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The Jack And Helen Frye Story!
1930
Sedona's Celebrity Love Story!
The Sedona Legend Web Site is a copyrighted historical photo enhanced narrative presented for
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Sedona Legend was envisioned and created to provide Red Rock State Park visitors a
comprehensive historic overview for Jack and Helen Frye and their Deer-Lick and Smoke Trail
Ranches. This effort is now officially cited by R.R.S.P. as an indepth historical venue
representing Jack and Helen Frye.

Sedona Legend is encouraged by the many friends of Jack and Helen Frye. A gracious thank
you to the Frye and Varner families for invaluable support and Red Rock State Park staff and
volunteers for their enthusiasm.

Sedona Legend Helen Frye a.k.a. the Jack and Helen Frye Story
A Decade of Research and Presentation- Created By Randall D. Reynolds
Copyright © 2003 All Rights Reserved
This is the official, not to mention only, web portal in the world
dedicated exclusively to the legacy of Jack and Helen Frye!
The Frye Legacy-
a Lifetime of Accomplishment!
By Randall Reynolds
Jack Frye & WAE
Standard Air Lines
Holding Company: Aero Corporation of California
Jack Frye and partners (Walter Hamilton and Paul Richter) founded Aero
Corporation of California with Standard Air Lines soon to follow. Jack Frye was elected to
president of the new corporation and would serve on the board of directors. Frye was always
president and administrator of Standard Air Lines. There were many other men involved in this
transaction but the three men above are always the ones most cited and were always at the
operations level.

The first Standard Air Lines commercial passenger service commenced
on November 28, 1927 with Jack Frye as pilot-president.

Press Release of the Day:
Aero Corporation of California which is the parent company to the oldest commercial flying
school on the Pacific Coast (Standard Flying Schools) holds the Fokker Aircraft distribution
agency for the Western United States, operates an aerial photographic and survey section and
complete crop-dusting service, while through Standard Air lines (a subsidiary) it has conducted
passenger express service between Los Angeles and El Paso since 1927.

Also notated in 1926 was that Frye, president of Aero Corp., Standard Air Lines, and Standard
Flying Schools, had completed 10,000 flights without injury to plane or passenger and was the
youngest aviation executive in the world. Frye at 25, a pilot since 1924, was said to had flown 62
different varieties of planes in the territories of Canada- Mexico- and 40 of the lower 48 states.

Frye held a Transport License issued by the U.S. Government. In addition, the Aeronautical
Branch of the Department of Commerce has issued pilot Frye a Aircraft Mechanic’s License
and an Aircraft Engine Mechanic’s License. Most prominently though, it was noted Jack Frye
holds aviation license “Arizona-Number 1”, the very first to be issued by the State of Arizona
(the only state in the union to issue pilot’s licenses). Quite a glowing report to be sure.

Western Air Express Background- In Brief
Like Frye’s Aero and Standard Air Lines, Western Air Express was a aviation concern of great
merit. Both companies were the largest and most firmly entrenched on the west coast with Aero
handling the first cross-country service in the manner of combination- air rail line- transport.
Western Air Express was founded in 1925 by Harris M. “Pop” Hanshue (who later served with
TWA) and the airline soon started a U.S. “Air-Mail” (contract) route from Salt Lake City to
Los Angeles. Because Jack Frye was with Western Air Express such a short time (about 6
months) it is difficult to enhance this tenure with media materials and or photos as directly
related to Frye. Nevertheless, Jack Frye’s tenure with Western Air Express was an early
milestone in his stellar aviation career and a crucial stepping stone up to Transcontinental &
Western Air. Let’s not forget as well, that Western was part of TWA with a later merger, so
one could say Frye never left Western but just stayed with the company through a transition.  

Western Air Express
Aero Corporation of California
Standard Airlines
Consolidation of Two Powerful Air Transport Concerns
For the sake of the following paragraph we will first review a media release from January 20,
1930. An agreement was consummated on January 20-21 1930, to merge Aero Corporation of
California with Western Air Express (W.A.E.), to conclude and finalize on March 15, 1930, in a
move which created a powerful air express and transport company. The two companies were the
largest Los Angeles based air transport concerns of the day, with well-established nation-wide
connections and infrastructure. Jack Frye was elected to the board of directors and appointed
“vice president in charge of operations” for the (new) W.A.E. Further, it was stated on January
20, that a merger of Western Air Express and Aero Corporation of California are being debated
today, and will likely proceed. It was further stated, that WAE and Aero had been associated in
business for some time. James A. Talbot (C.E.O of Richfield and Fokker Aircraft) assumed the
position of C.E.O of Aero in December 1929. Source- Oakland Tribune

In January of 1930 the Aero Corporation board consisted of:
Jack Frye
Paul E. Richter
Walter A. Hamilton
Harris M. Hanshue
Frank H. Hitchcock
Guy Witter
Robert L. Chambers
Lawrence G. McNeil

Frye's New Office
- After the consolidation of the two companies, Jack Frye’s new office with
WAE was in the Garland Building at 736 South Broadway (downtown Los Angeles). The
significance of this location is startling! Just 8 years prior, a young Jack Frye was struggling to
gain a foothold in L.A., washing dishes just across the street, with no thought to the future of
commercial aviation or the part he would play in it. Nice change of fortune I'd say!

