How About a Heritage Jet?

You’re heard of the heritage locomotives of Norfolk Southern that pay tribute to its predecessor railroads by adorning them with a livery once used by those fallen flag companies.

Some airlines also have painted select planes in heritage liveries that pay tribute to predecessor companies.

Among them is American Airlines, which has painted a few jets in liveries that pay tribute to predecessor companies that it either acquired outright or which were merged with a company that American merged with.

Shown is the Piedmont Airlines tribute jet after landing at John Glenn Columbus International Airport upon arriving on a flight from Phoenix.

The original Piedmont operated primarily in the southeast United States as a local service carrier between 1948 and 1989 when it was acquired by USAir.

During the 1980s and 1990s, Piedmont had a hub operation at Dayton International Airport.

USAir, which later renamed itself US Airways, was acquired by American in 2013, although the two carriers continued to operate with separate identities until October 2015.

The Piedmont retro jet wears the Piedmont livery that the carrier’s planes bore until the merger with USAir.

The aircraft type was featured on the tails of some Piedmont aircraft. However, Piedmont never operated an Airbus jet. Its fleet in its final years consisted of Boeing 737s and a few 727s.

It is noteworthy that for a time Norfolk Southern had an ownership stake in Piedmont.

The Piedmont name remains in use for a regional carrier once known as Henson Airlines, a feeder carrier that today operates flights for American Eagle.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

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