Added over a half dozen new photos and timetables to the North American Airlines page as well as larger versions of existing photos.
Also added several additional photos to the Airways International page.
The Sunshine Skies website now features a responsive layout, meaning that all content should look equally good on desktops, tablets and mobile phones and all images should automatically resize to fit your screen. If you have any issues with the way the website is displaying, let me know and I'll tweak it a little more.
Added timetables to the Aerosun, Airways International and Atlantic Gulf pages. All scans courtesy of Arthur Na. Click the images to see larger versions, additional timetables and full schedules.
Stories and photos contributed by readers. Fun and random. Hot off the press!
The original voice of the ATL underground airport shuttle revealed!
When I created the page about "HAL" the robot voice on the underground shuttle at Atlanta Hartsfield Airport, I mistakenly wrote that "he" had been there from day one.
Kelly McCoy, known to Atlantans as a popular radio personality at WQXI "Quixie" and B98.5, wrote in with this great story and sets the record straight:
"I was the "original voice" of the "new" Atlanta Airport. I think your dates could be wrong for Hal. He came in after it was decided my voice was "too friendly," and people weren't paying close attention. Hal definitely got your attention. Once we were awarded the Olympics, rumor has it that Hal may have been too frightening to the visitors from all over the world. My friend, Bill Murray (not the actor) was the kinder voice after that, if memory serves correctly."
I asked him about the details of the recording session.
"I was working at WQXI "Quixie" at the time. It was sometime in 1980. I got a call from a friend who was manager of a rock and roll band I'd done commercials for in the late 70s. He had a studio in Hapeville. Westinghouse, who was providing the sounds for the train, airport, etc., called and said a problem had developed with the train voice. The airport hadn't officially opened yet, and President Jimmy Carter was about to get a tour. They asked John, the studio manager, if he knew of a voice person who could do a quick turnaround. He called me. After I got off the air, I went to the studio and recorded all of the needed elements. It was creepy to record the emergency elements in case there were problems. Anyway, that's how I was the voice of the airport for quite a while. It was cool hearing myself on a train when my wife and I would fly somewhere. She'd embarrass me by pointing to me and saying "that's him" to fellow train travelers. All they did was look at us with a weird expression."
Red Carpet Airlines lobster flights
Becky Wilson was a flight attendant for Red Carpet Airlines and wrote:
I was a flight attendant for Red Carpet Airlines in the early 1970s. We took charter groups to dive trips for the most part. My "uniform" was an outfit I already owned and the passenger meals were bologna and cheese sandwiches made by me during the flight. On one trip to Grand Cayman we were given a shipment of 2 thousand pounds of frozen lobsters to bring to Pinellas Seafood. We took out the seats and flew those lobsters home. It was freezing inside the DC3. I got a garbage bag full of frozen lobsters for my efforts. What fun!
New photos of former PBA DC-3 N130PB
In response to last week's update of the PBA DC-3s: Where are they now? page, Frank Dalpe posted these photos of former PBA DC-3 N130PB (msn 2213), taken on August 8, 2015. The aircraft is now at the Lone Star Flight Museum in Galveston, Texas and is painted in the classic colors of Continental Airlines. The current registration is N25673. Thanks Frank!
More PBA DC-3 news. Former N35PB, now registered N61981 (msn 2216), was flown from Oshkosh to Cape Cod Airfield in Marston Mills, MA on August 5, 2015. Pete Johnson kindly gave me permission to post these photos.
The interior looks great!
More info about the current whereabouts of all 12 PBA DC-3s can be found HERE.
Added an undated, circa 1983 timetable to the Pro Air page. Pro Air was one of the last U.S. airlines to fly DC-3s and Martin 404s in regular passenger service and flew them until 1988.
What do you consider the most beautiful airliner of all time? The Constellation? Concorde? 747? Super Guppy? Please take a minute to list your faves by clicking the comment icon at the top right of this post.
You can read our top 10 choices HERE !
Updated info on 6 former PBA DC-3s. Unfortunate news on N38PB and N40PB. Check out the crazy paint job on N43PB!
Courtesy of the Candler Field Museum, this great photo shows N28AA, formerly N139PB, posing with N137PB at Thomaston, GA on June 29, 2015. More about the fate of all 12 PBA DC-3s can be found HERE.
