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Your copy of the Davis-Monthan Airfield Register with all the pilots' signatures and helpful cross-references to pilots and their aircraft is available here.


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 2709

Rum Runner

This aircraft is a Travel Air 4000, S/N 168. The Travel Air Manufacturing Co., Wichita, KS, built it on February 15, 1927. It was fitted with a Wright J-5 Whirlwind engine of 200 HP, S/N 7222. It weighed 2,413 pounds. It was sold on 2/26/1927 to William A. Burke, Okmulgee, OK.

The airplane arrived from El Paso, TX and landed at the Davis-Monthan Airfield on August 6, 1927 at 3:20 PM. The pilot was Mr. Burke. He stayed overnight and departed westbound at 10:00 AM for San Francisco. While he was on the ground, the airplane was inspected by the U.S. Border Patrol. Mr. Burke was killed on June 1, 1928 in a crash of his Stearman in Spavinaw Lake, OK. Mrs. Nell P. Burke, Denver, CO, then sold the Travel Air as part of Mr. Burke’s estate.

It was purchased on June 14, 1928 by Robertson Aircraft Corp. of Missouri. It was, “rebuilt, overhauled and re-covered at the factory” and “remodeled to accommodate mail only…with Whirlwind T-5 engine c/n 7751.” It was soon involved in an accident in St. Louis, MO on September 15, 1928. The pilot, Julius W. Johannpeter (transport license #2287), 5034 Thrush Ave., St. Louis, MO, was uninjured. The plane suffered damage to the vertical stabilizer and the rudder was smashed. One lower longeron was broken. The damage was repaired at the Travel Air factory.

Subsequently, it was sold on January 13, 1930 to Peter Kelly, 1130 Fernhill, Detroit, MI with Wright J-5 engine c/n 9630 installed. A month later, on February 18, 1930, the airplane was confiscated by the sheriff at Zanesville, OH for transporting liquor (Prohibition was still the law of the land). It was then sold on March 11, 1930 to Jesse Anderson, 566 Maple Ave., Newark, OH. The fuselage and tail surfaces were re-covered at 103:15 hours total time on April 22, 1932.

It was purchased on April 31, 1933 by Kelson K. Laurence, 495 Merrill Ave., Columbus, OH. It suffered an accident on October 15, 1933, and was immediately sold on October 15th to Joseph C. Mackey, 435 Berkeley Road, Columbus, OH, then on August 1, 1934 to the Mackey Flying Service, Findlay Airport, Findlay, OH.

During the Travel Air's life with Mackey, the tail wheel was replaced, two Wright engines (c/n B9037 and c/n 168) were installed, and the airplane was “equipped for advertising purposes with neon sign along entire span of both lower wings and a neon whorl in front of engine. Also a siren.” It had 598:10 hours total time on September 8, 1934. The neon was removed on January 7, 1935 and Wright Whirlwind engine c/n B9037 was reinstalled.

On October 11, 1935 it was purchased by William Miller, Floyd Bennett Field, Brooklyn, NY. Mr. Miller resold it on November 12, 1935 to Mrs. Florence E. Newkirke, 574 St. Nicholas Ave., New York, NY. Pilot Troy Webster Newkirke wrecked the airplane at Roosevelt Field, Mineola, NY on August 12, 1936. There was damage to the wing struts, wheel, top of rudder and vertical stabilizer, ribs in the center section, and to the propeller and cowl. It was repaired and a new right upper wing installed as of August 16, 1936. It had 730:15 hours total time. It had flown about 66 hours per year over the past two years.

It had another accident on November 18, 1936 (pilot not known) and the airplane was sold “as is” the same day for salvage parts only to F & G Engine Co., Hangar D., Roosevelt Field, Mineola, NY. It was sold again on February 16, 1937 to Frank Romano, Pioneer Aircraft Co., Teterboro Airport, Hasbrouck Hgts., NJ. It was “intended to re-build”, but no license application was received and its registration was cancelled as of February 24, 1937.



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