Qantas has been renowned for being on the cutting edge of long-haul travel with the best equipment: Connies in the 1950s, 707s in the 1960s and 747s in the 1970s. Along with that is a reputation for safety that is second to none. However even during the regulated era Qantas wasn't just a long haul airline as it had duties to perform closer to home. These involved using more primitive equipment well into the 1970s in the form of Douglases stalwart C-47/DC-3 and DC-4s.
Bonanza started operations as early as 1945 with a single Cessna. it was formed as Bonanza Air Services in Las Vegas by Edmund Converse, Charlie Keene and June Simon. Based in Vegas at Sky Haven airfield they offered charters to local towns with their 4 passenger Cessna and sold tickets out of the El Rancho Vegas Hotel and Casino. Moving to Alamo Field (nowadays McCarran Intnl Airport) and changing name to Bonanza Air Lines the little carrier expanded with extra aircraft (Piper Cubs and Cessna T-50 Bobcats) and gained a contract to ferry merchant marines to New Jersey in 1946, for which the first C-47 arrived. From these humble beginnings would grow a trendsetting little airline which operated on the 'Route of the Gold Strikes'.
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: