Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines, Inc. referred to as Delta, is a major American airline, with its headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. The airline, along with its subsidiaries and regional affiliates, operates over 5,400 flights daily and serves an extensive domestic and international network that includes 304 destinations in 52 countries on six continents, as of October 2018. Delta is a founding member of the SkyTeam airline alliance. Regional service is operated under the brand name Delta Connection. One of the five remaining legacy carriers, Delta is the sixth-oldest operating airline by foundation date, the oldest airline still operating in the United States. Among predecessors of today's Delta Air Lines, Western Airlines and Northwest Airlines began flying passengers in 1926 and 1927, respectively. Delta has eight hubs, with Atlanta being its largest in terms of total passengers and number of departures, it is the world's second largest airline in terms of scheduled passengers carried, revenue passenger-kilometers flown and fleet size.
In 2018, Delta ranked No. 75 in the Fortune 500 list of the largest American corporations by total revenue. Delta Air Lines began as a crop dusting operation called Incorporated; the company was founded on May 30, 1924, in Macon and moved to Monroe, Louisiana, in 1925. They flew a Huff-Daland Duster, the first true crop duster, designed to combat the boll weevil infestation of cotton crops. Collett E. Woolman, one of the original directors, purchased the company on September 13, 1928, renamed it Delta Air Service. Service began on June 17, 1929, with the inaugural flight between Dallas and Jackson, Mississippi; the company recognizes four founders: the principal founder Collett E. Woolman, C. H. McHenery, Travis Oliver, Malcolm S. Biedenharn. Delta moved its headquarters to its current location in Atlanta in 1941, continued to grow through the addition of routes and the acquisition of other airlines, it replaced propeller planes with jets in the 1960s and entered international competition to Europe in the 1970s and across the Pacific in the 1980s.
Delta's more recent history is marked by its emergence from bankruptcy on April 25, 2007, the subsequent merger with Northwest Airlines. The merger was announced April 14, 2008, was set to create the world's largest airline. After approval of the merger on October 29, 2008, Northwest continued to operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Delta until December 31, 2009, when both carriers' operating certificates were merged. Delta completed integration with Northwest on January 31, 2010, when their reservation systems and websites were combined, the Northwest Airlines brand was retired; as of October 2018, Delta and its worldwide alliance partners operated more than 15,000 flights per day. Delta is the only U. S. carrier that flies to Accra, Dakar, Düsseldorf, Lagos, Ponta Delgada, Stuttgart. It is the only U. S. carrier that has scheduled service to Africa, thereby the only U. S. carrier to serve all six inhabited continents. Delta has eight hubs. Atlanta – In addition to its corporate headquarters, Delta operates its primary hub in Atlanta as well as Delta TechOps, Delta's primary maintenance base.
It is Delta's main gateway to Latin America and the Caribbean, a secondary transatlantic gateway. Detroit – Inherited through the merger with Northwest, Detroit serves as one of Delta's two Midwest hubs, it is the primary Asian gateway for the northeastern United States and it provides service to many destinations in the Americas and Europe. Los Angeles – Delta inherited its LAX hub from Western Airlines, but dismantled it in the mid-1990s, opting to relocate most of those aircraft to the U. S. East Coast. Since it has re-opened the hub, offering service to Latin America, Asia and Europe, as well as major domestic bases and West Coast regional destinations. Minneapolis–Saint Paul – Inherited through the merger with Northwest, Minneapolis–Saint Paul serves as one of Delta's two Midwest hubs. Service includes most major Canadian and American metropolitan areas, a number of regional destinations in the upper Midwest as well as many destinations in Latin America and Asia. New York–JFK, New York City – A major international gateway to Europe.
Inherited from its partnership with Pan Am after Pan Am's collapse in 1991. Offers service on many transcontinental "prestige routes" to west coast destinations Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle. New York–LaGuardia, New York City – An important domestic hub created as a result of a slot swap with US Airways. Delta service at LaGuardia covers numerous east coast US cities, a number of regional destinations in the US and Canada. Salt Lake City – Delta inherited Salt Lake City during the Western Airlines merger. Service covers most major US destinations as well as a number of regional destinations in the US and Canada, select cities in Europe and Hawaii. Seattle–Tacoma – Delta announced Seattle's hub status in 2014; the hub serves as an important gateway to Asia. Delta started aggressively building its presence in Seattle in 2011, sparking tensions with Seattle-based Alaska Airlines. Since 2017, due to airport space restrictions, Delta's growth in Seattle has slowed, Delta has been upgauging existing flights rather than adding new ones.
