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Grand Central Air Terminal; Images of Aviation Series
by John Underwood
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing
Address:

420 Wando Park Blvd., Mount Pleasant, SC

Web Site: www.arcadiapublsihing.com
Price:
 $19.95
Copyright:
 2008
Binding:  Paperback Height:

 9.00

Width:

 6.00

Pages:  128 No. Photos:
 200+ B&W
ISBN:
978-0-7385-46

Grand Central Air Terminal (GCAT), Glendale, Calif., was the premier airport in the Los Angeles area during the “Golden Age” of aviation. The airport was the west coast terminus for American Airlines and Trans World Airlines, as well as a popular hangout for many of the motion picture celebrities of the 1920s through 1940s. Most of the who’s who in aviation circles of the period operated from GCAT or frequented the airport.

Grand Central was also the one time home for aviation manufacturers such as Kinner, Northrop, Vultee and Timm, as well as several lesser known. It was also where Howard Hughes built his racer. Grand Central hosted several west coast National Air Races in the 1930s. During WWII, GCAT served as the base for an operational training unit equipped with P-38s. Their activities amounted to about 90 percent of the airport’s traffic during this period.

Following WWII, the airport began to experience a steady decline in activities and services. These continued to spiral downward until the decision was finally reached to close. The last aircraft to officially depart GCAT was a Cessna 310, NC1310H, on July 15, 1959.

This is an excellent well illustrated book that provides insight in the development, evolution and eventual demise of one of the premier west coast airports of American aviation history. The author has done a wonderful job of matching period photos to illustrate the written word.

Hayden Hamilton

 

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