Below is a new slide of a PWA DC-7C taken in Zurich (ZRH) with what looks like a ‘Swissair” DC-8 in the background! from Dan Dertien.


Ken Pickford offers the following additional information:

The aircraft was CF-PWM, leased by PWA for longhaul charter services from 1964 to 1969. Originally delivered to KLM as PH-DSB in April 1957 and disposed of in 1962.

It was one of KLM's 15 DC-7C's, the longest-range Douglas piston-engined airliner, all delivered in 1957/58. KLM's DC-7C's were named for bodies of water, that one "Red Sea" ("Rode Zee" in Dutch).

The final very long range piston-powered airliners like the DC-7C and the last and longest-range model of the Super Constellation series, the L-1649A Starliner, had a short carreer with their original operators due to the arrival of the 707 and DC-8 in the late 1950's which cut flight times almost in half.

Another photo of that aircraft at Vancouver in March 1969, near the end of its PWA service, can be found at

PWA also had one standard DC-7 (CF-PWD) quite briefly in 1964/65. It was originally operated by American Airlines from 1954 to 1959 as N315AA, named "Flagship Maryland". American's DC-7s were the first aircaft to operate nonstop in both directions on U.S. coast-to-coast routes like New York-Los Angeles starting in November 1953.

A photo of CF-PWD at London Gatwick (LGW) in June 1964 can be found at

tmb 550 pwa dc7 overseas

tmb pwa emblemPacific Western Airlines was founded by Russ Baker, in Fort St. James, B.C., in 1946 with a leased Beech biplane.

Mr. Baker provided air service to remote mining camps and logging operations in the North, delivering men and materials to isolated destinations.

The company was known as Central British Columbia Airways Ltd. and, from the beginning, had a reputation for on-time service and ingenuity.

It was in 1949 that Central B.C. Airways was commissioned to do aerial surveys for the giant aluminum and power complexes at Kitimat and Kemano in the rugged mountainous back country of British Columbia. During the development of this project, Central B.C. Airways handled 95% of the air support, consisting mainly of heavy industrial freight and workers.

Between 1949 and 1952, the Company acquired seven other smaller flying services. With each acquisition, the Company expanded its base of operations, providing the much needed manpower and equipment necessary to maintain a rapidly expanding air service. These companies included Associated Air Taxi, Kamloops Air Service, Skeena Air Transport, Whitehorse Flying Services and Port Alberni Airways.

In 1953, the Company adopted the name Pacific Western Airlines, the beginning of another important era. Additional companies were acquired, such as Queen Charlotte Airlines in 1955, giving the Company a foothold in scheduled services, and Associated Airways in 1955, leading to a vital contract in the construction of the Distant Early Warning line in Canada’s north.


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