The Lockheed L-188 Electra

1. Design Origins:

Transition intervals typically immediate transition options. Throughout the 1950s, the piston airliner, within the type of the Douglas DC-6 and DC-7 and the Lockheed L-649/749 and -1040 Constellations, had been shifting towards their technological peaks, but the pure-jet engine, aside from that powering the ill-fated de Havilland DH.106 Comet I and rising navy plane, had but to succeed in business aviation maturity. The compromise, at the very least by way of velocity, gave the impression to be the turboprop engine, which mixed components of each and had already been launched by the Vickers Viscount within the UK.

It was throughout this period-specifically 1954-that American Airways, supported by curiosity from Japanese, submitted design specs for what it thought of a brand new class of airliner. These included a better than 400-mph cruise velocity, worthwhile operations on sectors starting from 100 to 2,700 miles, a passenger capability of at the very least 65, and the kind of short-field efficiency that will allow it to serve all the nation’s 100 main airports.

In brief, it sought better velocity, consolation, and economic system than that supplied by the present technology of quad-engine piston transports, however that might function multi-sector flights with out requiring enroute refueling and attain profitability with load components as little as 50 %.

“American and Japanese had demanded a airplane equally adept at short- and long-haul operations,” in response to Robert J. Serling in “The Electra Story: Aviation’s Biggest Thriller” (Bantam Books, 1963, p. 15). “This was largely achieved by the thirteen-and-a-half-foot props, which swept their mighty air stream over all however 9 toes of the wing space.”

Towards that finish, Lockheed elected to make use of the identical C-130 Hercules design group and Allison T-56 engines that powered the sort, creating the US’s first turboprop-powered airliner, the L-188.

“Lockheed opened America’s business jet period by hanging a propeller on the jet engine,” in response to Jim Upton in “Lockheed L-188 Electra” (Specialty Press Publishers and Wholesalers, 1999, p. 7). “Analysis left Lockheed satisfied that, whereas jets with out propellers (can be) glorious on long-range fights, airways can be higher served by having an efficient car for segments which traditionally confirmed little or no profit-(that’s), quick to medium routes.”

The plane was virtually the product of an equation which learn: “Jet energy + propeller effectivity = correct efficiency and economic system.”

Apart from its design group and powerplant, it additionally shared one other facet of the producer’s lineage: its title. Making certain that its merchandise would bear the designation of a star, as had occurred through the 1920s and 1930s with names akin to “Orion,” “Vega,” “Sirius,” and “Altair,” it will borrow the nomenclature of its twin piston engine L-10 Electra, L-12 Electra Junior, and L-14 Tremendous Electra.

Japanese and American respectively positioned orders for 40 and 35 L-188 second technology Electras in 1955.

2. Design Options:

“(The Lockheed L-188 Electra) has a purposeful and highly effective profile,” in response to veteran American Airways Captain Arthur Weidman, who had flown DC-3s, Convairliners, DC-6s, and DC-7s. “The nostril slopes downward sharply to offer good ahead visibility on the bottom and within the air. Then, her strains go straight again alongside a wonderfully cylindrical fuselage to provide her a wider cross part than the DC-7… There’s a swish upsweep to its dorsal fin and rudder, effecting a smooth, trim, streamlined look. Slender nacelles jut ahead like big probes, providing a minimal of frontal resistance.”

With a 104.6-foot-long and 11.4-foot-diameter fuselage, the Electra featured massive, sq. passenger home windows.

One of many keys to its design was its wing. Showing proportionately too quick in span for the plane it supported, mounted with appreciable dihedral, and sporting sq. ideas, it was solely 5.5 toes shorter than the fuselage itself, at 99 toes in size, and supplied each a low-drag and -aspect ratio. Its trailing edge flaps ran from the fuselage root to the ailerons, or simply past the outer engines’ exhaust nozzles, and virtually 80 % of its span was subjected to lift-generating prop wash, facilitating low-speed dealing with.

