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1930 Pitcairn PA-7S Sport Mailwing - NC95W

The Pitcairn Mailwing’s beauty hides its role as a rugged workhorse aircraft. Designed to ply the government airmail routes of the 1920s and 1930s, its front passenger/baggage compartment holds 550 pounds of mail. After its airmail career, Mailwing NC95W was based in Hollywood and used for movie work. It has been flown by or given rides to: Paul Mantz, Howard Hughes, Jackie Cochran, Jimmy Dunn, Henry Fonda, Brian Aherne, Jimmy Stewart, Wilbur Shaw and Shirley Temple. It also appeared in the 1947 movie based on Ernest Gann’s The Blaze of Noon, starring William Holden, William Bendix, and Claudette Colbert.

Mailwings were rugged aircraft that had special mail baggage compartments and would fly cross-country delivering the US Mail on government contracts. Notice the zipper on the left side of the fuselage, which allowed the flight controls and lines to be adjusted. This feature was needed because of the special aluminum lined mail baggage compartment, which could hold 42 cubic feet of mail weighing 550 pounds.

Donated by: Stephen Pitcairn, Bryn Athyn, PA.

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