The Department of Commerce and the Civil Aeronautics Administration are sponsoring a trial event to demonstrate the importance of aviation for economic development in the Western United States. The newly-elected Dewey Administration is keen to show how the ingenuity of American business can bring prosperity to what Henry Luce has termed the "American Century." If all goes well, this test will provide the basis for a larger-scale competition.
This event will encourage aviation companies, from the United States and abroad, to show how they can manage commercial operations that will connect the cities of the West and surmount the obstacles of distance and terrain. The emphasis is on free competition, part of the new administration's commitment to open skies in the international arena. Thus, the contest, and the potentially lucrative air routes, are open to overseas carriers as well as small regional American companies. This decision has disappointed both the America-first conservatives of the party's Taft wing as well as the established domestic carriers who have long been protected by government subsidies and regulations. To even the playing field, each company will enter one DC-4 and fly a fixed route that connects Western cities located in the dry desolate deserts of the Southwest, the dangerous high altitudes and craggy peaks of the Rocky Mountains, and the heavy weather covering the Pacific Northwest. Safety and economy will be the standards of success as the world is watching to assess the potential of commercial aviation in the Post-War age.
Rumors are circulating about possible entrants. The Big Four are always likely participants, with United, American, and TWA already having extensive route experience in the region and Eastern always looking for more business. It seems that Western is very likely to defend its own turf. And expansion is on the minds of other regional airlines, including the crop-dusting southerners at Delta, the Floridians running National, Minnesotans at Northwest, Californians at Pacific Southwest, the bush pilots of Alaska Airlines, and the largest of the bunch, Washington's Capital Airlines. As ever, Pan American's Juan Trippe is eager to acquire a domestic routing system. The non-scheduled carriers are obvious candidates, including California Eastern, Overseas National, Riddle, Seaboard & Western, and Transocean. With their Dewey allies in office (and deregulation in the air) even Matson Navigation is interested in reinitiating luxurious airline service connecting Hawaii to the West Coast and the mainland network. And there are hints that national carriers such as Aerovias Brasil, Air France, Canadian Pacific, and KLM might take part as well.
(This is a more-or-less nightly "Flight 19" joint flying event on the SOH Multiplayer Server. Casual conversation is the norm. All are welcome.)