In addition to their eight hubs, Delta operates three smaller focus cities. Boston – Boston was a hub for Delta in the second half of the 20th century through the early 2000s; the present Terminal A was built for Delta's sole use, but following the 2005 bankruptcy, they scaled back operations and leased 11 gates in the terminal. Delta has since regained all the Terminal A gates and
Boeing 377 Stratocruiser
The Boeing 377 Stratocruiser was a large long-range airliner developed from the C-97 Stratofreighter military transport, itself a derivative of the B-29 Superfortress. The Stratocruiser's first flight was on July 8, 1947, its design was advanced for its day. It could carry up to 100 passengers on the main deck plus 14 in the lower deck lounge; the Stratocruiser was larger than the Douglas DC-6 and Lockheed Constellation and cost more to buy and operate. Its reliability was poor, chiefly due to problems with the four 28-cylinder Pratt & Whitney R-4360 Wasp Major radial engines and structural and control problems with their propellers. Only 55 Model 377s were built for airlines, along with the single prototype; the Boeing 377 Stratocruiser was a civil derivative of the Boeing Model 367, the Boeing C-97 Stratofreighter, which first flew in late 1944. William Allen, who had become President of The Boeing Company in September 1945, sought to introduce a new civilian aircraft to replace reduced military production after World War II.
Boeing saw in their large-bodied and long-ranged military transport potential for a passenger aircraft suited for premium service on long transoceanic routes, expanding on the precedent set by their Boeing 314 Clipper with Pan American World Airways. Despite a recession in late 1945, Allen ordered 50 Stratocruisers, spending capital on the project without an order from an airline customer, his gamble that customers would be interested in Boeing's unique and expensive new airplane turned out to be correct for a brief period. On November 29, 1945 Pan American World Airways became the launch customer with the largest commercial aircraft order in history, a $24,500,000 order for 20 Stratocruisers. Earlier in 1945 a Boeing C-97 had flown from Seattle to Washington, D. C. nonstop in four minutes. The 377 shared the distinctive design of the C-97, with a "double-bubble" fuselage cross-section, resembling a figure-8, with 6,600 ft³ of interior space, allowing for pressurization of a large cabin with two passenger decks.
Outside diameter of the upper lobe was 132 inches, compared to 125 inches for the DC-6 and other Douglas types. The lower deck served as a lounge, seating 14; the 377 had innovations such as air conditioning. The wing was the Boeing 117 airfoil, regarded as the "fastest wing of its time". In all, 4,000,000 man-hours went into the engineering of the 377, it was one of but a few double deck airliners, another being its French contemporary, the Breguet Deux-Ponts, as well as Boeing's own 747 and the Airbus A380. A total of 56 were built, 55 production aircraft. First flight of the 377 was on July 1947, two years after the first commercial order; the flight test fleet of three 377s underwent 250,000 mi of flying to test its limits before certification. Adoption of the Stratocruiser got a boost from the US government, with a controversial incentive package offered to Northwest Orient Airlines for its purchase, its components were unusually generous mail contracts offered to Northwest for opening new routes to Hawaii and points in the western Pacific region that they were invited to apply for, a Reconstruction Finance Corporation loan earmarked for the purchase of a fleet of Stratocruisers.
Pan-Am saw Northwest's mail contract deal and appealed for new terms in their own international mail contracts, which were granted much to the consternation of Trans World Airlines, who were able to provide the same Atlantic mail services as Pan-Am with lower operating costs. The Northwest deal led to allegations of graft and political favoritism towards Boeing; the other carriers who adopted the Stratocruiser were British Overseas Airways Corporation, American Overseas Airlines and United Airlines. The last 377 was delivered to BOAC in May 1950. On this delivery flight, Boeing engineer Wellwood Beall accompanied the final 377 to England, returned with news of the de Havilland Comet, the first jet airliner, its appeal; the tenure of the Stratocruiser with United ended in 1954, when United had the opportunity to sell them to BOAC after finding them unprofitable without the extra mail subsidies enjoyed by Pan Am and Northwest. As the launch customer, Pan Am was the first to begin scheduled service, from San Francisco to Honolulu in April 1949.
