F9Animal
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Hughes Airwest

Tue Feb 21, 2012 3:39 am

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?
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mariner
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RE: Hughes Airwest

Tue Feb 21, 2012 4:55 am

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
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RE: Hughes Airwest

Tue Feb 21, 2012 10:50 am

Long live the yellow banana  
 
ridgid727
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RE: Hughes Airwest

Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:19 pm

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.
 
ckfred
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RE: Hughes Airwest

Tue Feb 21, 2012 1:56 pm

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.
 
whatusaid
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RE: Hughes Airwest

Tue Feb 21, 2012 3:31 pm

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.
 
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RE: Hughes Airwest

Tue Feb 21, 2012 4:45 pm

"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.  

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RE: Hughes Airwest

Tue Feb 21, 2012 4:48 pm

Duplicate Post

Not sure what happened there lol

[Edited 2012-02-21 08:58:18]
-Dave
 
BoeingGuy
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RE: Hughes Airwest

Tue Feb 21, 2012 4:50 pm

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.
 
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RE: Hughes Airwest

Tue Feb 21, 2012 5:00 pm

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
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RE: Hughes Airwest

Tue Feb 21, 2012 6:24 pm

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?
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Type-Rated
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RE: Hughes Airwest

Tue Feb 21, 2012 6:55 pm

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?
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Jamake1
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RE: Hughes Airwest

Tue Feb 21, 2012 7:16 pm

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]
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longhauler
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RE: Hughes Airwest

Tue Feb 21, 2012 8:24 pm

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!
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DesertAir
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RE: Hughes Airwest

Tue Feb 21, 2012 8:57 pm

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.
 
ckfred
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RE: Hughes Airwest

Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:09 pm

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.
 
FlyingSicilian
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RE: Hughes Airwest

Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:27 pm

Quoting Type-Rated (Reply 11):

interesting trivia since Hughes died on the tarmac at Houston Hobby
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BoeingGuy
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RE: Hughes Airwest

Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:42 pm

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.
 
Bobloblaw
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RE: Hughes Airwest

Tue Feb 21, 2012 10:34 pm

when did they get 727s and where did they fly? I recall in 1980 LAX-SDF was flown or was suppose ot be flown
 
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RE: Hughes Airwest

Tue Feb 21, 2012 10:39 pm

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
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Viscount724
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RE: Hughes Airwest

Tue Feb 21, 2012 10:47 pm

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.
 
ridgid727
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RE: Hughes Airwest

Wed Feb 22, 2012 12:05 am

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.
 
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RE: Hughes Airwest

Wed Feb 22, 2012 12:58 am

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.
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PI767
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RE: Hughes Airwest

Wed Feb 22, 2012 2:23 am

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]
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RE: Hughes Airwest

Wed Feb 22, 2012 2:31 am

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.
 
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RE: Hughes Airwest

Wed Feb 22, 2012 7:30 am

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.

Hmmm....never thought of them as diamonds only an interesting way to write 'HH'
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Jamake1
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RE: Hughes Airwest

Wed Feb 22, 2012 8:29 am

From the April 1972 issue of Sundancer Magazine, which introduced the Zamparelli-inspired look:

"The bold new 'mark' consists of three geometric planes with a horizontal axis linking the three diamond-like units together."

From the logo below, the three dimensional "HH" (for Mr. Hughes' initials) is an optical illusion. Viewed one way, the "HH" is tilted backwards with the upper (top) edges of the two H's pointed skyward. Viewed another way, the "HH" is tilted forward, almost like that of a bookcase that is about to be tipped over. It is brilliant symbolism...

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ADent
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RE: Hughes Airwest

Wed Feb 22, 2012 8:41 am

No photos in the thread yet?

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Aris Pappas


View Large View Medium
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Photo © Aris Pappas

 
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longhauler
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RE: Hughes Airwest

Wed Feb 22, 2012 6:31 pm

Quoting ADent (Reply 27):
No photos in the thread yet?

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:


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Photo © Mel Lawrence

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rikkus67
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RE: Hughes Airwest

Wed Feb 22, 2012 9:02 pm

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.

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! A brilliant piece of artwork, IMO! Sort of like the modern day FedEx logo, with the "hidden" arrow!

I flew Hughes Airwest a number of times out of Calgary, Alberta, Canada (YYC). I'll always remember how much different the "flying bananas" looked! The scheme is one that I believe would have stood the test of time, and would still look clean and modern today!
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GSPSPOT
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RE: Hughes Airwest

Wed Feb 22, 2012 11:55 pm

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 cool for a wanna-be model-builder back then!!
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Jamake1
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RE: Hughes Airwest

Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:21 am

Quoting rikkus67 (Reply 29):
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! A brilliant piece of artwork, IMO!

The scheme is one that I believe would have stood the test of time, and would still look clean and modern today!

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 grandmother. As I was being escorted across the tarmac from a United Airlines stretched DC-8, I heard the screaming engines of a propeller-driven airliner right behind me. I turned back to see a bright yellow Hughes Airwest F-27 taking off. She glistened in her bright yellow and blue hues as she made her way into the Nevada sky at sunset. It was a sight that left a lasting impression on my psyche.

Whenever I look over my vast collection of Hughes Airwest artifacts, I am amazed at how the "fused ligature" (as it was described) of the airline's wordmark looks so crisp, clean, and contemporary some 40 years after its introduction...
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L1011
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RE: Hughes Airwest

Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:31 am

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 seat covers at each station in case they had to replace one.

