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Air Phone from Flight 93
Engineering and Industry, Division of History of Technology, National Museum of American History

Air Phone from Flight 93

Catalog #: 2003.3092.19    Accession #: 2003.3092.19
Credit: Engineering and Industry, Division of History of Technology, National Museum of American History

Dimensions / Weight

Dimensions: 8" H x 3.75" W x 1.5" D

Physical Description

Broken, white plastic Airfone.

Specific History

This mangled and broken GTE Airfone was recovered from the debris of Flight 93 in Pennsylvania. Of the four planes hijacked on 11 September 2001, United Airlines Flight 93 was the only one that did not reach its destination. It crashed in a field outside of Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Many people on this flight used Airfones to call loved ones on the ground relaying information about the hijacking and offering final goodbyes.

General History

In the mid-1980s commercial mobile telephony took to the air. The North American terrestrial system or NATS was introduced by Airfone in 1984. General Telephone and Electric soon bought out the company. The aeronautical public correspondence or APC service breaks down into two divisions. The first is the ground or terrestial based system (TAPC). That's where aircraft placed telephone calls go directly to a ground station. The satellite-based division, which came much later, places calls to a satellite which then relays the transmission to a ground station.


Keywords

Country: United States
State: Pennsylvania
Era: Contemporary United States (1968-present)
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