TNCA 4-E-131 Quetzalcóatl: The feathered serpent, plucked.

In 1924 the Mexican company Talleres Nacionales de Construcciones Aeronáuticas (TNCA) completed the construction of this light reconnaissance bomber prototype. Designated the 4-E-131 Quetzalcóatl, this imposing aircraft was a wooden-built “parasol” monoplane powered by an unlikely 185hp BMW. The design passed its flight test satisfactorily, yet it did not enter production. It seems the commander of the Mexican AF, Colonel Rafael O’Neill, personally rejected the Quetzalcóatl because it was to him not reliable enough.

Such an impressive flying machine. The history of domestic production aviation in Latin America truly deserves more respect and study.

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