Lockheed C-59 Lodestar

Lockheed C-59 Lodestar

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Lockheed C-59 Lodestar

The Lockheed C-59 was the designation given to Hornet powered Model 18 Lodestars originally produced for Britain, some of which were impressed by the USAAF during the Second World War.

The Lodestar was similar in layout to most Lockheed transport aircraft of the inter-war years. It had low mounted tapered wings, with a moderate dihedral. The fuselage had flat sides, and a rather more pointed nose than earlier models. It had a high mounted tail, with twin vertical control surfaces at the ends. The standard version had a row of small cockpit windows on both sides, and a cabin door towards the rear of the left side of the aircraft.

Ten Model 18-07s, powered by the Pratt & Whitney R-1690-25 Hornet engine, were impressed. It was originally planned to give all ten to the RAF under Lend-Lease, where they were known as the Lodestar Mk.IA. However the first three were kept by the USAAF and only seven went to the RAF.

Engines: Two Pratt & Whitney R-1690-25 Hornets
Power: 875hp each
Crew: 2
Wing span: 65ft 6in
Length: 49ft 10in
Height: 11ft 10in
Empty weight: 11,290lb
Gross weight: 17,500lb
Max Payload: 6,210lb or 16 passengers
Cruising speed: 236mph
Service ceiling: 20,400ft
Normal range: 1,800ft

Lockheed Aircraft Since 1913, René J Francillon

C-60 Goodtime Gal Houston Wing

The Lockheed C-60A is a twin-engine transport based on the Model 18 Lodestar. The Model 18 was a civilian airliner, developed as a competitor to the Douglas DC-3. Slightly smaller and faster than the DC-3, it soon was in service with many airlines around the world. At the beginning of the war, 102 Model 18’s in service with U.S. airlines or under construction were impressed into military service these “drafted” aircraft were designated C-56, C-57, C-59 or C-60 depending on their configuration and engines. The C-60A was the first “Lodestar” which was built specifically for military service. It was used as a cargo aircraft, VIP transport and paratroop transport. C-60As also served with the Royal Air Force, Royal Australian Air Force, Royal Canadian Air Force, Royal New Zealand Air Force, South African Air Force and Netherlands East Indies Air Force.

Lockheed also developed the Ventura medium bomber for the British using the same basic airframe. The Ventura was armed with up to eight .303 and two .50 caliber machine guns, and could carry 2,500 pounds of bombs. Although initially flown in attacks against land targets, it was primarily used as a patrol bomber in an anti-submarine and anti-shipping role.

Carrying the name and nose art “Goodtime Gal”, the C-60A acquired by and assigned to the Houston Wing was built in 1943, and is configured as a paratroop transport, complete with jump lights and a static line hookup.

Lockheed C-59 Lodestar - History

Lockheed L.18 Lodestar / C-56 / C-57 / C-59 / C-60

Design and development of the Lockheed 18 Lodestar began as a result of the poor sales achievement of the Lockheed 14 Super Electra, the prototype first flown on 21 September 1939.
Converted from a Super Electra, the prototype differed primarily by having the fuselage lengthened by 1.68m to provide accommodation for 15 to 18 passengers.

Depending upon the other facilities provided, some were produced with high-density bench seating for a maximum of 26 passengers, and were available with a variety of engines by Pratt & Whitney and Wright.

Despite the improved economy demonstrated by the Lodestar, Lockheed failed again to achieve worthwhile sales in the United States. The type appealed more to export customers, with airlines or government agencies in Africa, Brazil, Canada, France, the Netherlands, Norway, South Africa, the UK and Venezuela ordering a total of 96 aircraft.

The C-60 is a twin-engine transport based on the Lockheed Model 18 Lodestar. The Army began ordering military versions of the Model 18 in May 1941. Depending upon engines and interior configuration, these transports were given C-56, C-57, C-59 or C-60 basic type designations. Lockheed built more C-60As for the AAF (325) than any other version of the military Lodestar.

There was only limited military interest before the beginning of World War II, but procurement, particularly by the US Army Air Force, raised the total of Lodestars built by Lockheed to 625 before production ended.

After the war, many military Lodestars were declared surplus and sold to private operators for use as cargo or executive transports. A number of conversions as executive transports were carried out in the USA by companies like Howard Aero and Lear Inc.

