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January 14, 2018

>Guide's note: Judging from the number of views on last week's Musuem Photo of The Week, TWA's great Constellation aircraft still attracts a lot of attention. Here are a few comments we received: Facebook:

I loved my Connies! Continued to work on them even after first jet service came on line in 1959, I think it was. Slower flights = more hours logged! Lots of memories on board these planes.
Carol Carraro Greer
(on Facebook)
J'ai adoré l'avion,je le trouvais très élégant
Jean Louis Pieve
(on Facebook)

The 1649’s longest flight from LHR-SFO gate-to-gate time was 23:55!!!!!  It usually got in ahead of that according to retired Capt. Don Peters who flew it the one summer it operated.  That is the longest non-stop scheduled passenger flight in terms of gate-to-gate time.  
Jim Thompson
Columbus, OH

January 6, 2018

>Guide's note: Hearing from our two readers below reminds us that we are not alone in our affinity for TWA artifacts and memorabilia. There are some pretty interesting items out there! Both notes refer to recent postings of our Museum Photo of The Week. The first about TWA's introduction of service to Hong Kong in 1966 and the other, an historic photo of TWA Hostess Ruth Rhodes serving passengers aboard a DC-2:

A page from my 1966 scrapbook features the napkin and fortunes from fortune cookies we handed out on domestic flights to announce the new service to Hong Kong. "Confucius say "Lots of TWA delights on Hong Kong flights" - TWA now serves Hong Kong" and other messages were on the fortunes!
Saliann Nichols
(on Facebook)

That bullion wing on her hat would complete my TWA insignia display!
Charles Quarles
(on Facebook)

December 20, 2017

>Guide's note: Our Museum Photo of the Week featuring TWA's Convair 880 (posted the week of 11/27/17) prompted retired TWA Captain Richard Ruff to share his memories of first being hired by TWA as a co-pilot on the Convair. Thank you for sharing this with us, Richard.

The Convair 880 story brings back memories.  I was hired in the Pilot Training Class of Sep. 13, 1965.  In those days TWA hired to fill whatever shortage of pilots or flight engineers they thought would be needed in the near future. (In the piston engine days, the larger planes used professional flight engineers.  When jets came in, they still had most of the manual systems that required a third person in the cockpit.  Pilots wanted that third person to be a pilot , and the flight engineers wanted to keep their jobs.  A compromise was reached.  FEs would undergo pilot training paid for by TWA.  Those who wanted to remain FEs could do so, and those who wanted to be pilots could go on the pilots seniority list ahead of newly hired pilots, but there was a catch.  Pilots had to be capable of becoming captains.  If you couldn’t make the grade, you would be looking for a new job the next day.  Some remained engineers, and some chose to become pilots). 
Not all the professional flight engineers who wanted to become pilots had completed the switch in September 1965.  The newly hired people were hired to be pilots, but the third seat had become the entry.  NONE of the new hires wanted to be a flight engineer, and the least desired FE position was the Constellation.  When we walked in the door, we all waited with baited breath to hear our fate.  Our class heard, “We are not sure yet, but we think you are going to be 880 co-pilots: we will announce it after lunch.”  We were one ecstatic class of new hires.  Lunch came and went.  We walked back in the training center to hear: “We just crashed your training airplane”.  (In those days, you had to do ‘engine out’ training in a plane; simulators weren’t good enough yet.) Try to imagine the rush of air as we all simultaneously said, “Oh - - - -“.  (Luckily everyone walked, [or ran] safely away from the crash.)  Then we were told that they would try to figure out what to do with us, and they hoped to have an answer ‘tomorrow’.  Since pilots are trained to plan on the ‘worst’, we all thought:  “Connie engineer training, here we come.”  Well, it worked out for us, and we ended up being trained as 880 co-pilots.
There was another interesting fact for late ‘65 pilot hires.  Some of you may remember that TWA became a very stagnant airline in terms of pilot personnel.  Bigger planes meant more passengers, flight attendents, and ground personnel, but the same number of pilots.  Basically it got just so big, then retracted a bit, and that’s where we stayed for many years.  The late ‘65 hires became fairly senior first officers, and then just stayed there.  It was 19 years before the first captain slots began to open up at the most junior domiciles, but it was even slower for people hired later.  A good friend of mine was hired almost exactly one year after I was.  He ‘rode side saddle’, (vernacular for the flight engineer position) for 15 years before getting in the first officer seat, and then more years before becoming a captain.

