4 July 1927

First flight of the Lockheed Vega.

The Lockheed Vega was a popular single-engine aircraft produced by the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation in the 1930s. It was designed as a high-performance, all-metal monoplane suitable for various purposes, including private, executive, and commercial aviation. The Vega quickly gained recognition for its speed, range, and reliability, and it played a significant role in aviation history.

The Lockheed Vega was designed by John Knudsen “Jack” Northrop and Gerard Vultee, who later founded their own aircraft companies. The aircraft’s construction featured a sleek, streamlined monocoque fuselage made of metal, which was a departure from the traditional wood-and-fabric construction methods of the time. This innovative design contributed to the Vega’s exceptional performance.

The Vega was powered by a radial engine and had a low-wing configuration. It featured retractable landing gear, which improved its aerodynamics and allowed for higher speeds. The cockpit accommodated a pilot and a small number of passengers or cargo, depending on the model and purpose.

One of the most famous users of the Lockheed Vega was the aviator Amelia Earhart. In 1932, she became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, piloting a custom-built Lockheed Vega 5B named the “Friendship.” This achievement helped solidify the Vega’s reputation as a reliable and capable aircraft.

In addition to its role in aviation history, the Lockheed Vega also had a significant impact on the commercial aviation industry. It was employed by various airlines and transport companies for passenger and cargo operations. Some Vega models were also converted for military use, serving as reconnaissance aircraft or light bombers during conflicts such as World War II.