LOCKHEED VEGA Model 2 NC623E
This airplane is a Lockheed Vega Model 2 (S/N 58; ATC #140)
manufactured during early1929 by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation,
CA. It left the factory with a Wright Whirlwind
J-6 engine (S/N 10212) of 300 HP. It was a five-place
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)
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