Category Archives: TWA-Trans World Airlines

Historic Photo: TWA-Trans World Airlines Boeing 757-2Q8 N702TW (msn 28162) JFK (Rob Rindt Collection). Image: 955157.

TWA-Trans World Airlines Boeing 757-2Q8 N702TW (msn 28162) JFK (Rob Rindt Collection). Image: 955157.

Copyright Photo: TWA-Trans World Airlines Boeing 757-2Q8 N702TW (msn 28162) JFK (Rob Rindt Collection). Image: 955157.

Historic Photo: TWA-Trans World Airlines Boeing 747-131 N93117 (msn 20322) JFK (Harry Sievers – Bruce Drum Collection). Image: 954710.

Original 1974 outline titles

Copyright Photo: TWA-Trans World Airlines Boeing 747-131 N93117 (msn 20322) JFK (Harry Sievers – Bruce Drum Collection). Image: 954710.

BBC: TWA flight 847: Greek police arrest aircraft hijacking suspect

1. TWA - Trans World Airlines logo

Finally, some possible justice for the innocent passengers and crew members who were hijacked and held as prisoners on board TWA flight 847 at Athens, Greece in 1985.

Police have arrested a 65-year old suspect on Mykonos after disembarking from a cruise ship.

Read the full story for the BBC.

The End of an Era: American says farewell to the “Super 80” today

American Airlines is retiring the last of its McDonnell Douglas MD-80 fleet today as most of the remaining 26 aircraft take their final flights to Roswell, New Mexico (ROW). The MD-80, also known as the Super 80, was the workhorse of the airline’s fleet throughout the 1980s and beyond.

The Super 80 era began at American in May 1983 with three aircraft serving six cities — Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW); Detroit (DTW); New York City (LGA); Memphis, Tennessee (MEM); Nashville, Tennessee (BNA); and Ontario, California (ONT).

When introduced, the MD-80 was one of the most fuel efficient commercial airplanes in the sky. American was the first of the large U.S.-based airlines to introduce the aircraft to its fleet and, by 2003, was operating 362 of the iconic planes, representing approximately one-third of all MD-80s ever produced by McDonnell Douglas.

American’s final MD-80 revenue flight, American Flight 80, is scheduled to depart DFW for the last time at 9 a.m. bound for O’Hare International Airport in Chicago. From there, the plane will ferry to Roswell to join the other MD-80s retiring today.

The retirement of the MD-80 marks the end of an iconic era in American’s history. Looking to the future, American continues to modernize its fleet with newer fuel-efficient aircraft that offer customers more highly sought-after amenities like industry-leading high-speed Wi-Fi and more inflight entertainment and access to power.

STL base says farewell to the last MD-80 flight from STL:

Note: At the peak, AA operated 360 of the type. The last flight, flight AA 80, DFW – ORD, is being operated with ex-TWA N984TW. The former TWA DC-9-83 (MD-83) N984TW was named “The Spirit of Long Beach” with TWA and was the last DC-9-80 “Super 80” (MD-80) built.

"Spirit of Long Beach", last MD-80 built

Above Copyright Photo (all others by American Airlines): TWA-Trans World Airlines McDonnell Douglas DC-9-83 N984TW (msn 53634) MIA (Bruce Drum). Image: 105145.

AA is retiring the final 10 DC-9-82/83s this month. Five (N964TW, N980TW, N9626F, N963TW and N966TW) are being retired today.

The fleet is going to Roswell, NM for storage and final disposition.

St. Louis team members share what the MD-80 meant to them

From American Airlines:

When American Airlines retires the McDonnell Douglas MD-80 aircraft fleet on September 4, it will close a chapter for Trans World Airlines and for team members in St. Louis, too.

All through the 1980s, American and TWA wielded brand-new MD-80s to compete with each other and other airlines on domestic flights. It was the backbone of the domestic fleets of both airlines in those years and a regular sight in St. Louis.

When American bought the assets of St. Louis-based TWA out of bankruptcy in early 2001, TWA team members joined American, and the MD-80s that had flown against each other became part of the same fleet.

“Over the years, I probably took more than 100 flights on the TWA MD-83s, which are now part of our fleet,” Customer Service Agent Scott Dixon said. “I think they have been a loyal workhorse for our company.”

Shiela Bachtell joined TWA in 1968 in Los Angeles as a Reservations Agent, planning to stay six months and earn enough money to go back to college.

