
SANTOS DUMONT – THE MAN
& THE AIRPORT
Many countries have put forward alternative claims to
the Wright Brothers to be the pioneers of powered flight.
The UK points to the experiments of Henson and Stringfellow, France to
the designs of Clement Ader, the USSR of course had its claimant.
Some Brazilians point to the
fact that its pioneer Alberto Santos Dumont was authenticated as having flown a
powered flight in 1906 and query whether the Wrights flew as early as is now
accepted. Even allowing for the
fact that normally “nobody
remembers who was second” the achievements of Santos Dumont, below, are
Santos Dumont was born July 20, 1873, youngest of 11 children of a family whose
wealth derived from coffee plantations, in the State
of Minas Gerais, Brazil. At the age of 18, he was sent by his French father to
Paris where he devoted his time to the study of chemistry, physics, astronomy
and mechanics. His first spherical balloon, "Brasil,” with 113 cubic
meters capacity, made its first ascent in Paris
on July 4th, 1898. His second balloon, "America," had 500 cubic meters
capacity and won Santos Dumont the Aero Club of Paris’ prize. Twelve balloons
had participated in this competition but "America" reached a greater
altitude and remained in the air for 22 hours. The then turned to the
development of the steerable balloon ,dirigeable or airship. His first steered
balloon, "Santos Dumont no. 1," flew in
September 1898. , followed
by an unsuccessful "Santos
Dumont no. 2," and "Santos
Dumont no. 3," which performed
a circuit of the Eifel Tower in November 1890.
wave of enthusiasm for aviation that followed this flight prompted the
foundation of The Aero Club of France and the offering of a prize ( La Coupe
Deutsch) by M Deutsch de la Merte for the first flight round the Eifel Tower
from a base at St Cloud with return to base within 30 minutes. This prize was
won by Santos Dumont on October 19th, 1901, with his latest airship,
no. 6. Besides this prize, Santos Dumont received the sum of 100,000
francs which he distributed in equal parts to his workers and the Paris
poor. He subsequently had 3 more airships built and , in 1903, flew No 9
over the 4th July parade at Longchamp.
In addition to competitive and promotional work Santos Dumont was
probably unique then and now in using an airship for personal transport, being
known to land outside fashionable cafes. For use during his airship flights
Santos Dumont commissioned what is believed to have been the first wrist-watch
for men from Cartier. British card of the 1901 flight in the “Lightning”
series of Flying Machine Postcards by Edward Cook Ltd, Soap Merchants.
Santos Dumont turned to heavier than air development, including glider and
rotary wing designs This resulted in the tail-first 14Bis design which flew
successfully for 50 metres on 23 Oct 1906 card
below. This was the first verified
heavier than air flight in Europe. By
November 14bis had achieved 220 metres at a height of
6 metres at 37 km/ph. This
card is of the October flight.
Santos Dumont’s final design was in many ways the most advanced and,
when also adopted as his personal transport, was
the equivalent of the modern light or ultra light aircraft. This was the
Demoiselle of 1909.
Four versions of this high wing, bamboo frame design
were constructed by Santos Dumont and the plans were available to others
free of charge. A Demoiselle now
succeeded the airships as personal transport. It
could be constructed in 15 days and could sustain 100 km/h.
It was to be his last design. He crashed in one in 1910 and, while
recovering, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. This real photo card was by
retired to the French coast and took up astronomy which resulted in his being
raided by the police as a suspected spy. During
his deepening depression he destroyed all his papers . He returned to Brazil and
lived there until 1932 when he committed suicide. In addition to the effects of
his illness he was believed to be greatly troubled by the use of aircraft in
In Brazil his achievements have to some extended been
promoted at the expense of the Wrights but his achievements, in particular with
the Demoiselle, mean he stands on his own merit as a significant pioneer.
Tens of thousands of streets, buildings, schools etc in Brazil are named
for him in addition to the original and now regional airport of Rio.
HOWARD LEIGH PREVIEW
The June edition will feature Phil
Swales’ in depth researches
into 30 s aviation artist, Howard Leigh. Leigh
was the brother-in-law of Biggles author
W E Johns and illustrated his books and their covers.
He also produced artwork for books and postcards featuring the latest
designs of the time and some retrospective WW1 craft. The cards were sold in
sets, some with PC backs, some plain – not all are signed.
For those unfamiliar with his work here are two examples as a foretaste.
The untitled example is a Hafner Gyroplane.
Want to download this section as .doc-file (MS Word)?
Click right mouse button here and use "save targeted as"