The Davis-Monthan Aviation Field Register

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 It includes across 277 pages previously unpublished photographs and texts, and facsimiles of personal letters, diaries and military orders.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



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This airplane is a Lockheed Vega Model 5 (S/N 94; ATC #93) manufactured during August 1929 by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation, Burbank, CA.  It left the factory with a Pratt & Whitney Wasp B engine (S/N 1748) of 450 HP.  It was a five-place airplane. Below, a photograph of NC974H as it appeared soon after it was manufactured. It wears the livery of the 1929 National Women's Air Derby.

Lockheed Vega NC974H, August, 1929 (Source: Kalina)

It sold in late 1929 to Alaska-Washington Airways, Inc., Seattle, WA.  It was named “Sitka” by the airline. See this link for its service at A-WA.

During its ownership by A-WA, we find NC974H landing at Tucson twice.  Its pilots and itineraries just don’t seem to fit with the airline’s purpose.  The first landing was August 20, 1929, just after its manufacture.  It was flown by a pilot signing the Register only as Copeland.  He carried a “party” southbound from Phoenix, AZ to Douglas, AZ

A couple of weeks later, on September 5, 1929, we find it again at Tucson piloted solo by Wiley Post.  He was flying westbound from El Paso, TX to Burbank, CA.  He noted in the Remarks column of the Register, "Perfect weather...bad weather report." What pilot hasn't seen the same, and, less fortunately, vice versa?

There is record on July 31, 1931 of an application for Canadian registration CF-ARN, made by Coastal Airways of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C.  The registration was not granted.

According to the NASM record, the airplane was flown on Edo floats.  It was sold on March 22, 1934 to Nick Bez of Seattle, WA.  Bez transferred it on April 23, 1934 to Alaska Southern Airways, Inc. Seattle, WA, of which Bez was an owner.  It was named “Baranof” under ASA ownership.

NC974H suffered an accident at Pinta Bay, Chicahagof Island, AK on October 10, 1934.  There was one fatality and three injuries.  No record of the fate of the airplane.


THIS PAGE UPLOADED: 06/02/06 REVISED: 08/23/06, 10/18/11

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.


"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. ISBN 978-0-9843074-2-5.

"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.  Use this FORM to order a copy signed by the author. ISBN 978-0-9843074-1-8.

"Winners' Viewpoints: The Great 1927 Trans-Pacific Dole Race" is available at the link. Use this FORM to order a copy signed by the author. 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. ISBN 978-0-9843074-3-2.



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