“I got the travel bug, and I absolutely fell in love with my job,” she said this week. She has been with TWA and now American a combined 51 years. And she eventually finished her college degree, too.

Sheila now works as a Customer Service Agent in St. Louis.

“It was a family,” she said. “And we still are a family. Everybody worked together for 40-plus years — you grew up with your kids, you knew who was pregnant, who was having a baby. [And years later], you knew who was going off to college.”

St. Louis was a large hub for TWA, with more than 300 flights per day, many of them on MD-80s. Even after the hub was gone, the MD-80 was still a regular sight at the airport.

“It’s a very plain airplane when you think about what we have right now, with newer planes delivered with power at every seat and high-speed Wi-Fi,” Sheila said. But customers loved the 2-3, or five abreast, seating on the MD-80 and grew fond of the plane and its reliable presence in St. Louis and around the network.

Just this week she spoke with an Executive Platinum customer who she has seen over and over through the years. “He told me, ‘That was my airplane. I can’t believe they’re taking my airplane away.’ People feel that way — it’s a metal object, but you know what? We were close to it.”

The last MD-80 was built at the McDonnell Douglas factory in Long Beach, California, and delivered to TWA in December 1999. That same plane, an MD-83 number N984TW, continued flying for American and will be retired along with the rest of American’s MD-80 fleet Sept. 4.

Shiela will be on the employee flight to Roswell, New Mexico, where the MD-80s will be stored for retirement.

“It’s going to be a bittersweet moment to see it go,” she said.

Kevin King works in Stores supporting team members at American’s Line Maintenance in St. Louis.

“The MD-80 has been a constant presence throughout my American Airlines career. There are so many memories and stories and in the end, they are all about the work and the dedicated people who did the work,” he wrote in an email. “Because the MD-80 has been the bread and butter for STL Tech Ops for decades, its departure from American’s fleet roster will be a significant milestone for every St. Louis-based American Airlines employee.”

Best Seller

Above Copyright Photo: TWA-Trans World Airlines McDonnell Douglas DC-9-82 (MD-82) N908TW (msn 49169) FLL (Nigel P. Chalcraft – Bruce Drum Collection). Image: 913175.

TWA aircraft slide show:

TWA aircraft photo gallery:


Calling all plane spotters – a new rooftop infinity pool at JFK’s new TWA Hotel overlooks the ramp and airfield

The pool bar at the new TWA Hotel at JFK International Airport, New York (JFK) will become the ultimate airport viewing spot.

The hotel describes its new pool:

A cutting-edge amenity in the clouds! The rooftop infinity pool and observation deck at the TWA Hotel will make a splash on the hotel’s opening day, May 15, 2019 — and remain open 365 days a year.

Always refreshing, the water in the 63-by-20-foot infinity edge pool offers a much-needed respite during sweltering summers. Come winter, it turns into a pool-cuzzi — the water can be heated up to 100 degrees! Whatever the weather, the H2O is perpetually pristine: the highly filtered water is purified every 30 minutes (a standard pool recirculates every 6 hours!).

The hotel will also a Lockheed 1649A Starliner painted in TWA’s livery on the premises:

TWA Hotel’s Lockheed Constellation airplane has a glamorous — and checkered — past.

Commissioned in 1939 by TWA’s eccentric owner, Howard Hughes (second from right with New York mayor Fiorello La Guardia, far left, in 1939), the Lockheed Constellation “Connie” broke the era’s transcontinental speed record on a flight from Burbank, California, to New York in 1946. The plane also served as Air Force One (top) for President Dwight D. Eisenhower in the 1950s.

The Starliner was introduced in 1956. One particular stunner with the tail number N8083H came off Lockheed’s line in 1958.

Reserve a window seat! Inside the TWA Hotel, you can watch planes take flight.

TWA Hotel’s 512 ultra-quiet guestrooms are preparing for takeoff! Inspired by the year 1962, when Jet Age excitement electrified the country, John F. Kennedy and Jackie Kennedy graced the White House in the golden Camelot era and The Beatles released “Love Me Do,” TWA Hotel’s guestrooms will have views of JFK’s runways and the historic TWA Flight Center. The guestrooms designed by New York City firm Stonehill Taylor will be accessible through Saarinen’s iconic flight tubes made famous by the 2002 film Catch Me If You Can. Fasten your seatbelt and enjoy some highlights of our rooms.

