The Lockheed Electra 10 (not to be confused with the later Lockheed Electra II Turbo-prop) was a mid-30’s entry into the airline market with such others as the slightly larger Boeing 247 and Douglas DC-2.
The Electra was first flown in February 1934. There were a total of 149 Electras built of various models and designation. Amelia Earhart used a Lockheed 10E Electra in her around-the-world attempt in 1937. She disappeared in the South Pacific in that year.
Lloyd Stearman designed the Lockheed Electra which was an all metal aircraft, the first in Lockheed’s history. A student assistant by the name of Clearance Johnson worked at the University of Michigan’s wind tunnel, suggested a twin rudder system which became a trade mark for Lockheed.
Clearance nicknamed “Kelly” went to work with Lockheed and was very instrumental in development “Top Secret”” Skunks Works” aircraft for the U.S. military such as the U-2 and SR-71. He also was involved in the mysterious and secretive base in the Nevada desert claimed by the U.S. Government that”doesn’t exist “; Area 51.
The original Electra was of course designated the “A” model with B through E (D model not built) models to follow, usually the big difference was the power plant.
The A mode stated out with Pratt and Whitney R-985 Wasp engines rated at 450 HP each. The B model had twin Wright R975-E3 Whirlwind at 440 HP. The C model had twin Pratt and Whitney R-1340 Wasp SC1 450 HP. The D model not built. The E model –Pratt Whitney R-1340 Wasp S3H1 rated at 600 HP.
The Lockheed Electra was purchased by numerous American carriers as well as foreign ones starting in 1934 .
The Electra carried 10 passengers and was a great luxury item of its day. Numerous private individuals and companies also purchase the sturdy little aircraft. Here is a list of U.S. carriers that purchased the Electra:
Chicago and Southern Airlines
Delta Air Lines
Wisconsin Central Airlines
Australia Ansett Airways, Marshall Airways, Qantas Empire Airways
Canada Canadian Airways, Trans-Canada Air Lines
Chile LAN Chile
Cuba Compania Cubna de Aviacion
Czechoslovakia Bata Shoes Corporation
Mexico Compania Mexico de Aviacion
Netherlands KLM West Indies Section
New Zealand Union Airways of New Zealand, National Airways Corporation, Trans Islands Airways
United Kingdom British Airways, Ltd
Venezuela Aerotecnica S.A. ATSA
The most famous Electra 10E belonged to Amelia Earhart. This aircraft was modified with long ranged navigation gear (high tech for it’s time) along with cabin fuel tanks and special safety gear, rafts, survival kits, etc.
In 1937, Amelia and her navigator Fred Noonan on their final two legs from to Lae, New Guinea to Howard Island in the South Pacific. They would have gone on to Hawaii and then California to complete the a round the world historical flight, but they disappeared somewhere in the South Pacific.
Inspite searches by the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard and other expeditions in later years, no positive evidence or trace of their aircraft were ever found.
The Canada Air Museum in Ottawa, Ontario. (Electra 10A)
At large-(Electra 10A): Flies to various air shows and museums in North America through out the year.
New Zealand’s Museum of Transport and Technology at Auckland (2 Electra 10As).
Pima Air and Space Museum at Tucson, Arizona has a military version (UC-36A Electra)
Udvar-Hazey Center of the National Air and Space Museum in Chantilly, Virginia (AC-35 Electra)
Science Museum in London England (Electra 10A).
National Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Florida (Electra 10A)
New England Air Museum in Windsor Locks, Connecticut (USN XR2O-1 in Northwest Airlines colors)
Oakland Aviation Museum in Oakland, California (Electra 10A)
Bata Shoe Co. in Prague, Czechoslovakia (Electra 10A)
National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C. (Electra 10A)
TECH SPECS ELECTRA 10
Wing Span: 55 ft 0 in
Length: 38 ft 7 in
Height: 10 ft 1 in
Weight: 6,454 (empty), 10,300 lbs (MTOW)
Max Speed: 202 mph
Cruise Speed: 190 mph
Ceiling: 19,400 ft
Range: 713 miles
Engine: 2 Pratt and Whitney R-985 radial Wasp 450 HP each (A model)
Crew: 2 (cockpit)
THANKS FOR READING! I HOPE THIS WAS INFORMATIVE!