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New airlines are mailing national headlines
The Civil Aeronautics Board has approved
the proposed merger of Republic Airlines and
Hughes Air West. Republic, a recent product of
the Board’s generally favorable policy toward
mergers, was created by the union of North
Central Airlines and Southern Airways.
The Republic merger with Air West will
create the country’s 11th largest carrier in terms
of revenue passenger miles. Presidential approval
was not required because there won’t be a formal
transfer of route certificates. Hughes Air West
will become a subsidiary airline, named Republic
New shuttles to start soon
Hourly helicopter shuttle service between the
Kennedy, LaGuardia and Newark airports in
New York may start soon. The flights will be
operated with twin-engine, six-passenger Agusta
i-iaii of Fame inducts
Piedmont’s T. H. Davis
Piedmont President and Founder Thomas H.
Davis was inducted into the Virginia Aviation
Hall of Fame in August.
Davis is the first out-of-state winner of the
award. The Hall of Fame was established in
1978 and is administered by the Virginia Aero
nautical Historical Society.
According to Ray Tyson, secretary of the Soci
ety, the group tries to honor people in two categor
ies. He said, “We look for those Virginians who
have made significant contributions to aviation
in general, and those persons who have made
significant contributions to aviation in Virginia.”
Other inductees at this year’s ceremonies in
FVedericksburg included Ivor Massey of Rich
mond, Dr. Richard Whitcomb of Hampton and
State Senator Charles Colgan of Manassas.
In accepting his award Davis said, “Virginia
has always been very important to Piedmont.
Our airline serves more cities and passengers
per year in Virginia than any other carrier.
Piedmont began service in Virginia in 1948. We
also have more general aviation operations in
Virginia than any other company. In addition,
Virginia is home to more Piedmont stockholders
than any state except North Carolina, which is
our headquarters. We’re not only glad to have
contributed to aviation in Virginia but most
grateful for this honor you’ve accorded us.”
Massey is credited with being a major factor
in the creation of the Virginia Air National
Guard in 1947 and a continuing dominant force
in Virginia aviation.
Dr. Whitcomb, recently retired as head of
the Transonic Aerodynamics Branch at NASA’s
Langley Research Center, developed two revolu
tionary principles which have changed the course
of aviation history. The first was an aeronauti
cal concept known as Area Rule which made
supersonic flight possible just after the sound
barrier first was broken. The inventor scientist
also came up with the supercritical wing for
planes that fly at subsonic speeds.
Senator Colgan, owner and operator of Colgan
Airways, was selected for the Hall of Fame
because of his outstanding support for aviation
legislation and for championing the cause of
aviation in Virginia.
New general aviation officers named
(continued from page one)
1977 Culler received Beechcraft’s Frank E.
Hedrick Award for Excellence in service opera
tion management. Mrs. Culler is the former
Elizabeth Hayes. They have five children and
Gardner joined Piedmont in 1974 as general
manager of Piedmont Piper Sales. Previously
he was manager of dealer development for the
Piper Aircraft Corporation.
A graduate of Washington and Jefferson
College in Washington, Pennsylvania, Gardner
also attended Duquesne University Law School.
He is a licensed commercial pilot, who also
holds multi-engine and instrument ratings. He
is married to the former Mary Ann Lamberson.
They have a son and a daughter.
109 helicopters. The helicopter shuttle flights
will be offered by a company called New York
Air which has no connection with the New York
Air that will start jetliner shuttle flights between
LaGuardia and Washington National on Decem
The latter New York Air is a subsidiary of
Texas Air Corp., the recently formed parent
holding company of Texas International Airlines.
The CAB has tentatively granted a certificate to
the Texas Air subsidiary which was founded to
compete in the New York-Washington shuttle
market. The New York Daily News reported
that New York Air would hold auditions for
jobs with the new carrier. They expected 5000
try-outs for the 100 openings for agents and
flight attendants. The company requested the
atrical type hopefuls who were to be given only
one minute each to “sell” their personalities and
reasons for wanting a career aloft. Ted Hook of
Backstage restaurant and the Onstage cabaret
was to be one of the judges.
The CAB also decided it should issue a cer
tificate to People Express Inc., for operation of
a new Newark-based airline. People Express
was founded this past spring by a group of
former Texas International executives. Donald
Burr, former president of TXI, is chairman;
and Gerald Gitner is president and chief oper
ating officer. He was senior vice president of
TXI. People Express said it plans to offer high
frequency, lower priced service between Newark
and several eastern cities with either DC-9s or
In late September Western and Continental
airlines filed with the CAB asking approval of
their merger plans. It marked the second time
in as many years that the Los Angeles-based
companies sought to consolidate their opera
tions. Citing possible antitrust problems the
Board rejected their first application 14 months
ago. The companies say they expect approval
this time because of the increased competition
in the industry in the past year resulting from
deregulation. The companies announced their
intent to merge into a new company to be called
the Western and Continental Transportation
It’s a napping traveller’s dream
According to the Journal of Commerce there
is a new product coming out that will turn long
airport layovers from nightmares into sweet
A Salt Lake City firm, Sleep-a-Matic, is busily
producing a new device to accompany the tele
vision chairs familiar to most air travellers. The
sleepers resemble a lounge chair with a formica
hood that offers weary air travelers privacy and
quiet in chaotic terminals.
