Do you know that
... LOT's logo is one of the longest-used logotypes in Poland?
The graphic proposal of Tadeusz Gronowski (one of the greatest pre-war graphic designers) won the competition for the carrier's logo in 1929. Since the year 1931 his crane inscribed in a circle remains the symbol of LOT Polish Airlines.
Colonel, pilot, engineer: Wacław Makowski
... it was a huge feat to bring the Locheed L-14H Super Electra plane to Poland from Burbank, near Los Angeles?
On May 13, 1938 from the Los Angeles factory airport the "Lockheed" took off. The flight took place through California, Brazil, to Natal through the South Atlantic, then from Dakar through Africa and Germany to Warsaw. The total flight duration was 85 hours with an average speed of 292 km/h, and the distance was 24 850 km (of which 11 hours, 3070 km over the Atlantic).
This way, the then Head of LOT, as well as the colonel, engineer and aviator Wacław Makowski together with the second pilot Zbigniew Wysiekierski wanted to check the possibility of launching Atlantic connections
Locheed L-14H Super Electra
It was the second transatlantic flight in Polish history (the first was made in May 1933 by Stanisław Skarżyński on the RWD-5 bis), but the first Polish communication aircraft. In addition to the clear propaganda and advertising purpose, the flight was a practical test of both the possibility and the cost of delivering the aircraft from the American factory to the European recipient by air, and not by sea by ship aboard. It was also an attempt before the planned launch of permanent transatlantic flights by PLL LOT at the time 1940-1941.
As proof of special recognition, during the celebration of the 10th anniversary of LOT Polish Airlines, Director Makowski was awarded the highest award - the Golden Cross of Merit.
… in 1939, LOT was one of the leading airlines in Europe?
Just befor the World War II, LOT's fleet had 26 aircrafts, the company employed about 700 people, and the network of connections was impressive at the time - it numbered over 10,000. km and covered 15 countries. Until August 30, 1939, LOT carried over 65,000 passengers. The ticket price included 15 kg of personal luggage and a transfer to the city center.
This is how LOT praised itself in 1939: "passenger cabins are characterized by high comfort, are perfectly protected against noise caused by engines, have central heating and ventilation". In addition, thanks to aircraft radio equipment, "private telegrams can also be sent and received during the flight."
After an amazing feat of bringing in 1938 the most modern Lockheed L-14-H Super Electra aircraft by air by the crew under the command of the then director Wacław Makowski, LOT was already planning to launch Atlantic connections in 1940. This would make it an absolute avant-garde among carriers. Unfortunately, the war thwarted these plans, the PLL LOT fleet practically ceased to exist.
… when the first IL-62 long-haul aircraft joined our fleet, transatlantic connections became possible?
rom mid-May 1972, these machines were put into line service. They initiated transatlantic flights: the first charter flight was operated to Montreal, and then on April 16, 1973, we started the regular connections from Warsaw to New York. In addition to transatlantic flights to Canada and the USA, it became possible to launch other long-distance flights from Warsaw to Damascus, Bombay, Bangkok or Cape Town.
Il-62 were the largest machines in the PLL LOT fleet at the time, powered by four high-power turbojet engines, could accommodate 168 passengers and transport them at a speed of 850 km/h over a distance of almost 7000 kilometers. All Il-62 aircrafts in the LOT fleet were named after well-known Poles.
Despite the poor equipment of Soviet Il-62 aircraft, and thanks to the skills of our pilots and navigators, they could fly over the North Pole!
… in the interwar years, the duty of care and assistance of passengers during the flight belonged to on-board mechanics who underwent special training for this purpose?
Cabin crew, whose task was to care of passengers both during the flight, as well as at the check-in and baggage check-in, was already standard with other air carriers.
In Poland it was a completely new profession. In 1945, the organization and supervision of cabin crew was taken over by a special cell set up at LOT Polish Airlines and managed by Zofia Glińska, sometimes called the "First Polish Flight Attendant".
LOT employees as well as persons on special orders were recruited to the new service. At first, they were directed to operate special flights (as we would say VIP today). It soon turned out that passenger care and assistance was also needed in regular scheduled flights, and even before boarding the aircraft. The tasks were divided into flight and ground flight attendants. The latter were responsible for assisting passengers with passport and ticket and baggage check-in and looking after them until they boarded the plane.