70 Years Ago Star of Paris !
|5 February 1946
"Star of Paris"
14 hours and 48 minutes later the plane landed in Paris
On February 5, 1946, the Constellation "Star of Paris" Inaugurated International service for Trans World Airlines the aircraft used on this flight was a Constellation 049 model 49-51-26, plane number NC86505, TWA fleet #550.
Before take off at La Guardia, it was christened by Mrs Jack Frye with Henri Bonnet, French Ambassador and Robert Brennan, Irish Minister to the US.
The crew of "Star of Paris" the TWA Constellation which inaugurated scheduled air service across the atlantic.
Captain Hal Blackburn, was in command with him on the historic flight were Co-Captains Jack Hermann, and J. Calder; Purser Don Shiemwell, hostess Ruth Schmidt, Flight Engineer A. Ruhanen and Navigator M. Chrisman.
There was a total of 36 passengers on board (4 had boarded at Washington DC where the flight originated).
New to the international airline field, despite its wartime initiation, TWA was faced with many complex problems. Inauguration of international service reauired worldwide mobilization of the airline's resources. Foreign contacts had to be established and key personneel trained to operate the foreigh offices and bases. This had to be done when many necessary materials were unavailable and the manpower shortage was still acute. Individual agreements had to be concluded with various countries, and the airline soon discovered that private version of the Marshall Plan for the development of aviation in certain countries had to be undertaken.
Consequently the airline started a large scale program that involved financial investment and or organizational guidance to many local airlines, including those in France (Air France) Italy, Greece, Iran, Ethiopia and Saudi Arabia...etc... (Marc Brécy Former TWA Flight Dispatch Officer based at CDG)
(Note: That A/C had a rather short life span - and with other names before it was christened 'The Star of Cairo' which ended in the Shannon crash in december 1946. Also extracts from Irish accounts of the 'Start of Trans Atl Svc thru SNN' this A/C NC86505 was the first Connie to land at SNN, on november 26th/1945 on a proving flt from Gander in the record time of time of 6hrs55mins and the return flight on december 08th/1945 also set a new record of 7hrs46mins to YQX ...Special thank you to Noel Deasy Former TWA Flight Dispatch Officer based at SNN and later at CDG)