Best to all,
Richard Ruff 
TWA Pilot 1965-1992
San Francisco Bay Area, CA


December 10, 2017

>Guide's note: Our recent photo of the week posting of a set of the old "pneumatic headsets" prompted comments from former TWA passengers who remember using them and former TWA flight attendants who remember distributing them. One comment/photo posted on Facebook really made us smile. 

Young pax enjoying the headphones (and Ambassador magazine) Feb '75.
Saliann Nichols
(on Facebook)


December 3, 2017

>Guide's note: It turns out our recent posting of TWA's Convair 880 as our photo of the week struck a chord with many of our readers. Here are a couple of comments: 

Boy those Convair birds were fast.
Peter A. Moscovita
(on Facebook)

I flew the Convair 880, a few times, all I remember was opening the door was a hernia-producing effort!
Mary Jo Deram Wisely
(on Facebook)


November 15, 2017

>Guide's note: Our recent photo of the week showing TWA's first 747s being prepared for delivery drew many comments. Most revealed the widespread affection shared for this great airplane. A few told of personal relationships regarding the 747. Here are some (received on Facebook):

My Father wrote, managed and directed all the maintenance and long range planning for the 747 .. years before the first 747 was delivered to TWA
John Beck

My Dad, Gail Storck, was the Test, Acceptance and Delivery pilot for TWA at Boeing. He was such an awesome man and super pilot. We used to fly on deliveries. He "flew the line" until October 16, 1971~~~his 60th birthday and retirement.
Denise Storck Troyer

My father was a maintenance inspector and we lived in Seattle from 1969 to 1971. We were lucky enough to fly back to Kansas City on one of the delivery flights.
Danny Gonner


November 3, 2017

>Guide's note: Reactions to our photo of the premiere of TWA's 1995 aircraft paint scheme (our recent photo of the week) were quite positive. It clearly shows TWA made a good choice! Here are just some of the comments, all received on Facebook:

I don’t know why some people hate this livery. It was the best or at least a close second to the double Globe livery.
Justin Van Marrum

Best paint job in the industry.
Ray Randall

Such a beautiful plane!
Eric Earll


October 20, 2017

And here they are, Hughes and Frye, after piloting the historic flight, the first non-stop transcontinental flight, Burbank-Washington on April 17, 1944
Image may contain: 3 people

Gary Smedile
On Facebook

>Guide's note: Thanks, Gary. The first non-stop transcon flight on the Connie was the subject of our recent Museum Photo of The Week. We showed an image of the original navigator's log. If you haven't seen it yet, click here to see our Museum Photo of The Week 


October 15, 2017

>Guide's note: Our posting of the picture of Captain John Testrake in the cockpit of hijacked flight 847 drew the largest amount of comments and number of views of any photo we've ever put on our blog. It's no wonder why. It was difficult to choose among the dozens comments received, but we selected a few that we think are representative of many. We also are forwarding all the comments received to John's widow, Phyllis.

It seems the label "Hero" is used on just about everyone these days, but Captain Testrake genuinely was. R.I.P.

Fabian Marson
On Facebook


 I remember this so well. John was a very nice gentle person. His actions saved a lot of people. May he Rest In Peace 
Beatrice Friswold
On Facebook


 Had Uli once as a FA on my flight, there was no doubt who was in charge in the cabin. She was the best of the best.

Ray Randall
On Facebook


October 8, 2017

Many of us discovered it was no piece of cake to pull yourself into the raft from the water below.

Jerry Warkans
On Facebook


 I remember this pool and training exercises so well!

