Eastern Aircraft Corporation – Pawtucket, R. I.

Eastern Aircraft Corporation

Pawtucket, Rhode Island 

     The Eastern Aircraft Corporation was located in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, in a building that is still standing as of this writing, at an address of 1 Campbell Street.  The building is located several blocks from the former site of the What Cheer Airport, which was located between Manton Street, Newport Avenue, and Beverage Hill Avenue.   

     In August of 1929, Eastern Aircraft’s president, Raymond C. Van Arsdale,  announced that the company would begin immediate production of Messerschmidt airplanes in partnership with the Bavarian Aircraft Corporation in Germany. 

     Many aircraft of this era were still being produced with doped-canvas “skins”, but the Messerschmidts were to be all-metal, and would be produced in three models: a three-passenger cabin plane, a seven-passenger aircraft, and a small training airplane.  Each was to be produced under the direct supervision of German engineers who would be sent from the Bavarian plant to oversee production. 

     Although the aircraft were being produced for a German market, they would still have to meet United States Department of Commerce aeronautical specifications. 

    The announcement came less than three months before the U.S. stock market crash of October 29, 1929, which pushed the United States into the Great Depression.  Many businesses went bankrupt as a result, Eastern Aircraft being one of them.  It is therefore unknown if any aircraft were ever completed/built in Pawtucket.

     Source:

     The Woonsocket Call, (R.I.), “Pawtucket Firm To Manufacture German Planes”, August 5, 1929            

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