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P_7878

Oldest Airline in the Western Hemisphere - 19 pictures

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Avianca airline has always fascinated me...It's the prestigious flag carrier of Colombia, and flagship of the group of Latin American airlines. It's the 2nd largest airline in Latin America after LATAM of Brazil-Chile. It's also interesting to note that Avianca, which was initially registered, a century ago, on December 5, 1919, under the name SCDATA, is the oldest operating airline of the Americas, and also the world's 2nd oldest airline after KLM (KLM was founded 7 October 1919, and is older by only about 2 months). Avianca has a curious origin. The (source airline) SCDATA, cited above, was a Colombo-German Company formed by 5 Colombians and 4 Germans. The company had started with a fleet of Junkers F13 aircraft, two of which were equipped with floats, and, SCDATA's first in-land flight needed 4 emergency landings on the river course that it had followed!

Avianca is head-quartered in Bogota (Colombia), located on the high plateau of Bogota Savanna (with elevation 8,361') in the northern part of the (formidable) Andes mountain range. Here is another interesting fact: Colombia is the only South American country which borders both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Its unique geography is worth an examination. The airline, therefore, has, on its résumé, extensive (and challenging) operational experience for flights into both high-altitude and mountainous-terrain airports.

One of the things I find fascinating about the aged (and still operational) airlines is the extensive (and diverse) range of aircraft, they have usually deployed during the course of their existence, starting from the most primitive to the most advanced, (unlike the newer airlines that often consist of the (A- and B- duo)). For example, here, Avianca, has touched the 2 extremes from Junkers to Dreamliner (see a screenshot of each)! If you examine the shot of the Junkers-F13 closely, you'll see "BOGOTA" written on the front fuselage and "SCDATA" written on the side...that's how Avianca was born! May I also mention that the Junkers-F13 was the world's first "all-metal" transport aircraft (developed in Germany at the end of WW I)...So, Avianca airline had sturdy roots, and surely has seen it all during its long life, and therefore deserves respect and admiration. As the Colombia's national carrier turns 100, its media representatives proudly proclaim, "Our pilots now have access to Tablets in the cockpits...", which shows their sense of appreciation for new and novel items of aviation, because they are aware of the humble roots and simple means of navigation from their long-bygone past...

For the purpose of this post, I've limited myself to 19 examples of Avianca's aircraft - that I could gather from various PW/FW sources in our SIM (many types, deliberately chosen, from Avianca's "Retired Fleet" because of my personal bias towards historical aircraft, and my list, of course, is far from being exhaustive). Avianca, meanwhile, has moved on primarily to Airbus and B787s for its current fleet. It was bit of an effort to get these diverse aircraft of a single airline (with some (period) livery variations), but it was fun and a learning experience, and, so, I hope you too will enjoy this collection of Avianca images. Each image is snapped right after takeoff at one of my favorite airports, the Juneau International Airport (PAJN). The shown aircraft are listed, next, in random order (for you to, maybe, have a bit of fun with their identification). They are as follows: (B727-200, B737-200, B787-8, L-749, Junkers-F13, B707-300, HS-748, MD-80, B747-200, B757-200, DC-3, Fokker-50, Fokker-100, DC-4, B767-300, A318, Do-328 Prop, MD-11, A330-300). If you wish, please refer to the Wiki for their historical/actual deployment sequence by Avianca. Thanks for viewing. And, Happy Independence Day to the folks in U.S. and a good rest of the day to all. [Orbx(PAJN)/Misc(PW/FW)Aircraft/REX]

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Posted (edited)

Very enjoyable post. I lived in Bogata a couple of years back in 1958-59 when I was five years old. My father was stationed there with the US Army. Map making out fit. My first plane ride was from Panama to Bogata on a DC6 but I think it was Braniff. I remember riding the cable car up the mountain to a bueatiful church and visiting salt mines with lovely statues and going to the Techadama (spelling?) water fall. It's true that in you're senior years you can remember the distant past clearer then you can recall last week.

The Andies is my favorite simming area especially flying the PMDG DC6 and QOTSII. Very challenging and one of the most scenic parts of the world. Requires much more versatile jugement. Latin America is an interesting place.

Edited by PATCO LCH
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Vic green

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Nice collection you have in your hangar! How on earth do make up your mind with all those choices  to pick one for a flight? Lol!!

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Very interesting presentation. I like the Fokker 100 shot especially.

John

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I love the fourth one down, Jaun Valdez....   Thanks for sharing.

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                     MICHAEL J     proud supporter

                       KJAX   FLORIDA

                    

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What a enjoyable and educational thread. Even the F-13 is there! Where will it land with its wheels in case of emergency?

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   Harald Geyer
   Gründer der Messerschmitt Freunde Dresden v. V.

