History Takes Flight

With a collection of more than 200 historic aircraft, the EAA Aviation Museum is a year-round destination, combining aviation's past with the promise of its exciting future.

1930 Pitcairn PA-7S Sport Mailwing - NC95W

Location: Pioneer Airport


View Virtual Tour of Cockpit


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 of Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania.

Length

23 ft. 9 in.

Empty Weight

2,135 lbs

Gross Weight

2,950 lbs

Height

9 ft. 7 in.

Wingspan

33 ft. 0 in

Total Wing Area

244 sq. ft.

Cruising Speed

120 mph

Maximum Speed

145 mph

Cruising Range

520 miles

Service Ceiling

16,000 ft.

Serial Number

147

Engine

225 hp, Wright JG-7 Whirlwind, 756 cubic inch, 7-cylinder radial

Oil Capacity

10 gal.

Fuel Capacity

70 gal

Price at Factory

$ 8,509