View products that support



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.



"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.


Most of 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.


An excellent resource is the writing of Ev Cassagneres. His business card identifies him as a "Ryan Aircraft Historian" and "Lindbergh/Spirit of St. Louis Specialist".

He has two books that you should look at. The first addresses the Spirit and is entitled "The Untold Story of the Spirit of St. Louis: From the Drawing Board to the Smithsonian". Published in 2002, it is available from Flying Books International, New Brighton, MN.

The second book is entitled, "Ambassador of Air Travel: The Untold Story of Lindbergh's 1927-1928 Goodwill Tours". It is available from Pictorial Histories Publishing Co.

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

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



Registration Number NX-211



This airplane is a Ryan monoplane manufactured in April 1927 by "Ryan Airlines, San Diego, Calif." It owned neither serial number nor type certificate. For three months after its manufacture it did not have a "legal" dataplate or registration number (see the NASM record image, below). It came from the factory with a Whirlwind J-5C engine (S/N 7331, built on April 1, 1927). It had a gross weight (GW) of 4,950 pounds, an empty weight (EW) of 1,930 pounds. GW-EW= 3,020 pounds useful load. Most of this useful load was devoted to fuel during the transatlantic voyage a month later on May 20-21, 1927. There are hundreds of thousands of Google hits on this airplane and its Atlantic crossing.

Upon its disassembly and return to the U.S. on shipboard from France, it was reassembled at Naval Air Station, Anacostia, DC in preparation for Lindbergh's good wiil flights to Mexico, South America and the U.S. The reassembly was captured in the June 29, 1929 issue of the Bureau of Aeronautics Newsletter. That article is below.

Bureau of Aeronautics Newsletter, June 29, 1927 (Source: Webmaster)
Bureau of Aeronautics Newsletter, June 29, 1927 (Source: Webmaster)

When Lindbergh came to Tucson, he was on his goodwill tour of the United States, approximately 5 months after his flight from New York to Paris (the "NYP" in the aircraft identification stands for "New York to Paris"). He landed at the Davis-Monthan Airfield on the afternoon of September 23, 1927 at 2:00 PM. Refer to page 22 of the register for Lindbergh’s signature and his identification of NX-211. Below Lindbergh's signature is that of Phil Love (who accompanied him in a Department of Commerce Fairchild). Love is one of an exclusive fraternity of pilots known to have flown the Spirit of St. Louis solo (the only others were Major James Lanphier and Lindbergh himself).

Lindbergh and the Spirit were met at the airfield by about 20,000 people that afternoon. The political, social and technical aspects of the development, delivery and flights of the Spirit of St. Louis can be found in the works of Ev Cassagneres, left, and the museum link, upper right.


While Lindbergh went about his tour duties in Tucson that afternoon and evening, the "Spirit of St. Louis" stayed behind at the Airfield. Below is an image of the airplane while on the ground at Tucson. This image came from the collection of Mrs. Charles Mayse, via Mr. Cassagneres (see left column). Her husband, Charlie Mayse, a Golden Age pilot from the Tucson area, signed the register ten times. Please see this link on this site for more images of NX-211 on the ground at Tucson.

Spirit at Tucson, 1927


Here is what the NASM record for NX211 looks like (image below).  The airplane was manufactured "For Trans-Atlantic Flight". This terse description belies the magnitude of the acclaim Lindbergh and the airplane have received over the last eighty years.  Likewise, it understates the impact the trans-Atlantic flight made on the science and discipline of aeronautics, and on air transportation.

NASM Record of NX211

Notice two things on this document.  First, the huge useful load of the Spirit of St. Louis is 3,020 pounds.  Second, the identification mark assignment and aircraft identification plate were mailed to Lindbergh on June 12, 1927, a couple of weeks after his benchmark flight. Shortly after that, in September, we found the Spirit at Tucson.

The registration for NX211 was canceled June 2, 1928. It is surprising that the final disposition does not include mention that the airplane was donated to the Smithsonian Institution by Lindbergh. The airplane is on display there today in the main gallery of the National Air & Space Museum on the Washington Mall (below).

"Spirit of St. Louis" at the Smithsonian Institution (Source: Webmaster)
"Spirit of St. Louis" at the Smithsonian


Below is a special treat that ties us even closer to the "Spirit" and to the Airfield. This image was given to me in Tucson by Capt. George R. Monthan, USN (Ret.) in early October 2005. George is the nephew of Oscar Monthan, for whom the Davis-Monthan Airfield is named. Incidentally, the Monthan family pronounces its surname "Montan," the "h" is not pronounced. Details are at the link.

Look carefully at the left side of the image and find the young boy standing in light-colored shirt and shorts. That boy is George Monthan, with his father (wearing the cap) standing next to him photo right, and his mother in a dark dress behind him.

Spirit at Tucson, 1927


George Monthan

Photo at right shows George Monthan in Tucson on 10/2/05 identifying himself and his family in the photo above, while your webmaster looks on in awe.

And that's the way it was at the old Davis-Monthan Airfield on that sunny, early morning (note shadows), Saturday, September 24,1927, as the prop was turned and Lindbergh departed for Lordsburg, NM.


In Capt. Monthan's image of the "Spirit" above, we see the prop being spun to start the engine. In the image below, we see Lindbergh, after warming up the engine, beginning to taxi out for departure. The airplane just visible on the right is the Department of Commerce Fairchild NS-7 that accompanied Lindbergh and the "Spirit of St. Louis" around the country. The image above and the one below were taken just minutes apart.

George Monthan and his parents are about to be consumed in a cloud of dust! Compare this image, and the one below, with the moving picture footage available at the link.

"Spirit" Departing Tucson (Source: G. Monthan)
"Spirit" Departing

Image above courtesy of Larry (Doug) Herndon, DMAFB.


Lindbergh owned another airplane with the registration 211. NR211, S/N 140, was a Lockheed Sirius Model 8 (later a Model 8 Special on floats) that he flew from 1930 -1934. It was painted black with orange wings. It was the first Lockheed fitted with sliding cockpit canopies. It was flown by Lindbergh and his wife Ann on survey flights for Pan American Airways during July-October 1931 and July-December 1933. Below is the Sirius as first built, as it has the very short-lived external balances on the rudder (look closely and you'll see their shadows).

NR211 (Source: Shankle)

It is not clear if that is Lindbergh on the wing. This airplane is not entered in the Davis-Monthan Airfield Register. I include it for its connection with Lindbergh and the heritage of the number "211".

Image above courtesy of John Shankle. His parents Joan Shankle and Clarence Shankle are signers of the Register.


THIS PAGE UPLOADED: 05/03/05 REVISED: 10/19/05, 04/08/06, 02/01/07, 02/06/07, 02/17/07, 04/02/07 (movie), 09/29/07, 03/18/08, 06/06/11, 08/22/11

The Register
Today The Spirit of St. Louis hangs in the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC
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