This aircraft is a Lockheed Vega 5 (S/N 59;
ATC# 93) manufactured by the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation, Burbank,
CA early in
1929. It came from the factory with a Pratt & Whitney Wasp
engine (S/N 1679) of 450 HP. It was a six-place airplane.
Soon after its manufacture it sold for $18,500 to Corporation
Aeronautica de Transportes, S.A. (C.A.T.) of Torreon, Mexico.
It entered Mexico, flying to Torreon on September 24, 1929
piloted by Harold
Bromley with Gordon
S. Barry aboard as
mechanic. This flight was about a month after Bromley brought
the airplane to Tucson August 23, 1929 with four passengers. Below, courtesy of Tim Kalina, is a photograph of NC2874 with U.S. registration.
Lockheed Vega, NC2874 (Source: Kalina)
Mr. Kalina says about this photo, "NC2874, appears to be a more modern print, perhaps from the 1960s-1970s?
Written in ballpoint on the back of this photo is:
Lockheed Vega NC2874 #59
Corporation Aeronautica de Transportes, SA (CAT)
Sydney Flying Services (Tulsa)
John E. Grimmett (Midland, Texas)
Transportes Aereos de Chiapas (TACSA) S.A.
Washed out 11-26-42
The hanger looks like the Charles Babb aircraft sales hanger at GCAT in Glendale. Might have been taken when he owned the airplane?"
According to the NASM record, while the airplane was originally
registered in the United States, it was given Mexican certificate
#19 on November 11, 1929 and Mexican registration XA-BHB.
Before the Mexican registration was painted on the airplane, however,
it visited Tucson again on November 30, 1929 flown by Theodore
T. Hull, the President of C.A.T. The airplane had a red fuselage,
ivory wings and white trim. That probably would place the date of the photo above somewhere between August and November, 1929, before it was painted red. It was flown on C.A.T. routes
until January 19, 1933 when all C.A.T. licenses were cancelled.
The airplane was flown out of Mexico to Burbank CA, via Juarez.
On July 18, 1933 it was sold to A. Paul Mantz, United Air
Services, Burbank, CA. It was "rebuilt" and resumed U.S.
registration NC2874. Between 1933 and 1935 it was sold four
more times, moving from California to Tulsa,
TX and back to Glendale, CA under the ownership of Charles
On January 15, 1936 it sold to Francisco Sarabia of Transportes
Aereos de Chiapas, S.A. It was issued Mexican registration
XA-BAW, had a P&W Wasp engine (S/N 1652 installed) and flown
by Sarabia until 1941.
On November 15, 1941 it sold for $2,000 to an unknown buyer
as "a cracked Lockheed too damaged". It was apparently repaired
and put on the Mexico City-Tuxtla-Tapachula run. It suffered
an accident at Mexico City airport on November 26, 1942.
Pilot Augustin Gutierrez Pelaez whipstalled the airplane
over the runway. It crashed and was demolished. The passengers
and pilot were thrown clear and were unhurt. No further information.
UPLOADED: 03/11/06 REVISED: 05/18/07, 07/21/11