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   Vol. 18 No. 16
Monday March 4, 2019

Birth Of Modern Air Cargo
Berlin Airlift Kids

Now for everybody who loves aviation, and especially folks that today live and work in air cargo, comes a unique opportunity. Right on the heels of a major world gathering—Air Cargo Europe in Munich, Germany at Transport Logistik June 4-7, the 70th anniversary of the Berlin Airlift is being celebrated in grand style from June 10 until June 18. Eight days full of events featuring the people and more than 40 aircraft gathered from all over the world, returning to Germany, where modern air cargo made history saving the city of Berlin in 1948-49.
     The "heroes" of this hitherto unique humanitarian aid action and solidarity were the aviation and ground crews of the "Raisin Bombers”.

Berlin Airlift Crews

     That name was given to aircraft that had once appeared above the City of Berlin spelling destruction, but in a complete reversal just three years after the end of World War II, returned, delivering coal and food. The air cargo crews often gave the children, who gathered at the airport to watch the action taking place, Hershey bars and other candy and fruit, thus the name, Raisin Bombers.
     In June 2019, the historic "Raisin Bombers" will return for the 70th anniversary of the Airlift - most likely for the last time.
     The machines of the era will all be there including DC3 / C 47, DC4 and JU 52, making their way to Berlin and elsewhere in the original path of the 48-49 Airlift.
     Nearly 40 aircraft are coming, or enough to recreate the Airlift at the original time intervals, accompanied by multi-day public events and school and youth projects.
     For the first time in history, the Airlift will be visible and tangible for today's generation.
     At the airports in Wiesbaden-Erbenheim, at Faßberg (Lower Saxony, 10 km from Munster), at Schleswig Jagel, at Schönhagen (40 km south of Berlin), crews and machines will be at the disposal of the public.
     Berlin Airlift 2019 will be an "air bridge to touch".
     For More: click here.

Berlin Airlift Aircraft

Why Berlin Airlift Matters in 2019

      Apart from the blockade of street traffic in 1948 the Soviets also successively blocked all routes by land, rail, and water between West Berlin and the three Western zones.
     Only the air corridors on which the four victorious powers had agreed in the Air Agreement of 1945/46 were unaffected. As Berlin began to starve, the three Western powers commenced an Airlift to supply the city and its approximately two million inhabitants with the necessities of life.
     It was an ambitious plan never before attempted on this scale and it was unclear whether it would work.
     On July 28, 1948, the first American and British aircraft landed at Tempelhof and Gatow airfields with goods for the people of Berlin.
     Many other flights followed, but nobody could predict how long the blockade would last.
     For that reason, the Western powers initially planned to supply the city into the winter.
     The aim during the first weeks of the Airlift was to fly 4,500 tons of goods into the city every day.
     This was raised to 5,000 tons a day in the autumn of 1948.
     Coal to meet the city’s energy needs made up a large proportion of the tonnage.
     In October U.S. General William H. Tunner was appointed to head the Combined Airlift Taskforce (CALTF), which had its headquarters in Wiesbaden. He perfected the Airlift.
     The American military governor of Germany, General Lucius D. Clay, ensured the necessary political support of U.S. President Harry S. Truman.
     Clay continually requested more and larger aircraft to use in the Airlift, and Truman approved them.
     In the first months of the Airlift, the French occupying power participated with six airplanes.
     The urgently needed third Berlin airport called Tegel in the French sector was completed in November 1948.
     Some 19,000 workers built it in record time, taking just three months.
     The British mobilized the Royal Air Force and contracted with an additional 25 charter companies to fly mainly oil and gasoline into Berlin.
     Aside from moving a healthy 23% volume of the total Airlift tonnage during the Airlift, the British were also responsible for the lion’s share of passenger transport during the blockade.
     With their C-54-transport planes, the U.S. forces provided the largest air fleet for “Operation Vittles,” as the Americans called the mission.
Richard Malkin At The Reichstag      In the Spring of 1949, the operation to supply Berlin was working so well that on some days more goods were flown into the city than had arrived before the blockade by road, water, and rail combined.
     The Western powers used the media very effectively to publicize this outstanding efficiency.
     Included in this coverage was FlyingTypers’ own senior contributing editor, the late Richard Malkin, (pictured at the Reichstag).
     The continued positive reporting on Allied tonnage and the growing reputation of the Western powers were certainly part of the reason for the lifting of the Soviet blockade on May 12, 1949. Despite the end of the blockade, the Airlift continued for another four months into late summer 1949.
     The historical events known as the “Berlin Blockade” and the “Berlin Airlift” are thus chronologically not wholly identical.
     The lifting of the blockade and the end of the Airlift solved the first crisis of the Cold War by logistical means – without military force.
     This does not, however, mean that there were no casualties of the Airlift.
     At least 78 people died in airplane accidents.
     Their names are engraved on the base of the Airlift Memorial in the Berlin district of Tempelhof.

Occupiers Become Protectors

     The Berlin Airlift palpably changed the relationship between the Western powers and West Berlin.
     Just a few years after World War II, the one-time enemies had mastered a severe political crisis by intensive cooperation. The population of Berlin now experienced the occupying powers as protecting powers.
     The world in general was also made aware of the growing potential of air cargo.

If You Missed Any Of The Previous 3 Issues Of FlyingTypers
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Vol. 18 No. 13
A380 Beat 777 On Long Route Cargo
Chuckles for February 19, 2019
Ode To A380
Who Has The Next Big Idea?
Cabin In The Sky
Flossie's Moon
Vol. 18 No. 14
Turkish Opticool Moment
Chuckles for February 22, 2019
Past Numbers & A Look Ahead
A380 In A Field Of Flowers

Vol. 18 No. 15
Spell Diversity & Inclusion—Qatar Airways
Chuckles for February 27, 2019
Vegas Baby Best Was First
Will Bangladesh Go From Rags To Riches?

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