Erle Halliburton landed at Tucson at least five times as a passenger. A brief biography, with a portrait, is available here.
He landed first on Tuesday, September 11, 1928 in Lockheed Vega NX7429. His pilot was R.W. Cantwell and they were based in Duncan, OK, headed through Tucson to Yuma, AZ. Their mission on this trip was as competitors in the 1928 National Air Races. Cantwell ultimately took first place in the Class C event in this yellow airplane. Fellow passengers included Erle's brother John Halliburton, and William S. Brock.
His second visit, again with pilot Cantwell and brother John in NX7429, was on Tuesday, November 27, 1928. They were again westbound to Los Angeles, CA. No purpose was given for this flight, but at this time Cantwell was manager of the aviation department of the Halliburton Company. This was probably a business trip for the brothers.
His third visit was Thursday, January 10, 1929, again in NX7429 with his brother and Cantwell as pilot. Interestingly, the identification number for the Vega is entered as 7492 in the Register. This is probably an error, because there was no Vega 7492, and Halliburton did own 7429. This time they were eastbound from Los Angeles to Duncan, OK.
His next landing at Tucson was on February 11, 1930 in Ford Trimotor NC428H. The airplane was flown by Larry Fritz. Halliburton was with four fellow passengers identified as William B. Mayo, Mr. & Mrs. N. Graham, and Glen Hopping. Based at Detroit, MI, they were westbound from Detroit to Los Angeles, CA.
New York Times, June 15, 1930
The New York Times of June 15, 1930, and Time Magazine of June 16, 1930 both carried a story about Halliburton's dream for the expansion of commercial air transport in the United States. The NY Times article is at left. His ambition was great for the era. The 40-percent discount expected for 1,000 transport aircraft was a little too much for the existing manufacturers to absorb, even at such volume, so his plan did not go very far. The Time Magazine article is worded almost the same.
His last landing as sole passenger was on Tuesday, July 14, 1931 in Spartan NC718N. His pilot was John Kieffer. They were apparently westbound from Duncan, OK, but did not list a destination. Interestingly, this airplane is still registered with the FAA. Since 2006, this model C3-225, S/N A-12, is owned by the EAA Aviation Foundation, Inc. in Oshkosh, WI. It was manufactured in 1930.
The brothers were distant cousins to Richard Halliburton, an adventurer and raconteur. “The Flying Carpet” (right sidebar) by Halliburton, published in 1932, is a ripping yarn of Golden Age travel in a Golden Age airplane that was flown by Register pilot Moye Stephens. The airplane, NR882N (not a Register airplane), was a Stearman C3B. It was purchased and prepared especially for their adventure; had a scarlet fuselage with a gold stripe, black cowlings and gold wings and tail.
Erle and his brother John were founders of the Halliburton Company, which early-on made its fortune capping oil wells throughout Oklahoma and Texas. Their business built over the years to become today a large, publicly-traded company with subsidiaries in diverse businesses such as construction and logistics.
Their company became the "Halliburton" mentioned by all the media during the late 20th and early 21st century, during the Bush administrations, as allegedly cheating the government with overcharging and no-bid contracts.
Much criticism was aimed at Defense Secretary and then Vice President Richard Cheney, as he was an officer of the Halliburton enterprise between the two Bush administrations and allegations of favoritism or vested-interest arose.
Some background on that is here, but these accusations and denials are well-beyond the scope of this Web site, and they are yet to be settled as of the upload date of this page.
THIS PAGE UPLOADED: 06/26/09 REVISED: 02/25/10