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Topic: National Airlines(Sun King) Toward The End
Username: doulasc
Posted 2011-12-19 15:50:11 and read 9674 times.

In the late 1970s I noticed National really cut back. They dropped service to Boston,Philadelphia,Baltimore which were never really focus cities for National but more of a add on city,Their focus I think was New York City,Washington National to Florida,who could forget the milk runs that stopped in Norfolk,Charleston SC,Savanah GA before Florida. They really cut back there too.You didn't see as much intra Florida flights,Panama City Fl and Tallahassee got dropped. William Seawell thought buying National would be a watershed for Pan Am and turned out to be not so. If Pan Am did not buy National it would have ended up with Frank Lorenzo. I feel it just isn't South Florida without National,Eastern and Pan Am

Topic: RE: National Airlines(Sun King) Toward The End
Username: rjm777ual
Posted 2011-12-19 16:06:58 and read 9636 times.

National airlines, along with PAN AM, is nearing it's LONG end. I'm gonna miss those brightly blue and silver 744F's and DC-8's.

Topic: RE: National Airlines(Sun King) Toward The End
Username: BoeingGuy
Posted 2011-12-19 16:17:17 and read 9600 times.

Quoting rjm777ual (Reply 1):
National airlines, along with PAN AM, is nearing it's LONG end. I'm gonna miss those brightly blue and silver 744F's and DC-8's.

Not sure I understand your comments. The National Airlines that the OP is referring to has been gone for 31 years. And they sure didn't have 744Fs or blue and silver paint.

Topic: RE: National Airlines(Sun King) Toward The End
Username: rjm777ual
Posted 2011-12-19 16:19:05 and read 9596 times.

Oh i was thinking of the cargo airline!


http://www.airliners.net/search/phot...nal%20Airlines&distinct_entry=true

Topic: RE: National Airlines(Sun King) Toward The End
Username: BoeingGuy
Posted 2011-12-19 16:28:14 and read 9569 times.

Quoting rjm777ual (Reply 3):
Oh i was thinking of the cargo airline!

And there was also the 757 operator out of LAS. But those aren't the REAL NA that the OP is referring to.

Think, "Fly me, I'm Barbara" (or something like that) or references to sun as he mentions.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Airlines_(NA)

Topic: RE: National Airlines(Sun King) Toward The End
Username: rjm777ual
Posted 2011-12-19 16:33:40 and read 9555 times.

Oh i recognize that logo now! Thanks for the link.

Topic: RE: National Airlines(Sun King) Toward The End
Username: N62NA
Posted 2011-12-19 17:57:28 and read 9427 times.

My favorite airline of all time!


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © George W. Hamlin


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Richard Vandervord


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Graham Dives

Topic: RE: National Airlines(Sun King) Toward The End
Username: 727LOVER
Posted 2011-12-19 18:28:44 and read 9356 times.

Quoting doulasc (Thread starter):

but they also added MIA-SJU, JFK-AMS, LAX-SEA, IAH-SEA......

Topic: RE: National Airlines(Sun King) Toward The End
Username: doulasc
Posted 2011-12-19 18:40:09 and read 9320 times.

Thank you 727 Lover, I needed to mention they were focusing on longer routes such as what you mentioned,
Also their expansion to Europe from Florida like MIA-LHR,ORY(or was it CDG),FRA,AMS,ZRH, I am surprised they
did not try to get MAD.

Topic: RE: National Airlines(Sun King) Toward The End
Username: PI767
Posted 2011-12-19 19:00:40 and read 9273 times.

Quoting doulasc (Thread starter):
In the late 1970s I noticed National really cut back. They dropped service to Boston,Philadelphia,Baltimore which were never really focus cities for National but more of a add on city,Their focus I think was New York City,Washington National to Florida,who could forget the milk runs that stopped in Norfolk,Charleston SC,Savanah GA before Florida. They really cut back there too.You didn't see as much intra Florida flights,Panama City Fl and Tallahassee got dropped.

The question I pose, and I honestly do not know the answer is this:

In the latter years of National, many cities and routes were dropped prior to the Pan Am merger in 1980. This was just after the passage of the airline deregulation act in 1978. I wonder how many of those cities/routes National was not permitted to drop under the regulated airline system. So many were dropped in the last year or so, it seems as though the airline may have been taking advantage of no longer being required to have CAB approval to drop cities/routes.

I don't know...just a thought.

Topic: RE: National Airlines(Sun King) Toward The End
Username: N62NA
Posted 2011-12-19 19:06:33 and read 9261 times.

Quoting PI767 (Reply 9):
In the latter years of National, many cities and routes were dropped prior to the Pan Am merger in 1980. This was just after the passage of the airline deregulation act in 1978. I wonder how many of those cities/routes National was not permitted to drop under the regulated airline system. So many were dropped in the last year or so, it seems as though the airline may have been taking advantage of no longer being required to have CAB approval to drop cities/routes.

Probably true.

Topic: RE: National Airlines(Sun King) Toward The End
Username: lat41
Posted 2011-12-19 19:14:40 and read 9229 times.

Long strikes and unreliable service marked the last few years even under regulation. They used to serve Providence but dropped that city as well toward the end. They chaced business away.

Topic: RE: National Airlines(Sun King) Toward The End
Username: PI767
Posted 2011-12-19 19:31:30 and read 9202 times.

Quoting lat41 (Reply 11):
They used to serve Providence but dropped that city as well toward the end.

It's funny you should mention National's service to Providence. I remember finding this in their September 1, 1977 timetable:

There was ONE daily flight to/from Providence.

The inbound flight was flight 60:

Depart LaGuardia: 7:00am
Arrive Providence: 7:42am

The outbound flight was flight 61:

Depart Providence: 8:10am
Arrive Kennedy: 8:54am
Depart Kennedy: 9:30am
Arrive Orlando: 11:50am
Depart Orlando: 12:15pm
Arrive Sarasota: 12:44pm

Not ONLY did the ONE flight in arrive from a different airport than the ONE flight out, but the ONE flight in also left too early for any connections.

So, basically, the ONLY place you could fly TO Providence from was LaGuardia. Outbound, you could fly to Kennedy and make connections to the rest of the National system.

One of the most bizarre things I can remember seeing in an airline timetable.

[Edited 2011-12-19 19:41:46]

Topic: RE: National Airlines(Sun King) Toward The End
Username: PI767
Posted 2011-12-19 19:37:25 and read 9188 times.

One other comment about National's timetables: I HATED their route map! They clumped a bunch of cities together as one "dot" on the map:

http://www.departedflights.com/NA050179.html

Charleston and Savannah.... shown as one dot on the map.

Mobile and Pensacola...shown as one dot.

Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach...one dot.

Tampa, Sarasota and Fort Myers...one dot.

On earlier maps: Providence/Boston as one dot, Jacksonville and Daytona Beach were one dot, Mobile/Pensacola/Tallahassee/Pensacola....all ONE DOT!

Drove my crazy!

(Okay....rant over...lol)

Topic: RE: National Airlines(Sun King) Toward The End
Username: lat41
Posted 2011-12-19 19:37:57 and read 9186 times.

Quoting PI767 (Reply 12):
There was ONE daily flight to/from Providence.

That might have been after one of their strikes, when the amount of flights and the overal route system was already shrinking.
NA used to operate at least 3 per day. 2 LGAs and one JFK as I recall. I took a one stop through flight PVD LGA MIA a couple times in the 70's. I would deliberately not come back that route as I wanted to fly NA #98, a 747 MIA JFK and connect on to PVD in the evening.

Topic: RE: National Airlines(Sun King) Toward The End
Username: PI767
Posted 2011-12-19 19:41:10 and read 9177 times.

Quoting lat41 (Reply 14):
I would deliberately not come back that route as I wanted to fly NA #98, a 747 MIA JFK and connect on to PVD in the evening.

