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Don Boyd | profile | all galleries >> Memories of Old Hialeah, Old Miami and Old South Florida Photo Galleries - largest non-Facebook collection on the internet >> Miami and Florida AVIATION Historical Photos Gallery - Airports, Airlines, Aircraft - All Years - click on image to view >> Historical National Air Lines and National Airlines Photo Gallery - click on image to enter tree view | thumbnails | slideshow | map

Historical National Air Lines and National Airlines Photo Gallery - click on image to enter

National Air Lines (later Airlines) began at Albert Whitted Airport (SPG) in St. Petersburg, Florida, in 1934 with the award of a 142-mile mail route between St. Petersburg and Daytona Beach, via Tampa, Lakeland and Orlando. Air service over the route was inaugurated on October 15, 1934. The fleet consisted of two second-hand Ryan aircraft. The airline had five employees, including the president and founder, George T. Baker.

On July 8, 1937, the company was chartered under the laws of the State of Florida as National Airlines, Inc. Routes were extended to Jacksonville and to Miami in that year and from Jacksonville to New Orleans in 1938. The company relocated its general offices and principal base of operations to Jacksonville in 1939.

During World War II the carrier operated a portion of its fleet for the Air Transport Command and operated Air Corps contract schools for pilots, mechanics, radio operators and navigators. In 1944 National became a major airline with the award of the New York-Florida route. On February 14, 1946, National inaugurated with DC-4s the first non-stop service between Miami and New York and the first four-engine commercial flights between the two cities.

National was certified into Havana, Cuba, in 1946 and was awarded a new route from Miami and Tampa to New Orleans in the same year. in mid-June 1946, National moved its General Office to Miami and four years later moved its engine overhaul base to Miami from Jacksonville.

In 1947 National received permission to inaugurate the so-called "Great Circle" route over water between Miami and New York, and reduced the flying time from five to four hours. National pioneered in 1950 on the East Coast with low night coach and excursion fares to Florida, and with a Florida summer vacation program that contributed to creating a year-round operation for the state's tourist industry. On January 1, 1952, National became free of subsidy and was placed on a mail service rate that made it self-sufficient over its entire system. The first non-stop service from New York to Havana occurred in 1953. In 1956 the National system was extended to Houston and to Boston.

National leased Boeing 707 jets from Pan American World Airways to become the first domestic operator of jets in the United States and the first domestic jet service in the USA. The flight was operated with B707 N710PA, departing Idlewild at 0930 on December 10, 1958 and arriving at Miami International Airport. The following is from an article in Time Magazine, December 8, 1958:

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Jets to the South
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,864548,00.html

Monday, Dec. 08, 1958: One of the few U.S. airlines climbing out of the labor fog last week was National Airlines, whose routes stretch along the Atlantic Coast to Florida. On Dec. 10 National will inaugurate the first domestic jet airliner service with daily flights on the rich New York-Miami run. Using 600-m.p.h. Boeing 707s under a complicated lease-stock deal with Pan American, which already flies jets across the Atlantic, National will make the 1,100-mile run in 2 hr. 15 min. To make sure that it can fly jets, National signed contracts with its pilots, flight engineers and mechanics running into 1960. National is paying well to be the first domestic jet operator. Plans call for three 707s under lease around the first of the year, each one costing an estimated $216,000 per month to operate and maintain. To sweeten the kitty. National has also agreed to a stock exchange that, if CAB approves, will eventually give Pan Am a big voice in its affairs. In a $16 million swap, the two lines will exchange 400,000 shares of stock, and Pan Am will get a two-year option to buy another 250,000 shares of National stock at $22.50 per share. The effect would be to give National a minor (6%) interest in Pan American, while Pan Am could gain 36% of National if it exercises its option.

For National and President George T. Baker, who owns 17% of the line's stock, the deal is almost a must. Competing with Eastern Air Lines along most of its route, National has been hitting bumpier and bumpier weather, is operating a load factor of 52% v. a break-even point of 54%. In the twelve months ended Sept. 30, the line lost $748,944; the year before it had a net profit of $2,484,369. National's main hope is new equipment to attract more passengers; it has orders for three Douglas DC-8 pure jets, another 23 turboprop Lockheed Electras. But its place on the production line is so far back that it will not get the first 400-m.p.h. Electras until six months after competitor Eastern puts the same plane into service; the DC-8s will not arrive until 1960, about the same time as Eastern's.
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On March 11, 1961, National's system was expanded with the award of the Southern Transcontinental Route. The route extended the carrier from Houston to Los Angeles and to San Diego, and from Houston to San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose via Las Vegas. Havana service was suspended indefinitely in 1961, after the United States and Cuba broke off diplomatic relations.

