Photos of the Week: Aviation Ancestry

American Airlines honors its roots in the Steel City while we check out the City that Never Sleeps

By BlueSkyStaff

Published April 26, 2021

Read Time: 2 mins


For a city on the cutting edge of research and development on artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles, robotics and other futuristic technologies, Pittsburgh embraces its past like few other places.

With nearly 300 years of history, from George Washington to Lewis and Clark, from Andrew Carnegie to Roberto Clemente and Mr. Rogers, there’s a lot to like. A running joke here is that if you ask a Pittsburgher for directions, you’ll get them based on parochial landmarks that exist only in memories.

“You drive about two miles down to where the gas station used to be, then you take a left and head toward my cousin’s old elementary school until you see the VFW—it might be a Primanti’s now—and then you …”

Yes, we’re very proud of our history. American Airlines feels the same way, which is why one Airbus A319 in their fleet is painted to honor Allegheny Airlines.

Allegheny initially launched as a mail service in 1939 called All American Aviation Co., owned by members of the du Pont family. After evolving into a passenger service, it became Allegheny Airlines in 1953 and began connecting Pittsburgh to cities across the U.S.

In 1979, the airline changed its name to USAir (and eventually to US Airways), with Greater Pittsburgh International Airport as its hometown hub. After the airline merged with American in 2015, the airline kept the livery to honor its roots.

Paul Rasmussen caught a shot of this living history from a gate at Pittsburgh International Airport, and we’re grateful he shared it with us.

Another city with a rich heritage—and only a short flight east of us—is New York City. You may have heard of it. It sits on a couple of rivers, just like us, and their two football teams have won almost as many Super Bowls combined as our one. (Couldn’t resist that one.)

It’s a beautiful town with an iconic skyline, one that Don Hoffman captured from the air as he flew from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport to LaGuardia Airport last year.

Thanks, Paul and Don!

Our readers continue to pass along shots of unique aircraft, international airports, historical events, gorgeous views and even family vacation photos for this feature. We love them! Keep them coming—you can click here for submission guidelines.

The New York skyline from the air. (Photo submitted by Don Hoffman)

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