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Hughes Airwest  
User currently offlineF9Animal From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 5027 posts, RR: 28
Posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 6059 times:

WIKI gives limited info about Howard Hughes and his involvement with Hughes Airwest. What was his role with the airline, and does anyone know what he envisioned with it? Was he a normal visitor of the airline? And did his death ultimatley spell the end of the airline with the sale to Republic? Can anyone share if Howard Hughes was going to expand and order more aircraft?


I Am A Different Animal!!
54 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinemariner From New Zealand, joined Nov 2001, 25141 posts, RR: 85
Reply 1, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 5925 times:
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This may not answer your questions, F9Animal, but it's a fun site - especially some of the photos.

http://www.hughesairwest.com/

Enjoy the radio commercial.

mariner



aeternum nauta
User currently offlineN747PE From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 103 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 5635 times:

Long live the yellow banana  

User currently offlineridgid727 From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 1114 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 5562 times:

This was a discussion at a class I took at IATA, and there was an instructor there who had worked for RW. He said in the beginning, Hughes himself had great plans for RW and had quite a bit of say in what was taking place. He told us that the Summa Corp, was very rank and file, and that Hughes himself had very little to do with the airline after 1973 as he was in declining health. However he said Hughes was friends with an artist by the name of Zamporini (not sure of the spelling as Im reading from my notes of that lecture) and he was responsible for the rebranding of RW after one of their DC9's was hit midair by a Marine jet over California. From his ties, came the all yellow, and sundance Kids that the inflight crews were known. We were told that the branding of RW aircraft interiors started at the front row as a light yellow, and each row worked its way back in the color spectrum going from yellows to reds to purples to blues, until that last row of the aircraft was dark dark blue.

Anyway he said that this guy was respnsible for all design work and labeling for all of Hughes properties including the Hotels he owned in LAS.

He told us that Hughes became very ill in 1973 suffering bouts of dementia etc, about the time that RW was in its prime. and that the decisions for RW were made almost entirely by the upper management staffing and Hughes himself had almost no input into anything RW was doing.


User currently offlineckfred From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 5220 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 5446 times:

On the one hand, the bright yellow jets stood out on an airport ramp, expecially against the jets that were predominantly white (UA, DL, FL, and WA). A bright yellow jet even pulled your eyes away from AA's bare metal, even on a clear sunny day.

But, when the planes got dusty, the yellow showed the dirt far worse than a predominantly white or bare metal scheme.


User currently offlineWhatUsaid From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 664 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 5335 times:

I remember the transition years quite well. There was a radio commercial that featured a passenger showing up at the airport for his (and the times are estimated but you'll get the point) 2:30 flight at around 3:30, and was surprised to hear the fight had departed. He told the counter agent that the 2:30 flight always departures around 4:30 or 5. It was a very honest look at the pre-Hughes years when the carrier never fully integrated well and delays and cancellations were frequent if not commonplace. Then came the name change and the original promotion of "Howard Hughes Welcomes You On-board".

There carrier was such a departure from everything else flying at that time.


User currently offlineplanesntrains From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 5504 posts, RR: 29
Reply 6, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 5238 times:

"YES! Hughes Airwest. Top Banana in the West." I can still visualize watching them arriving or departing SEA from down in the Auburn valley. It was about the only airline you could reliably recognize from a distance.  

-Dave



Next Trip: SEA-ABQ-SEA on Alaska
User currently offlineplanesntrains From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 5504 posts, RR: 29
Reply 7, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 5228 times:

Duplicate Post

Not sure what happened there lol

[Edited 2012-02-21 08:58:18]


Next Trip: SEA-ABQ-SEA on Alaska
User currently offlineBoeingGuy From United States of America, joined Dec 2010, 3067 posts, RR: 7
Reply 8, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 5221 times:

Quoting planesntrains (Reply 7):
I can still visualize watching them arriving or departing SEA from down in the Auburn valley. It was about the only airline you could reliably recognize from a distance.

Yes, that was intentional. After the mid-air near Pasedena, Hughes dicated that the airplanes be painted in a bright color that would presumably prevent another mid-air like since they'd be more visible.

As a side note, don't forget that Hughes Airwest and it's predecessor served BFI instead of SEA until about 1971. Then they moved to SEA. I remember seeing the RW DC-9s at BFI as a young child.


User currently offlineplanesntrains From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 5504 posts, RR: 29
Reply 9, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 5172 times:

Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 8):
As a side note, don't forget that Hughes Airwest and it's predecessor served BFI instead of SEA until about 1971. Then they moved to SEA. I remember seeing the RW DC-9s at BFI as a young child.

