Friday, December 11, 2009

Bonanza Airlines

Bonanza Airlines took off from Orange County Airport (now John Wayne Airport) and flew over my house almost every day from 1957 until we moved 5 years later.

Just a little side note: In 1957 you could still see many old WWII airplanes that were stored at the airport. PBY's, B-25's and some smaller versions of the Flying Wing's, and many others.

And of course based there was Paul Mantz. He was movie stunt pilot (and much more), who I had the great pleasure of meeting on a few occasions. This man is truly one of my heroes! If you don't know who he is, click on his name and read his story on Wikipedia - I think you will enjoy it.

Originally founded as a charter operator, Bonanza began scheduled service in December 1949. Based at Las Vegas, Nevada, it served points in the Southwestern United States with a fleet of DC-3's.

In 1959, modern prop-jet aircraft were placed into service and the last of the airline's DC-3's was retired by the end of 1960. Bonanza then claimed the title of "The First All Jet-Powered Airline in America."

The carrier merged with Pacific Air Lines and West Coast Airlines in 1968 to form Air West. In 1970, following the acquisition of the controlling interest in the company by Howard Hughes, the airline's name was changed to Hughes Airwest. (Postcard published by Aviation World - 1970's)

~ Bonanza Airlines Timetable 1951 ~

~ Bonanza Airlines Timetable 1959 ~

~ Bonanza Airlines Timetable 1961 ~

~ Bonanza Airlines Timetable 1964 ~

~ Bonanza Airlines Timetable 1965 ~

LINK: Timetable images are from the collections of Björn Larsson and David Zekria.

LINK: Bonanza Airlines Historical Website

LINK: Photographs of Bonanza Air Lines planes on Airliners.Net


Major Pepperidge said...

I know that many airlines have come and gone, but I sure don't remember Bonanza air lines!

Your comment about WWII airplanes still being seen at airports back in those days makes me think of the many many thousands of planes that must have been scrapped.

Richard Harrison said...

What a great find!

Viewliner Ltd. said...

Major: I haven't been able to find them yet, but somewhere in my many boxes of stuff I have pictures of planes at the old airport. Rest assured that I will find them.

Richard: It is cool stuff.