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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 here. Or use this FORM to order a copy signed by the author.


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.


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LOCKHEED VEGA Model 5A Executive NC904Y

LOCKHEED VEGA Model 5A Executive NC904Y


This airplane is a Lockheed Vega Model 5A Executive (S/N 132; ATC #93) manufactured mid-1930 by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation, Burbank, CA.  It left the factory with a Pratt & Whitney Wasp engine (S/N 3195) of 450 HP.  It was a five-place airplane named “Miss McAleer”.

It sold on October 11, 1930 to McAleer Manufacturing Company, Detroit, MI.  The company initially manufactured wax and finish protectants for automobiles. An overview of McAleer businesses is at the link (this is a blog link; please let me KNOW if the information is removed).  “Miss McAleer” was painted black with yellow trim, hopefully protected with the company’s products. In case the blog no longer works, here's a link to a PDF file (61 kB) that contains the text.

Below, courtesy of Tim Kalina, is a photograph of NC904Y. Interestingly, this is a composite photo. The people were excised from another photograph, glued to the profile of the airplane, and re-photographed. On the original you can see the cut marks around the people. The proportions of people to airplane are also off. The people are much larger than scale. And, the retouch artist appears to have added shadows behind the men. This is an example of PhotoShopping, ca. 1930!

Lockheed Vega NC904Y, 1930 (Source: Kalina)
Lockheed Vega NC904Y, 1930 (Source: Kalina)

The caption on the rear of the photograph identifies pilot Young at left (at one time Young was with Central Airlines, Inc.), owner McAleer at center, and V.J. Snively of McAleer Manufacturing at right. The location is unknown, and I'm unable to read the artwork on the fuselage.

NC904Y landed at Tucson on December 19 or 20, 1930.  The pilot, Russell A. Young, was the corporate pilot for the McAleer Company. He failed to note the arrival or departure dates, origin or destination, in the Register.  He carried three passengers: C.H. McAleer, Mrs. Young and Joan Young.

Six months later, NC904Y suffered an accident at Flint, MI on June 24, 1931.  Landing gear and fuselage damage was repaired in Detroit.  The airplane was transferred from the company to Mr. C.H. McAleer on April 4, 1934, then to Central Airlines, Inc., Pittsburgh, PA, on April 30th.  It was converted to airline service for the airlines.

NC904Y suffered a final accident on September 12, 1934 near Everett, PA.  Pilot Theodore Taney, Central Airlines Operations Manager, was killed.  The aircraft was on a charter flight with tear gas to cope with a strike at Providence, RI.  Taney’s parachute failed to open.  The airplane was demolished.


UPLOADED: 06/06/06 REVISED: 09/04/15, 01/09/16

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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.
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