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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 (NASM), 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.


According to, this airplane still exists. However, aerofiles identifies it as flying for Pan American Airways, a fact not mentioned on the NASM data card. Aerofiles suggests the airplane is with Kal Aero, Vicksburg MI, possibly being rebuilt. Does anyone KNOW?


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FORD 4-AT-E NC8400

FORD 4-AT-E NC8400


This airplane is a Ford 4-AT tri-motor (S/N 4-AT-62; ATC # 132) manufactured July 13, 1929 by the Stout Metal Airplane Company (Division of Ford Motor Company), Dearborn, MI.  It came from the factory with three Wright J-6 (R-975-A) engines (S/Ns 10461, 10485, 10500) of 300 HP each.

It sold on July 11, 1929 to The Curtis Publishing Company, Philadelphia, PA.  Through the Great Depression, it landed at Tucson three times, on February 18, 1930, July 11, 1932 and on August 29, 1933.  Each time it was piloted by A.W. Gorton

Based in Camden, NJ, his first landing was solo, westbound from El Paso, TX to Los Angeles, CA.  The airplane was owned by Curtis Publishing at this time.  The NASM record reports an accident at North Beach, NY on October 21, 1931.  It is not clear if Gorton was the pilot.  No details of damage or repairs appear in the record. Below, courtesy of the San Diego Aerospace Museum Flickr Stream (SDAM), is a front view of NC8400 on the ground, location unknown. The registration number is readable under the port wing.

Ford NC8400, Date & Location Unknown (Source: SDAM)
Ford NC8400, Date & Location Unknown (Source: SDAM)

At Gorton's second landing, in 1932, the airplane is owned by Arthur H. Kudner of New York.  He carried four unidentified passengers on that flight, again from El Paso, TX to Los Angeles.  In August 1933, Gorton landed carrying Mr. & Mrs. A.H. Kudner.  Kudner was secretary-treasurer for the Despatch Corporation of New York, who was still the owner of the airplane at that time.  They were eastbound from Glendale, CA to El Paso.  Written in the Remarks column of the Register is, “L.A. – New York”.

Through the late 1930s the airplane moved through five owners located from NY to WI, KY, MI and OH.  I suffered another accident (no details) on November 20, 1938 at Cleveland, TN.  Finally, on March 31, 1941, NC8400 sold to Johnson Flying Service, Missoula, MT. It stayed with Johnson until 1953.  The final disposition states that the airplane, “Washed out 7/14/53, per report to FAA dated 8/3/53.”

According to, this airplane still exists: "4-AT-E c/n 62 [NC8400]. 1929: Pan American Airways. LOCATION: Kal Aero, Vicksburg MI. Possible rebuild."


THIS PAGE UPLOADED: 04/01/06 REVISED: 10/30/08, 12/05/14

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.

---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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