Tag Archives: NX1384

6 April 1940

Jackie Cochran with her Seversky AP-7A, NX1384, prior to her speed record flight, 6 April 1940. (San Diego Air and Space Museum Archive)

6 April 1940: Flying her Seversky AP-7A, NX1384, Jackie Cochran set a Fédération Aéronautique Internationale and National Aeronautic Association speed record over a 2,000 kilometer (1,242.742 miles) course from Mount Wilson, California (northeast of Los Angeles) to Mesa Giganta, New Mexico (west of Albuquerque) with an average speed of 533.845 kilometers per hour (331.716 miles per hour).¹

National Aeronautic Association Certificate of Record in the San Diego Air and Space Museum Archive. (Bryan R. Swopes)

The Seversky AP-7 was an improved civil version of the Seversky P-35 fighter, which was the first U.S. Army Air Corps single engine airplane to feature all-metal construction, an enclosed cockpit and retractable landing gear. It was designed by Major Alexander Nikolaievich Prokofiev de Seversky, a World War I Russian fighter ace.

Jackie Cochran paints her race number, 13, of the fuselage of her Seversky AP-7. (San Diego Air and Space Museum Archives)

Cochran’s AP-7A was a specially-built racer, modified from the original AP-7 with a new, thinner, wing and different landing gear arrangement. It was powered by a 1,829.39-cubic-inch-displacement (29.97 liter) air-cooled, supercharged Pratt & Whitney Twin Wasp S1B3-G (R-1830-11) two-row 14-cylinder radial engine, with a Takeoff Power rating of 1,000 horsepower at 2,600 r.p.m., and Normal Power rating of 850 horsepower at 2,450 r.p.m and 5,000 feet (1,524 meters). It turned a three-bladed Hamilton-Standard controllable-pitch propeller through a 3:2 gear reduction. The engine had a dry weight of 1,320 pounds (595 kilograms)

This is the same airplane in which Jackie Cochran won the 1938 Bendix Trophy Race.

Jackie Cochran’s Seversky AP-7A, NX1384, at the Union Air Terminal, Burbank, California, 1940. (Bill Larkins/Wikipedia)

¹ FAI Record File Number 12025.

© 2017, Bryan R. Swopes

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15 September 1939: Jacqueline Cochran

Jackie Cochran with her record-setting Seversky AP-7A, NX1384. (FAI)
Jackie Cochran with her record-setting Seversky AP-7A, NX1384. (FAI)

15 September 1939: Jackie Cochran set a Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) World Speed Record flying a Seversky AP-7A, civil registration NX1384, over a 1,000 kilometer course, from Burbank to San Francisco and back to Burbank. Her average speed was 492.34 kilometers per hour (305.93 miles per hour).

FAI Record File Num #12027 [Direct Link]
Status: ratified – superseded since approved
Region: World
Class: C (Powered Aeroplanes)
Sub-Class: C (Aviation with engine)
Category: Feminine
Group: Not applicable
Type of record: Speed over 1000 km
Performance: 492.34 km/h
Date: 1939-09-15
Course/Location: Burbank – San Francisco – Burbank, CA (USA)
Claimant Jacqueline Cochran (USA)
Aeroplane: Seversky Aircraft Corp. Seversky Monoplane
Engine: 1 Pratt & Whitney Wasp

The Seversky AP-7 was an improved civil version of the Seversky P-35 fighter, which was the first U.S. Army Air Corps single engine airplane to feature all-metal construction, an enclosed cockpit and retractable landing gear. It was designed by Major Alexander P. de Seversky.

Cochran’s AP-7A was a specially built racer, powered by a 1,829.39-cubic-inch-displacement (29.97 liter) air-cooled, supercharged Pratt and Whitney R-1830-11 Twin Wasp two-row 14-cylinder radial engine producing 800 horsepower. It turned a three-bladed Hamilton-Standard controllable-pitch propeller. This is the same airplane in which she won the 1938 Bendix Trophy.