Lewis B. "Bud" Maytag, who resigned as president of Frontier Airlines in March 1962, purchased controlling interest in National on April 26, 1962. Mr. Maytag was elected president and chief executive officer on that date. Dudley Swim, of Carmel, California, was elected chairman on September 12, 1962.

National in 1964 became the first exclusively jet-powered U. S. airline. In 1967 and 1968 the airline doubled its jet fleet and phased out all prop-jet aircraft. On April 21, 1968, the last of the prop-jet electras was retired and National became all pure-jet with a fleet of DC-8s and B-727s.

Miami's first Boeing 747 service was inaugurated by National on October 2, 1970, with daily nonstop flights between Miami and New York. The second of the 352-passenger B747s went into nonstop operation between Miami and Los Angeles on October 25, 1970. The B747s (N77772 and N77773) were sold in 1976 to Northwest Airlines.

After exhaustive study of second-generation wide-cabin jets, National selected McDonnell-Douglas DC-10's as the finest, most economical and most adaptable to its route system. In 1969 the company ordered nine DC-10s, and in 1971 ordered two intercontinental versions DC10-30s. Four additional DC-10s were ordered in January 1973. The first DC-10 service between New York and Miami, Palm Beach and Tampa was introduced by National on December 15, 1971. Service expanded as additional new jets joined the fleet.

Ground was broken in 1968 for a $45 million expansion program by the Dade County Port Authority for National Airlines at Miami International Airport. The project was completed in 1973.

A $17 million IBM electronic computer reservation system, called Res-A Vision, was completed and put into operation in 1970. The communications network enables National reservations agents throughout the carrier's system to exchange information immediately with two computers in the Miami headquarters. The system allows passengers to make reservations with a minimum of delay and error.

National became the third U. S. transatlantic passenger carrier on June 16, 1970, with the inauguration of daily nonstop round-trip service between Miami and London. This transatlantic route has proved appealing to passengers who wish to avoid the congested gateways and inclement weather of northern airports. Service with the intercontinental DC10-30s was inaugurated on the route in the fall of 1973.

Dudley Swim, Chairman of the board, died in Carmel, California, on January 31, 1972. Mr. Maytag was elected chairman on February 11, 1972. E. F. Dolansky, formerly executive vice president, was appointed president and chief operating officer on December 7, 1976. Mr. Maytag retained the title of chairman and chief executive officer.

National's European horizons were further expanded June 22, 1977, when the airline inaugurated Miami-Paris nonstop service with DC10-30 aircraft. National provided the only U. S. flag airline service to Paris from the South. In May 1978 the airline introduced nonstop flights between Florida and Frankfurt and Amsterdam. New York to Amsterdam service was inaugurated in December 1978.

National also extended its route system in 1979 by adding service between Miami and San Juan, and to Seattle from Houston and Los Angeles.

National's success was its downfall, as all of its aircraft and equipment was paid for. A bidding war between Texas Air Corporation, Pan Am and Eastern Airlines began over the takeover of National's system. Pan American World Airways "won" the bidding war, won the CAB's approval for the merger on October 24, 1979, the President approved it afterwards and the merger was effective on January 19, 1980. Pan Am quickly dropped numerous long-standing National routes to smaller cities and operated the combined airline poorly. Eleven years later Pan Am died despite wage givebacks and cuts by employee groups trying to save the airline.

We also have more National Airlines photos on display at http://www.pbase.com/airlinerphotos/35mm_nationalairlines and a gallery of L. B. Maytag photos at: http://www.pbase.com/airlinerphotos/lbmaytag

National videos on the internet:
A National TV commercial for "Miami Go-Go" from the 60's can be viewed at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s23T-2HiKAc
Commercial: "You are a National Priority": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cpaaCvljl-o&feature=related
Montage of National photos, including mine: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cpaaCvljl-o&feature=related
Fly Maggie commercial: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pA10Q5YefQQ&feature=related

Former National and Pan Am employees are invited to join a new National/Pan Am Alumni website at http://panamnationalalumni.ning.com/

