No. 6060. Mason Greater Meteor (NR5278 c/n M-200)
Photographed at Long Beach, California, USA, April 29, 1934, by Elwood W. Mason

Mason Greater Meteor

01/22/2007. Remarks by David Mason that are also stated at the Aerofiles: "This aircraft is recorded in NASM records as a Warren & Montijo monoplane, c/n WM-1. It was manufactured in April 1928 by H.P. "Glen" Warren and John G. Montijo, San Luis Obispo, California, as a class project at California Polytechnic College under the instruction of Warren and Montijo (hence it is also known as the Cal Poly-Glenmont CP-1). There was no ATC number assigned (ie: it was not certified by the Civil Aviation Authorities).

It was constructed with steel tubing fuselage and tail group, and spruce and Haskelite wings. It left the factory with a 260hp Salmson (Menasco) 92M 9-cylinder air-cooled engine. In what has to be a mistake of record transcription, empty weight was given as 3,032 lb (1,375 kg) and gross weight of 3,355 lb (1,522 kg), leaving a useful load of 323 lb (147 kg). This is probably an error, as the airplane was billed as carrying two pilots and four passengers, as well as, hopefully, some fuel.

On August 1, 1928 the airplane was sold to C. B. Bellows, a Dodge automobile dealer, of Long Beach. The bill of sale called the airplane a "Glenmont Landau Sedan" (Glenmont being a combination of Glen Warren and Montijo's names). Bellows stated that he preferred the name "Belmont," and the name was changed on August 29, 1928. That is why the airplane was identified as a Belmont in the Register. Further, on November 23, 1928, Montijo summitted an application to register "Belmont Cabin Monoplane C/N M-1". He had lowered the first station at the rear of the engine to improve frontal visibility. The total time on the aircraft to that date was 44 hours. No bill of sale was generated, leading the CAA to question the application.

Montijo explained, "Bellow still retains sole ownership of the Belmont M-1. The plane was designed and built by me. I engaged W.T. Waterhouse to figure the stress analysis for it before the plane was sold to Mr. Bellows (stress analysis recently sent to DoC)". Further, he said he was building more planes, desired approval of this model only, and that future planes will be slightly changed in design and a new complete set of drawings will be sent by Waterhouse for approval.

Near that time, on March 10, 1929, NC5278 landed at Tucson piloted by Montijo. He carried three passengers, arriving from Phoenix and returning there.

Well, the airplane was sold, less engine, three months later, on June 26, 1929, to J.G. Melson of Los Angeles, California. The airplane was still located in the Bellows hangar at Long Beach Municipal Airport. On August 19, 1929, Melson reported that the sale was "not consummated and in litigation due to misrepresentations." No bill of sale was submitted.

Assuming the owner still to be Bellow, the airplane was sold on July 16, 1932 to Monty G. Mason of Los Angeles. Record says, "airplane is of a blue and silver colour but at the time (of sale) has, at the instigation of the buyer, been painted by the Arborgast Aero Service to green and gold".

Then, in a series of confusing transfers, the airplane, Belmont c/n WM-1, 5278, was rebuilt and emerged as a Mason Greater Meteor, c/n M-200. It was identified as having "the same wing and remodeled fuselage with different motor" to have been "manufactured" as a single-seat aircraft by Mason Aircraft Co, as of November 23, 1933, with a 420 hp Pratt & Whitney Wasp engine c/n 354 and 348 gallons fuel capacity. It had a "broadcasting booth and refueling equipment" in the passenger compartment (six tanks). Mason requested a restricted "R" registration on February 27, 1934 and designated it for a "non-stop refueling endurance distance flight". The aircraft had grapics applied to the fuselage, reading:

Created January 22, 2007