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Guest cwra6

Commercial Airline Trivia

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I've been reading a fascinating account of the history of commercial aviation. Thought it would be fun to post some trivia?1. What did the initials TWA originally stand for? Why did the airline change its name?2. What was the first commercial airliner capable of routine service across the continent, going both ways?3. Name the stops on the first trans-pacific route flown by the Pan Am Clippers.4. True or false - a DC can take off out of Denver and fly over the continental divide on one engine?5. Name the airline that Boeing controlled until it became illegal to do so?6. What year did the first jetliner enter commercial service - and what was the route?Just a start...Colin

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1. Transcontinental and Western, 1934?2. B-247?3. ?4. a DC-10 can5. Boeing Air Transport which became United6. May 2, 1952, London-Johhanesburg

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Well, I'll take a stab at some of these (without cheating and looking on Yahoo!).1. Transcontinental and Western Airlines. I'm assuming they changed their name when they started flying east of Kansas City...?2. Are we talking non-stop or with stops? If with stops, I'd say the DC-2...but I'm not 100% on this one.3. Oh boy...Los Angeles -- Honolulu -- Midway Island -- Guam -- Wake Island -- um... -- Manila -- Tokyo?4. My gut reaction is false, but I'm thinking this is a trick question, so I'll say true.5. United.6. 1953 -- the de Havilland Comet by BOAC from London to Johannesburg via Rome, Cairo, Khartoum, and Nairobi?I'll be anxious to see the answers! This is fun!

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This is fun - you guys are good.1. You are correct on the name - it was changed in 1945 after the war by Howard Hughes to Trans World Airways. TWA flew many charter flights over the pond for the Yanks in the war - so when it ended it had more flying experience over the Atlantic than any one else except possibly Pan Am. It had the largest trans atlantic service for many years. 2. I made a mistake in the question - I should have added non-stop. The Lockheed Constellation was the first plane able to fly both east and west on a tank of gas on a regular, consistent and predictable schedule. It was a superior plane to the DC-4, it's immediate contemporary, being both supercharged and pressurized. It could fly higher and faster and longer. The commercial fleets might have looked a lot different was there no war. The DC-4 was the military's transport of choice because it was ready and a much simpler design - good in a war zone. They were so cheap after hostilities ended they could be had for less than $90,000. 3. The Pan Am Clipper line ran from SF to Honnolulu to Midway to Wake to Guam to the Phillipines. More publicity stunt than true business venture, it never made money and was another classic Juan Trippe getting the government to pay the freight (air mail contract/airbus subsidy, sort of rhymes, doesn't it...) deal. The Navy built the bases under civilian cover because they wanted them when the bubble finally went up with Japan but didn't want to provoke the chrsanthymum empire. Air mail at $2 a mile helped a lot too. But service was truly unpredictable. Departing every Thursday from Treasure Island in SF Bay, passengers were often told they would have to wait a week because of weather, winds etc. and only half the passenger manifest could be accomodated on the sea plane. 4. The answer is true. This was Charles Lindbergh's challenge to the Douglas crew when they proposed the twin engine DC-1 in stead of a tri-motor as per a spec sent to the company by TWA (in response to United's use of the Boeing 247 - sold initially only to Boeing because Boeing owned United (answer to question #5). He said the plane not only had to take off from Denver of Cheyenne on one engine, but also climb and fly over the divide. 5. You guys got this one right - it was United. A trust bust, airplane makers are still not allowed to own airlines. Happened early in the Roosevelt administration (FDR, not Teddy).6. The correct answer is 1952 - but you both got the route correct. It was the DeHaviland Comet. Here's a bonus question - what were the stops on the route? I'll get cracking on some more questions. This is fun. Colin

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