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AIRPLANES THAT LANDED AT CLOVER FIELD

What were some of our airplanes that landed at the Clover Field? The aircraft were as varied as their pilots; their itineraries and histories are equally as interesting and uplifting; sometimes equally as tragic.

Some were owned by early aviation entrepreneurs; some were brand new and making their maiden flights; some flew around the U.S. for many hundreds of hours before and after they came into our view at Santa Monica; some were used for rum-running and advertising, airshows and races, honeymoons and other endurance events.

Most of the aircraft are identified by their registration numbers as well as their make and model. Please check "What's New on the Site" to see information on airplanes I have recently uploaded. Follow those leads for examples of the types of extended information I envision for this site.

 
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by plane number


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Many of the aircraft and their descriptions, you'll discover through the dropdown menus above, are summarized from my research visits with the National Air and Space Museum historical aircraft listings, available in the archives at the Museum on the Mall and at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center near Dulles Airport. These lists are hand-written documents, sometimes rich with data, sometimes not. The older the aircraft, the less detail is available, and there are gaps of a decade or more in some planes’ chains of custody. Many aircraft endured modifications that challenged their airworthiness, and they suffered many accidents during their relatively short lives. Some are still registered with the FAA today and I have noted that in their histories here and elsewhere on this suite of Web sites.

Of 798 total visits, there were at least 525 individual aircraft that landed at Clover Field between 1928 and 1939. I say "at least", because some pilots did not record the registration numbers of the airplanes, some entries were unreadable, and some of those probably landed multiple times.

The 525 individual aircraft comprised at least 77 unique manufacturer marques, or brands, of aircraft. The usual suspects were there: Waco, Travel Air, Lockheed, Stearman, etc. But, rare ones landed also: Butler, Straughan, Longren, Solar etc. Other brands we may never know about, since numerous pilots did not identify the registration number, marque or model of the airplanes they were flying. Please follow this link to investigate the individual manufacturers that I documented on the Davis-Monthan Airfield Register Web site.

The most frequent marque to visit Clover Field was Travel Air with 82 logged landings. Travel Air was followed by Waco (61), Stinson (51) and Boeing with 38 landings. At the other extreme, brands, like Solar, Cardinal, Earl Populair and Cornelius are represented only once.

The first airplane noted in the register was a Stinson Junior, NC9601, flown by Ed Merritt (transport license #T775). He landed solo December 31, 1928. He was inbound from Phoenix, AZ.

The final landing logged in the Register was on August 4, 1939. The pilot left neither name nor airplane identification, and will always remain a mystery.

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THIS PAGE UPLOADED: 06/13/13 REVISED: