About the Historic Airline Group
Founded in 2011, the Historic Airline Group was originally formed as Piedmont Virtual. Based on the classic Piedmont Airlines, we decided early on to not limit ourselves to only one airline. We added Pennsylvania Central Airlines and as interest grew so did our list of classic airlines. We bring the classics to the virtual airline community.
We fly many classic types of aircraft, from the DC-3 to early 747s and everything in between. Our advancement process allows you to advance through the fleet as you gain experience. Along the way you will complete checkrides that will give you the confidence you need to fly increasingly complex aircraft.
Our pilots fly for any airline they desire. Pilots are not limited to any specific hub or airline. The choice is yours every time you fly.
HAG also has a unique charter division. Many typical charter aircraft are based at several locations in the US and Great Britian. The difference is that you get to decide where you fly to. The possibilities are endless!
Join us today and start enjoying the challenge of operating classic aircraft on historic airline routes!
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Posted by David Reed on 09/23/2016
Lineas Aéreas Costarricenses S.A., or LACSA, was the national airline of Costa Rica. Based in San Jose, LACSA began in 1946 as a subsidary of PanAm, created to serve their Central American interests. In 1959 they were released from PanAm to become the national airline of Costa Rica. Today, a large holding company (TACA) owns seven national airlines in Central America, each known today as Avianca (Avianca Costa Rica, Avianca Panama, etc). This helps them work together for the growth and prosperity of all seven airlines. HAG has many routes using aircraft from the old LACSA days, including CV240, DC6, C46 and B727 (airline code LAC). Whether its to the mile high airport in Mexico City or one of many Caribbean destinations, you'll find fun flying the LACSA skies.
In 46 years of flying commerically, I have seen my share of excitement and misadventures in the air. My wife is a writer and said I should share these stories, so I created a blog and began to post some of these "tales from the cockpit". But they're not fairy tales. Every one is true in every detail. Every event actually happened, just as I wrote it. This link, which you'll find on the right side of this homepage, will take you there. I hope you enjoy reading about my experiences. I just hope the Statute of Limitations has run out!
PAN AM 727 EUROPEAN SERVICE ADDED
From 1950 until 1990 Pan Am operated a network of high-frequency, short-haul scheduled services between West Germany and West Berlin, first with Douglas DC-4s, then with DC-6Bs (from 1954) and Boeing 727s (from 1966). This had come about as a result of an agreement between the allies at the end of World War II, which prohibited Germany from having its own airlines. However, the Cold War meant that airline service to and from West Berlin continued to be confined to the three 20 mi (32 km) wide air corridors at a maximum altitude of 10,000 ft (3,000 m). The airline's West Berlin operation consistently accounted for more than half of the city's entire commercial air traffic during that period. Pan Am operated a Berlin crew base of mainly German flight attendants and American pilots to staff its IGS flights. HAG has added eight round trip flights from Berlin in the 727-100 N357PA (available at HJG). If you like though, feel free to operate these flights with a PanAm DC-4 or DC-6B. Remember to use the corridors!
NEW AIR FRANCE 737 / AMERICAN 727 ROUTES ADDED
New flights have been added to our European and North American routes. Air France 737's are now flying the amicale' skies of Europe. The 737 proved perfect for the continental routes, being more economical than the 727 it eventually replaced.
We have also added more classic American 727 routes. These domestic destinations allow you to fly 30 more three-holer flights than previously available. Why cram yourself behind a tray table in a CRJ when you can kick back with the roominess of a Boeing? Enjoy!
SAA REGIONAL FLIGHTS ADDED
New flights have been added to our South African routes. Routes within South Africa, and a few to neighboring countries, have been added for passenger flights and combi flights. The trusty Douglas DC-6B, Boeing 727 and Boeing 737 have all been used by South African Airways over the years. Destinations include Upington, Cape Town, Lubumbashi CD, Harare ZW, Maseru, E London, George, Port Elizabeth, BBloemfontein and Biera MZ. Enjoy a scenic flight around South Africa in a classic! Check flightsim.com this weekend for a new SAA DC-6 texture.
CONVAIR 580 CARGO FLIGHTS ADDED
We have added many new flights for the Convair 580 in the cargo configuration. DHL has awarded contracts to three of our operators: Atlantic Air Cargo (AAC) in Opa Locka; Trans Air Link (TAL) in Miami; and new operator European Air Transport (EAT) in Europe. Atlantic Air Charter has all new routes for the CV580 too, including North Philadelphia, Richmond, Atlanta/Peachtree and Birmingham. Painted in DHL colors, the CV580 can carry up to 15,500 lbs of cargo at up to 290 KTAS. A new paint texture for the CalClassic CV580 in DHL paint will be available later today on Flightsim.com.
The Convair 580 came about as an upgrade to popular CV240 model. The Convair 240 was a big success due to its passenger appeal and operating economics. An airline could break even with only 1/3 of the seats filled. Convair upgraded the 240 to the 340/440, increasing seating from 44 to 52 seats. As jets became the rage, creating a turboprop version seemed only natural. Besides, it was still an economical airliner that was still in demand. The Allison 501-D13's increased horsepower by a whopping 80%. Fuel consumption was about 50% higher than an R2800 (220 gph vs 340 gph), but the time between overhaul (TBO) was on average 5000 hrs, compared to 2000 hrs for a R2800. HAG has 50 CV580 flights for North Central, but stand by: We are going to be adding CV580 flights as freighters and passenger flights in the US and Europe soon.
MOHAWK'S GASLIGHT SERVICE
The period from 1960 to 1962 was when New York-based Mohawk Airlines was flying from Albany to Buffalo with DC-3s that really should have been retired. After passengers complained about the outdated aircraft, some marketing genius decided that if they were struck with old airplanes, they might as well decorate them to look even older. Someone looked at pictures of old railroad cars, measured the aircraft for lace headrest covers, gold-filigreed wallpaper, and Victorian curtains, and “Gaslight Service” was born. The theme was applied brilliantly – Stewardesses dressed like dance hall ladies passed out cigars, pretzels, and beer, and the airline schedules carried the warning that passengers should close the windows when going through tunnels. It was a wonderfully silly promotion that worked brilliantly; suddenly passengers wanted to fly the previously scorned airplanes instead of their faster rivals. During the two years of service Mohawk served 31,700 cans of beer, 17,600 cigars, a ton of pretzels, and half a ton of cheese, and earned enough money to buy new airplanes.
727 LONG HAUL FLIGHTS
Back in the late 1960's, Boeing 727s were flying from one small city to another all over America. Several airlines though were using some of their 727s on much longer routes. More economical than a 707 or CV880, the 727 could get you there just as quick and do it for less money. You could depart Pittsburgh on TWA flight 207 at 0830 and arrive in Los Angeles 4 1/2 hrs later. American ran a 727 from New York to Phoenix non-stop. American also flew a 727 non-stop from San Francisco to Toronto. National used to fly 727s from LAX to Tampa in long range cruise until the DC8 took over. Air Canada flew 727s from Montreal to Vancouver and from Montego Bay to Winnepeg. Eastern once flew 727-100 series from Atlanta to LAX and Delta flew Seattle to Atlanta non-stop. Probably the longest was Piedmont, who roll endlessly down the runway at Charlotte and, with a full load of very sore butts, landed in San Francisco over five hours later.
Around 1950 American Airlines asked Douglas Aircraft for an airliner that could fly coast to coast in eight hours. This was due to the eight hour limitation imposed by the CAB (FAA) on airline crew flight time limitations. The DC-6 required a stop enroute with a crew change. Douglas took a DC-6 design (which used the same wing as the original DC-4), stretched it forty inches and added Wright R3350 engines. The original DC-7 could make the coast to coast trip in just eight hours, but they had to fly at maximum power settings to get it. As a result, the R3350 were troublesome, with engine shut downs becoming commonplace. The DC-7B had slightly more power, but reliability issues continued to plague the model. As far as crossing the Atlantic, the DC-7B could go eastward nonstop, but westward flights still required a fuel stop enroute. To attract European customers, Douglas stretched the DC-7B another forty inches, increased the wingspan by ten feet and increased horsepower again to create the DC-7C. Still, like the DC-7 and DC-7B, the DC-7C needed to fill nearly every seat in order to turn a profit. The older DC-6 was much more reliable and economical, so when early 707s and DC8s began arriving, airlines parked their newer DC-7s first. DC-6s soldiered on into the 1970s.
