"Lady Southern Cross"
as a Sirius 8A under Approved Type Certificate #300 with a Pratt and
Whitney Wasp (serial number 3104) for Captain George R. Hutchinson
of Baltimore, Maryland for a New York to Paris record attempt. The
aircraft featured reinforced spars and a special long-range fuel tank
installed in place of the forward cockpit. The aircraft was named
"Richmond, Virginia, U.S.A."
wrote to the Department of Commerce advising that they have sold Sirius
Serial No. 152 to George R. Hutchinson and applying for "reassignment
of licence NR-118W". Lockheed also wrote to George R. Hutchinson enclosing
Bill of Sale and a copy of the application for reassignment of licence
R. Hutchinson wrote to Sperry Gyroscope Co. advising "Received the
second Horizon and have installed same in my plane." He also advised
of his intention to depart Mines Field, Los Angeles for New York on
Sunday, August third.
at Los Angeles. As a result of the crash, Capt Hutchinson abandoned
his planned flight to Paris.
Lockheed Aircraft Corporation inter-departmental communication from
Carl B. Squier (General Manager) advised that "this plane was damaged
at Mines Field August 2nd on takeoff with Hutchinson as pilot. Ship
can be repaired at nominal cost."
wrote to the Dept of Commerce enclosing Bill of Sale executed by Hutchinson
for Stinson SM-2 Junior Serial No. 1023 and requesting transfer of
licence NC-7746 to Lockheed. Lockheed also wrote to Detroit Aircraft
Corporation requesting that they take possession of Stinson NC-7746,
currently at Richmond, Virginia, for Lockheed Aircraft Corporation.
Dept of Commerce wrote to Lockheed and to Hutchinson advising that
the licence of Sirius NR-118W had been suspended as a result of the
accident at Los Angeles.
B. Squier of Lockheed wrote to Sperry Gyroscope Company, evidently
in response to a request for information on the disposition of the
Horizon installed in Hutchinson's Sirius. "Regret to advise that immediately
after his attempted takeoff and resultant damage, several sheriff's
liens were placed on the plane, namely - by the owner of a Bellanca,
by the owner of a motor, and a personal damage suit of $100,000.00
by a woman who was struck after the Bellanca's wing and the sedan
were completely demolished. The plane is located at Mines Field, some
twenty miles from our factory, and we are not allowed to repair or
remove any parts thereof."
Dept of Commerce wrote to George Hutchinson (copy to Lockheed) acknowledging
receipt of "the necessary documents for the transfer of title on Lockheed
plane, model Sirius, manufacturer's serial No. 152, Department of
Commerce suspended licence No. NR-118W which you purchased from the
Lockheed Aircraft Corporation. Title to the subject plane is hereby
transferred to your name (subject to liens held by the Lions Club,
Richmond, Va. and Lockheed Aircraft Corporation) on the records of
this office, but inasmuch as restricted licence number on the said
plane has been suspended on account of accident of August 4, 1930,
restricted licence in your name will not be issued." Note: accident
date was August 2.
W. Growder, an attorney of Richmond, Virginia wrote to Lockheed: "The
Lions Club of Richmond acted as trustees of the fund raised to pay
purchase price of Lockheed plane George R. Hutchinson purchased from
you, and I happened to be chairman of the committee of the Lions Club
handling the matter. As you probably know, the Lions Club is trustee
under a deed of trust for $15,000.00, which was given to secure the
contributors and I understand that plane has been attached and you
have a second lien on same. While the Lions Club has discharged its
obligation to the contributors by seeing that the money was applied
to the purchase price of the plane, we would very much like to know
the status of affairs as they now exist and thought you could furnish
us with this information. We would like to know what action has been
taken by the attaching creditors, the amount of their claims, the
value of the plane, the extent of equity and generally what can be
done to protect the contributors so that if they decide to take action
to protect their interest, we can advise them of the status of affairs."
replied to Growder: "Regret extremely the necessity of a letter of
this nature, but am writing in answer to your request of October 10th.
