US Airways has christened its second ‘throwback’ aircraft at Charlotte Douglas International Airport.Painted in classic Piedmont Airlines blue and white colors with a red US Airways along the fuselage, the ‘throwback’ aircraft also boasts the Piedmont logo on the tail and Piedmont’s famous tail stripes. The plane’s nose also sports the classic Piedmont “Pacemaker” moniker, which the airline used on many of its aircraft throughout its four-decade run. Additionally, the aircraft registration or tail number was also changed to N744P, reflecting Piedmont’s original designator.
US Airways Chairman, President and CEO Doug Parker stated, “It is an honor to recognize and celebrate US Airways’ Piedmont heritage. We dedicate this aircraft to the thousands of former Piedmont employees who continue to work for the new US Airways, as well as those who are now retired and helped build our great airline. The spirit of Piedmont’s legendary brand of Southern hospitality and service lives on at the new US Airways.”
Piedmont Airlines’ roots stem from the late 1940s when Piedmont Aviation was authorized to operate local airline route 87 by the Civil Aviation Board. The inaugural Piedmont flight departed Wilmington, N.C. for Cincinnati, Ohio in February 1948 with stops in Southern Pines, Charlotte and Asheville, N.C., as well as Tri-Cities, Tenn. and Lexington, Ky. Piedmont operated a wide array of aircraft utilizing Douglas DC-3s to Boeing 767s throughout its history. Before merging with USAir in the late 1980s, Piedmont operated hubs at Charlotte, Baltimore and Dayton, Ohio with 185 aircraft and more than 250 daily departures.
US Airways will dedicate other ‘throwback’ aircraft later this year mirroring the paint schemes of Allegheny Airlines and America West Airlines. In March 2006, US Airways dedicated its first ‘throwback’ aircraft: PSA livery complete with its famous smile. Additionally, every aircraft in the US Airways fleet honors its ancestry by bearing the Heritage symbol, appearing near the aircraft door. The Heritage symbol incorporates the classic logos of the four largest airlines that have merged over the years to create the new US Airways: Allegheny, America West, PSA and Piedmont.