LOCKHEED VEGA Model 5 NC7953
FLYING ON IN DIFFERENT AIRPLANES
This airplane is a Lockheed Vega Model 5 (S/N 23; ATC #93)
manufactured during December 1928 by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation,
CA. It left the factory with a Pratt & Whitney
Wasp CB engine (S/N 956) of 450 HP. It was a five-place
NC7953 came to Tucson Saturday, March 30, 1929 flown by George C. Sherwood. He was carrying a single passenger who might have been a "Mr. Piper", but the Register is hard to read. They were eastbound from Los Angeles, CA to Chicago, IL. This may have been the ferry flight of this airplane to its new owners, as it sold on April 18, 1929 to Universal Air Lines, Inc., Chicago, IL.
quickly went to three additional owners through April 1931,
when it sold to Braniff Airways, Inc., Oklahoma City, OK. The
image, below, from Aero Digest, shows NC7953 in sleek profile.
The photograph was probably taken before the initial sale
to Universal Air Lines (no livery yet, and the publication
date of the magazine suggests the image was taken well before
April). Please click to see roughly this same image outside
the advertising environment.
Interestingly, the advertisement implies that NC7953 was
manufactured as an Executive model (with desk, typewriter,
toilet and other amenities for businessmen), yet there is
no mention of this in the NASM record, or in R.S. Allen's
book on Lockheed aircraft (cited, left sidebar, page 210).
Regardless, NC7953 suffered an accident at St. Louis, MO sometime in 1937. was
repaired and sold through Aero Brokerage Company, Los Angeles,
CA in November 1937 to Gordon S. Barry, El Paso, TX and Mazatlan,
Barry’s airline, Lineas Aereas Mineras, S.A. (LAMSA),
used this airplane. It entered Mexico at Juarez on
November 24, 1937 and Mexican registration XA-BFU was assigned. It
had a rough life in Mexico. On October 21, 1942 it
had a forced landing beside a highway near Huejotzingo, Puebla,
Mexico. It was stopped at Torreon once when the maintenance
chief of LAMSA discovered the horizontal tail surfaces broken.
On August 9, 1946 the airplane was sold to Capt. Carlos
Cervantes Perez, Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico. It
is thought to have been dismantled, and parts incorporated
with three other ex-LAMSA Vegas to rebuild Cervante’s
three flyable aircraft. No further information.
UPLOADED: 04/11/06 REVISED: 04/20/06, 02/20/09, 10/13/11