Monday, August 10, 2009

My World Tuesday #43: RDU International


"Flight 401?"
Raleigh, NC - August 2009 (Click to embiggen)

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RDU International Airport wasn't always international. And in fact it wasn't always RDU (which if memory serves, stands for "Raleigh-Durham Union"). Before construction was even completed the airport was commandeered by the US Army Air Corps for use as a training facility and dubbed Raleigh-Durham Army Air Field in 1942. In 1943 the Army authorized Eastern Airlines to operate civil flights out of the field (due, no doubt, to the fact that the president of Eastern was Army flying ace Eddie Rickenbacker) and Eastern began originating flights to New York and Miami from the base.

The army returned the field to the four local governments that began the project in 1946 by which time an initial investment of $65,000 by the Raleigh-Durham Aeronautical Authority (renamed the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority in 1945) had risen in value to $2,225,000. Not a bad return for a four-year investment. But it wasn't until June of 1987 when American Airlines opened its hub at the newly completed Terminal C and began service to Bermuda that RDU could add "International" to its moniker.

I took this photo of the tower from the Observation Park in the General Aviation area one night recently while waiting for a thunderstorm that never materialized. I haven't yet figured out what's reflected in the glass -- even at full resolution it's impossible to make it out. Little creepy though innit?


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18 comments:

Tranquility said...

That's quite the history! For all of the airports I've come across, I've never thought to find out where they got their start. Hmm... thoughts to ponder.

Carver said...

That's a great shot. I can remember when you had to go outside to watch for planes and see people off (1960s). RDU has changed a lot since I was a child. When I went to Europe in the 1970s we went to Washington, DC and flew from there to England. I am pretty sure there weren't any direct international flights from RDU then.

James said...

That is a really cool picture. I wish that I could see it larger so I could get a better view of the reflection.

Sylvia K said...

Terrific post, Mojo! Love the photo and the history! And that reflection is spooky and wonderful at the same time -- would love to know what it is!

Have a great week!
Sylvia

Guy D said...

Great night shot of the tower Mojo, sorry I haven't been around much the past month or so, extrememly busy this time of year.

Have a great week
Guy
Regina In Pictures

mkreider said...

I wish it would enlarge too, but it's great as it is!

ewok1993 said...

Great night shot. I wonder what's that reflection too, although I woudn't poke too deep if I were you :)

Vita Stunder said...

Amazing night shot!!
And I really have wanted to see this shot enlarged to have a better look of the reflections - it looks creepy that's for sure!!

Brilliant Mojo!!

I wonder what it is?...

maryt/theteach said...

It's really quite a great shot, Mojo! I can't tell either... :)

Jenn Jilks said...

I remember buildings! And airports! Great shot.

Sean said...

Cool shot. Nothing like the control tower at night.... great feeling!

Snap said...

Terrific post. I enjoy learning things and finding out how airports start. This was fun. Thanks.

Ebie said...

This is my main blog.
Great night shot. I wonder what they are doing....interesting reflection.

Rajesh said...

That is a wonderful snap and beautiful insight into history.

Marites said...

a very informative post. interesting!

SandyCarlson said...

The sky seems very warm behind that tower.

Reader Wil said...

There has been a lot changed in the world of flying and airfields. And there are still a lot of changes to come. Thanks for the shot!

Bryan Bengel said...

The truth is that the top of that tower is actually the Mothership back to Krypton. What you see in the window isn't a reflection, but rather the inside of the Mothership...

Or maybe it's a weird, Sci-Fi snapshot of future events in the year 5000AD. Actually, I'll choose to believe that you captured the future in your photo. It makes you that much more badass as a photographer.