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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 (NASM), Washington, DC.


From September 1928 to early February 1929. NC8011 landed within 30 minutes of its scheduled times in a little over half of its 81 flights. Interestingly, the worst westbound time was an hour overdue. The pilot noted simply in the remarks column of the register, “Headwinds”, a terse observation to which all westbound pilots can relate!

In February 1929, the schedule changed. According to a route itinerary of the same year, Standard Air Lines’ service through Tucson specified landings at 2:30 PM east bound, and at 11:50 AM west bound. Logged arrival and departure times in the Register mirror this change for NC8011, which continued its moderate level of punctuality.


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Registration Number NC8011

An Historic, Early Airliner

The Super Universal was certificated in July 1928 (A.T.C. #52). The cockpit and cabin were enclosed, and there was room for seven passengers. It had a service ceiling of 18,000 feet and a cruise speed of 118 SMPH. They sold new at the factory in 1928 for $17,500.

Fokker Super Universal NC8011 appears in the Register 81 times between September 28, 1928 and September 6, 1929. The reason for this frequency is that NC8011 was an airliner for Standard Air Lines founded by Jack Frye, Paul Richter and Walter Hamilton. It was flown by seven pilots including Hap Russell, Harold Kelsey, William Kingsley, Frye and Richter. Its sister ships of the line were NC3317 and NC9724. Below, from the San Diego Aerospace Museum (SDAM), is an aerial image of the airplane.

Fokker Super Universal NC8011 in the Air, Date & Location Unknown (Source: SDAM)
Fokker Super Universal NC8011 in the Air, Date & Location Unknown (Source: SDAM)

Super Universal NC8011 (C/N 812) was manufactured in July 1928 by Atlantic Aircraft, and fitted with a Pratt & Whitney Wasp engine (S/N 836). It sold to Aero Corporation of California on September 28, 1928. It was the first Super Universal acquired by Standard. Compared to NC3317, another aircraft from the Standard Air Lines stable, NC8011 lived a short and mundane five years and four months. Image, below, of NC8011 aloft for Standard Airlines. This photo appears to have been cropped from the one above. You may view a color image of a model of NC8011 to get some idea of what the color scheme was (but note the conjecture regarding coloration of Standard airliners).

NC8011 Aloft

After its sale to Aero Corporation of California, NC8011 transferred on February 4, 1929 to Standard Air Lines. On August 31, 1929 it was sold to Mid-Continent Air Express, Inc. It suffered an accident in El Paso on November 29, 1931 and was repaired and resold to Western Air Express, Inc. on April 16, 1932. On December 3, 1933, it suffered another accident in Las Vegas, NM and was “washed out” (NASM records).

Refer to this link for technical information about Fokker aircraft.


Dossier 3.1.42

THIS PAGE UPLOADED: 6/9/05 REVISED: 09/04/06, 06/24/11

The Register
Photo from the Arizona Historical Society, Tucson, AZ. It shows NC8011 on the ground at Tucson, year unknown.

Aircraft records at the National Air and Space Museum for Golden Age aircraft registration numbers are rife with examples of accidents, aggressive airframe modifications that pushed the boundaries of airworthiness, stressful work duties and harrowing record attempts. Occasionally, chains of custody were long and tortuous, with airplane ownership transiting back and forth across the country, and alternating between private and commercial duties.

---o0o--- 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 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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