Read Tour Updates
Help Support the Tour!
Pilots, Planes and People of the Original Tours
Follow the Planes in Flight!
Re-creating the National Air Tours
Listing of All Original Tour Planes

E-Mail Us

Aviation Foundation
of America, Inc.
121 5th Ave. N.W.
Suite 300
New Brighton, MN 55112


A 501(c) (3) public charity

Planes, Pilots & People of the 2003 tour!

Buhl, NC-8541, 1929, #8 Sport Airsedan
This aircraft will have rotating pilots.


Flying Buhl
Here is the Buhl Sport Airsedan flying over a lake.

This Buhl Sport Airsedan is just like the ship that flew in the 1928 National Air Tour
Tour Ship #8 is Buhl Sport Airsedan, NC-8451, manufactured in November, 1929 in Marysville, Michigan. It is the same make and model of the Buhl Sport Airsedan which was Ship #8 in the 1928 National Air Tour.

Six months after it was built this Buhl was purchased by the Packard Motor Company. It is not too suprising that the sale took six months. The onset of the depression was starting to take a bite out of the sales of just about everything.

Packard purchased the Buhl as a demonstration platform for the new Packard diesel aircraft engines. Given the airplanes' dashing good looks and enviable performance characteristics, it was featured in a large number of Packard advertisements promoting the engine. One full page factory ad "slick" prominently features NC-8451 under the headline "9/10 of a Cent Per Mile---actual operating cost of a Packard-Diesel powered on flight of 12,000 miles." It seems most appropriate that, given the rapidly deteriorating economy of the times, the ad speaks directly to the growing importance of the economy of the craft. In the margin, the ad slick notes its scheduled appearance in the March, 1931 issues of Aero Digest, Airway Age, Aviation, Southern Aviation, Western Flying, Aviation Engineering and the April, 1931 issue of Popular Aviation.

By the time these advertisements had appeared, the depression was gaining considerable strength and Packard was finding new engine sales harder and harder to come by. On February 27, 1931, the Packard Motor Car Company sold NC-8451 to Aeroposta Argentina and a "Certificate of Airworthiness for Export", was promptly issued. Aeroposta Argentina had Air France convert the aircraft back to a Wright Whirlwind from the Packard Diesel. In 1934, a very notable individual was given a sightseeing ride over Buenos Aires. While attending the "International Eucharist Congress," Cardinal Monsignor Pacelli went for a spin over the town. Soon to be elected Pope Pius the XXII, Monsignor Pacelli became the first Pope to have flown in an airplane.

In 1943, NC-8451, then known in Argentina as LB-NVE, was sold once more. The engine was subsequently removed for service. Without its engine, the aircraft was damaged when it was overturned in a strong wind. It never flew in Argentina again. In 1987, the Argentinean owner's son began a sales effort by mail to various parties in the United States. It was ultimately purchased and brought back to the United States in late 1989. Unfortunately, the purchaser passed away before any restoration could be attempted and the dwindling remains of NC-8451 languished, piled up in a heap, in a dusty corner of a California hangar. While talking with a vintage parts dealer, we learned of the plane's existence. As it turns out, so little useful material was left of the project it was about to be hauled away to the dump. We purchased the project in the nick of time and restoration work began in late 1995. The result is the plane you see today.


Read The Book Online


Read The Book Online


Read The Book Online

Aviation Foundation of America, Inc. ©2002 All Rights Reserved