1940 - Kenneth J. Boedecker, George T. Baker and Normal Lee with National Air Lines Lockheed Lodestar
1940 - Kenneth J. Boedecker, George T. Baker and Normal Lee with National Air Lines Lockheed Lodestar
1940's - National Air Lines Ft. Myers Station Staff
1940's - National Air Lines Ft. Myers Station Staff
1940's - National Air Lines Lockheed Lodestar
1940's - National Air Lines Lockheed Lodestar
1944 - inaugural Key West to Havana flight by National Airlines
1944 - inaugural Key West to Havana flight by National Airlines
1947 - Lady selling Coca Cola at the National Airlines terminal in Jacksonville, FL
1947 - Lady selling Coca Cola at the National Airlines terminal in Jacksonville, FL
1947 - June Knight christening National Airlines DC-6
1947 - June Knight christening National Airlines DC-6
1947 - Flight crew group with National Airlines aircraft at Tallahassee, FL
1947 - Flight crew group with National Airlines aircraft at Tallahassee, FL
1947 - National Airlines DC-6 being serviced at Tallahassee Airport, FL
1947 - National Airlines DC-6 being serviced at Tallahassee Airport, FL
1948 - ad for National Airlines promoting their DC-6's and DC-4's to New York, Washington, Havana, Tampa, etc.
1948 - ad for National Airlines promoting their DC-6's and DC-4's to New York, Washington, Havana, Tampa, etc.
Late 1940's - a National flight crew with the caption that reads: Joe Baily Joe Martin
Late 1940's - a National flight crew with the caption that reads: "Joe Baily Joe Martin"
1950 - National Air Lines DC-6 crossing LeJeune Road from the NAL Maintenance Base
1950 - National Air Lines DC-6 crossing LeJeune Road from the NAL Maintenance Base
1951 - National Airlines President George T. Baker, American's VP-Sales R. S. Deichler and Delta's President C. E. Woolman
1951 - National Airlines President George T. Baker, American's VP-Sales R. S. Deichler and Delta's President C. E. Woolman
1951 - National Airlines DC-6 N90898 (C/n 43218/171) alongside Capital, American and a Colonial Airlines DC-4
1951 - National Airlines DC-6 N90898 (C/n 43218/171) alongside Capital, American and a Colonial Airlines DC-4
Early 1950's - a fueler servicing the oil on a National DC-6B
Early 1950's - a fueler servicing the oil on a National DC-6B
Early 1950's - a National DC-6B climbing out from Miami is the caption on the photo
Early 1950's - a National DC-6B "climbing out from Miami" is the caption on the photo
Early 1950's - the National Airlines Headquarters building east of LeJeune Road at MIA
Early 1950's - the National Airlines Headquarters building east of LeJeune Road at MIA
Early 1950's - Architectural drawing of National Airlines General Office building complex at Miami
Early 1950's - Architectural drawing of National Airlines General Office building complex at Miami
1952 - First National Airlines DC-6B inaugural flight from Santa Monica to Miami
1952 - First National Airlines DC-6B inaugural flight from Santa Monica to Miami
1952 - National Airlines DC-6B
1952 - National Airlines DC-6B
1953 - Ground breaking ceremony for a new National Airlines maintenance and overhaul facility at Miami International Airport
1953 - Ground breaking ceremony for a new National Airlines maintenance and overhaul facility at Miami International Airport
1954 - full size version of the 3rd shift maintenance crew with a new National DC-7 that set a transcontinental speed record
1954 - full size version of the 3rd shift maintenance crew with a new National DC-7 that set a transcontinental speed record
1954 - closeup version of the 3rd shift maintenance crew with a new National DC-7 that set a transcontinental speed record
1954 - closeup version of the 3rd shift maintenance crew with a new National DC-7 that set a transcontinental speed record
1955 - National Airlines billboard in Miami advertising new DC-7 Star service to New York, Washington and Havana
1955 - National Airlines billboard in Miami advertising new DC-7 Star service to New York, Washington and Havana
1955 - ad for National Airlines DC-7 Star service to Havana, Cuba
1955 - ad for National Airlines DC-7 Star service to Havana, Cuba
1950's - National Airlines advertisement for service to Havana, Cuba
1950's - National Airlines advertisement for service to Havana, Cuba
1957 - new Douglas DC-7B N6201B inflight for National Airlines
1957 - new Douglas DC-7B N6201B inflight for National Airlines
1950's or early 1960's - National Airlines newspaper advertisement for stewardesses
