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doulasc
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US Airlines That Did Not Order Lockheed Electra

Sat Aug 29, 2015 2:50 am

I see the Lockheed 188 Prop jet Electra which had a production run from 1957-1961 as I was wondering why
the Electra did not get too many International orders except from KLM and I think a few airlines across the Pacific
had a few, I see that TWA,Pan Am,Delta and United did not order the Prop Jet Electra.I am sort of surprised
that TWA did not order them after being a loyal customer to Lockheed with the Constellation.Pan Am well
where would they fit in with Pan Am maybe on the IGS but Pan Am had DC-6Bs and Boeing 727-100s were on the way or
maybe on some Miami-Caribbean routes,Delta could have had them,United-Capital Airlines had them on order but when
United bought Capital in 1961 they did not assume the order and United used their Vickers Viscounts til 1969. By 1970
all the US airlines retired the Electra fleets and Eastern used theirs til 1977 on the New York Shuttle to Boston and
Washington DC.
 
Viscount724
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RE: US Airlines That Did Not Order Lockheed Electra

Sat Aug 29, 2015 3:31 am

Most carriers wanted to wait for jets and had little or no interest in 4-engine turboprops by the late 1950s. Same reason why only 44 Vickers Vanguards were sold to only 2 customers.
 
masseybrown
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RE: US Airlines That Did Not Order Lockheed Electra

Sat Aug 29, 2015 4:01 am

The Electra enjoyed extra years of popularity at DCA, which did not allow pure jets until 1966. The airlines with Electras dominated the competitive routes. The Electra's problem (in addition to the structural flaw) was coming into service too late.
 
superjeff
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RE: US Airlines That Did Not Order Lockheed Electra

Sun Aug 30, 2015 3:14 am

Quoting MasseyBrown (Reply 2):
The Electra enjoyed extra years of popularity at DCA, which did not allow pure jets until 1966. The airlines with Electras dominated the competitive routes. The Electra's problem (in addition to the structural flaw) was coming into service too late.

In the U.S., American, Braniff, Eastern, National, Northwest, PSA, and Western were the original Electra buyers in the U.S. KLM was the only European buyer (they bought the L188-C model, which had a slightly higher gross weight), and TEAL (which later became Air New Zealand), QANTAS, Trans Australia, and Ansett-ANA in Australia/New Zealand) in the South Pacific. They felt that the airplane was more suitable than the first jets for their route systems, which included airports like LaGuardia and Washington National which couldn't handle jets. The "whirl mode" problem with the Electras didn't help, even though Lockheed spent a bunch of money fixing the problem, although I believe only two actual crashes were ever shown to have probably been caused by it (Braniff's over Buffalo, Texas, and Northwest's over Tell City, Indiana, both in about 1960). Two other incidents involved an American flight into LaGuardia which was blamed on crew issues, and an Eastern flight which ingested a flock of starlings in Boston, causing a flame out of all four engines (a friend of mine's father was killed on that one) all helped to give the Electra a bad name at the beginning, but it pretty much outlived that over the next 10 years.

Capital had major money problems to begin with, as did Northeast, so both stayed with their Viscounts. Air Canada (then Trans Canada) likewise had Viscounts - they bought the Vickers Vanguard which was roughly comparable to the Electra, and Continental bought the Viscount 800 series, also roughly comparable.

When the DC9 and 727 became available, and could easily handle Washington National and LaGuardia, the Electra quickly became obsolete. Eastern continued to fly them into the 1970's on the shuttle, and both PSA and Air California used them into Lake Tahoe which couldn't handle jets. Overseas, Varig ran them until well into the 1980's on the Punta Area between Sao Paulo and Rio, and, within the U.S., Reeve Aleutian flew them successfully up til the mid 1990's as well. The airplane was a great and sturdy one, and lives on in the form of its cousin, the military's P3 Orion aircraft, used as a sub chaser and an aerial recon airplane in many countries throughout the world.

