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Did you know ? Interesting facts about
Hartsfield-Jackson

By Sarah Boyle

Did you know ?

The future of Hartsfield-Jackson — and aviation — wasn't always so sure. The Airport began as a racetrack owned by the founder of Coca-Cola. When that business failed, early pilots used the straight areas of the track as landing strips.

In 1912 thousands flocked to the field to see a new kind of race: an airplane (piloted by Lincoln Beachey) vs. a Sterns race car (driven by Thornton Leverett). Neck and neck the two men scrambled around the turns toward the finish line. And the winner was the automobile, by four seconds.

Obviously, the airplane had a long way to go before it could be taken seriously as a powerful mode of transportation. Tellingly, the record for altitude at the time was a mere 8,471 feet in a Wright biplane. Today's record for a manned propeller plane is more than six times that figure.

Did you know ?

The Airport exceeded expectations from the beginning. In 1961 a new terminal was finished, designed to accommodate 4.5 million passengers every year. By 1964 a whopping 6 million fliers passed through the Airport. In 2008, 90 million passengers passed through Hartsfield-Jackson.

Hartsfield-Jackson was designed with a lot of traffic in mind. The large, high windows in the terminals not only let in plenty of natural light but also draw passengers' eyes up to the Airport's hanging signs.

Places designed for passengers to rest, such as lobby areas in concourses, have carpeting that is specially designed to avoid snagging wheelchairs and rolling luggage.

The colors designated for the concourses are significant: The shades are easily identifiable to the colorblind.

Even Hartsfield-Jackson's logo serves a double purpose. The icon looks like the outline of a plane, but the designers intended each wing of the plane to look like a capital letter A. The base of the A has been extended and the cross bar removed, but you still can see the letter evoking the connection between Hartsfield-Jackson and Atlanta.

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