View products that support


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.

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 It includes across 277 pages previously unpublished photographs and texts, and facsimiles of personal letters, diaries and military orders.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


Punctuality for NC9724 during its tenure with Standard Air Lines was about 67%, with 38 out of 57 flights landing within 15 minutes of scheduled time.

Bilstein, Roger. 2001. Flight in America: From the Wrights to the Astronauts, 3rd Ed. Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, Baltimore, MD. ISBN 0801866855.


Davis-Monthan Aviation Field Register
CulturalMotion PicturesFriendsNon Profit statusProducts and services
ReferencesPublicationsCollectionsGuest EditorsPress Coverage


Registration Number NC9724

An Historic Airliner

NC9724 appears in the Davis-Monthan Register 57 times between January 24, 1929 and September 6, 1929. The reason for this frequency is that NC9724 was an airliner for Standard Air Lines founded by Jack Frye, Paul Richter and Walter Hamilton. It was flown by six pilots, including Frye, William Kingsley, William Kinsley, Harold Kelsey and Hap Russell.

The airplane is noted as being under “Ferry” on January 14, 1929, piloted by Hap Russell from New York (probably from the Fokker factory in New Jersey; compare the date of its first visit for the airline, January 16, 1929). Its sister ships of the line were NC3317 and NC8011. Below, a Fokker factory photograph from the San Diego Aerospace Museum (SDAM). The airplane is brand new in this port view, probably days before it was ferried by Russell through Tucson. Another photograph of the airplane is at the Hap Russell Photograph and Document Collection at the link. In this photograph NC9724 was named the "Californian."

Fokker Super Universal NC9724, Ca. 1929 (Source: SDAM)
Fokker Super Universal NC9724, Ca. 1929 (Source: SDAM)

Fokker Aircraft Corporation of America manufactured Super Universal NC9724 in December, 1928. It was fitted with a Pratt & Whitney Wasp engine (S/N 1014) of 400 HP. It sold to Aero Corporation of California on January 1, 1929. It went through a series of sales between Aero Corporation of California, Mid-Continent Air Express and Western Air Express (WAE) in the early 1930’s. Between 1934 and 1942, it passed to five private owners (including Charles H. Babb), with at least one engine change (to another Wasp, S/N 1009) in September 1934.

Finally, it sold to the War Department, Corps of Engineers, “Sometime in 1942/43…for operation outside the Continental Limits of the U.S.” It did not get to see foreign lands, because on October 10, 1943 it burned beyond repair in a hangar fire at Van Nuys, CA (according to the NASM record, Lockheed Vega NC972Y burned in the same fire). NC9724, by far, led the longest life of the three Fokkers of Standard Air Lines, just shy of 15 years.

Fokker Super Universal NC9724 at Tucson, Date Unknown (Source: AHS)
Fokker Super Universal NC9724 at Tucson, Date Unknown (Source: AHS)

In the photo at right, displayed in front of the airplane is the first United Air Express merchandise from Los Angeles to reach Tucson for Albert Steinfeld & Co. This photo was donated to the Arizona Historical Society (AHS) in 1969 by Mary Hughston, who was the advertising manager for Albert Steinfeld & Co. She identified Jack Frye as the man in the suit to the left of the merchandise. The pilot was unidentified, but it is probably William Kingsley.

Image, below, taken at the inauguration ceremonies of Standard Air Lines’ Air/Rail service at the city’s hangar, February 4, 1929, El Paso Municipal Airport, El Paso, TX.  On August 4, 1929, eight months before its merger with WAE, Standard had erected its own building on its own property at El Paso similar to the Spanish mission style of the American Air Lines terminal at Tucson, shown here, and the one at Standard's Los Angeles terminal, here. The location of the new property became the contemporary El Paso International Airport. Compare the state of the paint on the top of the starboard wing with that on the image above.

Fokker NC9724 at El Paso, TX, February 1929
Fokker NC9724 at El Paso, TX, February 1929

Standard Air Lines operated as the western link in an air-rail transcontinental schedule. Passengers traveled from New York to St. Louis by rail, connected with a Southwest Air Fast Express Ford Trimotor to Sweetwater, TX, then took an overnight train, “The Texan,” to El Paso. In El Paso, passengers connected with Standard Air Lines for Los Angeles. Under ideal conditions, the coast-to-coast voyage took 43 hours and 40 minutes, a savings of about 16 hours over the all-train routing. Two additional images of NC9724 on this site are at the Cosgrove Photograph and Document Collection.

Interestingly, in those early days, during the late 1920s, chief revenue for airlines came from postal and cargo contracts that paid by weight (Bilstein, 2001, p. 56, reference left sidebar). It was not unusual for passengers to have to sign a proviso that allowed the airline to dump them anywhere along the line if the company could pick up a more cost-effective cargo of mail. There is no indication that Standard Air Lines adhered to this practice!

Image, below, from the American Aviation Historical Society Journal, 52:1. Spring, 2007, p. 58 (REFERENCES). Note the different paint scheme from the images above.

Fokker NC9724 in 1940
Fokker NC9724 in 1940

Refer to this link for general technical information about Fokker aircraft. NC9724 also landed once and is signed into the Peterson Field Register.


THIS PAGE UPLOADED: 6/9/05 REVISED: 07/07/06, 10/10/07, 06/24/11, 07/18/14

The Register
Photo, left, from Arizona Historical Society, Tucson, AZ, showing Standard Air Lines Super Universal NC9724 on the ground at Tucson (exact date 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.


Photo from February 1929, below left, and information and images of pilot Kelsey and Fokker NC9724 courtesy of John Paul Jones and the Aultman Collection of the El Paso Public Library. 

Contact Us | Credits | Copyright © 2008 Delta Mike Airfield, Inc.
This website is best enjoyed in a 1024 x 768 screen resolution.
Web design by The Web Professional, Inc