Nowadays if you are an airline operating within the US domestic market and you wish to serve a route pair you simply do just that, after relatively little fuss and bother, but prior to 1978, when the US market was regulated by the Civil Aeronautics Bureau (CAB), starting new routes was a marathon process. Indeed, most of the time getting permission to start a new route, especially if there was any competition involved, was a non-starter. Whence the regulated period threw up a selection of idiosyncratic practices that made sense then but look a bit weird today. One of these was the concept of interchange services.
I'd had a hole in my CO fleet for a 747 for sometime but had shied away from getting the Jet-X version as the photos I'd seen didn't make it look too nice. I finally relented after giving up on finding any Bigbirds (they seem so rare) and am very glad I did as this year 2000 produced model is actually a real beauty plus CO's 747s have a great history to go with them.
Continental replaced their already nice Golden Jet scheme in 1967 with the classic Saul Bass colours. Commonly called the meatball its real name is 'Contrails'. The black version lasted until 1984 when the livery was modified with a red ball and enlarged titles.
I have both the CO 727-200 releases showing both sets of colours. Continental’s fleet was defined by two types in the 1970s – the DC-10 and the 727-200. 19 of the latter (N88701-15, N32716-19) had been delivered between May 1968 and 1970. Three aircraft (N32721-23) built for THY were delivered in 1972 when deliveries switched to the upgraded Advanced model. 11 Advanced examples were added between 1973 and 1980 (N32724-25, N66726, 31-34, N69735-36, 39-40) with new aircraft deliveries continuing into late 1981 (N69741-42, N79743-46, 48-50) by which time 22 Advanced 727-200s had arrived from Boeing.
I'm Richard Stretton: a fan of classic airliners and airlines who enjoys exploring their history through my collection of die-cast airliners. If you enjoy the site please donate whatever you can to help keep it running: