EMSCO B-2 NC849E
This aircraft is an Emsco B-2 tri-motor (S/N 1; no ATC #)
manufactured in April 1929 by the Emsco Aircraft Corporation,
Long Beach, CA. It left the factory with three Curtiss
Challenger engines (S/Ns 208, 207, 196). It was an
eight-place airplane weighing 7,085 pounds. This airplane
is the only one of its marque to land at the Davis-Monthan
Airfield and have its presence recorded.
Initially, beginning in May 1929, it was an Emsco company
demonstrator, licensed "NX849E" to Emsco to expire
on December 1, 1929. Shortly after
it was manufactured, it embarked, wearing the Emsco Derrick
logo, on a four-month promotional tour of the U.S. visiting
various Emsco Derrick factories. It logged over 25,000 miles
during the tour. Below is a colorized image
of NX849E (the artist colored over the registration number
on the tail).
It IS an interesting color scheme. A quote from Juptner
(reference, left sidebar): "Those who can remember will
agree that some of the most beautiful airplanes of this time
came out of the Emsco factory in Downey. Gleaming in their
bright colors, with careful attention to streamlining and
the flowing form, the 'Emsco' monoplanes were an eye-catcher
and a crowd-former in any of their several different versions."
Our color photo comes from site visitor Tim Kalina (cited, left sidebar) who tells us the image is from a period postcard. Also
from Mr. Kalina is this PDF.
The images you see in this download also are of NX849E, and
they may have been snapped during that brief period in mid-
to late 1929 when the airplane was on tour as a tri-motor
(compare the Emsco Derrick logo on the image above with the
one in the download).
NX849E served as the poster airplane
for the Emsco catalog from which the two page spread was
taken (note the switch of figure captions vs. the interior
photos). If you have the time and inclination, here is the
product catalog for 1929, including
all the images above, in PDF format. It's a terrific read
that nicely describes in words of the era, among Art Deco
accents, the technical and ownership features of these plush,
According to the NASM record, on January 4, 1930, NX849E
was converted from a tri-motor to a twin-engine airplane,
with two Wright J-6 300 HP engines installed (S/N 10776 and
model designation was changed to B-5, the “NX” registration
was continued, and a CAA type certificate was assigned (ATC
#GR 2-390 finally granted 10/24/31).
The airplane was approved for NC registration as a twin-engined
craft on October 22, 1931 (just about coinciding with the
granting of the ATC). It was
sold to the Emsco Derrick and Equipment Co., Los
Angeles, CA on November 1, 1931. It is not clear from
the record whether it was used to transport Emsco executives.
Emsco Derrick sold NC849E on July 13, 1933 to Compania Nacional
de Aviacion, Inc., with offices in Los Angeles, CA. This
company was owned by W.W. Hodkinson, operating in Guatemala. Hoskinson
paid $3,500 for the airplane.
Now comes NC849E to Tucson on August 23, 1933 flown by Paul
Adams. It is clearly written in the Register that the
airplane carried the “NC” registration at this
carried three unidentified passengers.
They were southbound from Burbank,
CA indicating “Guatemala
C.A.” as their destination. The final disposition
for NC849E states, “Probably exported to Guatemala.” From
the Register, it’s pretty clear that’s what happened. No
Site visitor Tim Kalina also supplies us with the image
below. The airplane on the right is our NX849E.
The airplane on the left is Emsco B-3A NX832H. The fabric
swatch is from that airplane. Compare the color of the fabric
sample with the postcard above. Pretty close color match,
I'd say. Separately, pilot Jack Reid landed at Tucson on
December 9, 1928. He was flying Travel Air NC9006 with one passenger.
Does anyone have information about
Reid or NC9006?
his image as follows, "The fabric is glued to a 17x12 inch
sheet of thin paper. Glued around the fabric are ten 2-1/2x3-1/2
inch photos of aircraft taken at the 1929 National Air Races
held in Cleveland.
"Besides the two photos of the Emscos there are three photos
of the Curtiss Robin 'City of Cleveland', then single photos
of a Pitcairn PA-6 Super Mailwing (557E), Bellanca CH-300
'Pacemaker', Vega 5, Ford Trimotor, and a Fokker Super Universal.
The only plane (other than Reid's Emsco) with a visible registration
number is the Pitcairn which is 557E (no N or X number).
The photos have faded some, with some having much of their
mid-tones dropping out."
THIS PAGE UPLOADED: 03/29/06 REVISED: 05/09/06, 05/14/06, 10/28/08, 12/15/08, 04/21/11