To celebrate 80 years of service on June 17th, we are sharing stories from the people who launched Delta and from their families about those early days. Here are some memories of flying propeller planes from Fritz Schwaemmle, hired as a pilot in 1934.
Memories of the Lockheed 10 Electra, flown by Delta 1936-1942
“We didn’t have any de-icing equipment in the Lockheed 10 Electras. Nothing. As a matter of fact, believe it or not, for anti- or de-icing purposes we had a ten cent bottle of glycerin and you opened up the side window, got your handkerchief, poured the glycerin in there, reached around in the wind screen, wiped the windshield, then took your pin knife and scraped the ice off of the windshield.”
Memories of the Douglas DC-2, flown by Delta 1940-1941
“It had fourteen seats, and we said, ‘Where are we going to get 40% more passengers?’”
Memories of the Douglas DC-4, flown by Delta 1946-1953
“For the first time that we had on the airline, an airplane that we didn’t have to worry about fuel. We always had enough fuel on that DC-4 to go 2,000 miles, and somewhere in the United States, the weather was satisfactory for a let down within 2000 miles. So fuel was no problem . . . The DC-4 was very dependable airplane, had very dependable engines, had adequate anti-icing.”
Want to learn more? Check out last week’s story: 1930s Customer Service.