Beatrice Friswold
On Facebook

>Guide's note: We were happy to get so many comments about our photo of "ditching" training at the Breech Academy, back in 1979. In terms of the number of views counted, it was one of the most popular photo postings ever! We'll try to keep bringing you interesting and meaningful photos from the museum, each week. If you haven't been to the page lately, click here to see our Museum Photo of The Week


October 1, 2017

Without even looking at the answer, I'm going to guess that they were part of the floor tile use in the TWA Terminal at Idlewild/JFK.

Jim Thompson
Columbus, OH


My base, I walked those halls so many times.

Jane Keaton Niedermyer
On Facebook

>Guide's note: Many people correctly identified our museum's bucket of "penny tiles" as those that were used for the interior of TWA's Flight Center at JFK Airport.  We really enjoyed sharing that photo with all of you and of telling you a bit about the terminal and its new role as the TWA Hotel.


September 13, 2017

So cool - knew the history but to see a photo is amazing.

David Braswell
On Facebook 


Nice pic, thanks for sharing.

James Carolan
On Facebook 

>Guide's note: Thanks. The picture of TWA's Maintenance and Overhaul base occupying a rural area (before Kansas City International Airport was built next to it) has attracted many views and comments. It's one of many interesting photos on our "Museum Photo of The Week" page. 
Click here to go to view this picture and many others


August 7, 2017

I so enjoyed reading both parts of the article. My husband, Van H. Thompson, was a TWA flight engineer for 40 years - 1945-1985. He loved showing me and our sons our country and some of our favorite parts were in the west described in the second part of your article. Our older son now practices medicine in Kansas City and it's like going home when I visit. Thank you for doing all the research for the article.

Jean E. Thompson
Hilton Head Island, SC  

>Guide's note: Thank you so much Jean. We're glad you enjoyed it. We also hope you'll come by and say hello the next time you're here in Kansas City.


July 9, 2017

I'm not sure if you have been to the Smithsonian... I received this picture from Judy Gerling.
Makes me feel so proud to think "our" beautiful TWA is in the Smithsonian...
And it's a crying shame our beautiful TWA is not still soaring in the skies...
"Those were the days my friends, I thought they'd never end."

Mary Connelly
Poulsbo, WA

>Guide's note: The photo, taken by Judy Gerling's son, shows the entrance to the Jet History Corner, at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC. Judy is a former TWA flight attendant who has quite a family connection with TWA. Her husband, two brothers-in-law and father-in-law were all TWA pilots!  Mary Connelly worked in several areas at TWA's Kansas City's Administrative Center, also spending some time at Worldspan, TWA's IT subsidiary.


June 27, 2017

Great historical article!  I can't wait for part 2.  I'm still flying as a F/A for AA now, and I guess I'll quit moaning about the occasional 4 leg day here since hearing of the ultra-long five legs from Columbus to Oklahoma...

Bill Bowman
St. Louis, MO

>Guide's note: Bill is referring to Part I of our "Coast-to-Coast" article about the 1929 train/rail journey on TAT, one of TWA's predecessors. If you haven't read it yet, take a look and you'll certainly see what Bill means! 


June 12, 2017

Great Article about TAT 48 Hour Coast to Coast Service. In 1979, TWA sponsored a 50th anniversary airshow in Columbus, Ohio. I served on the board with TWA Captain Don Peters. A TWA 727 was on static display, a Curtiss Jennie and Ford Tri-Motor were there. Bob Hoover with his Aero Commander were part of the show. It was a great venue for TWA. TWA was the premier airline operating in CMH. It was also my pleasure to work with so many of the mechanics throughout Kansas City and the Ohio Valley that contributed to on time performance and airline safety.

