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Images and information about this airplane come from your Webmaster's research trips to Pennsylvania and the aircraft restoration workshop of Ranley Nelson.

Download this PDF file for an overview of several Davis-Monthan aircraft flown by female pilots.




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, while supplies last.

---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 It includes across 277 pages previously unpublished photographs and texts, and facsimiles of personal letters, diaries and military orders.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.


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, while supplies last.


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.  Available as a free download at the link.


Davis-Monthan Aviation Field Register
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This airplane landed twice at Tucson. First on January 25, 1936 flown by Nancy Harkness Love, and the second time on January 28, 1936 piloted by Robert M. Love. Image, below, of the big Staggerwing during reconstruction, November 2002. Ranley Nelson (R), and your Webmaster.

NC14415 During Restoration, 2002
NC14415 During Restoration, 2002

The airplane, S/N 28, was manufactured on March 30, 1935, with a 225 HP Jacobs L4 turning a wooden, two-blade Hartzell propeller.  On March 31, 1935, it sold to Inter City Airlines, Inc. of Boston, MA, operated by Robert Love.  Robert special-ordered it in Berryloid Diana Cream and Stearman Vermillion Red. Pilot  Tom Colby, the owner of Berry Brothers, the maker of Berryloid paints, was a Register signer.

The Loves owned the Staggerwing for 28 months, during which their post-nuptial flight took place.  After their stewardship, it changed hands eleven times.  It spent most of its life in the west before settling with its current owner Ranley Nelson (left sidebar).

Original Wing Structure of NC14415
Original Wing Structure of NC14415

Image, above, shows the original wing of NC14415. Parts of the elevators and ailerons can also be seen. Nelson rebuilt the entire wing and flight control system, rather than reuse the 1935 structures. Interestingly you can see remnants of the Stearman Vermillion Red on some of the fittings. The old, stripped cotton fabric showed Diana Cream as well as the Vermillion.

NC14415 Original Interior Fabric Samples From Mr. Nelson's Collection
NC14415 Original Interior Fabric Samples

Image, left, of original upholstery samples used in the new interior of NC14415: black and red leather and beige wool. When new, this airplane must have been strikingly beautiful. Nelson plans to make it that way again.

Much is written about Nancy Harkness Love (not so much about Robert).  Most significantly, in WWII, she served as executive director on the Ferrying Division staff.  In war service, she was the first woman to check out in the P-51.  She was the first woman to fly the B-25.  All totaled, she was proficient in eighteen types of military aircraft.  She was an aviation industry leader for many years, and championed the recognition of WASPs as military veterans.  They gained recognition in 1977, shortly after Nancy’s death in Florida on October 22, 1976.

Robert and Nancy's Staggerwing is under restoration at Ranley Nelson’s shop, Airplane Makeovers, at the Butler Farm Show Airport in Butler, PA.  Fuselage and control surfaces are now in fabric, and, given its place among other restoration projects in his shop, Mr. Nelson says it should be flying, “in a couple of years.” Addiltional photographs of NC14415 are at the link.


UPLOADED: 06/06/07 REVISED: 02/11/08

The Register
This airplane is still registered with the FAA.

Original fabric from the elevator of this airplane was used aesthetically to build backgrounds for all the Web pages found at the Clover Field and Peterson Field sites.


Winners' Viewpoints: The Great 1927 Trans-Pacific Dole Race is available at the link. 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.


Clover Field: The First Century of Aviation in the Golden State. With the 100th anniversary in 2017 of the use of Clover Field as a place to land aircraft in Santa Monica, this book celebrates that use by exploring some of the people and aircraft that made the airport great.



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