MUSEUM PHOTO OF THE WEEK

(Special note: It has come to our attention that the photo posted for the week of 7/3/17 was taken by Mr. Jack McClain. The photo we used is one of several copies in our archives that didn't carry this information. This sometimes happens with the large amount of material in our museum. We have updated the posting to give credit to Mr. McClain and apologize for the unintentional omission).

Each week, we'll post a new photo from our museum. It may be related to a future (or past) story, or we've posted it just because it's fun or interesting. Here's our photo for the week of 7/24/17:
Among the items in our archives' "promotional photos" drawer sits the above. That's the set of the Price Is Right television show, back in 1968. We assume Bob Barker was either doing a commercial spot for TWA or a trip on TWA was an item up for bid. In either case, TWA's "Foreign Accent Flights" promotion was on display, as the ladies were modeling the four associated flight attendant uniforms. The uniforms were made of paper and designed to be worn during the flight and then disposed of afterward. The paper uniforms proved to be troublesome and the promotion lasted barely a year. Interested to know more? Our blog article about TWA's flight attendants follows the chronology of uniforms worn and much more. CLICK HERE TO READ IT.




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PHOTOS FROM PREVIOUS WEEKS


Among the many historic passenger amenities we display, this one gets some grins. According to records in our archives, this "footie" slipper (we trust it was one of two) was given to TWA passengers starting in 1946. They were distributed on overnight flights, including those on which passengers were offered sleeping accommodations.
(posted week of 7/17/17)



Visitors often ask how our museum acquires our many pieces and artifacts. The answers vary, but this model of a TWA Convair 880 was recently left outside our door (by an anonymous donor) while the museum was closed. At 28" in length and having a 27" wingspan, it's a very impressive model. It's pictured in our workshop and will soon be repaired and renovated to be displayed. TWA flew 28 of these jets, mostly acquired in 1961. The Convair 880 and Boeing 707 flew concurrently for many years, comprising TWA's earliest jet fleet.
(posted week of 7/10/17)



TWA Museum archive photo by Jack McClain
On November 10-13, 1984, Kansas City received an unexpected visitor. As part of an extensive goodwill tour, the space shuttle Enterprise, piggy-backed on a NASA 747, was headed to California from New Orleans. Bad weather to the west forced it to divert to Kansas City International Airport. The unexpected three-day stopover captured Kansas City's attention and imagination! Parked at TWA's maintenance and overhaul base, TWA management seized the opportunity and positioned one of its own 747s, nose-to-nose. Word got around town quickly and thousands came up to the airport to see this amazing sight. The first space shuttle to be built, Enterprise never went into space, instead launched from atop a 747 for earth atmosphere gliding and landing tests. Enterprise resides today aboard the U.S.S. Intrepid museum, in New York City.
(posted week of 7/3/17)




With the advent of Lockheed Constellation services overseas, a need arose to be able to ferry replacement engines to points in Europe and southern Asia. In 1956, TWA purchased and modified a Fairchild C-82A for that purpose. The aircraft was based at Orly Field in Paris. To increase load carrying capability, a jet engine was affixed to the top, upgraded in 1962 to a 3,250-lb-thrust Westinghouse J-34. Affectionately known as "Ontos" (the Greek word meaning "thing"), TWA's "flying repair station" performed reliably, hauling numerous Constellation piston engines and Boeing 707 jet engines to TWA eastern hemisphere airports until its retirement in 1972.
(posted week of 6/26/17) 






In an attempt to gain a competitive edge, TWA offered "Blue Chip" service between New York and Chicago, starting in 1968. Part of the service included beer on tap. It was a good idea, but didn't quite make the grade. Handling and storage of the portable kegs presented some logistical problems and tapping the brew at cabin pressure produced more foam than beer. That feature of Blue Chip service didn't last long. The picture also gives us a peek at the special Blue Chip uniforms (on the right) worn by flight attendants. By the way, in 2016 Heineken claimed to have perfected the process, so there might be a cold one on tap in store for you on a future flight, somewhere. Interested in more information about Blue Chip service and the TWA flight attendants who provided it? Check out our blog article: Presenting The Case For TWA's Flight Attendants.
(posted week of 6/19/17)





Once upon a time, a complementary deck of playing cards was a perk available to every airline passenger. Airlines gave away millions of decks. Among our most unusual possessions are hundreds and hundreds of these items. In addition to those of TWA, we have decks representing many airlines around the world (past and present).
(posted week of 6/12/17)



You always knew when TWA's 727-231 N64347 was in town! Starting in 1996, it displayed a unique St. Louis Rams helmet graphic, in conjunction with TWA being the Rams' official airline. Naming rights were also obtained for their home field, the Trans World Dome. Acquired new by TWA in 1979, N64347's last revenue flight occurred in August, 1999. As for the Rams, after a 20-year residence in St. Louis, they moved back to Los Angeles in 2016. 
(posted week of 6/5/17)



TWA'S marketing folks found a unique way to announce the inauguration of Boeing 747 service from Chicago to Los Angeles, on May 14, 1970. Printed on a thin sponge, the image would literally expand when dipped in water. Nicely done!
(posted week of 5/29/17)



