The CR Smith Museum is excited to unveil the latest addition to its permanent exhibition.

Celebrating more than 75 years of operations, American Airlines Cargo is more crucial now than ever before – including delivering COVID-19 vaccines throughout the US. A new wall graphic charts the history of Cargo and its importance to the airline.

On Oct. 15, 1944, American Airlines loaded up a DC-3 with more than 6,000 pounds of cargo and flew the first scheduled air cargo (cargo only) flight from LaGuardia Field to Burbank, California. Over the years following the inaugural 19-hour flight, American Airlines Cargo innovated truly game-changing technology firsts, cementing the airline’s position as a world-class leader in moving more than just people.

These firsts include:
• The first scheduled air cargo service in the world
• The first air freight loading conveyors, soon followed by portable motorized loading conveyors
• The first air hub and spoke system
• The first air freight terminals
• The first scissor-lift system and pet carrier container for air travel
• The first powered cargo loader – the Astroloader for the 707 Aircraft
• The first super-sized cargo container for the 747 aircraft
• The first refrigerated cargo container

On Friday, Nov. 20, 2020, the new exhibit was welcomed to the Museum gallery via a livestream event hosted by Jessica Tyler (President, Cargo and Vice President, Airport Excellence) and Jim Butler (Senior Vice President, Airports and Cargo).

You can watch the full unveiling below and enjoy the exhibit on your next visit to the Museum