Transcontinental Air Transport

Transcontinental Air Transport

Transcontinental Air Transport (T-A-T) was airline founded in 1928 by Clement Melville Keys that was to merge in 1930 with Western Air Express to form what became TWA.

Keys enlisted the help of Charles Lindbergh to design a transcontinental network to get government airmail contracts. Lindbergh was to establish numerous airports across the country in this effort.

On July 7, 1929, it began the first transcontinental trips (sort of). It initially offered a 48-hour train/plane trip with the first leg being on the Pennsylvania Railroad overnight from New York City to Columbus, Ohio where passengers boarded a plane at Port Columbus International Airport that included stops in Indianapolis, St. Louis, Kansas City, Wichita, and finally Waynoka, Oklahoma. There passengers caught the Santa Fe Railroad for an overnight trip to Clovis, New Mexico where they caught a flight to Albuquerque, Winslow, Az., Los Angeles and San Francisco. Its slogan was "Harnessing the Plane and the Iron Horse."

Cynics of the implementation of the plane/train concept were to deride its TAT abbreviation as "Take A Train."

The plane used the Ford Trimotor and was one of the first to offer meals en route. It was also one of the first to be geared to passenger service (while most airlines at the time had focused on air mail).

In 1929 it merged with Maddux Air Lines and in 1930, during what was to become the Air Mail Scandal, it merged with Western Air Express to form Transcontinental & Western Air (T&WA) that was to become TWA.

External links


* [ American Heritage article]
* [ PBS Chasing Sun profile]
* [ Biography of Clement Melville Keys]
* [ Alphabetilately profile]


* [ Poster for the train-plane]
* [ Paperweight commemoration]
* [ Timetables]

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