Well, I was a little too young and too "South King County" to have seen them there, as I was only 4 at the time.  

I should add that the one other airline that was easy to spot was Western with the big "W". I miss them too.

-Dave



Next Trip: SEA-ABQ-SEA on Alaska
User currently offlineF9Animal From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 5027 posts, RR: 28
Reply 10, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 5049 times:

Alright... Great info guys. Lets try a different question. What if Hughes had been healthy? What was Howard Hughes ultimate plans? Did Hughes own Summa?


I Am A Different Animal!!
User currently offlineType-Rated From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 4990 posts, RR: 19
Reply 11, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 5004 times:

RW served Houston starting around 1979-80 or so before the merger with RC. They flew into Hobby. The service was HOU-LAS.
Those yellow banana's sure showed up in the sky as they were passing overhead.

I also remember the Yes! commercials. Yes!(Most on time departures), Yes!(Best Connections In The West) Yes! Hughes Airwest!

In addition to the bright yellow planes (big banana) and the somewhat awful purple color livery, I seem to remember that the cabin windows had some kind of coating on them, or in them that made them look like chrome. Not every aircraft had this, I seem to remember it best on their DC9's. This gave their livery a very futuristic look.

Try as I might have, I never got a chance to fly on them. How was their service?



Fly North Central Airlines..The route of the Northliners!
User currently offlinejamake1 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 1005 posts, RR: 2
Reply 12, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 4964 times:

Quoting ridgid727 (Reply 3):
However he said Hughes was friends with an artist by the name of Zamporini (not sure of the spelling as Im reading from my notes of that lecture) and he was responsible for the rebranding of RW after one of their DC9's was hit midair by a Marine jet over California. From his ties, came the all yellow, and sundance Kids that the inflight crews were known.

The artist was a Los Angeles-based gentleman by the name of Mario Armond Zamparelli. Howard Hughes had a very long association with the artist. Zamparelli not only created the Hughes Airwest identity, but also designed the interiors of Hughes' Las Vegas hotels. I am a collector of Hughes Airwest memorabilia and I believe that the Zamparelli-inspired Sundance look was one of the most cutting edge airline liveries of its time.

Here is a link to my collection:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/30575173@N03/3398161332/in/photostream/

Not many people realized it, but the "3 diamond" logo on the tail of Hughes Airwest aircraft was a three dimensional "HH" that symbolized Howard Hughes' initials.

[Edited 2012-02-21 11:21:47]


United's B747-400. "She's a a cruel lover."
User currently offlinelonghauler From Canada, joined Mar 2004, 4930 posts, RR: 43
Reply 13, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 4881 times:

Quoting Type-Rated (Reply 11):
In addition to the bright yellow planes (big banana) and the somewhat awful purple color livery, I seem to remember that the cabin windows had some kind of coating on them, or in them that made them look like chrome. Not every aircraft had this, I seem to remember it best on their DC9's. This gave their livery a very futuristic look

Yes, that was how the livery was originally designed. But apparently it was very expensive to maintain and was phased out. If you look at early pictures on here, you can see those windows you mention. I liked the look too!



Never gonna grow up, never gonna slow down .... Barefoot Blue Jean Night
User currently offlineDesertAir From Mexico, joined Jan 2006, 1461 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 4827 times:

When I was in High School I would rush out to the airport to see the late afternoon Hughes Airwest F-27 fly in to Stockton for the afternoon flight to SFO. This was in 1971-72. They also tried DC-Service to Las and a onestop through SMF.

User currently offlineckfred From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 5220 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 4808 times:

Quoting DesertAir (Reply 14):
When I was in High School I would rush out to the airport to see the late afternoon Hughes Airwest F-27 fly in to Stockton for the afternoon flight to SFO. This was in 1971-72. They also tried DC-Service to Las and a onestop through SMF.

My father flew often to TWF for busines, connecting at SLC from either UA or AA out of ORD. Besides non-stops out of TWF to SLC and BOI, you could fly one-stop to Spokane and LAS and two-stops to SEA and LAX.

The big deal was RW starting one-stop service to SFO via Redding, CA. It saved something like 90 minutes over a connection at SLC.


