LOCKHEED VEGA Model 5A Executive NC904Y
TEAR GAS TRANSPORT
This airplane is a Lockheed Vega Model 5A Executive (S/N
132; ATC #93) manufactured mid-1930 by Lockheed Aircraft
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)
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