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OTHER RESOURCES

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. Or use this FORM to order a copy signed by the author. ISBN 978-0-9843074-0-1.

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Photo, right, of H.B. duPont and Lindbergh from:

http://www.dahf.org

Buhl Airster image from Juptner Volume 1, p. 9.

Information on all duPonts from NASM biographical archives dossiers. Washington, DC. Refer to: Felix CD-801500-01,
Henry CD-814000-01, and Alice CD-802000-01.

Information on Alice duPont from the Gunston Hall Plantation Web site. And The Sportsman Pilot, 1933.

A very readable history of the duPont dynasty and its businesses is found in Dutton, Wm. W. 1949. DuPont: One Hundred and Forty Years. Charles Scribner's Sons. NY. 403pp. H.B. and Felix were among the family officers of the company. H.B. is cited on pp. 248, 366 and 385. A. Felix is cited on p. 368 and 386.

Images of the duPont racer (right sidebar) by your Webmaster.

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Need more? The following collection is available at:

Hagley Museum and Library
Manuscripts and Archives Department
PO Box 3630, Greenville
Wilmington, Delaware 19807
(302) 658-2400

Du Pont, Henry Belin, 1898-1970. No.1608. MS72-89.

Papers; 1919-1970; 145 boxes (28 linear feet).
Personal papers reflecting Du Pont's involvement with, and promotion of, aeronautics and the aeronautical industry, particularly from 1927-1960; major files represented include: Atlantic Aviation, Inc.; Bellanca Air Craft Corp; Du Pont Airport; National Aeronautic Association; North American Aviation (including Eastern Airlines division); Transcontinental & Western Airlines, Inc. (TWA); US Department of Commerce, Aeronautics Branch; Verville Aircraft Co; Waco Aircraft Co; subjects covered include air mail routes, air races, aircraft manufacturing and development, air safety, interest of General Motors Corp in aviation industry, efforts to promote aviation in Mid-Atlantic region. The collection also includes photographs of Du Pont Airport and visiting flyers, including Charles A. Lindbergh (1928). Inventory and index available.

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Davis-Monthan Aviation Field Register
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HENRY BELIN, A. FELIX (Jr.) and ALICE F. duPONT

H.B. duPont and Charles Lindbergh, October 1927

I am combining information on these three pilots on one page, because their lives are so entwined in aviation. Henry and Felix signed the Davis-Monthan as pilots; Alice, although a pilot herself, visits us as a passenger flying with Felix.

As well as being one of the premier United States corporate families since 1802, the three members of the duPont family celebrated on this page gave patronage, service, prizes and records to the aviation community of their time.

The duPont name is one of several global corporate giant families recorded in the Davis-Monthan Register. Other examples include: Erle Halliburton, Donald Douglas and Mr. & Mrs. Anthony Fokker signed in as passengers. George Westinghouse signed in as a pilot. As well, a large group of early aircraft manufacturers signed the Register (Beech, Cessna, Piper, Stinson, etc.). Henry and Felix duPont landed piloting their own aircraft. Felix carried sister Alice as passenger.

HENRY BELIN DUPONT: Of the three members of the duPont family who landed at Tucson, Henry Belin duPont was probably the most supportive of the developing aviation infrastructure in the U.S. at the time. A biography hints as his contributions. He was also well-known for supporting education and public works. In the photo, above left, H.B. duPont and Charles Lindbergh pose for photographers when Lindbergh visited Delaware October 21-22, 1927 during Lindy's U.S. tour.

Buhl Airster NC303, ATC#1

H.B. duPont visited the Davis-Monthan Airfield three times flying Buhl Airster NC303. NC303 was the first production model J-4 Airster. Photo, right, from Juptner, is of this very interesting and ground-breaking airplane. This aircraft was assigned the very first Approved Type Certificate (ATC #1), issued with some fanfare on March 29, 1927. Thereafter, each aircraft type built in the United States would have an approved type certificate issued by the federal government.

H.B. carried a single passenger each time he landed at Tucson. On February 8, 1927 (notice that duPont bought and flew his Buhl the month before the ATC was issued), he carried J.W. Beretta enroute from El Paso, TX to San Francisco, CA. As far as I can make out, Beretta (1899-1992) was an engineer. It must have been a chilly voyage from the east to west coasts in February in this open cockpit aircraft. An image of passenger Beretta can be found at the Charles Cooper Photograph and Document Collection available for view elsewhere on this web site. Download the Ryan NR1766 "Fort Worth" PDF from near the bottom of that page and look at page 62. His February 8th visit was worthy of a few words in the local newspaper, which may be viewed at the page for John D. Dodge.

When he landed at Tucson on September 10 and September 20, 1928, he carried Roy Langham as passenger. I know nothing about Langham. Anybody know? However, the flight dates and itineraries (to and from Los Angeles) coincide with the 1928 National Air Races (named "On to Los Angeles" that year).