Spoken like a true airline enthusiast.  

Topic: RE: National Airlines(Sun King) Toward The End
Username: doulasc
Posted 2011-12-19 19:41:21 and read 9176 times.

speaking of bizarre I remember in the late 1970s there was one flight that passed through PHL but not vice versa.I saw a lot of that with National in the end.It's a mystery to me.

Topic: RE: National Airlines(Sun King) Toward The End
Username: PI767
Posted 2011-12-19 19:47:02 and read 9156 times.

Another odd one from 1977.... I can only assume this must have been some sort of repositioning flight for a charter or something:

The lone flight out of Atlanta:

From Atlanta to San Francisco:

Flight 201
Depart Atlanta 11:30pm
Arrive San Francisco 1:12am
Boeing 727
FriSatOnly

From San Francisco to Atlanta:

Flight 202
Depart San Francisco 9:15pm
Arrive Atlanta 4:30am
Boeing 727
FriSatOnly

Anyone have any knowledge or speculation as to what that was all about?

[Edited 2011-12-19 19:48:34]

Topic: RE: National Airlines(Sun King) Toward The End
Username: ridgid727
Posted 2011-12-19 19:48:37 and read 9148 times.

I remember as a child in about 1974 flying on their DC10's from SAN-LAX. Flew on "Tammy" like 5 times.

Topic: RE: National Airlines(Sun King) Toward The End
Username: maxpower1954
Posted 2011-12-19 20:02:33 and read 9121 times.

Quoting PI767 (Reply 17):
Another odd one from 1977.... I can only assume this must have been some sort of repositioning flight for a charter or something:

The lone flight out of Atlanta:

From Atlanta to San Francisco:

Flight 201
Depart Atlanta 11:30pm
Arrive San Francisco 1:12am
Boeing 727
FriSatOnly

From San Francisco to Atlanta:

Flight 202
Depart San Francisco 9:15pm
Arrive Atlanta 4:30am
Boeing 727
FriSatOnly

Anyone have any knowledge or speculation as to what that was all about?

In 1969 the CAB awarded National SFO-ATL to give Delta competition, who had flown that route as the sole carrier since 1961. Initially operated daily with DC-8s, it was a dismal failure because of National's total lack of feed in and out of ATL. By 1978 it was gone.

1974 system map showing SFO-ATL

http://www.departedflights.com/NA070174.html

Topic: RE: National Airlines(Sun King) Toward The End
Username: PI767
Posted 2011-12-19 20:05:37 and read 9118 times.

Quoting maxpower1954 (Reply 19):
In 1969 the CAB awarded National SFO-ATL to give Delta competition, who had flown that route as the sole carrier since 1961. Initially operated daily with DC-8s, it was a dismal failure because of National's total lack of feed in and out of ATL. By 1978 it was gone.

Very interesting! Thanks for the information!

Topic: RE: National Airlines(Sun King) Toward The End
Username: lat41
Posted 2011-12-19 20:08:00 and read 9117 times.

Check out "The Anatomy of an Airline" It was a hard cover book which chronicaled National Airlines from 1934 when the carrier was born until 1970, when the the book was written. Author was Brad Williams.

Topic: RE: National Airlines(Sun King) Toward The End
Username: maxpower1954
Posted 2011-12-19 20:13:43 and read 9102 times.

National wasn't cutting back flights at all in the late 1970s - they were finally able to unload some of the mutli-stop intercity service they had flown for decades. I lived in Miami then and they were hiring pilots, flight attendants for an overall increase in non-stop service.

More than any other major airline, National flew the shortest legs you can imagine in a 727. I flew from FMY to JAX in 1974 in a 727-200 stopping in SRQ, TPA, MCO and DAB! Another local service was JAX-TLH-PNS-MOB-MSY-IAH. Or how about PHL-DCA-PHF-ORF-CHS-SAV-JAX-PBI-MIA!

National route map, 1958

http://www.timetableimages.com/ttimages/complete/na58/na58-1.jpg

National route map, 1962

http://www.timetableimages.com/ttimages/complete/na62/na62-2.jpg

National route map, last schedule before PAA merger, 1979

http://www.departedflights.com/NA050179.html

Topic: RE: National Airlines(Sun King) Toward The End
Username: maxpower1954
Posted 2011-12-19 20:23:13 and read 9065 times.

Quoting lat41 (Reply 21):
Check out "The Anatomy of an Airline" It was a hard cover book which chronicaled National Airlines from 1934 when the carrier was born until 1970, when the the book was written. Author was Brad Williams.

Funny, I was just re-reading this book when this thread came up! One of my favorite airline history books, reads like Robert Serling's works.

National facts: Only U.S. major airline that never flew the DC-3. They had Lockheed Lodestars (1940 to 1959).

1958 - First airline to fly jets on U.S. domestic service (IDL-MIA). Boeing 707s dry-leased from Pan Am (National flight crews and cabin attendants).

1970 - Third U.S. airline to operate Trans-Atlantic services (MIA-LHR) with DC-8-54s.

Topic: RE: National Airlines(Sun King) Toward The End
Username: swabrian
Posted 2011-12-20 06:58:35 and read 8827 times.

Quoting maxpower1954 (Reply 19):

In 1969 the CAB awarded National SFO-ATL to give Delta competition, who had flown that route as the sole carrier since 1961. Initially operated daily with DC-8s, it was a dismal failure because of National's total lack of feed in and out of ATL. By 1978 it was gone.

1974 system map showing SFO-ATL

http://www.departedflights.com/NA070....html

Likewise, the CAB gave DL a SFO-MIA/FLL nonstop flight to compete with NA. DL operated this flight on Fridays only with a DC-8-51. In 1977/78 while I was working in OAK for DL, the flight would originate in OAK, fly across the Bay to SFO, and then nonstop to MIA before terminating in FLL.

Topic: RE: National Airlines(Sun King) Toward The End
Username: WA707atMSP
Posted 2011-12-20 07:27:03 and read 9008 times.

Quoting swabrian (Reply 24):
Quoting maxpower1954 (Reply 19):

In 1969 the CAB awarded National SFO-ATL to give Delta competition, who had flown that route as the sole carrier since 1961. Initially operated daily with DC-8s, it was a dismal failure because of National's total lack of feed in and out of ATL. By 1978 it was gone.

1974 system map showing SFO-ATL

http://www.departedflights.com/NA070....html

Likewise, the CAB gave DL a SFO-MIA/FLL nonstop flight to compete with NA. DL operated this flight on Fridays only with a DC-8-51. In 1977/78 while I was working in OAK for DL, the flight would originate in OAK, fly across the Bay to SFO, and then nonstop to MIA before terminating in FLL.

Both of these route awards were part of the infamous 1960's "Southern Transcontinental" route case, which had some of the more nonsensical awards ever given out by the CAB.

Other routes awarded in this case were MIA-LAX (awarded to NE, probably should have gone to EA), SFO-Houston (awarded to AA, probably should have gone to EA or BN), LAX-DAL (awarded to CO, should have gone to BN), DAL-LAS (awarded to Frontier, should have gone to AA. AA and Frontier agreed to swap Frontier's DAL-LAS authority for AA's SAN-PHX/TUS, but the CAB refused to allow the transfer, and the route was subsequently given to TT and BN) and Houston-Miami, which was awarded to DL. CO appealed the decision, the courts agreed with CO, and the route was taken from DL and given to CO in 1976.

The only route awards in this case that made sense were ATL-LAX, which went to EA, DAL-PHX, which went to DL, and DAL-MSY-TPA-MIA, which went to BN.

Topic: RE: National Airlines(Sun King) Toward The End
Username: JFKPurser
Posted 2011-12-20 08:26:36 and read 8954 times.

I flew "Christine", a DC-8-61 LAX-MSY-TPA in 1973. I remember may different Y class compartments throughout, and each one had a club arrangement at the front bulkhead on both sides with rearward-facing seats and a table in the middle.

