TWA 707 tail section
Trans World Airlines, commonly known as TWA, was an American airline which was bought by American Airlines in April 2001.
The airline was founded 13 July 1925 as Western Air Express. In 1930 it merged with Transcontinental Air Transport to become Transcontinental and Western Air (T&WA). In 1950 the airline changed its name to Trans World Airlines.
From the 1940's to 1970's, TWA was one of two U.S. airlines that flew to Europe (the other was Pan American World Airways).
TWA was headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri and used the airport nearby, Lambert-Saint Louis International Airport as its major hub.
Other interesting facts
- T.W.A. was a major helper in the foundation of Saudi Arabian Airlines.
- In a perhaps ironic twist, T.W.A. carried Muhammad Ali (then Cassius Clay) back home to Louisville after the 1960 Rome Olympic Games, and would later have Ali's ring rival, Sonny Liston, do a commercial for them.
- According to the movie, Great Balls of Fire, singer Jerry Lee Lewis flew on T.W.A. when travelling to his European tour.
- T.W.A. was the official airline of the St. Louis Rams, and the airline painted a Rams' helmet on one of their Boeing 727's.
- T.W.A.'s landmark Terminal No. 5 at New York's JFK Airport, by Eero Saarinen, is a lyrical expression of the unified sculptural forms that could be created in reinforced concrete, before the age of computers.