Registration Number NC4892
Sold for Parts
This aircraft is an International F-17 (ATC #35) built April 6, 1928
by International Aircraft Corp., Cincinnati, OH. It left the
factory with an OX-5 90 HP engine, S/N 2426. It weighed 2,100
It sold pre-delivery on April 4, 1928 to Eaton & Humphrey of
Dallas, TX. Quickly, in June 1928, it was damaged by a tornado
in Tulsa, OK. It was disapproved for licensing at Tulsa on
August 7th because of a broken aileron and warped fuselage. It had
been left at McIntyre Airport since June.
I have no images of NC4892, or of the other two International F-17s that landed at Tucson, including NC1675. However, below, from site visitor George Low, are three images of his F-17 registered as 1080. Mr. Low owned the airplane during the 1930s. He says about the image, "Photo was taken in 1936 at Minni Field in Vallejo Ca. That's ME ... I flew out of the original Knights Airport just a short hop down the road ..... All under water now."
George Low With His International F-17, 1936
The image above, and the one below, show nicely the robust airframe. Mr. Low labeled the photograph, "My First".
Front View of International 1080, "My First"
Below, another front view of George Low's F-17. The person standing there, "That's a friend of mine.... One of only about two other people who would fly in the Old 17..HAA!" From the buildings in the background, and the tuft of grass in the foreground, it looks like this photo was taken at the same time as the top one. Note the nice wood propeller with brass leading edges and tips.
Front View of International 1080
In a Golden Age anecdote you don't get to enjoy very often, George remembers, "About my 1080, the engine was a Curtiss OXX6,102 H.P. dual ignition [note the engine difference from NC4892]. [It had] 2 Dixie mags swinging an 8-1/2 [foot] Jacuzzi Prop ( prop was reduced to about 24 inches upon colliding with the ground with a Waco 10 on top). It was replaced with the new prop in the photos for $30.00." Note the difference in the propeller between the photo above and the one labeled "My First."
He states, "The OXX6 had a starter, believe it or not. A couple of batteries, a coil and a switch. To start , first you quickly flooded the carburetor, apply the choke, set the throttle, pull the prop thru about 4 blades leaving the last blade at the top of the compression stroke. Run like mad, get in the cockpit and hit the switch. If done correctly there will be a large explosion and some smoke and it is up to you to do the fine tuning. If not done correctly there are a number of things that could happen...all bad. If not successful after about three attempts, it is best to find some shade and sit or lie down for about fifteen minutes and rest up because you are not going anywere for awhile."
Now back to NC4892. It was repaired and flown to California (Riverside and San
Francisco) in January 1929 with OX-5 engine S/N 5797. It had
accumulated 250 flight hours. It was probably this flight
west that brought NC4892 to Tucson on January 12, 1929. It was piloted
by Elmo P. Dodson with passenger Jack Downing. They were inbound
from Lordsburg, NM, stayed overnight, and departed the next
morning at 8:00 AM for Los Angeles.
The airplane next sold on March 7, 1930 to James H. Beardsley of
Oakland, CA for $1,400. A month later, on May 14, 1930, the airplane,
“failed to gain altitude on take off due to high grass
and collided with fence.” Pilot W.F. Lodge had his license
suspended on 5/23.
The airplane was then reported dismantled and stored in a
barn at Stockton, CA. On October 11, 1930 it was sold through a sheriff’s
sale to Roland Richman and Norman Teichman of Stockton for
$174.48. It had 300 total flight hours. It was re-covered
as of July 19, 1932, with new Curtiss OX-5 engine S/N 4654 installed
on July 24, 1935.
On August 19, 1936 the airplane was sold to Elmer Wesley Blair and
Roger Lowell Scott of Stockton, CA. It was disapproved for
licensing because, “fuselage needs rebuild.” A
year later Scott sold his share to Blair on July 26, 1937 and Blair
sold it to Jacob Birkland of Redding, CA on November 12, 1937. Birkland
tried, in February 1938 to sell it to Lloyd Gray of Chico,
CA, but Gray returned the airplane to Birkland (I wonder why).
In April 1938 Birkland reported the airplane dismantled and
sold for parts. The registration was cancelled April 29, 1938 after
only a few hundred hours of flying.
Update of 02/18/10 It is with sadness that I report to you the passing of our contributor to this page, George Low. I learned of his death via an email from his wife. She said,
"He did so appreciate talking with you and was really
so very pleased that you printed the picture of him
and his airplane.
As was his wish there was no public service, only the
family and his ashes were scattered just beyond the
Golden Gate Bridge by a pilot from this area.
We were married for 67 years."
George and I had a very nice exchange of emails between 2007-2009. He had a great sense of humor and shared a good number of amusing anecdotes about his experiences with his International, including a description of the starting procedure for his OXX-6 (above). I ordered the FAA record for his airplane (about 100 pages) and mailed it to him in August, 2009. He responded, "...many thanks to you for getting an "Old Pilot"and an"Old Airplane" together once again..." The pleasure, of course, was mine.
And George flies again!
UPLOADED: June, 2005 REVISED: 03/03/09, 05/12/09, 02/18/10