Friday, May 1, 2009
|STANDARD DATA: Seats 5-7. Gross wt. 4,750. Empty wt. 2,725. Engine 450-hp Pratt & Whitney Wasp SC-1.
PERFORMANCE: Top mph 195. Cruise mph 170. Stall mph 59. Initial climb rate 1,250. Range 550. Ceiling 55,000.
During the late 1920s and early 1930s, the Vega was the favorite of many of the world’s most renowned aviators. Such greats as Roscoe Turner, Wiley Post, and Charles Lindbergh used the Vega and its variations to break all existing records for speed, altitude, distance, and endurance. Post, flying his beloved “Winnie Mae,” climbed to the astonishing altitude of 55,000 feet in 1935. He pioneered the pressure suit to make the record-setting flight. Meanwhile, Lindbergh and his wife Anne were busy flying a Sirus, which is a sistership to the Vega, setting distance records that would stand for 30 years. Turner and his faithful lion cub flew a Vega to new transcontinental victories in the United States. Several offshoot versions of the Vega were also named for stars such as Orion and Sirus. The Vega was the first airplane to be produced by the Lockheed Aircraft Co. and stands in front of a long line of great Lockheed airplanes to follow. Lockheed first produced the highwing cabin monoplane in 1927 and by the time production ceased in 1933 a total of 131 had been made. Only a few of the great record-makers are still active today.