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 John Schmidt (dc8schmidt@twc.com) | Home > 
Flying Colors - Braniff Airways 6 / 2018
Paul Revere Braniff started his airline from Oklahoma City to Tulsa in 1928. Like many start ups it was a family undertaking and a struggle until their first mail contract in 1934. In 1935  the Lockeed L-10 Electra was added. Bowen Airlines was acquired in 1936, DC-2s in 1937 and DC-3s in 1939.
Braniff survived the war years, and launched services to South America in 1946. By 1952 Mid Continent was added and Braniff was established as a major airline. Everything was normal and profitable until 1965 when Harding Lawrence was appointed President.
It was Lawrence that ended the "plain plane" and grew Braniff in all directions. The rest as they say, is history.
Album by John Schmidt. 1 - 80 of 80 Total. 13082 Visits.
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Enlarge photo 1
Braniff L-10 Electra #1
Braniff was introducing the L-10 Electra in 1935. This early and surprisingly common card included a view of the "modern" interior.

Enlarge photo 2
Braniff L-10 Electra #3 KCF
A rare 1936 Braniff issue of an L-10 boarding passengers. The spinning prop addition to the engines was an interesting modification of the original photo ( Visible on Ed Coates collection)
"Card by courtesy of Kuo-Chin..."
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Enlarge photo 3
Braniff DC-2 #2
Braniff's DC-2s were acquired from TWA in 1937. All except this one , NC13727, we're drafted into the army in 1942. This aircraft was lost in a crash at Oklahoma City in 1939.
Card is an early Braniff Issue

Enlarge photo 4
Braniff DC-2 #3
A rare Braniff issue showing a line up of ex TWA DC-2s

Enlarge photo 5
Braniff DC-2 #4 KCF
A great Braniff in flight image of their 1st DC-2 in flight over Dallas. The card is a modern unidentified publisher card by courtesy of Kuo-Ching Fu. In my view the best in flight image of a DC-2

Enlarge photo 6
Braniff DC-2 #1
A later (I believe) Braniff issue of their DC-2 over Dallas.

Enlarge photo 7
Braniff Stewardess (Ms Jeanne Braniff?) KCF
"Thanks to Kuo-Ching Fu for t..."
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Enlarge photo 8
Braniff DC-3 #1
Braniff's first DC-3 was delivered in 1939, and amazingly operated throughout the war. N21776 served through 1964, and was then sold to Lloyd Aereos Boliviano. Card is a very nice Braniff issue.

Enlarge photo 9
Mid Continent DC-3 #3
On the other hand, Mid Continent did not receive this beautiful DC-3 until 1946, an ex military C-53. It joined the Braniff fleet in 1952, and was sold to Lake Central in 1959

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Braniff DC-3 #2
A splendid oversized card of the Braniff DC-3 was issued by Jumbo Postcard Co.

Enlarge photo 11
Mid Continent DC-3 #5
Jumbo Postcard also issued an excellent oversized card of Mid Continent's N34950.

Enlarge photo 12
Braniff DC-4 #2
Given the importance of the DC-4 to Braniff, as well as most other airlines, it is strange that no postcard or publicity photo was ever issued.
The DC-4 launched Braniff's international services to South America, including JATO takeoffs from LaPaz. This DC-4 flew with Braniff from 1945 to 1954, before serving with Trans Mediterranean.

"Photo from Ed Coates collect..."
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Enlarge photo 13
Braniff DC-6 #2
The first Braniff issued DC-6, issued around 1950. Interestingly, the aircraft shown on the card was a Douglas demonstrator which was ultimately delivered to Slick.

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Braniff DC-6 #1
The first DC-6 delivered to Braniff was N90881 delivered in August of 1947, and used to launch the "El Conquistador" services to South America.  This card, believed to be Braniff issued has its description in Spanish.

Enlarge photo 15
Braniff DC-3 #4
This new livery was launched in 1952 with the arrival of the Convair 340s. This DC-3, N21914 shown on a rare Ilford Portfolio issue, came with the Mid Continent merger, and was sold to Lake Central in 1961

Enlarge photo 16
Braniff C-46
In 1955, Braniff added two ex Civil Air Transport C-46s to accommodate growth in the air freight business, operating them until 1963.
The card is International Airlines Museum #1

Enlarge photo 17
Braniff Convair 340 #1
In November 1952, Braniff put the first Convair 340 in operation. The livery on this aircraft became the standard for all Braniff aircraft.
Card is the common Braniff issue.