Lockheed 18-07 Lodestar
Engines: 2 x Pratt & Whitney Hornet S1E2-G radial, 652kW
Max take-off weight: 8709 kg / 19200 lb
Empty weight: 5103 kg / 11250 lb
Wingspan: 19.96 m / 65 ft 6 in
Length: 15.19 m / 49 ft 10 in
Height: 3.61 m / 11 ft 10 in
Wing area: 51.19 sq.m / 551.00 sq ft
Max. speed: 351 km/h / 218 mph
Ceiling: 6220 m / 20400 ft
Range: 2897 km / 1800 miles

Lockheed 18-56 Lodestar

Engines: 2 x Wright R-1820-71, 1184 hp
Length: 49.836 ft / 15.19 m
Height: 11.089 ft / 3.38 m
Wingspan: 65.486 ft / 19.96 m
Wing area: 550.04 sq.ft / 51.1 sq.m
Max take off weight: 17503.3 lb / 7938.0 kg
Weight empty: 11651.2 lb / 5284.0 kg
Max. speed: 220 kts / 407 km/h
Cruising speed: 174 kts / 322 km/h
Service ceiling: 23294 ft / 7100 m
Wing load: 31.78 lb/sq.ft / 155.0 kg/sq.m
Range: 1390 nm / 2575 km
Crew: 3
Payload: 14pax

Lockheed C-60 A Lodestar
Engines: Two Wright R-1820-87, 1,200 hp
Span: 65 ft. 6 in.
Length: 49 ft. 10 in.
Height: 11 ft. 1 in.
Weight: 18,500 lbs. max.
MAUW: 21,000 lb
Maximum speed: 257 mph.
Cruising speed: 232 mph.
Range: 1,700 miles
Service Ceiling: 25,000 ft.
Armament: None
Cost: $123,000

Lockheed C-59 Lodestar - History

Taken on Strength/Charge with the United States Army Air Corps with s/n 41-29631.

From 11 April 1942 to 1 January 1947

Taken on Strength/Charge with the Royal Air Force with s/n EW984 as a Lodestar II.

Taken on Strength/Charge with the Ejercito de Aire.
Exact Serial used by Spanish Air Force not confirmed.

Summary: The airframe was a loss. There were 13 fatalities. The international non-scheduled passenger flight departed Bilbeis RAF Station, Egypt and was destined for Lydda Airport (TLV/LLBG), Israel. The accident occurred at Bilbeis RAF Station (Egypt) while in the initial climb. Narrative: The Lodestar took off from Bilbeis, Egypt, on a passenger flight to Lydda, Israel. Shortly after becoming airborne the pilot began to perform passes over Bilbeis Camp. He made a run at the Officers Mess tent at a reported height of 8 feet.

Editor Note: The Aviation Safety Network has the c/n as 18-2139, but this is believed to be an error.

Certificate of airworthiness for N9930F (18-56, 2152) issued.

To Minnesota Airmotive Inc, Minneapolis, MN with c/r N9930F.

To Fieldair with c/r ZK-BUV.
Converted to Topdresser aircraft.

Civil registration, N9930F, cancelled.
Exported to New Zealand.

Photographer: Graeme Mills - Allan Wooller
Notes: At Palmerston North

Photographer: Graeme Mills - Don Noble
Notes: At Gisborne NZ

Permanently withdrawn from use.

Placed on display.
On poles at placed at the entrance to Gisborne Airport.

Photographer: Danny Tanner
Notes: Displayed at Gisborne Airport, New Zealand

Taken down from poles and moved in the Museum at Gisborne.

To Gisborne Aviation Preservation Society, Gisborne Airport, Gisborne, Gisborne, North Island.
View the Location Dossier

Photographer: Graeme Mills
Notes: Outside at Gisborne NZ

HISTORY OF A GREAT AIRCRAFT Rescueing a piece of aviation history

Our Lockheed 18 Lodestar was one of those slated to join the Dutch East Indies Air Force in Java in 1940 where it was to have been given the serial number LT-926. However, when the Japanese overran Java, the Lodestar was diverted (seized, might be a better term) by the U.S. Government to the Army Air Corps as a C-60-LO and given the serial number 42-108787. The Army Air Corps never used the plane and released it to Canadian Pacific Air Lines in the early 1940s.