The response to the invention has been over
whelming. The firm is installing 10 sleepers at
New York’s JFK airport, and is working to fill
orders from about 50 airports across the nation.
When not in use, the bottom of the chair is
folded up, giving the contraption the look of a
slightly-square egg. The customer inserts a
quarter for each 15 minutes of desired sleeping
time. The chair automatically uncurls and the
drowsy traveller crawls onto a 6-foot-long pad.
At the end of the allotted time, a high-pitched
tone sounds in the head booth. Once the bed is
vacated, the pad returns to its upright position.
Another advantage in addition to comfort
and privacy is safety. Belongings such as brief
cases and handbags can be placed in the head
rest area of the “egg”, out of reach of all but the
Icelandic government offers help
The air fare war over the North Atlantic has
dealt a severe blow to Iceland’s national pride
and economy. Until the government offered to
buy a bigger share of Icelandair the company
was faced with dropping its transatlantic route.
The airline once carried 300,000 passengers a
year or 5 percent of the business between
Luxembourg and New York and Chicago.
The fare wars go back to the mid-1970s and
the introduction of the Skytrain service by
Britain’s Sir Freddie Laker. Since then the major
airlines have also cut rates to get business.
Before Laker, Icelandair, founded as Loftliedr
after World War II by young pilots flying war
time Skymasters and later cast-off Cloudmasters
from Pan American and SAS, offered fares 30
percent below standard fares charged by major
Loftliedr bypassed air traffic treaties by
staying out of the International Air Traffic
Association (lATA) and by using Luxembourg
as its European base.
American students made it their carrier for
summers abroad, and in Europe Greeks, Italians,
Germans, Frenchmen and Dutchmen flocked to
Luxembourg to use the airline, which once ran
as many as 25 flights a week each way.
The airline made a stopover at Keflavik Air
port resulting in a tourist boom in Iceland.
Travelers who would never have thought of going
to Iceland stopped over for a day or a week to
see the geysers and volcanoes or to fish for
salmon. Hotels and restaurants sprang up.
The government will increase ownership in
the airline from 6 percent to 20 percent which
the carrier hopes will allow it to fly the Atlantic
for at least another three years.
There’s less water In the air
The airlines are going to great lengths to
save fuel. As an example, Japan Air Lines
reduced the weight of each of its wide-bodied
747s by 90 pounds by switching to a lower-
density exterior paint. With lesser reductions on
smaller planes, the step was expected to save
the airline 800,000 gallons of fuel yearly.
Aboard its 747s, Lufthansa German Airlines
has begun rationing water. The line has re
moved one of three water tanks and has
installed a system that automatically adjusts
the water volume according to the number of
passengers, reducing the water volume by as
much as a metric ton a flight.
Company officials say they saved $1 million
in fuel costs by carrying less water last year
and expect additional savings of $1.5 million in
1980 as they fine-tune the system.
747 to have bigger bulge
A version of the Boeing 747 jetliner, which
allows about 44 additional passengers and extends
by 23 feet the aircraft’s signature bulge atop its
forward section, has been unveiled by the Boeing
Commercial Airplane Co. Current versions of
the plane carry about 462 passengers.
The 747 SUD (for “Stretched Upper Deck”)
will have 37 of the additional passenger seats in
its upper deck, and seven downstairs by replace
ment of the jet’s circular stairway with a
straight one, Boeing said.
The increased passenger payload was designed
to help offset increased fuel prices and other costs.
The stretched upper deck will be an optional
feature and won’t be standard with the 747.
Half of name jettisoned
British Airways has dropped the word
“Airways” from its logotype to give its planes “a
bold new look.”
From now on, only the word “British” will
appear on the state-owned carrier’s planes,
airport transport and tickets.
“In this one word, we express our own con
fidence that in this field, British is best — and
that we are the best of British,” Roy Watts, the
airline’s chief executive officer, said.
Nonetheless, a spokesman emphasized that
the company isn’t changing its name — just its
image. “We are still British Airways,” he said,
adding that the full name would still be used in
advertising and billboards.
Piedmont Aviation, Inc.
Betsy Allen, Editor
Smith Reynolds Airport
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
BIRUOE EDITOR/ J