Registration Number 7981 (Registered
as “NX,” "NR" and “NC”)
Engine Test Bed And Weather Observer
This aircraft is an Alexander Eaglerock A-1, S/N 696. It
was manufactured during October, 1928 by the Alexander Aircraft Company,
Colorado Springs, CO. It came from the factory with a 130
HP Hallett engine S/N 12706. It weighed 2,491 pounds. It landed
at Tucson three times.
It was sold on October 3, 1928 to the Aero Corporation of California,
Los Angeles, CA (President Jack
Frye; Treasurer Paul
E. Richter, Jr.). It was purchased, “To test performance
of Hallett motor in Eaglerock plane.” Aero sold it on
October 11, 1928 to E. Burrell Smith of Los Angeles. Pilot Burrell
Smith landed twice at Tucson with the airplane in “NX”
The first landing was on Thursday, November 15, 1928 at 1:00PM. It was southeast bound from Phoenix, AZ to Douglas, AZ. The second visit was on Saturday, November 17, 1928, reversing its itinerary back to Los Angeles via Tucson and Phoenix. For both landings, the airplane was flown solo by pilot Smith.
The Hallett must not have worked out, because on March 22, 1929
it was removed and replaced with a Wright J-4B (S/N 6974)
with factory motor mount and cowling. The airplane had accumulated
56 flight hours. The “NX” registration was changed
to “NC." Below, a sharp image of the airplane, , in NC livery, courtesy of Tim Kalina.
Alexander Eaglerock NC7981, Date & Location Unknown (Source: Kalina)
The airplane sold on June 10, 1929 to Edward T. Kersten of Los
Angeles. He changed his address and moved it to Wisconsin.
We find the airplane at Tucson for the third and final time
on Tuesday, July 16, 1929 piloted by Mr. Kersten carrying passenger K.C.
Apperson. They were inbound from Phoenix, AZ on their way
to Green Bay, WI.
NC7981 changed hands four times, remaining in Wisconsin, Minnesota
and Michigan. On August 13, 1937 it was bought by Northern Michigan
Air Service of Sault Ste. Marie, MI. Unidentified Weather
Bureau instruments were installed, the registration was changed
to “NR”, and it was used under contract, “solely
for Weather Bureau observation flights.”
About a year later, on August 23, 1938 it transferred, with about 650 total flight hours,
to Northern Air Service, Grand Rapids, MI. The Weather Bureau
instruments were removed. On July 14, 1939, at 7:30PM, it was, “destroyed
by fire in private hangar No. 1” at the Grand Rapids
UPLOADED: 7/26/05 REVISED: 12/20/11