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BN747
Topic Author
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Airport PAST: Early Jet Age Miami Part 1

Tue Jul 21, 2020 12:49 pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMw4Kv4OcX8

As promised in last weeks' TWA thread, a look BACK at Early jet age Miami International Airport would be up (yesterday but all ready now).

Part -2 The age of Eastern and rise of Air Florida (Due date 1st week Aug 2020)

Part -3 The coming of American Dominance (Due date Mid-August 2020)

The Airport where every air;ines flew their jumbo jets!

My first visit to this very unique American commercial aviation center came in 1982.
I elected to attend a travel related course hosted by Eastern Airlines. With the hotel
of my one week stay, of course I requested a room overlooking the airport from it’s
northern perimeter, the view was spectacular! The sight over a near control tower-like
view of the entire complex.

For the first time encountered ALL the airlines you rarely or never see in Chicago
New York nor Los Angeles and they flew everything in their fleets to this airport.
BWIA 707s and Air Jamaica DC-8 aircraft top my list of favorites but in addition to
the mix of Caribbean carriers along came airlines from Mexico and Central America and the entirety of South America was here and in frequent numbers daily!

The last thing on my young mind was this was also the air center for the drug trade
to North America..the immense amount odd cargo carriers should have been a clue
given that many never moved - they were impounded by customs! None of this would
have diminished my fondness for MIA. The expansive circular terminal was an
aviation lovers Disney Land! Just strolling from one end to the other was an
unforgettable journey, collecting airline timetables and magazines required a separate
piece of luggage for the trip home at weeks end.

I would end up visiting (love the party life of early South Beach and transiting MIA
to Puerto Rico, Jamaica, St. Kitts, St. Marteen and Cuba made every trip one worth
looking forward to a MIA visit. I have managed to string together some video to show
and share with you of what MIA looked like 40+ years ago, I memory that’ll stay with
me forever! If you were one fortunate enough to visit during those days of easy passage
to the terminal concourses just snap photos, you know what I mean..Miami was different
from all the other airports. The heavy Latin American influence was palpable and very
exotic and comforting!

BN747
"Home of the Brave, made by the Slaves..Land of the Free, if you look like me.." T. Jefferson
 
MohawkWeekend
Posts: 275
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Re: Airport PAST: Early Jet Age Miami Part 1

Tue Jul 21, 2020 1:11 pm

My late Uncle lived about 2 miles from MIA. He worked for a firm that converted everything from Matin 404's to DC-8's for cargo operations in Central and South America. We would visit every summer in the early 70's. I remember he would take us on walking tours of Corrosion Corner and we got to go onboard several aircraft - I recall one DC-6 in particular. His company had a warehouse full of seats taken out of the planes - I wanted to take home a FC seat from a DC-8 that had the speaker up near the headrest. Wouldn't fit in the old Buick LeSabre for the trip back to Ohio. I remember quit a few derelict United 720's and Delta CV-880's. First time I saw DC-7's, CL-44's, and Connies. Air France Caravelle's too.

Security was pretty non-existent back then in the airport. My brother and I were wandering thru an International Terminal concourse when a BOAC 707 landed. Someone closed a barrier so that the the arriving passengers had to go to Customs. Since we didn't have a way to escape and no passports we thought we were doomed. No problem - somebody just opened the barrier and said come on thru. Those were the days.

The video almost brought tears to my eyes. Thanks!
    300 319 320 321 707 717 720 727 72S 737 73S 734 735 73G 738 739 747 757 762 ARJ B11 C212 CRJ CR2 CR7 CR9 CV5 D8S DC9 D9S D94 D95 D10 DH8 DTO EMB EM2 E135 E145 E190 FH7 F28 F100 FTRIMTR HRN L10 L15 M80 M90 SF3 SWM YS11
     
    canyonblue17
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    Re: Airport PAST: Early Jet Age Miami Part 1

