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 It includes across 277 pages previously unpublished photographs and texts, and facsimiles of personal letters, diaries and military orders.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



Juptner, Joseph. 1962-1981. U.S. Civil Aircraft. Volumes 1-9. Aero Publishers, Inc. Fallbrook, CA. The quote is from vol. 4, p. 312. Another image of NX849E is on p. 313, and the Emsco Derrick logo is clearly visible.


Two other images are available at as the B-2 tri-motor, and here as the B-5 model with twin engines.

We should all be grateful to site visitor Tim Kalina of Chicago for the Emsco images and catalog shown at right.

To see another image of this airplane, please follow this link to the Klein Archive of Aviation Photographs.

Davis-Monthan Aviation Field Register
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This aircraft is an Emsco B-2 tri-motor (S/N 1; no ATC #) manufactured in April 1929 by the Emsco Aircraft Corporation, Long Beach, CA.  It left the factory with three Curtiss Challenger engines (S/Ns 208, 207, 196).  It was an eight-place airplane weighing 7,085 pounds. This airplane is the only one of its marque to land at the Davis-Monthan Airfield and have its presence recorded.

Initially, beginning in May 1929, it was an Emsco company demonstrator, licensed "NX849E" to Emsco to expire on December 1, 1929.  Shortly after it was manufactured, it embarked, wearing the Emsco Derrick logo, on a four-month promotional tour of the U.S. visiting various Emsco Derrick factories. It logged over 25,000 miles during the tour. Below is a colorized image of NX849E (the artist colored over the registration number on the tail).

Emsco B-2 Tri-motor

It IS an interesting color scheme. A quote from Juptner (reference, left sidebar): "Those who can remember will agree that some of the most beautiful airplanes of this time came out of the Emsco factory in Downey. Gleaming in their bright colors, with careful attention to streamlining and the flowing form, the 'Emsco' monoplanes were an eye-catcher and a crowd-former in any of their several different versions."

Our color photo comes from site visitor Tim Kalina (cited, left sidebar) who tells us the image is from a period postcard. Also from Mr. Kalina is this PDF. The images you see in this download also are of NX849E, and they may have been snapped during that brief period in mid- to late 1929 when the airplane was on tour as a tri-motor (compare the Emsco Derrick logo on the image above with the one in the download).

NX849E served as the poster airplane for the Emsco catalog from which the two page spread was taken (note the switch of figure captions vs. the interior photos). If you have the time and inclination, here is the entire Emsco product catalog for 1929, including all the images above, in PDF format. It's a terrific read that nicely describes in words of the era, among Art Deco accents, the technical and ownership features of these plush, functional aircraft.

According to the NASM record, on January 4, 1930, NX849E was converted from a tri-motor to a twin-engine airplane, with two Wright J-6 300 HP engines installed (S/N 10776 and 10778).  The model designation was changed to B-5, the “NX” registration was continued, and a CAA type certificate was assigned (ATC #GR 2-390 finally granted 10/24/31).

The airplane was approved for NC registration as a twin-engined craft on October 22, 1931 (just about coinciding with the granting of the ATC). It was sold to the Emsco Derrick and Equipment Co., Los Angeles, CA on November 1, 1931. It is not clear from the record whether it was used to transport Emsco executives. Emsco Derrick sold NC849E on July 13, 1933 to Compania Nacional de Aviacion, Inc., with offices in Los Angeles, CA.  This company was owned by W.W. Hodkinson, operating in Guatemala.  Hoskinson paid $3,500 for the airplane.

Now comes NC849E to Tucson on August 23, 1933 flown by Paul Adams.  It is clearly written in the Register that the airplane carried the “NC” registration at this time.  Adams carried three unidentified passengers.

They were southbound from Burbank, CA indicating “Guatemala C.A.” as their destination.  The final disposition for NC849E states, “Probably exported to Guatemala.”  From the Register, it’s pretty clear that’s what happened.  No further information.


Site visitor Tim Kalina also supplies us with the image below. The airplane on the right is our NX849E.

Emsco Fabric

The airplane on the left is Emsco B-3A NX832H. The fabric swatch is from that airplane. Compare the color of the fabric sample with the postcard above. Pretty close color match, I'd say. Separately, pilot Jack Reid landed at Tucson on December 9, 1928. He was flying Travel Air NC9006 with one passenger. Does anyone have information about Reid or NC9006?

Tim describes his image as follows, "The fabric is glued to a 17x12 inch sheet of thin paper. Glued around the fabric are ten 2-1/2x3-1/2 inch photos of aircraft taken at the 1929 National Air Races held in Cleveland.

"Besides the two photos of the Emscos there are three photos of the Curtiss Robin 'City of Cleveland', then single photos of a Pitcairn PA-6 Super Mailwing (557E), Bellanca CH-300 'Pacemaker', Vega 5, Ford Trimotor, and a Fokker Super Universal. The only plane (other than Reid's Emsco) with a visible registration number is the Pitcairn which is 557E (no N or X number). The photos have faded some, with some having much of their mid-tones dropping out."


THIS PAGE UPLOADED: 03/29/06 REVISED: 05/09/06, 05/14/06, 10/28/08, 12/15/08, 04/21/11, 01/03/23

The Register
Does anyone know what NC849E looked like when it was in service with Compania Nacional de Aviacion? If you have information or images, please contact me using this FORM.


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