User currently offlineFlyingSicilian From Italy, joined Mar 2009, 1323 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 4785 times:

Quoting Type-Rated (Reply 11):

interesting trivia since Hughes died on the tarmac at Houston Hobby



“Without seeing Sicily it is impossible to understand Italy.Sicily is the key of everything.”-Goethe "Journey to Italy"
User currently offlineBoeingGuy From United States of America, joined Dec 2010, 3067 posts, RR: 7
Reply 17, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 4750 times:

Quoting DesertAir (Reply 14):
When I was in High School I would rush out to the airport to see the late afternoon Hughes Airwest F-27 fly in to Stockton for the afternoon flight to SFO. This was in 1971-72.

I'm pretty sure that flight went TVL-SCK-SFO.


User currently offlineBobLoblaw From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 1710 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 4710 times:
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when did they get 727s and where did they fly? I recall in 1980 LAX-SDF was flown or was suppose ot be flown

User currently offlineTomassjc From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 867 posts, RR: 2
Reply 19, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 4701 times:
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Quoting jamake1 (Reply 12):
Not many people realized it, but the "3 diamond" logo on the tail of Hughes Airwest aircraft was a three dimensional "HH" that symbolized Howard Hughes' initials




Cool tidbit of information! I always thought it was 3 diamonds representing the 3 airlines that formed Air West...Bonanza, Pacific and West Coast.

Tom SJC



When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the Earth with your eyes turned skyward -Leonardo DaVinci
User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25170 posts, RR: 22
Reply 20, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 4692 times:

Quoting BobLoblaw (Reply 18):
when did they get 727s and where did they fly?

13 727-200s delivered between August 1976 and December 1980. The last two were delivered to Republic which by then had acquired Hughes Airwest.

I remember flying on an RW 722 LAX-LAS sometime in the late 1970s or thereabouts.


User currently offlineridgid727 From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 1114 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 4591 times:

Quoting jamake1 (Reply 12):
The artist was a Los Angeles-based gentleman by the name of Mario Armond Zamparelli. Howard Hughes had a very long association with the artist. Zamparelli not only created the Hughes Airwest identity, but also designed the interiors of Hughes' Las Vegas hotels. I am a collector of Hughes Airwest memorabilia and I believe that the Zamparelli-inspired Sundance look was one of the most cutting edge airline liveries of its time.

Here is a link to my collection:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/30575173@N03/3398161332/in/photostream/

Not many people realized it, but the "3 diamond" logo on the tail of Hughes Airwest aircraft was a three dimensional "HH" that symbolized Howard Hughes' initials.

Thanks for sharing I enjoyed your post and details.
I have some memorabilia given to me from what RW called their "California Wine Taster Flights'. From the things I've been given, I would have loved to take a lfight like that-- A wine basket with 4 small splits of wine, and apparantly it had 4 or 5 different cheese wedges from California produced cheeses. Each product had a small information card abaout it.--the wines and the cheeses.


User currently offlineType-Rated From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 4990 posts, RR: 19
Reply 22, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 4506 times:

Quoting FlyingSicilian (Reply 16):
interesting trivia since Hughes died on the tarmac at Houston Hobby

Actually in talking with people who were around at the time HH actually died enroute from Mexico to Houston. Buy you know as the story goes, one never dies on the airplane, but in the jetway or in the ambulance.

One guy here in Houston said that he actually died as they were still in Mexican airspace. But according to him, Mexico had some rule about if you die in Mexico the country automatically receives a portion of your estate. So the official story had HH dying just as he reached Houston. After they plane landed he was taken to Methodist Hospital for the post mortem.



Fly North Central Airlines..The route of the Northliners!
User currently offlinePI767 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 4409 times:

Since we are discussing Howard Hughes....and the dementia he suffered in later life... I thought it would be kind of interesting to note....

There is a clip from YouTube.... it is an interview from the Today Show. Matt Lauer is interviewing the author of a Howard Hughes biography and the author is talking about the bizarre habits of Howard Hughes later in life.....

What is truly ironic, is that as they are speaking about this aviation icon, Matt Lauer interrupts the author (at about 4:11 in the clip) with the words: "Okay, I've got to interrupt you right now.... We're going to go live right now and show you a picture of the World Trade Center...."

It was 9/11/01.... Just kind of ironic and bizarre that the interview taking place had been about Howard Hughes, an aviation icon, when the news of that mornings events broke.

Here is the clip:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QnvryCDEQrg&feature=related

[Edited 2012-02-21 18:26:51]

User currently offlinen7371f From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 1720 posts, RR: 12
Reply 24, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 4394 times:
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Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 20):
13 727-200s delivered between August 1976 and December 1980. The last two were delivered to Republic which by then had acquired Hughes Airwest.

I remember flying on an RW 722 LAX-LAS sometime in the late 1970s or thereabouts.

