Delta Air Freighters: 1947-1973
During the 1960s and 70s Flying Tigers was the largest all cargo airline in the world and they were responsible for a number of firsts. On August 29, 1973 Tigers were the launch customer for the 747 freighter.
The airlines had been over-optimistic about growth opportunities for the 1970s and had binged on 747s, which they struggled to fill even before the Oil Crisis arrived. These factors led to several airlines trying to slim down their 747 fleets and motivated Boeing to look at alternative uses for the type. Several ex-TWA examples found their way to the Iranian Air Force and Boeing also began looking at freighter conversions.
Seaboard World was one of the two major all freight airlines of the regulated US industry and had a proud history which has been rather overlooked in 1:400 save for a 707 and 747. I'd love to see some DC-8s, L1049s and CL-44s being made in their attractive schemes. 1974 saw a major step-up in capacity for Seaboard when the first 747 freighter arrived, joined in April 1976 by a sister.
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: