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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.

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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.

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http://www.cafepress.com/content/global/img/spacer.gifThe Congress of Ghosts is an anniversary celebration for 2010.  It is an historical biography, that celebrates the 5th year online of www.dmairfield.org and the 10th year of effort on a project dedicated to analyze and exhibit the history embodied in the Register of the Davis-Monthan Airfield, Tucson, AZ. This book includes over thirty people, aircraft and events that swirled through Tucson between 1925 and 1936. It includes across 277 pages previously unpublished photographs and texts, and facsimiles of personal letters, diaries and military orders. Order your copy at the link, or use this FORM to order a copy signed by the author.  ISBN 978-0-9843074-4-9.

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FORD 4-AT-B NC7118

FORD 4-AT-B NC7118

NOT MUCH KNOWN ABOUT THIS BIG IRON

This airplane is a Ford 4-AT-B tri-motor (S/N 4-AT-32; ATC # 87) manufactured August 15, 1928 by the Stout Metal Airplane Company (Division of Ford Motor Company), Dearborn, MI.  It came from the factory with three Wright J-5 engines (S/Ns L 9071, R 9070, C 8338) of 220 HP each.

It sold on August 24, 1928 to Maddux Air Lines, Inc., Los Angeles, CA.  NC7118 landed at Tucson twice, on August 28th and on September 27, 1928.  On August 28th, it was flown by Larry G. Fritz, Chief Pilot for Maddux.  He carried four passengers, including Les Rhodda, his mechanic.  They were westbound from Detroit, MI to Los Angeles, CA in what was undoubtedly the maiden voyage for this airplane.    Fritz noted in the Remarks column of the Register, “Good Service”.  For a similar scenario, see the sister ship of this airplane at NC7117. The photo below comes to us from A. Nathan courtesy of site visitor Matt Horstman.

Ford NC7118 On the Ground, El Centro, CA (?), Date Unknown (Source: Nathan)
Ford NC7118 On the Ground, El Centro, CA (?), Date Unknown (Source: Horstman)

The location of the photo is probably El Centro, CA, a regular stop on the Maddux route. Note the palm tree over the vertical stabilizer, and the "Imperial" sign. El Centro is in Imperial County. Below, another photograph of NC7118, courtesy of the San Diego Aerospace Museum Flickr Stream (SDAM). It shows the airplane on exhibit, probably during the 1928 National Air Races centered on Los Angeles that year.

Ford NC7118, Los Angeles, CA, Ca. 1928 (Source: SDAM)

On September 27th, NC7118 was flown to Tucson by Lt. W.S. Tomilson.  He carried ten passengers identified in the Register as the “J.L Maddux party 10”.  They were southeast bound from Los Angeles, CA to Douglas, AZ.  Perhaps this was a trip into Mexico for the boss.

Nearly a year later, on July 15, 1929, the airplane was sold to Curtiss Flying Service of California, Los Angeles, then in August it was transferred to Curtiss-Wright Flying Service, Inc., a Maine Corporation.

According to NASM data, the final disposition states, “Believed to have been washed out at Glendale, Calif. 11/21/30”.  According to an online accident database, it was destroyed at Burbank, CA, because it was, "Blown upside down by strong winds" on Friday, November 21, 1930. No further information.

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THIS PAGE UPLOADED: 04/01/06 REVISED: 12/01/10, 01/01/15

 
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