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This information comes from the listings of Non-Prefixed and Non-Suffixed aircraft reviewed by me in the archives of the National Air & Space Museum, Washington, DC.


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Registration Number 7103

Questions, Questions, Questions

This aircraft is an American Eagle A-1 Phaeton S/N 286 (ATC #2-55 pending) built in July 1928 by the American Eagle Aircraft Corp., Kansas City, MO. It left the factory with a 180 HP Hispano-Suiza E-model engine, S/N 83913.

It sold on August 4, 1928 to Yellow Wing Commercial Air Service, Inc. of San Francisco, CA. There was no report of resale by Yellow Wing, and they did not answer government enquiries. On June 4, 1929, G.W. Brophy reported the sale of the airplane on May 8, 1929 to Victor E. Grant of Williams, AZ

We see 7103 at Tucson three times, each time piloted by G.W. Brophy. The first landing, on May 7, 1929 coincided with the sale of the airplane to Mr. Grant. He carried A.E. Price as passenger.

Brophy and his passenger were flying a round-robin trip from Chandler, AZ. His second landing came four months later on September 1, 1929. He was inbound from Phoenix, headed for Huechia in Old Mexico. He made a quick turnaround in Mexico and next day he landed at Tucson inbound from Ft. Huachuca, AZ headed back to Phoenix.

The airplane was repossessed from Grant by the Pacific Finance Corp. of Los Angeles, with a "relinquishing affidavit" from Grant, on October 20, 1930. It is not clear from the NASM record, but the airplane may have been damaged by Grant, as there is a citation that the airplane underwent, "Repairs with factory wing ribs and parts, 3/30. Re-covered & new spar in right lower wing. With Wright Hisso E-2 engine c/n 5650, 6/11/30". The repairs and new engine may have put Grant in a financial predicament as the Great Depression deepened.

While this was happening, the airplane sold to James Marion Owens (private license #14765) of Phoenix, AZ on March 4, 1930. The dates of sale and repair cited in the record make it difficult to know what the circumstances were of financial responsibility for the repairs. The airplane may have been signed over by Grant at a low price to Owens with the understanding that Owens would pay for the repairs.

Regardless, on December 27, 1930, 7103 suffered an accident at Phoenix, AZ, was judged a “washout”, and the registration was cancelled a month later on January 27, 1931. There is no record of who was flying the airplane, or how the pilot or passenger fared.


UPLOADED: 07/09/05 REVISED: 03/12/06

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