Some of 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.


the register


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NC4179 was a Model 2000 manufactured March 21, 1918 by the Travel Air Manufacturing Company, Wichita, KS. It was assigned S/N 351. It left the factory with a Curtiss OX-5 90HP engine, S/N 4994. It was a three-place airplane that weighed 2,180 pounds.

Below, from this REFERENCE, Volume 1, is a photograph of the Travel Air Model 2000 type. The airplane in this instance is NC1846 (not a Register airplane). The Model 2000 usually came from the factory with a blue fuselage and silver wings.

Travel Air 2000 Type, Ca. 1928 (Source: Juptner)

NC4179 was sold on the day it rolled out the factory door to D.C. Warren of San Francisco, CA. Warren was a Travel Air distributor in northern California. He paid $3,041. The airplane was resold by Warren to Charles H. Voorhees of Stockton, CA on May 3, 1928. From the NASM record for the airplane (left sidebar), it appears that it was well-used during its first few months with Voorhees. By August 12, 1928 it had accumulated 600 flight hours. Through December, 1928 it had flown another 133 hours for a total of 773. This was a lot of time in the air for an airplane back then.

The airplane landed and is signed in the Grand Central Air Terminal (GCAT) Register twelve times during April and May, 1931. None of the Registry entries include a pilot's name, however the name of the owner was recorded for eight of the landings: Phillips Petroleum Company. Knowing the owner helps explain why it had accumulated so many flight hours: it was a corporate airplane.

In the spring of 1929, NC4179 was sold to David G. Johns of Fresno, CA on March 27. Two months later, in Johns' hands, the airplane suffered an accident at Santa Monica, CA. Johns, who carried Transport pilot certificate T5137, was uninjured. The airplane, however, had the outer two feet of the upper and lower left wing spars cut in two by the propeller of a parked airplane. It seems Johns taxied into the parked airplane while taxiing in a cross wind. It was repaired and flown again before Johns sold it on February 22, 1930.

Including this sale, the airplane changed hands twice to buyers in California. Each new owner flew NC4179 to at least one accident. The first of these was on November 11, 1930, There was damage to the landing gear, one wheel, one spar and an upper strut. The rudder and propeller were also damaged. The repair estimate was $300.

The next owner crashed it on August 2, 1931. This time NC4179 was written off and, "All parts of this aircraft, with the exception of the fuselage, sold to H. deWitt Smith for use on Travel Air 2000 S/N 833 - NC9032." NC9032 was not a Register airplane. NC4179 was barely three years old.

NC4179 also landed once at Clover Field, with D.G. Johns as pilot, on April 19, 1929