After several months of inactivity on the website I'm happy to say that there is a wealth of new material. I had Covid in late November and during my quarantine was able to spend days organizing, scanning, writing and updating the site. There are roughly a hundred new images spread throughout dozens of pages. I'll be posting many of them on facebook in the coming weeks.
No more annoying ads!
I removed all of the Google ads from the site. They had become progressively more annoying and revenue had dwindled to pennies a day. I maintain Sunshine Skies for fun, not profit. If you care to donate to the website, please feel free to "Buy Me A Coffee".
Atlanta's most miscaptioned photo?
I've seen this photo of Atlanta airport on social media well over a hundred times but nobody seems to agree when it was taken or whose plane is in the foreground. Hopefully this settles the confusion!
DC-3 N28AA update
Luke Curtas, owner of N28AA (known to many of you as PBA's N139PB during the glory days of the 1970s and 80s) kindly sent these photos and video. Luke wrote, "I thought you would like to see N28AA and its new paint scheme as well as its new name. It is now the “Shannon Air Express”. It’s almost ready to fly." The video shows a recent test run in preparation for its return to the skies. N28AA is located at the Shannon Air Museum in Fredericksburg, VA. Thank you Luke!
This was taken during a test run of N28AA in December 2023 in preparation for her return to the air. That sound is AMAZING!
A few highlights
As mentioned earlier, approximately a hundred new images have been added to the site this week and they're spread over dozens of pages. Here's a random assortment of a few favorites. Each photo links to the corresponding page. Check facebook for more updates and links.
Southeast Airlines Martin 404 N40424 on the ramp at Marathon, Florida circa 1972.
Air Miami Commuter DH-114 Heron in Air Florida colors on final at Miami in January 1981. The airline changed their name in December 1980, so technically this is a North American Airlines flight.
North American Airlines DC-3 N3XW in October 1983.
Atlantic Gulf Convair 580 N73168 in Frontier colors at Atlanta on December 30, 1983.
Pompano Airways Piper Aztec N62743 in December 1981.
Gull Air timetable cover from July 1, 1984 with a particularly goofy but charming drawing of a CASA 212.
National Commuter Airlines Nord 262 N274A at Miami in February 1982.
Mackey International Shorts Skyvan N3419 at Ft. Lauderdale circa 1972.
Slocum Air BN-2 Islander N32MN in Munz Northern colors at Ft. Lauderdale November 1, 1981.
Southeast Airlines Martin 202 N93205 (msn 14075) at Miami circa 1970.
Atlantis Airlines Metroliner N1013G at Atlanta.
National Florida Metroliner N602AS at Miami.
More updates soon!
David Wick has contributed another dozen photos to the history of Sarasota Bradenton airport and Todd Scher sent an update and some new photos about Breeze's service at Vero Beach. Thank you gentlemen! The links are below.
Sarasota Bradenton in the late 1970s
David's photos are included in the gallery about halfway down the page.
Todd's photos of Breeze's planes are at the end of the article.
New page about the rapid rise and fall of the Walt Disney World STOLport, the highly anticipated airstrip that helped lead to the downfall of Florida's two largest commuter airlines.
A major update on the website today! Six new pages and more than 125 new images covering the first 2 commercial airports and the first 4 1/2 decades of airline service at Jacksonville, Florida. Also added a few more photos to the Jacksonville International Airport history. You can begin HERE!
I've always been a big fan of now & then, before & after comparison photos. A modern day recreation of an old photo lends extra perspective and context to both images and the juxtapositions can be startling. Thanks to Google Earth, Photoshop, and the Before and After app, I've created several of these comparisons for the website.
I'm currently working on histories of Key West International Airport and Jacksonville's long-closed Imeson Airport and plan to post them in the next few weeks. Here's a preview of some of the then-and-now comparisons that will appear on the new pages. Move the sliders left and right.
Modern day Key West International and the newly constructed gravel runways in 1928. The original Pan Am hangar can be seen in the first view.
Jacksonville's Imeson Airport in 1963 and the current Google Earth view of the Imeson Industrial Park. Commercial flights moved to the present-day JAX when it opened in 1968 and Imeson was closed the following year.
Here's a golden oldie that appeared on the website several years ago. This is a 1920 view of the old Candler race track that was located on what is now the north side of Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson Airport along Virginia Avenue. Delta's headquarters now occupies the site.
Check the updates soon for the histories of airline service at Key West and Jacksonville Imeson.
