The Lockheed Vega was an American passenger aircraft manufacturer Lockheed.
It was a single-engine high-wing unbraced in shell construction with a non- retractable rear wheel drive for passenger transport. The machine was powered by a Wright J -5 Whirlwind radial engine. The aim was the production and manufacture of an unrivaled fast aircraft for the Lockheed 's own airline. The first flight of the machine took place on July 4, 1927. She was the first step for the development of a real flight speed traffic.
Was developed the machine from John Northrop. Taking into account the aerodynamic advances and using the strongest available engine is first developed a four-seater type. The travel speed with the 225 hp engine was 193 km / h top speed 217 km / h The prototype was bought by William Randolph Hearst and baptized Golden Eagle. The machine, however, disappeared in August of the same year during an air race without a trace. The second machine was used for demonstrations. The third was purchased by Hubert Wilkins for an Arctic expedition.
For use on airlines, however, four passenger seats proved to be insufficient duration. The machines still sold well and the guy turned out at the National Air Races in 1928 in Cleveland as a great success. From this original Vega 1 28 machines were sold.
In order to meet the demand for fast passenger aircraft with adequate transport services, the draft was revised. It was built in 1929 equipped with a 450 hp Pratt & Whitney R -1340 and a NACA hood Vega 5, which reached a cruising speed of 249 km / h and a top speed of 266 km / h. There were 42 machines are sold. A total of seven machines were converted from other variations on this standard, five of which were equipped with floats. Two machines were converted into six seater aircraft, nine as business aircraft Vega 5A.
The next variant, the five-seat Vega 2 was produced with a 300 -hp Wright Whirlwind 6J. From this type of six machines was produced. Another version introduced the Vega 2A illustrates with six seats, which led to the equipped with six seats and the 450 hp Pratt & Whitney R -1340 most produced type Vega 5B. From this type of a total of 34 machines were manufactured, including three converted land planes and two floatplane and other variants.
The variant Vega 5C had a powerful engine and larger control surfaces. A total of 27 machines have been converted to this standard, six were built as Vega 5C.
A significant change in the structure presented which is provided with an aluminum hull DL -1 represents, built by the Detroit Aircraft Corporation six-seater and equipped with the engine of the 5C variant. This development was carried out by Gerard Vultee, the successor of John Northrop. From this variation, a total of ten machines were manufactured.
In the late 1920s and early 1930s used a variety of airlines, the Vega. Largest operator with eleven machines was the Mexican Lineas Aereas Minerva, ten aircraft were the Corporacion de Aeronautica transport and Braniff, while most companies inserting only one to four machines of this type.
A special version was the Lockheed Air Express with a separate wing from the fuselage to meet the requirements of the Western Air Express. The pilot was sitting there behind the passenger cabin in an open cockpit. Otherwise, the machine corresponded to the Vega. A total of eight machines were manufactured by this variation for different operators, the first of which was delivered in March 1928.
There were several military versions of the Vega, the Y1C -12, Y1C -17 and UC - 101. However, there were of each of these types, only one copy.