We accepted in lieu of all cash for the complete purchase of the Lockheed
Sirius a free and clear title on a Stinson Junior plane owned outright
by Mr. Hutchinson. We also took back a second mortgage on our plane
to not only protect our interest but to impress upon Hutchinson that
what we desired was the balance of the purchase price rather than
a used airplane. It was very unfortunate that the takeoff by Hutchinson
resulted so disastrously. It is my understanding that the owner of
a Bellanca plane has filed claim for damages and placed a lien upon
the Lockheed to the extent of two or three thousand dollars; also
a claim by an automobile concern of which Hutchinson was renting a
car, to the extent of $1000.00; and a personal damage suit for $100,000.00
brought against him by a woman, struck by the plane at the time of
the takeoff. The Lockheed has not been repaired and is stored at Mines
Field where the accident occurred, more than 30 miles from our plant,
and it is impossible for us at this time to proceed with the repairs,
or remove any parts thereof inasmuch as the parties mentioned have
put Sheriff's liens on the plane until satisfaction is gained."
wrote to Lockheed advising that Hutchinson "hopes to raise sufficient
money to compromise with the attaching creditors."
wrote to Lockheed "Mr Hutchinson writes me that your second lien has
been paid by his turning over to you his Stinson plane. Will you kindly
advise if that is correct?"
replied to Growder: "Be advised that the second lien placed on Mr.
Hutchinson's plane was taken only, as previously outlined, to impress
upon him that we did not want a Stinson but were primarily interested
in full receipt of moneys due. However, we have taken over the Stinson,
and will therefore cancel this lien. The Lockheed Aircraft Corporation
has no remunerative interest in the plane."
replied to an enquiry from Interstate Flying Corporation of Philadelphia
that "Approximately $2,000.00 will repair the damage on this plane."
to Victor Fleming and Douglas Fairbanks of Beverly Hills, California
for sport flying.
agreement was signed between Lockheed and Victor Fleming of MGM Studios,
Culver City, California for the "reconstruction" of Sirius NR-118W.
The agreement was brokered by Aero Brokerage Service Company of Inglewood,
California. The agreement specifies the following work:|
- Install dual
controls, to include two sticks, two sets rudder pedals, two throttle,
spark, mixture regulator control assemblies, two stabilizer controls,
- Install new
instrument board in front cockpit, removing all instruments in
rear cockpit and placing them in instrument board in front cockpit.
- Install new
instrument board in rear cockpit, including compass, clock and
- Install baggage
compartment, with as large opening door as practicable and install
combination lock on same.
- Cut down
oil capacity on tank 4086 to an estimated correct capacity.
- Install landing
lights in wings and landing light controls in front cockpit, wiring
to include all wiring necessary.
- Install battery
box in wing.
- Install tail
wheel, tail wheel shaft, and reinforce diaphragm #13, and any
other parts necessary for the operation of the tail wheel.
- Install four
registering gauges in front cockpit hooked up to each wing tank.
- Make all
necessary repairs to entire ship caused by Hutchinson's crack
up, new right aileron, new fin and rudder of the type used in
the "Orion" model, repair wing, complete putting in new ribs,
where necessary also new plywood, repair stabilizer, straighten
fin fairing, repair fuselage shell on right side, repair NACA
cowling, repair gas tanks and other necessary repairs to wing
- Repaint only
new parts of covering installed as depicted (in previous item).
- To have ship
test flown and licensed by the U.S. Dept. of Commerce, with approved
type certificate ("NC" license) having the airplane to have a
capacity of 314 gallons of gasoline or as near this figure as
- Remove tank
4363 and tank 4477.
- It is agreed
between Victor Fleming and the Lockheed Aircraft Corp. that the
above construction does not include electric starting equipment,
storage battery, cockpit heaters, flares, propeller, wheels, tires,
tubes, new NACA cowling, or any installations of these parts,
but it does include installation of one-half of the present NACA
cowling and the making and installing of the other half, and it
is understood that no allowance will be made for salvage.
- It is agreed
that repairs or changes ordered by Victor Fleming in addition
to the above will be charged for at list price.
