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