Friday, February 19, 2016

Braniff Airways Flying Colors by Richard Benjamin Cass - Book Review

Braniff Airways - Flying Colors Images of Modern America takes the reader through a photographic tour of the life and times of Braniff Airways. Beginning in 1928, Tom Braniff and his brother Paul Revere Braniff dedicated their efforts toward bringing affordable air travel to the public.

Inspired by the cross Atlantic flight of Charles Lindberg, these brothers, pioneers in a fledgling aviation industry, took the purchase of one fabric covered, five passenger Stinson airplane and transformed their dream into an empire.

Struggling through the troubled times of the Great Depression, they pulled out of a near bankruptcy by adapting their services to carrying mail for the government before expanding into commuter routes between Dallas and Oklahoma. The fascinating story of how they grew their dream is captured alongside the colorful, ninety-five page photo filled documentary detailing the evolution of the airline.

Inside you'll discover facts about its leaders, employees, series of planes and jets, training facilities, executive offices, designer uniforms, flight hostesses and flight attendants, its amazing in-flight meals, designer fabrics and paint schemes of their fleet, along with the ever evolving changes in passenger transport equipment.

The book takes the reader from the airline's humble beginnings to its eventual demise as an multi-billion dollar entity.

The book is illustrated with a vast collection of Dallas History of Aviation's historic photographs housed at McDermott Library UTD as well as the author's lifelong collection of Braniff Flying Colors photos and memorabilia.

Author Richard Benjamin Cass dedicates this book to the memory of Harding Luther Lawrence, whose leadership role at Braniff spanned the years from 1965 to 1981. He guided the airline through the deregulation of the airline industry in 1978, to expansion internationally, through its years plagued with exponential fuel increases, dynamic drops in passenger air travel, and expanding interest charges on unpaid debt. He speaks about route awards by then President Carter, of revenue increases and route expansions without delving into the whys and intricate details of how these issues were overcome.

Well worth the price, the book will delight any reader who has an interest in aviation history along with those who strive to keep the memory of Braniff alive.


  1. Flying is in your blood, dear Peg - wonderful review.

    Just heard on the news where an airline will have 10 seats in a row in the coach section - ouch, tight squeeze in the heavenly skies... :(

    1. Yikes. I wonder which aircraft that would be? Reminds me of the 747. I think they had four seats in the middle with an aisle on either side, then three seats on each side by the windows.

    2. Pretty sure it was 'American', dear Peg... :(

  2. Planes always fascinate me too....Nice Blog Peg Cole! Bookmarking to revisit at another time.

    1. I appreciate your visit and nice comment, Grammie. Thank you.