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Model 18 Lodestar
C-56 / C-57 / C-60 / R5O
LockheedLodestar.jpg
Role Passenger transport
National origin United States
Manufacturer Lockheed
First flight September 21, 1939
Introduction March 30, 1940
Primary user United States Army Air Corps
Number built 625[1]
Developed from Lockheed Model 14 Super Electra
Variants Lockheed Ventura

The Lockheed Model 18 Lodestar was a passenger transport aircraft of the World War II era.

Design and developmentEdit

Sales of the 10–14 passenger Lockheed Model 14 Super Electra, which first flew in 1937, had proved disappointing, despite the aircraft's excellent performance, as it was more expensive to operate than the larger Douglas DC-3, already in widespread use.[2] In order to improve the type's economics, Lockheed decided to stretch the aircraft's fuselage by 5 feet 6 inches (1.68 m), allowing an extra two rows of seats to be fitted.[3] The prototype for the revised airliner, designed Model 18 by Lockheed, was converted from the fourth Model 14, one of a batch which had been returned to the manufacturer by Northwest Airlines after a series of crashes. The modified aircraft first flew in this form on September 21, 1939, with another two prototypes being converted from Model 14s, and the first Model 18 built from new flying on February 2, 1940.[4]

A total of 625 Lodestars of all variants were built.

Operational historyEdit

The Lodestar received its Type certificate on March 30, 1940, allowing it to enter service with the first customer, Mid-Continent Airlines that month.[5] As hoped, the extra seats greatly improved the Model 18's economics, reducing its seat-mile costs to a similar level to that of the DC-3, while retaining superior performance. Despite this, sales to US domestic customers were relatively slow as most US airlines were already committed to the DC-3, with only 31 Lodestars going to US airlines.[6] Overseas sales were a little better, with 29 bought by the government of the Netherlands East Indies. South African Airways (21), New Zealand National Airways Corporation (13), Trans-Canada Air Lines (12) and BOAC (9) were the biggest airline customers. Various Pratt & Whitney and Wright Cyclone powerplants were installed.

When the United States started to build up its military air strength in 1940–41, many American operated Lodestars were impressed as the C-56. This was followed by the construction of many new-build Lodestars which were flown by the Army Air Force as the C-60 and U.S. Navy as the R5O. Lend-lease aircraft were used by the RNZAF as transports.

One bought in 1942 to serve as Brazilian President Getúlio Vargas' personal aircraft. This aircraft was specially designed for that purpose and had 11 seats.

Lockheed 18 Tri N6711 OPA 02.02.81 edited-3

Howard 250 Lodestar conversion fitted with tri-gear. At Opa Locka Airport near Miami in 1981

After the war many Lodestars were overhauled and returned to civilian service, mostly as executive transports such as Dallas Aero Service's DAS Dalaero conversion, Bill Lear's Learstar (produced by PacAero), and Howard Aero's Howard 250.[7][8] A few of the latter were even converted to tricycle undercarriage.

Many of the New Zealand aircraft were later used for aerial topdressing.

A single Lodestar served with the Israeli Air Force during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.

A number of skydiving operations in the United States used Lodestars during the 1970s and 1980s.

SurvivorsEdit

Around 10-15 are still airworthy in the USA alone.[citation needed] An example of a Lodestar converted for commercial use exists at the 1940 Air Terminal Museum in Houston, Texas. A lodestar Cn2026 ZS-ASN of South African Airways is preserved and on display at the South African Airways Museum Rand Airport Johannesburg, South Africa.

  • USA
    • Lodestar cn 18-2274 is located at Hampton Roads Executive Airport VA USA [9][10]

VariantsEdit

18-07
Powered by two 875 hp Pratt & Whitney Hornet S1E2-G engines; 25 built plus two prototypes.[1]
18-08
Powered by two 1,200 hp Pratt & Whitney Twin Wasp S1C3-G engines; 33 built.[1]
18-10
Powered by two 1,200 hp Pratt & Whitney Twin Wasp S1C3-G engines; 39 built.[1]
18-14
Powered by two 1,200 hp Pratt & Whitney Twin Wasp S4C4-G engines; four built.[1]
18-40
Powered by two 1,200 hp Wright Cyclone G-1820-G104A engines; 26 built.[1]
18-50
Powered by two 1200hp Wright Cyclone G-1820-G202A engines; 13 built.[1]

