The Consolidated Commodore’s Models 16-1, A.T.C. (Aircraft Type Certificate) #258 were manufactured by the Consolidated Aircraft Corporation at Buffalo, New York. The first date of certification for the Model 16 was November 20, 1929. Consolidated aircraft had been formed on May 29, 1923, by Major Reuben Fleet.
The services of Frederick J. Pike, interior decorator, had been used to set a new standard in beauty and comfort in the plane's luxurious appointments. Each compartment had large picture windows and was paneled in a different pastel color of waterproof fabric. The usual imitation leather seats were replaced by fabric upholstery. In every way the Commodores were the finest, largest transport planes available, and years ahead of their time.
They (Consolidated Commodore’s) with Pan Am were out of service by 1935, having been superseded by more efficient aircraft such as the Sikorsky S-42. Mean while Pan Am had bought 45% interest of China National Airways Corporation (CNAC) on July 7, 1933. It was after Japanese troops skirmished with the Chinese Army near Peking at the Marco Polo Bridge on July 7, 1937 that the CNAC aircraft were commandeered for rescue and attack missions by the Nationalist Government. With more aircraft supplied by Pan Am service was partially restored.
By the time the Japanese attack Hong Kong and seven air planes of CNAC were destroyed in December of 1941. CNAC had been maintaining mail and passenger service. The airline’s American pilots now flew the DC-2s and DC-3s from Hong Kong, while the Chinese pilots flew the interior routes with rickety Commodore and Douglas Dolphin flying boats.
NC 663M, Consolidated Commodore, notes: C/n 7, originally delivered to NYRBA (New York, Rio, Buenos Aires), named “Trinidad”. Then to Pan Am on 15 September 1930. Pan Am then transferred this Consolidated Commodore to China in 1937. The ultimate fate of this Consolidated Commodore is not known.
NC 665M, Consolidated Commodore, notes: C/n 9, originally delivered to NYRBA, (New York, Rio, Buenos Aires), named “Argentina”. Then to Pan Am on 15 September 1930. Pan Am assigned this Consolidated Commodore to Panair do Brasil, registered as PP-PAH. It then went to China in 1937. The ultimate fate of this Consolidated Commodore is not known.