Only three month's after his historic Transatlantic crossing, Charles Lindbergh flew the Spirit of St. Louis to Kansas City to participate in the dedication of Kansas City's Municipal Airport on August 17, 1927.  A crowd estimated at 20,000 were on hand to greet him. Just four years later, TWA would build its headquarters building at the airport, which still stands today and houses the TWA Museum. The airport itself (Charles B.Wheeler Kansas City Airport - MKC) remains a busy place, seeing over 70,000 aircraft movements in 2016.
(posted week of 5/22/17)




Passengers traveling on Transcontinental Air Transport's 1929 plane/train coast-to-coast journey were given this map booklet to help them identify the cities and sights that appeared below. The map also pointed out the communications and weather observation networks, mostly built by TAT. In October 1930, TAT and Western Air Express combined to become TWA. Look for our next blog article coming soon, which will chronicle this historic journey. 
(posted week of 5/15/17)





Workers from Dimensional Innovations (a great company and great friends of our museum) affix the classic TWA "double-globe" logo to our museum's Lockheed JetStar II. Donated to our museum in July, 2016, it's actually a later version of the two JetStars TWA used for pilot training, back in the 1960s. The attachment of the logos is the first step in giving the plane its TWA identity. Sitting right next to the "Wings of Pride" MD-83, both aircraft are open to our visitors (weather and ramp conditions permitting). Also, a blog article about the JetStar and its history with TWA will be coming in the future.
(posted week of 5/8/17) 



Although this photo from our archives is 70 years old, the sight of TWA's Constellation NC86507, the "Star of Madrid" overhead still makes an awesome impression. This aircraft (a model 049) entered TWA service in March, 1946. TWA would eventually fly four model types of the Connie, finally retiring the last one in April, 1967.
(posted week of 5/1/17)



This image of TWA twin hostesses in 1956 created good publicity for TWA while they were "ambassadors" at the New York Summer Festival. They also charmed and confused passengers, when working the same flight. 
(posted week of 4/24/17)



We're guessing the pilot of the approaching Beech Hawker 800 did a double-take, as he saw eight members of the Patrouille de France poised for takeoff, waiting for him to land. The French jet squadron was in Kansas City on March 30, for the World War I centennial celebration. This scene took place at K.C.'s Downtown Airport, right by our museum. Interesting sights like this are often seen outside our doorway. 
(posted week of 4/17/17)


A seat from a Ford Tri-Motor (likely a 5-AT-B) circa 1929. Fist flown by Transcontinental Air Transport (TWA's predecessor), this was one of 10-13 seats on a typical Tri-Motor. Made of light-weight wicker, these seats were adorned with cushions and a rear slipcover. The museum was advised that this seat was occupied by Amelia Earhardt, during a flight she took on TAT. The world-famous aviatrix was employed by TAT from 1929-1930. Photos of Ms. Earhardt on and around TAT Tri-Motor aircraft are displayed near the seat.
(posted week of 4/10/17)


The Link bubble sextant was used by TWA navigators when the airline began Transatlantic service in 1946. It would eventually be replaced by a periscopic sextant. The need for a navigator in the cockpit was eliminated with the advent of more sophisticated guidance systems, beginning with TWA's usage of Doppler radar in 1962.
(posted week of 4/3/17)


At one time, TWA had options to purchase both the Boeing SST (foreground) and the Concorde SST. Neither happened as TWA withdrew its options for the Concorde in 1973 and Boeing would eventually abandon development of theirs.Want to know more? See our article about TWA and the SST at: http://twamuseumguides.blogspot.com/2016/07/twas-concorde-sst-plane-that-never-was.html
(posted week of 3/27/17)


An autographed menu from a meal served after the arrival of one of TWA's international "survey" flights at Shannon, Ireland on September 25,1945. Survey flights were performed in advance of TWA's passenger-carrying international flights (begun in 1946). This flight carried operations and technical personnel on a 14,000 mile journey, going as far as Cairo, Egypt. The flight took place on a converted Douglas C54E Skymaster. The autographs belonged to some of the TWA personnel on the flight. 
(posted week of 3/20/17)



Amenities kit, circa 1935! Given to passengers flying (what was then) Transcontinental and Western Airlines, some chewing gum often allowed passengers to better tolerate altitude changes, in the days before pressurized aircraft. 
(posted week of 3/13/17)



We visited our archives to come up with this photo from the "TWA Today" issue of July 17, 1972. A 747-131 is shown being serviced in one of TWA's two new wide-body hangars at its Kansas City overhaul base. A climb of three flights of scaffold stairs was necessary to get you close to the 31-foot high front of the aircraft. 
(posted week of 3/6/17) 



On a calm autumn afternoon, the Wings of Pride and our museum's Lockheed Jetstar II  shine in a Midwestern sunset.
(posted week of 2/27/17)


Recent visitors to Kansas City's Downtown Airport were a group of A-10 Thunderbolt jets from nearby Whiteman Air Force Base. Two were parked in TWA's historical first hangar (built in 1931). The hangar's entrance to our museum is seen in the background (you can spot part of our logo, just under the left engine, above the wing). Several of our visitors got the unexpected chance to view them, before the planes left.
(posted week of 2/20/17)




Let's eat! 1960s-era first class meal included fine china and complimentary cigarettes.
(week of 2/13/17)




The big guy is getting a face lift!  Look for a spruced-up interior and new inside lighting on our 1/24 scale 747 model when we re-open the museum on Feb 14.
(posted week of 2/6/17)


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