Topic: RE: National Airlines(Sun King) Toward The End
Username: BoeingGuy
Posted 2011-12-20 08:40:14 and read 9057 times.

Quoting maxpower1954 (Reply 19):
n 1969 the CAB awarded National SFO-ATL to give Delta competition, who had flown that route as the sole carrier since 1961.

That was always an odd-ball route and looked funny on NA's route map, since it was the only place they served ATL from as mentioned previously.

IIRC, NA had a hub in IAH near the end, long before CO ever did (back when CO's hub was in DEN).

Believe it or not, NA flew into SJC for awhile with an IAH-SJC routing on a "Sun King" painted 727-200.

Topic: RE: National Airlines(Sun King) Toward The End
Username: drerx7
Posted 2011-12-20 08:51:39 and read 9029 times.

Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 27):
IIRC, NA had a hub in IAH near the end, long before CO ever did (back when CO's hub was in DEN).

Yep, Pan Am acquired them and operated the mini hub at IAH for a little while. Around the same time span Eastern ran the moonlight hub with AB3s out of IAH. All this was before my time though. After the early 80s there was virtually no more domestic widebody service ever again - with the exception of a few CO flights through the mid 90s until now. The only other domestic widebody operator at IAH was Sun Country on IAH-LAS runs in the mid 90s.

Topic: RE: National Airlines(Sun King) Toward The End
Username: milesrich
Posted 2011-12-20 09:04:16 and read 9008 times.

Quoting WA707atMSP (Reply 25):
Both of these route awards were part of the infamous 1960's "Southern Transcontinental" route case, which had some of the more nonsensical awards ever given out by the CAB.

WA707, I hate to correct you, if you are referring to NA's SFO-ATL and DL's SFO-MIA routes. Neither was part of the Southern Trancontinental Route Case, but rather were awarded ten years later to compete with routes ORIGINALLY awarded in the famous Southern Transcontinental Route case. As I am sure you are aware, prior to 1961, there was no single carrier service between the Southeastern US and California. It was at that time, that National was awarded routes to LAX-LAS-SAN-SFO from HOU, MSY, and the Florida Cities, and Delta was awarded routes routes to to same cities plus PHX from DAL and ATL, ending the interchanges with American. Contiental was also part of an interchange providing service from HOU to ELP as I remember.

The original award resulted in lots of law suits, including those by the City of Houston, Braniff, and Eastern against the CAB. As a result of the litigation, nine or ten years later, the CAB awarded the additional routes you speak of. In the original award, Braniff was frozen out, and Eastern was only awarded a route from TPA-MIA to DAL-GSW(ACF).

Here are some links to the litigation.

http://bulk.resource.org/courts.gov/c/F2/379/379.F2d.453.20160.html

http://law.justia.com/cases/federal/...ppellate-courts/F2/317/158/391099/

Eastern was later awarded a route from Florida and ATL via STL to SEA-PDX.

http://174.123.24.242/leagle/xmlResu...cbase=CSLWAR1-1950-1985&SizeDisp=7

This last link is the most interesting as it involves Delta as a Plaintiff and discusses the STL service to Florida as well and was filed before the 1961 route awards.

Topic: RE: National Airlines(Sun King) Toward The End
Username: WA707atMSP
Posted 2011-12-20 09:25:28 and read 8935 times.

Quoting milesrich (Reply 29):
Quoting WA707atMSP (Reply 25):
Both of these route awards were part of the infamous 1960's "Southern Transcontinental" route case, which had some of the more nonsensical awards ever given out by the CAB.

WA707, I hate to correct you, if you are referring to NA's SFO-ATL and DL's SFO-MIA routes. Neither was part of the Southern Trancontinental Route Case, but rather were awarded ten years later to compete with routes ORIGINALLY awarded in the famous Southern Transcontinental Route case.


Miles, you are 100% right, and I'm glad you corrected me.

I believe the official name of the route case that was resolved in 1969 was the "reopened Southern Transcontinental Route Case". I will verify the name of the case when I get home from work.

I should have indicated in my original posting that the route awards I was referring to were a part of the 1969 route case (which was, as I indicated in my earlier post, a cluster****), rather than the 1961 route case, which was one of the CAB's better cases.

Topic: RE: National Airlines(Sun King) Toward The End
Username: hiflyer
Posted 2011-12-20 09:32:54 and read 8954 times.

With NA from 74 till PanAm....DCA and SFO...being able to shed some smaller cities allowed longer stage length flights and as a result NA took on used 721's from NW in return for the two 741's. The IAH minihub was growing...at some expense to MSY and other gulf coast cities.

As far as those milk run flights...there was one that ran from New England thru just about every city to north florida...turned west...and hit them all till ending up in SFO....do not think any employee succeeded at the challenge of one drink before every landing and stayed awake the whole trip...grin!

Remember the bag of oranges if you guessed the correct time on the abeam game? How about movie and popcorn (cleaners could never get all the popcorn out). Coming back off strike it was free drinks and steak in coach. Center seats on the 727's folded down and became a tray table. Match books with your name engraved on them going to Europe first class. The triangle fare...NYC to West coast round trip and add in 5 bucks and get MIA stopover one one leg (rumor something similar was being thought about for NYC TLV just before PanAm took over...MIATLV was supposedly a range issue even with the DC10-30's). Free bottle of champagne for newlyweds.

Topic: RE: National Airlines(Sun King) Toward The End
Username: N14AZ
Posted 2011-12-20 12:12:27 and read 8777 times.

Thanks for starting this thread - brings back good memories since NA sent a lot of rare birds to FRA. I saw many NA-747-pictures in the past but recently I saw a picture of N358AS in yellow cls., very similiar
to the long storage primer Airbus is using. Please have a look here, middle of the page (sorry, writing these lines from my iPhone and cannot link the picture itself):
http://fraaviation.forumsfree.de/t1446p90-747-in-fra

Does anybody know the background for this paint scheme? (hope this is not too Off-topic)

Topic: RE: National Airlines(Sun King) Toward The End
Username: N62NA
Posted 2011-12-20 13:04:48 and read 8726 times.

Quoting N14AZ (Reply 32):
Thanks for starting this thread - brings back good memories since NA sent a lot of rare birds to FRA. I saw many NA-747-pictures in the past but recently I saw a picture of N358AS in yellow cls., very similiar
to the long storage primer Airbus is using. Please have a look here, middle of the page (sorry, writing these lines from my iPhone and cannot link the picture itself):
http://fraaviation.forumsfree.de/t1446p90-747-in-fra

Does anybody know the background for this paint scheme? (hope this is not too Off-topic)

That was not the National Airlines company that is what this topic is discussing. I guess there have been several airlines over the years that used the name "National Airlines."

Topic: RE: National Airlines(Sun King) Toward The End
Username: jetstar
Posted 2011-12-20 13:43:10 and read 8529 times.

Quoting maxpower1954 (Reply 23):

1958 - First airline to fly jets on U.S. domestic service (IDL-MIA). Boeing 707s dry-leased from Pan Am (National flight crews and cabin attendants).

I believe that was Northeast Airlines, not National Airlines, Northeast Airlines was bought by Delta which allowed Delta to become a major player in the Northeast to Florida market, previously they operated mainly in the Southeast.

JetStar

Topic: RE: National Airlines(Sun King) Toward The End
Username: BoeingGuy
Posted 2011-12-20 13:55:23 and read 8450 times.

Quoting jetstar (Reply 34):
Quoting maxpower1954 (Reply 23):

1958 - First airline to fly jets on U.S. domestic service (IDL-MIA). Boeing 707s dry-leased from Pan Am (National flight crews and cabin attendants).

I believe that was Northeast Airlines, not National Airlines, Northeast Airlines was bought by Delta which allowed Delta to become a major player in the Northeast to Florida market, previously they operated mainly in the Southeast.