The -2M7A series stayed on into 2001 at NWA in part because they had the powerful 17R version engine of the JT8D. I show that 4 727-2M7A's were hushkitted to fly past 2000.

The ex Hughes 727's were very frequent on DEN-MSP routes in the last few years because of the engine and the higher MTOW than the -251A's Northwest had delivered.


25 bjorn14 : Hmmm....never thought of them as diamonds only an interesting way to write 'HH'
26 Post contains images jamake1 : From the April 1972 issue of Sundancer Magazine, which introduced the Zamparelli-inspired look: "The bold new 'mark' consists of three geometric plane
27 Post contains links and images ADent : No photos in the thread yet? View Large View MediumPhoto © Aris PappasView Large View MediumPhoto © Aris Pappas
28 Post contains links and images longhauler : I'll add this one, as it shows off the coating placed on cabin windows noted above. It is a great effect, giving it a "chrome" look: View Large View
29 rikkus67 : Yup, as a person who does a bit of graphic design, I figured that out long ago.... after hours of trying to figure out what the logo actually meant!
30 GSPSPOT : I remmber building an Aurora RW DC9 model waaay back in the day! That was molded in yellow plastic, and the BN 747 was molded in orange plastic. So co
31 jamake1 : I completely agree. One of my most memorable childhood moments was when I was about 8 years old. I flew from SFO to RNO to visit my beloved grandmoth
32 L1011 : I would like to see a picture with the interior described above. With so many different colored seats, they must have had to stock a lot of different
33 delta2ual : Awesome! Thanks for sharing. I believe there are Hughes F/A's still at DL.
34 Post contains links BoeingGuy : There were Hughes DC-9s at DL up until a few years ago. I remember seeing on in PMW in late 2007 with the RW registration. Supposedly there is still
35 Post contains images Viscount724 : One of the very first "Euro-white" liveries, although that term didn't exist then.
36 Post contains images Flaps : I think I've seen a few Chicago & Southern F/A's still hanging on at DL as well,
37 Type-Rated : Those color combos would be contemporary even today. For some reason the red/orange & gold remind me of the Continental colors of that era.
38 spacecadet : I only ever thought of them as diamonds, although I heard the "HH" story a long time ago. To me, if I imagine it as 3D, it looks like two TIE Fighter
39 WA707atMSP : The red / orange reminds me of PSA, which adopted those colors after Air West switched to the yellow / purple scheme.
40 maxpower1954 : I'm sure the line stations would have been stocked with any random number of colors. A replacement cover, if the wrong color would be changed at a la
41 delta2ual : LOL! I actually flew with one as late as 1997'ish; but I think they are long gone by now.
42 BoeingGuy : I knew that was a joke, but I looked up info on Chicago and Southern, which I'd been vaguely aware of before. They were merged with DL in 1953. Say a
43 longhauler : Didn't Delta and Northwest both have F/As in their 80s? Are there any Hughes Airwest pilots and flight attendants at Delta today?
44 Type-Rated : I am sure there are just as there are others from the RC group from the pre-NW days. Has it really been 31 years since RW merged into RC already? Wow
45 nwa757boy : There are still quite a few Hughes FAs still at DL. Pilots, there are very few left, most on widebodies or the 320 from my interaction flying with the
46 AirCalSNA : What a great collection of memorabilia you have, jamake1! Thanks for posting the link to your Flickr page! On the subject of the crash that prompted
47 F9Animal : There has been some great info guys! I have a Top Banana award in my collection!
48 AASTEW : I def. know of a Hughes Airwest F/A based in DTW. She writes children's books.
49 thegoldenargosy : The most senior PMNW FA has a 1950 hire date. The most senior PMDL FA has a 1957 or 1958 hire date. This rules out any Chicago & Southern FA's le
50 longhauler : Wow, thats more than 10 years before I was born. Can you imagine the great stories they would tell over a beer on a layover!
51 ItalianFlyer : I flew with a number of Hughes folks in my NWA days from 00 to 06. One purser/LFA I had on an Asian trip (who may be retired now) actually started her
52 USPIT10L : The oldest NWA F/A retired a few years ago. He was hired in 1947 at SEA. He used to say he'll probably die in Japan and NWA will have to pay to ship
53 Squid : Hughes AirWest was owned by the Hughes Toolco Company, and because of that, the Hughes Airwest people had a very generous retirement plan. It was some
54 Squid : Also, there were rather big plans for AirWest in the 1970's. The CAB, in order to increase competition, was granting AirWest many new routes including
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