Ultra-Quiet Windows with Soaring Views

TWA Hotel’s glass curtain wall by Fabbrica — the second-thickest in the world after the wall at the U.S. Embassy in London — is seven panes and 4½ inches thick. The glass’ Sound Transmission Class (STC) rating of nearly 50 ensures the floor-to-ceiling, full-width windows cancel runway noise.

Authentic Knoll Furnishings

Saarinen’s classic midcentury modern furniture by Knoll is right at home in the hotel. An armless Saarinen Executive Chair wrapped in tan leather is tucked into the custom walnut, brass and crystallized glass desk.

Vintage Rotary Phone

An authentic Saarinen Womb Chair, upholstered in red Knoll fabric, sits beside a 16-inch round white Saarinen Pedestal tulip side table where guests can make unlimited free international and local calls on a 1950s Western Electric 500 phone retrofitted with a pulse to tone converter by Old Phone Works.

Warm Wood Accents

Walnut elements — ceiling trim, a tambour wall, a sliding barn door for the bathroom — soften the space. A custom walnut entryway unit includes storage, a mini refrigerator and a hidden safe. Hidden behind a walnut trim, cove lighting reflects onto the ceiling to illuminate the room.

Plush Bed

Lined in brass, a custom quilted leather-look headboard features a custom brass sconce and a crystallized glass ledge that easily holds overnight accessories.

Hollywood-Style Bathroom

The star of the terrazzo-tiled bathroom is a custom Hollywood vanity with bubble lights inspired by Philip Johnson’s iconic ladies’ lounge in New York City’s former Four Seasons restaurant. The glass-enclosed shower with linear drain is subway-tiled in white with midnight blue trim.

Custom Amenities

Guests will enjoy a full lineup of TWA Hotel grooming essentials. The items shown here are part of an authentic TWA toiletries kit that will be on display in the TWA Hotel museum.

TWA Hotel Stationery

Notepads and pencils will inspire guests to sketch their own architectural masterpieces.

Showstopping Hallway

Carpeted in TWA’s signature red, the curved hallway features walnut trim, walnut doors and terrazzo guest room entryways.

Authentic TWA Artifacts

Upon entering JFK Airport’s Building 87, guests are greeted by the desk and chair of aviation pioneer Jack Frye, who served as TWA’s president from 1934 to 1947. A vintage TWA luggage tug and fire extinguishers lead the way to the plywood structure that houses the model guestroom.

Vintage TWA Uniforms

Model Adrianne Hick donned a Dalton of America uniform in “jungle green” that was worn by TWA air hostesses during winter seasons from October 1, 1968 until 1971. The uniform will be on display with many others in the TWA Hotel’s museum.

A team of pros restored the Lockheed 1649A Starliner — one of only four left in the world!

After purchasing the dilapidated Connie N8083H (she was missing a nose!) in early 2018, MCR/MORSE Development partnered with Atlantic Models/Gogo Aviation to restore her to her original condition. The painstaking work — which included tracking down authentic parts, installing flooring and windows, and outfitting the cockpit with controls — was completed at Maine’s Auburn-Lewiston Airport.

Earning Her TWA Wings

The finishing touch: painting her exterior (again) with authentic 1950s TWA livery. Watch her metamorphosis!

Connie’s Makeover: Before and After

From beat-up to beautiful: In six short months, the team turned back time for our 60-year-old Connie.


Bottom Copyright Photo: TWA-Trans World Airlines Lockheed 1049G-82-110 Super G Constellation N7107C (msn 4588) TPA (Bruce Drum Collection). Image: 101440.

Best Seller - Super G Constellation

TWA aircraft slide show:

American Airlines introduces its TWA heritage jet

American's TWA heritage jet (1979 livery)

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) on November 16 introduced its TWA heritage livery logo jet. The pictured Boeing 737-823 N915NN (msn 33227) wears the 1979 livery of Trans World Airlines with joint American and TWA titles.

Copyright Photo: Brian Peters/ N915NN passed through the Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) today.

American Airlines aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

Video: American Airlines. AA brought this Boeing 777-300 ER to Sydney. Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft performed a flyover of Sydney Harbour and was welcomed by joint business partner QANTAS Airways in Hangar 96 at Mascot. The aircraft visit is a prelude to American’s new daily service from Sydney to Los Angeles, which starts on December 19, as part of the carriers’ expanded partnership announced earlier this year.

