|Founded||1944 as Wisconsin Central Airlines|
|Ceased operations||July 1, 1979 (merged with Southern Airways to become Republic Airlines)|
|Headquarters|| Minneapolis, Minnesota |
|Key people||Francis Higgins (President)|
Hal Carr (Vice President)
North Central Airlines was a regional airline in the midwestern United States. Founded as Wisconsin Central Airlines in 1944 in Clintonville, Wisconsin, the company moved to Madison in 1947. This is also when the "Herman the duck" logo was born on Wisconsin Central's first Lockheed Electra 10A, NC14262, in 1948.North Central's headquarters were moved to Minneapolis–St. Paul in 1952.
Following a merger with Southern Airways in 1979, North Central became Republic Airlines, which in turn was merged into Northwest Airlines in 1986. Northwest Airlines was then merged into Delta Air Lines in 2010.
In 1939 the Four Wheel Drive Auto Company (FWD), a major manufacturer of four-wheel transmissions and heavy-duty trucks based in Clintonville, Wisconsin, opened a flight department and traded a company truck for a Waco biplane for their company's use.In 1944 company executives decided to start an airline named Wisconsin Central Airlines, and service started between six Wisconsin cities in 1946. This led the company to buy two Cessna UC-78 Bobcats, and, soon after, three Lockheed Electra 10As. Certificated flights started with Electras to 19 airports on 25 February 1948; more revenue allowed three more Electra 10As, then six Douglas DC-3s.
In 1952 the airline moved their headquarters from Wisconsin to Minneapolis, Minnesota; that December their name became North Central Airlines.Soon the airline ran into financial trouble when President Francis Higgins left, making Hal Carr the president. Carr quickly got the company out of debt and made it more reliable. Over time the company expanded their fleet to 32 DC-3s.
In October 1952 Wisconsin Central scheduled flights to 28 airports, all west of Lake Michigan, from Chicago to Fargo and Grand Forks. It added Detroit in 1953, Omaha, and the Dakotas in 1959, Denver in 1969, and nonstop flights from Milwaukee to New York LaGuardia in 1970. It added five Convair 340s from Continental Airlines to its fleet of DC-3s, the first ones entering service in 1959. In 1960 North Central hit the one million passenger mark; in May 1968, it flew to 64 airports, including two in Canada. Turbine flights (Convair 580s) started in April 1967.
Like other local service airlines, North Central was subsidized; in 1962 its "revenue" of $27.2 million included $8.5 million "Pub. serv. rev."
The airline worked with the U.S. government to aid troubled airlines in South America. The first of five Douglas DC-9-31s entered service in September 1967 and the Convair 340s and Convair 440s were all converted to 580s; the airline acquired more DC-9s and had 29 580s.The last DC-3 flight was early 1969; NC was the last local service carrier to use it.
In 1969 North Central Airlines moved its headquarters to the south side of Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport; in 2009 the building was the Building C Maintenance and Administrative Facility of Northwest Airlines.It is now used by Delta Air Lines after its 2008 merger with Northwest.
The Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) classified North Central as a "local service carrier," flying to cities in one region and feeding passengers to larger "trunk airlines" that flew nationwide. North Central eventually was allowed a few routes outside the Midwest: to Washington, D.C.-National, New York-LaGuardia, Boston, Denver, and Tucson. After deregulation of the airline industry, North Central expanded and got McDonnell Douglas DC-9-50s, its largest aircraft.
North Central purchased Atlanta-based Southern Airways and the two airlines formed Republic Airlines in July 1979, the first merger following airline deregulation.Republic soon targeted San Francisco-based Hughes Airwest for acquisition, and the deal was finalized in October 1980 for $38.5 million. Saddled with debt from two acquisitions and new aircraft, the airline struggled in the early 1980s, and even introduced a human mascot version of Herman the Duck.