Enlarge photo 18
Braniff Convair 340 #4 KCF
A total of 26 Convair 340s were delivered to Braniff. Nine of them went to Caribair, later converted to 640s. This is an unidentified vintage card of the first 340.

Enlarge photo 19
Braniff Convair 340 #3
N3413 shown on this Des Moines Airport issue, operated for Braniff through 1969, and was never converted. Ended life with Sierra Pacific in 1976

Enlarge photo 20
Mid Continent Convair 240
Mid Continent was merged into Braniff in 1952, bringing 4 additional Convairs as well as DC-3s. This aircraft, N 90663, operated briefly for Braniff, but was sold to LAI in 1953, and is featured on the LAI postcard as I LIFT.

Enlarge photo 21
Braniff DC-6 #4
This excellent Linen Braniff issue shows N 90884, shown on the "El Conquistador" post cards. It operated from 1947- 1966, when it was sold to AVIATECA

Enlarge photo 22
Braniff DC-6 #7 KCF
An excellent Frontier Productions issue showing N 90884 provided by Kuo-Ching Fu.

Enlarge photo 23
Braniff DC-6 #5
The first of the Braniff over length cards, which in later years became a Braniff standard.

Enlarge photo 24
Braniff DC-6 #3
Braniff later (circa 1955) added the white top to the final DC-6 postcards.

Enlarge photo 25
Braniff DC-7C #1
The year 1956 saw the arrival of the DC-7C El Dorados for use on Braniff's growing South American network. Sadly, this common art card was the only Braniff issue of this elegant airliner.

Enlarge photo 26
Braniff DC-7C #2
N5900 was the first DC-7C delivered to Braniff, shown on this Aviation Color Photo issue. It operated for Braniff until July 1968.

Enlarge photo 27
Braniff Convair 440 #1
Braniff acquired the first Convair 440 in 1956. The first 2 were delivered in the old color scheme, but later aircraft, such as N3437 shown on this card received the new colors. All of the Braniff 440s ultimately went to Allegheny.

Enlarge photo 28
Braniff Electra #1
The first Braniff Electra, N 9701C, was delivered on April 29, 1959. On September 29, 1959 a newly delivered Electra, N 9705C broke up in flight. Shortly thereafter, the Northwest Electra disintegrated in flight. Not too surprisingly, Braniff issued no cards of their Electras. The above is an Aviation World issue.

Enlarge photo 29
Braniff Electra #3 KCF
After the early Electra crashes, the updated Electra II incorporated corrections to eliminate the causes of structural failure.
This rare Electra card by courtesy of Kuo-Ching Fu, bears the Electra II designation on the tail.
The last Electra operation was in May 1969.

Enlarge photo 30
Braniff 707-220 #2
Braniff's first of 5 707-227s, N7071, shown on this vintage Dexter card never made it into service, having crashed on a training flight.
N 7072 arrived on December 3, 1959. It's first flight was from Dallas to NYC.

Enlarge photo 31
Braniff 707-220 #3
The new 707-220s sported a modified "jet age" El Dorado livery, as shown on this splendid Braniff issue.
The 220 was essentially a 120 equipped with upgraded JT 4A engines.

Enlarge photo 32
Braniff 720 #1
The 1st 720 was delivered to Braniff on February 11, 1961. This outstanding Braniff issue shows N 7077, the 2nd 720 delivered a month later. It operated for 19 years and ultimately flew for AeroAmerica. There were 5 720-027s in total.

Enlarge photo 33
Braniff BAC-111-200 #6 KCF
Braniff made big news with the order for 12 BAC-111 jets in October of 1961. This rare pre delivery BAC issue was used as a QSL card
"Thanks to Kuo-Ching Fu for s..."
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Enlarge photo 34
Braniff BAC-111-200 #7 KCF
An excellent BAC issue by courtesy of
Kuo-Ching Fu

Enlarge photo 35
Braniff BAC-111-200 #1
This beautiful in flight Braniff BAC-111 was issued in early 1966. The One Eleven gave Braniff a short lived advantage in the intermediate sized city market.

Enlarge photo 36
Braniff Electra #2
Although for the most part Braniff had been well managed and successful, in 1964 Troy Post accomplished the acquisition of Braniff and Harding Lawrence was made president. The result was a complete and innovative makeover of the airline and the end of the Plain plane.
This old Electra looks rather out of place in the new Spaceage Braniff livery.

