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OTHER RESOURCES

OWN A TIME MACHINE

Your copy of the Davis-Monthan Airfield Register with all the pilots' signatures and helpful cross-references to pilots and their aircraft is available here. Or use this FORM to order a copy signed by the author.

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OTHER BOOKS FOR YOU

This link leads you to a book that describes and illustrates with black & white photographs the majority of military aircraft that landed at the Davis-Monthan Airfield between 1925 and 1936. The book includes biographies of some of the pilots who flew the aircraft to Tucson as well as extensive listings of all the pilots and airplanes. Or use this FORM to order a copy signed by the author.

"Art Goebel's Own Story" by Art Goebel (edited by G.W. Hyatt) is written in language that expands for us his life as a Golden Age aviation entrepreneur, who used his aviation exploits to build a business around his passion.  Use this FORM to order a copy signed by the author.

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You may view other motion picture films on this site by following this link.

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An excellent source for the Ford Reliability Tours is this link. I highly recommend this site, because it is rich in relevant material.

Specific to our pilots and the 1928 tour, you should look at Forden's book (with the yellow cover) that's available from that site as PDF downloads for each chapter (click Read the Book Online to download individual chapters). You may want to consider buying the book, too. Give 'em support for putting together such a useful website!

Chapter 4 of Forden's book covers the 1928 tour, and includes wonderful photos of some of our airplanes and pilots who visited Tucson. Of the 25 entrants in the Tour that year, 14 of the airplanes and pilots are signed into the Register.

The other two small books available to download ("One Two" by John Livingston; "A Four Thousand Mile Trip By Air" by Ralph W. Cram) are also interesting reading.

You'll also learn that the Ford Tour was reenacted in September 2003. Interestingly, six of the aircraft that flew in those Golden Age tours, and that landed at Tucson during that period, were still registered with the FAA in 2002. Refer to aircraft registrations 3947 (Travel Air), 5860 (Buhl), 6079 (Swallow), NC533W (Monocoupe), NC46V (Gee Bee, now a replica), and NC10402 (Laird).

 
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MOTION PICTURES:

THE 1928 NATIONAL FORD RELIABILITY TOUR

The fourth National Air Tour for the Edsel B. Ford Trophy was almost a circumnavigation of the United States. Please refer to the links and references in the left sidebar and this link for a map and tables of additional information about the pilots and their aircraft. The link also exhibits photographs of airplanes and activities across the 34 stops made during the Tour. The Tour rumbled through Tucson on July 10, 1928.

Below is a one-minute motion picture clip of the action at Tucson through the late morning and early afternoon of the 10th. This is a silent film. Use your cursor and the menu bar below the image to control the movie. The first player projects the movie as it came from the Wolf film (cited, right sidebar) and installed on the site by your Webmaster. Note the sepia tinting characteristic of old films from the era..

Below, the same film that has been enhanced to show greater detail. This correction was performed by friend of dmairfield.org, Clint Robertson. Contrast the two versions; you'll be able to see real differences, for example, in reading some of the aircraft registration numbers.

Mr. Robertson says about his changes, "Before life as a videographer and video editor, I had been a professional still photographer, working in traditional 'wet' labs, and watching the digital still photography revolution begin and grow to where it stands today.

"Using my photographer skills, as an example I have globally corrected (one setting for all shots) the "Ford Reliability Tour" video.  Though some enjoy sepia-toned video when seeing old footage, the photographer in me wants to better see the historical details.

"In fact, the sepia-tone effect can be added after these corrections to good effect, but any introduction of color automatically confounds clarity."

In either version of the film you see the Tour airplanes taxiing into ranks. The camera pans the flight line with a view of the old Airfield hangar and mountains in the background. Support vehicles and personnel move among the airplanes. An airplane flies right to left in the distance about halfway through the movie.

If you look carefully, some Tour numbers and registration numbers are visible. For example, the big Ford 4-AT flown by Frank Hawks shows the registration number (NC3443) under the left wing as the camera pans by. Hawks did not sign the Register this time, however.