Canadian Pacific Railways purchased ten bush airlines in a short period of time, finishing with the purchase of Western Canadian Airlines in 1942, to form Canadian Pacific Airlines. In 1943, the first Lodestar was delivered to CPA and was named CF-CPA. In 1943 seven Lodestars were allocated to CPA by the USAAF especially for use on the WSR, Alaskan Highway & Canol Pipeline.

The Lockheed 18 Lodestar was the last twin-engine transport designed by Lockheed. The prototype, a Lockheed 14 Super Electra, lengthened by five feet, flew on September 21, 1939. Designed for the commercial market, Lockheed found domestic sales slow due to previous commitments by airlines to buy the Douglas DC-3. A total of 96 Lodestars were ordered by foreign airlines in Canada, Africa, Brazil, France, the Netherlands, Norway, South Africa, the UK and Venezuela.

In addition to commercial markets, the Lodestar also flew in the military. The first military orders for the Lodestar came from the US Navy. In 1940, the Navy ordered three variations, an executive transport carrying seven (R50-1), a personnel transport carrying 14, and a paratroop transport carrying 18. In 1941, the US Army Air Corps had 13 Lodestars built and designated them C-57. In addition, after the attack on Pearl Harbor, a number of civilian Lodestars were requisitioned and designated C-56. Between 1942 and 1943, the USAAC acquired 324 C-60As, 18-seat paratroop transports. Some of these aircraft were passed on to the UK (RAF versions were known as the Lodestar I (C-56), Lodestar IA (C-59), and Lodestar II (C-60), and most were operated as medium-range transports). After the war, some Lodestars were converted into executive aircraft while others went to work for small freight operators. Less than 20 Lodestars are still airworthy in the USA today.

The Lockheed Lodestar transport design drew heavily from the company's Hudson bomber and earlier transport designs. Lockheed's Model 18 initially combined a newly lengthened fuselage with the Model 14 wings, tail unit and engines. This was also flown by the US Army Air Corps and US Navy.

The RCAF acquired a small number of Lodestar aircraft for transport duties. Starting in 1943, No.164 Squadron flew Lodestar aircraft on a run from Moncton, NB to Goose Bay, Labrador transporting essential freight, equipment and personnel during the construction of RCAF Station Goose Bay.

E.D. Bourque Aerial Photography of Ottawa quickly bought the Lodestar and placed it into service on photo contracts in Canada's north. It was performing this duty when it came to rest in Schefferville, Québec in 1960.

Here the aircraft sat, registered CF-CPA, watching an endless parade of seasons go by for 45 years until it was happened upon by one of our members, Patrick Cloutier. History had not been kind and only minimal information about the aircraft and those that served on it all those years ago could be found. If you have any information about this particular aircraft, CF-CPA, please contact us.

On September 20, 2006, the Lodestar was bought registered as CF-CPA. The plane had been sitting in a swamp, where it belly-landed, since 1960. The plan is to lift the aircraft in summer 2007 to allow for meticulous inspection of the entire aircraft by our team of specialists. Once the inspection is completed, a careful review of our options will be considered. [See Project for list of options]

Thus began the formation of the CF-CPA Project, a group dedicated to the preservation of the aircraft and its history. The first order of business is to recover CF-CPA and it will be no small task.

During winter and summer 2007, the work will commence. Equipment will be purchased for the camp to be set up next to the plane in August 2007, 100 miles north of Schefferville, Quebec, in the tundra, a very inhospitable region where the mosquitoes have to kneel to bite you on the head. The camp will house 10 volunteers who will begin lifting and inspecting the plane.

This website will track the progress of the Lodestar Restoration Project as it continues to our ultimate goal of getting CF-CPA into the air again. The aircraft CF-CPA is a timely project to begin in the year 2007.

Many members with a wealth of expertise and aviation enthusiasm are readily available. The project is being carried out through the generous donations of time and skills from our many volunteers.

Lockheed Lodestar

First flown in 1939, the Model 18 was originally designed as a successor to the Lockheed Model 14 and the earlier Model 10 Electra. Most US airlines were by then committed to purchasing the Douglas DC-3, and Lockheed found the Lodestar difficult to sell at home. However, several overseas airlines from South Africa, Canada and Britain ordered the Lodestar. The Army began ordering military versions of the Model 18 in 1941.