Energy was supplied by 4 3,750-eshp (equal shaft horse energy) Allison 501-D13 turboprops, which turned 13.6-foot-diameter, single-rotation, hydraulically-controlled, constant-speed, reversible pitch, four-bladed propellers. In comparison with the pure-jet engine, the prop jet featured discount gear that drove each the propeller and extra gasoline turbine part levels, leading to a 90:10 thrust manufacturing ratio, or 90 % created by the propeller and ten % by the exhaust gases.

The ailerons, elevator, and rudder had been operated by push-pull, tube-linked hydraulic booster models, whereas engine compressor bleed air supplied anti-icing of all management surfaces.

The plane’s 5,520-US gallon gasoline capability was saved in 4 wing integral tanks, divided into the 2, 1,100-gallon inboard and two 1,660-gallon outboard ones. In-flight gasoline cross-feeding was solely crucial on long-range sectors exceeding 1,800 miles.

The L-188 rested on a twin-wheeled, hydraulically actuated, forward-retracting tricycle undercarriage, which had the supply for gravity free-fall extension within the occasion of both hydraulic or electrical system failures.

Integral, fuselage extendable air stairs, together with different self-contained options and its low-to-ground, assist equipment-independent place, facilitated turn-arounds at transit stations the place fueling was not required in as little as 12 minutes.

The Electra was standardly flown by a three-person cockpit crew, with a replica throttle quadrant on the captain’s and first officer’s sides and the flight engineer’s station behind each within the middle on home routes, whereas a fourth crew member, the navigator, was employed on worldwide ones and positioned on the aft, left aspect, occupying the placement of the in any other case observer’s eat.

Though passenger cabin configurations and densities various in response to the operator, Lockheed initially supplied a number of choices, facilitated by the set up of seat tracks. Both 66 four-abreast, 20-inch-wide seats at a 38-inch pitch with a 26-inch aisle or 85 five-abreast, 18-inch-wide ones with a 17-inch aisle might be put in, each of which additionally featured a six-place, tail-located lounge organized in a semi-circular configuration. Set up of aft, in addition to the usual mid, toilet decreased the capability to 83, whereas the utmost was 99 five-abreast in 20 rows. Alternatively, 127 passengers in a six-abreast, 32-inch pitch configuration was obtainable, however required structural modifications and extra exits to fulfill evacuation standards.

A most, 6.55-psi differential, achieved by two engine-driven superchargers, supplied cabin pressurization and temperature was maintained by radiant heating.

Baggage, cargo, and mail had been carried in two underfloor, starboard door-accessed holds.

That includes a 113,000-pound most takeoff weight, the preliminary, home L-188A model had a 2,200-mile vary and attained a 373-mph cruise and 448-mph most velocity.

“There have been… two fundamental variations, the L-188A for US home operation, with a gasoline capability of 5,520 US gallons, and the L-188C with 900 US gallons extra gasoline and a better gross weight of 116,000 kilos… ,” in response to Michael Hardy in World Civil Plane since 1945 (Charles Scribner’s Sons 1979, p. 93).

Its vary was 3,500 miles.

3. Check Flights:

Piloted by Captain Herman “Fish” Salmon, First Officer Roy Wimmer, Flight Engineer Laurie Hallard, and Flight Check Engineer Invoice Spreurer, the L-188 Electra made its inaugural flight from the Lockheed Air Terminal in Burbank, California, on December 6, 1957, after which Spreurer commented, “The smoothness and calmness of the plane (had been instantly obvious). The vibration degree was very low and the engines had been so quiet that you can hear the chase plane.”

After a four-airplane, 655-hour flight take a look at program, the sort was licensed on August 12, 1958, 5 weeks forward of schedule, allowing first supply of plane 1007 to launch buyer Japanese Airways two months later, on October 8.

Accolades of the Electra’s design and efficiency capabilities accrued, as pronounced by the Air Line Pilots Affiliation analysis committee.

“Members had been very a lot impressed with the speedy energy software doable and with the speedy airplane response in climb efficiency,” they proclaimed. “It undoubtedly exceeded their balked touchdown and pull-out.

