Billy Brock
Captain William S. Brock
     Captain Brock, pilot of the CROSLEY entry "New Cincinnati" in the Los Angeles-Chicago derby. He is the first 'round-the-world flier (Pacific hop excepted), holder of the transcontinental and return record, and the non-refueling endurance record.
<I>Crosley Broadcaster</I>

Buys Schlee-Brock Plane.
New York Times, August 16, 1930
Courtesy of Mike Banks, 3-19-04
     "Powel Crosley, radio manufacturer, it was learned here yesterday, has purchased the Lockheed Vega monoplane in which Edward F. Schlee and William S. Brock recently made a round trip form Jacksonville to San Diego and return in thirty-one hours. The plane has been entered in the non-stop derby between Los Angeles and Chicago, an event in the national air races. Brock will pilot it, and plans are being made to broadcast a running story of the flight from the plane during the race."
Brock & Elinor Smith
  Captain Brock and Elinor Smith      The noted aviatrix, at the 1930 Chicago Air Races, is preparing for a broadcast from the Crosley Radio Plane. It was piloted by Billy Brock
Photo & Caption Courtesy of Mike Miller, 3-20-04

Via email from Mike Banks, 3-19-04
Hello, Ralph,
     I've gotten quite a bit of info together about William S. Brock's last few years, in connection with some other writing projects I have in progress.
     Billy Brock was hired by radio magnate (and airplane and automobile manufacturer) Powel Crosley, Jr. in the wake of the troubles Brock and Schlee were having with their airplane business. On August , 1930, Crosley bought the Lockheed Vega that Bock and Schlee used for their Jacksonville to Los Angeles record run in 1929. (See the attached story from the New York Times below.)
     Crosley based the Vega at his airport north of Cincinnati (now the site of a Ford Motor Company's transmission plant). Brock set at least one record in the Vega while flying for Crosley.
     If you'd like more info, I'll be glad to share it. Best regards,
--Mike Banks
Brock & Elinor Smith
Brock & Elinor Smith
Brock and Crosley
     Powel Crosley, Jr. (right) and Captain William S. Brock, famous world flier, have joined forces in what promises to be big news of the air.
(Photo: Crosley Radio Corporation, 1930)
Brock and Crosley
     Powel Crosley, Jr., right, owner of the "New Cincinnati" official radio ship for the National Air Reliability Tour, bidding Captain William S. Brock, pilot of the plane, goodbye. The photo was taken just before the plane hopped off for Detroit, the starting place for the 4500 mile journey through 20 cities in the United States and Canada.
(Photo: Crosley Radio Corporation, 1930)

Via email from Mike Banks, 3-20-04
     Here are some details on the Lockheed Vega that William S. Brock and Edward F. Schlee used to set their transcontinental round-trip record in 1929. It has an interesting history. this was a Lockheed Vega 5, built in 1928 on special order for Brock and Schlee. The serial number may have been 619. The registration number was NC496M. The cockpit seated only one, and the passenger compartment was laid out for six. The Vega came equipped with a Pratt & Whitney 450-horsepower Whirlwind engine. Radio and broadcasting magnate Powel Crosley, Jr. bought the airplane in August, 1930, and Billy Brock came along with it and went to work as Crosley's corporate pilot. Crosley had it repainted (red fuselage and cream-colored wings) and christened the airplane the "New Cincinnati." Brock immediately set an inter-city record with the New Cincinnati, flying Crosley from the Crosley Airport in Cincinnati to T.A.T. Airport in Indianapolis in 43 minutes. He broke the record on the return trip with a time of 38 minutes. Powel Crosley, Jr. entered the airplane in the 1930 National Air Races and the National Air Tour. Brock piloted the Vega, with WLW announcer Bob Brown along as a passenger. (Brown broadcast during both events.) Despite carrying Brown and 600 pounds of radio equipment, Brock flew the Vega to a 4th-place finish in the Los Angles to Chicago Air Derby on August 23, 1930. Subsequent to Brock leaving Crosley's employ, aviatrix Ruth Nichols used the Lockheed Vega to set several women's records in 1930 and 1931. Her technical advisor, Clarence Chamberlain, outfitted the airplane for a trans-Atlantic flight, but Nichols was delayed by first a crash and then a fire in the Vega, and Amelia Earhart edged her out as the first woman to fly the Atlantic solo. The airplane's last known location was Roosevelt Field, where it as awaiting repairs after a ground loop late in 1931. -Michael A. Banks

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