Saturday, March 23, 2013

Stratoliners Delivered For Testing

Five new 33 passenger Boeing Stratoliners slated for TWA service are now being tested on daily flights from Kansas City throughout the TWA system. No's 400. 401, 402, 403 and 404 all together on the tarmack together, gleaming ready for the task mark the next milestone towards full service coming in July, 1940.
Also announced in this months Skyliner headline page is the appointment of DW 'Tommy' Tomlinson as the new Vice President of Engineering. If you remember Tomlinson was the cheif flying engineer who with Jack Frye were the pioneers in 'over-weather' flight testing with many dangers and unknowns. This key testing undertaken by Transcontinental & Western Air led by Frye was the forerunner to the Stratoliner's design and purpose with it being the very first airliner with a pressurized fuselage.
I'll bet if you ask anybody on the street the question, "What airliner was the first to fly passengers above the clouds in a comfortable pressurized cabin", none if any would know the answer. It's kind of a sad report on such a great airplane and it's key role in todays modern commercial travel history.
Image courtesy WHMCKC

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