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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.


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.

An image of this airplane may be found in the Cosgrove Collection on at this link.


You may see this airplane in motion on the ground at Tucson at this link, which shows a one-minute moving picture clip of the fourth National Air Tour for the Edsel B. Ford Trophy when it visited Tucson on the morning of July 10, 1928.


To see a static image of this airplane at Mills Field, San Francisco, CA, please follow this link to the Klein Archive of Aviation Photographs.


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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 Colby).

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 or engine.


UPLOADED: 07/02/05 REVISED: 09/28/07, 11/07/07, 06/28/09, 12/05/10

The Register
I'm looking for photographs of this airplane to include on this page. If you have one or more you'd like to share, please use this FORM to contact me.

The 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.


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