Jerry [Logo]   Picture of Jerry Hammes

1968 Alpha Airlines

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This photo is a vision of what was to come.

It all began in the summer of 1968. Charles D. Pressman approached Jerry Hammes on the phone about a vision he had for a commuter airline. He wanted to share his business plan which was a text book model. We met in the Hammes office for several hours. Pressman also had the primary ingredient and that was he was the kind of person you would be willing to associate with, integrity etc. Without that, the meeting would have been dismissed in a very short time. It was a well thought out presentation documented on the reasons it had a reasonable chance to be a success. Hammes agreed at Pressman's invitation to be part of his vision. Following are the results. There was much activity to test the market with relationships in the community for feedback, for investors and for financing prior to a formal incorporation.
Charles D. Pressman Founder, President, Director brought business and flying experience. His responsibility was full time to move it forward with the business plan.
Bio: VP manufacturing South Bend Toy since 1965, 1962-1965 administrative VP South Bend Tackle, 1953 degree U. of Illinois, graduate studies Michigan State University.

Jerry Hammes Co-Founder, Treasurer, Secretary, Director brought the financial strength and community relationships. His responsibility was part time to enlist the relationships with financial institutions and investors.
BIO: Autos, real estate, banks, savings and loan etc., civic volunteer etc.

Volpar Turboliner is a modified Beech 18 for commuter service from 7 to 9 passengers up to 18 passengers with 2 pilots. The Beech 18 has also been the subject of numerous conversions. Volpar has offered tricycle undercarriage conversions. Known as "Super 18" ( E18S), the prototype, which flew for the first time on December 10, 1953, benefited from various improvements. In September, 1963, Beech proposed an optional tricycle landing gear designed by Volpar Inc, in Los Angeles (California), firm which offered as well the possibility of modifying the Beech 18 standard versions in Volpar Turbo 18, equipped with a tricycle landing gear and turboprops : the TPE331, or in Volpar Turboliner with a lengthened fuselage and able of carrying fifteen passengers.

February 25, 1969 Alpha Airlines, Inc. created as an Indiana Corporation.
Edward W. Hardig prepared the articles of incorporation

March 10, 1969 Acquired by American Investment Company of South Bend, Inc.
AIC owned a bank building and a mobile home sales etc. This group had been interested in establishing an airline but did not proceed with the pace of Pressman and Hammes. Since Pressman and Hammes were successful before AIC and AIC still desired to move forward it seemed reasonable to let AIC acquire Alpha since Hammes and Pressman achieved their goal to establish an airline for the community. Stephen A. Seal, Thornburg etc. attorney representing acquirer.
Members of AIC Lex Wilkenson Sr., Green, Palmer Sr., Welter Sr., Gordon, Jones, Carey.

STORY TELLING . . . . . In conclusion . . .
Monday, January 12, 2004
"To the best of my recollection, when the ownership was transferred from myself and Pressman American Investment Company of South Bend, there were competitive obstacles they did not anticipate and it never got off the ground (pun) in South Bend with the Alpha badge. It was acquired by a commuter Hawkeye Airlines then was off to a successful beginning. I don't believe it was known as Alpha. Hawkeye Airlines served Illinois and Iowa. I believe Hawkeye was then acquired or merged into a larger regional airline.
Jerry Hammes"

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