    Tue Jul 21, 2020 2:13 pm

    It was 38 years ago when I first traveled from NY to visit my grandparents in West Palm Beach. I got off the plane and they asked me what I wanted to do. I told them I wanted to watch airplanes. About 90 minutes later we were walking through the concourse at MIA. It was inspiring. It was - and is today - larger than life. I remember looking through a gate window and spotting the Concorde. I'm pretty sure I took a photo of it on my disc camera. Almost four decades later and I'm fortunate to be an occasional plane spotter at the same airport.
    negative ghostrider the pattern is full
     
    MaverickM11
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    Re: Airport PAST: Early Jet Age Miami Part 1

    Tue Jul 21, 2020 3:07 pm

    MIA always had the best variety, and it seemed like planes that were long retired by other carriers were still prevalent. The 727 may have been retired by US carriers but you could count on a Zuliana 722 screaming down every last inch of 9 to Maracaibo.

    Anyone visit all the model shops around the airport? There used to be one right next to runway 9 south of El Dorado Furniture that I'm sure was the Mecca of the a.net crowd. Not sure what happened to it but it's definitely gone now sadly.
    I don't take responsibility at all
     
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    tjwgrr
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    Re: Airport PAST: Early Jet Age Miami Part 1

    Tue Jul 21, 2020 3:40 pm

    Great stuff. Video is really cool. The CO 747 was somewhat of a surprise. Did some poking around and I found they operated MIA-LGW with the 747.
    Direct KNOBS, maintain 2700' until established on the localizer, cleared ILS runway 26 left approach.
     
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    N62NA
    Posts: 4476
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    Re: Airport PAST: Early Jet Age Miami Part 1

    Tue Jul 21, 2020 4:25 pm

    Looks very interesting. I'll watch it tonight. Thanks for posting!
     
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    FLALEFTY
    Posts: 803
    Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2006 11:33 am

    Re: Airport PAST: Early Jet Age Miami Part 1

    Tue Jul 21, 2020 5:02 pm

    KMIA is still a great place to visit for spotting. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a boom in cargo airline traffic, which has included a wide array of mainline passenger airliners (77W's, 789's, etc.) temporarily used to haul bulk cargo in their cabins. A decent way to do "virtual spotting" at KMIA is to watch PTZtv's camera mounted on the 94th Aero Squadron's roof just south of RWY 9/27 and just west of RWY 12/30. This is also where most of the cargo action happens since 3 of main cargo terminals, Eastern U, Western U and Cargo City are located on the south side of the airport.

    Here's the PTZtv Miami Airport Cam's link: https://www.miamiairportcam.com
     
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    Miami
    Posts: 6180
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    Re: Airport PAST: Early Jet Age Miami Part 1

    Tue Jul 21, 2020 5:08 pm

    Love it. Thanks for posting.Really shows the old days at MIA with its unique diversity. Wish those airlines and aircraft were still around.

    Feel free to post it here as well: https://www.facebook.com/groups/FloridaAviation
    Aviation is proof that given, the will, we have the capacity to achieve the impossible. - Eddie Rickenbacker
     
    Cody
    Posts: 2274
    Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 12:16 pm

    Re: Airport PAST: Early Jet Age Miami Part 1

    Tue Jul 21, 2020 5:43 pm

    Great job!

    My best childhood memory was exploring MIA n 1989. I was an avid Eastern and Air Florida fan and while Eastern was still around...barely...Air Florida was long gone.

    I spent a full day exploring 36th Street and anything that was formerly Air Florida property. The highlight of the trip was looking inside the Midway Airlines hangar and imagining Air Florida 737's and DC-10s sitting there.

    Thanks again and I am on the edge of my seat waiting for Part 2 the first week of August.

    I still think you should include Air Sunshine. Even if it is in the background by accident.
     
    BN747
    Topic Author
    Posts: 7898
    Joined: Thu Mar 28, 2002 5:48 am

    Re: Airport PAST: Early Jet Age Miami Part 1

    Tue Jul 21, 2020 8:33 pm

    MohawkWeekend wrote:
    My late Uncle lived about 2 miles from MIA. He worked for a firm that converted everything from Matin 404's to DC-8's for cargo operations in Central and South America. We would visit every summer in the early 70's. I remember he would take us on walking tours of Corrosion Corner and we got to go onboard several aircraft - I recall one DC-6 in particular. His company had a warehouse full of seats taken out of the planes - I wanted to take home a FC seat from a DC-8 that had the speaker up near the headrest. Wouldn't fit in the old Buick LeSabre for the trip back to Ohio. I remember quit a few derelict United 720's and Delta CV-880's. First time I saw DC-7's, CL-44's, and Connies. Air France Caravelle's too.

