Vega Aircraft Corporation

The Vega Aircraft Corporation was a subsidiary of the Lockheed Aircraft Company in Burbank, California responsible for much of its parent company's production in World War II. The company was first formed in August 1937 as the AiRover Company to produce a new light aircraft design. It was soon renamed to honor Lockheed's first aircraft design, the Vega.

The AiRover Model 1 was a Lockheed Model 9 Orion fitted with a Unitwin engine, which featured two engines driving a single shaft. The AiRover Model 2 was a new design named the Vega Starliner. One Starliner prototype was built and tested, but the design did not go into production.

In 1940, with World War II already underway in Europe, Vega changed its focus from light aircraft to military aircraft. The company began by producing five North American NA-35 trainers under license with North American Aviation. Production by Vega really got underway with the Hudson, a patrol bomber designed for use by the Royal Air Force.

Vega entered a partnership between three companies (the other two being Boeing and Douglas) (abbreviated BVD) to produce the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress. Of over 12,000 B-17s produced by war's end, 2,750 were built by Vega. The company also built two experimental B-17 variants, the Boeing XB-38 Flying Fortress and the Boeing YB-40 Flying Fortress.

By the end of 1943, Vega had merged back into Lockheed, having far surpassed its original mission of producing light aircraft. [1][2][3][4]

World War II woman aircraft worker, Vega Aircraft Corporation, Burbank, California 1942
A worker at the Vega Aircraft Corporation during World War II


Aircraft designs produced by the Vega Aircraft Corporation during its existence as a subsidiary of the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation:

Designer Name Production Remarks
Lockheed/Vega Flying Test Stand 1 modified Orion
Vega Starliner 1 lightplane prototype
Vega Model 40 5 remote-controlled aerial drone
Vega Vega 35 5 Development of the North American NA-35 trainer
Lockheed Hudson patrol bomber
Lockheed/Vega Ventura/Harpoon patrol bomber
Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress 2,750 bomber
Boeing B-38 1
Boeing B-40 1

Also see


  1. ^ Vega Aircraft Corporation
  2. ^, A worker at the Vega Aircraft Corporation during World War II
  3. ^ Vega Aircraft Corporation
  4. ^, Vega Aircraft Corporation
  • Francillon, René J, Lockheed Aircraft since 1913. Naval Institute Press: Annapolis, 1987.
  • Yenne, Bill, Lockheed. Crescent Books, 1987.
Accidents and incidents involving the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress

This is a partial list of accidents and incidents involving the Boeing-designed B-17 Flying Fortress. Combat losses are not included except for a very few cases denoted by singular circumstances. A few documented drone attrition cases are also included.

Aircraft were constructed by a three firm consortium, Boeing, Vega and Douglas, known by the acronym BVD. Boeing built airframes at their plant in Seattle, Washington and their production models were appended -BO. Douglas Aircraft Company constructed airframes at Long Beach, California with a -DL suffix. The Vega Aircraft Corporation, a subsidiary of the Lockheed Aircraft Company, at Burbank, California, delivered airframes with the -VE suffix.

Burbank, California

Burbank is a city in Los Angeles County in the Los Angeles metropolitan area of Southern California, United States, 12 miles (19 km) northwest of downtown Los Angeles. The population at the 2010 census was 103,340.Billed as the "Media Capital of the World" and only a few miles northeast of Hollywood, numerous media and entertainment companies are headquartered or have significant production facilities in Burbank, including Warner Bros. Entertainment, The Walt Disney Company, Nickelodeon Animation Studios, The Burbank Studios, Cartoon Network Studios with the West Coast branch of Cartoon Network, and Insomniac Games. The Hollywood Burbank Airport was the location of Lockheed's Skunk Works, which produced some of the most secret and technologically advanced airplanes, including the U-2 spy planes that uncovered the Soviet Union missile components in Cuba in October 1962.

Burbank consists of two distinct areas: a downtown/foothill section, in the foothills of the Verdugo Mountains, and the flatland section. The city was referred to as "Beautiful Downtown Burbank" on Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In and The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. The city was named after David Burbank, a New Hampshire–born dentist and entrepreneur who established a sheep ranch there in 1867.

California during World War II

California during World War II was major contributor to the World War II effort. California's long Pacific Ocean coastline provided the support needed for the Pacific War. California also supported the war in Europe. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on December 7, 1941 most of California was shifted to the war effort. California became a major ship builder and aircraft manufacturer. Existing military installations were enlarged and many new ones were built. California trained many of the troops before their oversea deployment. Over 800,000 Californians served in the United States Armed Forces. California agriculture, ranches and farms were used to feed the troops around the world. California's long coastline also put the state in fear, as an attack on California seemed likely. California was used for the temporary and permanent internment camps for Japanese Americans. The population of California grew significantly, largely due to servicemen who were trained and stationed at the new military bases and training facilities. With all the new economy activity, California was lifted out of the great depression. Over 500,000 peopled moved to California from other states to work in the growing economy. California expanded its oil and mineral production to keep up with the war demand.

Gray Foy

Gray Foy (1922–2012) was a mid twentieth-century American artist who created a visionary body of drawings from 1941 to 1975. His drawings are generally divided into two phases. First, from 1941–48, the artist drew figurative Surrealist landscapes and interiors. Then beginning in the late 1940s, he concentrated on botanical subject matter, both naturalistic and imagined.

