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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, while supplies last.

---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 It includes across 277 pages previously unpublished photographs and texts, and facsimiles of personal letters, diaries and military orders.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.


Military Aircraft of the Davis Monthan Register, 1925-1936 is available at the link. This book describes and illustrates with black & white photographs the majority of military aircraft that landed at the Davis-Monthan Airfield between 1925 and 1936. The book includes biographies of some of the pilots who flew the aircraft to Tucson as well as extensive listings of all the pilots and airplanes. Use this FORM to order a copy signed by the author, while supplies last.


Art Goebel's Own Story by Art Goebel (edited by G.W. Hyatt) is written in language that expands for us his life as a Golden Age aviation entrepreneur, who used his aviation exploits to build a business around his passion.  Available as a free download at the link.


Winners' Viewpoints: The Great 1927 Trans-Pacific Dole Race is available at the link. What was it like to fly from Oakland to Honolulu in a single-engine plane during August 1927? Was the 25,000 dollar prize worth it? Did the resulting fame balance the risk? For the first time ever, this book presents the pilot and navigator's stories written by them within days of their record-setting adventure. Pilot Art Goebel and navigator William V. Davis, Jr. take us with them on the Woolaroc, their orange and blue Travel Air monoplane (NX869) as they enter the hazardous world of Golden Age trans-oceanic air racing.


Clover Field: The First Century of Aviation in the Golden State. With the 100th anniversary in 2017 of the use of Clover Field as a place to land aircraft in Santa Monica, this book celebrates that use by exploring some of the people and aircraft that made the airport great.


Motion picture footage of a restored Boeing 40 is available here. This seven-minute film is worth viewing, as this is the only example flying.


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Boeing Model 40-B-4 NC843M


This airplane is a Boeing Model 40-B-4 (S/N 1169; ATC #183), manufactured in February 1930 by the Boeing Airplane Company, Seattle, WA.  It left the factory with a Pratt & Whitney Hornet CA engine (S/N 430) of 525 HP. It was a large, five-place airplane, weighing 6,075 pounds.  The pilot sat in the open cockpit.

Unlike its sister ship NC842M, which was used as a company demonstrator, this airplane was sold directly on February 6, 1930 to Western Air Express (W.A.E.), Los Angeles, CA.  It wore the title, “W.A.E. #55”. Below, courtesy of Tim Kalina, is an image of 843M in W.A.E. livery.

Boeing Model 40-B-4, Circa 1930, Location Unknown (Source: Kalina)
Boeing Model 40-B-4, Circa 1930, Location Unknown


February 2, 1931, Ogden Standard-Examiner (UT)(Source: Woodling)
February 2, 1931,Ogden Standard-Examiner (UT)(Source: Woodling)


We find NC843M at Tucson on February 12, 1930 flown solo by Erik Nelson.  He is eastbound from San Diego, CA to St. Louis, MO.  There is no clue in the Register or in the NASM record as to why he would be flying a new W.A.E. airplane to St. Louis, unless it was a delivery flight.

There is scant information about this airplane in the NASM records.  It was flight-tested by Boeing pilot E.T. Allen, then ferried south from Seattle to Oakland, CA by Grover Tyler (neither Allen nor Tyler were Register pilots). 

There is record at the NASM of a “minor accident,” but no dates or details. We know the airplane was involved in a crash with another mail plane at Salt Lake City, UT about a year after delivery to W.A.E. The article, right, from the Ogden Standard-Examiner, February 2, 1931, describes the circumstances. None of the pilots listed were signers of any Registers. Other news reports stated there were no passengers in either plane, and that the pilots calmly transferred their mail to other aircraft and went on their respective ways.

Photographs of the aftermath of the crash are below from the Utah Departent of Heritage & Art (UDHA), Shipler Collection Negative Preservation Project, via Bob Woodling. This does not appear to be a "minor accident."  Rather, substantial damage was suffered by both aircraft.

The first image shows NC843M in juxtaposition with another Boeing, probably soon after the collision. The other Boeing was a model 80A trimotor, NC227M, S/N 1085 (not a Register airplane). Note the snow on the ground, as well as the poor visibility.

NC843M (L) and NC227M, February 1931 (Source: UDHA via Woodling)
NC843M (L) and NC227M, February 1931 (Source: UDHA via Woodling)

The second photograph is a close-up of the damage to the trimotor. That they struck each other's starboard wings rather than head-on is fortunate. Curiously, there was no fire. The wings of both aircraft undoubtedly contained fuel.

Boeing 80A NC227M, February 1931 (Source: UDHA via Woodling)
Boeing 80A NC227M, February 1931 (Source: UDHA via Woodling)

The last image shows NC843M being towed backwards away from the scene. The wreckage of the starboard wings is evident, as is damage to the propeller.

Boeing NC843M, February 1931 (Source: UDHA via Woodling)
Boeing NC843M, February 1931 (Source: UDHA via Woodling)

Pilot Tyler ferried another Register Boeing to its new owners, NC178E. With thanks to his grandson, we know quite a bit about Grover Tyler, which is presented at the link for 178E. If you know more about NC843M, please let me KNOW.


UPLOADED: 03/28/06 REVISED: 10/13/07, 07/31/08, 05/09/11, 06/03/19

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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.
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