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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.


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.


Pilot Depew was Early Birds President, 1944-46. This is Depew's page at the Early Birds website.

Ruth M. Reinhold's 1982 book entitled, "Sky Pioneering: Arizona in Aviation History." University of Arizona Press, Tucson. ISBN 0-8165-0737-6. Refer to pages 125 and 203.


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Registration Number 8003

1928 National Air Races Demonstrator

This aircraft is a Fairchild FC-2, serial number 152 (ATC #10). It was manufactured July 1928 by Fairchild Airplane Manufacturing Corp., Farmingdale, NY and delivered by air to Los Angeles powered by a Wright Whirlwind J-5AB engine, S/N 8974. As a five-place airplane, it weighed 3,000 pounds. It landed five times at Tucson.

NC8803 sold for $13,950, and it was, “flown to L.A. for display at Nat’l Air Races 9/8-16/28. Stored in hangar at Arcadia, Calif. until sold.” A ferry charge of $400 was added to the purchase price.

We are pleased to find 8003 landing at Tucson on September 7, 1928 piloted by Richard H. Depew, Jr. accompanied by passengers C.B. Alley and Frank Walton. They commented in the remarks section of the Register: "Splendid field and service". With their homebase identified as Farmingdale, LI, NY, they were inbound that morning from El Paso westbound to Los Angeles. Their schedule was tight, and they probably arrived in Los Angeles just in time to clean the dust and oil from the airplane and themselves and put it on display!

It didn’t remain in the hangar at Arcadia for very long. On October 27, 1928 it sold to George Law of Pajarito Ranch, Espanola, NM, “for aerial photography.” It had accumulated 27:30 flight hours, most of that probably the result of the cross-country flight from NY to CA. On August 8, 1930, we find the airplane signed in the Peterson Field Register, flown by owner Law.

Between February 19 and June 13, 1929 we find it at Tucson four more times. Each time it was piloted by C.W. Gilpin. He carried passengers each time, mostly along the southern tier between Los Angeles – Lordsburg – El Paso. Refer to the Reinhold reference, left, for mention of Gilpin and this airplane. In September, 1929 it was flown back to the factory for, “general overhaul.” It was still at the factory in January 1930. As of February 12, 1930 it had accumulated 338 flight hours. On August 8, 1930, we find the airplane signed in the Peterson Field Register, flown by owner Law.

On February 23, 1931 at Albuquerque, NM NC8003 suffered an accident with owner Law piloting. The airplane was a “washout.” Pilot Law fared well, as he wrote to the government two months later, “Wreck moved to Pajarito Ranch, the motor, prop and instruments are all I can salvage.” Registration was cancelled April 2, 1931.


THIS PAGE UPLOADED: 07/26/05 REVISED: 10/25/08

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