At the end of 1949 Pan Am, BOAC and American Overseas Airlines were flying 377s transatlantic, while Northwest Orient Airlines was flying in the United States. Stratocruisers were pressed into emergency military service following the onset of the Korean War. By late 1950, Northwest Orient was serving New York City, Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Spokane and Honolulu with the aircraft. By late 1952 Northwest had placed the Stratocruiser in service to Tokyo via Alaska. However, Northwest replaced the Stratocruiser on the Honolulu run in 1953 and by late 1955 had replaced it in their Tokyo service. For a short time Pan Am flew their 377s to Lebanon. In 1954, United was operating nonstop service with
Wright R-3350 Duplex-Cyclone
The Wright R-3350 Duplex-Cyclone is a twin-row, air-cooled, radial aircraft engine with 18 cylinders displacing nearly 55 L. Power ranged from 2,200 to over 3,700 hp, depending on the model. Developed before World War II, the R-3350's design required a long time to mature before being used to power the Boeing B-29 Superfortress. After the war, the engine had matured sufficiently to become a major civilian airliner design, notably in its turbo-compound forms, was used in the Lockheed L-1049 Super Constellation airliners into the 1990s; the engine is now used on Hawker Sea Fury and Grumman F8F Bearcat Unlimited Class Racers at the Reno Air Races. Its main rival was Whitney R-4360 Wasp Major. In 1927, Wright Aeronautical introduced its famous "Cyclone" engine, which powered a number of designs in the 1930s. After merging with Curtiss to become Curtiss-Wright in 1929, an effort was started to redesign the engine to the 1,000 hp class; the new Wright R-1820 Cyclone 9 first ran in 1935, became one of the most-used aircraft engines in the 1930s and WWII, powering all frontline examples of the B-17 Flying Fortress Allied heavy bomber aircraft serving in the war, each powerplant assisted by a General Electric-designed turbocharger for maximum power output at high altitudes.
By 1931 Pratt & Whitney had started a development of their famous single-row, Wasp nine-cylinder design into a larger and much more powerful fourteen-cylinder, twin-row design — the Twin Wasp — of a nearly identical 30-liter displacement figure, that would compete with this larger, single-row Cyclone. In 1935 Wright followed P&W's lead, developed much larger engines based on the mechanics of the Cyclone; the result was two designs with a somewhat shorter stroke, a 14-cylinder design that would evolve into the Twin Cyclone, a much larger 18-cylinder design that became the R-3350. A larger twin-row 22-cylinder version, the R-4090, was experimented with as a competitor to the 71.5 litre-displacement four-row, 28-cylinder Pratt & Whitney Wasp Major, but was not produced. With Pratt & Whitney starting development of their own 46 liter-displacement 18-cylinder, twin-row high-output radial as the Double Wasp in 1937, Wright's first R-3350 prototype engines — itself having a nearly 55 liter displacement figure — were run in May of the same year.
Continued development was slow, both due to the complex nature of the engine, as well as the R-2600 receiving more attention. The R-3350 did not fly until 1941, after the prototype Douglas XB-19 had been redesigned from the Allison V-3420 to accept the R-3350. Things changed in 1940 with the introduction of a new contract by the USAAC to develop a long-range bomber capable of flying from the US to Germany with a 20,000 lb bomb load. Although smaller than the Bomber D designs that led to the Douglas XB-19, the new designs required the same amount of power; when preliminary designs were returned in the summer of 1940, three of the four designs were based on the R-3350. The engine was seen as the future of army aviation, serious efforts to get the design into production started. In 1942 Chrysler started the construction of the Dodge Chicago Plant and the new factory, designed by Albert Kahn, was in full operation by early 1944. By 1943 the ultimate development of the new bomber program, the Boeing B-29 Superfortress, was flying.
The engines remained temperamental, showed an alarming tendency for the rear cylinders to overheat due to minimal clearance between the cylinder baffles and the cowl. A number of changes were introduced into the Superfortress' production line to provide more cooling at low speeds, with the aircraft rushed into operational use in the Pacific in 1944; this proved unwise, as the early B-29 tactics of maximum weights, when combined with the high temperatures of the tropical airfields where B-29s were based, produced overheating problems that were not solved, the engines having an additional tendency to swallow their own valves. Because of a high magnesium content in the combustible crankcase alloy, the resulting engine fires — sometimes burning with a core temperature approaching 5,600 °F — were so intense the main spar could burn through in seconds, resulting in catastrophic wing failure. Early versions of the R-3350 had carburetors, though the poorly-designed elbow entrance to the supercharger led to serious problems with fuel/air distribution.