- It is agreed
that Victor Fleming will have a Hamilton steel propeller and a
set of 11x12 balloon tires installed on the plane previous to
the completion of Lockheed Aircraft Corporation's construction
so that these items will not interfere with relicensing of the
- It is agreed
by Lockheed Aircraft Corp. to bring the ship to their factory
at once to start work immediately, and to finish in approximately
30 days or as near that date as possible.
to be considered F.O.B. Lockheed Airport or any nearby airport
The agreement was signed by Victor Fleming and Carl B. Squier.
Lockheed Work Order specified the following:
- Cut forward
cockpit, making both cockpits standard Sirius.
- Install standard
Sirius dual controls - Combination Brake and Rudder Pedal as per
- Install R.H.
Throttle in front cockpit as per Engineering Dept.
- Install new
instrument boards in both cockpits. All instruments in ship to
be placed in front cockpit - Rear board to include Compass, Clock
and Altimeter. Front board as per Engineering Dept.
- Remove all
fuselage tanks except gravity tank. Reduce Oil tank. To be reduced
to 25 gallons as per Eaker ship.
- Install standard
Sirius baggage compartment and door.
- Install Landing
Lights in wing, controlled from front cockpit only. Install battery
in nose of wing. Orion cutouts in Wing, straight reflectors. Check
Ail. Act. Mech. For looseness.
- Remove four
outboard wing tanks.
- Install standard
Tail Wheel and all necessary reinforcing for same.
- Install sight
gauges for wing tank in front cockpit - Pioneer Hydrostatic gauge
on gravity tank.
- Make all
necessary repairs to fuselage caused by crackup. Install aux.
- Install Orion
Fin and Rudder #4285 and #4922. Repair stabilizer and elevators.
- Install new
Fin to Fuselage Fairings and metal leading edge on Stab.
- Shorten NACA
cowling to standard length - Repairs nose section. Install new
skirt on right side - Repair cowling ring.
- Repair streamline
- Repair collector
- Paint only
such parts as are involved in the repair - Remove lettering from
side of ship.
will furnish propellor - Set of Aircraft Prod. Wheels & Tires.
Rework present axles to accommodate mounting of these wheels as
- Install wing
to fuselage Torque Bracing in nose of ship.
- Have ship
test flown and licensed with NC license.
passed to Victor Fleming of Culver City, California.
to Sirius 8 Special under ATC Memo 2-400.
of Civil Aviation (Captain E.C. Johnston during this period)
Superintendent of Civil Aviation
Commission on Aerial Navigation
Communication (Lockheed memo)
address for Kingsford Smith Air Service Ltd., Mascot
Advisory Committee on Aeronautics (USA)
his full title is Air Commodore Sir Charles Kingsford Smith, Kt, M.C.,
A.F.C., the popular name bestowed upon him by the Australian people
is widely used throughout these pages, not only for brevity, but also
with affection. Note that Kingsford Smith should not be hyphenated,
although this variation does appear in some direct quotations appearing
on these pages.
much new material extracted from Lockheed archives by Birch
Matthews and from the National Archives of Australia by Trevor
- "Pacific Flight"
P.G. Taylor (Angus and Robertson 1935)
- "The Search
for the Lady Southern Cross"
E.P. (Ted) Wixted (Published privately 1991)
- "The Life and
Times of Sir Charles Kingsford Smith"
E.P. (Ted) Wixted (Published privately 1996)
- "The Civil Aircraft
Registers of Great Britain 1919-1985"
John Appleton (TAHS 1986)
- "The Historic
Civil Aircraft Register of Australia (Pre War) G-AUAA to
Bert Cookson (AustAirData 1996)
in the Sky "
Richard Sanders Allen (The Stephen Greene Press 1967)
- "Lockheed Aircraft
Rene J. Francillon (Putnam 1987)
- "The Lady Southern
Monty Tyrrell (Aviation Historical Society of Australia
Journal October 1965)
- "Aviation Heritage
- The Centenary Air Race" Vol 24 No 1 & 2
(Aviation Historical Society of Australia 1985)
- Lockheed Archives
via Birch Matthews
- National Archives
of Australia Series: MP 113/1 Item: VH/USB
via Trevor Boughton
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