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Mohawk Airlines License Plate

Regular price $17.50


Mohawk Airlines License Plate                                           

    •    6" x 12" .032 Gauge Aluminum
    •    Includes 4 Mounting Slots & 1/2" Radius Rounded Corners
    •    UV Protective coating to Prevent Fading
    •    Image is reproduction - final product might differ slightly
    •    Made in America

The airline was founded in 1945 by aerial photographer C.S. Robinson as business of Robinson Aviation, completing its first passenger flight on April 6. The operation was based out of Ithaca Municipal Airport near Ithaca, New York, flying single-engine, three-passenger Fairchild F-24s. After the end of World War II, the Fairchilds were supplemented with two Cessna T-50s, and in 1946 the entire fleet was replaced with Beechcraft Model 18s.[1]

To keep the airline flying, Robinson secured investments from a variety of local sources, notably Ithaca Enterprises, a nonprofit organization responsible for bringing new businesses to Ithaca; the Cooperative Grange League Federation Exchange (now part of Agway), a farmers cooperative that had been organized by members of The Grange, and Cornell University. Most significant was the involvement of Edwin Albert Link, creator of the Link Trainer. Link lent the airline $75,000 to purchase three used Douglas DC-3s— but also removed control of the company from Robinson, making pilot Robert Peach its general manager.[5] In 1948 the Civil Aeronautics Board certified the airline as a local service carrier, awarding a variety of routes in the Mohawk Valley. The airline adopted the slogan *Route of the Air Chiefs*, and painted a blue and red logo of an Indian chief on its tails.[1]

In 1952 Robert Peach purchased a controlling share of the airline, and Robinson removed himself from its day-to-day operations. The board adopted the name Mohawk Airlines. Operations continued to grow; in 1953 the airline carried 2 million passengers between 15 airports and earned $24.3 million in revenue.[5] The following summer it experimented briefly with helicopter service, connecting Newark, New Jersey and Grossinger's Resort in the Catskill Mountains with a Sikorsky S-55. (The July 1954 OAG shows 13 flights a week each way between Newark and Liberty Airport 41.80°N 74.70°W; fare $18 one way plus tax.) More successfully, the airline introduced Convair 240s on 1 July 1955, becoming the first local service carrier with pressurized aircraft.[1] In 1956, having outgrown its facilities in Ithaca, it moved its corporate offices to Utica.[1]

When hired by Mohawk Airlines on 11 February 1958, Ruth Carol Taylor became the first African-American flight attendant in the United States.[6] Six months after breaking one historic barrier, Ruth Taylor's career ended due to another discriminatory barrier: the airline's marriage ban, a common practice among airlines of the day. Airlines often dismissed flight attendants who married or became pregnant. [7]

In 1961 Mohawk was the first airline to use a centralized computer-based reservation service, and in 1965 the first regional airline to use flight simulators.[2] Mohawk upgraded its fleet with the BAC One-Eleven in 1965, becoming the first regional airline to fly jets.

Fairchild Hiller FH-227 at New York-JFK in September 1970
By 1969, Mohawk had retired all of its piston engined aircraft and mainly flew the BAC One-Eleven and the Fairchild Hiller FH-227.

Mohawk saw its golden age in the late 1950s and early 1960s, acquiring the Convair 440 in 1958, to which Martin 4-0-4s were added in 1960. Like other local service airlines, Mohawk was subsidized; in 1962, operating "revenues" totalled $23.3 million including $4.6 million "federal subsidy".[8] By May 1968 the number of destinations had increased to 38, from Boston and Washington, D.C. to Detroit. From 1968 to 1971, labor and economic issues bled Mohawk financially. Unable to pay creditors at the end of that period, Mohawk entered merger discussions with Allegheny Airlines, and the merger was completed in 1972. In 1979 Allegheny changed its name to USAir, and later to US Airways. Following bankruptcies and a later merger with America West Airlines in 2005, US Airways purchased American Airlines in 2015 and assumed operations under the American Airlines name and logo[9]



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