EMSCO B-4 Cirrus
First Albuquerque Visit: 1929
EMSCO Aircraft was a short-lived division of the E.M. Smith Company (best-known for producing equipment for the oil industry). In 1928 Smith’s company bought the Zenith Aircraft Corporation of Long Beach, California, and transformed it into the EMSCO Aircraft Corporation.
The Emsco B-4 “Cirrus” was a mid-wing, two-seat trainer built in the late 1920s. Six aircraft were built and three variants with more powerful engines were flown. The two-seat B-4 trainer was a mid-wing monoplane with wings of rectangular plan out to blunted tips. The mostly wood wings were constructed with pairs of box spars and spruce and plywood ribs with duralumin sheet stiffening the leading edges. The rest of the wing was covered in fabric and wire-braced from above and below with streamlined wires from pylons within the fuselage to the spars. The B-4’s fuselage was based on a chrome-molybdenum steel frame. It had a 95 hp (71 kW) American Cirrus III four-cylinder, upright inline engine in the nose with an aluminium firewall and tanks in the wing roots. The two tandem cockpits, fitted with dual controls, were over the wing. The view from the forward cockpit, placed around quarter-chord, was good and the instructor’s view from the rear cockpit was improved with windows in the underside wing roots.
The E.M. Smith Co. “EMSCO” racer number NX-369-N landed in Albuquerque for refueling on February 24, 1929. The plane had a 4cyl inline engine, which was underpowered for Albuquerque’s high elevation. A Radial engine was installed replacing the inline. This version was destroyed in a crash attempting an endurance record near Cleveland.
The Emsco to visit Albuquerque is shown in a photo that was taken in 1929 at Oxnard Field. The plane is marked “Test Ship #2” on the sides.
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