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This information comes from the biographical information file for pilot Christopher, CC-268500-40, reviewed by me in the archives of the National Air & Space Museum, Washington, DC.


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E.B. Christopher landed at Tucson four times. His first visit was on September 22,1929. He was solo northwest bound from Lordsburg, NM to Phoenix, AZ. He flew Travel Air 8137, a Model B-4000 with J-6 engine.

E.B. Christopher, date unknown

He lands again on September 24, 1929 flying the same airplane, only this time headed from Phoenix to Nogales, AZ on the Mexican border. He carries passenger C.B. Cosgrove. An interesting aside is that today, Tuesday, in another part of the country, Jimmy Doolittle was the first to demonstrate takeoff, flight and landing using only gyroscopic instruments for orientation and positional reference.

Christopher landed again later in the year on November 29, 1929, carrying passenger Hazel Chambers in Travel Air NC9916. This airplane is still registered with the FAA and is owned by artist Joel Harris in California. The airplane is disassembled and not flying. Image, right, from an unidentified source, but probably taken some time during his tenure as an independent air operator a the Wichita Municipal Airport, 1927-33.

Christopher landed the last time on August 24, 1931 flying Travel Air NC671H. He was solo, flying from Phoenix, AZ to Cleveland, OH. This is the airplane flown by Louise Thaden to win the 1929 National Air Races. He noted in the Remarks column of the Register, "Airport Getting Better". Below, a photo of NC671 with Christopher standing in front if it in knickers and kneesocks. The lettering under the cockpit reads"E.B. Christopher" and the striping and logo look the same as in the photo above. Note, however, that the cockpit enclosure seems to have been painted in the photo above.

E.B. Christopher and Travel Air NC671H, Ca. 1931 (Source: Web)
E.B. Christopher and Travel Air NC671H, Ca. 1931 (Source: Web)

Christopher was involved with the Swallow Airplane Co. founded in 1927. It went into receivership, but, with some refinancing in 1933 by Christopher (who became president of the company), it remained operational as an aircraft mechanic school and subcontractor for B-29 and B-47 components until 1956.

The Wichita Beacon of Friday, October 6, 1933 reports:

The Swallow Airplane Company, oldest in Wichita, has been sold to E. B. Christopher,
of the Christopher Airplane Service, located at the Wichita Municipal Airport. He has
been an independent air operator in Wichita the past six years with large success. The
Swallow plant has been operated in a small way recently. Mr. Christopher purchased the
assets from the stockholders. Material for twelve ships, and five planes already
constructed, are among the assets. Mr. Christopher hopes to restore the business to a
normal operating business and to perfect a sales organization.

The Wichita Beacon of Sunday, February 2, 1936 reports:

The new Swallow Model C airplane which has been under engineering and construction at the Swallow Aircraft factory for a year and a half and which made its first test flight last week. It is powered with a 125 h.p. Menesco engine The plane was built under the direction of E. B. Christopher, who become head of the Swallow plant in 1933, purchasing it from the previous stockholders directed by George R. Bassett. In designing the ship Christopher was aided by Sam Bloomfield. Dave Brehm was the superintendent of construction.

In 1937, flying one of his company's C Coupes, Christopher crashed in a fogin California killing himself.

The Wichita Beacon reported:

Friday, April 9, 1937:

Report that well known Wichita pilot, E. B. (Swede) Christopher, president of the
Swallow Aircraft Manufacturing Company, was killed today in a plane crash north of Los
. Age 34. Had been resident of Wichita for eight years, being a sales
representative with Travel Air before establishing the Christopher Airplane Service and
then in 1933 taking control of the Swallow Company.

Tuesday, April 13, 1937

Announcement made today that the Swallow Airplane Company will carry on its work
despite the death of E. B. Christopher. S. Bloomfield is chief engineer and general
manager. O.K. Swope is chief test pilot. Homer Herington is factory superintendent.


Dossier 2.1.72


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I'm looking for photographs of his airplanes, and a better image of him, to include on this page. If you have one or more you'd like to share, please use this FORM to contact me.
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