OTHER RESOURCES

There is no data for NC477N in the archives of the National Air & Space Museum (NASM), Washington, DC. That is because the records are with the FAA, since the airplane is still flying.

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THANK YOU!

YOUR PURCHASE OF THESE BOOKS SUPPORTS THE WEB SITES THAT BRING TO YOU THE HISTORY BEHIND OLD AIRFIELD REGISTERS

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. 375 pages with black & white photographs and extensive tables

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The Congress of Ghosts (available as eBook) 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 It includes across 277 pages previously unpublished photographs and texts, and facsimiles of personal letters, diaries and military orders.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.

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Military Aircraft of the Davis Monthan Register, 1925-1936 is available at the link. This book 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. Use this FORM to order a copy signed by the author, while supplies last.

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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.  Available as a free download at the link.

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Winners' Viewpoints: The Great 1927 Trans-Pacific Dole Race (available as eBook) is available at the link. This book 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. Use this FORM to order a copy signed by the author, while supplies last.

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Clover Field: The first Century of Aviation in the Golden State (available in paperback) With the 100th anniversary in 2017 of the use of Clover Field as a place to land aircraft in Santa Monica, this book celebrates that use by exploring some of the people and aircraft that made the airport great. 281 pages, black & white photographs.

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YOU CAN HELP

I'm looking for information and photographs of this airplane to include on this page. If you have some you'd like to share, please click this FORM to contact me.

Thanks to Andrew King and to Guest Editor Bob Woodling for help researching this page.

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TRAVEL AIR NC477N

This airplane is a Travel Air model D-4000, S/N 1379. It landed once at Clover Field, on Saturday, July 26, 1930 at 3:45PM. It was flown by K.W. Baird (pilot certificate 13877), who carried one passenger whom he identified as, "Wife." Based at Glendale, CA, they remained on the ground for about an hour before departing back to Grand Central Air Terminal. The owner of the airplane was identified as J. F. Forbes.

The good news is that this airplane still exists and is flying. As of the upload date of this Web page, NC477N is newly owned by the Owl's Head Transportation Museum in Owls Head, ME. An excellent photograph of NC477N taken in 2005 is at the link. Another photograph from September 30, 2012 is at the link.

Below, another photograph of the Travel Air taken November 11, 2013 by pilot Andrew King as he proceeded along the downward arc of a loop. Pilot King flew the airplane from Marlborough, CT to Owls Head after NC477N was donated to the Museum. He states that the photo is, "...from the trip to Maine, [and I] couldn't resist turning it upside down a time or two on the way..."

Travel Air NC477N Turned Upside Down, November 11, 2013 (Source: King)

 

Unsourced News Article,
September 13, 1930
(Source: Woodling)

 

We can safely assume through its life that this airplane has been in most of the possible attitudes in the air. Mr. King further says about the chain of custody of the airplane, "... it was sold new to a member of the Forbes family (note in the Clover Field Register the owner is listed as J. F. Forbes), through Travel Air distributor H. C. Lippiatt at Van Nuys, who also appears at times in the Clover Field Register [as well as the Davis-Monthan Register].  Later it was owned, or at least flown a lot, by Ray Murrell, who made the entry in the D-M Register.  Ray flew it in a couple of movies, 'Central Airport' in 1933, and 'Air Devils' in 1938.  Also, possibly 'Devil Dogs of the Air'..." Further to its restoration, he states, "It was restored by John Barker in New York in the early 1990s."

The Sunday Oregonian, Portland, OR, September 14, 1930 (Source: Woodling)
The Sunday Oregonian, Portland, OR, September 14, 1930 (Source: Woodling)

 

The Forbes ownership is corroborated by the September 13, 1930 news article at left, which cites an accident that "wrecked" the airplane. It was flown by J.F. Forbes, who was seriously injured in the crash. Similar articles appeared in the Billings (MT) Gazette and the Havre (MT) Daily News for September 14, 1930. The latter cited Forbes' age as 40 years and that he was returning west after the National Air Races in Chicago.

Forbes' potential demise was reported prematurely in the article at right from The Sunday Oregonian of September 14th. Perhaps the journalist was reading Mark Twain. Note, however, mention of "V.K." Baird. A "K.W." Baird is cited as the pilot of NC477N in the Clover Field Register in July, 1930, above. It is unknown if these are different people, or if the journalist got the initials wrong. "K.W." is clearly written in the Register, however.

Interestingly, several other newsworthy stories appeared concurrently with those of Forbes' accident. There was news of Harold Bromley's departure from Japan to attempt a trans-Pacific flight to Tacoma, WA. And the 70th birthday of General Pershing was cited, as well as early political strife coming out of elections in pre-Hitler Germany. Prohibition was in the news, as was a discussion of the price of gasoline at 23¢ per gallon.

NC477N also landed once, a few years later, at the Davis-Monthan Airfield, on Sunday, February 23, 1936 at 12:00PM. It was flown solo by Ray W. Murrell. More information about pilot Murrell is at the link.

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THIS PAGE UPLOADED: 11/21/13 REVISED: 11/28/13