No, he was correct. That was National Airlines that leased the Pan Am 707 to be the first domestic jet service in the US.

You might be mistaking that for Northeast Airlines being an early operator of Convair 880s?

Topic: RE: National Airlines(Sun King) Toward The End
Username: hiflyer
Posted 2011-12-20 14:00:08 and read 8406 times.

Quoting jetstar (Reply 34):
I believe that was Northeast Airlines, not National Airlines,

was NA with the original 707-121's first batch to Pan Am. DL took NE later...after the introduction of the 727-200 and L1011. I remember the GOP presidential convention in MIA and NE had rented large houseboat in the intercoastal to use for meet/greet...renamed it YellowBird1 and put a highspeed boat tied up to it called YellowBird2.

Topic: RE: National Airlines(Sun King) Toward The End
Username: Viscount724
Posted 2011-12-20 14:10:10 and read 8339 times.

Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 35):
Quoting jetstar (Reply 34):
Quoting maxpower1954 (Reply 23):

1958 - First airline to fly jets on U.S. domestic service (IDL-MIA). Boeing 707s dry-leased from Pan Am (National flight crews and cabin attendants).

I believe that was Northeast Airlines, not National Airlines, Northeast Airlines was bought by Delta which allowed Delta to become a major player in the Northeast to Florida market, previously they operated mainly in the Southeast.

No, he was correct. That was National Airlines that leased the Pan Am 707 to be the first domestic jet service in the US.

Following from National's October 26, 1958 timetable:

http://timetableimages.com/i-mn/na5810i.jpg

Topic: RE: National Airlines(Sun King) Toward The End
Username: ozark1
Posted 2011-12-20 14:43:26 and read 8158 times.

I was enamored with National Airlines when I was a kid. I used to draw the Sun King logo over and over instead of listening to the teacher. (this was in ELP--nowhere NEAR National country). I finally got to fly them from DCA to BWI in the early 70's. Yeah, that's right--it was like a 10 minute flight. I really liked their livery better when it was the bare metal lower side and painted upper side. Not sure why they started painting them all white nearer to the end. My best friend used to fly for AA and he always remembered a woman on one of his flights who was unhappy about something. She just shouted "National! Take Me, I'm Yours!" right in the aisle. They had some good slogans. "National Goes Where The Nation Grows", "Is This Any Way To Run An Airline? You Bet It Is!" But they were like Northwest Orient, always on strike it seemed!

Topic: RE: National Airlines(Sun King) Toward The End
Username: doulasc
Posted 2011-12-20 17:41:34 and read 7682 times.

Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 35):

I think Northeast leased a TWA 707 for its first jet service in 1959 from New York to Florida.

Topic: RE: National Airlines(Sun King) Toward The End
Username: type-rated
Posted 2011-12-20 23:01:55 and read 7510 times.

I always wanted to try National but never had the chance. What was their typical onboard service like in the mid to late 70's?

Topic: RE: National Airlines(Sun King) Toward The End
Username: maxpower1954
Posted 2011-12-20 23:30:06 and read 7487 times.

Quoting doulasc (Reply 39):
I think Northeast leased a TWA 707 for its first jet service in 1959 from New York to Florida.

Yes, and Airways magazine ran a series of articles recently on the history of Northeast which discussed the 707 operation in detail. It was similar to National's; the 707 would fly a round trip IDL-MIA after arriving from SFO on TWA service. It was flown by NE pilots and cabin crew. I never knew of this before the Airways article. It's a great magazine, and every airline nut should read it!

Topic: RE: National Airlines(Sun King) Toward The End
Username: milesrich
Posted 2011-12-21 00:31:36 and read 7448 times.

Also a good story is the unique arrangement between National and Pan Am that is referred to in that ad. George Baker, in order to put one over on Eastern and Eddie Rickenbacker, as well as Juan Trippe, talked Trippe into leasing the 707 to National in exchange for giving Pan Am the right to purchase National stock, knowing full well, the CAB would probably not approve the stock purchase, and wanting to gain a competitive edge on Eastern that had not even introduced Electras yet. Trippe went for the deal, National flew the first domestic 707 service taking much traffic away from Eastern that winter, and then the CAB would not allow the stock purchase. Baker then sold the airline to L.B. Maytag of the appliance manufacturer from Newton, Iowa.

Topic: RE: National Airlines(Sun King) Toward The End
Username: WA707atMSP
Posted 2011-12-21 06:39:15 and read 7374 times.

Quoting WA707atMSP (Reply 30):
Quoting milesrich (Reply 29):
Quoting WA707atMSP (Reply 25):
Both of these route awards were part of the infamous 1960's "Southern Transcontinental" route case, which had some of the more nonsensical awards ever given out by the CAB.

WA707, I hate to correct you, if you are referring to NA's SFO-ATL and DL's SFO-MIA routes. Neither was part of the Southern Trancontinental Route Case, but rather were awarded ten years later to compete with routes ORIGINALLY awarded in the famous Southern Transcontinental Route case.


Miles, you are 100% right, and I'm glad you corrected me.

I believe the official name of the route case that was resolved in 1969 was the "reopened Southern Transcontinental Route Case". I will verify the name of the case when I get home from work.

I checked my copy of Eastern's 1968 annual report, and the exact name of the route case resolved in 1969 was the "Southern Tier Investigation". Once again, thanks for the clarification, Miles.

Topic: RE: National Airlines(Sun King) Toward The End
Username: swabrian
Posted 2011-12-21 06:46:37 and read 7372 times.

Quoting milesrich (Reply 42):
Also a good story is the unique arrangement between National and Pan Am that is referred to in that ad. George Baker, in order to put one over on Eastern and Eddie Rickenbacker, as well as Juan Trippe, talked Trippe into leasing the 707 to National in exchange for giving Pan Am the right to purchase National stock, knowing full well, the CAB would probably not approve the stock purchase, and wanting to gain a competitive edge on Eastern that had not even introduced Electras yet. Trippe went for the deal, National flew the first domestic 707 service taking much traffic away from Eastern that winter, and then the CAB would not allow the stock purchase. Baker then sold the airline to L.B. Maytag of the appliance manufacturer from Newton, Iowa.

That was the first of a double whammy for EA during that period. Rickenbacker had early delivery positions lined up on the DC-8 for the -10, but he decided to wait for the more powerful -20. Delta stepped in and picked up the DC8-10s and along with UA introduced the DC-8 on 9/18/59, which gave them a big advantage over EA's Electras and DC-7Bs.

Topic: RE: National Airlines(Sun King) Toward The End
Username: N62NA
Posted 2011-12-21 08:12:58 and read 7275 times.

Quoting type-rated (Reply 40):
I always wanted to try National but never had the chance. What was their typical onboard service like in the mid to late 70's?

Well, at that time I was just heading into my teens, but as I recall it was friendly, and the food in coach was good. But then again, during those days, the same could be said for domestic service on Eastern, United, AA, TWA, Northwest, Continental, Piedmont, Allegheny....  

Topic: RE: National Airlines(Sun King) Toward The End
Username: milesrich
Posted 2011-12-21 09:04:19 and read 7221 times.

Quoting swabrian (Reply 44):
That was the first of a double whammy for EA during that period. Rickenbacker had early delivery positions lined up on the DC-8 for the -10, but he decided to wait for the more powerful -20. Delta stepped in and picked up the DC8-10s and along with UA introduced the DC-8 on 9/18/59, which gave them a big advantage over EA's Electras and DC-7Bs.