US Army LodestarsEdit

C-56
Powered by 1,200 hp Wright 1820-89 engines, one Model 18-50 for evaluation.[11]
C-56A
One impressed Model 18-07 with two Pratt & Whitney R-1690-54 engines.[11]
C-56B
Thirteen impressed Model 18-40s with two Wright 1820-97 engines.[11]
C-56C
Twelve impressed Model 18-07.[11]
C-56D
Seven impressed Model 18-08.[11]
C-56E
Two Model 18-40s impressed in 1943.[11]
C-57
As Model 18-14 powered by two 1,200 hp Pratt & Whitney R-1830-53 engines.[11]
C-57A
Allocated for impressed aircraft, not used.[11]
C-57B
Based on Model 18-08 fitted for trooping; seven aircraft built.[11]
C-57C
Repowered C-60A with Pratt & Whitney R-1830-51 engines; three aircraft converted.[11]
C-57D
Repowered C-57C with Pratt & Whitney R-1830-92 engines; one aircraft converted.[11]
C-59
Based on Model 18-07 powered by Pratt & Whitney R-1690-25 Hornet engines; 10 aircraft built, transferred to Royal Air Force as Lodestar IA.
C-60
Model 18-56 powered by Wright R-1820-87 engines; 36 aircraft built, some transferred to RAF as Lodestar II.
C-60A
As the C-60 but fitted out as a paratroop transport powered by Pratt & Whitney R-1830 Twin Wasp engines; 325 aircraft built.[11]
XC-60B
One C-60A fitted with experimental de-icing equipment.[11]
C-60C
Proposed 21-seat troop transport aircraft, never built.
C-66
Powered by Wright R-1820-87 engines; one aircraft built, 11-passenger interior for transfer to the Brazilian Air Force.[11]
C-104
Original designation for C-60C

US Navy LodestarsEdit

XR5O-1
One Model 18-07 acquired for evaluation powered by 1,200 hp (895 kW) Wright R-1820-40 engines.[11]
R5O-1
Staff transport powered by 1,200 hp (895 kW) Wright R-1820-97 engines; three aircraft built, two for the USN and one for the United States Coast Guard.
R5O-2
Navy version of the C-59 powered by 850 hp (634 kW) Pratt & Whitney R-1690-25 engines; one aircraft built.
R5O-3
Powered by 1,200 hp (895 kW) Pratt & Whitney R-1830-34A engines. Originally 4-seater VIP transports; three aircraft built.
R5O-4
Powered by 1,200 hp (895 kW) Wright R-1820-40 engines. Impressed. 7-seater staff transports; 12 aircraft built.
R5O-5
Navy version of the C-60 powered by 1,200 hp (895 kW) Wright R-1820-40 engines. Similar to the R5O-4 but had 14-seats; 38 aircraft built and three former NEIAF aircraft.[11]
R5O-6
Navy version of the C-60A for the US Marine Corps, equipped with 18 paratroop seats; 35 built.[11]

OperatorsEdit

File:NAC ZK-AJM.JPG

Civil operatorsEdit

Flag of Australia.svg Australia
Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Belgium
Flag of Bolivia.svg Bolivia
Flag of Brazil.svg Brazil
Canadian Red Ensign (1921–1957).svg Canada
Flag of Chile.svg Chile
Flag of Finland.svg Finland
Flag of France.svg France
Flag of Honduras.svg Honduras
Flag of Kenya (1921–1963).svg Kenya, Flag of Tanganyika (1923–1961).svg Tanganyika, and Flag of the Uganda Protectorate.gif Uganda
Flag of New Zealand.svg New Zealand
Flag of Portugal.svg Portugal
Flag of South Africa (1928–1994).svg South Africa
Flag of Trinidad and Tobago (1889–1958).gif Trinidad and Tobago
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom
  • BOAC (British Overseas Airways Corporation) (Nine Model 18-07s delivered new[1])
Flag of the United States.svg United States
Flag of Venezuela.svg Venezuela

Military operatorsEdit

Flag of Australia.svg Australia
Flag of Brazil.svg Brazil
Canadian Red Ensign (1921–1957).svg Canada
Flag of Colombia.svg Colombia
Flag of Haiti.svg Haiti
Flag of Israel.svg Israel
Flag of Mexico.svg Mexico
Flag of the Netherlands.svg Netherlands
Flag of New Zealand.svg New Zealand
Flag of Norway.svg Norway
Flag of South Africa (1928–1994).svg South Africa
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom
US flag 48 stars.svg United States

Accidents and incidentsEdit

In 1949, a Lockheed Lodestar in airline service in Australia crashed immediately after takeoff. All 21 occupants died in the crash or the ensuing conflagration. The cause of the accident was determined to be that the center of gravity was behind the rear limit. It is also likely the elevator trim tab was set for landing rather than takeoff.[12]