Near the end of WWII, the system was changed to use gasoline direct injection where fuel was injected directly into the combustion chamber. This improved engine reliability. After the war the engine was redesigned and became popular for large aircraft, notably the Lockheed Constellation and Douglas DC-7. Following the war the Turbo-Compound system was developed to deliver better fuel efficiency. In these versions, three power-recovery turbines were inserted into the exhaust piping of each group of six cylinders, geared to the engine crankshaft by fluid couplings to deliver more power; the PRTs recovered about 20% of the exhaust energy that would have otherwise been wasted, but reduced engine reliability. The fuel burn for the PRT-equipped aircraft was nearly the same as the older Pratt and Whitney R-2800, while producing more useful horsepower. Effective 15 October 1957 a DA-3/DA-4 engine cost $88,200. By this point reliability had improved with the mean time between overhauls at 3,500 hours and specific fuel consumption in the order of 0.4 lb/hp/hour (243 g/kWh, giving it a 3
Attack on Pearl Harbor
The attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise military strike by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service upon the United States against the naval base at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Hawaii on Sunday morning, December 7, 1941. The attack led to the United States' formal entry into World War II the next day; the Japanese military leadership referred to the attack as the Hawaii Operation and Operation AI, as Operation Z during its planning. Japan intended the attack as a preventive action to keep the United States Pacific Fleet from interfering with its planned military actions in Southeast Asia against overseas territories of the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, the United States. Over the course of seven hours there were coordinated Japanese attacks on the U. S.-held Philippines and Wake Island and on the British Empire in Malaya and Hong Kong. Additionally, from the Japanese viewpoint, it was seen as a preemptive strike; the attack commenced at 7:48 a.m. Hawaiian Time; the base was attacked by 353 Imperial Japanese aircraft in two waves, launched from six aircraft carriers.
All eight U. S. Navy battleships were damaged, with four sunk. All but USS Arizona were raised, six were returned to service and went on to fight in the war; the Japanese sank or damaged three cruisers, three destroyers, an anti-aircraft training ship, one minelayer. 188 U. S. aircraft were destroyed. Important base installations such as the power station, dry dock, shipyard and fuel and torpedo storage facilities, as well as the submarine piers and headquarters building, were not attacked. Japanese losses were light: 29 aircraft and five midget submarines lost, 64 servicemen killed. One Japanese sailor, Kazuo Sakamaki, was captured. Japan declared war on the United States on December 8. According to historians David M. Kennedy and Lizabeth Cohen: The sneak attack aroused and united America as nothing else could have done. To the day of the blowup, a strong majority of Americans still wanted to keep out of war, but the bombs that pulverized Pearl Harbor blasted the isolationists into silence. The only thing left to do, growled isolationist Senator Wheeler, was to'lick hell out of them.'
The following day, December 8, Congress declared war on Japan. On December 11, Germany and Italy each declared war on the U. S; the U. S. responded with a declaration of war against Italy. There were numerous historical precedents for the unannounced military action by Japan, but the lack of any formal warning while peace negotiations were still ongoing, led President Franklin D. Roosevelt to proclaim December 7, 1941, "a date which will live in infamy"; because the attack happened without a declaration of war and without explicit warning, the attack on Pearl Harbor was judged in the Tokyo Trials to be a war crime. War between Japan and the United States had been a possibility that each nation had been aware of, planned for, since the 1920s; the relationship between the two countries was cordial enough. Tensions did not grow until Japan's invasion of Manchuria in 1931. Over the next decade, Japan expanded into China, leading to the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1937. Japan spent considerable effort trying to isolate China, endeavored to secure enough independent resources to attain victory on the mainland.
The "Southern Operation" was designed to assist these efforts. Starting in December 1937, events such as the Japanese attack on USS Panay, the Allison incident, the Nanking Massacre swung Western public opinion against Japan. Fearing Japanese expansion, the United States, United Kingdom, France assisted China with its loans for war supply contracts. In 1940, Japan invaded French Indochina, attempting to stymie the flow of supplies reaching China; the United States halted shipments of airplanes, machine tools, aviation gasoline to Japan, which the latter perceived as an unfriendly act. The United States did not stop oil exports, however because of the prevailing sentiment in Washington: given Japanese dependence on American oil, such an action was to be considered an extreme provocation. In mid-1940, President Franklin D. Roosevelt moved the Pacific Fleet from San Diego to Hawaii, he ordered a military buildup in the Philippines, taking both actions in the hope of discouraging Japanese aggression in the Far East.
