USAAF CG-4A Glider

Winged Cargo Inc.: First commercial freight glider service

Shortly after the end of World War II, surplus military aircraft entered the civilian market in large numbers. This triggered an explosion of airlines, often flown by the abundant number of veteran pilots. The Douglas C-47 was a mainstay in many of these airlines and freight companies. Not satisfied with simply transporting cargo, two former Air Corps officers, Fred P. Dollenberg and Raymond W. Baldwin Jr. set up Winged Cargo Inc. with its headquarters at NorthWest Philadelphia Airport. This company utilized gliders to carry extra cargo.

WInged Cargo Waco Glider CG-4A
Winged Cargo Inc. takes off while towing a Waco CG-4A glider | Source

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Deutsche Luftschiffahrts, A.G.: First airline with fare-paying passengers

The Deutsche Luftschiffahrts, A.G. (German for “German Airship Travel Corporation”) was the first airline with fare-paying passengers. It was founded on 16th November 1909 and operated airships including the famed LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin and the ill-fated LZ 129 Hindenburg which was destroyed at Lakehurst, New Jersey.

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