“Excessive-speed stability is sweet… good management response at landing speeds… responded effectively to the flare-out on touchdown… crosswind take off and touchdown traits to be most conventional…

“The stall traits of this airplane in all configurations was exceptionally good. There was no fall-off on one wing or another adversarial tendencies.

“This committee is greater than moderately assured that the producers, the operators, the pilots, and the general public will probably be happy with the report of security, effectivity, and economic system which will probably be achieved.”

American Airways Captain Arthur Weidman expanded upon this after his first flight within the kind.

“Electra is each inch a pilot’s airplane,” he wrote in Douglas J. Ingells’ “L-1011 TriStar and the Lockheed Story” (Aero Publishers, Inc., 1973, p. 124.) His preliminary impression was that the plane exuded “practical magnificence.”

Regardless of its highly effective prop-jet generators, he discovered it quieter throughout taxi and acceleration within the cockpit than in comparable pistonliners.

“… It acquired off in a rush and climbed quickly,” he said. “Clearly, there was a variety of energy packed into her streamlined nacelles (and) thrust to spare within the noticeably extensive, flat blades of the propellers (p. 127).

A throttle advance to the “flight regime” stage initiated the plane’s acceleration roll at a 13,820-rpm velocity of its engines, inflicting the L-188 to realize its rotation “earlier than it will happen in a Piper Cub. Energy is there and speaks by means of efficiency.

“The low sound and vibration degree make the take off appear easy and the airplane lifts off… ” he continued (p. 129). “The thumping vibration of piston engines and the lengthy, gradual climb out are issues of the previous.”

Opposite to the throttles on different plane, these on the Electra managed the blade angle, not the engine’s rotations, which remained fixed all through all flight phases. Thrust adjustments due to this fact solely depended upon adjustments to their pitch, however wanted to be coupled with elevator inputs.

Climbs equaled 2,200 to 2,500-fpm and speeds exceeded 400 mph.

Elevate and wing effectivity had been significantly enhanced by the prop wash over the higher floor.

“She responds to regulate actions extra like a fighter than a sixty-ton airliner,” he commented (p. 129).

The plane’s energy reserve was virtually astronomical: it might climb on any two engines and preserve altitude on anyone.

Touchdown solely required floor contact and a brief deceleration roll, aided by brake functions and the reversible pitch of the propellers.

4. Airline Operations:

First and largest of the 14 unique operators with 34 L-188As and 6 L-188Cs, Japanese Airways inaugurated the sort into scheduled service on January 12, 1959, configured for 66 single-class passengers, together with the aft, six-place lounge, on a number of dual-sector routes, together with New York (Idlewild)-Atlanta-Tampa, Miami-New York-Montreal, and Detroit-Cleveland-Miami. It was each the air shuttle’s first- and second-section (to the DC-9) plane between 1965 and 1977, linking La Guardia with Boston and Washington.

American, the second operator with 35 L-188As, inaugurated its Electra service the identical day as Japanese on the New York-La Guardia to Chicago-Halfway route.

Nationwide Airways, which had ordered 15 L-188As, supplied a 72-passenger and six-seat lounge inside and related New York (Idlewild) with Miami as of April 23, 1959.

Braniff, which supplied an analogous 75/6 association, served the Texas cities of Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio from New York-Idlewild and Chicago-Halfway airports.

“Marketed as ‘a completely new dimension in jet-age journey,’ Western Airways started Electra-jet service on August 1, 1959 between the West Coast cities of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle,” in response to John Proctor, Mike Machat, and Craig Kodera in “From Props to Jets: Industrial Aviation’s Transition to the Jet Age” (Specialty Press, 2010, p. 91). “Two months later turboprop flights had been added to Salt Lake Metropolis, Denver, and Minneapolis, because the fleet expanded to 5 66-seat, first class-configured airplanes. Seven extra Electras adopted with the final delivered in 96-seat, all-coach layouts, missing a lounge.”

