Skip to main content

Archives at The Museum of Flight

Edward C. Wells Boeing Model 299 logbook and letter

Identifier: 2010-06-17
The collection contains two items: the original logbook for flight tests of the Boeing Model 299, and a letter from Boeing engineer Edward C. Wells to his father, Edward L. Wells.

The logbook, "Log of Plane. Mod - 299. MFG - 1963," includes the license number (13372) and one page of test flight information for eighteen flights, starting on July 28, 1935 and ending on October 24, 1935. The logbook includes the date, length of flight, origination and destination, and purpose, such as "test" or "ferry." It also include the names of the pilots in most entries, noted as "[Leslie] Tower & Wait." No other pilots or crew are identified.

The handwritten letter to "Dad" from "Ed" is 2.5 pages long. Although the letter itself is undated, the envelope is postmarked August 8, 1935. In the letter, Ed discusses Ed being chosen by Boeing to go to a test-flying competition at Wright Field, Dayton, Ohio with the Model 299 and Boeing President C.L. Egvedt. It also expresses Ed's pride in his job and hope for contracts as a result of the trip. The letter has been transcribed.


  • 1935


Language of Materials

All materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

For preservation reasons, researchers should not handle original materials. Digital copies are available. For more information contact us.

Conditions Governing Use

The Museum of Flight (TMOF) Archives is the owner of the physical materials in the archives and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from TMOF archives before any publication use. TMOF does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from copyright owners. Consult repository for more details.


0.03 Cubic Feet (1 file folder)

Biographical Note: Edward C. Wells

Edward Curtis Wells was born on August 26, 1910 in Boise, Idaho. He graduated from Grant High School in Portland, Oregon and attended Willamette University for two years. Wells transferred to Stanford University and graduated in 1931 with a Bachelor of Arts in Engineering.

He was hired by Boeing in 1931. Wells and fellow engineer E. Gifford Emory designed the Boeing Model 299, the protoype B-17 Flying Fortress. On July 28, 1935, Wells was an observer on the first test flight, flown by Boeing chief test pilot Leslie "Les" R. Tower. In 1947, Wells was named Boeing's chief engineer. In addition to Model 299, he helped design the Boeing 707 and 747. During his time at Boeing, Wells also served as senior vice president and on the board of directors.

Wells married Dorothy Evangeline Ostlund (1911-1995) on August 25, 1934. The couple had a daughter, Laurie. Edward C. Wells died on July 1, 1986 in Bellevue, Washington.

Biography derived from collection materials and
Historical Note: Boeing Model 299 The Boeing Model 299 was the prototype for the Boeing B-17. Boeing engineers E. Gifford Emory and Edward C. Wells led a team in its design. Boeing's chief test pilot, Leslie Tower, was the pilot for its first flight on July 28, 1945. On August 20, 1935, the Model 299 flew nine hour and three minutes, going from Seattle, Washington to Wright Field in Dayton, Ohio for a competition and evaluation by the Army Air Corps.

On October 30, 1935, Army Air Corps test pilot Ployer Peter Hill and Boeing test pilot Leslie Tower took off from Wright Field for an evaluation flight of Model 299. Also on board were John Cutting, test observer; Mark Koogler, Wright field employee; and Lieutenant Donald L. Putt, co-pilot. Shortly after takeoff, the plane crashed. Hill sustained fatal injuries, dying shortly after the wreck. Two weeks after the crash, Wells also died due to his injuries. All others who were onboard also sustained injuries, although they survived.

The crash was caused by the crew's failure to disengage the wind-gust locks, devices intended to keep the control surfaces from moving when the plane was on the ground. As a result, pre-flight checklists were suggested to prevent such accidents.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was donated by Wells' daughter.


No further acrruals are expected.

Existence and Location of Copies

Materials from this collection have been digitized. For more information contact us.

Materials from this collection have been digitized and are available at The Museum of Flight Digital Collections.
Guide to the Edward C. Wells Boeing Model 299 logbook and letter
Completed - Level 1
Description rules
Language of description
Edition statement
1st edition

Repository Details

Part of the The Museum of Flight Archives Repository

9404 East Marginal Way South
Seattle Washington 98108-4097

The Museum of Flight | 9404 E. Marginal Way South | Seattle WA 98108-4097 | 206-764-5874
Contact us with a research request