Sigh.. At least this one will take less repainting than the last one I bought.
This time it's a Lockheed Orion. The pictures below are posed with my usual Pulp Miniature, Copplestone and Rattrap miniatures for scale purposes.
Liberty Classics or Spec Diecast
The Lockheed Model 9 Orion was a single engine passenger aircraft built in 1931 for commercial airlines. It was the first airliner to have retractable landing gear and was faster than any military aircraft of that time. Designed by Richard A. Von Hake, it was the last wooden monoplane design produced by the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation.
The Orion was the last design using many identical elements from the Lockheed designs preceding it. It primarily used all the elements of the Altair, but included a forward top cockpit similar to the Vega, plus the NACA cowling introduced in the Air Express.] Lockheed used the same basic fuselage mold and wing for all these wooden designs (the Explorer wing was unique), hence the close similarities between them. The Orion featured an enclosed cabin with seating for six passengers. The Orion received its Approved Type Certificate on May 6, 1931.
Gerard F. Vultee was Lockheed's chief engineer in 1928 through 1931 and was involved in the designs of all the Lockheed variants of that time and specifically designed Charles Lindbergh’s Sirius.
Although designed with the passenger market in mind, its speed made it a natural for air races. The first Bendix race of 1931 had a showing of two Orions and three Altairs and one Vega in a race that had only nine aircraft competing. On 11 July 1935, Laura H. Ingalls flew a Lockheed Orion, powered by a Pratt & Whitney Wasp engine, from Floyd Bennett Field to Burbank, California, establishing an East-West record for women. Two months later she flew it back to set a West-East record.
The first Orion entered service with Bowen Air Lines at Fort Worth, Texas, in May 1931. Many safe miles were flown in airline service and the headlines won by a few expert speed pilots proved the advanced design and reliability of the "Orion". Those that went into airline use as a passenger transport had their life span limited, however. In 1934 the Civil Aeronautics Authority issued a ruling prohibiting further use of single engine passenger aircraft from operating on all major networks. It also became mandatory to have a co-pilot and thus a two-seat cockpit arrangement on all such flights. The requirements of the ruling brought an end to the "Orion" as a passenger carrying airlines' airplane. They were then used for cargo or mail carrying or sold for private use and charter. Because the aircraft had a complicated wood construction and needed to be sent back to Lockheed in Burbank California to be repaired, they were often disposed of after any type of significant accident. At least 12 of the used "Orions" were purchased for service in the Spanish Civil War and destroyed in use.
The Orion Explorer was a modified 9E. It had a damaged wing replaced with the wing of the Explorer 7 after a crash, and was fitted with a 600 hp (482 kW) Pratt & Whitney Wasp S3H1 engine. Fixed landing gear and later floats were also fitted. It was used by Wiley Post and Will Rogers for a round-the-world flight attempt, but both men died when the aircraft crashed in Alaska on 15 August 1935.
14 built, 410 hp (306 kW) Pratt & Whitney Wasp A or 420 hp (313 kW) Pratt & Whitney Wasp C
Orion 9A Special
one aircraft with 450 hp (336 kW) Pratt & Whitney Wasp SC engine
two aircraft supplied to Swissair, 575 hp (429 kW) Wright R-1820-E engine
redesignated Altair DL-2A
three aircraft with 450 hp (336 kW) Pratt & Whitney Wasp SC-1 engine
one executive aircraft with a 645 hp (481 kW) Wright R-1820-F2 engine
one executive aircraft with a 650 hp (485 kW) Wright SR-1820-F2 engine
one Orion 9D to USAAF in June 1942
modified Orion 9E, 600 hp (482 kW) Pratt & Whitney Wasp S3H1 engine
Specifications (Orion 9D)
Crew: one, pilot
Length: 28 ft 4 in (8.64 m)
Wingspan: 42 ft 9.25 in (13.04 m)
Height: 9 ft 8 in (2.95 m)
Wing area: 294.1 ft² (27.32 m²)
Empty weight: 3,640 lb (1,651 kg)
Max takeoff weight: 5,200 lb (2,359 kg)
Powerplant: 1× Pratt & Whitney Wasp S1D1, 550 hp (410 kW)
Maximum speed: 192 kn at sea level (220 mph, 354 km/h)
Cruise speed: 178 kn (205 mph, 330 km/h)
Range: 652 nmi (750 mi, 1,159 km)
Service ceiling: 22,000 ft (6,705 m)