The Upjohn Air Force  

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The first Upjohn-owned aircraft was in the air during late 1956. The operation was jocularly referred to as "The Upjohn Air Force". Here are a few articles in earlier years about it. Air
operations from Kalamazoo lasted just over 50 years, the final operation being the Pfizer Air Shuttle. I was fortunate to ride in the planes half-a-dozen times and the convenient was delightful. Once when we had landed at Kalamazoo airport it was pouring with rain. The pilot taxied right into the hanger so we would not get soaking wet when leaving the plane.


















Although most Upjohn flights were perfect, inevitably there were a few incidents. Here are a couple of memories of such occasions...........

A flight to Arkansas, along a storm front, was very very rough. I sat on the toilet seat, held onto the sink faucet handles and barfed my guts out into the sink ... bent the faucets ...we got off the plane and had to cram into the hot cab of a non-airconditioned pickup truck with a cigar smoking veterinarian. It was a very long day.

On a flight to D.C. the engines flamed out and we had to land somewhere else. The plane had the glide path of a brick - from 39,000 feet altitude to the ground in nothing flat.


The end of all company flights operations out of Kalamazoo was when Pharmaceutical R&D was totally gone. The Pfizer Air Shuttle was no longer needed. Below is the final farewell.



And here's an October 1959 Upjohn News article about airplane clubs that employees belong to.







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