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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 here.


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Registration Number NX3598

Fasten Your Seatbelts

This aircraft is a Ryan B-1 Brougham, S/N 49. It derives from the same lineage as the “Spirit of St. Louis”, and was built during the same year. The B.F. Mahoney Aircraft Co., San Diego, CA manufactured it on 11/12/1927. It was equipped with a 200 HP Wright J-5CA engine, S/N 2092, built on 10/17/1927. It weighed 3,300 pounds.

Southwest Ryan Airlines, Inc., 1204 Atlas Bldg., Tulsa, OK (Al Henley, Mgr.) purchased it on 11/12/1927. This Ryan passed through the Davis-Monthan Airfield twice. Each flight was eastbound from San Diego to Tulsa, and each flight coincided with major airframe modifications performed at the Ryan factory in San Diego.

The airplane was modified at the factory, “with larger wing and fuel tanks to endeavor to establish world’s endurance record.” In a letter from B.F. Mahoney on 1/9/1928, he states the “regular wing removed and larger wing put on (42’ span to 46’ span), with larger tanks in fuselage to replace 3 passengers as 2PCLM (Al Henley & relief pilot) brakes and all unnecessary equipment removed. Flight only over airport at Tulsa. Gross wt. 5,440. Remodeled 1/7 to 1/19 1928.” An “X” license was applied for on 1/9/1928, and approved by wire on 1/10/1928.

Below, an image of the airplane under construction from Ryan Aeronautical. NX3598 was very similar to Martin Jensen's MGM Brougham. They had the same longer span wing and fuel tanks in the belly.

Ryan Brougham B-1, NX3598
Ryan Brougham B-1, NX3598

The first visit to the Davis-Monthan Airfield occurred on 1/13/1928 at 2:45 PM. The pilot was Al Henley. He departed for Tulsa the same afternoon at 3:30 PM. The date of this visit is earlier than the date given in Mahoney’s letter for completion of the remodeling work. But, chances are the work was completed earlier, and the transient log date entered by Henley is accurate. Please click to see images of pilot Henley and this airplane on this site with its NX registration.

On 2/6/1928 the airplane had an accident at Fort Worth. The pilot was Al Henley (transport license #778) carrying passenger Joe Hart. Both were uninjured. A wheel collapsed on take-off because of the excess load. It is not clear if the endurance record was being attempted when this accident occurred.

The airplane was sent by truck to the factory in San Diego for rebuilding. It was rebuilt as of 9/10/1928 to the regular Ryan B-1 specifications for ATC 25. The 42’ wing was replaced. A Wright 220 HP engine, S/N 8157 was installed. It appears that the record attempt was scrapped. A “C” license was issued for the airplane on 1/11/1929.

On 3/1/1929 it was sold to the Garland Aircraft Corp., Tulsa, OK, and then on 3/6/1929 to John Fernow, 1123 North Denver St., Tulsa, OK. It was flown for several months and then sold again to Earl Bunker Smith, 6122 East Olive St., Pipestone, MN who installed a new, larger tail unit (installed by von Hoffman Aircraft Co., St. Louis, MO).

It was purchased on 5/27/1930 by L.H. Atkinson, Municipal Airport, Tulsa, OK for use with Oklahoma Short Line Airways. On 6/23/1930 the Commercial Credit Co., Oklahoma City, began repossession procedures for non-payment of mortgage. And on 8/9/1930 a violation is cited for operating on a passenger airline without seat belts for pilot or passengers. Kenneth M. Oliver was the pilot-in-command at the time, but he received a warning only.

It was sold for $1,000.00 on 5/29/1931 to Sam H. Coffman, Airport, North May Ave., Oklahoma City, OK.


UPLOADED: 6/9/05 REVISED: 02/17/07, 10/30/08

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