West Indian Aerial Express  Fairchild FC-2  (NC) 1654               (c/n   15)


                                                 This was the hastily borrowed Fairchild FC-2 of West Indian Aerial Express with which Pan
                                                 American Airways flew its first service on 19 October 1927.   Pan American was first set up
                                                 as a subsidiary of the Aviation Corporation of America (AVCO) to compete for the Key West
                                                 to Havana air mail route in competition with Florida Airways.    AVCO's president, Juan Trippe
                                                 was a go-getter who had personally gone over to Cuba and secured an exclusive contract directly
                                                 from President Machado himself.     Although winning the contract, Pan American had no equipment
                                                 of its own, so "borrowed" the FC-2 seen above, which was named "El Nino"  (the Child, not the
                                                 Pacific Storm condition!).   Both West Indian and Florida Aiurways were soon acquired by Pan
                                                 American which went on to become a household name in aviation circles in Latin and South America.