BELLANCA Model J NX7085
This airplane is a Bellanca Model J NX7085, manufactured
in July 1928 by the Bellanca Aircraft Corporation of America,
Staten Island, NY. It left the factory with a Wright
J-5 engine (S/N 8536) of 200 HP. It had a large gas tank
(644 gallons capacity) installed in the cabin for long-distance
flight. It was, operationally, a single-person aircraft.
It sold September 4, 1928 to Owen Barton Jones of Chicago,
IL for $22,000. A month later on October 4, 1928
we find the airplane at Tucson flown by William
S. Brock with his passenger Ed Schlee. They were eastbound from
San Diego to Ft. Worth, TX, then probably on to Detroit,
MI where they were based. There is an image (partial) of this airplane at Brock's page. Below, courtesy of Lars Opland, is a photograph of NX7085 on the ground via the Hagley Museum and Library.
Bellanca Model J, NX7085, Date & Location Unknown (Source: Opland)
There is no mention in the Register as to
why these two round-the-world fliers were in Tucson with
this airplane. However, we know that from September 29- October 1, 1928 at San Diego Schlee and Brock flew this airplane to a non-refueled, men's landplane endurance record of 59:30:01. They had taken off at 6:49AM September 29th and landed at 6:19PM on October 1st. They were forced down by a fuel leak. Refer to Russ Plehinger's book for a photo and other details about this airplane on page 73.
On October 27, 1931 the airplane was transferred back to
the Bellanca Aircraft Company in New Castle, Delaware. It had “cracked up” at the factory field on
November 13, 1931.
It was sold April 15, 1932 to Martha Hausner of West New
York, NJ. It was repaired, inspected and approved for flight
on May 15, 1932. It was re-covered and the wing design
was changed to convert it to a Model CH. Engine S/N
9850 was installed and the doors were removed, allowing entrance
and exit only through the windows.
It was now a two-place
airplane, assigned a NR registration, restricted for long
distance flight to Poland by pilot Stanislaus F. Hausner. The result of that flight is captured succinctly in this Web source brought to my attention by Tim Kalina. The text at that link is as follows.
|Hausner, Stanislaus Felix
Aviator. In his attempt to fly the Atlantic Ocean in 1932 met with an accident. Saved miraculously. When the airplane crashed and fell in the ocean, he sat on the wing of his airplane for six days. until rescued by a passing ship. On June 11, 1932 saved by "Circe Shell," 800 Km. from Portugal. In 1935 killed in an airplane crash, when flying over Detroit, Mich. A piece of his burned passport is in the museum of P.R.C.U. in Chicago. Ill.
From: "Who's Who in Polish America" by Rev. Francis Bolek, Editor-in-Chief; Harbinger House, New York, 1943
A longer version of this story is available at the link. The link is in Polish. Invoke "Translate" for the language you prefer. Mr. Kalina says of these sources, "Note that Hausner left on June 3, ditched at sea on June 4, was rescued on June 14, and his plane was salvaged on June 24. That Bellanca stayed afloat for a very long time! Must have been due to the large, empty fuel tanks. Another example of how D-M [the Davis-Monthan Register] connects to so many other things."
The NR license expired on April 15, 1933. There is
no record of the airplane after this. A site visitor shares this blog link discussing the history and fate of 7085. No guarantee of extended availability of this information. Please let me know if the link fails. A vintage moving picture of NX7085 is at the link. It shows the airplane being maneuvered on the ground and taking off. This is a silent film of about two minutes.
THIS PAGE UPLOADED: 03/28/06 REVISED: 08/29/08, 11/29/10, 03/03/16