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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.


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This airplane is a Lockheed Vega Model 2 (S/N 64; ATC #140) manufactured in May 1929 by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation, Burbank, CA.  It left the factory with a Wright Whirlwind J-6 engine (S/N 10390) of 300 HP.  It was a five-place airplane.

It sold on June 1, 1929 to Schlee-Brock Aircraft Corporation, Detroit, MI, and transferred on October 30, 1929 to their subsidiary, Canadian American Airlines, Inc., Ltd., Minneapolis, MN.  Interestingly, we find NC857E landing at Tucson on May 17, 1929, a couple of weeks before it was formally sold. It was piloted by Joe Crosson, a fairly well-known pilot of the era. He carried four passengers, a Mr. & Mrs. Hursten, and a Mr. & Mrs. Powell. They were eastbound from Los Angeles, CA to Detroit, MI. This could have been the ferry flight preceding the sale to Schlee-Brock, with a few paying passengers to defray factory expenses.

A few months later, NC857E suffered an accident at Grand Forks, ND on November 11, 1929.  The motor mount was bent and several holes were punched in the top of the wing (did the pilot run it under a tree?).  It was a long time out of service, the NASM record indicating it was repaired as of August 1930.

NC857E was sold at a sheriff’s sale on July 15, 1930 to M. & S. Company, Antigo, WI.  M. & S. sold it five months later on December 16, 1930 to M.M. Rubner, Chicago, IL.  At this time it had Wright engine S/N 10212 installed.  The NASM record states that Rubner transferred title to Rubner Flying Service, Inc., Chicago, IL on May 18, 1931 (note the date).

This is curious.  The NASM record also states that NC857E suffered an accident on May 11, 1931 at Toledo, OH (note the date).  The pilot, Michael M. Rubner, president of the company, and a passenger were killed.  This is either an example of shifting assets posthumously, or a transcription or typographical error on the NASM record.  Does anybody know?

Regardless, the airplane was demolished.  No further information.


UPLOADED: 04/19/06 REVISED: 01/10/07, 03/08/08

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