Because the Japanese high command was certain any attack on the United Kingdom's Southeast Asian colonies, including Singapore, would bring the U. S. into the war, a devastating preventive strike appeared to be the only way to prevent American naval interference. An invasion of the Philippines was considered necessary by Japanese war planners; the U. S. War Plan Orange had envisioned defending the Philippines with an elite force of 40,000 men. By 1941, U. S. planners expected to abandon the Philippines at the outbreak of war. Late that year, Admiral Thomas C. Hart, commander of the Asiatic Fleet, was given orders to that effect; the U. S. ceased oil exports to Japan in July 1941, following the seizure of French Indochina after the Fall of France, in part because of new American restrictions on domestic oil consumption. Because of this decision, Japan proceeded with plans to take the oil-rich Dutch East Indies. On August 17, Roosevelt warned Japan that America was prepared to take opposing steps if "neighboring countries" were attacked.
The Japanese wer
The Lockheed Ventura known as the Lockheed B-34 Lexington, was a twin engine medium bomber of World War II, used by United States and British Commonwealth forces in several guises, including maritime patrol. The Ventura was developed from the Lockheed Model 18 Lodestar transport, as a replacement for the Lockheed Hudson bombers in service with the Royal Air Force. Used in daylight attacks against occupied Europe, they proved to have weaknesses and were removed from bomber duty and some used for patrols by Coastal Command. After United States Army Air Forces monopolization of land-based bombers was removed, the US Navy ordered a revised design which entered service as the PV-2 Harpoon for anti-submarine work; the Ventura was similar to its predecessor, the Lockheed Hudson. The primary difference was not in layout; the RAF ordered 188 Venturas in February 1940, which were delivered from mid-1942. Venturas were used for daylight raids on occupied Europe but like some other RAF bombers, they proved too vulnerable without fighter escort, difficult to provide for long-range missions.
Venturas were replaced by the faster de Havilland Mosquito. The Venturas were transferred to patrol duties with Coastal Command as the Mosquito replaced them in bomber squadrons; the RAF placed an order for 487 Ventura Mark IIs but many of these were diverted to the USAAF, which placed its own order for 200 Ventura Mark IIA as the B-34 Lexington renamed RB-34. In August 1941, large orders for Venturas were placed with Lend-Lease Act money. Among the orders were for 550 armed reconnaissance versions of the Ventura; this aircraft was planned to be built under the designation O-56. The main differences between the Ventura and the O-56 were in the engines: rather than the 2,000 hp Pratt & Whitney R-2800 radials of the Ventura, the O-56 used 1,700 hp Wright R-2600-13 radials. Before completion of the first O-56, the U. S. Army Air Forces dropped the "O-" category used to designate "observation" aircraft; the O-56 was redesignated the RB-34B. Before the first of these flew, the design was redesignated again as the B-37 with a higher powered version of the R-2600 it was designated the RB-37.
While 550 were ordered by the Army Air Forces, acquisition by the USAAF stopped after only 18 Venturas were accepted, when the Army Air Forces agreed to turn over exclusive use of the Ventura to the United States Navy. The PV-1 Ventura, built by the Vega Aircraft Company division of Lockheed, was a version of the Ventura built for the U. S. Navy; the main differences between the PV-1 and the B-34 were the inclusion of special equipment in the PV-1, adapting it to its patrol bombing role. The maximum fuel capacity of the PV-1 was increased from 1,345 gal to 1,607 gal, to increase its range; the most important addition was of an ASD-1 search radar. Early production PV-1s still carried a bombardier's station behind the nose radome, with four side windows and a flat bomb-aiming panel underneath the nose. Late production PV-1s dispensed with this bombardier position and replaced it with a pack with three 0.50 inch machine guns underneath the nose. These aircraft could carry eight 5-inch HVAR rockets on launchers underneath the wings.
The PV-1 began to be delivered in December 1942, entered service in February 1943. The first squadron in combat was VP-135, deployed in the Aleutian Islands in April 1943, they were operated by three other squadrons in this theatre. From the Aleutians, they flew strikes against bases in Paramushiro and Shimushu, Japanese islands in the Kurile chain. PV-1s would lead B-24 bomber formations, since they were equipped with radar. In late 1943, some PV-1s were deployed to the Solomon Islands as night fighters with VMF-531, a Marine Corps fighter squadron; the PV-2 Harpoon was a major redesign of the Ventura with the wing area increased from 551 ft² to 686 ft² giving an increased load-carrying capability, which first flew on 3 December 1943. The motivation for redesign was weaknesses in the PV-1, which had shown itself to have problems in taking off when carrying a full load of fuel. On the PV-2, the armament became standardized at five forward-firing machine guns. Many early PV-1s had a bombardier's position, deleted in the PV-2.
