Author: Robert G. Waldvogel

Robert G. Waldvogel has spent thirty years working at JFK International and LaGuardia airports with the likes of Capitol Air, Midway Airlines, Triangle Aviation Services, Royal Jordanian Airlines, Austrian Airlines, and Lufthansa in Ground Operations and Management. He has created and taught aviation programs on both the airline and university level, and is an aviation author.

Berthed at Manhattan’s Pier 86 in the Hudson River is a superstructure that floated, moved, and accommodated the population of a sizable town. It was integral in the Second, Cold, and Vietnam wars; served as the base of many air groups operating both piston and pure-jet aircraft; became the target of torpedo and kamikaze strikes; and survived as a testimonial to its tenacity and contribution to victory as an air, sea, and space museum. Featuring a 912-foot overall length and 103-foot breadth, the ship, displacing 41,434 tons and capable of a 33-knot speed, accommodated 100 airplanes and almost 4,000 crew…

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If the Atlantic could be considered a vast aquatic race track, then the US and the UK were the countries that competed to cross it. Both battled to be the first to reach the other’s side in what became the transatlantic jet race, pitting flag carrier BOAC British Overseas Airways Corporation against “chosen instrument” Pan American World Airways. New York served as the former’s destination and the latter’s origin. But the supplier of their aircraft seemed the least likely to do so–the UK’s de Havilland Aeroplane Company, whose last major airliner, the DH.95 Flamingo, only attracted 16 sales because of…

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There are several New York area airports, including those on Long Island, in Westchester County, and New Jersey, but few people can name New York City’s very first one. And even fewer can explain why it no longer exists. That airport is Floyd Bennett Field, and it has had three distinct historical phases: origins, military use, and preserved history. Origins Tracing its origins to Lindbergh’s historic, New York-Paris solo flight, it alerted the world to the fact that the aircraft did not depart from New York at all, but from Long Island instead, and that the only real “New York”…

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When Boeing designed the 747, the world’s first wide-body, twin-aisle airliner powered by high bypass ratio turbofans, in the 1960s, it deliberately placed the cockpit on a short upper deck so that it could be alternatively used as a freighter, with straight-in nose loading, after the supersonic era arrived. While that era did eventually dawn and there were three such supersonic aircraft that either entered scheduled service or were at least conceptualized, it was hardly the successful next-wave envisioned. What went wrong? Aerospatiale-British Aerospace Concorde The Aerospatiale-British Aerospace Concorde was the only truly successful supersonic design. In 1954, Great Britain’s…

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Having planted its Connecticut roots in 1962 when Joseph M. Fugere founded Pilgrim Airlines for the purpose of linking Groton with JFK, it first took to the skies on April 1 of that year, using Piper PA-24 Comanches that belonged to Fugere’s New London Flying Service fixed base operator (FBO). Drawing upon a passenger base from the local General Dynamics Electric Boat Division, he was also able to offer charter service to Washington, which was discontinued after Allegheny Airlines was granted scheduled rights for the route. Nevertheless, both New Haven and New London became the logical, cross-Sound links to JFK,…

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If a person about to board an airplane in Omaha were asked where he was flying to and he responded, “Omaha,” he may receive a few perplexed looks and even an audible, “But aren’t you there now?” Yet, when you live in metropolises that support multiple airports, such as New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, London, Paris, and Tokyo, it is possible to fly from one to the other. While distances between them may not be that far, surface travel, particularly during rush hours, can require excess time, and there is nothing like landing at an airport and proceeding…

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Most Long Islanders automatically think of LaGuardia, JFK International, and Long Island MacArthur airports when it comes to fulfilling their airline travel needs. But Farmingdale-located Republic Airport fielded its own brief, albeit unsuccessful, scheduled and charter carrier service. That very location gave reason for its rise. “The Industrial Revolution and airplane manufacture came to Farmingdale during World War I when Lawrence Sperry and Sydney Breese established their pioneering factories in the community,” according to Ken Neubeck and Leroy E. Douglas in Airplane Manufacturing in Farmingdale (Arcadia Publishing, 2016, p. 9). “They were drawn by the presence of two branches of…

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