LOCKHEED VEGA Model 5B NC2846
FIRST LOCKHEED AIRLINER IN MEXICO
This airplane is a Lockheed Vega Model 5B (S/N 62; ATC #227)
manufactured in 1929 by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation, Burbank,
CA. It left the factory with a Pratt & Whitney
Wasp C engine (S/N 1678) of 450 HP. It was a seven-place
It sold during 1929 to Corporacion Aeronautica de Transportes,
S.A. (CAT), Torreon, Mexico. It was painted red with
white trim and ivory wings. It was one of the earliest
CAT Mexican airliners. It was exported and received
Mexican registration XA-BHA in late 1929 (probably after
Our airplane landed at Tucson seven times, twice as NC2846 and five times wearing its Mexican registration. The first time,
August 9, 1929, it was flown by Jack O’Brien. He
carried two passengers, Theodore Hull and Frank Barlow. They
were southeast bound from Los Angeles, CA to Mexico City,
Mexico. This was, with high probability, the ferry
flight from the factory to Mexican ownership.
Our airplane made its inaugural CAT trip from Mexico City
to El Paso, TX on August 17, 1929, still flying under U.S.
registration. The pilots for the inaugural were Jack
O’Brien and Lloyd Anderson, CAT chief pilot. Passengers
were Theodore T. Hull, CAT founder/organizer/owner and a Mexican
reporter. Another reporter for the El Paso Press flew
with them from Torreon to El Paso.
We find the airplane at Tucson for the second time on October
9, 1929 flown solo by Theodore Hull. He was westbound
from El Paso, TX to Los Angeles. It is not clear from
the Register or the NASM record what the purpose of this
flight was. We could venture a guess that it was for
maintenance at the Lockheed facility in Burbank, CA.
The airplane was flown on CAT routes in Mexico from
1929 to 1933. We find it at Tucson five times during 1930, in this role, under Mexican registration. Each time it was plying the Mexico City-Torreon-El Paso-Los Angeles route. It was flown by Harold Bromley, Gordon Barry, Theodore Hull and C.E. Herberger. Pilots Hull, Barry, Bromley and O'Brien are known CAT pilots.
CAT was involved in mortgage proceedings
in 1932 and all CAT licenses were cancelled as of January
13, 1933. Owner Hull had died in an accident in the
U.S. and CAT employees were seeking $17,000 in back salaries. XA-BHA
(nee: NC2846) was involved in the proceedings. According
to the NASM record, no disposition of this aircraft is noted
in Mexican records. No further information.
UPLOADED: 04/19/06 REVISED: 05/18/07, 03/24/08