At Los Angeles, Henry separately entered his Bellanca aircraft (Model CH-200, NC4799, piloted by Victor Dallin) in the Speed and Efficiency contests. Henry and Dallin took 2nd place in the Speed race, with a time of 28:39:02 and a speed of 104.65MPH. Besides $450 cash, they won the Aviation Town and Country Club Trophy. Victor went on to take first place in the Efficiency contest, winning $1,200. Near a decade later, at age forty-one, H.B. duPont was elected vice-president and member of the Executive Committee of his family company.

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A. Felix duPont ca. 1936

ALEXIS FELIX DUPONT: Felix duPont was born in Wilmington, DE on October 2, 1905. His activities on behalf of aviation have impact to this day. In 1950, at his Wilmington, Delaware, law offices, the mission of the contemporary Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association was drafted: "…To promote safety in every manner in all phases of aviation, and to engage in research and investigation upon, and the dissemination of, the science and scientific aspects of aviation and kindred subjects."

His NASM biographical file holds a couple of formatted biographical sketches. He attended the "usual" schools for his socioeconomic status. He spent two years at Princeton, but did not graduate. Instead, he entered the Air Corps and learned to fly in 1927-1928 at the training centers at Brooks and Kelly Fields. He reached the rank of 1st lieutenant. He held Commerial, Instrument and Instructor ratings (Transport Pilot license #872). Photo, left, from the New York Times, July 19, 1936.

During 1929 (with a year of flying experience) he was test pilot for the Fokker Aircraft Corporation. This may explain his landing in Tucson on April 24, 1930 flying a Fokker F-11A, NC339M. Also in 1930, he worked for Luddington Air Lines. The corporate name for Luddington was New York, Philadelphia and Washington Airway Corporation. At Luddington he was a dispatcher. It was a short-lived position, as Luddington was absorbed by Eastern Airlines in 1933.

From 1932-36 he worked for his family's company, E.I. duPont de Nemours, Wilmington, DE. After that he moved to the Fiduciary Counsel, Inc. in New York City in 1937, and to the Elton Investment Co. in Wilmington, DE in 1938, where he was in investment management.

In the early 1940s he moved on to be vice president and director of All American Aviation, Inc. and Bellanca Aircraft Corporation, as well as a director of American Export Airlines, Inc. He held memberships in a number of prestigious clubs, societies and associations. He was also among his family's company Finance Committee, along with four other duPonts.

His marriage in 1931 to Eleanor Hoyt, also a pilot and flying enthusiast, ended in divorce in 1945.

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Alice F. duPont, ca. 1933

ALICE F. DUPONT: Alice landed on March 4, 1931. she was sister of Felix, who was flying Stearman NC6485. She accompanied Felix as an 18 year-old passenger (she had learned to fly in mid-1930). I do not know if she flew this airplane on any of the legs of their journey from Delaware to California. Photo of Alice, right, from The Sportsman Pilot, 1933, which is available in her NASM biographical file.

She pursued a wide variety of interests. An advanced instrument-rated aircraft pilot, she flew an open-cockpit plane up the Amazon River in 1932 along with her brother, Richard C. duPont. During World War II, she served as a flight instructor for military pilots in Long Island, NY and upon the war's conclusion, piloted one of the pioneer single-engine airplane flights between New York and Buenos Aires with her husband, James Paul Mills, whom she married in 1935.

After WWII she was involved in philanthropic activities, environmental affairs and thoroughbred horse racing. She pioneered numerous family planning programs in the course of her work for Planned Parenthood in Northern Virginia, where she lived. She was an active proponent of conservation efforts in Virginia, and championed the preservation of scenic open spaces. She promoted the efforts of numerous not-for-profit organizations throughout the nation. Her life long passion of thoroughbred horse racing and breeding was evidenced by numerous stakes-winners campaigned through her Hickory Tree Farm near Middleburg, VA.

Alice was born in Wilmington, DE December 13, 1912, she was the daughter of A. Felix duPont, Sr. and Mary Chichester duPont. She died March 13, 2002 in VA, at 89 years of age after a brief illness. Her net worth at death was estimated at $450 million. Her husband died in 1987.

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Dossier 2.1.19 Henry Belin

Dossier 2.1.46 Alexis Felix

Dossier 2.3.6 Alice

THIS PAGE UPLOADED: 01/08/06 REVISED: 03/16/06, 09/11/06/ 10/30/07, 03/08/08, 02/05/09, 03/28/10

 
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OTHER DUPONT PILOTS

Richard duPont, brother of Felix and Alice, and cousin Lammot duPont were also pilots. Neither signed the Davis-Monthan Register. Lammot was also an automobile racer.

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DIGRESSION

Contemporary cousin Lammot is also an auto racer. The images below are of the custom-built, one-off "DuPont Indy Roadster" manufactured in 1930. It raced July 8-17, 2005 in the Pittsburgh (PA) Vintage Grand Prix, driven by contemporary Lammot.

Bonnet logo:

DuPont Indy Roadster, 2005

Front view:

DuPont Indy Roadster, 2005

Side view:

DuPont Indy Roadster, 2005

Rear deck view:

DuPont Indy Roadster, 2005

Finally, below, an action race view. It may seem overly coincidental, but this photo was taken on the Pittsburgh road course just after the car had executed the hairpin turn at Westinghouse pond.

DuPont Indy Roadster, 2005

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