Lockheed, Allan Haines
Aircraft Builder/IndustrialistEnshrined 1986 1889-1969
Allan Haines Lockheed lived a long life of ups and downs in the aviation business. Although Lockheed had mixed business success, his contributions to the aviation industry were numerous and invaluable.
Lockheed’s first flight made history in 1910 when he and George Gates made the first dual-pilot controlled flight.
With his brother Malcolm, Lockheed built his first plane in 1913. It was called the Model G and the brothers used it to start an aerial sightseeing business. The Lougheads (Allan, after years of name mispronunciation, legally changed his name to Lockheed in 1934) organized the Loughhead Aircraft Manufacturing Company in 1916. Unfortunately the Company went bankrupt in 1920 because the firm could not complete with the government’s sale of extremely low-priced, war-surplus aircraft.
In 1926, Allan Lockheed, John Northrop, Kenneth Kay and Fred Keeler formed the Lockheed Aircraft Company. The corporation became famous by selling its “Vega” airplane to San Francisco Examiner publisher, George Hearst. George Hearst’s plane, however, later crashed into the Pacific on its way to Hawaii.
The “Vega” later proved worthy in the Wilkins expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic. The Lockheed Corp. later helped aviation with the successful “Explorer” and “Air Express’ planes.
Northrop left Lockheed Aircraft in 1928 to form his own business and Lockheed, unhappy with a stock buyout, resigned from the corporation in 1929, just before the stock market crash. Lockheed Aircraft went bankrupt in 1932.
Still not willing to give up, Lockheed formed the Alcor Aircraft Corp. in 1937. A disastrous test flight, unfortunately, wiped out the company in a short period of time. Afterwards, Lockheed continued to make design studies of aircraft and he became general manager of an aircraft company division in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Later in Lockheed’s life, he dealt in the real estate business and served as an aviation consultant for the Lockheed Aircraft Corp. At eighty years of age, Lockheed died in Supelveda, California in 1969.
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