Republic kept North Central's hubs at Detroit and Minneapolis, and Southern's hub at Memphis. Within a few years, they closed the former Hughes Airwest hub at Phoenix and also largely dismantled the Hughes Airwest route network in the western U.S.; they also reduced North Central's sizeable station at Chicago-O'Hare. Southern's sizeable station was also reduced at Hartsfield at Atlanta. Republic also quickly downsized North Central's operations to and among smaller airports in the upper Midwest, concentrating their fleet at the Detroit and Minneapolis hubs.
In 1986, Republic merged with Northwest Orient Airlines,which was also headquartered at Minneapolis and had a large operation at Detroit, which ended the legacy of Wisconsin Central and North Central. Following the merger, the new airline became Northwest Airlines (dropping the "Orient"), which merged into Delta Air Lines in 2008. Once the merger was finalized in early 2010, the Northwest Airlines brand fully retired with the Delta Air Lines name surviving as the successor to North Central Airlines.
When North Central Airlines started operations, the company's ICAO code was "NOR"; this was later changed to "NCA". When ICAO went from 3 to 2 characters, North Central became "NC", the same as its IATA code.[ citation needed ]
|Cessna UC-78 Bobcat||2||1946||1946||NC51401, NC63662|
operated by Wisconsin Central Airlines
|Lockheed Model 10 Electra||6||1948||1951||operated by Wisconsin Central Airlines|
|Convair CV-440||34||1959||1969||32 aircraft were converted to Convair CV-580|
|McDonnell Douglas DC-9-31||22||1967||1979|
|McDonnell Douglas DC-9-51||19||1976||1979|
Midwest Airlines was a U.S.-based airline headquartered in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, that operated from Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport between 1984 and 2010. For a short time, it also operated as a brand of Republic Airways Holdings.
Hughes Airwest was an airline in the western United States, backed by Howard Hughes' Summa Corporation. The airline's original name was Air West. Hughes Airwest flew routes in the western U.S. and to several destinations in Mexico and Canada; it was purchased by Republic Airlines on October 1, 1980. Its headquarters were on the grounds of San Francisco International Airport (SFO) in unincorporated San Mateo County, California. The company slogan was Top Banana in the West.
Northwest Airlink was the trade name of Northwest Airlines' regional airline service, which flew turboprop and regional jet aircraft from Northwest's domestic hubs in Minneapolis, Detroit, and Memphis. Service was primarily to small-to-medium-sized cities and towns where larger aircraft might not be economical to operate and also to larger markets to either provide additional capacity or more frequent flights than could be justified using mainline aircraft. Beginning in July 2009, the Northwest Airlink trade name was phased out, and replaced by the Delta Connection trade name for Delta Air Lines as part of the Delta/Northwest merger.
Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport is a civil-military airport 5 nautical miles south of downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States. It is included in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2021–2025, in which it is categorized as a medium-hub primary commercial service facility. Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport covers 2,180 acres (880 ha) and has five asphalt and concrete runways.
Southern Airways was an airline in the United States, from its founding by Frank Hulse in 1949 until 1979, when it merged with North Central Airlines to become Republic Airlines. Southern's corporate headquarters were in Birmingham, with operations headquartered at Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport, near Atlanta.
Allegheny Airlines was a U.S. airline that operated out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States, from 1952 to 1979 with routes primarily located in the eastern U.S. It was the forerunner of USAir which was subsequently renamed US Airways, now merged into American Airlines. Its headquarters were at Washington National Airport in Arlington County, Virginia.
Monterey Regional Airport is three miles (5 km) southeast of Monterey, in Monterey County, California, United States. It was created in 1936 and was known as the Monterey Peninsula Airport until the board of directors renamed it on September 14, 2011.
Billings Logan International Airport is two miles northwest of downtown Billings, in Yellowstone County, Montana, United States. It is the second largest airport in Montana, having been surpassed by Bozeman in both number of gates as well as annual enplanements in recent years, and is owned by the city of Billings. The airport is on top of the Rims, a 500-foot (150 m) cliff overlooking the downtown core. BIL covers 2,300 acres (9.3 km2.) of land.
