1928 AND 1929 AIR DERBY AIRPLANE
This airplane is a Lockheed Vega Model 1 (S/N 10; ATC #49)
manufactured August 19, 1928 by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation,
Burbank, CA. It left the factory with a Wright Whirlwind
J-5A engine (S/N 8949) of 200 HP. It was a five-place
airplane weighing 2,900 pounds.
It sold on July 18, 1928 (pre-construction) to Air Associates,
Inc., New York, NY. It was used as a demonstrator,
CA on July 20, 1928 (note how this date
conflicts with the date of manufacture, above!).
However, its first arrival at Tucson on July 23, 1928 corroborates
its departure from Burbank. It was flown by Lt. W.
Peck, accompanied by three passengers including his wife
and son, and J.R. Brandt. They were eastbound from
Los Angeles, CA to New York, NY. This was probably
a ferry flight to the new owner, Air Associates.
It was flown as a demonstrator on the east coast. During
this demonstrator period, NC6911 was reportedly flown by
Lindbergh, and used at some time by New York City
mayor James J. Walker.
During its second arrival at Tucson, NC6911 was a competitor
in the 1928
National Air Races. Piloted by Bryan Shaw,
NC6911 landed on September 11, 1928. Shaw carried two
passengers, Chris Moran and H. Huntington. They were
westbound from El Paso, TX to Yuma, AZ. Moran was the
official entrant, and Shaw was identified as the pilot in
the Aircraft Year Book of 1929 (left sidebar). Ultimately, they took
11th place in the Class B race. Please direct your browser to Shaw's link to see an image of this airplane.
The next sale of NC6911 was to Amelia Earhart on July 30,
1929. This airplane was flown in 1929 women's air derby by Amelia. According to the Aircraft Year Book for
1930, she took third-place in the derby, behind Louise Thaden in a Travel Air and Gladys O’Donnell in a Waco 10. She
won $875 for her effort.
On September 25, 1929 Earhart sold the airplane to Lockheed
Aircraft Corporation. According to the NASM record, “Miss
Earhart turned in this plane for the one she is now flying,
NC31E.” Interestingly, NC31E, in red and
cream paint scheme, landed twice at the Davis-Monthan Airfield
flown by Wiley Post. My how the lives of our pilots
and airplanes interweave with each other!
Lockheed made short work of NC6911. It was scrapped
and dismantled in late 1929.
UPLOADED: 04/10/06 REVISED: 06/16/08