13 December 1937

Jackie Cochran with the Seversky “SEV-S1 Executive,” X18Y, 1937. (Cliff Henderson Collection, San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives, Catalog #: CF_09-0043)

On 9 December Jackie Cochran flew X18Y to a new U.S. national record speed of 252.875 miles per hour (406.963 kilometers per hour) over a 100-kilometer course. She was attempting to increase her speed on 13 December, reaching an average 255.973 miles per hour (411.949 kilometers per hour).

When Jackie landed at Miami after the record runs, the Seversky’s tail wheel began rapidly swinging from side to side. This was something that the P-35s were experiencing and a number of the fighters had been wrecked. Jackie said, “One wing was pulled off altogether and the landing gear was torn off,” she said. “The tail [wheel] had jumped its lock throwing the plane to one side.”

The SEV-1XP was damaged beyond economical repair. In less than three years it had served its purpose. Seversky would build a new airplane. X18Y’s registration was suspended 4 January 1938 and the airplane was scrapped.

Seversky SEV-S1 R18Y, after landing accident, Miami, Florida, 13 December 1937. (Los Angeles Times, Vol. LVII, Tuesday, 14 December 1937, Page 20)

© 2021, Bryan R. Swopes

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4 thoughts on “13 December 1937

  1. It would be nice if females were accorded the same courtesies on first mention in the text of your articles that males are accorded. “…Jackie flew X18Y….”, indeed.

  2. Thank you, Mr Swopes, for the correction and your apology is readily accepted. I’m sure that we are all subject to overlooking some of our own bloopers.

    1. Thanks. I had cut-and-pasted from a chapter of a book I am working on, and didn’t read over it to properly refer to Jacqueline Cochran as a stand-alone article. I have written 43 articles about Miss Cochran for TDiA, and hold her in the highest respect.

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