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delta2ual
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RE: Hughes Airwest

Thu Feb 23, 2012 3:24 pm

Quoting jamake1 (Reply 12):
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.

Awesome! Thanks for sharing. I believe there are Hughes F/A's still at DL.
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BoeingGuy
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RE: Hughes Airwest

Thu Feb 23, 2012 4:41 pm

Quoting delta2ual (Reply 33):
I believe there are Hughes F/A's still at DL.

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 at least one former West Coast or Pacific F/A at DL.

Personally I liked the older paint scheme better:

http://www.airlinefan.com/airline-ph...35/Air-West/Douglas/DC-9-10/N9103/

http://jetphotos.net/viewphoto.php?id=265592&nseq=13

In addition to the green and blue, there was also a red and orange combination.
 
Viscount724
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RE: Hughes Airwest

Thu Feb 23, 2012 6:50 pm

Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 34):
Personally I liked the older paint scheme better:

One of the very first "Euro-white" liveries, although that term didn't exist then.


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Flaps
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RE: Hughes Airwest

Thu Feb 23, 2012 7:39 pm

Quoting delta2ual (Reply 33):
Awesome! Thanks for sharing. I believe there are Hughes F/A's still at DL.

I think I've seen a few Chicago & Southern F/A's still hanging on at DL as well,


    
 
Type-Rated
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RE: Hughes Airwest

Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:48 pm

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 35):
One of the very first "Euro-white" liveries, although that term didn't exist then.

Those color combos would be contemporary even today. For some reason the red/orange & gold remind me of the Continental colors of that era.
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spacecadet
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RE: Hughes Airwest

Thu Feb 23, 2012 11:37 pm

Quoting bjorn14 (Reply 25):
Hmmm....never thought of them as diamonds only an interesting way to write 'HH'

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 Fighters more than an "HH", though.

Quoting L1011 (Reply 32):
I would like to see a picture with the interior described above.

I can tell you those interiors went really, really ratty towards the end. I flew on Hughes Airwest probably shortly before the Republic purchase and I remember it being shockingly awful inside. We were in the back right next to the engine (DC-9) and there was graffiti, "scratchiti" and torn seat covers all over the place. It was like a city bus. It did not inspire confidence, that's for sure.

That is one of my most memorable flights. I only flew them that one time.
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WA707atMSP
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RE: Hughes Airwest

Thu Feb 23, 2012 11:49 pm

Quoting Type-Rated (Reply 37):
For some reason the red/orange & gold remind me of the Continental colors of that era.

The red / orange reminds me of PSA, which adopted those colors after Air West switched to the yellow / purple scheme.
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maxpower1954
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RE: Hughes Airwest

Thu Feb 23, 2012 11:57 pm

Quoting L1011 (Reply 32):
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 seat covers at each station in case they had to replace one.

Bob Bradle



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 larger RON station or maintenance base. Maybe.
 
delta2ual
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RE: Hughes Airwest

Fri Feb 24, 2012 4:07 pm

Quoting Flaps (Reply 36):
I think I've seen a few Chicago & Southern F/A's still hanging on at DL as well,


    

LOL! I actually flew with one as late as 1997'ish; but I think they are long gone by now.
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BoeingGuy
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RE: Hughes Airwest

Fri Feb 24, 2012 6:06 pm

Quoting delta2ual (Reply 41):

LOL! I actually flew with one as late as 1997'ish; but I think they are long gone by now

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 an F/A was even 18 years old then, she'd be 77 now. She would have been 62 in 1997 so that's conceivable.
 
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longhauler
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RE: Hughes Airwest

Fri Feb 24, 2012 6:10 pm

Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 42):
Say an F/A was even 18 years old then, she'd be 77 now. She would have been 62 in 1997 so that's conceivable.

Didn't Delta and Northwest both have F/As in their 80s?
Are there any Hughes Airwest pilots and flight attendants at Delta today?
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Type-Rated
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RE: Hughes Airwest

Fri Feb 24, 2012 10:42 pm

Quoting longhauler (Reply 43):
Are there any Hughes Airwest pilots and flight attendants at Delta today?

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.
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nwa757boy
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RE: Hughes Airwest

Fri Feb 24, 2012 10:47 pm

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 them.
 
AirCalSNA
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RE: Hughes Airwest

Sat Feb 25, 2012 12:55 am

Quoting jamake1 (Reply 12):
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.

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 the yellow livery, I read that the pilot of the military aircraft that hit the Air West DC-9 was performing a barrel roll right before impact. Some people believed the pilot was fooling around, which contributed to the crash. But another explanation for this was that the pilot's radar was out and he was rolling to make sure there was no traffic underneath.
 
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Topic Author
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Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2004 7:13 am

RE: Hughes Airwest

Sat Feb 25, 2012 4:09 am

There has been some great info guys! I have a Top Banana award in my collection!
I Am A Different Animal!!
 
AASTEW
Posts: 418
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2001 10:47 am

RE: Hughes Airwest

Sat Feb 25, 2012 9:40 pm

I def. know of a Hughes Airwest F/A based in DTW. She writes children's books.
 
thegoldenargosy
Posts: 489
Joined: Thu Sep 30, 2010 4:14 am

RE: Hughes Airwest

Sun Feb 26, 2012 6:32 am

Quoting longhauler (Reply 43):
Didn't Delta and Northwest both have F/As in their 80s?

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 left. I know that a lot of the more senior FA's are from the Northeast merger.