Enlarge photo 37
Braniff 720 #3 KCF
The new colors captivated the public, and raised Braniff's profile nationwide. Shown is an uncommon card from A-W Distributors, showing a 720 taking off.

Enlarge photo 38
Braniff 707-320C #1
The breathtaking blue colors were shown on this excellent Braniff issued 707-320C. The 320Cs were delivered in 1966 and 1967.

Enlarge photo 39
Braniff BAC-111-200 #4
The BAC-111s were quickly repainted and later deliveries occurred in the new livery. N1544 was delivered in April 1965, went to Allegheny in 1972, and reappeared with Braniff after service with Florida Express in 1988.

Enlarge photo 40
Braniff BAC-111-200 #3
An excellent Dexter issue of N 1544

Enlarge photo 41
Braniff 727-100 #2
The 727-100s were ordered in 1965, starting with 12 QC models. Shown on this Braniff issue is N 7272, the 3rd 727 delivered to Braniff in August 1966.

Enlarge photo 42
Braniff 727-100 #3
The same image used on a slightly different re-issue.

Enlarge photo 43
Braniff 727-100 #6
An IAWP issue of N 7272 in a lime color, but I don't believe it ever flew in these colors.

Enlarge photo 44
Braniff 727-200 #7KCF
June of 1970 saw the first of Braniff's 727-200s arrive. N401 BN flew with Braniff until the 1982 shut down, and later saw service with Northwest and Pan American.
The card is a rare Braniff black and white issue, kindly shared by Kuo-Ching Fu.

"Card by courtesy of Kuo-Chin..."
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Enlarge photo 45
Braniff 727-200 #1
An excellent postcard view of 401 BN from Air Pictorials.

Enlarge photo 46
Braniff 727-200 #8 KCF
Maybe the best view of 401BN is this Frontier Productions issue.

Enlarge photo 47
Braniff 727-200s #1
In 1975 Calder was commissioned to produce a BiCentennial aircraft. N408BN became that aircraft, and was featured in Braniff advertising.

Enlarge photo 48
Braniff 727-200s #2
Braniff also issued a standard sized card of the previous image.

Enlarge photo 49
Braniff DC-8-62 #1
The DC-8-62s came to Braniff as a result of the Panagra acquisition in February 1967. The 62s were on order, and Braniff took delivery of the aircraft which were ideal for the South American operations.
Card is an Aviation World issue.

Enlarge photo 50
Braniff DC-8-62 #2
In 1973, Alexander Calder was commissioned to purportedly reflect the "bright colors and simple designs" of Latin America. N1805 became that aircraft, and did in fact raise Braniff's profile even higher.

Enlarge photo 51
Braniff DC-8-62 #3
Braniff acquired additional 62s from Alitalia and Scandinavian, operating the fleet until the shutdown.
This stunning view is an Air Pictorials issue.

Enlarge photo 52
Braniff 747-100 #3
One of the most photographed, and recognizable airliners was N 601BN, the first Braniff 747. It operated Dallas to Honolulu services, averaging 15 hours per day utilization.

Enlarge photo 53
Braniff 747-100 #2
N601 BN also launched Dallas to London services in 1978. The card is a splendid oversized Braniff issue.

Enlarge photo 54
Braniff 747-100 #5KCF
This is an unusual oversized postcard view of 601 BN from Metroplex Post Cards.  Hard to find.
"Card by courtesy of Kuo-Chin..."
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Enlarge photo 55
Braniff 747-100 #4 KCF
In my view, one of the best 747 images ever issued is this excellent Frontier Productions issue by courtesy of Kuo-Ching Fu.

Enlarge photo 56
Braniff 727-100 #4
An absolutely splendid over length card of the 1st 727, N 7270 in the later Flying Colors livery.

Enlarge photo 57
Braniff 727-100 #5
This is another of the exceptional over-length Braniff issues. N12827 was a QC delivered to American Flyers in 1968. It came to Braniff in 1971, and was later re registered as N308BN

Enlarge photo 58
Braniff 727-100 #7
An excellent Memphis Airport issue of N7282, a 100 series aircraft originally ordered by Pacific Northern, but delivered to Braniff in 1966

Enlarge photo 59
Braniff 727-200 #2
This is a very nice Braniff issue of 401BN, the first Braniff 727-200,  in the later Flying Colors livery.

