The Patriot Truck inventor and manufacturer A. G. Hebb founded the Nebraska Aircraft Corporation in 1919 to refurbish surplus military “Standard J-1” aircraft for civilian use as the “Lincoln Standard Tourabout” as well as to provide flying instruction. In 1922 the firm reorganized as the Lincoln Aircraft Company and operated a factory and flying school.
In February 1922, just after his 20th birthday, Charles Lindbergh enrolled as a student at the Lincoln Aircraft Corporation’s flying school in Nebraska. Two months later, on April 9, 1922, Lindbergh flew for the first time in his life when he took to the air as a passenger, along with Bud Gurney, in a Lincoln Standard biplane piloted by Otto Timm. A few days later Lindbergh took his first formal flying lesson in that same machine with instructor pilot Ira O. Biffle. However, the young student pilot was never permitted to “solo” during his time at Lincoln because he could not afford to post a bond which the company President Ray Page insisted upon in the event the novice flyer were to damage the school’s only trainer in the process. When that Lincoln aircraft was sold in June, Lindbergh chose to go with the airplane and its new owner E.G. Bahl. Lindbergh offered to perform as a wing walker and parachutist for Bahl on a barnstorming tour across the West in order to both gain some needed flight experience and earn money for additional instruction. During this time Lindbergh briefly held a job as an airplane mechanic in Billings, Montana, working at the Billings Municipal Airport.
Reincorporating yet again in 1927 as the Lincoln-Page Aircraft Corporation, the company turned to building new aircraft, introducing several successful models including the one on display.
In 1928 the American Eagle Aircraft Company, which produced Bellanca- designed aircraft, agreed to merge with Lincoln-Page Aircraft Company becoming American Eagle-Lincoln Aircraft with Victor H. Roos as company president. When the company dissolved during the depression, Roos founded the short-lived Victor H. Roos Aircraft Company to continue to sell the American Eagle-Lincoln designs.
The aircraft on display, a Lincoln-Page PT-W (the suffix standing for Primary Trainer – Warner engine) is believed to have been manufactured in 1930. Interestingly, the first record of this aircraft being sold is not until 1938 and then as unassembled parts sold by the Victor H. Roos Aircraft Company. On May 18, 1980, then owner of this aircraft, Harold Wighton, was flying this PT-W on the South side of Mount St. Helens when the volcano erupted to the North. Jim Smith acquired this aircraft in 1989.