Joe Pollock
Overland Park, KS

>Guide's note: Now retired, Joe had an impressive career with TWA. Among his positions were A&P mechanic, lead mechanic, maintenance foreman and manager. In addition to Columbus, Joe worked for TWA in St. Louis, Indianapolis and Kansas City. 
Click here to see the blog article Joe is referring to


June 5, 2017

We recently were in New York returning from a cruise to Quebec City and back. While at LaGuardia Airport, I looked out the window and this is what I saw.  Thought for moment that TWA had arisen from the dead.  As it turns out, the new American Airlines has painted several aircraft in the livery of the airlines that were acquired or merged to form the new American Airlines.  These included TWA, US Airways, Piedmont, AirCal, Reno Air, Bonanza Airlines, Pacific Airlines and others.  Though only for a moment, it was great to see TWA taxiing about at LGA.

Jim Stott,
Kent, WA

>Guide's note: Jim flew for TWA for 25 years. After his retirement, he received his law degree from Pepperdine Univesity and worked as a federal mediator. He also later served as an adjunct professor at Pepperdine Law School. A writer of several pieces in aviation interest publications, Jim is also a pretty fair photographer, as can be seen above. Oh... and he's a lecturer and guide at the Boeing Museum of Flight in Seattle. Good work, Jim!
(we also encourage you to click on the picture to get a good look at the plane's details!) 


May 27, 2017 (on Twitter)

747 from ORD-LAX? Yes, please.

Jillian MacDonnald

>Guide's note: Jillian's wishful thinking was inspired by this week's museum photo, which shows the unique marketing of TWA's Chicago-Los Angeles 747 service in May 1970.
Go to our Museum Photo of the Week page

May 10, 2017 (on Twitter)

I saw her last Saturday, and she looked super sharp along with her ramp neighbor.


>Guide's note: Ashley is referring to our museum's Lockheed JetStar II, which sits next to TWA's Wings of Pride MD-83, at our museum. It's this week's museum photo of the week. See it and all our other weekly photos by clicking below. And, thanks for stopping by Ashley.
Go to our Museum Photo of the Week page

April 12, 2017

Concerning maintenance of the fuel control on this aircraft (the L-1011), it was a two part (air and hydraulic)
unit with very close tolerances, some measured with light bands. Challenging indeed.

Respectfully and Best Wishes,
John Johnson, 
Camden Point, MO

>Guide's note: John is a retired aircraft maintenance technician, having worked for TWA and American, 1967-2003. 

April 10, 2017

An impressive article. Glad I could make a small contribution to it. I'm proud to have an L-1011 type rating.

Mark L. Berry,
St. Louis, MO

>Guide's note: In addition to being a professional pilot (formerly with TWA and now American), Captain Berry is an accomplished author and airline publication editor. Visit his website and blog at www.marklberry.com.  


April 6, 2017

Congratulations for your blog and your care for the TWA uniforms.
You might be surprised that overseas people keep the TWA spirit as well. I have gathered several uniforms to remember my flights with TWA in the eighties.
The last acquisition was this Elisa Daggs' Manhattan paper dress found in the UK.
Visit us at www.airline-angels.be/twa.html

Kind regards.
Baudouin Leruitte, 
Brusssels, Belgium

>Guide's note: Baudouin's collection is amazing, containing uniforms from over fifty airlines around the world. After seeing Baudouin's TWA uniform collection, don't forget to visit his home page to take a tour of the entire collection.


April 4, 2017 (on Twitter)

Hang in there, @TWAMuseum !

Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum (@EvergreenMuseum)
McMinnville, OR

>Guide's note: The Evergreen Museum is one of the premier aviation and space museums in the country. Their impressive collection includes over 150 aircraft/spacecraft items including the "Spruce Goose" aircraft, built by Howard Hughes. www.evergreenmusem.org.
(click here to read our blog post being referred to)

Feb 28, 2017

Just checking out the TWA Museum blog and enjoyed the article on the TWA history and uniforms. Here's a photo of me in my AA uniform with the B737-800 "tribute" plane in vintage TWA livery parked at MSP about three weeks after it first appeared on AA's system.I think that AA has about 10 of the tribute planes featuring airlines that were acquired over the years by AA.It is always exciting to former TWA employees to spot the TWA plane taxiing in!


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