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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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LOCKHEED VEGA Model 2 NC623E

LOCKHEED VEGA Model 2 NC623E

UNLICENSED HYBRID

This airplane is a Lockheed Vega Model 2 (S/N 58; ATC #140) manufactured during early1929 by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation, Burbank, CA.  It left the factory with a Wright Whirlwind J-6 engine (S/N 10212) of 300 HP.  It was a five-place airplane.

It sold on an unidentified date in 1929 to Schlee-Brock Aircraft Corporation, Detroit, MI.  There is no record of its use while in Detroit, but its work was short-lived.  It sold again in 1929 to Williams Iron Works, Tonkawa, OK.  It changed hands twice in 1930, first going to John J. Moran, Moran Drilling Co., Wichita Falls, TX, then to Embree H. Hunt, Temple, TX. Below, via Tim Kalina, a photograph of the airplane when it belonged to Moran. This photograph is from the Classic Aircraft Flickr photostream. Information about the airplane there states, "Lockheed Vega NC623E of the Moran Drilling Co., Wichita Falls, TX in 1930. Company president William J. Moran stands proudly next to the plane. The dominant fuselage color is blue. This aircraft visited Houston often during the early '30s. S/N 58; ATC #140."

Lockheed Vega NC623E, Ca. 1930 (Source: Flickr via Kalina)
Lockheed Vega NC623E, Ca. 1930 (Source: Flickr)

Hunt had NC623E converted to a Vega 5, ATC 93, with a Pratt & Whitney engine (S/N 2256) installed.  It is during Hunt’s ownership that NC623E landed at Tucson on August 12, 1933.  Hunt was the pilot, carrying two passengers identified as Bill Austin and family.  Based in Houston, TX, they were eastbound from Los Angeles, CA to San Antonio, TX.

In 1935 Hunt sold the airplane to Lloyd Earl, Fort Worth, TX.  Earl flew NC623E through 1937.  It sold in 1938 to Charles H. Babb, Glendale, CA, who converted it to a Vega 2D with a Wasp Jr. engine (S/N 71).  On January 8, 1939 Babb sold it to Francisco Sarabia, Transportes Aereos de Chiapas, S.A., Mexico City, Mexico.  Sarabia paid $12,000 for the airplane.

NC623E entered Mexico via Juarez on January 23, 1939 and Mexican certificate #488 was issued on March 14th.  It wore Mexican registration XA-BKG and flew the company’s Mexico City to Tapachula route.

It suffered an accident at Oaxaco, Mexico on March 13, 1940.  Its wing was incorporated on the fuselage of Vega S/N 59, XA-BAW, and it appeared with two licenses.  It is possible that further repairs or combinations of parts for building a flyable aircraft were carried out to fly chicle from the forests to ports in the Yucatan and Campeche.  The hybrid aircraft was reported unlicensed ca. 1942.

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UPLOADED: 04/19/06 REVISED: 07/11/12

 
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