Serving Midwest Aviation Since 1960

Mystery Airplane: October 2015

Davis D-1-W

The Davis series of parasol wing monoplanes was built by former WWI pilotWalter C. Davis and the Davis Aircraft Corporation of Richmond, Indiana from 1929 to 1930. Power plants varied from the 60 or 85 hp LeBlond, through the 100 hp Kinner K-5, the 90 hp Lambert, to the 145 hp Warner Super Scarab model that is the subject of this Oshkosh 1988 photo.

The Davis won Approved Type Certificate #256 on 8 November 1929, with the Warner version licensed under Group 2 Approval #394 on 21 December 1931. Evolved from the Davis V-3, which was strongly influenced by the Vulcan American Moth, the D-1 series sported a two spar wing, a welded steel tube fuselage covered with fabric, and tandem open cockpits. When powered by the 125 hp Warner, it boasted a top speed of 142 mph and a ceiling of over 14,000 feet. About 60 were built, the 1929 price starting at $3285, but was lowered to $2695 in 1930. Davis parasols enjoyed popularity among "sport" pilots and a few became racers, including one flown by Art Chester in the National Air Races in September 1930. Like many promising designs of the late 1920s and early 1930s, the Great Depression signaled the end for the Davis parasol wing monoplane.

N13546, a Davis D-1-W, currently resides with the EAA, its registration cancelled in November 2013. Assembled from parts in 1933 with an 85 hp LeBlond radial, it has had many owners, including racing pilot Art Chester. Along the way, it was re-engined with a 145 hp Warner Super Scarab. Gene Chase owned it for many years. Surviving examples exist not only in the United States, but in Mexico and Argentina.

Dave Paulson of Warroad is this month's winner. Roger Gomoll noted that Gene Chase's Davis was the 100th type of aircraft he logged time in. Joe Connell reminded us that Comet Models made a kit of the Davis. Ed Wells, Mike Johnson, and Wayne Muxlow weren't fooled. A late entry from Chuck Schumacher recognized the Julyaircraft, the Lockheed CP-140 Aurora. Thanks, guys! Blue skies and tail winds for fall.


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