Registration Number NC5900
A 1928 Ford Reliability Tour Airplane
This aircraft is a Stinson SM-1DA Detroiter, manufacturer’s
serial number M-300. It was manufactured 6/30/28 by Stinson
Aircraft Corporation, Northville, MI. It left the factory
with a 220 HP Wright J-5CA Whirlwind engine, S/N 8520. It
weighed 4,500 pounds.
Our airplane was manufactured with the express intention
of being flown in the 1928 Ford Reliability Tour by none other than E.A.
Stinson, the manufacturer. It was sold on June 26, 1928 (pre-completion)
to the Tulsa Junior Chamber of Commerce, Tulsa, OK for $12,500.
It mistakenly had manufacturer’s serial number plate
M-252 installed. This was exchanged for M-300.
It did fly in the Tour, wearing Tour #20. A photograph of it upon departure from Dearborn, MI at the start of the Tour is at the link. It landed at Tucson
on July 10, 1928 flown by Eddie Stinson. He noted four passengers
in the Register, however the “official” Tour information
lists only two (William Baldwin and Thomas
After the Tour, on August 16, 1928, the Stinson sold to J.E. Mabee
of Tulsa for $7,000. Mabee was an oil well drilling contractor. Although not clear from the NASM record, or from any other records I've reviewed, the "Barnsdale Corp. TULSA" markings on the side of the airplane (see them illustrated in the links cited in the left sidebar) may be in anticipation in July of the sale to Mabee in August.
Two more sales brought the airplane to Clarence W. Jones of
Lima, OH who was director of radio station HCJB in Quito,
Ecuador. He proposed to use the airplane, “for missionary
broadcasting in So. America.” There is no indication
that it ever made it to South America.
It was re-covered as of May 19, 1931 and then suffered an accident
in Wheaton, IL on June 22, 1931 that damaged the, “motor mount,
crankcase, motor and top of rudder.” We can picture
the airplane nosing over!
We then see a gap in the record of about a year, when, on
September 12, 1932, the airplane is sold in a “sheriff’s sale”
to John W. Botkin and Lew W. Akin in Shawnee, OK. Their bid
was $1,009.72. The airplane had 458 flight hours. It sold
twice more, finally winding up in Fort Worth, TX on August 11, 33.
It suffered another accident on February 15, 1934, and its registration
was cancelled March 8, 1935. No record of the fate of the airframe
UPLOADED: 07/02/05 REVISED: 09/28/07, 11/07/07, 06/28/09, 12/05/10