Downing House Museum Complex
Built in 1858 - National Register of Historic Places 1979
South Main Street Memphis, Missouri -  Phone: 660-465-2275
Complex: Downing House Museum, Boyer House, Memphis Train Depot & Pheasant Aircraft Co.

Pheasant Aircraft Co.


Pheasant H-10 Airplane Model #137 Built in Memphis, MO.


The Pheasant Aircraft Company
American Aircraft Manufacturer


In 1927, flight school operator Lee R. Briggs had mobilized Memphis, Missouri community members to incorporate a company for aircraft production. The first aircraft was a three-seater designed by Orville Hickman. Production peaked at one unit per week. On December 5, 1927 Biggs died in a training accident. Aircraft racer Steve Wittman took over as chief test pilot. The Pheasant Flight engine was developed in house for the H-10 Aircraft, but only three were built. The H-10 was flown successfully across the country in several events. Wittman and convinced investor Adolf Bechaud to move the company to Fond du Lac, Wisconsin in 1929. The company was absorbed into Dayton Aero & Engineering Company in 1930.

Red Cherry Airlines started the first private airline in Saskatchewan with a Pheasant H-10 in 1928, using the aircraft for barnstorming charging passengers by weight for flights. The biplane eventually was sold to the Northern Aero Company flight school after the stock market crash. The airplane crashed in 1932, and was restored over four years in 1964. It now resides in the Western Development Museum in Moose Jaw.

One example of a Pheasant H-10 is owned by the Experimental Aircraft Association and is on display in the EAA AirVenture Museum.



A mural of the Pheasant aircraft is painted on the side of the original factory in Memphis, Mo. 040°27′53″N 092°10′17″W.

A volunteer effort purchased a surviving Pheasant aircraft and returned it to Memphis, MO the city of its manufacture in April 2012. Current plans are to build a hanger at the Downing House Museum Complex to house the aircraft. Currently the Pheasant Aircraft can be seen at the Wiggins Family Museum in Memphis, MO.




A Pheasant Flight Engine

The Pheasant Aircraft Company
Type Aircraft manufacturer
Industry Aerospace
Fate Purchased
Successor(s) Dayton Aero & Engineering Company
Headquarters Memphis, Missouri, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
Key people Steve Wittman