By 1930, wearing a three piece suit and reporting to a posh executive office in downtown L.A.,
Jack Frye was known as one of the most respected and seasoned aviator-executives on the
West and East Coasts of the United States. His rise to fame would eclipse all those then
associated with him- like a rocket launched into infinity.

This downtown office address was short-lived though as Jack soon took the same position with
the new Transcontinental & Western Air, Inc. (after a soon-to-be merger) and moved to
Kansas City by about 1932. This historic 1912 building is now the site of 'The Chapman' a
fashionable residential building (luxury flats) in downtown L.A.

Private Land Yachts of the Day
Media sources extol the private executive planes used by the then aviation leaders of the nation
(1930). The model of these planes was significant because Jack Frye was the largest dealer of
Fokker in the Western United States and a close friend of Tony Fokker. One of these custom
land yachts were processed through Jack Frye’s dealership in Los Angeles at the dawning of the
new Western and Aero airline express company.

Lawrence F. Fisher (President of Cadillac)
Fokker F.32 “super-airliner” (posh Titanic luxury liner of the sky)

Details:
Fokker F.32 (largest Fokker airliner of the day)
Base cost $110,000
Refitting $40,000, Grand total- $150,000 (a mere fortune in 1930)
Powered by 4 Pratt & Whitney Hornet B engines with 575 H.P. each
4 engines mounted back to back, for pulling and pushing
Original configuration 33 seats (re-fitted for 15 passengers and 4 crew)
Nearly 70 feet long with 99 foot wingspan
Max speed 150 M.P.H., Cruise at 125 MPH
Range 850 miles on 700 gallons of fuel

Note: Western Air Express also used (2) F.32’s (configured for passenger service) on their
passenger routes of the early 1930’s. These were the largest airliners in service on the west
coast.

James A. Talbot (President of Richfield Oil)
Chairman of the Board of Western Air Express
Fokker F.10A Super Trimotor (executive build)

Details:
F.10A Registration Number NC5614 C/N 1003
Triple Engine ‘Super Tri-motor’ (Upgraded Luxury Fit)
3) 420 H.P. Pratt & Whitney Wasp Radial Engines
Max Speed- 140 M.P.H. Cruise at 118 M.P.H.
79 feet 3 inch wingspan with 50 feet 7 inches long
Fuel Load- 600 Gallons
Range: 1000 miles
Gross Weight: 13,100

The posh Fokker departed for Los Angeles from New York on June 3, 1928 with passengers to
include Anthony Fokker and his wife. This was a delivery-maiden flight from Fokker factory to
Richfield Oil and James Talbot at Los Angeles. Interior: Designed by a renowned New York
interior decorator in vibrant midnight blue, silver, gold, and earth tones. A stunning mosaic of
the Zodiac (in December) was displayed on the walls and ceilings with symbols of Orion, Lyra,
Taurus and celestial associations complemented by upholstery with similar patterns fit to
armchairs and chase lounges. (December was Talbot’s month of birth). Carpets of black velvet
graced the floors of the first class cabin (16 by 6 feet) with accommodations for 8 plus Talbot
(9 passengers plus pilots).

Jack Frye (President of Aero Corporation and Standard Air Lines)
Fokker F.10A Super Trimotor (business-executive build)

Details:
F.10A Triple Engine ‘Super Tri-motor’ (Upgraded Luxury Fit)
3) 425 H.P. Pratt & Whitney Wasp Radial Engines
Max Speed 150 M.P.H. Cruise at 125 M.P.H.
79 feet 1 inch wingspan with 50 feet 7 inches long
Fuel Load- 600 Gallons
Range: 1000 miles
Gross Weight: 13,100
Seating for 7 passengers in unsurpassed luxury

Possibly the following incident (December 7, 1929) as reported by nationwide newspapers is the
plane notated above. Media coverage reported that Jack Frye was picking up a new Fokker F10
at the Fokker factory in Hasbrouck Heights, N.J., and was flying it, solo, out to his airport at
Los Angeles. He was due to arrive at 4:30 P.M., at Aero Corporation Field, at Los Angeles, after
a journey across the U.S. of several days, which included, a stop at the Aero Corporation
facilities at El Paso. The plane was stated to be luxuriously appointed with day beds, ice box, and
buffet, converted from a standard 100k, 14-passenger Fokker Super Trimotor passenger liner.
The massive ship was powered by 3 Pratt & Whitney Wasp 425 H.P. engines. Called by the
press a luxury “pleasure-business craft” it was configured as a flying office.

