Lockheed 5C Vega Winnie Mae NR105W
Photographed on 23 September 2006 in the NASM, Washington DC, the famous record breaker "Winnie Mae".
Flown by famous pilot Wiley Post, this aircraft completed two round-the-world record flights and a series of special high-altitude substratospheric research flights. It was named after the daughter of its original owner, F. C. Hall, who hired Post to pilot the plane, which had been purchased in June 1930.
Because of its design, the Winnie Mae could not be equipped with a pressure cabin. Post therefore asked the B. F. Goodrich Company to assist him in developing a full pressure suit for the pilot. Post hoped that by equipping the plane with an engine supercharger and a special jettisonable landing gear, and himself with a pressure suit, he could cruise for long distances at high altitude in the jetstream. On March 15, 1935, Post flew from Burbank, California, to Cleveland, Ohio, a distance of 2,035 miles, in 7 hours, 19 minutes. At times, the Winnie Mae attained a ground speed of 340 mph, indicating that the aircraft was indeed operating in the jetstream.
Picture added on 30 January 2008