L-18 Lodestar file photo [6255]

L-18 Lodestar

CountryUnited States
ManufacturerLockheed Corporation
Primary RoleTransport
Maiden Flight21 September 1939


ww2dbaseL-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.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia.


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


WASP pilots at Laredo Army Air Force Base, Texas, United States, 22 Jan 1944; note B-26 Marauder, AT-6 Texan, and C-56 Lodestar aircraft in backgroundL-18 Lodestar aircraft

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L-18 Lodestar Transport Photo Gallery
WASP pilots at Laredo Army Air Force Base, Texas, United States, 22 Jan 1944; note B-26 Marauder, AT-6 Texan, and C-56 Lodestar aircraft in background
See all 2 photographs of L-18 Lodestar Transport

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