Bluegrass Airlines, October 2007

 

Lockheed L10A Electra over Bar Harbor, Maine

 

Boston Maine & Central Vermont Airways

By Allan Lowson

 

 

Boston Maine & Central Vermont Airways

The Boston and Maine Railroad became interested in the possibility of starting an airline during the aviation boom of the late 1920s, deciding that to participate in aviation made more sense than trying to compete with it. On July 20, 1931 Boston-Maine Airways, Inc., was organized by the Boston and Maine and the Maine Central Railroads, who became involved because the proposed route to northern Maine and beyond entered on its territory. Service started on August 1, 1931, and the entire operation was carried out under contract by Pan American Airways.

 

At the same time, the Central Vermont Railroad had founded Central Vermont Airways and the contract to operate both operations was taken over by the newly founded National Airways in 1933. Amelia Earhart was one of the founders of National Airways.

 

National Airways coordinated the two railroad-sponsored airlines as one, with the two

railroad names hyphenated, and issuing joint timetables and fares.

 

In November 1936 Boston-Maine/Central Vermont purchased two new Lockheed 10A Electras. The operating agreement with National Airways was terminated on March 1, 1937, with control passing to the railroad interests.

 

As the airline grew the name was changed to Northeast Airlines and ultimately Northeast was taken over by Delta.

 

We have the routes from the 1937 timetables for the Lockheed Electra operations.

 

The current Pan Am Clipper Connection operation, as a local feeder line, is carried out by a company named Boston Maine Airways which was incorporated in 1999. It is wholly owned by Pan Am Systems (formerly known as Guilford Transportation Industries) which owns the Pan Am brand.


Lockheed Electra L10-A

 

The following information about the Lockheed Electra is taken from the documentation supplied with the FS Design Berlin FS2004 Electra package, which together with the Boston Maine scheme by Dale de Luca provides the aircraft for these flights.

 

By the way, the first flight of Trans Canada Airlines by an Electra 10-A from Richmond BC to Seattle was 70 years ago in September 1937, which is as good an excuse for including this picture as I need.

 

.

In the summer of 1932 Robert Gross determined that the reborn Lockheed should start afresh with the very latest type of aircraft. Initially, it was to embody the usual low-drag and single engine design, but other developments dictated major changes.

The introduction by Boeing of their revolutionary model 247 which was the first low-drag twin engine all metal transport, and by Douglas of their DC-1 and later the improved DC-2, which were even faster and had more payload than the Boeing, compelled Lockheed to rethink their new plane and design a twin engine transport that would surpass it's competitors. It was decided that the model 10 should be laid out as a twin engine, all metal, ten passenger plane, with a crew of two and a toilet compartment.

 

It had an all metal stressed skin fuselage, motor driven retractable landing gear, and retractable flaps, something that the Boeing did not have. It was also faster than the Boeing, and competitive with the DC-2. The first Model 10 Electra was tested by Marshall Headle at Mines Field, Los Angeles on February 23, 1934.

Eventually four main versions of the Electra were produced, the L 10-A with Pratt and Whitney Wasp Junior R-985SB/SB-3 engines, the model B with Wright Whirlwind R-975-E3s, the Model C with Wasp SC-1s, and the Model E with Wasp R 1340 S3H-1 engines.

The Electra was an immediate success. At it's introduction it was one of the fastest airliners available and orders flowed in from all over the world, with sales to 23 airlines in 13 countries.

Boston Maine Routes

These routes, times and mileages for routes 26 and 28 were taken from the OAG for August 1937.

 

Boston-Bangor-Bar Harbor (Route 26)

 

Heading

Distance

Down

City Name

ICAO

Up

Heading

Distance

037

0

0850

BOSTON

KBOS

1922

 

245

048

96 mls

0931

PORTLAND

KPWM

1844

219

149

033

149 mls

0956

AUGUSTA

KAUG

1819

226

99

082

166 mls

1008

WATERVILLE

KWVL

1807

220

79

 

212 mls

1026

BANGOR

KBGR

1744

264

33

 

 

 

Sun & hldys

 

 

 

 

154

212 mls

1031

BANGOR

KBGR

1729

 

33

 

245 mls

1045

BAR HARBOR

KBHB

1715

335

0

 

Bangor-Millinocket-Presque Isle-Caribou (Route 27)

 

Heading

Distance

Down

City Name

ICAO

Up

Heading

Distance

024

0

1040lv

BANGOR

KBGR

1730ar

 

144 nm

071

51 nm

1116lv

MILLINOCKET

KMLT

1654lv

205

93 nm

002

98 nm

1151lv

HOULTON

KHUL

1619lv

252

46 nm

026

133 nm

1220lv

PRESQUE ISLE

KPQI

1550lv

182

11 nm

 

144 nm

1232ar

CARIBOU

KCAR

1538lv

206

0 nm

 

Boston-Burlington-Montreal (Route 28)

 

Heading

Distance

Down

City Name

ICAO

Up

Heading

Distance

347

0 mls

0855lv

BOSTON

KBOS

1926

 

191 mls

005

43 mls

0917lv

MANCHESTER

KMHT

1909

167

148 mls

338

62 mls

0930lv

CONCORD

KCON

1856

185

129 mls

318

153 mls

1008lv

BARRE-MONTPELIER

KMPV

1818

157

38 mls

 

191 mls

1022ar

BURLINGTON

KBTV

1753

137

0 mls

338

 

1027lv

BURLINGTON

KBTV

1744

 

66 nm

 

66 nm

1056ar

MONTREAL

CSS3

1715

157

 

Montreal was probably one of the International airports, but we will use a smaller field in keeping with the era. Distances in Canada donít seem to have been measured!

 

Flight Simulator Files

The Lockheed Electra 10-A is available as L104NWA.zip at avsim.com and the Boston Maine scheme is also at avsim.com as L10_BMA.zip.


Route Map