Green Bay–Austin Straubel International Airport, is a county-owned public-use airport in Brown County, Wisconsin, United States, which serves Northeastern Wisconsin. The airport is located 7 nautical miles southwest of downtown Green Bay, in the village of Ashwaubenon. It is included in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2021–2025, in which it is categorized as a non-hub primary commercial service facility. The airport sits on portions of land encompassing Green Bay and the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin's Indian reservation. It has two runways and is used for commercial air travel and general aviation. There are two concourses with six gates each. The airport is named for Lt. Col. Austin Straubel, the first aviator from Brown County to lose his life in his country's service on February 3, 1942, after having served for thirteen years in the United States Army Air Corps. The airport name was officially changed to Green Bay–Austin Straubel International Airport on August 17, 2016.
Durango–La Plata County Airport is a city- and county-owned public airport 12 miles southeast of Durango, in La Plata County, Colorado.
Yakima Air Terminal is a public airport three miles south of Yakima, in Yakima County, Washington. Owned by the City of Yakima, it is used for general aviation and commercial air service. Yakima is served by one scheduled passenger air carrier and two non-scheduled carriers. Sun Country Airlines operates charter flights to Laughlin, NV and Xtra Airways operates charter flights to Wendover, NV.
Central Airlines was a passenger airline in Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas from 1949 to 1967. It was founded by Keith Kahle in 1944 to operate charter and fixed base services in Oklahoma, but was not granted an air operator's certificate until 1946 and did not begin scheduled flights until 15 September 1949, just before the certificate expired. Central was then headquartered at Meacham Field in Fort Worth, Texas. The airline was eventually acquired by and merged into the original Frontier Airlines (1950-1986) which continued and expanded its network.
Mid-Continent Airlines was an airline which operated in the central United States from the 1930s until 1952 when it was acquired by and merged with Braniff International Airways. Mid-Continent Airlines was originally founded as a flight school at Rickenbacker Airport in Sioux City, Iowa, during 1928, by Arthur Hanford, Jr., a dairy operator. The Hanford Produce Company was the largest creamery in the United States with over 100 trucks in operation. The company was primarily a dairy but also sold ice cream and poultry. The Hanford's also founded and built the new Rickenbacker Airport and operated eight gas stations and several service repair garages under the name Hanford's, Inc. The airport was a division of Hanford's, Inc., but the service stations and garages were later sold to finance airline operations. Mid-Continent was based in Kansas City, Missouri at the time of its acquisition by Braniff.
Frontier Airlines was a United States airline formed in 1950 by a merger of Arizona Airways, Challenger Airlines, and Monarch Airlines on June 1. Headquartered at Stapleton Airport in Denver, Colorado, the airline ceased operations in 1986 on August 24. A new airline was founded eight years later in 1994 using the Frontier Airlines name.
Republic Airlines was a United States airline formed by the merger of North Central Airlines and Southern Airways on July 1, 1979. Their headquarters were at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, in what is now Fort Snelling in unincorporated Hennepin County, Minnesota. The former headquarters is now Delta Air Lines Building C. Republic was acquired by and merged into Northwest Airlines in 1986.
On December 27, 1968, North Central Airlines Flight 458 crashed into a hangar while attempting a night landing in poor weather at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois, in the United States. Of the 41 passengers and four crew members, only 17 passengers and one crew member survived. One person was killed and six were injured on the ground.
On June 29, 1972, North Central Airlines Flight 290 collided in mid-air with Air Wisconsin Flight 671 over Lake Winnebago near Appleton, Wisconsin, in the United States. Both aircraft crashed into the lake, killing all 13 people on board.
On December 20, 1972, North Central Airlines Flight 575 and Delta Air Lines Flight 954 collided on a runway at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois, in the United States. Ten people died – all on the North Central aircraft – and 17 were injured in the accident. This was the second major airliner accident to happen in Chicago in December 1972; the other was United Airlines Flight 553, which crashed twelve days earlier on approach to Midway Airport.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to North Central Airlines .|