    Security was pretty non-existent back then in the airport. My brother and I were wandering thru an International Terminal concourse when a BOAC 707 landed. Someone closed a barrier so that the the arriving passengers had to go to Customs. Since we didn't have a way to escape and no passports we thought we were doomed. No problem - somebody just opened the barrier and said come on thru. Those were the days.

    The video almost brought tears to my eyes. Thanks!


    I know exactly what you mean, those images are with us forever...


    tjwgrr wrote:
    Great stuff. Video is really cool. The CO 747 was somewhat of a surprise. Did some poking around and I found they operated MIA-LGW with the 747.


    Thank you, Iit appears the CO 747 pushback and taxi out will be in Part 2, I've had to trim down 4 hours of footage to 3 three '45 min' segments.
    More CO 747 action will appear soon in a bigger project to come online soon.

    Miami wrote:
    Love it. Thanks for posting.Really shows the old days at MIA with its unique diversity. Wish those airlines and aircraft were still around.

    Feel free to post it here as well: https://www.facebook.com/groups/FloridaAviation


    I'm not a Facebook user, but feel free to share the link with Florida Aviation, I can't think of a more suitable location for this.
    And thanks for that recommendation and your kind comments.

    Cody wrote:
    Great job!

    My best childhood memory was exploring MIA n 1989. I was an avid Eastern and Air Florida fan and while Eastern was still around...barely...Air Florida was long gone.

    I spent a full day exploring 36th Street and anything that was formerly Air Florida property. The highlight of the trip was looking inside the Midway Airlines hangar and imagining Air Florida 737's and DC-10s sitting there.

    Thanks again and I am on the edge of my seat waiting for Part 2 the first week of August.

    I still think you should include Air Sunshine. Even if it is in the background by accident.


    I'll look into Air Sunshine for the Part 2 segment there's still time...in the mean time, prepare for an Eastern Airlines overdose!

    Thanks everyone, I appreciate the support, it makes the time invested and sleepless nights worthwhile for sharing imagery that many here lived, witnessed and remember!

    BN747
    "Home of the Brave, made by the Slaves..Land of the Free, if you look like me.." T. Jefferson
     
    miaami
    Posts: 936
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    Re: Airport PAST: Early Jet Age Miami Part 1

    Wed Jul 22, 2020 4:23 am

    Great video!!
     
    OB1504
    Posts: 3982
    Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2004 5:10 am

    Re: Airport PAST: Early Jet Age Miami Part 1

    Wed Jul 22, 2020 5:05 am

    MaverickM11 wrote:
    MIA always had the best variety, and it seemed like planes that were long retired by other carriers were still prevalent. The 727 may have been retired by US carriers but you could count on a Zuliana 722 screaming down every last inch of 9 to Maracaibo.

    Anyone visit all the model shops around the airport? There used to be one right next to runway 9 south of El Dorado Furniture that I'm sure was the Mecca of the a.net crowd. Not sure what happened to it but it's definitely gone now sadly.


    Not just the model shop; that entire building is gone now. I think the only model shop left is The Airplane Shop, which recently relocated to the Pan Am Academy building on 36th Street.

    Growing up I remember the shops in the terminal that sold Wooster models. Now I don't think even the toy store in F or G carries any model airplanes.

    tjwgrr wrote:
    Great stuff. Video is really cool. The CO 747 was somewhat of a surprise. Did some poking around and I found they operated MIA-LGW with the 747.


    In the 1990s, there was a display case full of model airplanes just past the Low E security checkpoint. The centerpiece of the display was a huge CO 747 in the red meatball livery.

