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This information comes from the listings of Non-Prefixed and Non-Suffixed aircraft reviewed by me in the archives of the National Air & Space Museum, Washington, DC.


Your copy of the Davis-Monthan Airfield Register with all the pilots' signatures and helpful cross-references to pilots and their aircraft is available at the link. Or use this FORM to order a copy signed by the author. ISBN 978-0-9843074-0-1.

---o0o--- Congress of Ghosts is an anniversary celebration for 2010.  It is an historical biography, that celebrates the 5th year online of and the 10th year of effort on the project dedicated to analyze and exhibit the history embodied in the Register of the Davis-Monthan Airfield, Tucson, AZ. This book includes over thirty people, aircraft and events that swirled through Tucson between 1925 and 1936. It includes across 277 pages previously unpublished photographs and texts, and facsimiles of personal letters, diaries and military orders. Order your copy at the link, or use this FORM to order a copy signed by the author.  ISBN 978-0-9843074-4-9.


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This aircraft is a Lockheed Vega 5 (S/N 59; ATC# 93) manufactured by the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation, Burbank, CA early in 1929. It came from the factory with a Pratt & Whitney Wasp engine (S/N 1679) of 450 HP. It was a six-place airplane.

Soon after its manufacture it sold for $18,500 to Corporation Aeronautica de Transportes, S.A. (C.A.T.) of Torreon, Mexico. It entered Mexico, flying to Torreon on September 24, 1929 piloted by Harold Bromley with Gordon S. Barry aboard as mechanic. This flight was about a month after Bromley brought the airplane to Tucson August 23, 1929 with four passengers. Below, courtesy of Tim Kalina, is a photograph of NC2874 with U.S. registration.

Lockheed Vega, NC2874 (Source: Kalina)
Lockheed Vega, NC2874 (Source: Kalina)

Mr. Kalina says about this photo, "NC2874, appears to be a more modern print, perhaps from the 1960s-1970s?
Written in ballpoint on the back of this photo is:

Lockheed Vega NC2874 #59
Corporation Aeronautica de Transportes, SA (CAT)
Paul Mantz 
Sydney Flying Services (Tulsa)
John E. Grimmett (Midland, Texas)
Chas. Babb
Transportes Aereos de Chiapas (TACSA) S.A.
Washed out 11-26-42

The hanger looks like the Charles Babb aircraft sales hanger at GCAT in Glendale. Might have been taken when he owned the airplane?"

According to the NASM record, while the airplane was originally registered in the United States, it was given Mexican certificate #19 on November 11, 1929 and Mexican registration XA-BHB. Before the Mexican registration was painted on the airplane, however, it visited Tucson again on November 30, 1929 flown by Theodore T. Hull, the President of C.A.T. The airplane had a red fuselage, ivory wings and white trim. That probably would place the date of the photo above somewhere between August and November, 1929, before it was painted red. It was flown on C.A.T. routes until January 19, 1933 when all C.A.T. licenses were cancelled. The airplane was flown out of Mexico to Burbank CA, via Juarez.

On July 18, 1933 it was sold to A. Paul Mantz, United Air Services, Burbank, CA. It was "rebuilt" and resumed U.S. registration NC2874. Between 1933 and 1935 it was sold four more times, moving from California to Tulsa, OK, Midland TX and back to Glendale, CA under the ownership of Charles H. Babb.

On January 15, 1936 it sold to Francisco Sarabia of Transportes Aereos de Chiapas, S.A. It was issued Mexican registration XA-BAW, had a P&W Wasp engine (S/N 1652 installed) and flown by Sarabia until 1941.

On November 15, 1941 it sold for $2,000 to an unknown buyer as "a cracked Lockheed too damaged". It was apparently repaired and put on the Mexico City-Tuxtla-Tapachula run. It suffered an accident at Mexico City airport on November 26, 1942. Pilot Augustin Gutierrez Pelaez whipstalled the airplane over the runway. It crashed and was demolished. The passengers and pilot were thrown clear and were unhurt. No further information.


UPLOADED: 03/11/06 REVISED: 05/18/07, 07/21/11

The Register
I'm looking for photographs of this airplane to include on this page. If you have one or more you'd like to share, please use this FORM to contact me.
Allen, Richard S. 1988. Revolution in the Sky: The Lockheeds of Aviation's Golden Age. Orion Books, NY. 253 pp. This is the definitive reference for Golden Age Lockheed aircraft.
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