This airplane is a Travel Air E-4000, serial number 1223, manufactured August 5, 1929 by the Travel Air Co., Wichita, KS. According to the NASM data, it left the factory with a Wright J-6 engine of 165HP [sic], serial number 11155. It sold initially to D.C. Warren of San Francisco, CA. Warren was a dealer in Travel Air aircraft.
NC647H sold on September 13, 1929 to Henry Hurley, Oakland, CA. It suffered an accident on May 14, 1930 at Sacramento, CA and was about 50% destroyed. The license was canceled on June 4th. It was repossessed by Warren and rebuilt.
On March 23, 1931 Warren resold it to Dolores Guinther, Monarch Flying Service, Oakland, CA. They owned the airplane until 1938 and probably rented the airplane, as it suffered another accident and visited Tucson during its ownership by them. NC647H landed at Tucson Monday, August 22, 1932. It was flown by Kenny Neese, who gave his home base as Oakland, CA. He did not cite the rest of his itinerary in the Register. Below, a photograph of NC647H shared by Neese's granddaughter. Please direct your browser to Neese's link to see more photos shared by her.
Travel Air NC637H, Date Unknown (Source: Guyer)
The sign over the starboard wing says "Hawthorne Pool Hall." It appears this landing was on a street. A person in helmet and goggles stands near the port horizontal stabilizer. It is not known if he is Neese.
NC647H suffered an accident on October 1, 1933 at Rio Vista, CA. Although it was cited as "minor damage", upon inspection its license was suspended. Its accumulated flight hours as of October 11, 1933 were 606:15. That's an average of about 150 hours per year, a good amount of time for a private aircraft of the era.
It was sold to Paul San Martino of San Bruno, CA on October 14, 1938. In his hands it must have been repaired and relicensed. It suffered yet another accident on July 4, 1939 at San Francisco Airport. San Martino was not hurt. The airplane had minor damage and was repaired as of July 18th with a steerable tail wheel installed. It suffered another accident on Septmber 9, 1939, again at the San Francisco Airport. The pilot this time was George Gladstone. The engine failed on take off and the "rudder and fin" were damaged.
NC647H changed hands six times during WWII. On July 22, 1940 the airplane sold to the Wallace Air Service of Spokane, WA, then to George W. Gluck of Walla Walla, WA on May 1, 1942. Then to the Hart Flying Service, Lind, WA on October 26, 1942, to Central Aircraft of Yakima, WA on May 26, 1944, then to Roy M. Lamoureaux of Kellogg, ID on November 1, 1944, and back to Central Aircraft on January 3, 1945.
By February 8, 1946 it was registered as NR647H, but there was no documentation to show the change. It was "overhauled" ca. June 10, 1946, with a series of drawings supporting the rebuild. It was assigned a new type name upon completion: "Curtiss-Wright Travel Air E.4000 Special".
On September 4, 1947, the owner requested cancellation of the license, because the aircraft had been, "totally destroyed by either wreckage or fire." No further information.
THIS PAGE UPLOADED: 01/30/10 REVISED: 12/24/11