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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. ISBN 978-0-9843074-0-1.


The definitive reference for early Lockheed aircraft is:

Allen, Richard S. 1988. Revolution in the Sky: The Lockheeds of Aviation's Golden Age. Orion Books, NY. 253 pp.


Image of magazine advertisement is from Aero Digest, April 1929. Someone wrote on it in pencil "Lockheed Executive".

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This airplane is a Lockheed Vega Model 5 (S/N 23; ATC #93) manufactured during December 1928 by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation, Burbank, CA.  It left the factory with a Pratt & Whitney Wasp CB engine (S/N 956) of 450 HP.  It was a five-place airplane.

NC7953 came to Tucson Saturday, March 30, 1929 flown by George C. Sherwood. He was carrying a single passenger who might have been a "Mr. Piper", but the Register is hard to read. They were eastbound from Los Angeles, CA to Chicago, IL. This may have been the ferry flight of this airplane to its new owners, as it sold on April 18, 1929 to Universal Air Lines, Inc., Chicago, IL

It quickly went to three additional owners through April 1931, when it sold to Braniff Airways, Inc., Oklahoma City, OK. The image, below, from Aero Digest, shows NC7953 in sleek profile. The photograph was probably taken before the initial sale to Universal Air Lines (no livery yet, and the publication date of the magazine suggests the image was taken well before April). Please click to see roughly this same image outside the advertising environment.

NC7953, ca. early 1929

Interestingly, the advertisement implies that NC7953 was manufactured as an Executive model (with desk, typewriter, toilet and other amenities for businessmen), yet there is no mention of this in the NASM record, or in R.S. Allen's book on Lockheed aircraft (cited, left sidebar, page 210).

Regardless, NC7953 suffered an accident at St. Louis, MO sometime in 1937.  was repaired and sold through Aero Brokerage Company, Los Angeles, CA in November 1937 to Gordon S. Barry, El Paso, TX and Mazatlan, Sinora, Mexico.

Barry’s airline, Lineas Aereas Mineras, S.A. (LAMSA), used this airplane.  It entered Mexico at Juarez on November 24, 1937 and Mexican registration XA-BFU was assigned.  It had a rough life in Mexico.  On October 21, 1942 it had a forced landing beside a highway near Huejotzingo, Puebla, Mexico.  It was stopped at Torreon once when the maintenance chief of LAMSA discovered the horizontal tail surfaces broken.

On August 9, 1946 the airplane was sold to Capt. Carlos Cervantes Perez, Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico.  It is thought to have been dismantled, and parts incorporated with three other ex-LAMSA Vegas to rebuild Cervante’s three flyable aircraft.  No further information.


UPLOADED: 04/11/06 REVISED: 04/20/06, 02/20/09, 10/13/11

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.

---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, or use this FORM to order a copy signed by the author.  ISBN 978-0-9843074-4-9.


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