Inaugurating service on September 18, 1959 with the primary of 18 72-seat L-188Cs, Northwest served its Minneapolis combat base with it, together with working a transcontinental section from New York-Idlewild to Seattle.

KLM Royal Dutch Airways, with 12 67-passenger worldwide L-188Cs, grew to become the one European operator of the Electra, inaugurating it into service on December 9, 1959 on routes akin to Amsterdam-Dusseldorf-Vienna, Amsterdam-Frankfurt-Budapest, and people to the Center East. Its plane featured the rounded-tip Hamilton Commonplace propellers and cockpit navigator’s stations.

The sort was additionally operated as far afield as Hong Kong, Indonesia, and Australia with, respectively, the likes of Cathay Pacific, Garuda, and Qantas.

5. Braniff Flight 542:

Whereas the conclusion of the Air Line Pilots Affiliation regarding the truth that the Electra’s “report of security, effectivity, and economic system will probably be achieved” was optimistically predictive, the primary of its three tenets was, within the occasion, not realized.

Scheduled to function the multi-sector route from Houston to New York with intermediate stops in Dallas and Washington as Braniff Flight 542, plane N-9705C, the service’s fifth L-188A-which itself had solely been delivered two days earlier-accepted its 28 passengers on the nice and cozy, humid evening of September 29, 1959. There was no trace as to the airplane’s destiny. Or was there?

Of the six crew members aboard, First Officer Dan Hallowell commented to an Allison consultant earlier than departure, “This plane trims up humorous.” Hallowell couldn’t elaborate, nor did the consultant perceive his implications. The plane’s logbook famous no upkeep, trim-related anomalies. Maybe it was nothing greater than an uneasy, unexplainable feeling.

Divorcing itself from the runway at 2244, the Electra reached its assigned, 15,000-foot altitude 13 minutes later, at 2300, sustaining a 275-knot velocity on its comparatively quick sector to Dallas.

After reporting its place over Leona, Texas, 5 minutes later, it was instructed, “Request you now monitor Fort Price on a frequency of 120.8,” which was recorded within the logbook as “Transmission accomplished, 2307.”

It was its final.

The next occasion was heard earlier than it was seen by the tiny city of Buffalo, Texas, as most of its inhabitants had already retired for the evening. It was an assault of the senses. Shrills and deafening whistles, of various pitches, preceded a faint roar that culminated in a thunderous cacophony. Like an exploding bomb, it subsequent visually manifested itself as tornadoes of heavy metallic shards, fractured fragments of some significantly sized craft. Lastly, it entered the nostrils as rain reeking of jet-propelling kerosene, all remnants of Braniff Flight 542 and all at a time when virtually 100 L-188s routinely carried 20,000 day by day passengers.

Though witnesses on the bottom from the predominantly farmland space described varied, pre-impact sounds, maybe essentially the most correct of them got here not from people, however from canines, when a farmer noticed, “When the sound got here, each coon canine for miles round began howling.” Why did it have an effect on them so severely?

Mirrored on the bottom, to a level, was the aftermath picture of what should have occurred within the air, of what had sparked the airliner’s plummet and disintegration. A crater apparently bored by its nostril contained the ahead fuselage part and some seats, dismembered from the remainder of its physique, and behind it, first at periodic toes, after which mile, areas, had been its remnants: the middle cabin at 225 toes; the vertical tail, rudder, inboard stabilizers, and tail cone at 230 toes; a big part of the appropriate wing at 1,760 toes; the starboard stabilizer at 2,020 toes; the port stabilizer at 4,080 toes; the quantity 4 engine nacelle overlaying at 5,300 toes; the left wing, quantity two engine nacelle overlaying and propeller, and quantity 4 engine at 8,640 toes; the primary propeller and equipment field at 9,600 toes; and a nine-inch part of the quantity two gasoline tank’s hydraulic line at 2.Three miles. Certainly, a 17-mile linear sample of wreckage stretched from the crater to the LEONA VOR.

