Unit Export Co 'The Northerner' Curtiss C-46  N1688M                  (c/n  22478)


                                    Unit Export Co was one of the 'pseudo' companies making up the North American Aircoach
                                    System.    This conglomerate was founded by Stanley Weiss, James Fishgrund, Roscoe Hart
                                    and Jack Lewin to provide daily service between the coasts with all coach service.   To do this
                                    and seemingly keep with the CAB's flight frequency imposed restrictions on the nonskeds of 
                                    eight to twelve flights a month between any two cities, several carriers were 'rolled into one' so
                                    to speak.  i.e. when booking a flight with North American, the passenger could conceivably be
                                    carried on one of five or six different airlines' aircraft.  They were mostly painted up into the same
                                    livery and N1688M above, seen in this shot by Bill Larkins at Oakland in April 1952 clearly
                                    shows signs of its having, at one stage, had the 'Route of the 99ers' livery.    This, since $99.00
                                    was the fare charged for a one way West Coast to New York flight.   I suspect "The Northerner'
                                    flights were mainly between Oakland and Chicago. In the late 1950s both American Airlines and
                                    North American Aviation successfully sued the conglomerate for name infringement and the name
                                    of the combine was was changed to Trans American Airlines.   N1688M, formerly a C-46F-1-CU
                                    (44-78655),  like many of its ilk, finally wound up in Colombia after a career with not only the North
                                    American family, but also with Caribbean American and Aaxico in the US before going on several
                                    Latin American registers.   Its final identity was HK-2716 and, as such it crashed into a hillside near
                                    Bogota on 11 December 1991.