Tour number 24, the Fairchild FC-2 (5574) flown by R.W. Pears, is shown with its wings folded and unfolded (look carefully for the latter as the camera pans). Pears did not sign the Register either. Tour #18, the "Baby Ruth" Waco ATO (NX5533) was flown by John Wood. Wood did not sign his airplane into the Register this visit, but he did on two later flights. A couple of the Ryans are identifiable, but not by number.

There was only one Lockheed in the Tour. Vega Model 1 NC4097 was flown by R.W. Cantwell as Tour #23. We can see it taxiing to the line right at the beginning of the film. Below are tabulated the pilots and their aircraft who comprised the swirl of activity that morning.

Plane
Type

Plane
Model

Plane
Number

Arrival
Date

Pilot
Last Name

First Name

Swallow

 

NC6097

7/10/1928

Aavang

Mel

Waco

GXE

NX3132

7/10/1928

Beard

M. Gould

 

 

 

7/10/1928

Breene

R.G.

Ryan

 

NC5553

7/10/1928

Breese

Vance

Bellanca

 

6503

7/10/1928

Brock

William S.

Lockheed

Vega

NC4097

7/10/1928

Cantwell

R.W.

Ryan

B-1 Brougham

NC1159

7/10/1928

Cleveland

Ephriam W. "Pop"

Alexander Eaglerock

A-4

NC6505

7/10/1928

Clevenger

Cloyd Peart

Buhl

Air Sedan

NC5860

7/10/1928

Dunn

Harry H.

Buhl

Airster

NC5861

7/10/1928

Graham

Alger

Bellanca

CH

NX4050

7/10/1928

Haldeman

George W.

Ryan

 

NC5547

7/10/1928

Henley

Al

Ford (not signed in Register) 4-AT NC3443 7/10/1928 Hawks Frank

Ryan

 

NC6586

7/10/1928

Livingston

John H.

Stinson

Detroiter

NC6580

7/10/1928

Lowers

George C.

Buhl

Air Sedan

NC5860

7/10/1928

Meister

Louis G.

Monocoupe

 

NC5877

7/10/1928

Omlie

Phoebe Fairgrave

Stinson

Detroiter

NC5900

7/10/1928

Stinson

Edward A.

Waco ATO NX5533 7/10/1928 Wood John P.

Have some more fun and download chapter 4 of Forden's book cited in the left sidebar. Compare the table in the chapter beginning on page 84 with the airplanes you see in the film and the ones cited in the table above. How many can you identify? For further comparison, please follow this link to see still images of some of these same competing aircraft on the ground at San Diego, CA the day after their stop in Tucson.

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You may review this and all the film clips on www.dmairfield.org here!

Dossier 4.2

UPLOADED: 04/03/07 REVISED: 02/25/08, 10/28/09, 11/15/10, 12/20/11

 
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FILM CREDITS

This clip is shared with us through the courtesy of Les Wolf & Family of Tucson.  The films come to us through Lt. Col. (RET) Alan Thomas, long-time friend of dmairfield.org.  The original film, camera and projector belonged to Les Wolf’s step dad; John Phieffer.  According to Mr. Wolf’s late grandmother Mr. Phieffer owned the first 16mm equipment in Tucson at the time.  The films, original camera and projector were retrieved during a remodel of the family home in January 1989.

At that time the Temple of Music and Art in Tucson was undergoing substantial remodeling and they discovered footage of its original construction among the film reels.  The films were donated to the Arizona Historical Society and to local TV stations, which used them in their broadcast stories about the Temple of Music and Art.

Mr. Wolf says, “My father (… now deceased) was born in Tucson (1917) and [lived] thru all that history [which] didn’t impress him as it did me.  Subsequently he “allowed” donation of these materials in our shared name; Les Wolf & family.  All my family dearly loves Tucson and its history.  On their behalf, thank you for your interest.” 

It is we who should thank Mr. Wolf and Lt. Col. Thomas!

 
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