Some other significant developments included the increase of the bombload by 30% to 4,000 lb, the ability to carry eight 5-inch HVAR rockets under the wings. While the PV-2 was expected to have increased range and better takeoff, the anticipated speed statistics were projected lower than those of the PV-1, due to the use of the same engines but an increase in weight; the Navy ordered 500 examples. Early tests indicated a tendency for the wings to wrinkle dangerously; as this problem could not be solved by a 6 ft reduction in wingspan, a complete redesign of the wing was necessitated. This hurdle delayed entry of the PV-2 into service; the PV-2s delivered were used for training purposes under the designation PV-2C. By the end of 1944, only 69 PV-2s had been delivered, they resumed when the redesign was complete. The first aircraft shipped were the PV-2D, which had eight forward-firing machine guns and was used in ground att
Pan American-Grace Airways
Pan American-Grace Airways, better known as Panagra, was an airline formed as a joint venture between Pan American World Airways and Grace Shipping Company. Panagra's network stretched from Panama and the U. S.-controlled Panama Canal Zone to Santiago and Buenos Aires. It was founded in 1929 to compete with SCADTA, a German-owned company, held a quasi-monopoly over air travel in parts of Colombia and South America during the 1940s and 1950s. In 1939, a passenger traveling from the U. S. to Buenos Aires would board a Pan Am Sikorsky S-42 flying boat at Miami and fly to Colon, Panama in the Canal Zone, stay overnight and board a Panagra Douglas DC-2 or DC-3 and fly to Buenos Aires with overnight stops in Guayaquil and Santiago. This routing was a full day faster than the Pan Am service operated via the coast of Brazil; the one-way fare from Miami to Buenos Aires was US $550. After World War II, airliners could operate at night over South America, in 1947 Panagra Douglas DC-6s made scheduled flights from Miami to Buenos Aires in 20 hours and 25 minutes.
Pan Am crewed the DC-6 south across the Caribbean to Albrook Field, near Balboa, Panama where Panagra flight crews took over. In 1949, Panagra flights serving Panama shifted to Tocumen Airport. In 1955, Panagra Douglas DC-6Bs and DC-7Bs began serving Washington DC and New York City with these flights being operated by National Airlines crews north of Miami. In 1957, the Panagra DC-7B service via Lima was several hours faster from New York Idlewild Airport to Buenos Aires than the Pan Am DC-7B service operated via Rio de Janeiro. Panagra entered the jet age in 1960. According to the Panagra system timetable dated July 15, 1966, the airline was operating DC-8 "El Inter Americano" jet service between various destinations in Latin America and Los Angeles, New York City and San Francisco. Panagra was still cooperating with National Airlines and Pan American World Airways with regard to their service between the U. S. and Latin America at this time. This timetable listed the following destinations served by Panagra in Central and South America: Antofagasta, Chile.
Panagra merged with Braniff International Airways in 1967. Braniff operated the former Panagra routes to South America until 1982 when Eastern Air Lines purchased Braniff's South American operations. Beginning in 1990, these routes were operated by American Airlines which had acquired them from Eastern. W. R. Grace and Company had a 50% share of Pan American-Grace Airways, with Pan Am owning the other 50%; the Panagra name was resurrected during the late 1990s when a new airline which billed itself as Panagra Airways operated Boeing 727-200 jetliners. William A. Krusen, Stephen Morrill, Harold R. Harris - Flying the Andes: The Story of Pan American Grace Airways and Commercial Aviation in South America, 1926-1967, University of Tampa Press, 1997. ISBN 9781879852563 Braniff Airways Foundation Braniff Flying Colors @ Facebook Pan American-Grace.com The Early Days of Panagra
Howard Robard Hughes Jr. was an American business magnate, record-setting pilot, film director, philanthropist, known during his lifetime as one of the most financially successful individuals in the world. He first became prominent as a film producer, as an influential figure in the aviation industry. In life, he became known for his eccentric behavior and reclusive lifestyle—oddities that were caused in part by a worsening obsessive–compulsive disorder, chronic pain from a near-fatal plane crash, increasing deafness; as a maverick film tycoon, Hughes gained fame in Hollywood beginning in the late 1920s, when he produced big-budget and controversial films such as The Racket, Hell's Angels, Scarface. He controlled the RKO film studio. Hughes formed the Hughes Aircraft Company in 1932, hiring numerous designers, he spent the rest of the 1930s and much of the 1940s setting multiple world air speed records and building the Hughes H-1 Racer and H-4 Hercules. He acquired and expanded Trans World Airlines and acquired Air West, renaming it Hughes Airwest.
