Amelia Earhart's Lockheed Vega 5B

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    Amelia Earhart's Lockheed Vega 5B

    Amelia Earhart set two of her many aviation records in this bright red Lockheed 5B Vega. In 1932 she flew it alone across the Atlantic Ocean, then flew it nonstop across the United States-both firsts for a woman. Highlighted in this image are the engine and propeller of the Lockheed 5B Vega.

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    Amelia Earhart's Lockheed Vega 5B

    Amelia Earhart set two of her many aviation records in this bright red Lockheed 5B Vega. In 1932 she flew it alone across the Atlantic Ocean, then flew it nonstop across the United States-both firsts for a woman. Highlighted in this image are the rudder and vertical stabilizer of the Lockheed 5B Vega.

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    Amelia Earhart's Lockheed Vega 5B

    Amelia Earhart set two of her many aviation records in this bright red Lockheed 5B Vega. In 1932 she flew it alone across the Atlantic Ocean, then flew it nonstop across the United States-both firsts for a woman. Highlighted in this image is the wing of the Lockheed 5B Vega. Painted on the wing is the number seven.

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    Amelia Earhart's Lockheed Vega 5B

    Amelia Earhart set two of her many aviation records in this bright red Lockheed 5B Vega. In 1932 she flew it alone across the Atlantic Ocean, then flew it nonstop across the United States-both firsts for a woman. Highlighted in this image are the rudder and vertical stabilizer of the Lockheed 5B Vega. Painted on the rudder is NR-7952.

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    Amelia Earhart's Lockheed Vega 5B

    Amelia Earhart set two of her many aviation records in this bright red Lockheed 5B Vega. In 1932 she flew it alone across the Atlantic Ocean, then flew it nonstop across the United States-both firsts for a woman. Highlighted in this image is the rudder of the Lockheed 5B Vega. Painted on the rudder is NR-7952.

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    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

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    Amelia Earhart's Lockheed Vega 5B

    Amelia Earhart set two of her many aviation records in this bright red Lockheed 5B Vega. In 1932 she flew it alone across the Atlantic Ocean, then flew it nonstop across the United States-both firsts for a woman. Highlighted in this image is the vertical stabilizer of the Lockheed 5B Vega. Painted on the rudder is the logo for the Lockheed Vega.

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    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

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    Amelia Earhart's Lockheed Vega 5B

    Amelia Earhart set two of her many aviation records in this bright red Lockheed 5B Vega. In 1932 she flew it alone across the Atlantic Ocean, then flew it nonstop across the United States-both firsts for a woman. Highlighted in this image is the wheel fairing of the Lockheed 5B Vega.

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    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

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    Amelia Earhart's Lockheed Vega 5B

    Amelia Earhart set two of her many aviation records in this bright red Lockheed 5B Vega. In 1932 she flew it alone across the Atlantic Ocean, then flew it nonstop across the United States-both firsts for a woman. Highlighted in this image is the wheel fairing of the Lockheed 5B Vega.

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    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

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    Amelia Earhart's Lockheed Vega 5B

    Amelia Earhart set two of her many aviation records in this bright red Lockheed 5B Vega. In 1932 she flew it alone across the Atlantic Ocean, then flew it nonstop across the United States-both firsts for a woman. Highlighted in this image is the propeller of the Lockheed 5B Vega.

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    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

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    Amelia Earhart's Lockheed Vega 5B

    Amelia Earhart set two of her many aviation records in this bright red Lockheed 5B Vega. In 1932 she flew it alone across the Atlantic Ocean, then flew it nonstop across the United States-both firsts for a woman. Highlighted in this image is the wing of the Lockheed 5B Vega. Painted on the wing is 7952.

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    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

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    Amelia Earhart's Lockheed Vega 5B

    Amelia Earhart set two of her many aviation records in this bright red Lockheed 5B Vega. In 1932 she flew it alone across the Atlantic Ocean, then flew it nonstop across the United States-both firsts for a woman. Highlighted in this image is the cockpit of the Lockheed 5B Vega.

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    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

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    Amelia Earhart's Lockheed Vega 5B

    NR7952. High-speed cabin monoplane with cantilever wings and streamlined design. On May 20-21, 1932, Amelia Earhart flew this Vega across the Atlantic Ocean becoming the first woman to fly, and only the second person to solo, the Atlantic. Vegas were highly prized as racing and record-setting aircraft, and as seven-place airliners.

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    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

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    Amelia Earhart's Lockheed Vega 5B

    NR7952. High-speed cabin monoplane with cantilever wings and streamlined design. On May 20-21, 1932, Amelia Earhart flew this Vega across the Atlantic Ocean becoming the first woman to fly, and only the second person to solo, the Atlantic. Vegas were highly prized as racing and record-setting aircraft, and as seven-place airliners.