Painstaking reconstruction revealed that the Electra had shed its left wing, at which level hearth erupted and the limbless airplane dove earthward, shattering from the gravity-induced forces.

A part of the investigation targeted on floor witness accounts and claims in regards to the high-pitched sound within the sky earlier than they had been even conscious of its origin, indicating, maybe, that the turning propellers had for some purpose reached supersonic speeds. The physiological responses of the collective coon canines was additionally to not be discounted, since they reacted as if the sound had pierced their ears. However how and why? And what, if something, did all of this should do with the primary officer’s pre-departure remark in regards to the airplane’s “humorous trim?” Might this have been the results of an autopilot or stabilizer malfunction or perhaps a gasoline imbalance?

And what was the importance of the injury marks that exposed that the primary propeller had whirled at an angle of as much as 35 levels from its regular airplane of rotation? Wouldn’t it not have been the pure results of the stresses and strains of the left wing because it tore off? Or was it the trigger?

But exhaustive investigation and evaluation revealed no definitive answer-no possible cause-and therefore no design modifications might be really useful to appropriate the undetermined error or flaw.

By March 17, 1960, it was concluded that solely the unlikely repeat of the Braniff Electra accident might pinpoint the rationale for its demise and the lack of all on board. And on that day, that’s precisely what occurred.

6. Northwest Flight 710:

Plane N-122US was sarcastically the primary L-188C delivered to Northwest Airways and had logged fewer than 1,800 hours, however it will not be in service for lengthy. Working as Flight 710 on March 17, 1960, it had coated the primary of its two segments, from Minneapolis to Chicago-Halfway, in a single hour, fur minutes; nevertheless, it was rapidly airborne once more, now destined for Miami, at 1438 native time, at a 105,000-pound gross weight, reaching 18,000 toes and advising Indianapolis Heart seven minutes later that it was over Millford, Illinois.

Continuing to its subsequent radio checkpoint of Scotland, Indiana, at 1513, it suggested, “Sustaining 18,000 and estimating Bowling Inexperienced (Kentucky) at 1525.”

Fifteen minutes later, Flight 710 was instructed to contact Memphis Heart on frequency 124.6, to which it replied, “Acknowledged.” It was the final transmission acquired.

The climate was clear, however, based mostly upon the next occasions, apparently not very cooperative. Penetrating the highly effective, unpredictable phenomenon designated “clear air turbulence” (CAT), the Electra was allegedly decreased to a helpless sufferer, releasing two puffs of white smoke after which an enormous black one as its destiny was audibly registered as two, floor witness evidenced explosions.

Decreased to an airborne amputee, the airplane shed its proper wing and retained little greater than the stub of its left one. Initially oblivious, the limbless physique continued in a straight-and-level path, however, unable to generate raise and helpless to create or appropriate a financial institution with out ailerons, it was not capable of tame one of many three axes of flight the Wright Brothers had so scientifically recognized 57 years earlier and succumbed to the instability of air above and the pull of gravity beneath.

Nosing over, trailing smoke, and shedding construction, it dove like an air-to-ground missile, plunging right into a soybean discipline close to Inform Metropolis, Indiana, at 618 mph. Gauging snow, filth, mud, and vegetation, it greater than adequately demonstrated Newton’s Third Regulation of Movement-“for each motion there may be an equal and reverse response”-when the earth ricocheted and spat chunks of itself 250 toes into the air.

What remained was a 30-by-40-foot extensive, 12-foot deep crater of smoldering smoke, molecular disintegration, and the obliteration of the 63 passengers and crew on board, since not a single recognizable physique was ever discovered.

Might clear air turbulence have been the offender?

The one vital piece of wreckage was later found within the crater itself.

“The large fuselage had telescoped and compressed right into a mass of molten metallic solely one-third its general size,” wrote Serling in “The Electra Story: Aviation’s Biggest Thriller” (op. cit., p. 49). “Of the 63 occupants, there was not sufficient left to identify-eventually-more than seven our bodies. The aluminum fuselage that was their coffin was so scorching that 5 days later a steam shovel picked up items that also had been burning.”

