The Pan American Dream and the Myth of the Pioneer
After much negotiation with government officials, careful study of geographical terrain, and confirmation that sufficient aeronautical equipment could be secured, the newly formed Pan American Airways (PAA) was awarded its first US airmail contract and inaugurated its Key West to Havana flight. The procurement of this airmail contract marked the formation of a new airline. It was also the start of a flurry of activity that led to a series of aeronautical, technological, administrative and geographical developments spanning multiple eras. A spirit of pioneering emerged from the activities of early PAA aeronautical pioneers such as Juan Trippe (co-founder of PAA), Hugo Leuteritz (in charge of ground and radio communications), Andre Priester (head engineer) and Charles Lindbergh (aerial adventurer). So powerful was the spirit of pioneering among early PAA players that it eventually transcended the entire organization, providing justification for their activities of rapid expansion and growth.
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