    I loved seeing all the models when passing through Concourse E and now I have a sizeable collection of aircraft I've worked with at MIA.
     
    slvrblt
    Posts: 377
    Joined: Tue Dec 28, 2004 11:19 pm

    Re: Airport PAST: Early Jet Age Miami Part 1

    Wed Jul 22, 2020 4:01 pm

    MAGNIFICENT video. Kinda feel teary right now. I started working at MIA in 1978, with Air Florida. Can't wait for that segment; as someone said, you should include Air Sunshine as they eventually were absorbed into Air Florida. Lots of history, in those days corrosion corner was still there, so much fun to look around those derelict birds. The wide variety of aircraft that still visited the airport in those days was incredible. DC3's, Martin 404's, DC6/7's, DC8's/B-707/720, BAC 111's, Boeing 377's, Convairs of all flavors, and these were all active flyers. Florida Express, Mackey Airways, Air Sunshine, Marco Island Airways, Provincetown-Boston Airways, just to name a few.
    ..everything works out in the end.
     
    BN747
    Topic Author
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    Joined: Thu Mar 28, 2002 5:48 am

    Re: Airport PAST: Early Jet Age Miami Part 1

    Thu Jul 23, 2020 10:41 pm

    slvrblt wrote:
    MAGNIFICENT video. Kinda feel teary right now. I started working at MIA in 1978, with Air Florida. Can't wait for that segment; as someone said, you should include Air Sunshine as they eventually were absorbed into Air Florida. Lots of history, in those days corrosion corner was still there, so much fun to look around those derelict birds. The wide variety of aircraft that still visited the airport in those days was incredible. DC3's, Martin 404's, DC6/7's, DC8's/B-707/720, BAC 111's, Boeing 377's, Convairs of all flavors, and these were all active flyers. Florida Express, Mackey Airways, Air Sunshine, Marco Island Airways, Provincetown-Boston Airways, just to name a few.


    Thank you for that huge endorsement!

    No promises on Air Sunshine and I do understand to sentiment expressed by you first-hand MIA fans.

    Air Florida, however will be well represented.

    BN747
    "Home of the Brave, made by the Slaves..Land of the Free, if you look like me.." T. Jefferson
     
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    aeromoe
    Posts: 1322
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    Re: Airport PAST: Early Jet Age Miami Part 1

    Fri Jul 24, 2020 1:42 am

    Inspired by an article in Airline Quarterly: https://www.bing.com/images/search?view=detailV2&ccid=TbFSbCng&id=737C61C09B9E2B956706CAC6E470C63BBC8233F1&thid=OIP.TbFSbCngMl290YSrOr5bJQHaEB&mediaurl=http%3a%2f%2fwww.yesterdaysairlines.com%2fuploads%2f4%2f2%2f5%2f5%2f42559615%2fairline-quarterly-05_orig.jpg&exph=598&expw=1100&q=airline+quarterly+magazine&simid=608045065601943294&ck=3A5CC3D9E0D12196038FD40D5705966B&selectedIndex=1&qpvt=airline+quarterly+magazine&ajaxhist=0

    My first trip to MIA was for a day trip in August 1979, flying in from Denver as a high schooler. I had a summer job and I'd received a UA 50% off coupon in June. I wanted to use some of the job earnings for this trip. So I booked DEN-ORD-FLL-ORD-DEN on UA for the Friday night / Sunday morning. (DC-10/727-200/727-200/DC-10). I booked EA FLL-MIA-FLL (727-100QC/DC-9-30) for late, late Friday night, returning late, late Saturday night. I spent all day Saturday in the MIA terminal with my camera and some rolls of print film. I have some rather lucky images from that time but one of the planes I regret not seeing was the beautiful Aerocondor A300B. https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=aerocondor&qpvt=Aerocondor&form=IQFRML&first=1&scenario=ImageHoverTitle

    Two years later I did a June road trip with my buddy Martin Marlow from Denver to Ft. Lauderdale for the Airliners International '81 convention. Spent a lot of time at MIA all around the perimeter (as we had wheels). The sole remaining 707-227 was present among a lot of other classics in corrosion corner. Braniff DC-8-62s were common, Air Florida was big as well as all the other usual players.