11,291 toes from the impression level was the severed proper wing. The clues had been unusually paying homage to the Braniff accident close to Buffalo, Texas. What was the commonality between the 2?

One facet differed. Clear air turbulence and a greater than 100-mph jet stream at 18,000 toes, the Northwest flight’s altitude, had intercepted its flight path at a 90-degree angle and had affected different plane within the neighborhood on the time. Nevertheless it begged the query: why, if it had been so extreme, had they not succumbed to an analogous destiny?

Clear air turbulence for all its properties, had all of a sudden turn out to be seen to the Federal Aviation Company. Though the L-188 had greater than exceeded its structural expectations, it differed from different propeller airliners, because it represented, to a level, transition expertise: it mixed conventional props with still-untraditional generators, enabling it to eclipse velocity boundaries between these of, say, the DC-6 and the rising navy jets.

Just like the adolescent who tries to develop up too quick, maybe it had entered a realm for which it was not sufficiently prepared, because the Comet had at high-altitude areas with insufficiently thick fuselage pores and skin gauges. Mixed with CAT, maybe it had proved catastrophic.

Preventing to floor the plane, but unable to establish the definitive trigger, the FAA elected to maintain the Electra within the sky, albeit at an initially imposed 275-knot velocity restriction, coupled with the deactivation of its autopilots and the set up of impact-sustainable flight recorders. When it was realized that this had been the velocity of the Braniff plane, it was additional decreased to 225 knots.

What precisely was occurring? The plane had, in any case, been subjected to rigorous, pre-certification exams.

“… (However) nowhere within the Electra blueprints-which, laid finish to finish, would stretch forty miles-nowhere within the stories of 1000’s of hours of floor and take a look at flights-nowhere in 20,000 separate design research or 7,000 pages of mathematical calculations-was there any point out of a scientific phenomenon often called ‘whirl mode,'” Serling identified (Ibid, p. 19).

7. Thriller Solved:

Each laboratory (theoretical) and airborne (sensible) exploration and evaluation, elements of the Lockheed Electra Achievement Program or LEAP, probed the thriller behind the Braniff and Northwest accidents, and entailed two day by day, ten-hour flights, by which varied hundreds, parameters, and speeds had been explored, even red-line eclipsing ones. Initially, they solely proved the L-188’s design integrity, till a clue, which was not even interpretable, lastly surfaced.

Power propagates and exerts its results at its remaining vacation spot. Within the Electra’s case, it was ascertained that heavy movement hundreds had produced a far better impact on its outboard engine nacelles throughout extreme turbulence penetration than structural exams had revealed, producing a wing bending pressure from there to the guidelines, as confirmed throughout flight exams over the California mountains that produced tornado-strength updrafts referred to as the “Sierra waves.” The turbulence they created wreaked havoc with the plane’s flight controls and construction.

Progressive injury from the primary and quantity 4 engines of, respectively, the Braniff and Northwest plane had been the results of uncontrolled flutter. Diagonal, saw-tooth fractures indicated the presence of pre-structural failure–cyclic, repetitive, and highly effective oscillations—but what couldn’t be answered was why the shortage of turbulence over Buffalo, Texas, had brought on the identical phenomenon as that over Inform Metropolis, Indiana. What precisely had sparked the identical harmful flutter within the atmospheric-dissimilar mishaps?

Focus subsequent shifted from the climate to the engine nacelles themselves, which opposed one another in set up on the respective Electras concerned.

Analyses of what remained of the eight propellers indicated that that turned by engine primary on the Braniff plane had, for some purpose, wobbled. An over-speed catalyst or situation had brought on the tricks to attain sonic velocities and with that realization the sunshine of reality had been lit. Each accidents had been attributable to propeller whirl mode.

As a result of a propeller has gyroscopic tendencies, it stays in its airplane of rotation till and except it’s displaced by an exterior supply, inflicting it to stick to Newton’s “equal and reverse response” legislation. On this case, the propeller continued to rotate in a single course, whereas the induced whirl mode eliminated it from its uniform place of rotation and brought on it to vibrate in a distinct one.

