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 It includes across 277 pages previously unpublished photographs and texts, and facsimiles of personal letters, diaries and military orders.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


Some of 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.

Top photograph of NC3648 is from the American Aviation Historical Society Journal. Vol. 50:1. Spring 2005. p. 36.


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Registration Number NC3648

This aircraft is a Ryan B-1 Brougham, S/N 54 (ATC 25). It appeared in the Tucson Register twice. It shares lineage with the “Spirit of St. Louis”, and was built during the same year. The B.F. Mahoney Aircraft Co., San Diego, CA manufactured it on December 1, 1927. It was equipped with a 220 HP Wright J-5C engine, S/N 8149. It weighed 3,300 pounds. J. “Jim” Langford Stack of 411 S. Ardmore, Los Angeles, CA bought it for $7,500.

NC3648, ca. late 1920s

It first landed at Tucson on July 25, 1928, flown by a pilot whose name reflects his vocation, “Ace” Bragunier. Interestingly, we also have photographs of it on the ground at Ford Airport, Dearborn, MI on June 30, 1928 at the start of the 1928 Edsel Ford Reliability Tour. Bragunier carried one passenger, G.E. Flaherty. They indentified their home base as Los Angeles. They arrived at Tucson from Detroit, MI and were headed westbund to Los Angeles.

It was well-used. It exchanged hands five times and accumulated 1,738 flight hours as of June 23, 1934. It was bought June 24, 1934 by Floyd Kenneth Wright of St. John, ND, who flew NC3648 to Tucson on October 28, 1934. Wright must have taken the airplane to ND, as his address changed to Minot. While there, he had a tail wheel installed.

Its second landing occurred on Thursday, October 18, 1934 at 10:45AM. The pilot was Floyd Kenneth Wright and he carried as his single passenger a Miss Coghlan. Based at Santa Ana, CA. they arrived at Tucson from El Paso, TX and cited their destination as Los Angeles.

The photo shows the airplane in the late 1920s (no tail wheel yet). By painting on the side of the fuselage, the owner, probably Stack, proclaimed it as the "Sister Ship of Lindy's 'Spirit of St. Louis'". Does anyone recognize any of the people in the photo, or the geography? The person standing at the rear of the fuselage looks a little like pilot Ace Bragunier.

Below, another, closer photograph of the fuselage of NC3648 from ca. 1929. This photograph is courtesy of the University of Nevada, Reno UNRen). The woman is unidentified. Location is probably Nevada. The top line of lettering on the door reads "PALM SPRINGS." The lower line is unreadable.

NC3648, 1929, Nevada (?) Source: UNReno)

In June 1935, Wright moved to Santa Ana, CA and the airplane stayed in “dead storage” for six months. It changed hands twice in 1935-6 and was damaged in an accident at Palmdale, CA on March 18, 1936.

During the next decade or so, NC3648 changed hands five more times, making its way from Los Angeles to Oconomowoc, WI, back to Laredo, TX and was sold for $275, finally, to Fred Harman, San Marcos Flying Service, San Marcos, TX. Here the record lapses and the registration was cancelled on March 31, 1948. No further information.

NC3648 also appeared once in the Peterson Field Register, Colorado Springs, CO flown by Eddie Martin. It is signed in no other Registers.


THIS PAGE UPLOADED: 06/05 REVISED: 01/06/06, 12/29/07, 12/09/10, 01/11/15

The Register

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