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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.


Your copy of the Davis-Monthan Airfield Register with all the pilots' signatures and helpful cross-references to pilots and their aircraft is available at the link. Or use this FORM to order a copy signed by the author. ISBN 978-0-9843074-0-1.

---o0o--- Congress of Ghosts is an anniversary celebration for 2010.  It is an historical biography, that celebrates the 5th year online of and the 10th year of effort on the project dedicated to analyze and exhibit the history embodied in the Register of the Davis-Monthan Airfield, Tucson, AZ. This book includes over thirty people, aircraft and events that swirled through Tucson between 1925 and 1936. It includes across 277 pages previously unpublished photographs and texts, and facsimiles of personal letters, diaries and military orders. Order your copy at the link, or use this FORM to order a copy signed by the author.  ISBN 978-0-9843074-4-9.


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Registration Number NC1082

It Probably Was Love...

This airplane is a Travel Air Model 4000, manufacturer’s serial number 203. It was manufactured 8/9/1927 by Travel Air Manufacturing Company, Inc., Wichita, KS. It was sold, and license applied for the same day, to J. Lloyd O’Donnell, 139 North Milton Ave., Whittier, CA. As it left the factory, its original registration number was non-prefixed, that is 1082 was not preceded by NC, NR or NX. That is why it appears in the Register as just a number. It came from the factory with a 200 HP Wright J-5 C engine, S/N 7646. The airplane weighed 2,450 pounds.

The Davis-Monthan transient log lists 3 visits by NC1082 between August 21,1927 and October 1, 1927. The pilot for the first two visits was J.L. O’Donnell. Based in Los Angeles (“racers airport” noted in the margin by the pilot, probably Long Beach), the airplane was inspected by the U.S. Border Patrol while it was on the ground at Tucson. Its second visit is an arrival from New York, NY with a pilot’s notation in the remarks section of “Can’t possibly be love”. One could wonder if the love object was the airplane, or some person. Chances are it is the latter, since Lloyd was the husband of pilot Gladys O'Donnell (signed the Register in 1929 and 1931), and he would be returning home to her after a long cross-country trip.

The airplane changed hands a couple of times, was registered as NC1082, and on August 24, 1931 it was sold to Milo H. Campbell, 6331 Wingham, Pine Lawn, MO. Mr. Campbell was a TWA pilot. On its third visit to Davis-Monthan on April 22, 1932, it is piloted by Mr. Campbell carrying his wife as lone passenger.

Between 1932 and 1937 it changed hands 8 more times. It was reconditioned and overhauled, speed cowlings and wheel fairings removed, and a 35-gallon sky-writing oil tank installed in the front cockpit (registered NR and “restricted for sky-writing”). On August 19, 1938 it suffered an accident in Traverse City, MI (pilot was Vincent Mulac). It had about 1,000 hours total time. It was “not to be rebuilt”, and its license cancelled on November 2, 1938.

Update of June 11, 2014: Vincent Mulac's grandson contacted me and states: "The pilot was my grandfather.  He didn't die until 1974. He was the airport manager in Traverse City before moving to Ohio and finally Burlington, Vermont to run a training school for Northeastern Airlines during WWII and remained here until his death."


UPLOADED: 6/9/05 REVISED: 11/18/08, 06/11/14

The Register
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Military Aircraft of the Davis Monthan Register, 1925-1936 is available at the link. This book describes and illustrates with black & white photographs the majority of military aircraft that landed at the Davis-Monthan Airfield between 1925 and 1936. The book includes biographies of some of the pilots who flew the aircraft to Tucson as well as extensive listings of all the pilots and airplanes. Use this FORM to order a copy signed by the author. ISBN 978-0-9843074-2-5.


Art Goebel's Own Story by Art Goebel (edited by G.W. Hyatt) is written in language that expands for us his life as a Golden Age aviation entrepreneur, who used his aviation exploits to build a business around his passion.  Use this FORM to order a copy signed by the author. ISBN 978-0-9843074-1-8.


Winners' Viewpoints: The Great 1927 Trans-Pacific Dole Race is available at the link. Use this FORM to order a copy signed by the author. What was it like to fly from Oakland to Honolulu in a single-engine plane during August 1927? Was the 25,000 dollar prize worth it? Did the resulting fame balance the risk? For the first time ever, this book presents the pilot and navigator's stories written by them within days of their record-setting adventure. Pilot Art Goebel and navigator William V. Davis, Jr. take us with them on the Woolaroc, their orange and blue Travel Air monoplane (NX869) as they enter the hazardous world of Golden Age trans-oceanic air racing. ISBN 978-0-9843074-3-2.


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