If not dampened, eliminated, or reversed, it develops a wildly wobbling gyroscope, transmitting its power to that which it’s mounted-like an sickness that spreads and infects all the things in its path-in this case, the wing-or, extra exactly, the outer wing. Within the Braniff accident, it was the left one. Within the Northwest accident, it was the appropriate one.

A strut fairing failure, occurring within the quantity 4 engine of the latter Electra, eradicated the restraint that had restricted the engine from shifting upward and to the left, leading to irregular, omni-directional hundreds, which brought on the engine to expertise massive cycle motions. These in the end cracked the propeller’s discount gear field.

The outcome, as demonstrated by a one-eighth scale L-188 mannequin in a NASA Langley wind tunnel, was expressed as follows.

“With simulated injury within the nacelle space, propeller auto-precession, a self-sustained, wobbling movement of the spinning propeller involving coupling of gyroscopic and aerodynamic forces, occurred.”

The plane’s design flaw didn’t essentially entail the insufficient power of the nacelle construction, however its lack of enough stiffening. Affected by earlier injury, it developed into a sequence response of destruction. After its engine had wobbled, so, too, had its propeller and, as its movement was transmitted to the outer wing, it flexed, fluttered, and snapped, leaving the limbless fuselage to the grip of gravity.

Though clear air turbulence had clearly been the spark that lit the chain response within the Northwest accident, it might solely be surmised {that a} laborious touchdown, not famous within the logbook, had served as the same ignition within the Braniff one. Undetected, might this early, not but catastrophic wobble haven’t been the rationale behind the primary officer’s remark that the airplane had “trimmed humorous?”

And canines don’t lie, coon or in any other case. Because the supersonic velocity of the propeller ideas emitted painful pitches that nearly pierced their hypersensitive ears, they reacted with a collective howl.

A $25 million, Lockheed financed modification program, utilized to each in-service and meeting line plane, entailed structural enhancements, which resulted in a seven-percent improve in stiffness, and the set up of high and backside struts, designated “vibration isolators,” had been put in within the engine’s discount gearbox. Its air inlet was relocated and new, stronger engine mounts prevented lateral actions, all ensuing within the addition of 1,400 kilos of structural weight.

The plane was FAA recertified on December 30, 1960 and, with a purpose to improve public confidence, which had understandably been marred because of the accidents, airways redesignated their modified plane “Electra IIs” and “Tremendous Electras.”

8. Program Sundown:

The final three of the 170 L-188As and -Cs produced, registered PK-GLA, -GLB, and -GLC, had been acquired by Garuda Indonesian Airways, whereas the sort was given a second lease on life as Central and South American airliners, cargo liners, hearth bombers, and because the platform of the foreshortened P-3C Orion antisubmarine patrol plane. Alaska-based Reeve Aleutian Airways operated three pure-passenger and combi examples on scheduled providers as late because the turn-of-the-century, demonstrating the sort’s ruggedness and reliability.

However, as a essential line bridge between the piston and pure-jet eras, its crossing was temporary and it was rapidly changed by the likes of the Sud-Aviation SE.210 Caravelle, the Boeing 727-100, and the Douglas DC-9-10 and -30 by the mid-1960s.


Hardy, Michael. “World Civil Plane since 1945.” New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1979.

Ingells, Douglas J. “L-1011 TriStar and the Lockheed Story.” Fallbrook, California: Aero Publishers, Inc., 1973.

Proctor, John; Machat, Mike; and Kodera, Craig. “From Props to Jets: Industrial Aviation’s Transition to the Jet Age, 1952-1962.” North Department, Minnesota: Specialty Press, 2010.

Serling, Robert J. “The Electra Story: Aviation’s Biggest Thriller.” New York: Bantam Books, 1963.

Upton, Jim. “Lockheed L-188 Electra.” North Department, Minnesota: Specialty Press Publishers and Wholesalers, 1999.


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