Why did several thousand people simultaneously Google their way onto the Sunshine Skies website?
Thank you Final Jeopardy!
THE ANSWER HERE, OF COURSE
A wealth of new material has made it necessary to split the history of airline service of Marco Island into 3 pages. There are lots of great new images courtesy of the Marco Island Historical Society (including the one above), Gordon Werner (who runs the Fly PBA and Marco Island Airways pages) and a few photos and advertisements from old newspaper clippings.
A total of 10 new photos, courtesy of Blaine Peters, have been added to three Georgia airport pages. You can follow the links below. Thanks Blaine!
PBA DC-3s - Where Are They Now?
A long overdue update on the latest status of former PBA DC-3s with a half dozen new photos.
The 8 Decade History of DC-3 N28AA
DC-3 N28AA is now at the Shannon Air Museum in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Museum President and owner Luke Curtas sent an update and several photos that have been added to the detailed history of this former PBA aircraft. Thank you Luke!
The January-February 2022 issue of Airways Magazine features an excellent article about commuter airline "empires" written by David H. Stringer that includes a half dozen images from the Sunshine Skies collection. (Hope they don't mind me posting this lo-res image here!) Plus, the cover story is about Mikey McBryan's Plane Savers DC-3. Great stuff!
Updated link: You can purchase a copy of this issue over at the Airways store.
New photos on the website today sent in by readers. David Silvera sent a photo of an AeroSun / Red Carpet Convair 440 at St. Petersburg. Peter Tyson sent four photos taken of American Air Taxi's Heron N510FW on the ramp at Miami in 1972. Thanks guys! If you'd like to share material on the website, you can reach me (David) through the CONTACT page or the email icon at the bottom of every page.
These photos are linked to the respective pages. Just click or tap on them.
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport's terminal opened 40 years ago this morning. In honor of this occasion, and because overkill is sometimes a good thing, the ATL History section of the Sunshine Skies website has undergone a major update and expansion with 22 new pages and 292 additional images. Tap or click the Eastern advertisement to begin your journey.
Six new pages on the history of airline service at Chattanooga spanning nearly a century from 1928 to the present day. Over 130 images! While my intention for the website has been to focus on Florida and Georgia, I was sent such a wealth of great material that I couldn't let the opportunity pass. (Besides, CHA is only two and a half miles from the Georgia state line.) Thanks to Bill Peterson for prompting me to do this. The links for the individual pages are listed below.
Part 1: 1920s-1940s
Part 2: 1950s-1964
Part 3: 1964 Jet Age Terminal
Part 4: 1970s-1980s
Part 5: The old terminal in 1990
Part 6: The new terminal 1992-2000s
A new page about the history of airline service at Waycross, GA. Eastern Air Lines pioneered air service at this south Georgia city in 1948 and was followed by Air South in 1969 and Atlantis Airlines in 1983.
Loads of new material added this morning: 4 new Georgia airports, 6 new pages, 129 new images, 2 new videos! Vintage photos, old postcards, timetables, route maps, newspaper articles. Dig in and geek out.
Here are the links:
Albany, GA - History of Airline Service 1930s - 2020s
Atlanta PDK - History of Airline Service
Augusta, GA - Part 1: 1930s - 1960s
Augusta, GA - Part 2: 1970s - 1980s
Rome, GA - History of Airline Service
The history of airline service at Columbus, GA has been split into 2 pages. New material has been added to both.
Columbus, GA - Part 1: 1920s - 1970s
Columbus, GA - Part 2: 1980s - 2020s
New material has been added to the history of airline service at Columbus, GA including this early 1950s photo of Delta DC-3 ship 42, NC28342 (s/n 3279).
Commutaire International Airways operated shuttle flights between points in south Florida during their brief 4 month existence in 1976. New material has been added to the Commutaire page on the Sunshine Skies website including this beautiful photo of N856JA on the gravel ramp of the long closed Port Largo Airport in Key Largo.
Don Faber sent in a half dozen photos from a flight aboard an Aero Coach Cessna 402 between Ft. Lauderdale and North Eleuthera in 1989. Don asked if anyone can identify the pilot. "I’m sure he would appreciate the pic!" These and the other photos have been added to the website.
Lots of new material on the Panhandle Airways page including several photos and a timetable courtesy of former Panhandle pilot Tony Diez. Tony sent in this photo of DC-3 N4996E in action along with some shots of the airline's Beech 18s.
The latest news and additions to the Sunshine Skies website.