Much is made of this, but the only routes that Delta competed with Eastern on at the time that could accommodate or were scheduled with the DC-8 were IDL/PHL/BAL-ATL; ATL-ORD; ATL-MIA; and ORD-TPA/MIA/PBI, and I don't think Delta scheduled DC-8's on all those routes, but combined with NE leasing TW 707's for IDL-South Florida, and NA leasing the PA 707's, Eastern's winter traffic from the Northeast to Florida was seriously hurt and if you remember, with their route structure, they had to "make hay" in the winter because during the summer months when other airlines had their peak traffic, EA had no east-west routes. Had the Electra never suffered whirlmode or the AA accident at LGA and the EA at BOS, both which had different causes (pilot error) and (birds), Eastern would have been very competitive against Delta on the shorter routes with their superior Electra compared to Delta's DC-7's and DC-6's. It was as if all of the stars aligned in opposition to Eastern's success, plus Eastern was handicapped by their generally poor customer service reputation, and Eddie Rickenbacker's leadership.

Topic: RE: National Airlines(Sun King) Toward The End
Username: milesrich
Posted 2011-12-21 09:08:01 and read 7213 times.

Quoting WA707atMSP (Reply 43):
I checked my copy of Eastern's 1968 annual report, and the exact name of the route case resolved in 1969 was the "Southern Tier Investigation"

Was it not in this group of awards that United was given MEM & HSV to the West Coast? A route structure they later abandoned when they generally abandoned the South after deregulation, although they started before 1978 by dropping MOB. on the ATL/BHM to MSY routes. They dumped AVL, CHA, ATL and MSY in short order.

Topic: RE: National Airlines(Sun King) Toward The End
Username: type-rated
Posted 2011-12-21 11:33:15 and read 7150 times.

One thing I always thought was strange about National is their route map. It seems like they just stayed with somewhat coastal cities flying mainly around the parameter of the U.S. Was this by design or did it just happen that way? Why didn't they serve such cities as DEN, ORD, PIT, etc?

Topic: RE: National Airlines(Sun King) Toward The End
Username: hiflyer
Posted 2011-12-21 11:39:49 and read 7146 times.

Quoting type-rated (Reply 48):
Why didn't they serve such cities as DEN, ORD, PIT, etc?

Until deregulation of routes in the late 70's all domestic routes were controlled and distributed by application to the US Govt.

Topic: RE: National Airlines(Sun King) Toward The End
Username: WA707atMSP
Posted 2011-12-21 11:46:02 and read 7140 times.

Quoting hiflyer (Reply 49):
Quoting type-rated (Reply 48):
Why didn't they serve such cities as DEN, ORD, PIT, etc?

Until deregulation of routes in the late 70's all domestic routes were controlled and distributed by application to the US Govt.

National applied several times to extend their routes to the US Midwest and the Rocky Mountain states, but their applications were never approved by the CAB.

Topic: RE: National Airlines(Sun King) Toward The End
Username: swabrian
Posted 2011-12-21 12:13:25 and read 7101 times.

Quoting milesrich (Reply 46):
Much is made of this, but the only routes that Delta competed with Eastern on at the time that could accommodate or were scheduled with the DC-8 were IDL/PHL/BAL-ATL; ATL-ORD; ATL-MIA; and ORD-TPA/MIA/PBI, and I don't think Delta scheduled DC-8's on all those routes, but combined with NE leasing TW 707's for IDL-South Florida, and NA leasing the PA 707's, Eastern's winter traffic from the Northeast to Florida was seriously hurt and if you remember, with their route structure, they had to "make hay" in the winter because during the summer months when other airlines had their peak traffic, EA had no east-west routes. Had the Electra never suffered whirlmode or the AA accident at LGA and the EA at BOS, both which had different causes (pilot error) and (birds), Eastern would have been very competitive against Delta on the shorter routes with their superior Electra compared to Delta's DC-7's and DC-6's. It was as if all of the stars aligned in opposition to Eastern's success, plus Eastern was handicapped by their generally poor customer service reputation, and Eddie Rickenbacker's leadership.

In the March 1, 1960 DL timetable, DL was flying DC-8s to ORD, IDL, ATL (of course), MIA, HOU, DTW, and DAL. Keep in mind that other than NYC to Florida, EA had few longhaul routes other than those they competed on with DL. On the shorter routes that competed with DL, EA wasn't using Electras, but DC-7Bs, Convairs, Connies, and 404s. Consider this, if EA wasn't at a competitive disadvantage with DL's DC-8s, why was one of the first routes to see EA's DC-8s the IDL/ATL route?

Topic: RE: National Airlines(Sun King) Toward The End
Username: maxpower1954
Posted 2011-12-21 21:21:49 and read 6929 times.

Quoting type-rated (Reply 48):
One thing I always thought was strange about National is their route map. It seems like they just stayed with somewhat coastal cities flying mainly around the parameter of the U.S. Was this by design or did it just happen that way? Why didn't they serve such cities as DEN, ORD, PIT, etc?

National's history is one of the most interesting of any major airline. The route system developed into a north/south/east/west structure with Florida as the anchor because the carrier's humble origins in 1934.

National's very first route as a contract Air Mail carrier was St Petersburg Albert Whited Airport to Tampa Municipal (then located on Davis Island), Lakeland, Orlando and finally Daytona Beach. This first route was a grand total of 146 miles! From there, it grew steadlly across the state and westward to New Orleans. In 1944 the CAB granted a MIA - New York route, making stops at practically every miltary base along the Eastern Seaboard and giving Eastern it's first competition on the route. Non-stop service began in 1946 with the DC-4, but the inter-city multi-stop system, in place because of the Lockheed Lodestars stayed with National almost the end.

After New York, the most important route award occurred in 1961 when NAL got MIA and IAH to SAN, LAX, SFO and LAS. This more than doubled National's route miles overnight, and now the airline lived up to it's name.

The biggest disapointment came in 1958, when National lost the Chicago and St. Louis to Florida service case to Northwest and TWA. The reason was the Channel 10 TV scandal.

In 1957 National started a TV station, WPST in Miami. After they were awarded a station license by the FCC, it turned out the attorney representing NAL had bribed the FCC commissioner with cash and favors. George Baker, NAL's president testified he had no knowledge of this, but the damage had been done. The lawyer was convicted and later commited suicide, the FCC chairman resigned in disgrace and later died in an alcoholic ward. This entire drama was played out in the nation's press, and there was no way National was going to be awarded a government regulated route with the cloud of the FCC scandal hanging like a dark cloud.

[Edited 2011-12-21 21:29:34]

[Edited 2011-12-21 21:30:55]

WPST-TVThe station first took to the air on August 2, 1957 as WPST-TV, as the second ABC affiliate in the Miami market, under the ownership of Public Service Television, Inc., the broadcasting subsidiary of National Airlines. (Hence the call letters.) Prior to this time ABC had been carried by WITV, channel 17. With the loss of the ABC affiliation, channel 17 quickly went out of business (Channel 17 was later occupied by PBS member station WLRN-TV).

A Congressional investigation of former U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioner Richard A. Mack in 1958 revealed that a Miami attorney named Thurman A. Whiteside, working on behalf National Airlines, bribed the former commissioner to obtain the WPST broadcast license.[1] As a result, WPST-TV was stripped of its broadcast license.


[Edited 2011-12-21 21:40:50]

[Edited 2011-12-21 21:50:36]

Topic: RE: National Airlines(Sun King) Toward The End
Username: maxpower1954
Posted 2011-12-21 22:01:14 and read 6849 times.

Another National fact!

First major airline to operate scheduled helicopter services in 1954 with Sikorsky S-55s. Routes were in the Miami area and to West Palm Beach. A bold experiment, it ended after 12 months in 1955 because of noise problems and poor economics.

Helicopter schedule at bottom right of this page:

http://www.timetableimages.com/ttimages/complete/na54/na54-2.jpg

[Edited 2011-12-21 22:27:31]

Topic: RE: National Airlines(Sun King) Toward The End
Username: milesrich
Posted 2011-12-21 23:56:51 and read 6840 times.