Convair began life in WW2 as the Consolidated Aircraft Company, building B-24 bombers and PBY Catalinas. In 1943 they merged with Vultee Aircraft. Their bread and butter was government contracts, and they built some great airplanes like the giant B-36, the F-102 and F-106 fighters, and the radical B-58 Hustler. Wanting to get into commerical aviation, Consolidated-Vultee aimed for the smaller segment where a DC-3 replacement was badly needed. They had a lot of experience operating ferry flights for the Army in WW2 and knew what worked and what didn't work in day to day operations. The Convair 110 evolved into the Convair 240 with a conventional design, forty passenger seats, pressurization, built-in airstairs, ease of maintenance and good operating economics. American ordered 100 CV-240s, the largest commerical aircraft order to date. First flight took place March 16, 1947 and eventually 1076 of the CV-240/340/440 model were built. In the 1960's many Convairs were fitted with Allison or Roll Royce turboprop engines. Convairs served with the airlines into the 1980's, and today a few still fly as cargo aircraft around the world. Convair also built rockets for the military and had great success there. But their commerical aircraft business died when they tried to compete with the 707 and DC8 with their 880/990 jets. The cabin of the 880/990 was smaller, performance goals weren't met and though marginally faster they were very expensive to operate. Convair eventually was sold to McDonnel-Douglas. At HAG we have many Convair routes, and at CalClassics you can find some excellent Convair Twin models.
Boeing 727 vs 737
In the early 1960's Boeing designed the 727 to meet a requirement for a short to medium range jet for the airlines. Eventually 1832 were delivered. Yet in 1965 Boeing developed the 737, initially designed to compliment the 727. When fuel prices skyrocketed in the 1970s, Boeing & the airlines chose the 737 for improved economics, installing more fuel efficient engines while lengthening the fuselage for increased capacity. In the 1970s a 727-200 could carry 145 in a typical two-class arrangement. Today, a new 737-900 can carry 174 in the same arrangement, weighs 10% less than the 727 and burns almost 50% less fuel per hour. This gives the 737 a 50% longer range as well. The one thing the 727 could do better was fly fast. 727s typically cruised at M.80-.85, while a 737 runs at M.78. Inside they are identical at 11.5' interior diameter. 9000 737s have been built, with over 6000 of those being the Next Generation versions (600-700-800-900ER).
WHO WE ARE
The Historic Airline Group is made up of a wide and diverse group of people. As of today we have a nice group of 96 pilots, of which exactly 50% are from the United States. We also have four pilots from South Africa, four from Sweden, two from the Netherlands, two from Greece, eight from Great Britian, two from France, six from Germany, seven from Canada, two from Belgium, three fom Australia, and one each from Turkey, Portugal, Norway, Namibia, Czech Republic, Columbia, Chile and Argentina. No matter where you are from, we all share a common language, classic flight sims!
Mohawk Airlines wasn't your average airline. They were cutting edge. Starting in a small town in New York, Mohawk bought their first three DC-3s in 1947. Five years later they were doing over $24 million in business (that's $212 million in 2015 dollars). They introduced pressurized Convairs, the first regional airline to do so. They hired the first African-American flight attendant. They were the first airline to use a flight simulator for pilot training, thanks to their close relationship with Mr Link. They were the first regional airline to operate jets with the purchase of the BAC 1-11. HAG has many, many routes with Mohawk, allowing you to experience short duration flights with many different aircraft types.
Southern Airways began in 1949 with offices in Birmingham AL. As a local service airline, Southern Airways covered the south-central U.S. from New Orleans to Jacksonville. In August 1953 Southern flew to 29 airports and in August 1967 to 50. Like other Local Service airlines Southern was subsidized. In 1962 Essential Air Service government subsidies accounted for one third of Southern's revenue. One route Southern operated from Miami to Chicago had 14 stops in between! Like most local se
|Total Flights Today:||7|
|Total Flight Hours:||30,568 hrs|
|Total Pax Carried:||53,539,553|
|Total Fuel Burned:||129,131,101 lbs|
|Total Flight Miles:||7,219,012 nm|