|Quoting SlamClick (Reply 20):|
I always thought it interesting that Lockheed - Burbank operated this two-engine version for decades
This 2 engine JetStar is one of 2 prototypes built and it also differs from the production versions in that it has a single wheel on each main landing gear where the production versions have dual main wheels. The one is this picture stayed with its 2 engines and was used by Lockheed for company transport and then donated to a aviation school in Vancouver Canada. The other prototype was used as the flying test bed for the 4 engine installation, as far as I know it was never used for company transport. The airplane was disassembled and donated to an aviation school in the Atlanta area. I do not know if this airframe is still in existence
Over the years I have heard 2 different stories from Lockheed people, some say it was designed as a 2 engine airplane and the others say 4 engines.
The JetStar was designed by Kelly Johnson of the Lockheed skunk works fame in response to a proposal from the US Air Force for a 10 passenger utility transport.
I heard he actually designed it in a restaurant on a napkin.
The official story I was told when I went to the 2 week JetStar maintenance school in Marietta GA
in the early 70’s was because the P&W JT12 engines were not available at that time because they were still in the development stage. Lockheed used 2 British Orpheus engines which were the only small engines available at the time so they could at least test fly the airframe and begin the certification process. Once Lockheed got the USAF
contract, as in any contract there are dates listed and Lockheed would have to meet certain requirements by these dates or face penalties. By flying the 2 engine version first they were able to verify the aircraft flight characteristics. When the P&W’s were available from Pratt & Whitney then the second prototype was changed over to the 4 engines and was used in the fly off against its competitor from McDonnell.
The unofficial story is in the early flight testing of the 2 engine model, it could not make the second segment climb requirement in the Air Force contract so it was decided early on in flight testing to go over to the 4 engine version.
I go with the official story because the JetStar’s competitor for the USAF
contract was McDonnell with its model 220. This was a 4 engine 10 passenger airplane with the engines mounted under the wings and it looked like a baby B-707. I believe the engines on this airplane were Westinghouse J-47’s. The Air Force plans also included using this small transport for presidential transport and at the time there was a requirement that the President only flies on 4 engine airplanes. So I feel that the JetStar was designed to be a 4 engine airplane from the beginning.
One of the JetStar’s main competitors in the biz jet corporate world was the twin engine Dassault Falcon 20. Both airplanes had similar range and could seat 9 to 10 passengers. The Falcon 20’s cabin was about the same diameter and height but was a little shorter in length. The JetStar had a storage closet aft of the lavatory and a fairly large baggage compartment opposite the entrance door so it offered more space when all the seats were full.
Dassault then took the Falcon 20. stretched the fuselage, and added a third engine on the tail like the B-727 and it became the Falcon 50 and this model is still in production today. Dassault then took the Falcon 50, added a wide body fuselage and called it the Falcon 900, which also is in production today. Dassault then eliminated the center engine and called this wide body the Falcon 2000. So from the original 1960’s Falcon 20, Dassault has spawned an entire family of airplanes that are still in production.
In the height of the Jetstar’s days, Lockheed had tech reps based around the country and one was based in White Plains and he was responsible for the Northeast. At one time Westchester Airport had 13 Jetstar’s on the airport alone and in the Northeast there were over 30 JetStar’s so the tech rep was kept busy. One of the tech reps showed me some drawing that Lockheed was working on for future JetStar’s. This drawing was for a 3 engine version using the newer TFE 731 fan engines and a redesigned much more efficient wing with all the fuel stored internally. It had the same profile as the Falcon 50 with the “S” duct for the center engine. Lockheed decided not to go this route but simply changed the 4 engines over to the fan engines and called it the JetStar 2. They had hoped to sell the JetStar 2 to the Air Force as a replacement for the older JetStar’s but the Air Force had dropped the requirement that the president only flies on 4 engine airplanes and decided to go with the Gulfstream 2 instead because it was much larger and had intercontinental range.
In Dallas on Love field there was a company called Executive Aircraft Service that was one of the best JetStar completion and maintenance centers in the country and was owned mostly by Dick and Ralph Emery. They had plans to buy up old JetStar’s, rewing the JetStar with Lockheed’s new wing design and also convert over to the new fan engines. The wing would have been built by Short Brothers in Ireland and installed in Dallas. I saw a proposal from them with a drawing with the new wing installed. It was contingent on getting a certain number of contracts signed with paid deposits. From what I heard no one signed a contract and they could not get financing themselves so this never got beyond the paper proposal.
About 10 years ago another company in California came out with a proposal for JetStar’s to be re engined with 2 CF34 GE
engines, they actually had a prototype flying for demonstration purposes. Financing was to be through GE
Capital, which would benefit GE
itself because they would be able to sell more of their engines. GE
Capital then ran the numbers through and found that there was not enough interest in this program because of the age of the airplanes and other newer airplanes coming on the market so they pulled out of the program., The modification company could not get any other financing and the program was dropped.
Lockheed, now Lockheed Martin being a military company was not interested in continuing the civilian JetStar program and dropped production after 40 JetStar 2’s were built.