Quoting swabrian (Reply 51):
Keep in mind that other than NYC to Florida, Eastern didn't compete with Delta

Brian, I must inform you that Delta Air Lines could not carry passengers from NYC to Florida until they purchased Northeast Airlines in 1972, some 13 year after the period we are discussing. Delta's earlier delivery of DC-8-12 jets had absolutely no effect on Eastern's bread and butter route from the NYC area, PHL, and the DC area as well as Boston to Florida cities. To fly Delta, one had to connect in Atlanta, and very little NY to Florida traffic was funneled through Atlanta in those days, as it added almost 300 miles to the mileage. One could fly IDL to MIA on a DC-7B much faster nonstop than fly on a DC-8 and change planes in Atlanta. As I previously stated, it was National's lease and use of Pan Am 707's and Northeast's use of TWA 707's that Eastern couldn't compete with during the winter of 1959-60 because Rickenbacker decided to wait for the non water injected JT-4 powered DC-8's.

The routes Eastern got killed on by Delta that winter were from Chicago to Florida.

[Edited 2011-12-21 23:58:11]

Topic: RE: National Airlines(Sun King) Toward The End
Username: ItalianFlyer
Posted 2011-12-22 07:31:29 and read 6725 times.

Quoting type-rated (Reply 48):
One thing I always thought was strange about National is their route map. It seems like they just stayed with somewhat coastal cities flying mainly around the parameter of the U.S. Was this by design or did it just happen that way? Why didn't they serve such cities as DEN, ORD, PIT, etc?

I like how they actually used that observation in this mid 60s marketing piece. (note the legible route map, not the lumped up format discussed above)

http://www.departedflights.com/NAgeographyquiz63.html

Topic: RE: National Airlines(Sun King) Toward The End
Username: zippyjet
Posted 2011-12-27 02:09:33 and read 6435 times.

Quoting PI767 (Reply 13):

One other comment about National's timetables: I HATED their route map! They clumped a bunch of cities together as one "dot" on the map

I was going to ask about National in ATL. I didn't realize they just flew to SFO. I figured they flew ATL-MIA to go against Eastern and Delta's monopolies.

Quoting maxpower1954 (Reply 23):
1958 - First airline to fly jets on U.S. domestic service (IDL-MIA). Boeing 707s dry-leased from Pan Am (National flight crews and cabin attendants).

Were these 707's done in National's livery? Or did they retain Pan Am's globe/meatball?

Why did National go with DC-8's instead of 707's?

[Edited 2011-12-27 02:10:23]

Topic: RE: National Airlines(Sun King) Toward The End
Username: Tomassjc
Posted 2011-12-27 09:01:23 and read 6154 times.

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 56):
Were these 707's done in National's livery? Or did they retain Pan Am's globe/meatball?

The flights were operated in full Pan American colors. Aircraft were leased short term. Winter 1958/59 and 1959/60.

Tom SJC

Topic: RE: National Airlines(Sun King) Toward The End
Username: maxpower1954
Posted 2011-12-28 07:19:44 and read 5921 times.

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 56):
Why did National go with DC-8's instead of 707's?

George Baker, NAL's founder and president wanted the Boeing 720, but lost the early delivery slots to a Central American airline. Douglas didn't know that, and Baker made an offer for three DC-8s at 4.5 million each which was the 720's price tag. They took it - at a loss of half a million dollars just to make the sale. National operated about 18 DC-8s from 1960 to 1975.

Here's a clip from Jerry Lewis's movie "The BellBoy" I'm sure you'll enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBuyHgKgpBc

Topic: RE: National Airlines(Sun King) Toward The End
Username: N62NA
Posted 2011-12-28 08:22:14 and read 5840 times.

Quoting maxpower1954 (Reply 58):
Here's a clip from Jerry Lewis's movie "The BellBoy" I'm sure you'll enjoy!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBuyHgKgpBc

Was that a bit of a crosswind landing I detected?!

Topic: RE: National Airlines(Sun King) Toward The End
Username: maxpower1954
Posted 2011-12-28 09:06:03 and read 5806 times.

Yes it was, and a very nice example of one. While not as bad as the 707, you could easily drag an outboard engine with the improper technique. The nose low attitude is typical of the DC-8, due to the lack of leading edge devices, except for opening wing slots.

Topic: RE: National Airlines(Sun King) Toward The End
Username: n5014k
Posted 2011-12-28 09:51:38 and read 5772 times.

A few thoughts.

I appreciate the film clip showing the National DC-8. I wonder if anyone has gathered a list of such clips. I know, for instance, in Disney's "The Parent Trap" the stars arrive in MRY on a United CV 340 and a Pacific Air Lines F-27 is sitting on the tarmac. "North by Northwest" has them standing next to a Northwest DC-7. In fact a passing 7 actually drowns out their conversation so the audience won't know what's to come.

As for National's in-flight service I recall they promoted the idea that the moment you stepped on one of their Florida flights it was like you were in Florida already. They mentioned Islamorada shrimp, conch fritters and key lime pie in their advertising, all new to me in the mid-1960's growing up in Maryland.

As an aside, I recall a Florida-based commuter airline called National in the 1970's or 1980's called National that painted the National livery onto their Nord 262's, albeit with a revised sun logo on the fin.

I didn't know the full story about how National ended up with DC-8's instead of 707's/720's, but I figured it had to involve Ted Baker's ability to take Douglas Aircraft to the cleaners.

Topic: RE: National Airlines(Sun King) Toward The End
Username: maxpower1954
Posted 2011-12-28 15:05:52 and read 5642 times.

Quoting n5014k (Reply 61):
I appreciate the film clip showing the National DC-8. I wonder if anyone has gathered a list of such clips. I know, for instance, in Disney's "The Parent Trap" the stars arrive in MRY on a United CV 340 and a Pacific Air Lines F-27 is sitting on the tarmac. "North by Northwest" has them standing next to a Northwest DC-7. In fact a passing 7 actually drowns out their conversation so the audience won't know what's to come.

McDonnell220's YouTube channel (he's the guy who posted "The Bell Boy" clip) has tons of other scenes of airliners in movies. He doesn't call them by name for copyright reasons, he's listed them by type and location. I didn't see "The Parent Trap" there. United CV-340s also make appearances in the original 1962 "Cape Fear" and some movie with Bob Hope and Lucille Ball I'm too lazy to look up right now.

N5014K, I'm guessing your user name is based on a 777-300ER. Germane to this thread, here's a link to the original!

http://jetphotos.net/viewphoto.php?id=6986494&nseq=0

[Edited 2011-12-28 15:07:31]

[Edited 2011-12-28 15:08:28]

Topic: RE: National Airlines(Sun King) Toward The End
Username: zippyjet
Posted 2011-12-28 19:14:56 and read 5515 times.

MAX: Thank you for the you tube link! I remember that section of MIA like the names of my 2 short bus kitties. Meaning, I remember the terminal layout of what was then the ticketing area near Pier 3 (Now mid terminal Concourse F) I remember the pale sea green color scheme of the massive horseshoe shaped ticketing hall. Around 1979, 1980 someone or somebody with airport management managed to kill the unique style by installing drop ceilings with cylindrical high hat incandessant lighting which turned a classic into a dingy looking 1970's excuse for refurbishment. Thank God, MIA got rid of that scheme during the 2000's and updated the area. However I wish they would have restored it to it's original deco late 1950's MiMo cool factor.

Imgagine if that Jerry Lewis scene happened in today's time. The Jerry Lewish character would go down in infamy with the shoe bomber R. Reid and the dirty skiivies bomber. I'm going to try to find the in flight scene from Gidget Goes Hawaiian on an early vintage UA DC-8 which seemed to be cruising at a rediculous low altitude.