AG Unique holiday aviation gifts



The battle of amenity kits; American Airlines introduces heritage airline amenity kits

American Airlines Heritage Amenity Kits

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) has unveiled its new 2015 version of its premium amenity kits for international flights. The airline issued this statement:

Starting this month, American Airlines will be upgrading the premium experience for its customers and paying tribute to the proud history of its employees around the world with all-new amenity kits for most international and transcontinental flights, featuring special, limited edition kits that honor nine airlines that laid the foundation for the new American. Every First Class and Business Class kit contains an improved collection of personal care products selected specifically for the modern traveler.

“We have more than 100,000 employees, each with their own unique story, and these retro amenity kits are a small tribute to the heritage of their careers and their legacy carriers,” said Fernand Fernandez, American’s vice president – Global Marketing. “Customers will also identify with the historic logos and colors of the companies that now form the fabric of the modern-day American Airlines. The all-natural, boutique toiletry products from red flower, a New York-based, eco-friendly beauty and lifestyle brand complete the experience.”

The new amenity kits represent the latest in $2 billion in investments as American continues “going for great” with fully lie-flat seats; international Wi-Fi; more in-flight entertainment options and power outlets; a new, modern design for Admirals Club lounges worldwide; and an upgraded assortment of complimentary healthy food, cocktails and more.

The heritage kits serve as a reminder of American’s beginnings and the many men and women who forged together to form the world’s largest airline. Each individual carrier brought with it thousands of employees and a proud history. The collectors’ items will revive the colors and logos of the following airlines, past and present:

American Airlines (historic logo)

PSA-Pacific Southwest Airlines

AirCal (Air California)

Reno Air

Allegheny Airlines

Trans World Airways (TWA)

America West Airlines

US Airways (USAir)

Piedmont Airlines

Customers can experience the retro-themed heritage amenity kits through January 2016 when they travel in international Business Class or transcontinental First Class. They are contained in a stylish, felt case inspired by designer bags, sized specifically to be re-used as a mini-tablet computer case. The legacy themes will debut in batches of three every four months.

American Airlines Heritage TWA Amenity Kit

Above: The TWA amenity kit.

While these kits play up American’s retro branding, the airline took a forward-looking approach to selecting the personal travel products contained inside. The heritage amenity kits in international Business Class contain fabric lining, a pair of socks and an eye mask styled with the colors of a specific airline, a toothbrush and toothpaste, Scope® mouthwash, covers for Bose® QuietComfort® Acoustic Noise Cancelling® headsets provided with each seat, earplugs, a pen, tissues and hand lotion, lip balm and wipes by red flower.

The heritage amenity kits in transcontinental First Class contain the fabric lining, socks and eye mask with airline branding, a toothbrush and toothpaste, earplugs, and the trio of red flower products.

International First Class customers will receive new, larger kits, containing a pair of plush socks and an eye mask, Scope® mouthwash as well as covers for Bose® QuietComfort® Acoustic Noise Cancelling® headsets, a toothbrush and toothpaste, earplugs, pen, tissues and the three red flower products in addition to red flower’s face lotion. Customers will also receive upgraded pajamas in a color-block pattern and non-skid, 100 percent cotton terry slippers.

In addition, for the first time, American is rolling out amenity kits in Business Class on its transcontinental service between New York and Los Angeles and San Francisco, as well as Miami and Los Angeles. These kits contain a pair of socks and eye mask, a toothbrush and toothpaste, earplugs, and the trio of red flower products.

Photos: American Airlines.

AA Heritage timeline poster - FINAL - 24x36.pdf

Above: The American Airlines heritage family tree (American Airlines – photos supplied by

American Airlines aircraft slide show (current livery):

AG Slide Shows

TriStar History and Preservation, Inc. to preserve a former TAP Air Portugal Lockheed L-1011 TriStar in TWA colors at Kansas City

TriStar L-1011-385-3 N91011 (Grd) VCV (TriStar)(LR)

TriStar History and Preservation, Inc, (Kansas City) is planning to ferry former TAP Air Portugal Lockheed L-1011-385-3 TriStar 500 N91011 (msn 1241, ex CS-TMR) (above) from Victorville, CA (VCV) to Kansas City where it will be preserved in TWA colors. The society is also preserving former TWA McDonnell Douglas DC-9-83 (MD-83) N948TW (msn 49575) “Wings of Pride” in its original TWA colors.

