Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Moving forward from 1935 into 1936

Line Squalls was renamed TWA Speed in 1935 of which this is the cover of the employee magazine. Images courtesy WHMCKC.

In 1935 there were a host of notable firsts in airline history created with Jack Frye being the prime mover and visionary to improving safety and efficiency.
  • TWA doubled the quantity of revenue passengers from 37,700 in 1931 to 62,200. Total mail pounds carried had tripled from 595,000 pounds to 1,415,000 pounds in the same time period.
  • The very first class of TWA in-flight hostesses graduated December 6, 1935.
  • TWA had the highest miles traveled per passenger in the industry of 944 miles.
  • With 398 employees in 1931, this number jumped to 948 in 1935.
  • The DC-1 was removed from passenger service and cristened the Flying Laroratory to explore new mechanical and in flight support technology.
  • On May 16 & 18th, the Flying Laboratory with 'Tommy' Tomlinson and Joe Bartles broke 6 world speed records, 3 American records and established 8 new American records.
  • On a flight from Kansas City to New York, the flying laboratory tested numerous new flying aids with Tomlinson and Hull at the controls. They included the new constant speed propeller, and the first air-fuel analyzer was fully tested over 16,000 feet. The new synchroscope developed by the radio department of TWA was thoroughly tested on the return flight to KC using the homing compass as a guide.
  • The Bureau of Air Commerce selected TWA to install hardware for instrument approach landings, a device that will aid all aircraft when taking off or landing in rain and fog ridden airports.
  • Jack Frye with his visionary thinking and the help of his engineering department and Tomlinson piloting the flying laboratory, helped the Department of Commerce develop the new propeller de-icing system called the slinger-ring. Once approved for service, orders were rapidly placed to be installed on all airliners.
  • A remarkable development again in conjunction with Jack Frye and his radio department was the anti-static loop antenna for in-flight communications between aircraft and ground stations.
  • In July 1935, the radio department completed the development of the four frequency crystal controlled, remote controlled radio telegraph receiver.
  • 1935 was the year the first ever flight plan was instituted by TWA for real pilot planning and execution.
  • Second was the flight control plan and the institution of flight control officers aboard all TWA airliners in charge of dispatching all flight plans throughout the system.
  • This was the year the very first flights over the Grand Canyon and Boulder Dam occured with TWA leading the way.

A Seasons Greetings message from the President

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