Western Air Express  Fokker F-10  NC4458                       (c/n 1000)


                                          In 1928 WAE was selected to operate first class passenger service from Los Angeles to San
                                          Franscisco.  To fly this, and to boost the passenger capacity on the Salt Lake City route, a
                                          fleet of 16 F-10s was ordered from Atlantic Aircraft Corporation.  Seen above at Grand Central
                                          Air Terminal in Glendale is the first of these machines.  The American Fokkers were orginally
                                          assembled under license by the Atlantic Aircraft Corporation at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey.
                                          All components were shipped out from Holland.  By the end of the 1920s  the parent company
                                          restructured the U.S. business with new capital and shareholders and formed the Fokker Aircraft
                                          Corporation of America.  Shortly afterwards WAE gained a majority interest in this new corporation
                                          and Harris Hanshue became president of it as well as of WAE.  Busy man, wasn't he?   In May 1929
                                          General Motors acquired a 41% stake in Fokker Aircraft providing much needed capital.  (This is an
                                          impoprtant fact as we will see later). Eddie Rickenbacker became director of sales (also important).
                                          Fokker itself became a division of GM's General Aviation Manufacturing Corporation and, in the
                                          event, ended its U.S. operation in 1931 due to lack of sales in the Deprerssion and also to the much-
                                          publized crash on 31 march 1931 of a TWA F-10a in which football legend Knute Rockne was killed.
                                          The photograph below shows passengers embarking on NC582K (c/n 1042).  Both  images were
                                          acquired from the Western Air Lines archives.