A total of 625 Lodestars of all variants were built with a variety of engines from Pratt & Whitney, and Wright.

The museum&rsquos aircraft, CF-TCY, was purchased by Trans-Canada Airlines (TCA) to replace the Lockheed Super Electra that had originally commenced the trans-continental airmail service in 1939. The Lockheed Lodestar was the flagship of the TCA fleet from 1941 to 1947. It was once the primary wartime transport flying between Victoria and Newfoundland. Fifteen of these aircraft were operated by TCA on the trans-continental service and Canadian Pacific Airlines operated a further nine. It was not until after the war that surplus DC-3&rsquos finally became available and TCA began replacing their Lockheed fleet. Since the DC-3 did not have sufficient single engine performance above 11,000 feet, the minimum enroute altitude between Vancouver and Lethbridge, Alberta, TCA maintained Lodestars for the BC portion of their transcontinental route.

Lodestar CF-TCY was sold to the Department of Transport in March of 1948 and was converted to the Club Executive Model for use by Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent, Cabinet Ministers, and visiting Heads of State. Little is known of CF-TCY&rsquos history until it was found abandoned at the Chicago Midway Airport where the airport authority had slated it for scrap.

The aircraft was purchased by the Museum in 1987 and moved to the Museum&rsquos site at Crescent Beach. It was moved to Delta Heritage Air Park when the Museum moved in 1996 and it was moved again in 2007 to Abbotsford, BC for repair and refurbishment. The Canadian Museum of Flight in partnership with the University of the Fraser Valley at Abbotsford will be preserving an icon of Canadian aviation history.

For the operational history of this aircraft see our History section. Lodestar CF-TCY

World War II Database

ww2dbase L-18 Lodestar passenger aircraft were built upon a batch of L-14 Super Electra aircraft which had been returned by American airline company Northwest Airlines to the Lockheed Corporation after a series of crashes with that batch of aircraft. They were lengthened by 1.5 meters to add two more rows of seating, but they found their potential buyers in the United States had already ordered the DC-3 passenger aircraft from their competitor Douglas Aircraft Company. With 625 L-18 Lodestar aircraft on-hand by Mar 1940, Lockheed looked abroad for sales. 29 of them were sold to the Netherlands for use in the Dutch East Indies, 21 to South African Airways, 12 to Trans-Canada Air Lines, 9 to British Overseas Airways Corporation, and several to the Royal New Zealand Air Force under Lend-Lease terms. In late 1940 and early 1941, as the United States military began expanding in anticipation of war, both the Army and the Navy purchased L-18 Lodestar aircraft for transport duties. The US Army operated them under the designations of C-56, C-57, C-59, C-60 the US Navy operated them under the designation of R-50, with 1 R5O-1 aircraft later transferred to the United States Coast Guard and 35 R50-6 aircraft (originally US Army Air Force C-60A-5-LO aircraft) later transferred to the United States Marine Corps. After WW2, many of the military L-18 Lodestar aircraft returned to civilian service, mostly as executive transports.

ww2dbase Source: Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Jul 2008


MachineryTwo Pratt & Whitney Hornet S1C3-G engines rated at 1,050hp each
Span19.96 m
Length15.19 m
Height3.60 m
Wing Area51.20 m²
Weight, Empty5,440 kg
Weight, Loaded7,940 kg
Speed, Maximum426 km/h
Service Ceiling7,740 m
Range, Normal2,740 km

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Lockheed C-59 Lodestar - History

Piper L-4 / O-59 / L-18 "Grasshopper"

(Variants/Other Names: Piper J-3 Cub AE-1 HE-1 See History below for others)

This beautiful Piper L-4A "Grasshopper OY-ECV, Serial No. 42-15272, nicknamed "Mistress," is owned and flown by Thomas S. Damm, an airline Captain in Denmark. Photo by Thorbjoern Brunander Sund.

