Aviation Historian 3
D.Stringer - Fly America! (1)
Allegheny Airlines DC-3 N91228 arrives on the ramp at the airport serving Parkersburg, West Virginia, and Marietta, Ohio. Allegheny was originally known as All American Airways, changing its name in 1953, the airline going on to become USAir in 1979 and US Airways in 1996. The merger of the latter with American Airlines in 2013 will see the last direct decendant of the original Local Service Airlines disappear.
The ubiquitous Douglas DC-3 became standard equipment for all of the successful local service carriers. Here, a Monarch Air Lines example awaits its passengers. Monarch merged with Challenger Airlines and acquired the certificate of Arizona Airways to form Frontier Airlines in 1950.
A glorious colour photograph of Wisconsin Central DC-3s N12978 (nearest) and N26214 on the busy ramp at Chicago’s Midway Airport in 1952. In the background, trunk carrier airliners are prepared for another flight, including a pair of American Airlines DC-6s, beyond which is a Capital Airlines DC-4. The local airlines were initially called feeders as their objective was to “feed” small-town traffic to the trunk airlines.
Bonanza Air Lines DC-3 N491 at San Diego, California, in May 1959. The airline’s distinctive livery of this period incorporated a vivid orange fuselage band and fin.
Strike up the band! - the inauguration of air services to smaller cities in the USA with the DC-3s of the local feeder airlines was cause for celebration. Empire Air Lines DC-3 NC62375, City of La Grande, was one of several used by the Boise, Idaho-based airline, which received its feeder certificate from the CAB in 1946.
An Ozark Air Lines DC-3 over Springfield, Illinois, in 1951. Ozark owed its existence to the failure of another feeder, Parks Air Lines (Parks Air Transport). The CAB cancelled the Parks certificate and awarded the bulk of its routes to Ozark, the last of the 13 permanently-certificated locals to receive its certificate.
A pair of DC-3s of Minneapolis-based North Central Airlines, the more appropriate moniker for Wisconsin Central Airlines, which was renamed in late 1952 .
Echoes of the dust bowl - this rare photograph shows a Central Airlines Beechcraft A-35 Bonanza at Woodward, Oklahoma. The type was woefully inadequate for commercial service but a fleet of 11 Bonanzas allowed Central to take to the air in September 1949. By June 1951 Central had completed the transition to an all-DC-3 fleet.
Convair 440 Metropolitan N4407 of Mohawk Airlines at JFK Airport, New York, in 1965. Unusually for a local airline, Mohawk acquired its 440s factory-fresh from the manufacturer when it bought examples that had been built “on spec” for other airlines.