Fokker F-VII NC3908
This aircraft was a Fokker F-7 tri-motor, (S/N 602; ATC
unidentified), manufactured during May, 1926 . it was a Dutch import. manufactured in the Netherlands, it was built at Amsterdam under the Fokker s/n (or c/n) 4955. On May 15, 1926 it was shipped to the USA, where it received the new s/n 602. Please note that the designation of NC3908 is written originally as F.VIIa-3m (a dot instead of a dash between the ‘F’ and the ‘V’) the F.VII being the single-engined version.
It left the factory with three Wright engines
(S/N L 6963 [J-4B]; C 7339 [J-5]; R 6970 [J-4B]) of 200 and
225 (J-5) HP each. It was an eleven-place airplane.
See images of this airplane at the Klein Archive on this site.
Believe it or not, its early life was as a completely different airplane, and it has TWO data sheets at the NASM. On the first data sheet it was initially given what became a temporary registration of 2195. It left the factory with three Wright J-4A engines installed. It sold initially to the Continental Motors Corporation, Detroit, MI. It was delivered on May 15, 1926 and kept by Continental at Selfridge Field, MI for transport of company officials and guests, and for experimental work with new Continental aeronautical engines. As of June 11, 1927 the J-4 engine in the nose had been replaced by a J-5 (note in the first paragraph, where the data is from the second NASM data sheet, the center engine is already a J-5). Regardless, why a comparable Continental engine wasn't used is a mystery.
After an accident a month later on July
7, 1927, it was rebuilt at the Atlantic Factory and given registration number NC3908: it had lived for over a year as a different airplane. The
rebuild used the existing engines, but the fuselage front needed
repair, and wings from another aircraft (Fokker C-2, S/N
1, NC55) were used. It sold almost two years after
manufacture on February 2, 1928 to Western Air Express, Inc (WAE), Los Angeles,
We find NC3908 landing at Tucson three
weeks later on February 26, 1928 at 10:10AM. It was
flown by pilot C.C. Moseley. See his link and the Cosgrove Collection on this site for another image of Moseley. Moseley was a colorful character on the west coast, well-known for his WWI service and management of the Grand Central Air Terminal during its Golden Age heyday and beyond.
Moseley carried three passengers, including
his wife, N.P. Whittier, and F.T. Moonert. Moseley
liked Tucson. He
noted in the Remarks column, "The area feels good". They
were westbound to Los Angeles, CA from El Paso, TX.
WAE sold NC3908 to Continental Air Express, Los Angeles,
CA on May 11, 1929. It suffered an accident at Saugus,
CA on September 20, 1929. Its file was cancelled January
THIS PAGE UPLOADED: 07/06/06 REVISED: 09/25/07, 01/17/08, 01/25/10, 04/09/12, 09/27/12