1950's or early 1960's - National Airlines newspaper advertisement for stewardesses
1960 - ad for National Airlines B707 and DC-8B service from Miami
1960 - ad for National Airlines B707 and DC-8B service from Miami
1961 - National DC-7B's and L-188 Electras on Concourse 3 at Miami International Airport
1961 - National DC-7B's and L-188 Electras on Concourse 3 at Miami International Airport
1962 - first interview with 36-year old Lewis B. Bud Maytag after he bought National Airlines from George T. Baker
1962 - first interview with 36-year old Lewis B. "Bud" Maytag after he bought National Airlines from George T. Baker
1962 - Lewis Bud Maytag Jr., National Airlines Chairman
1962 - Lewis Bud Maytag Jr., National Airlines Chairman
1965 - National Airlines Lockheed L-188 Electra N5017K (ex AA N6107A) at MIA
1965 - National Airlines Lockheed L-188 Electra N5017K (ex AA N6107A) at MIA
1965 - Carol Blum, Miss Florida 1965, next to a National Airlines B727 model
1965 - Carol Blum, Miss Florida 1965, next to a National Airlines B727 model
1965 - National Airlines Lockheed Electra L-188 landing at Key West International Airport
1965 - National Airlines Lockheed Electra L-188 landing at Key West International Airport
1966 - National stewardesses modeling the latest inflight uniforms on Concourse 3 at Miami International Airport
1966 - National stewardesses modeling the latest inflight uniforms on Concourse 3 at Miami International Airport
Mid 1960's - National DC8-21 N6571C, B727-35 N4610 and B727-35 N4618 at Miami International Airport
Mid 1960's - National DC8-21 N6571C, B727-35 N4610 and B727-35 N4618 at Miami International Airport
1970 - one of two B747-135's operated by National Airlines
1970 - one of two B747-135's operated by National Airlines
1971 - National Airlines DC-8-21 N6572C at Miami International Airport
1971 - National Airlines DC-8-21 N6572C at Miami International Airport
1971 - sightseeing at low altitude onboard a brand new National Airlines DC10-10 during their Air Fair for Miami residents
1971 - sightseeing at low altitude onboard a brand new National Airlines DC10-10 during their Air Fair for Miami residents
1971 - Brand new DC-10 ride during National's Air Fair at Miami International Airport
1971 - Brand new DC-10 ride during National's Air Fair at Miami International Airport
1971 - National Airlines ad for their Boeing 747 Sun King service to Los Angeles and New York
1971 - National Airlines ad for their Boeing 747 Sun King service to Los Angeles and New York
1973 - windblown stair truck boarding National Airlines B747-135 N77772 Patricia at LAX
1973 - windblown stair truck boarding National Airlines B747-135 N77772 "Patricia" at LAX
1973 - the captain and first officer (or visitor?) in the cockpit of National Airlines B747-135 N77772 Patricia at LAX
1973 - the captain and first officer (or visitor?) in the cockpit of National Airlines B747-135 N77772 "Patricia" at LAX
1973 - the first class upper deck lounge onboard National Airlines B747-135 N77772 Patricia
1973 - the first class upper deck lounge onboard National Airlines B747-135 N77772 "Patricia"
1973 - Lourdes Medina, a pretty National Airlines flight attendant
1973 - Lourdes Medina, a pretty National Airlines flight attendant
1973 - onboard a National Airlines flight
1973 - onboard a National Airlines flight
1973 - National Airlines Sundrome terminal Flight Information Display System at JFK
1973 - National Airlines Sundrome terminal Flight Information Display System at JFK
1974 - the entrance to National Airlines' General Offices (GO) at Miami International Airport
1974 - the entrance to National Airlines' General Offices (GO) at Miami International Airport
1974 - the interior of the National Airlines widebody hangar at Miami International Airport during an Open House event
1974 - the interior of the National Airlines widebody hangar at Miami International Airport during an Open House event
1974 - National Airlines Open House at their large new hangar
1974 - National Airlines Open House at their large new hangar
Mid 1970s - the eastern portion of the National Airlines Maintenance Base at MIA
Mid 1970s - the eastern portion of the National Airlines Maintenance Base at MIA
1970's - two National Airlines flight attendants
1970's - two National Airlines flight attendants
1970's - two National Airlines flight attendants
1970's - two National Airlines flight attendants
