Unit Export Co 'The Northerner' Curtiss C-46
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
twelve flights a month between any two cities, several carriers were
'rolled into one' so
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
N1688M above, seen in this shot by Bill Larkins at Oakland in April
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
family, but also with Caribbean American and Aaxico in the US before
going on several
registers. Its final identity was HK-2716 and, as such it
crashed into a hillside near
Bogota on 11 December 1991.