History: Dating back to a 1930 design called the Taylor Cub, the Piper J-3 Cub design was vastly popular as a civilian trainer and sport plane for at least three years before the US Army Air Corps selected the aircraft to be evaluated as an artillery spotter/director platform. The first J-3s delivered, powered by a 50-hp Lenape Papoose 3-cylinder radial engine, were designated the O-59. 40 were delivered in 1941. Shortly thereafter, the Army ordered a new version powered by a 65-hp Continental O-170-3 flat-four engine. It was originally designated the O-59A, but due to an Army designation change, it was called the L-4A. 948 were eventually delivered, and the nickname "Grasshopper" was almost immediately applied.

Subsequent variants included the L-4B, with reduced radio equipment and a 65-hp Continental engine the L-4H, which was almost the same as the B-Model the L-4J, with a variable-pitch propeller and the L-4C and L-4D, both of which were actually civilian J-3 models pressed into service at the beginning of WWII. The US Navy also purchased 250 Cubs for use as trainers, which they designated NE-1s (and later, NE-2s.)

The Piper J-4E Cub Coupe, powered by a 75-hp Continental A75-9 engine, was purchased by the US Army and designated the L-4E. It featured a fully-enclosed engine cowl, wheel pants, brakes, a fully-castoring tailwheel, and a slightly increased wingspan. The Piper J-5 Cruiser next entered service as the L-4F (75-hp J-5A) and the L-4G (100-hp J-5C), and the US Navy bought 100 modified J-5Cs and called them HE-1s. They were fitted with a hinged turtledeck fuselage, which allowed a stretcher to be loaded. (When the Navy realigned their "H" designation for their helicopters, the HE-1 became the AE-1.) An unusual variant, the TG-8 training glider, consisted of an L-4 fuselage with no engine or landing gear. In the 1950s, during the Korean war, the L-4 was reborn as an improved variant, the L-18, and it served in many of the same roles it had filled in WWII.

The J-3/L-4 not only introduced uncounted thousands of aspiring military aviators the basics of flying, it also became a versatile workhorse of the battlefields of WWII. Many hundreds of J-3s are still airworthy around the world, although it is not known exactly how many of these once wore Army colors as L-4s, since many true L-4s were later sold as surplus and repainted in familiar "Cub Yellow." Most Grasshoppers are highly prized and pampered by their owners, ensuring that their legacy will continue for many years.

Nickname: Grasshopper

Specifications (L-4B):
Engine: One 65-hp Continental A65 flat-four piston engine
Weight: Empty 640 lbs., Max Takeoff 1,100 lbs.
Wing Span: 35ft. 2.5in.
Length: 22ft. 3in.
Height: 6ft. 8in.
Maximum Speed: 92 mph
Ceiling: 12,000 ft.
Range: 250 miles
Armament: None

Number Still Airworthy: Unknown, probably over 40 original L-4s, plus hundreds of J-3s.

J-3Cub.com -- Active Cub forum.
Piper Cub Forum -- Lots of great information about Cubs.
Piper L-4 Page at Fiddler's Green -- A modeler's site, but has some interesting information.
USAF Museum L-4A Page

L-4 Cockpit Photo:

(Click for larger)

[ Click for more great books about Liaison aircraft,
including Piper Cubs and Grasshoppers! ]

Lockheed C-59 Lodestar - History

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

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. 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.

The prototype for the revised airliner, designated 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, another two prototypes being converted from Model 14s, with the first newly built Model 18 flying on February 2, 1940.

A total of 625 Lodestars of all variants were built.

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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 U.S. Army Air Forces as the C-60 and by the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps as the R5O. Lend-lease aircraft were used by the RNZAF as transports.

Lockheed L-18 Lodestar

The Lodestar received its Type certificate on March 30, 1940, allowing it to enter service with the first customer, Mid-Continent Airlines that month. 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.

Lockheed C-60 Lodestar

The 21st September 1943, No. 37 (Transport) Squadron saw A67-1 depart Parafield on the squadron’s first operational & regular courier flight, the route being Parafield, Perth, Gorrie, Oodnadatta, returning to Parafield 25th September 1943.

The unit continued flying regular courier runs in Australia and Dutch New Guinea, with Morotai in the Dutch East Indies added in late 1944. Some of the Squadron’s tasking saw the Lodestars flying journeys in excess of 11,000 kilometres to island bases in the South West Pacific.

The remaining nine Lodestars gave good service until they were sold to civilian operators in 1947. In addition, five Lodestars (LT 931/935) were transferred from Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia) to No. 37 Sqn early in 1944.