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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.

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Your copy of the Davis-Monthan Airfield Register with all the pilots' signatures and helpful cross-references to pilots and their aircraft is available at the link. Or use this FORM to order a copy signed by the author. ISBN 978-0-9843074-0-1.

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http://www.cafepress.com/content/global/img/spacer.gifThe Congress of Ghosts is an anniversary celebration for 2010.  It is an historical biography, that celebrates the 5th year online of www.dmairfield.org and the 10th year of effort on the project dedicated to analyze and exhibit the history embodied in the Register of the Davis-Monthan Airfield, Tucson, AZ. This book includes over thirty people, aircraft and events that swirled through Tucson between 1925 and 1936. It includes across 277 pages previously unpublished photographs and texts, and facsimiles of personal letters, diaries and military orders. Order your copy at the link, or use this FORM to order a copy signed by the author.  ISBN 978-0-9843074-4-9.

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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 NC2875

Registration Number NC2875

Derelict on a Beach

This airplane is a Lockheed Vega 2, c/n 60. The Lockheed Aircraft Co., Burbank, CA built it in April, 1929. It was fitted with a Wright J-6 engine of 300 HP, S/N 10366. It weighed 4,035 pounds. Its license was applied for by the factory on April 18, 1929 and issued on May 2, 1929. It was purchased by Schlee-Brock Aircraft Corp., 2007 Fisher Bldg., Detroit, MI, a dealer for Lockheed aircraft. It began a long work life as an air transport airplane, receiving many modifications along the way. It has a surprisingly complete NASM record, with flight hours, maintenance and accident history carefully documented. This beautiful and functional airplane met an ignominious end.

It was delivered to its buyer with a 20 hour “flyaway” allowance (Burbank to Detroit). On its maiden voyage, it landed at the Davis-Monthan Airfield on May 18, 1929 at 1:15 PM, arriving from Los Angeles. The pilot of the shining new Vega was Lee Shoenhair. He was carrying George Shoenhair and Bob Uhlick. They departed eastbound for Detroit at 2:00 PM. This was probably the ferry flight to the Schlee-Brock company as new owners.

On October 30, 1929 it was sold to Canadian-American Airlines, Inc., 106 South 4th St., Minneapolis, MN for use over the Minneapolis to Winnipeg route. This airplane is pictured below while flying with Canadian-American Airlines on page 136 of Allen's "Revolution in the Sky" (left sidebar).

NC2875, ca. 1929

Below, courtesy of Tim Kalina, is a view of the fuselage of the airplane signed by Register pilot William Brock, at right, with an unknown gentleman. This image might capture the turnover of NC2875 by Schlee-Brock to Canadian-American.

Lockheed Vega NC2875 With William Brock (R), Ca. October, 1929 (?) (Source: Kalina)
Lockheed Vega NC2875 With William Brock (R), Ca. October, 1929? (Source: Kalina)

On December 27, 1929 it began a transition to service with Hanford’s Tri-State Airlines, Inc., Sioux City, IA. It was sold to J.A. Shank, Morgan, MN on that date. On April 4, 1930 it changed hands to Shank Flying Service, Robbinsdale Airport, Robbinsdale, MN. It was then sold on March 23, 1931 to Hanford’s. It flew with Tri-State until mid-1936. It was “chk’d and o’hauled” at Grosse Isle, MI on September 17, 1931. As of September 9, 1932 it had operated for 761:28 hours, and on April 6, 1933 it had 1204:48 hours (about 300 hours per year since new).

Image, below, was probably taken sometime between March 23, 1931 and early-1938 when NC2875 flew with Hanford's. In fact, it could be just after transfer to Hanford's, or after one of the accidents that occurred while in Hanford's hands, because the technicians are painting the Hanford's logo on the side of the airplane. Note the technician in the foreground unrolling a piece of masking paper. This image is used with the written (09/07/06) permission of the Minnesota Historical Society (museum image #38465).

NC2875 at Hanford

On October 3, 1933 its license was suspended because of an unairworthy engine. Following that, some extensive changes were made. A Wasp C (420 HP, c/n 2238) engine was fitted. The installation was performed with factory-approved parts and specifications on November 24, 1933. It was converted from a Vega 2 to a Vega 5 (larger tail) under ATC 93. Its gross weight was adjusted to 4,235 pounds. In January, 1934 the wing from Lockheed Vega 5 c/n 53 (NC624E) were installed on the airplane and its gross weight adjusted to 4,375 pounds. It had logged 2,079:33 hours as of January 31, 1934. Radio equipment was installed in 1934.

It suffered an accident on March 9, 1934 near Pembina, ND. The pilot was Paul J. Kanuit (transport license #2090). The right wing tip, fuselage, landing gear and propeller were damaged. It was repaired and converted to a Vega 5-C under ATC 384. The wing was changed from a 3-stringer wing to a 7-stringer wing. It underwent complete reconstruction of the fuselage, including an 80% reskinning. Another Wasp engine (c/n 2024) was installed as of January 27, 1935.

On January 3, 1936, with 3,055:47 hours logged, it suffered another accident at Hills, MN. Repairs were made to the fuselage with factory parts, the wingtip was repaired, and the vertical stabilizer and rudder were replaced with spares as of January 28th.

It was sold on July 14, 1936 to Hanford Airlines, Inc., Municipal Airport, Kansas City, MO. P&W Wasp engine c/n 4765 was installed on February 20, 1937 and the radio equipment was removed on March 1, 1938. Another P&W engine c/n 4818 was installed on May 9, 1938 with 3957:49 airframe hours flown (nearly 500 hours per year). The radio equipment was reinstalled on August 10, 1938.

It was sold on August 10, 1938 to Mid-Continent Airlines, Inc., Municipal Airport, Kansas City, MO. P&W Wasp engine c/n 2024 (presumably rebuilt) was installed as of May 3, 1939.

At 3:00 PM on January 18, 1940 it had an accident near Minneapolis, MN. The airplane was, “being taxied by mechanic L.T. Keely (A&E Lic. 13028) to a better position for run up with high wind blowing. Wind got under tail and nosed plane over. No injuries.”

On May 21, 1940, with 4,685 hours, the airplane was sold to R.L. Brown and D.S. Zimmerley, c/o Mid-Continent Airlines, Inc., Kansas City, MO. Its cowling and propeller were repaired and radio equipment removed.

It was sold again on June 10, 1941 to Fred Elmer Secor, 224 East 11th St., Los Angeles, CA for $2,500.00. It was modified as a camera ship as of December 11, 1941, with camera holes installed in the floor of the fuselage, and controls and cables changed.

It was then sold on August 10, 1942 to Charles H. Babb, 1140 Airway, Glendale, CA. It was then purchased by Lineas Aereas Mineras, S.A., Mexico and exported under export license #116 dated 2/2/1943. It received Mexican registration XA-DEC. It was last reported in the late 1940’s, derelict on a beach near Ensenada.

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UPLOADED: 6/9/05 REVISED: 04/12/06, 09/07/06, 08/24/11

 
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