    13 of 22

    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

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    Amelia Earhart's Lockheed Vega 5B

    NR7952. High-speed cabin monoplane with cantilever wings and streamlined design. On May 20-21, 1932, Amelia Earhart flew this Vega across the Atlantic Ocean becoming the first woman to fly, and only the second person to solo, the Atlantic. Vegas were highly prized as racing and record-setting aircraft, and as seven-place airliners.

    14 of 22

    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

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    Amelia Earhart's Lockheed Vega 5B

    NR7952. High-speed cabin monoplane with cantilever wings and streamlined design. On May 20-21, 1932, Amelia Earhart flew this Vega across the Atlantic Ocean becoming the first woman to fly, and only the second person to solo, the Atlantic. Vegas were highly prized as racing and record-setting aircraft, and as seven-place airliners.

    15 of 22

    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

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    Amelia Earhart's Lockheed Vega 5B

    NR7952. High-speed cabin monoplane with cantilever wings and streamlined design. On May 20-21, 1932, Amelia Earhart flew this Vega across the Atlantic Ocean becoming the first woman to fly, and only the second person to solo, the Atlantic. Vegas were highly prized as racing and record-setting aircraft, and as seven-place airliners.

    16 of 22

    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

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    Amelia Earhart's Lockheed Vega 5B

    NR7952. High-speed cabin monoplane with cantilever wings and streamlined design. On May 20-21, 1932, Amelia Earhart flew this Vega across the Atlantic Ocean becoming the first woman to fly, and only the second person to solo, the Atlantic. Vegas were highly prized as racing and record-setting aircraft, and as seven-place airliners.

    17 of 22

    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

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    Amelia Earhart's Lockheed Vega 5B

    Amelia Earhart set two of her many aviation records in this bright red Lockheed 5B Vega. In 1932 she flew it alone across the Atlantic Ocean, then flew it nonstop across the United States-both firsts for a woman. Amelia Earhart bought this 5B Vega in 1930 and called it her "Little Red Bus."

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    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

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    Amelia Earhart's Lockheed Vega 5B

    Amelia Earhart set two of her many aviation records in this bright red Lockheed 5B Vega. In 1932 she flew it alone across the Atlantic Ocean, then flew it nonstop across the United States-both firsts for a woman. Highlighted in this image is the propeller of the Lockheed 5B Vega.

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    Amelia Earhart's Lockheed Vega 5B

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    Lockheed Vega 5B Panorama

    Panoramic view inside the cockpit of the Lockheed Vega 5B flown by Amelia Earhart.

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    Amelia Earhart Departs Solo Flight Across Atlantic May 20 1932

    Amelia Earhart departs on her solo nonstop flight across the Atlantic on May 20,1932.

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Display Status:

This object is on display in the Mary Baker Engen Restoration Hangar at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA.

Mary Baker Engen Restoration Hangar

Amelia Earhart set two of her many aviation records in this bright red Lockheed 5B Vega. In 1932 she flew it alone across the Atlantic Ocean, then flew it nonstop across the United States-both firsts for a woman.

Introduced in 1927, the Vega was the first product of designer Jack Northrop and Allan Loughead's Lockheed Aircraft Company. Sturdy, roomy, streamlined and fast, the innovative Vega became favored by pilots seeking to set speed and distance records. It sported a cantilever (internally braced) one-piece spruce wing and a spruce veneer monocoque fuselage (a molded shell without internal bracing), which increased overall strength and reduced weight. A NACA engine cowling and wheel pants reduced drag and provided streamline style.

Amelia Earhart bought this 5B Vega in 1930 and called it her "Little Red Bus." After a nose-over accident later that year, the fuselage was replaced and strengthened to carry extra fuel tanks. Three types of compasses, a drift indicator, and a more powerful engine were also installed.

On May 20-21, 1932, flying in this airplane, Earhart became the first woman (and the only person since Charles Lindbergh) to fly nonstop and alone across the Atlantic Ocean. She took off from Harbor Grace, Newfoundland, Canada and landed 15 hours and 2,026 miles later in a field near Londonderry, Northern Ireland. The feat made Earhart an instant worldwide sensation and proved she was a courageous and able pilot.

Later that year, Earhart flew the Vega to another record. On August 24-25, she made the first solo, nonstop flight by a woman across the United States, from Los Angeles to Newark, New Jersey. The flight covered a distance of 2,447 miles and lasted about 19 hours.

Earhart sold her 5B Vega to Philadelphia's Franklin Institute in 1933 after purchasing a new Lockheed 5C Vega. The Smithsonian acquired it in 1966.