And yes! I found it! Gidget Goes Hawaiian 1961 on a UA DC-8 with Palomar seats and the ridiculisously low cruising altitude.

http://youtu.be/SpnmVSYfwNk

[Edited 2011-12-28 19:45:03]




[Edited 2011-12-28 19:51:48]

Topic: RE: National Airlines(Sun King) Toward The End
Username: milesrich
Posted 2011-12-29 15:21:11 and read 5312 times.

Quoting maxpower1954 (Reply 58):
George Baker, NAL's founder and president wanted the Boeing 720, but lost the early delivery slots to a Central American airline. Douglas didn't know that, and Baker made an offer for three DC-8s at 4.5 million each which was the 720's price tag. They took it - at a loss of half a million dollars just to make the sale. National operated about 18 DC-8s from 1960 to 1975.

What Central American Airline ordered 720's early on? Avianca had 720-059B's but those were not early deliveries. Boeing only sold 65 non fan powered 720's: 29 -022's to United, 10 -023's to American (all converted to B models with fans, 15 -025's to Eastern, 3 -048's to Aer Lingus; 3 -062's to PNA, and 5 -027's to Braniff, one of which, N7078 was NTU and purchased by the FAA, and many years later was destroyed in the infamous radio controlled crash when they were testing jellied fuels to see if they were less prone to explosion. (I think I got this correct. Braniff later acquired or leased the Aer Lingus ships).

65, the same number of competing 880's sold. United got the first aircraft on April 30, 1960, (N7203U) and initiated service on July 5, 1960. Why United never converted their airplanes to fans as American did, I have never understood, and they took deliveries into 1962 still opting for the JT-3C-7 engines. Eastern leased their 15 long after 720B with JT-8D's were being delivered and also opted for the non fan engines. Their aircraft, or at least some of them, had four window exits so they could be used in a high capacity configuration, but Eastern never did used them that way to my knowledge, although they did fly them SJU. UA, I think, ordered 11 or 17 originally and then shortly thereafter, increased their order to the final number of 29, but reordered DC-8-52's in the mid 60's, instead of buying more 720's, when they really had no need for more longer range aircraft.

[Edited 2011-12-29 15:48:55]

Topic: RE: National Airlines(Sun King) Toward The End
Username: sunking737
Posted 2011-12-29 20:37:12 and read 5192 times.

Western Airlines had many 720B. I don't know the number, but my dad worked for them. We flew back to MSP from LAX on the 720B & 707's. 1960's and 1970's. They were my favorite plane.

Topic: RE: National Airlines(Sun King) Toward The End
Username: maxpower1954
Posted 2011-12-29 21:10:33 and read 5164 times.

Quoting milesrich (Reply 64):
What Central American Airline ordered 720's early on?

Good question Milesrich - that story about George Baker and the 720 order came directly from "The Anatomy of an Airline"
(1970) which is the best history of National up till then. The author, Brad Williams got confused - I'm guessing it was probably Braniff which ordered five 720s. Since Braniff had Central and South American routes he got at little mixed up there. In 1970 it was already over 10 years after the fact. And five airplanes was about the number National would have ordered.

Topic: RE: National Airlines(Sun King) Toward The End
Username: n5014k
Posted 2011-12-30 09:15:56 and read 5039 times.

Quoting maxpower1954 (Reply 62):
N5014K, I'm guessing your user name is based on a 777-300ER. Germane to this thread, here's a link to the original!

Hi Maxpower. Actually my user name is the registration of a National Airlines L-188 Electra, the plane I took my first flight on in 1965. Thanks for posting the triple 7 photo, though! Thanks also for putting me wise about McDonnell220's Youtube channel. I'll check it out today.

Topic: RE: National Airlines(Sun King) Toward The End
Username: maxpower1954
Posted 2011-12-30 09:27:11 and read 5021 times.

Quoting n5014k (Reply 67):
Hi Maxpower. Actually my user name is the registration of a National Airlines L-188 Electra, the plane I took my first flight on in 1965. Thanks for posting the triple 7 photo, though! Thanks also for putting me wise about McDonnell220's Youtube channel. I'll check it out today.

You're welcome N5014K. Actually, the link IS to National Electra N5014K at PBI in 1965- the very one you rode on!

[Edited 2011-12-30 09:46:47]

Topic: RE: National Airlines(Sun King) Toward The End
Username: WALmsp
Posted 2011-12-30 22:33:46 and read 4858 times.

Quoting sunking737 (Reply 65):
Western Airlines had many 720B. I don't know the number, but my dad worked for them. We flew back to MSP from LAX on the 720B & 707's. 1960's and 1970's. They were my favorite plane.

Western had 30 720s.


N93141 Boeing 720-047B c/n 18061 1961-1969
N93142 Boeing 720-047B c/n 18062 1961-1974
N93143 Boeing 720-047B c/n 18063 1961-1968
N93144 Boeing 720-047B c/n 18167 1961-1979
N93145 Boeing 720-047B c/n 18451 1962-1978
N93146 Boeing 720-047B c/n 18452 1962-1979
N93147 Boeing 720-047B c/n 18453 1962-1978
N93148 Boeing 720-047B c/n 18588 1963-1978
N93149 Boeing 720-047B c/n 18589 1963-1978
N93150 Boeing 720-047B c/n 18590 1963-1974
N93151 Boeing 720-047B c/n 18749 1964-1974
N93152 Boeing 720-047B c/n 18818 1964-1974
N93153 Boeing 720-047B c/n 18820 1965-1977
N3154 Boeing 720-047B c/n 18827 1965-1977
N3155 Boeing 720-047B c/n 18828 1965-1974
N3156 Boeing 720-047B c/n 18829 1965-1979
N3157 Boeing 720-047B c/n 18830 1965-1974
N3158 Boeing 720-047B c/n 18963 1965-1974
N3159 Boeing 720-047B c/n 19160 1966-1977
N3160 Boeing 720-047B c/n 19161 1966-1978
N3161 Boeing 720-047B c/n 19207 1966-1979
N3162 Boeing 720-047B c/n 19208 1966-1980
N3163 Boeing 720-047B c/n 19413 1967-1979
N3164 Boeing 720-047B c/n 19414 1967-1979
N3165 Boeing 720-047B c/n 19438 1967-1979
N3166 Boeing 720-047B c/n 19439 1967-1971 w/o 31.3.71 Ontario, CA
N3167 Boeing 720-047B c/n 19523 1967-1979
N7081 Boeing 720-048 c/n 18042 1967-1973
N720V Boeing 720-062 c/n 18376 1967-1973
N720W Boeing 720-062 c/n 18377 1967-1973

Topic: RE: National Airlines(Sun King) Toward The End
Username: milesrich
Posted 2011-12-31 09:37:44 and read 4727 times.

Quoting maxpower1954 (Reply 66):
Good question Milesrich - that story about George Baker and the 720 order came directly from "The Anatomy of an Airline"
(1970) which is the best history of National up till then. The author, Brad Williams got confused - I'm guessing it was probably Braniff which ordered five 720s. Since Braniff had Central and South American routes he got at little mixed up there. In 1970 it was already over 10 years after the fact. And five airplanes was about the number National would have ordered.

that is correct, and then Braniff only took four of the original five, one going to the FAA, but picked up airplanes from Aer Lingus, both on short term lease and I think they purchased one or two of them, the third one ending up with PNA. Additionally, Braniff leased one UAL 720-022, N7224U, which was painted in the two tone blue paint, and then stored at Stapleton after the lease was up. I remember seeing it there in 1972-73, with the rest of the fleet that was parked there along with some ex PA DC-8-32's that UA had purchased.

Topic: RE: National Airlines(Sun King) Toward The End
Username: WA707atMSP
Posted 2011-12-31 10:04:47 and read 4710 times.

Earlier on this thread, there was some discussion about how serious the problems caused by EA's delays in receiving DC-8s were.

