Berlin 1948/49: The airlift to end all wars – and launch an industry

“Rugged,” said one airman of the rest of the crew involved in the largest air rescue operation in history. “Rugged as a sunovabitch.” These were the words relayed to American air cargo professionals in the seminal 1949 series of articles penned by Richard Malkin, the legendary original managing editor of Air Transportation magazine, which decades […]

75th Anniversary Snapshot: Redefining fast – the evolution of express

For most of the early decades of Air Transportation magazine, the venerable periodical that eventually became Air Cargo World, the articles were about ever-larger, ever-faster aircraft that were capable of hauling enormous loads across the planet. While speed was always a selling point, much of the industry was trying to prove that it could compete […]

75th Anniversary Snapshot: Thinking inside the ‘Bunyan Box’

  Now that it’s July, when Americans are celebrating their independence, it seems fitting to spotlight a 60-year-old American innovation that changed the way the industry protected its precious cargo. Searching for a way to ensure that perishable airfreight could be quickly loaded and unloaded from cargo holds, while still protecting it from spoilage and […]

75th Anniversary Snapshot: Veterans of veterinary service

Since the earliest days of the air cargo industry, the transport of animals has evolved right along with the precious-but-nonliving goods secured in the cargo holds. In most of the issues of Air Transportation magazine, which later became today’s Air Cargo World, there is at least one mention of an exotic animal hitching a ride, […]

75th Anniversary: Back to the age of flying cars – sort of

Generations of futurists have promised us the concept of the “flying car” for decades, all to no avail. But in 1954, when the car was king, we came pretty close, at the dawn of the Jet Age. It’s only natural that the air cargo industry would merge aviation with the ultimate symbol of American independence. […]

75th Anniversary Snapshot: What’s more valuable? Passengers or cargo?

At the start of the new year, one can be forgiven for being overly optimistic about the future. But there are limits. One case in point comes from an article written in 1953 by Milton A. Caine, the former managing editor of Air Transportation magazine – the precursor to Air Cargo World. Titled “Cargo Will […]

75th Anniversary Snapshot: It’s déjà vu all over again in Hong Kong

The situation on the ground and in the air was becoming untenable. Tarmacs at the airport in Hong Kong were overcrowded. The capacity for both passengers and cargo were just a few years away from reaching design limits. The new air hub needed more infrastructure to access it, including high-speed rail and a new six-lane […]

Air Cargo World Celebrates its 75th birthday

That a magazine has maintained unbroken publication for three-quarters of a century is, in itself, a remarkable achievement. But for a business publication to last that long, covering an industry that basically did not exist when it was conceived, is more than just remarkable; it makes the Air Cargo World journey truly unique in the […]

75th Anniversary: Air Cargo World changes with the times

  Finding its footing The early years, of course, were not easy – neither for the magazine nor the air cargo industry, in general. While there was a growing interest in cargo after the war ended in 1945, and established U.S.-based carriers such as American Airlines and United Airlines began coast-to-coast freighter service using DC-3s, […]

75th Anniversary: Come a long way — gender in air cargo

Like almost every business in America for most of the 20th century, the airfreight business was an old boys’ club. The management was solidly male, with women filling in the stereotypical gender roles of the 1940s through the 1960s – mostly as pretty window dressing for advertisements. Air Transportation sadly reflected these outdated attitudes. If […]

75 Years of Predictions: The Good, the Bad and the Just ‘Plane’ Crazy

At each major milestone in this publication, many executives would pause to pontificate about what the future might hold for the growing airfreight industry. Some people – predictably – were way off on their predictions, but some had a preternatural ability to be spot on with their vision of the future. And then there were […]

75th Anniversary: ACW through the decades

Here are just a few of the thousands of stories covered in Air Cargo World and its predecessors, ever since its inception during World War II. 1942 Air Transportation magazine is launched in October by John F. Budd in New York City. American Airlines begins first U.S. transcontinental, all-cargo air service, using DC-3 freighters. 1943 […]

Come a long way: 75 years of good, bad, ugly air cargo ads

The calendar has finally turned over to 2017, and so begins Air Cargo World’s celebration of our long history – 75 years, in fact. Beginning in October 1942, when U.S. forces were battling in Guadalcanal and the Soviets began to turn the tide against Hitler in Stalingrad, founder John F. Budd began publication of Air […]