The L-18 Loadstar prototype was constructed from a production Lockheed L-14 Super Electra in 1939. Designed as a passenger transport, the Lodestar's fuselage was five feet longer than the Super Electra's, which allowed the installation of two more rows of seats. This was done for commercial reasons to be more competitive with the Douglas DC-3. The effort fell short of success.
As the United States began its military build-up in 1940 and 1941 the Loadstar found favor with the Army and Navy, as well as the Lend-Lease program. Known by the US Army as the C-56, C-57, C-59, C-60, and finally the C-66, and by the Navy as the R50, the Loadstar incorporated numerous powerplant configurations which included both Wright and Pratt & Whitney engines.
Lodestars also served with the Royal Air Force, the Royal Australian Air Force, the Royal Canadian Air Force, the Royal New Zealand Air Force, the South African Air Force, as well as the Brazilian Air Force, and the Netherland East Indies Air Force. Fewer than 20 Lodestars are still airworthy in the USA today.
Private aircraft of Senator Lyndon Baines Johnson in late 1940s.
Status: Restoring to Static Display
Manufacturer: Lockheed Aircraft Corporation
Model: L-18 Lodestar
Max T/O Weight: 19,200 lb.
Span: 65 ft. 6 in.
Length: 49 ft. 10 in.
Height: 11 ft. 10 in.
Maximum Speed: 253 mph
Cruise Speed: 200 mph
Rate of Climb: 1,600 ft/min
Power Plant: 2 x Wright R-1820-71 air-cooled radial engines, 1,200 hp each