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Hi Vic, jafo, John, Orman, Michael:

Thanks for the kind words of encouragement, and, as always, please note that my own enjoyment from exploring these aircraft is also quite immense...as much as sharing w/ you folks...

[Vic: You've several interesting points in your comments...First of all, pre-60 Bogota's unique memories will linger with you for a long time, I'm sure. Also, (PMDG DC6, QOTS, and Andes) is indeed a remarkable combo to enjoy in our SIM]!

I'm fortunate to still have the old classics from PMDG, LVLD, and CS...(MD11, B767, B707, B727, B737 etc.) fully operational for me in FSX-SE (of course, these days, no long flights and no dense airports for me, which would bring my system to its knees...). And, additionally, the newer SIMs from AS/QW don't hurt my choice. But, I now recall a book I'd purchased a while ago, from a Public School Library Book SALE (50 cents each book) in Chicago...the title was, "The Book Lover's Book", and the first chapter first sentence, if I recall correctly, said, "A book-lover will purchase more books than what he/she can ever read in a lifetime..."..How ironic, but true...! I'm in the same boat with my SIM aircraft...Sometimes, because of my 5-year break from SIM, I feel, I need another life to do full justice to the SIMs I now have but under-utilized (not including FW). So, while I amaze myself (and try to participate) in the incredible results seen here from the other platforms, I let others do it for me, for now,...division-of-labor for a common objective, as I see it, because we just cannot do it all ourselves...So kudos to those who, I know, are maintaining 2+ platforms at the same time!

My own QW-787 lifted-off mother earth today for the first time in a year...and almost same for my LVLD 767. I feel guilty to make use of the FSX Option, "Do you want quit Simulator now"?, after accomplishing each of these takeoffs for this post...[What was the takeoff trim for PMDG MD11 vs. LVLD 767, again...🙂...? That was one of the tricky parts in creating such a post..]

Anyway, thanks again, folks! It's now time (at least here) to look around the Bargain Shack, to see what's on SUMMER SALE on the occasion of July 4th...🙂...to add even more to my un-explored choices..! Oh well...

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14 minutes ago, HaraldG said:

....Even the F-13 is there! Where will it land with its wheels in case of emergency?

Good question, Harald,...🙂...I'm on the look-out for a Junkers F13 with floats...please let me know if you know of one....

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Posted (edited)
On 7/4/2019 at 3:46 PM, P_7878 said:

Good question, Harald,...🙂...I'm on the look-out for a Junkers F13 with floats...please let me know if you know of one....

Harald (et al.):

Prompted by your query, I searched and managed to get a Float version of the Junkers-F13, thanks to Craig Richardson of (FW) Classic Wings fame,...So, this is the exact plane that had started it all for Avianca Airline....

Here, below, is my image (20th and final for this post) of the SCDATA Junkers F13 (Float) - set to dusk time for a bit of evocation, flying above (Colombia's) Magdalena River, near Bogota. You can see the River, winding through, at the bottom of the picture. This River (peculiarly) flows northward, along a deep valley, between the Central and Eastern Colombian Andes Ranges (the Andes, interestingly trifurcates into (Western, Central, Eastern) branches in Colombia - and this Andean region, btw, is the source of the famous "Colombian" Coffee that reaches us elsewhere in the world)...The Magdalena River that finally discharges into the Caribbean Sea (of Atlantic Ocean), is the same river along which SCDATA's 1st in-land flight had tracked...a century ago...(an eight hours long flight, that was fraught with 4-emergency water landings!)...

[Another side-note of interest: SCDATA/Avianca had chosen a famous river (as the guide) to test their 1st flight. The Magdalena river is named after Mary Magdalene, who, according to the four canonical gospels, traveled as one of the followers and was a witness to the crucifixion, burial, and resurrection. She is mentioned by name twelve times in the canonical gospels, more than most of the apostles...etc...]

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Edited by P_7878
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***Outstanding*** Once Again***

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Patrick

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What a picture again. Lost in the tropical wilderness!

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   Harald Geyer
   Gründer der Messerschmitt Freunde Dresden v. V.

lYI9iQV.jpg

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Posted (edited)

What an interesting story, P_7878!! I also like your pictures, especially the last one of the little Junkers on floats. Junkers has quite a history flying in remote locations, one of the most remote ones was Papua Newguinea. They were mostly used to fly mining equipment into the highlands. Two Ju 52 were used to fly the last Westerners out of the highlands to Australia, before the Japs arrived

Edited by bernd1151
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Patrick: Thank you for the kind words!

Harald, Bernd: I know you folks are more aware (than I) of the history of such (German) classics as this plane...🙂...Good to hear from you about the Junkers...Thanks...!

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