Northrop Delta
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Northrop Delta

While the Gamma was being developed, Northrop was working on a nine-seat transport, which was basically a new fuselage married to Gamma wings. Unfortunately for Northrop, the US 1926 Air Commerce Act was amended to prohibit the use of single-engine aircraft for carrying passengers by night, or over rough terrain where emergency landings could not be made. Consequently, airline use for its intended role was nonexistent in the USA, although three had been sold before the new regulation was announced. Eight others were used as executive transports, and one was bought by Swedish AB Aerotransport, which subsequently acquired a second, and the US Coast Guard operated a Delta under the designation RT-1, as the Secretary of the Treasury's personal aircraft. The last Delta was supplied to Canada as a pattern aircraft for assembly in that country by Canadian Vickers, who built 20 of various marks with both wheel and float landing gear. Deltas were flown with various engines, including the 529kW and 548kW Wright SR-1820, 485kW, 492kW and 522kW Pratt & Whitney Hornets.

Terry Teasley, 04.03.2016

Delta NC13777 is indeed now located in the hanger used by the Airline History Museum at the Kansas City Downtown Airport. It is currently disassembled.

Tom Ginsberg, 24.02.2016

I worked next door to KC Aviation in the 80s and 90s, knew Frank well and love looking at the old Delta. As most know it was restored and test flown by the FAA as Frank had changed engines and the new one wasn't in the original Type Certification. Well rumor has it the FAA pilots decided it had plenty of fuel and it sputtered to a stop over some cornfield where he managed to trash it in. It made it's way back to KCA and sat there for years. Then someone came along and took her away never to be seen again. But all of a sudden Presto...its coming back to the museum at the Kansas City Downtown Airport soon. Look on Facebook and ye shall find.

Larry, 15.02.2016

Kind of late but I just read this . I worked for frank and frank jr. for several years, a long time ago. The delta was there and pretty much fully repaired from the FAA, who as I was told was switching fuel tanks while test flying it and shut the fuel off instead. Ended up in a hog farm's pig pen. I worked nights a lot and many times would climb into the plane and dream. That's why I was looking this up. She was the most beautiful airplane I have ever seen or I believe ever will. Wish I would of taken pictures.

Rob Mulder, 02.11.2014

I am presently working on a book about the operation of the two Swedish Northrop Deltas (one 1C and one 1E) flying in Europa back in 1934-1937. One of them crashed after a week, but the other flew for some years the night airmail service from Stockholm to Hannover. I would like ask you readers here to help me with some photographs of the prototype and other Delta Aircraft to illustrate the story. Perhaps you also have some interessenting stories to share?

Cunningham, 05.05.2014

I have many pics of this plane. My father, Jack, owned it for a very short time. He sold it to Frank Spatz around 1960.

John Mattsson, 20.08.2012

I worked at Kansas City Flying Service in the late 80s and the Delta was there and had been for quite a few years. I was not being held for back rent because Frank Spatz the owner of KC flying service was half owner. I'm not sure of the dates but after it was restored to flying condition the FAA sent a pilot to fly it on a certification flight. they put it into a field where it had to be dismantled and trucked home, after fixing it again the FAA which lost all the paperwork from the first flight informed them they would have to start over. out of frustration the owners decided to leave the aircraft in non flying condition. when . I moved to Arizona in 1990 it was still there. shortly after the hangar was bought by the local A&P school the aircraft was moved to another hangar on the field and after that I don't know. BTW KansaCity flying service had been at that location since some time in the 1930s. Frank Spatz was a friend of Jimmy Doolittle and also knew Pancho Barnes., 01.07.2012

I was at that airport in kansas a month ago, its not there anymore, it was sold for museum parts. That poor lady gets grief about it all the time, she did her best and sold it for parts so please enthusiats and fellow airmen let the story go away. You are causing nice people undue stress and that's all your doing. Be kind to fwllow pilots and have a little respect please., 01.07.2012

I was at that airport in kansas a month ago, its not there anymore, it was sold for museum parts. That poor lady gets grief about it all the time, she did her best and sold it for parts so please enthusiats and fellow airmen let the story go away. You are causing nice people undue stress and that's all your doing. Be kind to fwllow pilots and have a little respect please.

