Throwback Thursday // Aviation History Month Pt. III
By: Marie Force, Delta Archivist, Atlanta
1959 – a great year for Delta. The year we launched jet service and debuted the “widget” logo we know and love today.
We took off into the Jet Age with Douglas DC-8 Ship 801 on September 18, 1959, from New York-Idlewild (today’s JFK). We were flying the world’s first DC-8 scheduled service—and the first jet service into our hometown city, Atlanta.
Our early jets cut flying times between major cities by up to 40% and carried almost twice the passengers and cargo of larger piston-engine planes. We introduced the fast and elegant Convair 880 in 1960. We were also first with the DC-9 in 1965, which brought modern jet service to many smaller cities on our routes.
Our Widget logo first appeared in advance ads for luxury Royal Jet Service. Its design was inspired by the swept-wing shape of a jet flying overhead. By the early 1960s, we had adopted this modern symbol as our official corporate brand.