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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.


There is no data for NC684K in the archives of the National Air & Space Museum (NASM), Washington, DC, because the airplane is still registered with the FAA.

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This Travel Air is S/N 1274, manufactured September 2, 1929. It was sold on the same day by the Travel Air Company, Wichita, KS to R. C. Merriam of Azusa, CA. It was manufactured under Type Certificate #188 and left the factory with a Wright J-6 engine of 165HP, S/N 11373. Below, the airplane as it was circa 1929.

NC684K, Location Unknown, Circa 1929 (Source: Tufts)
NC684K, Circa 1929 (Source: Tufts)

Merriam sold the airplane immediately to Register pilot and aircraft broker/dealer H.C. Lippiatt on September 7, 1929. Lippiatt, in turn, sold it to Roy C. Patten on the same day. Although we are not sure, the current owner, Mr. Tufts (cited, right sidebar), and I think the gentleman in the photograph above could be Mr. Patten.

While owned by Mr. Patten, we find the airplane cited in the logbook of another Register pilot R.W. Henderson. Please direct your browser to his page and examine the description there of his Logbook #1.

Mr. Patten passed away somewhere near January, 1931 and his airplane was purchased, through his wife, the guardian of his estate, by John Nagel of Arcadia, CA on January 22, 1931. It was during Mr. Nagel's ownership that we find the airplane signed into the Davis-Monthan Register.

NC684K landed once at Tucson on Saturday, September 12, 1931. It was flown solo by Mary Charles. Based at Santa Monica, CA, Clover Field, she was westbound from El Paso, TX to Santa Monica. Please direct your browser to Charles' link to learn more about pilot Charles and what she did with NC684K.

There appears in the FAA record a lien against the airplane in July, 1932 for a loan to Mr. Nagel made by the Motor Car Loan Co., Los Angeles. Said loan was satisfied and the lien released on January 22, 1933. Mr. Nagel is unusual among the owners of Register aircraft. He maintained ownership of NC684K for about the next 50 years. The next document in the record is the bill of sale for transfer of the airplane to Mr. Tufts on September 28, 1978. He registered the airplane with the FAA twenty years later on August 25, 1999.

Now comes your Webmaster to Moorpark, CA in September, 2002 to visit with NC684K and its owner. Below, I stand next to the steel tube fuselage of the aircraft, holding part of the horizontal stabilizer. Landing gear parts lie atop the fuselage frame at right. Note the T-shaped attach points for shock bungees. The airplane is stored in a loft under the eaves of a barn roof.

Your Webmaster With Part of the Horizontal Stabilizer of NC684K, September 22, 2002 (Source: Webmaster, Photo by Tufts)
Your Webmaster With Part of the Horizontal Stabilizer of NC684K, September 22, 2002 (Source: Webmaster Photo by Tufts)

Below, the fuselage frame.

NC684K Fuselage Frame, September 22, 2002 (Source: Webmaster)
NC684K Fuselage Frame, September 22, 2002 (Source: Webmaster Photo by Tufts)

The airplane is destined for restoration, but no timeline is forthcoming.




The Register
This airplane is still registered with the FAA and is under restoration in California.

NC685K is owned by Lane Tufts as of the upload date of this page. We have a copy of the official FAA record for the airplane that lists the chain of custody over the years.


http://www.cafepress.com/content/global/img/spacer.gifThe Congress of Ghosts is an anniversary celebration for 2010.  It is an historical biography, that celebrates the 5th year online of www.dmairfield.org and the 10th year of effort on the 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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