Mike Mullen, 24.04.2012

I was conducting an inspection at the Kansas City Downtown Airport about 10 years ago and took a photo of the Delta N13777 parked on the apron. If anyone would like to see the photo, email me and I'll attach a jpg back to you.

Douglas Ogle, 24.12.2010

Toronto, Ontario
December 24,2010
I am surprised to learn that a fairly intact Delta still survives. To my knowledge, the only example left was a an ex-RCAF wreck that crashed in New Brunswick and was in a badly damaged state in the National Aviation Museum in Ottawa. I do not know if it is going to be restored or not. I hope the example at Amelia Earhart Airport finds an owner who will restore it to original condition.

Douglas Ogle

Dan Colburn, 07.11.2010

I've just thought of a story I'd like to tell.
What fun it was to drain the sumps of eight separate fuel tanks, part of our preflight ritual. Now do that when the temp was minus thirty degrees! Wow!

Dan Colburn, 07.11.2010

I have lots of stories about the Delta and Max Conrad. The License was N13777. Max was my instructor in Civil Pilot Training in Winona, Minnesota. At the end of WWII max hired me at Honeywell. Honeywell didn't know how to pay a co-pilot so they started me as a Co-Pilot mechanic. I learned a lot from Max who was a good mechanic and a pilot with lots of experience.
The Delta would be a wonderful plane to restore. If anyone would restore it, I will volunteer to fly the first flight.
If anyone would like to hear Delta/ Max Conrad stories, please call me at (310) 373-5206. I could entertain for hours.
I flew 146 first flights as an engineering test pilot at Douglas Aircraft and would fly the Delta at the drop of a hat

Don Walker, 01.09.2010

I took pictures of a Delta in a hangar at
Amelia Earhart Airport. It was in the process of being restored. This was about 8 years ago, around 2002. Hve no idea if it is still there. this airfield is just across the river and a little south of St. Joseph , Mo.

kelly d, 20.06.2010

Out for an afternoon flight and hadn't visited an airport near KC named after a famous aviator in some time. While we were there I talked the FBO manager and owner if I could see the Delta. It is NC13777 and is completely intact (wings and tail removed for storage) It is in great condition and has been in storage for many years. It used to be stored at MKC but was moved over ten years ago. Beautiful aircraft. . If you're curious she would sell it but is asking an extravagant price plus the caveat that whoever buys it returns it to flight condition and displays it at airshows and such.

Dave Dawkins, 21.02.2010

While doing an airshow at the downtown Kansas City airport in the late 1980s, I was shown a plane in the back of a large hangar that was, I believe, the Delta. I was told it was tied up in litigation over years of unpaid hangar rent. The plane was intact and in excelent condition.

Dale Hardy, 05.11.2009

I am with the R.G. LeTourneau Heritage Center, We have a written account that Mr. R.G. LeTourneau purchased a Northrop Delta NC13777 in October of 1941 in Las Vegas, NV. We would like to know more details about this aircraft. Also does it still exist?

roger clark, 29.08.2009

My father, Paul Clark, chief methods engineer, Mpls. Honeywell, flew with Max Conrad on the company Delta. Most of the trips were Wold-Chamberlin to Midway in Chicago. Dad was a great admirer of Capt. Conrad and loved to tell me about him and the trips. In about 1946 Dad took me out to the Honeywell Hangar in Mpls. to tour a B-29. The Delta was also in the hangar. We went in that, too. To a kid like me, it was a beautiful thing. So shiny. The interior was largely red leather. Dad said he thought only three Deltas were manufactured. Was the NC13777 ever restore? I would love to see it again. I've been looking for the plane on Net for years and finally today got the search results I've sought.

Dan Colburn, 05.08.2008

I flew the Delta for Minneapolis Honeywell right after WWll. The Captain was Max Conrad. We had lots of expeeriences with that airplane including several forced landings.
The license number was NC13777. I think I know where the plane can be located and would be a wonderful restoration project. Dan Colburn

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