LOCKHEED VEGA Model 1 NC7428
CALIFORNIA TO OKLAHOMA AND BACK
This airplane is a Lockheed Vega Model 1 (S/N 16; ATC #49)
manufactured September 29, 1928 by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation, Burbank,
CA. It left the factory with a Wright Whirlwind
J-5 engine (S/N 9189) of 220 HP. It was a five-place
airplane weighing 2,900 pounds.
It sold on December 14, 1928 to Continental Air Express,
Inc., Los Angeles,
CA. It was sold through Lockheed
distributor Harry Sperl Aero Corporation, Los Angeles (image,
below, from R.S. Allen page 114). The airplane was flying
on the Los Angeles – Taft – Bakersfield – San
Francisco – Coalinga – Fresno routes of Continental
Air Express in April and May 1929. The only thing faster
than the airplane was the speed at which Continental went
NC7428, above, in Continental livery, was repossessed on December 3, 1930 by Pacific Finance
Corporation, Los Angeles, CA. They repossessed
another Register airplane that same day, our NC8015. Pacific
Finance sold 7428 to Margaret Bromley (Mrs. Harold
on February 25, 1931. It sold three more times over
the next three years until if came to rest with Braniff Airways,
Inc., Oklahoma City, OK on January 18, 1934. It was
converted to an air liner, with a speed ring half-cowl.
Eighteen months later, on July 3, 1935, NC7428 was sold
to A. Paul Mantz, United air Services, Ltd., Burbank, CA. Mantz’ organization
was formed on July 3, 1935 with former Lockheed test pilot
Marshall Headle involved in the organization, too. Headle
signed our Register three times flying Lockheed aircraft.
The airplane now had Wright J-5 engine S/N B9189 installed.
We find NC7428 at Tucson on July 7, 1935 flown solo by Charles A.
Rector (signed our Register twice). Based in Los Angeles,
CA, he was westbound from Dallas, TX to Los Angeles. Rector
was probably hired for this ferry flight to the west coast from its previous
home in Oklahoma.
Alas, six-months later the airplane suffered an accident
at Nogales, AZ on February 17, 1936 and was “washed
out”. No further information.
UPLOADED: 04/11/06 REVISED: 02/20/09, 08/16/11, 10/21/11