Proud Airliner Turned Proud Teacher
This Lockheed is a Vega DL-1B manufactured
June 1930 by the Detroit Aircraft Corporation, Detroit, MI
(fuselage and final assembly) and Lockheed Aircraft Corporation
(wing and other components). Although the NASM data card says the airplane was manufactured in June, the dataplate below is stamped 5/16/30. As a seven-place aircraft, it
bore S/N 137 (ATC #308). It came from the factory with a
Pratt & Whitney
Wasp engine of 450HP; gross weight 4,270 pounds.
image of the data plate for this airplane offered to us by
site visitor Chris Johnson. The dataplate is a legal requirement
and must stay affixed to the aircraft for its life.
Data Plate for NC288W
NC288W was transferred to the
Detroit Aircraft Corporation in 1930. It was the third metal
(duraluminum) fuselage Vega, flown as a demonstrator by Detroit
Aircraft. It arrived at Tucson piloted by Vance
Breese on February 27, 1931. Breese at the time was assistant
to the president of the company, supervising design, engineering
Later in 1931 it was under lease to Pittsburgh
Airways, Inc., Pittsburgh, PA. It was repossessed by Detroit
Aircraft on November 13, 1931, then sold on March 29, 1932
to Transcontinental & Western Air, Inc., Kansas City, MO.
It was identified with "TWA #254" painted on its fuselage,
and flew on TWA routes during 1932-33.
NC288W in Hanford Airlines Livery, Ca. 1934 (Source: Green)
Postcard, Ca. 1930s, Omaha Municipal Airport (Source: Budka)
TWA sold it to Hanford's Tri-State Airlines, Inc., Sioux
City, IA in 1934. It flew Hanford's routes 1934-35. Above, courtesy of site visitor Stephen Green, is a starboard profile of NC288W when it was flown by Hanford Airlines.
The location of this photograph is the Omaha Municipal Airport. At right, courtesy of site visitor Mark Budka, a period postcard of the airport showing about the same perspective view of the building and the rotating beacon tower beyond. A Boeing 247 stands in front.
sold it to Varney Air Transport, Inc. (VAT), El Paso, TX. Image below, shared by friend of dmairfield.org Tim Kalina, shows 288W in Varney Air Transport livery. The caption states the airplane ran the route from Pueblo, CO to El Paso, TX.
Lockheed Vega NC288W, 1934 in VAT Livery
VAT transferred NC288W to
Continental Air Lines, Inc., Denver, CO in 1937 and it flew
Continental's routes 1937-41. Continental sold it to Jerome
Martin of El Paso, TX in 1941.
There is no record of maintenance during these years, or
of use or maintenance during the WWII years. It was sold
finally in 1948 to the New Mexico Board of Education, Las
Cruces, NM. It was used for vocational education, dismantled
and scrapped. We can visualize one of the last students removing
the data plate and keeping it as a class souvenir!
UPLOADED: 03/10/06 REVISED: 11/20/06, 02/01/08, 07/28/11, 10/18/11, 02/02/12