This Week in Business Travel History – 22 January 2012

By Jonathan Spira on 23 January 2012
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In 1888, the National Geographic Society was founded by a group that included explorers, geographers, cartographers, teachers, and military officers.  Its purpose was to “the increase and diffusion of geographical knowledge.”

American Airlines, currently the world’s fourth largest airline (and number three in the U.S.), was founded in 1930 as American Airways.

Generations of business travelers grew up playing with Frisbees, a flying disc that got that moniker in 1957.  Wham-O, the manufacturer, adopted the name after finding out that Connecticut college students had already borrowed the name for what was then called the Pluto Platter from the Frisbie Pie Company in the same state.

The Saab 340 turboprop aircraft had its first flight in 1983.  As of 2009, there were 413 340s in service with 61 operators in 30 countries.

The first Boeing 747-400 aircraft (pictured) was delivered to launch customer Northwest Airlines (now merged with Delta Air Lines) in 1989.  Its innovations included a two-pilot glass cockpit, which rendered the flight engineer unnecessary, more fuel efficient engines, an all-new interior and had a maximum capacity of 660 passengers (747-400D).

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