Hers to Hold

Hers to Hold (aka Three Smart Girls Join Up) is a 1943 American romantic musical comedy film and is the third film in the unofficial Three Smart Girls trilogy. In Hers to Hold, Deanna Durbin reprises her role as Penny Craig, who is the only sister remaining at home.

John William Miller (aviation)

John William Miller (February 22, 1880 – February 26, 1953) was an American aviation pioneer, civil engineer, and a professor of aeronautical engineering. He combined these skills to create new and different ways to conduct surveys, use and build aircraft, and teach those skills when aviation was in its infancy.

Laurence Trimble

Laurence Norwood Trimble (February 15, 1885 – February 8, 1954) was an American silent film director, writer and actor. Trimble began his film career directing Jean, the Vitagraph Dog, the first canine to have a leading role in motion pictures. He made his acting debut in the 1910 silent Saved by the Flag, directed scores of films for Vitagraph and other studios, and became head of production for Florence Turner's independent film company in England (1913–1916). Trimble was most widely known for his four films starring Strongheart, a German Shepherd dog he discovered and trained that became the first major canine film star. After he left filmmaking he trained animals exclusively, particularly guide dogs for the blind.

List of Lockheed aircraft

This is a list of aircraft produced or proposed by the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation from its founding as the Lockheed Aircraft Company in 1926 to its merging with Martin Marietta to form the Lockheed Martin Corporation in 1995.

Ordered by model number, Lockheed gave most of its aircraft astronomical names, from the first Vega to the C-5 Galaxy. Aircraft models listed in italics and with higher numbers – 780 following 80 and preceding 81, for example – are variants or developments of the base model.

Lockheed Corporation

The Lockheed Corporation was an American aerospace company. Lockheed was founded in 1926 and later merged with Martin Marietta to form Lockheed Martin in 1995. The founder, Allan Lockheed, had earlier founded the similarly named but otherwise unrelated Loughead Aircraft Manufacturing Company, which was operational from 1912 through 1920.

Menasco Unitwin 2-544

Menasco Motors Company of Burbank, California was a well known manufacturer of inverted inline four and six cylinder engines. At the request of Lockheed Aircraft designers, Menasco produced an inverted twelve-cylinder air cooled aircraft engine by designing a common crankcase and gearbox for two of the six cylinder engines. The two crankshafts were combined with a unique double clutch gearbox to power a single propeller. The engine, known as the Unitwin 2-544, was a success, but did not enter production as no aircraft manufacturer designed an aircraft that used it.

Military Aviation Museum

The Military Aviation Museum in Virginia Beach, Virginia, is home to one of the world's largest collections of warbirds in flying condition. It includes examples from Germany, France, Italy, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, from both World War I and World War II, although the complete collection ranges from the 1910s to the early 1950s.

Its mission is to "preserve, restore and fly these historic aircraft and to allow a new generation to experience and learn from what [their forebears] might have endured ... in the skies so very far from home."Unlike most other collections, which are displayed in a static museum environment, almost all of the historic aircraft at the Museum have been restored to flying condition. In twice-yearly major airshows (one in the spring for World War II planes, and one in the fall for WWI), as well as other special events, the aircraft fly again for the public to view and experience.

The collection also includes a large reference library, along with artifacts and materials to illustrate the historic context of the aircraft in the collection.

Moreland Motor Truck Company

The Moreland Motor Truck Company of Burbank, California, was originally located in Los Angeles. The Moreland trucks were sold worldwide.

North American NA-35

The North American NA-35 was a training aircraft designed by North American Aviation. It was first test-flown in January 1940 by Vance Breese. Although announced for trade the month after, the project was pushed aside by plant expansions and the development of the P-51 Mustang. Further test flights were conducted and construction began on a few more aircraft, but the project remained stagnant until Vega Aircraft Corporation bought the rights to the aircraft in October 1940 to develop into the Vega 35.

T. Keith Glennan

Thomas Keith Glennan (September 8, 1905 – April 11, 1995) was the first Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, serving from August 19, 1958 to January 20, 1961.

Thomas Townsend Brown

Thomas Townsend Brown (March 18, 1905 – October 27, 1985) was an American inventor whose research into odd electrical effects led him to believe he had discovered a connection between strong electric fields and gravity, a type of antigravity effect. Instead of being an antigravity force, what Brown observed has generally been attributed to electrohydrodynamics, the movement of charged particles that transfers their momentum to surrounding neutral particles in air, also called "ionic drift" or "ionic wind". For most of Brown's life he attempted to develop devices based on his ideas, trying to promote them for use by industry and the military. The phenomena came to be called the "Biefeld–Brown effect" and "electrogravitics".

In recent years Brown's research has had an influence in the community of amateur experimenters who build "ionic propulsion lifters" powered by high voltage. There are still claims that Brown discovered antigravity, an idea popular with the unidentified flying object (UFO) community and spawning many conspiracy theories.

Yankee Lady

The B-17 Yankee Lady is owned by the Yankee Air Force, doing business as the Yankee Air Museum (YAM), and was flown for flight experience rides and airshow appearances.


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