LOCKHEED VEGA Model 5 Executive NC395H
LOANED TO LINDY
This airplane is a Lockheed Vega Model 5 Executive (S/N
88; ATC #93) manufactured during August, 1929 by Lockheed
Aircraft Corporation, Burbank,
CA. It left the factory
with a Pratt & Whitney Wasp B engine (S/N 1815) of 450
HP. It was a five-place airplane.
We find NC395H landing at Tucson three times (8/11/29, 8/25/1929,
8/31/29). Each time it was piloted by Ernest L. Benway. Benway
was the executive pilot for August Belmont Company, New York,
On August 11th Benway was solo and did not cite his origin
or destination. On the 25th he carried a single unidentified
passenger. They were westbound from El Paso, TX to
Los Angeles, CA. On the 31st he carried two unidentified
passengers eastbound from Los Angeles to El Paso.
On November 30, 1929 NC395H was sold to the August Belmont
Company. Interestingly, it was loaned by Belmont before he owned it to Col. & Mrs.
Lindbergh for a trip to Miami in 1929. Below is a news photo of NC395H at the time it was used by Lindbergh. And, at the link is a news motion picture of Lindbergh, Mrs. Lindbergh and NC395H (about three minutes long) taken the same day as the still. In the movie, various photographers (note the motion picture photographer uses a hand-crank!) cluster in the foreground while the Lindberghs pose. Charles Lindbergh even manages to smile for about a second. Compare the surroundings in the film with the image below. The airplane main wheels rest on a concrete strip and the puddles are visible in both. It is clear the airplane is in the same position. Image and video link courtesy of Tim Kalina.
Lockheed Vega NC395H, September 18, 1929
On April 19, 1930 the airplane was sold to the Detroit Aircraft
Corporation, Detroit, MI. Two months later, on June
14th, they sold it to Corporacion Aeronautica De Transportes
(CAT), S.A., Torreon, Mexico. It was painted red with
ivory trim in Mexico and its U.S. registration was cancelled.
A Mexican license was applied for on 9/18/30, but no record
exists of its issuance. It was known to be registered
as XA-BHM in Mexico.
The airplane was listed in mortgage proceedings against
CAT on February 20, 1932. That was the last record. Mexican
license XA-BHM was cancelled February 19, 1933.
UPLOADED: 06/02/06 REVISED: 08/29/08, 10/18/11, 09/01/15