Added the interior of an AAT timetable effective November 15, 1968 showing service to Miami, Marathon, Key West, Bartow, Cocoa / Titusville, Tampa, Orlando and West Palm Beach. AAT was the predecessor of Air Sunshine. Scan courtesy of Don Henchel.
Added 11 new images to the History of Airline Service at Vero Beach page, ranging from a 1930s postcard of an Eastern Airlines DC-2 and 1940s images from the LIFE archives to various commuter airlines that served the airport in the 1970s through 1990s. You can see all of them HERE.
One of the great joys of having this website is learning about long-forgotten airlines such as this one. Mid-South Airways brought airline service to off-the-beaten-path towns such as Sandersville, Swainsboro, and Vidalia, Georgia. Timetable scans are from the amazing collection Don Henchel, a man who has some of the rarest and most obscure airline timetables I've seen.
Panama Aviation, operating as Panama Airways, flew Piper Navajos on routes from Panama City, Florida during 1990-1991. Thanks to Don Henchel for bringing this little-known airline to my attention.
Here's an obscure airline that lasted a total of 9 months. South Central Airlines operated a fleet of Beech 18s across Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas beginning in October 1963 but a fatal crash in February 1964 doomed the airline and all flights ceased on July 1, 1964.
Click HERE to read more.
A new page exploring Chautauqua Airlines operations as an Allegheny Commuter and USAir Express carrier in Florida from 1979 to 1991 with information and numerous photos generously provided by former Chautauqua pilot Todd Scher.
Argonaut Airways was established in 1946 to provide cargo service between Miami and South America. Florida intrastate passenger flights began in 1963. Lots of great stories! CLICK HERE
Lots of great "new" material added to the AAT page including timetables from Don Henchel, additional photos and a brochure advertising trips to Walt Disney World.
Updates and good news about two former PBA DC-3s!
Greg Ganser wrote, "I am a former PBA employee and have learned that N35PB has been purchased by a former PBA pilot / mechanic and will be repositioned from Oshkosh to Marstons Mills Airport (2B1) next to Hyannis Airport (HYA)."
Norbert Raith spotted former PBA / Eastern Express DC-3 N137PB at Thomaston, Georgia, on May 24, 2015 and sent in this beautiful photo. N137PB arrived in Thomaston sometime last year and is apparently awaiting a prop overhaul. Still wearing the 1987-1988 Eastern Express colors, it looks like it could have just popped out of a time machine.
Shea Oakley wrote: "Do you have any photography showing SRQ in the 1970's, including EAL and NAL? I flew in there a lot as a child and would love to see the place again, if only in photos. BTW, my first and only DC-3 flight was from SRQ to MIA via FMY on Florida Airlines in 1978."
Shea, here's a postcard view of an Eastern 727 at Sarasota, probably in the early 1970s. Another postcard view showing a National Electra at SRQ in the 1960s can be seen HERE.
Also, there used to be a fantastic website called Old Terminals which disappeared a few years ago. Luckily for us, it is archived on the Wayback Machine. Click HERE for the Sarasota page. Not all of the photo links are working but there is a lot of great info there.
Hope that helps!
A new page about Golden Isles, a St. Simons Island based airline that flew de Havilland Doves to 11 cities in Florida and Georgia during 1960.
Nearly 50 incredible photos from the LIFE archives of Eastern DC-3s flying from Miami to Boston and points in between. These are among the best DC-3 photos I've ever seen, everything from in-flight shots, cockpit views, and photos of terminals, ticket counters and the employees that made Eastern one of the greatest airlines of its time. There are so many that I divided them into 2 pages. I was so immersed, it felt like time travel!
PART ONE: Florida
PART TWO: Atlanta, Greenville, Charlotte, Washington, Newark and points in between.
Just added this amazing glimpse of history to the Early years of Atlanta Airport page: a full color home movie taken from the observation deck at Atlanta airport in summer 1938 showing the arrivals and departures of Eastern Air Lines DC-2s and DC-3s.
Added a timetable from June 1, 1980 to the Red Carpet Airlines page. Thanks to Don Henchel for sending this in.