Hughes was included in Flying Magazine's list of the 51 Heroes of Aviation, ranked at No. 25. Today, his legacy is maintained through the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Howard Hughes Corporation. Records locate the birthplace of Howard Hughes as Houston, Texas; the date remains uncertain due to conflicting dates from various sources. He claimed Christmas Eve as his birthday. A 1941 affidavit birth certificate of Hughes, signed by his aunt Annette Gano Lummis and by Estelle Boughton Sharp, states that he was born on December 24, 1905, in Harris County, Texas. However, his certificate of baptism, recorded on October 7, 1906 in the parish register of St. John's Episcopal Church in Keokuk, listed his date of birth as September 24, 1905, without any reference to the place of birth. Hughes was the son of Allene Stone Gano and of Howard R. Hughes Sr. a successful inventor and businessman from Missouri. He had English and some French Huguenot ancestry, was a descendant of John Gano, the minister who baptized George Washington.
His father patented the two-cone roller bit, which allowed rotary drilling for petroleum in inaccessible places. The senior Hughes made the shrewd and lucrative decision to commercialize the invention by leasing the bits instead of selling them, obtained several early patents, founded the Hughes Tool Company in 1909. Hughes' uncle was the famed novelist and film-director Rupert Hughes. At a young age, Hughes showed interest in technology. In particular, he had great engineering aptitude and built Houston's first "wireless" radio transmitter at age 11, he went on to be one of the first licensed ham-radio operators in Houston, having the assigned callsign W5CY. At 12, Hughes was photographed in the local newspaper, identified as the first boy in Houston to have a "motorized" bicycle, which he had built from parts from his father's steam engine, he was an indifferent student, with a liking for mathematics and mechanics. He took his first flying lesson at 14, attended Fessenden School in Massachusetts in 1921.
He attended math and aeronautical engineering courses at Caltech. The red-brick house where Hughes lived as a teenager at 3921 Yoakum St. Houston became the headquarters of the Theology Department of the University of St. Thomas, his mother Allene died in March 1922 from complications of an ectopic pregnancy. Howard Hughes Sr. died of a heart attack in 1924. Their deaths inspired Hughes to include the establishment of a medical research laboratory in the will that he signed in 1925 at age 19. Howard Sr.'s will had not been updated since Allene's death, Hughes inherited 75% of the family fortune. On his 19th birthday, Hughes was declared an emancipated minor, enabling him to take full control of his life. From a young age Hughes became a enthusiastic golfer, he scored near-par figures, played the game to a two-three handicap during his 20s, for a time aimed for a professional golf career. He golfed with top players, including Gene Sarazen. Hughes played competitively and gave up his passion for the sport to pursue other interests.
Hughes used to play golf every afternoon at LA courses including the Lakeside Golf Club, Wilshire Country Club, or the Bel-Air Country Club. Partners included Ozzie Carlton. After Hughes hurt himself in the late 1920s, his golfing tapered off, after his F-11 crash, Hughes was unable to play at all. Hughes withdrew from Rice University shortly after his father's death. On June 1, 1925 he married Ella Botts Rice, daughter of David Rice and Martha Lawson Botts of Houston, they moved to Los Angeles. They moved into the Ambassador Hotel, Hughes proceeded to learn to fly a Waco, while producing his first motion picture, Swell Hogan. Hughes enjoyed a successful business career beyond engineering and filmmaking, though many of his career endeavors involved varying entrepreneurial roles; the Summa Corporation was the name adopted for the business interests of Howard Hughes after he sold the tool division of Hughes Tool Company in 1972. The company serves as the principal holding company for Hughes' business investments.
It is involved in aerospace and defense, mass media and hospitality industries, but has maintained a strong presence in a wide variety of industries including real estate, petroleum drilling and oilfield services, entertainment