Saturday, December 20, 2008

Video: Ruth Nichols Landing the Crosley Lockheed Vega!

The Lockheed Company's promotional film, Look to Lockheed (produced in 1940) contains footage of Ruth Lyons landing "The New Cincinnati," Powel Crosley's Lockheed Vega. Referred to as the Crosley Radioplane and the Crosley Airship, the Vega 5 was registered as NR496M.

Crosley bought the ship from Edward F. Schlee and William S. Brock in August, 1930, and had "CROSLEY" painted boldly on the fuselage and the engine clowing. (Schlee and Brock earlier set a transcontinental record with it, under a different registration.) Ruth Nichols charled women's endurance and speed records in the airplane, as well as overall records.
Here's the URL for the film:
Nichols had several accidents in Crosley's airplane, one of which aborted her attempt to be the first woman to cross the Atlantic solo (a distinction won by Amelia Earhart). The final accident was in 1932, when the aircraft (renamed the Akita) was largely consumed by a fire while still on the ground. Here are some details on the accident. The airplane's tail is on display at the International Women's Air & Space Museum at Burke Lakefront Airport in Cleveland, Ohio. (See

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