What go into those Lockheed boys?

General information about Wing42's Lockheed Vega.
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Tailspin45
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Joined: 16 Jun 2018, 18:28
Location: San Diego California, USA

What go into those Lockheed boys?

Post by Tailspin45 » 05 Nov 2018, 18:13

I've been looking for months to find the source of the Loughead (Lockheed) boy's interest in aviation--what got them started.

Mom was thrice divorced so it wasn't their father(s) and she was a journalist without any particular interest in aviation. Not that it was a huge deal in the first decade of the 1900s, in any case. Remember, the Wright brothers first flight was 1903, and nobody really cared or even noticed. It wasn't until WWI that flying "became a thing."

Turns out Victor and later Allan fell under the spell of a mathematics professor and inventor John J. Montgomery at Santa Clara College, California. Beginning in 1883, well before Orville and Wilbur Wright, he invested his time and spare money in making and experimenting with man-carrying gliders and flew them where they lived at Otay Mesa near San Diego before he went to work in Santa Clara. Montgomery Field (KMYF) in San diego—one of the busiest general aviation airports in the country—is named in his honor, by the way.

In 1909 Allan moved from the Bay area to Chicago, where Victor'd made a name for himself as the author of Vehicles of the Air, a book that became a 'bible' for the first generation of aircraft builders.

Victor and Allan tried to build a powered Montgomery-design glider, but never got it into the air because they couldn't find a suitable engine. But the trajectory for their future was established, at least for Allan. Victor and Malcolm (still back in California) had an argument and never spoke again. But Malcolm and Allan, after several failed attempts in the aircraft business, built the Vega. It made them famous and changed the world.
Last edited by Tailspin45 on 11 Nov 2018, 22:19, edited 1 time in total.

ricfishner
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Re: What go into those Lockheed boys?

Post by ricfishner » 11 Nov 2018, 18:09

Very interesting Information from Tailspin (as usual) :)
I wonder why Allan Loughead changed his name, though. Was it like he started the Lockheed Corp. first (still named Loughead), and then he changed the name afterwards. To make it match the company's name?

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Tailspin45
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Joined: 16 Jun 2018, 18:28
Location: San Diego California, USA

Re: What go into those Lockheed boys?

Post by Tailspin45 » 11 Nov 2018, 22:10

Loughead was a Scot-Irish name pronounced Loc-'heed. It meant they were from the family who lived at the head of the Lake. Lake, as in lough, as in loch, as in, for example, Loch Ness. I don't know which Loch they actually hailed from, though.

Problem was, people would tease them or simply mispronounce it Log-'hed. They felt it was derisive or pejorative, and were tired of the mispronunciation, so both Allan and Malcolm legally changed their name.

Earlier, when Malolm started his soon to be famous hydraulic brake company, he called it Lockheed so the die was cast. Indeed, even today, the French word for brake fluid is Lockheed.

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