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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.

Davis-Monthan Aviation Field Register
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Lockheed NC8495 (S/N 156) was signed in the Floyd Bennett Field Register April 28, 1933 at 1:00PM. It was manufactured in Detroit, MI during November, 1930. It was flown solo by Will Walter White. White recorded the owner of the airplane as "S.O.N.J.," which was Standard Oil of New Jersey. He also recorded in the Register that he had arrived in Brooklyn from "Trinidad" and was bound for "Labrador." This was probably a spoof on the Register, much like that of Frank Hawks flying a "DeSoto" on the following Register line.

Besides a vigorous chain of custody, NC8495 has a modest Web presence as Lockheeds go. A few of the online photographs map directly to the custody chronology. According to the Allen reference cited in the left sidebar, the airpane sold originally to Bowen Air Lines, Fort Worth, TX (1930-1932). It then transferred to Register pilot Stafford L. Lambert (1932), then to the Standard Oil Company (1932-34) when we find it in Brooklyn with White. It then was repainted in the Stanavo Eagle paint scheme and flown by Register pilot Jimmy Mattern to Ontario, Canada making the first international radio broadcast from an airplane while enroute. There were at least two Lockheed Vegas in Stanavo Eagle paint schemes, this one and NC106N (not a Register airplane).

NC8495 went to Central Airlines in 1934, then to Braniff Airways from 1934-37. Below is a photograph of the airplane in Braniff livery before 1935. We can estimate the date, because it was not yet carrying air mail for Route 15, see below.

Lockheed Vega NC8495 in Braniff Airways Livery, Pre-1935 (Source: Coates Collection)
Lockheed Vega NC8495 in Braniff Airways Livery, Pre-1935 (Source: Coates Collection)

Below, another photograph of NC8495 taken after it acquired Air Mail Route 15 in 1935. The metal fuselage is nicely illustrated in this photograph from the link. Note the person standing on the other side of the fuselage.

Lockheed Vega NC8495 in Braniff Airways Livery, Post-1935 (Source: Link)
Lockheed Vega NC8495 in Braniff Airways Livery, Post-1935 (Source: Link)

From 1937-40, NC8494 served with the General Tire & Rubber, Company, Akron, OH. It was re-registered NC239M, named Miss Streamline II and flown by Peterson Field Register pilot Roy W. Brown. It was quickly transferred to the Beech Aircraft Company, Wichita, KS, 1940, and again to Harry A Hammill, Austin, TX, 1940-41. From there it was sold to Register pilot Charles Babbs. During his ownership NC8495 was crashed in Dallas TX on November 6, 1941; both wings were broken and it was not repaired.



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