This was similar to the way Frye’s TWA personal planes were configured from 1932 to 1947
(Lockheed Vega, Northrop Gamma, Lockheed 12A, Lockheed 18). Amid commodious lounge
seats, the Fokker had a business desk for Frye and his private stenographer so Jack could
conduct business (and dictation) in the air. For entertainment there was a receiver (radio) in
which one could tune in music and the news. This, in addition to a 2-way radio for navigation
used by the pilot. In flight meals were prepared on an electric stove with provisions which were  
cooled in a electric icebox. This, all accompanied by an electric curling iron for the female
passengers. The plane was used by Frye cross-country and in the Western United States for
transport of business associates and entertaining V.I.P.’s

Mergers & Buy-Outs
On July 16, 1930 (the most commonly publicized date) Western Air Express (WAE) merged with
the Lindbergh associated Transcontinental Air Transport (T.A.T.) to form Transcontinental &
Western Air. It must be noted this was a long drawn out ‘oft delayed merger which involved
many different parties. Rather than July 16, the date of October 2, 1930, may very well be more
accurate with operations of the new company to commence on October 15, 1930. Pittsburgh
Aviation Industries was named in the merger, as well, having been recently connected to TAT.
The new company (T. & W. A.) would later be reported as an equal ownership of Western Air
Express-Transcontinental Air Transport and Pittsburgh Aviation Industries. Initially, Jack Frye
was the only executive from the Aero Corporation holdings (men) to be elected to the new
board of directors. The first 36hr. Coast-to-Coast TWA Inaugural Flight was Saturday
October 25, 1930. The New TWA Was Born!

Jack Frye- Instructor - Commercial Pilot - Executive
February 1930
Media sources noted that Frye, president of Aero Corp., Standard Air Lines, and Standard
Flying Schools, had completed 10,000 flights without injury to plane or passenger, and was the
youngest aviation executive in the world. Frye, (25), a pilot since 1924, was said to had flown 62
different varieties of planes in the territories of Canada- Mexico- and 40 of the lower 48 states.
Frye held a Transport License issued by the U.S. Government. In addition, the Aeronautical
Branch of the Department of Commerce has issued pilot Frye a Aircraft Mechanic’s License
and an Aircraft Engine Mechanic’s License. Most prominently, though, it was noted Jack Frye
holds aviation license “Arizona-Number 1” the very first to be issued by the State of Arizona.
(Arizona was the only state in the union to issue pilot’s licenses at that time). Source: AZ Media

On the date of October 1, 1930, Frye was appointed “vice president in charge of operations” for
Transcontinental & Western Air, Inc.; however, it is often stated by historians, that Frye's job
was really “operating” president of the company from here on, in spite of corporate figureheads
who held higher executive positions within T. & W. A. Jack was the “man on the ground” so to
speak, a seasoned pilot-executive, who was the only management figure qualified to actually
direct the operations of the new concern with proven prior experience. This is why, it is
sometimes noted (in error) by historians, that Frye was president of TWA for (17 years) not the
actual (13 years) he served. He officially held the title of TWA President from (December 1934
to February 1947). In the first 4-years of the new airline (1930-1934) Frye was indeed directing
all operations and this was reported prominently in the press. This is also why as soon as they
could ease him in around the egos and financial heads of TWA, Frye was indeed offered the
presidency, in 1934. A position he was likely promised early on. I feel, personally, that Frye was
just happy that his company survived the Great Depression and was willing to weather the
nuances of a lengthy “settling” of the new aviation concern (knowing he would secure the
president position in the end).

“Aero Corporation which is the successor to the oldest commercial flying school on the Pacific
Coast holds the Fokker Aircraft distribution agency for the Western United States, operates
aerial photographic and survey section and a complete crop-dusting service, while through
Standard Air Lines, a subsidiary, it has conducted a passenger and express service between Los
Angeles and El Paso.” Media Release: January 21, 1930
Western Air Express passenger transport shown at Tucson Municipal Airport as taken by
Cornelius Cosgrove (airport manager). A gracious thank you to Burt Cosgrove of Albuquerque
N.M. for the above image. I met with Judge Cosgrove (retired) at the home of Frye friend Rosie
Targhetta Armijo. Mr. Cosgrove's father (C. B. Cornelius Cosgrove, Jr.) was the manager of
the Tucson Municipal Airport (1928-1932). The photos were obtained by Cornelius at that time
frame and kept as a part of his career memoirs. Eventually, they passed to his son (Burt
Cosgrove). Please see the Cosgrove page of the
Davis Monthan Air Field Registry Website.