Enlarge photo 60
Braniff DC-8-50 #1
The Panagra DC-8-30s were repainted but quickly removed from service. However,  in 1973 and 1977 Braniff acquired a number of DC-8-50s to supplement the 62 fleet. This one, an ex Delta aircraft was leased and not given a Braniff registration.

Enlarge photo 61
Braniff DC-8-50 #2
Movifoto issued several cards of the DC-8-50. This is a nice view of N812BN, delivered new to National in 1962, and added to Braniff's in September 1973. In 1980 it joined ARCA Colombia

Enlarge photo 62
Braniff DC-8-62 #4
Movifoto also issued this excellent in flight view of N1804, a 62 model delivered in September of 1967. It later operated for Arrow Air and Rich International.

Enlarge photo 63
Braniff 727-200 #5
The Braniff "Ultra" scheme arrived in 1977, as shown on this oversized 727-200, one of the few Ultra scheme issues.

Enlarge photo 64
Braniff 727-200 #4
N456BN is shown on this nice Aviation World issue, sporting Perseus Green  colors. It was delivered to Braniff in 1978, operating until the shutdown. Ultimately it became a FedEx freighter.

Enlarge photo 65
Braniff DC-8-62 #5
Somewhat surprising is the fact that this giant oversized DC-8-62, in the Ultra livery was the only Braniff issued DC-8. Shown is N 1809E, which after 1982 went to Surinam Airways, and sadly crashed in 1989.

Enlarge photo 66
Braniff Concorde #2
For an aircraft that didn't exist, the Braniff Concorde had a surprising number of cards.  This is perhaps the best of the Braniff issues, which were a result of Braniff's ill-fated interchange flights with Air France and British.

Enlarge photo 67
Braniff Concorde #1
The Concorde operation, a decided money loser, operated only from 1979 to june 30, 1980. Perhaps it helped to continue Braniff's maximum exposure philosophy.
Card is also a Braniff issue

Enlarge photo 68
Braniff Concorde #3
This fold over card is presumed to be for desk display. Quite rare.

Enlarge photo 69
Braniff 747-200 #1
Later Braniff 747s, such as the 200 shown on this Braniff over-length issue sported a modified Big Orange look. By this time, (1979), Braniff was in Global expansion mode.

Enlarge photo 70
Braniff 747-200 #2
A second oversized 747-200 was issued, which seems a little less common than the first.

Enlarge photo 71
Braniff 747-200 #4
A nice Skilton issue of a 747-200 in happier days

Enlarge photo 72
Braniff 747 SP #2
One of the last Braniff issues was this excellent oversized card of their 1st 747 SP, ordered for long distance Asian flights. It operated for only a year.

Enlarge photo 73
Braniff 747 SP #3
This is one of 2 excellent views of N 603 BN from Aviation Color Photo

Enlarge photo 74
Braniff 747 SP #4 KCF
An excellent view of 803 BN from Frontier Productions.
"Card by courtesy of Kuo-Chin..."
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Enlarge photo 75
Braniff 747-200 #1KCF
The saddest card of all is this postcard solicitation for sale as Braniff was  in crisis.
"Card by courtesy of Kuo-Chin..."
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Enlarge photo 76
Braniff 727-200 #10 KCF
Braniff emerged from Bankrupcy in December 1983, with the help of Hyatt Corporation. Thirty 727-200s made up the new Braniff fleet.
Shown is a rare oversized card of a 727 in the new Braniff livery.

"This extraordinary card by c..."
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Enlarge photo 77
Braniff 727-200 #3
The photo was also used on a standard sized card published for Braniff by Aviation World.

Enlarge photo 78
Braniff 727-200 #6
A third splendid Braniff issue, continuing a Braniff postcard tradition of aircraft in flight over Dallas.

Enlarge photo 79
Braniff 737-200 #1
The new Braniff added 10 leased ex Western 737s to the fleet in 1987. Shown is N4505W, delivered to Western in 1968.

Enlarge photo 80
Braniff BAC-111-200 #5
In 1988  the new Braniff acquired Florida Express, creating an Orlando hub. In a ironic twist, Braniff's BAC-111s were reunited with their original owner, such as N1549, delivered to Braniff in September of 1965, and shown on this Aerogem issue.
Shortly thereafter new ownership and an ill fated order for 50 A-320s led to a final Bankrupcy.

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