The dawn of the jet age—in the late 1950s—forced legacy airlines to upgrade their fleets while selling off ‘big prop’ airliners which were still young in hours, but technically obsolete. It was an era in which scheduled airline services were strictly regulated and the smaller supplemental airlines struggled to survive. For those willing to buy or lease ‘nearly new’ aircraft, there were bargains aplenty. In the United States, travel clubs and affinity groups found loopholes in the CAB’s regulations allowing them to offer charters to their members at prices that were often less than half the scheduled fares. New clubs—sometimes loosely constituted and with minimal finance—sprang up and their brightly coloured aircraft were seen at airports across the continent. Michael Zoeller has minutely researched their history while creating hundreds of illustrations highlighting their varied and often inventive liveries.
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