Airline Expansion and Innovation (1927 - 1941)

Despite the Great Depression, air transportation experienced phenomenal growth and change from the late 1920s through the 1930s, before U.S. entry into World War II intervened.

As technology improved, aircraft evolved from World War I-style biplanes into sleek, high-performance modern airliners. A solid infrastructure took shape under government guidance through the Post Office and the Commerce Department, and regulatory reforms reshaped the industry.

Passenger service took root and grew, and air routes spread across the country. But because air travel was so expensive, only the wealthy and business travelers flew. The flying experience improved but remained an often uncomfortable adventure.