Transcontinental Air Transport Pilot Hat Badge 1st Issue
From the collection of D. Hughey
New York, NY 1928-1930
The founders of Transcontinental Air Transport (TAT), incorporated in May 1928, were businessmen led by Clement M. Keys, president of Curtiss Aeroplane and Motors Company, and including Charles A. Lindbergh who designed a transcontinental network to get government airmail contracts. On July 7, 1929, it began the first transcontinental trips. It initially offered a flight that only flew during daylight hours and at night, the passengers continued by pullman train. Maddux Air Line, established in 1927 was the California teminus for TAT when it started New York to California operations. For six months the Maddux and TAT airplanes carried a combination logo of their two companies until TAT bought out Maddux in November 1929. The airline used the Ford Trimotor and was one of the first to offer meals en route. It was also one of the first to be geared to passenger service (while most airlines at the time had focused on air mail). In 1929 it merged with Maddux Air Lines and in 1930 it merged with Western Air Express to form Transcontinental & Western Air (T & WA) that was to become Trans World Airlines.