    I've managed a few more trips to/through MIA over the years, most recently 2015. It always was a fun place to visit....I hope I get to return some day.
    Since 60s: AA AC AS BA BD BF BN BR(85) BY B6 CO CZ(16) DG DL EA EI EN FI FL FT F9 HA HP ICX JI JQ J7 KE KL KS LH MC NW OC OO OZ(87) OZ(88) PA PI PN(97) PT QF QQ RM RO RV(99) RV(16) RW SK SM SQ S4 TI TS TW UA UK US UZ VS VX WA WN WS W7 XV YV YX(13) ZZ 9K
     
    phatfarmlines
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    Re: Airport PAST: Early Jet Age Miami Part 1

    Mon Jul 27, 2020 11:35 am

    Great video. Love the pan shot taken from the Concourse E tram station with PA, BA, and CO in full view. Anyone know of a source which details the "Super 80's" construction projects with photos? One of the more interesting transformations in airport terminals, prior to the Terminal A-D rebuild for AA.
     
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    OzarkD9S
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    Re: Airport PAST: Early Jet Age Miami Part 1

    Mon Jul 27, 2020 11:48 am

    At the very beginning they show an overview of FLL.
    Next up: STL DEN PSP DEN STL
     
    OB1504
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    Re: Airport PAST: Early Jet Age Miami Part 1

    Tue Jul 28, 2020 5:18 pm

    phatfarmlines wrote:
    Great video. Love the pan shot taken from the Concourse E tram station with PA, BA, and CO in full view. Anyone know of a source which details the "Super 80's" construction projects with photos? One of the more interesting transformations in airport terminals, prior to the Terminal A-D rebuild for AA.


    The late Don Boyd’s website has some photos that partially document the transformation: https://pbase.com/donboyd/memories_aviation_mia

    I’m not sure of the exact timeline, but the far end of the new D was built first. It was roughly from then-gate D12 onward. Then the original portion of the concourse was demolished and passengers were bused out until the inner section was built.

    For F, the new far end was built first (roughly from F10 onward), but instead of tearing down the original pier, they simply built around it for the lower gates. This is why gates F4, F6, and F8 retain their original tiny holdrooms and why there are redundant second and third floor corridors, complete with those ramps between the levels.

    I haven’t been able to find much about the B and E rebuilds, but I believe that’s when the B FIS was added. I’m not sure when B/C/D were all linked behind security. I don’t think the D-E connector opened until the early 1990s, closing gates D2 and E3 in the process. At some point after that gates D4, D6, D8, and D10 (current gates D31-D34) were all renumbered 2 lower and the mid concourse bus station went from D10A to just D10.
     
    OB1504
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    Re: Airport PAST: Early Jet Age Miami Part 1

    Wed Jul 29, 2020 7:47 am

    There are photos in the database that show the construction progress on D in the 1980s.

    In 1985, work hadn't started on the low D gates yet:



    By 1987, gates D10-D20 were complete but not attached to the terminal. The gate marked D10 is the current D34. At some point it was renumbered D8 per a circa 2000s gate map.



    By 1988, gates D1-D9 were coming together. The Air Jamaica photo shows current gates D31 and D32 in the background and the Avianca photo shows the original gate D2 which was later closed to make way for the D-E connector walkway.



    There doesn't seem to be a trace left of the D35 (née D10) bus station nowadays. Maybe it's for the best given what an atrocious facility it was in its final years.

    By 1987, the far end of F was also largely complete.



    The near end still looked the same as it did in the 1970s. Note the dual sided jet bridges on F7.



    Meanwhile by 1988 Concourse B was completely done:



    E was rebuilt sometime between 1980 and 1988 as well. Judging by what appears to be the fixed bridge for the then-new E8 visible in this photo, it could've been done as early as 1983.

    This is another great resource with historical MIA photos and information: http://golldiecat.tripod.com/mia.html

    I especially love the photo of a BA 747 in the Negus livery parked at the E satellite. Over 40 years later, the Negus livery would return to the E satellite when BA repainted G-CIVB for their 100th anniversary celebration.

    Here's an aerial view of MIA in the late 1970s:



    The photo is dated 1973 but that's incorrect. The International Satellite Terminal is visible and construction on that didn't start until 1974; the terminal opened in 1977.

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