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OTHER RESOURCES

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 (NASM), 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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Perhaps the only surviving Kreutzer "Aircoach" K-5 is flying in Minnesota and can be seen here.

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KREUTZER TM 4 NX71E

NX71E is a Kreutzer TM 4, S/N 1, manufactured sometime in October 1928 and, according to the NASM record, "to be completed c. 11/20/28." It left the factory with three Velie M-5 engines of 60-70HP each (engine S/Ns 1112, 1113, 1115). It was a four-place airplane, weighing 1,650 pounds empty with a gross weight of 3,100 pounds. It "sold" to the manufacturer, Joseph Kreutzer Corporation, Los Angeles, CA, during October, 1928 (A.J. Edwards, VP; Lt. H.H. Ogden, Chief Pilot/Instructor). Its expressed purpose was, "planned to be exhibited at Chicago show in December 1928".

NX71E Being Christened, ca. 1928 (Source: Underwood)
NX71E Being Christened, ca. 1928

Above, we see NX71E being "christened" with what is probably a soft drink (don't forget, Prohibition was the law of the land). The woman is unidentified, but she stands on a small upholstered wicker chair. That's a purse nested under her left arm. The propellers appear to be wooden, so we hope she doesn't strike them with the bottle. You can see two small circular items just above the windshield. These are fuel tank vent tubes bent into loops. Under the starboard propeller you can see (better in the original image) waves in the pyralin plastic side windows. They were not optically flat.

Below, NX71E taking off or landing, not sure which.

NX71E Airborne, Date & Location Unknown (Source: Underwood)
NX71E Airborne, Date & Location Unknown

We capture this airplane in the Register at Tucson while on its way to the Chicago exhibition. It was flown to Tucson by Lt. H.H. Ogden on Saturday, December 1, 1928 at 3:15PM. Based in Los Angeles, CA he was eastbound from Phoenix, AZ to Chicago, IL. He carried two passengers, A.J. Edwards, VP of the Joseph Kreutzer Corp., and J. Morris. It must have been quite a view from the ground at the old Airfield to see this brand new trimotor coming in for a landing on its way east.

Pilot Ogden (cockpit), Kreutzer (L) and Brown (Source: Underwood)
Pilot Ogden (cockpit), Kreutzer (L) and Brown

As far as people are concerned, above we see pilot Ogden in the cockpit, with Joseph Kreutzer at left in the hat. The airplane is a Kreutzer S-M-4, number 4646 (not a Register airplane). The gentleman looking at the empennage is labeled "Brown" (Lawrence Brown ?, see below) in the image caption.

Pilot Ogden had visited Tucson about four years earlier as mechanic on Leigh Wade's "Boston II" World Flight Douglas Cruiser. The Register was not in existence then, so there is no written record of his landing. You can see an image of him, fourth from the left, here in the Cosgrove Collection.

There is a gap in the airplane's record between December 1928 and June 1929. On June 10, 1929 the company wrote to the Civil Aeronautics Authority that the, "plane has been dismantled and will see no further service." Its license was cancelled as of June 21st.

Separate from the inactivation of the airplane, over the next year the Kreutzer company, like many Depression-era organizations, fell on hard times. The handwritten record from the NASM data card lists bankruptcy assets for the company as follows:

Kreutzer Bankruptcy Assets

Parts of the inventory acquired by purchaser Michael Weisz were the remains of 71E, "consisting of wings, fuselage, L/G, struts & tail surfaces." On August 15, 1930 Weisz sold "numerous records and sundry aircraft parts" to Arrigo Balboni of Los Angeles. NX71E was among them.

There is another gap in the record for the next five plus years. Balboni sold 71E on April 17, 1936 to Louis F. Vremsak of Los Angeles. Vremsak installed a single Wright J-6 330HP engine (S/N 10202) and converted the cabin to accept a hopper for crop dusting and rice planting. It was registered "NR" as a single-place airplane, restricted for dusting and planting, as "Kreutzer modified TM 4". An exception was that a second crew member could be carried when the hopper was empty.

Shortly came the demise of the airplane. The NASM record cites an accident at Robbins, CA on August 26, 1936. There is no mention of damage to the airplane, or identification or injuries to the pilot. The NR license was revoked as of September 18, 1936.

Aerofiles.com has this to say about our airplane, pretty much corroborating the NASM record. Note the model designation is different from the NASM record.

"K-1 Air Coach 1928 = 4pChwM; three 65hp Velie M-5; span: 48'6" length: 28'6" load: 1267# v: 110/95/38 range: 550-600; ff: 12/5/28 (p: Henry Ogden). Lawrence Brown, Albin Peterson, based on Brown-Mercury C-2. POP: 1 prototype [X71E]. The brainchild of Larry Brown, it proved disappointing in that it was barely able to clear the mountains on its shakedown cruise, which was Ogden's honeymoon. Later equipped with a single 330hp J6-9 and a hopper and used by the Vremsak Ag operation until totaled in a crash while dusting bean fields at Yuba City in 1936. (— John W Underwood)". Aerofiles does not have an image of this airplane.

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UPLOADED: 01/17/08 REVISED: 02/04/08, 09/07/11

 
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I'm looking for photographs of this airplane to include on this page. If you have one or more you'd like to share, please use this FORM to contact me.

Thanks to John Underwood for the images on this page.

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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 the 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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