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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, while supplies last.

---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 It includes across 277 pages previously unpublished photographs and texts, and facsimiles of personal letters, diaries and military orders.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.


Military Aircraft of the Davis Monthan Register, 1925-1936 is available at the link. This book describes and illustrates with black & white photographs the majority of military aircraft that landed at the Davis-Monthan Airfield between 1925 and 1936. The book includes biographies of some of the pilots who flew the aircraft to Tucson as well as extensive listings of all the pilots and airplanes. Use this FORM to order a copy signed by the author, while supplies last.


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This airplane is a Lockheed Vega Model 2 (S/N 58; ATC #140) manufactured during early1929 by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation, Burbank, CA.  It left the factory with a Wright Whirlwind J-6 engine (S/N 10212) of 300 HP.  It was a five-place airplane.

It sold on an unidentified date in 1929 to Schlee-Brock Aircraft Corporation, Detroit, MI.  There is no record of its use while in Detroit, but its work was short-lived.  It sold again in 1929 to Williams Iron Works, Tonkawa, OK.  It changed hands twice in 1930, first going to John J. Moran, Moran Drilling Co., Wichita Falls, TX, then to Embree H. Hunt, Temple, TX. Below, via Tim Kalina, a photograph of the airplane when it belonged to Moran. This photograph is from the Classic Aircraft Flickr photostream. Information about the airplane there states, "Lockheed Vega NC623E of the Moran Drilling Co., Wichita Falls, TX in 1930. Company president William J. Moran stands proudly next to the plane. The dominant fuselage color is blue. This aircraft visited Houston often during the early '30s. S/N 58; ATC #140."

Lockheed Vega NC623E, Ca. 1930 (Source: Flickr via Kalina)
Lockheed Vega NC623E, Ca. 1930 (Source: Flickr)

Hunt had NC623E converted to a Vega 5, ATC 93, with a Pratt & Whitney engine (S/N 2256) installed.  It is during Hunt’s ownership that NC623E landed at Tucson on August 12, 1933.  Hunt was the pilot, carrying two passengers identified as Bill Austin and family.  Based in Houston, TX, they were eastbound from Los Angeles, CA to San Antonio, TX. A photograph of 623E taken on the ground in Chicago, IL during 1934 appeared on eBay during October 2019.

In 1935 Hunt sold the airplane to Lloyd Earl, Fort Worth, TX.  Earl flew NC623E through 1937.  It sold in 1938 to Charles H. Babb, Glendale, CA, who converted it to a Vega 2D with a Wasp Jr. engine (S/N 71).  On January 8, 1939 Babb sold it to Francisco Sarabia, Transportes Aereos de Chiapas, S.A., Mexico City, Mexico.  Sarabia paid $12,000 for the airplane.

NC623E entered Mexico via Juarez on January 23, 1939 and Mexican certificate #488 was issued on March 14th.  It wore Mexican registration XA-BKG and flew the company’s Mexico City to Tapachula route.

It suffered an accident at Oaxaca, Mexico on March 13, 1940.  Its wing was incorporated on the fuselage of Vega S/N 59, XA-BAW, and it appeared with two licenses.  It is possible that further repairs or combinations of parts for building a flyable aircraft were carried out to fly chicle from the forests to ports in the Yucatan and Campeche.  The hybrid aircraft was reported unlicensed ca. 1942.


UPLOADED: 04/19/06 REVISED: 07/11/12, 10/09/19

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.


Art Goebel's Own Story by Art Goebel (edited by G.W. Hyatt) is written in language that expands for us his life as a Golden Age aviation entrepreneur, who used his aviation exploits to build a business around his passion.  Available as a free download at the link.


Winners' Viewpoints: The Great 1927 Trans-Pacific Dole Race is available at the link. What was it like to fly from Oakland to Honolulu in a single-engine plane during August 1927? Was the 25,000 dollar prize worth it? Did the resulting fame balance the risk? For the first time ever, this book presents the pilot and navigator's stories written by them within days of their record-setting adventure. Pilot Art Goebel and navigator William V. Davis, Jr. take us with them on the Woolaroc, their orange and blue Travel Air monoplane (NX869) as they enter the hazardous world of Golden Age trans-oceanic air racing.


Clover Field: The First Century of Aviation in the Golden State. With the 100th anniversary in 2017 of the use of Clover Field as a place to land aircraft in Santa Monica, this book celebrates that use by exploring some of the people and aircraft that made the airport great.


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