Jackie Cochran’s Seversky AP-7A, NX1384, at the Union Air Terminal, Burbank, California, September 1938. (Unattributed)
Jackie Cochran’s Seversky AP-7A, NX1384, at the Union Air Terminal, Burbank, California, September 1938. (Unattributed)

© 2015, Bryan R. Swopes

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1 September 1938: Jacqueline Cochran

Jackie Cochran’s Seversky AP-7A, NX1384, with her racing number “13″ painted on its sides and wings, lined up with other airplanes at Lockheed Air Terminal, Burbank, California, the evening before before the start of the Bendix Air Race, 31 August 1938. (San Diego Air and Space Museum Archives)
Jackie Cochran’s Seversky AP-7A, NX1384, with her racing number “13″ painted on its sides and wings, lined up with other airplanes at Lockheed Air Terminal, Burbank, California, the evening before before the start of the Bendix Air Race, 31 August 1938. (San Diego Air and Space Museum Archives)

1 September 1938: Jackie Cochran departed the Lockheed Air Terminal, Burbank California, at 3:00 a.m., flying her Seversky AP-7A, NX1384. Her destination was Cleveland, Ohio, the finish line for the Bendix Trophy Race,  2,042 miles (3,286 kilometers) away.

Jackie Cochran steps out of her Seversky AP-7A at Cleveland, Ohio, after winning the 1938 Bendix Trophy Race.
Jackie Cochran steps out of her Seversky AP-7A at Cleveland, Ohio, after winning the 1938 Bendix Trophy Race.

The specially built AP-7A racer was an improved version of Major Alexander Nikolaievich Prokofiev de Seversky’s P-35A fighter, which was the U.S. Army Air Corps’ first all-metal single-engine airplane with an enclosed cockpit and retractable landing gear. Cochran’s AP-7A was powered by 1,829.39-cubic-inch-displacement (29.97 liter) air-cooled, supercharged Pratt and Whitney R-1830-11 Twin Wasp two-row 14-cylinder radial engine producing 800 horsepower. It turned a three-bladed Hamilton-Standard controllable-pitch propeller.

NX1384 was built especially for Jackie Cochran, and had been flown from the factory to Burbank by Major de Seversky just two days earlier. His flight set an East-to-West Transcontinental Speed Record of 10 hours, 2 minutes, 55.7 seconds.The specially built AP-7A racer was an improved version of Major Alexander Nikolaievich Prokofiev de Seversky’s P-35A fighter, which was the U.S. Army Air Corps’ first all-metal single-engine airplane with an enclosed cockpit and retractable landing gear. Cochran’s AP-7A was powered by 1,829.39-cubic-inch-displacement (29.97 liter) air-cooled, supercharged Pratt and Whitney R-1830-11 Twin Wasp two-row 14-cylinder radial engine producing 800 horsepower. It turned a three-bladed Hamilton-Standard controllable-pitch propeller.

“Finally the P-35 arrived. I decided that I didn’t want to take it into the air for a test even if I could. The racing officials impounded it because it was a prototype and there was some kind of rule about untested planes. I would test it en route. . . Finally, I got to sit in the cockpit. I began to study all the instruments by the hour. I can almost see them still.

 “There are about a hundred or more buttons, levers, and other gadgets to push, pull or twirl. .  I close my eyes and reach for everything in the dark. And I keep at this until I can get to them blindfolded and with no false moves. . . 

“I finally see Cleveland. . . (a)nd am going so fast that I pass the airport and come in from the wrong side. . . Have I won? The crowds are cheering. It’s a standing ovation. . . I have won the Bendix.”

Vincent Bendix congratulates Jackie Cochran on winning the 1938 Bendix Trophy Race.
Vincent Bendix congratulates Jackie Cochran on winning the 1938 Bendix Trophy Race.

— Jackie Cochran: An Autobiography, by Jacqueline Cochran and Maryann Bucknum Brinley, Bantam books, New York 1987, Pages 160–165.

Jackie Cochran was the third pilot to leave Burbank, but the first to arrive at Cleveland. Her elapsed time for the flight from California to Ohio was 8 hours, 10 minutes, 31.4 seconds, for an average speed of 249.774 miles per hour (401.895 kilometers per hour).

After being congratulated on her win by Vincent Bendix and other race officials, Cochran had her Seversky monoplane refueled. She then got back in to its cockpit and took off for Bendix, New Jersey. She landed there 10 hours, 7 minutes, 1 second after leaving Burbank at 3:00 a.m. This was a new West-to East Transcontinental Speed Record.

© 2015, Bryan R. Swopes

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