In 1979, Robert J. Serling interviewed most of Eastern's then-current and retired executives (but not "Captain" Eddie Rickenbacker, who had passed away in 1973) for his history of Eastern Airlines, "From the Captain to the Colonel".

According to this book, Rickenbacker's decision to wait for the DC-8-20 was "possibly the worst decision he ever made".

"About a year before EAL could start its own jet service, Delta began operating its new jets between New York and Houston. Eastern, using Electras on this route, had been averaging a ninety percent load factor - highest on the system. Once Delta started jet schedules, EAL's Electra passengers consisted largely of Delta's overflow business; in only two months Eastern temporarily abandoned the New York-Houston nonstop. There were the same disastrous results in every market involving Eastern-Delta competition - Chicago-Miami, Atlanta-New York, Atlanta-Chicago, and Detroit-Miami."

Rickenbacker relinquished EA's delivery positions for their first six DC-8s, which would have been DC-8-11s, because of concerns that the DC-8-11 was underpowered. Several of Rickenbacker's top managers warned him that "it would be fatal to let National and Delta start jet service ahead of Eastern". One top EA manager is quoted in the book as saying "It was a major mistake, but I would have done exactly what the Captain did under the circumstances. He had no way of knowing how Delta and National would capitalize on our delay".

Source: From the Captain to the Colonel, pp. 278-279. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the history of Eastern, and EA's rivalry with NA and DL. If you want a nice after-Christmas present for yourself, buy this book, and Brad Williams' equally great history of National, "Anatomy of an Airline" on one of the used / out of print book websites. You won't regret buying either book  

Topic: RE: National Airlines(Sun King) Toward The End
Username: milesrich
Posted 2011-12-31 11:10:38 and read 4675 times.

Quoting WA707atMSP (Reply 71):
"About a year before EAL could start its own jet service, Delta began operating its new jets between New York and Houston. Eastern, using Electras on this route, had been averaging a ninety percent load factor - highest on the system. Once Delta started jet schedules, EAL's Electra passengers consisted largely of Delta's overflow business; in only two months Eastern temporarily abandoned the New York-Houston nonstop. There were the same disastrous results in every market involving Eastern-Delta competition - Chicago-Miami, Atlanta-New York, Atlanta-Chicago, and Detroit-Miami."

Rickenbacker relinquished EA's delivery positions for their first six DC-8s, which would have been DC-8-11s, because of concerns that the DC-8-11 was underpowered. Several of Rickenbacker's top managers warned him that "it would be fatal to let National and Delta start jet service ahead of Eastern". One top EA manager is quoted in the book as saying "It was a major mistake, but I would have done exactly what the Captain did under the circumstances. He had no way of knowing how Delta and National would capitalize on our delay".

Source: From the Captain to the Colonel, pp. 278-279. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the history of Eastern, and EA's rivalry with NA and DL. If you want a nice after-Christmas present for yourself, buy this book, and Brad Williams' equally great history of National, "Anatomy of an Airline" on one of the used / out of print book websites. You won't regret buying either book

WA707, you always write well thought out historical posts. I own both of these books, and I have read these same analyses that were written years after the fact, but the truth is, but they are factually somewhat flawed.

Factually accurate facts: Eastern could have had the first six delivery positions, for the water wagon DC-8-11's, and passed them up, giving Delta the opportunity to start jet service before Eastern on the routes you mentioned; however, the first statement in the quoted text is patently false. "About a year before EAL could start its own jet service, Delta began operating its new jets between New York and Houston."

Delta began IDL-ATL service with DC-8's on September 18, 1959. I believe the first service as One RT IDL-ATL, One RT ATL-MIA, and one RT MIA-ORD. Eastern put their first DC-8-21 into service on April 10, 1960, less than seven months after Delta introduced the DC-8, that is not close to a year difference. Eastern first used DC-8's on the MSY-IDL route and I think, IDL-MIA.

Eastern received their first DC-8-21's on the following dates.

N8601 1/3/1960
N8602 1/22/1960
N8603 2/14/1960
N8604 2/19/1960
N8605 4/9/1960
N8606 4/26/1960

So when Eastern began service after training their pilots, etc., they had four airplanes to schedule, and received their 6th airplane within 16 days of the start of service.

Delta received their DC-8-11's as follows:
N801E 7/21/1959
N802E 9/14/1959
N803E 10/10/1959
N804E 10/27/1959
N805E 11/4/1959
N806E 11/11/1959

So Delta had at most a six month jump on Eastern, not a year.

What was critical is EA missed the entire 1959-60 Winter season. I am sure that was costly, but I still think too much is made of this, because as a % of their EA's business, their ORD/DTW-ATL-MIA route and IDL-ATL route were not that dominant. However, Delta, by having jets before Eastern, greatly enhanced Delta's long term reputation and competitive position. Delta had only served New York for three years prior to the DC-8 introduction, and they played 2nd fiddle to Eastern. After this, Delta was able to go toe to toe with Eastern if not top them, and this is when the tide started to turn. But Eastern could have weathered this storm had they not made so many other mistakes, the biggest one was not ordering enough jet airplanes, and ordering too many DC-7B's and L-1049G's, in 1955 just before the other airlines ordered jets. By the end of 1962, United had 38 DC-8's, 29 Boeing 720's, and 20 Caravelles, for a total of 87 jet aircraft, two DC-8's being lost in accidents. Eastern on the other hand, had 17 DC-8's and 15 Boeing 720's, and didn't put another airplane into service until the 727 in February of 1964. In fact, Eastern did not take all of the DC-8-21's they ordered. In fact, by the end of 1962, Delta less than one half the size then of Eastern, had almost as many jet aircraft.

United suffered greatly between January 25, 1959 and September 18, 1959, when first American, and then TWA introduced 707's before UA got their DC-8's into the schedule, but United recovered, although they always were 3rd in the LAX-IDL/JFK traffic race.

My whole point was that Eastern's late start with DC-8's, while competitively disadvantageous, is given much more blame than it deserves when looking at Eastern's problems. Eastern had a reputation for poor service, old dirty airplanes, lack of meals etc. for years. The airline was successful because it enjoyed a monopoly on so many key routes, but when Delta and other airlines were awarded those routes in competition with Eastern, Eastern quickly lost its #1 position. The best example is ATL-NYC. Until 1956, Eastern was the only airline operating this route. Suddenly, the CAB awarded the route to not only Delta, but Capital. When Eastern introduced the DC-7B's, it was the first time they offered meal service that didn't come out of a Thermos. The 7B's were the first airplanes they had with ovens.

And finally, had the Electra not had the safety problems, Eastern could have weathered the storm. Delta introduces the DC-8 on September 18, 1959, Within 11 days, the first Electra mysteriously broke up in flight. And on March 17, 1960, the 2nd one did. This led to the talk of grounding the Electra, of which Eastern had forty aircraft. Had the Electra not had problems, I don't think we would be discussing this, as jet aircraft could not have taken that much business away from an the airline the size of Eastern.

It would be interesting to see the complete Delta DC-8 Schedules of the period from September 18, 1959 to April 10, 1960 to see just exactly what flights were scheduled.

Topic: RE: National Airlines(Sun King) Toward The End
Username: zippyjet
Posted 2011-12-31 22:21:15 and read 4500 times.

Quoting WA707atMSP (Reply 71):
One top EA manager is quoted in the book as saying "It was a major mistake, but I would have done exactly what the Captain did under the circumstances. He had no way of knowing how Delta and National would capitalize on our delay".

I wonder if anyone at Eastern suggested or approached Captain Eddie with the idea of leasing jets the way National did from Pan Am?

Topic: RE: National Airlines(Sun King) Toward The End
Username: ghifty
Posted 2011-12-31 22:28:02 and read 4492 times.

Quoting PI767 (Reply 13):
They clumped a bunch of cities together as one "dot" on the map:

To be fair, they didn't do that. Their advertising agency did.


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