LOCKHEED VEGA Model 5B NC871E
This airplane is a Lockheed Vega Model 5B (S/N 71; ATC #93)
manufactured during May 1929 by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation,
CA. It left the factory with a Pratt & Whitney
Wasp engine (S/N 1737) of 450 HP. It was a six-place
NC871E was originally to have been a Vega 2 with Wright
Whirlwind J-6 engine S/N 10518 (five-place airplane), but
it was finished as a Vega 5B with Wasp engine.
It sold on July 18, 1929 to Schlee-Brock
Detroit, MI, distributors for the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation. They
sold it on November 14, 1929 to Corporacion Aeronautica de
Transportes, S.A. (CAT), Torreon, Mexico. The U.S.
registration was cancelled and Mexican license issued on
February 27, 1931. The Mexican registration was XA-BHL. It
was painted red and ivory.
We find NC871E at Tucson at 4:30PM on November 14, 1929
flown solo by Theodore
T. Hull. Hull was president
of CAT. He
remained overnight at Tucson, departing on the 15th. He was
southeast bound from Los Angeles to El Paso, TX. This
is probably the ferry flight to Mexico and CAT. Picture and
hear this new, shiny red and ivory airplane landing
and taxiing at Tucson in the bright sunlight and long shadows
of this late fall Thursday afternoon.
Schlee-Brock originally planned to sell this airplane as
a “Wasp Vega on floats” to Old Gold, Adelaide,
Australia. An export certificate was issued on October
31, 1931, but it was later cancelled.
Sadly, all CAT licenses were cancelled on January 13, 1933. NC871E
was not listed in the mortgage proceedings against CAT of
1932. It was presumably sold or destroyed previous
to 1932. No further information.
UPLOADED: 04/19/06 REVISED: 05/18/07