1970's - four National Airlines flight attendants modeling their uniforms
1970's - four National Airlines flight attendants modeling their uniforms
Mid 1970's - I'm Diane, Fly Me commercial
Mid 1970's - I'm Diane, Fly Me commercial
1970's - Cheryl, one of National Airlines beautiful flight attendants
1970's - Cheryl, one of National Airlines beautiful flight attendants
1974 - Debbie Cicirelli (now Burak) (left) with her friend Barb Gilot (right), then National Airlines flight attendants
1974 - Debbie Cicirelli (now Burak) (left) with her friend Barb Gilot (right), then National Airlines flight attendants
1974 - Debbie Cicirelli, National Airlines Flight Attendant, in the captain's seat of a National B727
1974 - Debbie Cicirelli, National Airlines Flight Attendant, in the captain's seat of a National B727
1975 - news article about 1975 Flight Attendant strike nearing the end
1975 - news article about 1975 Flight Attendant strike nearing the end
1977 - National Airlines B727-235 N4747 fresh out of the paint shop with the new white belly paint scheme
1977 - National Airlines B727-235 N4747 fresh out of the paint shop with the new white belly paint scheme
October 1977 - National Airlines DC10-30 N82NA aviation airline photo
October 1977 - National Airlines DC10-30 N82NA aviation airline photo
1978 - National Airlines DC10-30 N83NA landing on runway 30 at Miami International Airport
1978 - National Airlines DC10-30 N83NA landing on runway 30 at Miami International Airport
1978 - National Airlines DC10-10 N66NA reversing thrust on wet runway 9L at Miami International Airport
1978 - National Airlines DC10-10 N66NA reversing thrust on wet runway 9L at Miami International Airport
July 1978 - National Airlines DC10-10 N70NA rotating from runway 9L at Miami International Airport
July 1978 - National Airlines DC10-10 N70NA rotating from runway 9L at Miami International Airport
November 1978 - National Airlines DC10-10 N70NA taking off from MIA's old shorter runway 9R aviation airline photo
November 1978 - National Airlines DC10-10 N70NA taking off from MIA's old shorter runway 9R aviation airline photo
Late 70's - National Airlines Watch Us Shine ad campaign
Late 70's - National Airlines "Watch Us Shine" ad campaign
National Airlines Watch Us Shine ad campaign in the late 70's
National Airlines "Watch Us Shine" ad campaign in the late 70's
January 1979 - National Airlines DC10-30 N81NA taking off on runway 27L at Miami International Airport
January 1979 - National Airlines DC10-30 N81NA taking off on runway 27L at Miami International Airport
1979 - DC10-30 N83NA smoky touchdown upon landing way down runway 27R at Miami International Airport
1979 - DC10-30 N83NA smoky touchdown upon landing way down runway 27R at Miami International Airport
1979 - National Airlines DC10-30 N83NA Timmi with center gear retracted
1979 - National Airlines DC10-30 N83NA "Timmi" with center gear retracted
May 1979 - National Airlines DC10-30 taking off on 9L at Miami with National's headquarters and maintenance base on the right
May 1979 - National Airlines DC10-30 taking off on 9L at Miami with National's headquarters and maintenance base on the right
May 1979 - National Airlines DC10-30 taking off on 9L at Miami International Airport
May 1979 - National Airlines DC10-30 taking off on 9L at Miami International Airport
June 1979 - National Airlines McDonnell-Douglas DC-10's N62NA, N63NA, N66NA and N83NA aviation airline photo
June 1979 - National Airlines McDonnell-Douglas DC-10's N62NA, N63NA, N66NA and N83NA aviation airline photo
1979 - National becomes the first airline at Miami International to have their own Immigrations and Customs facility
1979 - National becomes the first airline at Miami International to have their own Immigrations and Customs facility
2001 - former National, and Pan Am, hangar 3035 being demolished
2001 - former National, and Pan Am, hangar 3035 being demolished
2001 - former National, and Pan Am, hangar 3035 being demolished
2001 - former National, and Pan Am, hangar 3035 being demolished
2001 - former National, and Pan Am, hangar 3035 being demolished
2001 - former National, and Pan Am, hangar 3035 being demolished
July 2009 - the former National Airlines widebody hangar, designed by Francis Telesca, now used by American Airlines
July 2009 - the former National Airlines widebody hangar, designed by Francis Telesca, now used by American Airlines