Between 1941-1944, the Panair do Brasil airline suffered 4 accidents involving the Lodestar which resulted in a total of 57 fatalities.[13][13][14][15][16][17][18][19]

Specifications (C-60A-5)Edit

Data from Lockheed Aircraft since 1913[20]

General characteristics
  • Crew: 3
  • Capacity: 18 passengers
  • Length: 49 ft 10 in (15.19 m)
  • Wingspan: 65 ft 6 in (19.96 m)
  • Height: 11 ft 10 in (3.6 m)
  • Wing area: 551 ft² (51.2 m²)
  • Empty weight: 12,500 lb (5,670 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 17,500 lb (7,938 kg)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 21,000 lb (9,825 kg)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Wright R-1820-87 nine-cylinder air-cooled radial engines, 1,200 hp (895 kW) each

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 266 mph (231 knots, 428 km/h) at 17,150 ft (5,230 m)
  • Cruise speed: 200 mph (174 knots, 322 km/h)
  • Range: 2,500 mi (2,174 nmi, 4,025 km)
  • Service ceiling: 25,400 ft (7,740 m)
  • Climb to 10,000 ft (3,050 m): 6.6 minutes</ul></ul>Armament

none

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

Notes
  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 Francillon 1982, pp. 185–194, 488–489.
  2. Francillon 1982, p. 135.
  3. Francillon 1982, pp. 185–186.
  4. Francillon 1982, pp. 139, 186.
  5. Francillon 1982, p. 186.
  6. Francillon 1982, p. 187.
  7. Taylor 1965, p. 244.
  8. "Error: no |title= specified when using {{Cite web}}". January 1954. p. 40. 
  9. http://jetphotos.net/link/photo_link.php?id=6669420
  10. http://goo.gl/maps/qriKL
  11. 11.00 11.01 11.02 11.03 11.04 11.05 11.06 11.07 11.08 11.09 11.10 11.11 11.12 11.13 11.14 11.15 11.16 Andrade 1979, pp. 77–78.
  12. Job, Macarthur. "Horror at Coolangatta." Flight Safety Australia, via casa.gov.au, November–December 1999, p. 47. Retrieved: December 5, 2011.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Pereira, Aldo (1987) (in Portuguese). Breve História da Aviação Comercial Brasileira. Rio de Janeiro: Europa. p. 338. 
  14. Germano da Silva, Carlos Ari César (2008). "Serra da Cantareira" (in Portuguese). O rastro da bruxa: história da aviação comercial brasileira no século XX através dos seus acidentes 1928-1996 (2 ed.). Porto Alegre: EDIPUCRS. pp. 37–41. ISBN 978-85-7430-760-2. 
  15. Germano da Silva, Carlos Ari César (2008). "Uma desgraça nunca vem só" (in Portuguese). O rastro da bruxa: história da aviação comercial brasileira no século XX através dos seus acidentes 1928-1996 (2 ed.). Porto Alegre: EDIPUCRS. pp. 49–53. ISBN 978-85-7430-760-2. 
  16. "Accident description PP-PBI". Aviation Safety Network. http://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=19440831-0. Retrieved August 17, 2011. 
  17. Germano da Silva, Carlos Ari César (2008). "Alternativa derradeira" (in Portuguese). O rastro da bruxa: história da aviação comercial brasileira no século XX através dos seus acidentes 1928-1996 (2 ed.). Porto Alegre: EDIPUCRS. pp. 66–68. ISBN 978-85-7430-760-2. 
  18. "Accident description PP-PBH". Aviation Safety Network. http://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=19440921-L. Retrieved June 9, 2011. 
  19. Germano da Silva, Carlos Ari César (2008). "Mais um Lodestar" (in Portuguese). O rastro da bruxa: história da aviação comercial brasileira no século XX através dos seus acidentes 1928-1996 (2 ed.). Porto Alegre: EDIPUCRS. pp. 69–72. ISBN 978-85-7430-760-2. 
  20. Francillon 1982, p. 194.
Bibliography
  • Andrade, John. U.S. Military Aircraft Designations and Serials since 1909. Hersham, Surrey, UK: Midland Counties Publications, 1979. ISBN ISBN 0-904597-22-9.
  • Francillon, René J. Lockheed Aircraft since 1913. London: Putnam & Company, 1982. ISBN 0-370-30329-6.
  • Stanaway, John C. Vega Ventura: The Operational Story of Lockheed's Lucky Star. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Publishing, 2000. ISBN 0-7643-0087-3.
  • Taylor, John W. R. Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1965-66. London: Sampson Low, Marston, 1965.
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External linksEdit

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