Seeing, in the latter part of 1930, a potential market for a light transport aircraft, Lockheed began development of the six-passenger Lockheed 9 Orion. This combined a Vega fuselage with the low-wing and landing gear of the Altair, and the NACA cowling introduced on the Air Express, the first such Orion being flown in early 1931. Orion production totalled 35, and the single Altair DL-2A was also converted to Orion configuration.
The first Orion (NC960Y) entered service with Bowen Air Lines at Fort Worth, Texas, in May 1931, and the type found use with 12 other American airlines. At least 13 of these aircraft, from various sources, were supplied to the Spanish Republican air force in late 1936, soon after the beginning of the Spanish Civil War.
| MODEL||Lockheed Orion 9D|
| ENGINE||1 x Pratt & Whitney Wasp S1D1 radial piston engine, 410kW|
| Take-off weight||2359 kg||5201 lb|
| Empty weight||1651 kg||3640 lb|
| Wingspan||13.04 m||43 ft 9 in|
| Length||8.64 m||28 ft 4 in|
| Height||2.95 m||10 ft 8 in|
| Wing area||27.32 m2||294.07 sq ft|
| Cruise speed||330 km/h||205 mph|
| Ceiling||6705 m||22000 ft|
| Range||1159 km||720 miles|
No, Post and Rogers died in the crash of the Orion-Explorer, which was a hybrid aircraft put together by Post from parts of an Orion and of an Explorer without approval of Civil Aeronautical Agency (pre-FAA) inspectors. Something came apart as Post and Rogers departed Point Barrow, Alaska, causing the infamous crash. It was not any fault of Lockheed's, as Post had made drastic unapproved changes in creating his "Frankenstein" aircraft.
|D Souers, 28.02.2011|
Was this the plane that Wiley Post and Will Rogers crashed in Alaska ???
Do you have any comments about this aircraft ?