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Remembered Today:

Happy Birthday BA (British Airways)


NigelS
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Whether you're a fan of BA or not the company celebrates 90 years of passenger carrying flights today. (See: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/picturegal...sh-Airways.html )

The plane used for its first passenger carrying flight (A DH4A), like some airliners post WWII, was a civil variant of a military aircraft developed during the war, and I couldn't help wondering how much later commercial passenger flights might have taken to come into existence had the impetus given by the war, which allowed the development of aircraft which could take heavier payloads and had longer ranges, not been there.

Zeppelins, which had been used for scheduled passenger flights before WWI, continued to be developed during the inter war years as passenger carriers, but was any of Germany's WWI military plane technology ever adapted for peacetime passenger use, or did the terms of peace treaties - which, surely, must also have applied to Zeppelins - prevent this?

NigelS

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Junkers were produced outside Germany as was the offspring of Brandenburg (now Heinkel). Civilian versions of some of these were produced (for example passenger carrying Heinkel float planes). The Junkers monoplane concept with its corrugated skinning continued in a line of single engined monoplane airliners. These ended up with the Ju52 (originally single engined) which in its tri motor form became a bomber in the Spanish Civil War and the Tante Ju transport in WW2. Pfalz of course re emerged as Messerschmitt but there was no direct civil link with the Pfalz aircraft of WW1. Zeppelin who operated a four engined mono plane airliner in 1919 based on a bomber design eventually became Dornier but again without a continuous civil link.

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The link of the current British Airways with the airlines of 1919 is pretty tenuous. Air Travel and Transport Co.Ltd, formed in 1919, was taken over by Daimler Air Hire in 1921, which was one of four airlines that merged to form Imperial Airways in 1924. A completely seperate airline known as British Airways was founded in 1935, which merged with Imperial Airways in 1939, to become BOAC, which merged with BEA in 1974 to become British Airways.

From 1919, the Germans used conversions of wartime two-seaters for passenger carrying, just as we did - LVGs, DFWs etc. Lothar von Richthofen was killed flying one of these in 1922.

The Dornier company produced the successful Wal flying-boat in the 1920's, though interestingly flying-boats were the one thing the Germans had never gone in for in the war.

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Thanks for the replies gents.

The link of the current British Airways with the airlines of 1919 is pretty tenuous.

Anything to go one better than newcomer Virgin's recent 25 years - bet, with the company's current financial situation, BA won't be 'splashing the cash' to come up with an advert like Virgin's "25 years and still red hot" ( http://www.virginatlanticstillredhot.com/popup/tv-ad.html ) to celebrate.

NigelS

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May be so NigelS, but there have been so many name changes, mergers, new companies etc the link is practically

non existant. The oficially recognised airline with a continuous name is KLM but now lives on as KLM-Air France. The

second longest is QANTAS (Queensland and Northern Territory Air Service) which was formed 16 Nov 1920 with a

single Avro 504K. The name has never changed.

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