TWA operated 41 Lockheed L-1011s but ironically not the TriStar 500 model.

From TriStar’s website:

TriStar logo

Since TriStar’s incorporation on January 14, 2013 we’ve worked hard to establish the aviation, accounting, maintenance, banking, risk management and other expertise to ensure this non-profit serves the community ethically and safely. We operate in compliance with FAA and IRS guidelines while implementing accounting practices that can track donations and expenses to specific aircraft and programs for transparent and effective fiscal management. We respect and are committed to growing the confidence our corporate and individual supporter have already shown us.

With a solid foundation TriStar has begun to share plans with the community at large. TriStar owns 3 aircraft plus a full motion flight simulator and will soon return to service its first aircraft to be used for both ground-based and in-flight programs.

The BAC 1-11 flight simulator has been moved from England to Kansas City via ocean freight. The simulator is in temporary storage until established in its new operating site.

The BAC 1-11 (N999BW) is being housed at Jet Midwest Technik and cared for by our directors of maintenance. Our pilot could fly it, but sadly a perfect engine is out of calendar time and requires either significant maintenance or a complete replacement. We’re hunting for a new engine and how to pay for it. We’re been told by several organizations that performing the required maintenance on the current engine as well as acquiring a suitable alternate engine are both about $250,000 to 300,000.

TriStar N91011 cockpit

Above Photo: The cockpit of N91011.

The L-1011 (N91011) now effectively ready to fly resides at its restoration site Pacific Aerospace in Victorville, California. We’ll ferry it to Kansas City as the next steps for painting and parking are finalized.

The MD-83 (N948TW) Wings of Pride will likely be the first to return to service. We’ll finish the effort to repaint to her original livery. This work is underway at the paint shop at Jet Midwest. We’ll also install new engines. These engines are expensive but less so than the BAC’s and more readily available.

Much has been accomplished but much remains to be done. We’ll soon share plans to provide educational aviation programs. Supporters have voiced concerns over the need to transfer knowledge from this generation to the next. We share this concern and are working to put TriStar’s aircraft assets to use toward this end.

Importantly TriStar has accomplished what is has because of people like you who love aviation and believe the use of these aircraft will inspire the next generation to greater achievement in STEM fields of study.

A history of N91011 (according to TriStar):

September 1979   Ordered to Lockheed by TAP Air Portugal

March 16, 1983   Delivered to TAP Air Portugal; registered CS-TEC; named “Gago Coutinho”

January 1990   Leased to TAAG Angola Airlines until June 1997; kept CS-TEC registration during leasing

October 1997   Sold to Finans Skandic and leased to Novair; re-registered SE-DVF

April 2000   Bought by Air Luxor; leased to Novair

June 2000  Leased to YES – Linhas Aéreas Charter; re-registered CS-TMR

June 3, 2000  YES starts operations; first flight to Cancun

May 2002  Sub-leased to BWIA during a month, replacing a BWIA L1011 in heavy maintenance

May 2003  Returned to Air Luxor

January 2004  Transferred to LUZair; operating under Air Luxor’s AOC; blue tail and no titles

June 2004  Seen operating for DCA – Dutch Caribbean Airlines between Curaçao and Amsterdam

July 6, 2004  Compressor stall in engine #1; sustained damage in a landing gear after high energy RTO

July 31, 2004  Post repair, stall in same engine led to AOG condition; stored at AMS awaiting new engines

October 2006  Began reactivation works at AMS to put aircraft again in the air

January 2007  Three new engines fitted

July 20, 2007  Ferry flight from AMS to LIS

August 18, 2007  Ferried to VCV for C-check

October 2008  C-check complete

January 2014  TriStar History and Preservation Inc. acquires from Banco Espirito Santo in Lisbon, Portugal

January 2014  Maintenance work begins for ferry flight of aircraft from VCV to Kansas City International

January 2014  Re-registered by TriStar from CS-TMR to N91011

TriStar L-1011-385-3 N91011 cabin

Above Photo: The cabin of N91011.

All photos by TriStar History and Preservation Inc. For more information on the organization: CLICK HERE

TWA aircraft slide show: