Bowen Air Lines  Lockheed 9 Orion   NC960Y                   (c/n  168)


                                      As I indicated in my overview of Bowen Air Lines in the entry for the DL-1 Vega, Temple Bowen
                                      was something of a 'speed freak'.  In fact, he purchased the prototype (X-960Y) and the first prod-
                                      uction model of Lockheed's new Model 9 Orion.     Seen above is the first one (by then NC960Y)
                                      being accepted by Bowen in 1930.     The two gentlemen on the left are Lockheed representatives,
                                      then Temple Bowen (holding hat), and, on the right, Bill Ponder, who was one of  Bowen's pilots
                                      and a WWI ace with 8 victories to his name.   The Orion was developed from the earlier Sirius and
                                      Altair aircraft, and was billed as the 'fastest airliner in the world' at the time.     The cabin had seating
                                       for seven and, powered by a 450 hp Pratt & Whitney Wasp attained a cruising speed of 180 mph.  
                                      The shot below shows the second machine (NC964Y) at Meacham Field, Fort Worth, Texas when
                                      Perry F. 'Pop' Hotchkiss was unable to get the Orion's gear extended.    There were no injuries and
                                      clearly the aircraft was repaired since it was sold later to Aerovias Centreras in Mexico as X-ABEI.
                                      It later returned to the US as NC13997 for Pan American Airways, before being seconded to that
                                      carrier's Mexican subsidiary Cie Mexicana de Aviacion as XA-BAY.  Finally, at the foot of the page
                                      is an evocative image of one of Bowen's Orions in a head-on shot (probably NC964Y again).
                                      All photos are from the History of Aviation Collection at the University of Texas at Dallas.
                                   Lockheed Orion NC964Y                                           (c/n  169)