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There is no data for NC196N in the archives of the National Air & Space Museum (NASM), Washington, DC.

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This airplane is a Bellanca CH-300 Pacemaker, NC196N, S/N 181. It visited Tucson twice, on Sunday, November 16, 1930 and on Tuesday, January 5, 1932. Both times it was flown by G.C. Quick. On his first landing he carried three unidentified passengers. They were westbound from Lordsburg, NM to San Diego, CA. Below, courtesy of site visitor Stephen Green, is a profile of NC196N at an unknown location on an unknown date. Unlike the photos exhibited below, there is no livery on the airplane, and it is on wheels.

Bellanca NC196N, Date & Location Unknown (Source: Green)
Bellanca NC196N, Date & Location Unknown (Source: Green)

Below, courtesy of site visitor Lars Opland, is a view of the airplane on floats. Mr. Opland states about the airplane, "This is my Grandfather's photo, taken at Juneau before the 1939 "Flying Music Box" livery was added. The floats are Edo K-4650's (replaced by later type after Alaska Coastal livery was applied, some time in the 1940's) & the engine here is the up-rated Wright J-6-9E. The last Wright engine would be replaced by a P&W Wasp Junior around the time the floats were swapped out."

Bellanca NC196N, Juneau, AK, Pre-1939 (Source: Opland)
Bellanca NC196N, Juneau, AK, Pre-1939 (Source: Opland)

Another, less cluttered photograph of the airplane in the same livery is below, courtesy of Guest Editor Bob Woodling from a book titled "Alaska Airlines" by Cliff and Nancy Hollenbeck. The photo caption says, "Marine Airways Bellanca tied to the shoreline on Lake Union, Seattle, in 1937."

Bellanca NC196, Alaska, 1937 (Source: Hollenbeck via Woodling)
Bellanca NC196, Alaska, Pre-1939 (Source: Woodling)

Mr. Opland continues, "NC196N was dubbed 'Shaky Jake' due to a persistent airframe vibration, which resisted all attempts to discover the source of or cure for. Nonetheless, the plane served as a commercial transport out of Juneau, mostly on floats, from 1936.

Mr. Opland supplies the following a summary from "Alaskan Wings" by Jim Ruotsala.

"Bellanca CH-300 Pacemaker NC196N was purchased for Marine Airways of Juneau, Alaska in July of 1936. Alex Holden flew the plane North from Seattle, arriving at Juneau on Aug. 24, 1936, and it was immediately put into passenger service. Summer of 1937 saw the Bellanca, already dubbed 'Shaky Jake,' carrying mail to canneries around Southeast Alaska on a 1-week-long regularly scheduled route.

"'Shaky Jake' was used occasionally on wheels to serve mines far from any suitable body of water, but spent most of the next 3 decades on floats.

"The official certification for Marine Airways and Alaska Air Transport to merge was approved on July 15 (1940). The new company emerged as Alaska Coastal Airlines. The CAA certification of authorization was received on December 17, 1940. Marine Airways and Alaska Air Transport continued advertising as separate entities but on October 14, 1941 the newspaper referred to the two for the first time as Alaska Coastal Airlines.

"This author believes that sometime in 1939, Shell Simmons and Alex Holden unofficially merged Marine Airways and Alaska Air Transport. No records attesting to this are available, nor was anything ever reported in newspapers, but suddenly Alex Holden of Marine Airways was flying Alaska Air Transport's Lockheed Vega."

Mr. Opland also supplies a timeline from "The Alaska Airlines Story" by Archie Satterfield.

"Marine Airways startup, 1936; merger with Alaska Air Transport to form Alaska Coastal Airlines, 1939; Alaska Coastal merger with Ellis Airlines to form Alaska Coastal-Ellis Airlines, 1965; merged with Alaska Airlines, 1968 (& subsequent sale of NC196N into Canada for display in the Canada Aviation and Space Museum at Ottawa, Ontario).

"After merger of Alaska Coastal-Ellis with Alaska Airlines in 1968, "Jake" was flown to the Canadian museum [see below] after the final sale &, far as I know, remains airworthy."

Another photograph of NC196N taken in Alaska is at the link (date unknown). In the photo it wears the livery of Alaska Coastal Airlines. At this link, dated 1939, the airplane is pictured on floats in Marine Airways livery.

At some point (1968?) it was registered with Canadian identification CF-ATN. The airplane still exists and is exhibited on floats in the National Aviation Museum, Ottawa, Canada. The photo below is from the link, preserved here in case the link goes away.

Bellanca NC196N (CF-ATN) (Source: National Aviation Museum, Ottawa, Canada)
Bellanca NC196N (CF-ATN (Source: National Aviation Museum, Ottawa, Canada)


THIS PAGE UPLOADED: 09/06/11 REVISED: 10/19/11, 12/05/11, 03/03/14

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