02/28/2011. Originally this was a five-seat aircraft with a conventional landing gear and powered by a 225 hp Wright Whirlwind J5A nine-cylinder air-cooled radial engine. Registered NC199E on January 20, 1929, it was sold the following year, May 12, 1930, to the Montana Development & Air Transport Company of Kalispell, Montana, USA, ten months later, March 16, 1931, it was returned to Lockheed.
On June 19, 1931 it was sold to the MacMillan Arctic Exploration Company of Los Angeles, California, and converted to a two-seat float plane. Repainted in white and orange, named The Viking, and carrying the 'R' for 'Restricted' in the registration (NR199E), Commander Donald B. MacMillan took the aircraft on an air survey and photo expedition to Labrador and Greenland.
On November 16, 1932, NR199E sold engineless to Paul S. Grade of Los Angeles. It was converted to a four-seater and fitted a 300 hp Pratt & Whitney Wasp Junior nine-cylinder air-cooled radial engine, it was redesignated as Vega 2D. This was not a production model, the designation was given to only two aircraft after they were re-engined, this aircraft and c/n 58 (originally a Vega 2, NC623E).
NC199E had four more Californian owners (including M. Naylor) before it was sold on June 7, 1934 to George Thomas Westinghouse of Tucson, Arizona, who owned it for nineteen years. In 1935 it was finished in blue-gray (pretty much as shown) and named Elizabeth Lind. It was flown on both wheels and floats. In 1940 the aircraft was disassembled and stored at Bekins in Seattle, where it subsequently was damaged.
The aircraft is pictured at Lana Robert Kurtzer's hangar in the Southwest corner of Lake Union, near Westlake Avenue North, downtown Seattle (near the present Kenmore Air Seaplanes terminal). There it was repaired by Ted Albright and on July 27, 1953 the aircraft was registered to Kurtzer as N199E. It was chartered out of Anchorage for two summers, before it was sold, again, on July 28, 1956.
The new owner was Paul Mantz Air Services of Santa Ana, California, it was used motion picture work. In November 1961 it was reregistered to the Tallmantz Aviation Inc., when Mantz and camera pilot Frank Tallman merged their companies. In anticipation for its use in a film about the well-known aviatrice Amelia Earhart, Tallmantz had N199E reregistered in 1962 as N965Y (Amelia's original registration was NC965Y).
In 1964 it was finished in the red and white livery of Varney Air Transport, the ancestor of today's Continental Airlines, and went on a national publicity tour. Four years later the aircraft was acquired by the Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan, where it is still on display.