I only flew on an Electra once myself (actually on National, flying MSY-PNS-TPA) but worked for Eastern while in college and got to walk through theirs many times. Very comfortable configuration (3 rows of 2-2 First in the back, 2-3 coach in the forward part of the airplane). Western's only had coach throughout, and all but the -C models had a very nice rear lounge, and Braniff's initially had two First Class cabins, in the front and rear, with coach in the middle. They used theirs on, among other routes, nonstops between Dallas (Love Field) and DCA, so I assume there was a larger demand for First Class.

I often think that with turboprops being generally more economical to operate on shorter routes than jets, a modernized version of the Electra (2-person flight crew, noise canceling technology a la Q400, etc.) might work on some routes even today.

[Edited 2015-08-29 20:17:50]
 
WA707atMSP
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RE: US Airlines That Did Not Order Lockheed Electra

Sun Aug 30, 2015 11:41 am

Quoting superjeff (Reply 3):
Capital had major money problems to begin with

Capital ordered five Electras, after AA's (faster) Electras clobbered Capital's Viscounts on Chicago - New York / Washington and Detroit - New York. At least two were painted in Capital's final paint scheme before the order was cancelled.

TWA came very close to ordering 25 Electras, but the order fell through, in part because TWA's excessive order of L-1649s and their commitments for 707s and 880s meant they were short on money.
 
sparky35805
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RE: US Airlines That Did Not Order Lockheed Electra

Sun Aug 30, 2015 5:21 pm

Delta's Woolman wanted Electras and the board authorized an order,but could not get early enough delivery slots and did not place an order for 10-15 aircraft.
 
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mayor
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RE: US Airlines That Did Not Order Lockheed Electra

Sun Aug 30, 2015 5:47 pm

Quoting sparky35805 (Reply 5):
Delta's Woolman wanted Electras and the board authorized an order,but could not get early enough delivery slots and did not place an order for 10-15 aircraft.

I think the fact that they couldn't get the early delivery slots was a bit of good timing because there were others in the decision making process that didn't want to order the Electra, but Woolman was adamant.
"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
 
superjeff
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RE: US Airlines That Did Not Order Lockheed Electra

Sun Aug 30, 2015 9:09 pm

Capital ordered five Electras, after AA's (faster) Electras clobbered Capital's Viscounts on Chicago - New York / Washington and Detroit - New York. At least two were painted in Capital's final paint scheme before the order was cancelled.

Very true. Capital was on the verge of bankruptcy when the merger with United was engineered by the CAB under the "Failing Airline" doctrine which used to apply. They would never have been able to have afforded to take delivery, and their Viscounts were on the verge of being reposessed, like Northeast's as well.

Quoting mayor (Reply 6):
I think the fact that they couldn't get the early delivery slots was a bit of good timing because there were others in the decision making process that didn't want to order the Electra, but Woolman was adamant.

Good timing maybe, but only because of the initial problems with the Electras. Once that was resolved, they went on to have exemplary careers, many flying for 40 years.

Quoting WA707atMSP (Reply 4):
Capital ordered five Electras, after AA's (faster) Electras clobbered Capital's Viscounts on Chicago - New York / Washington and Detroit - New York. At least two were painted in Capital's final paint scheme before the order was cancelled.

TWA came very close to ordering 25 Electras, but the order fell through, in part because TWA's excessive order of L-1649s and their commitments for 707s and 880s meant they were short on money.
 
DesertAir
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RE: US Airlines That Did Not Order Lockheed Electra

Sun Aug 30, 2015 9:48 pm

I flew on a PSA Electra in the mid 1970s. They acquired them for service to South Lake Tahoe. I few them on the Oakland-Burbank route and were named Bargin Birds. They were slow in comparison to the jets on the same route.
 
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mayor
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RE: US Airlines That Did Not Order Lockheed Electra

Sun Aug 30, 2015 11:59 pm

Quoting superjeff (Reply 7):
Quoting mayor (Reply 6):
I think the fact that they couldn't get the early delivery slots was a bit of good timing because there were others in the decision making process that didn't want to order the Electra, but Woolman was adamant.

Good timing maybe, but only because of the initial problems with the Electras. Once that was resolved, they went on to have exemplary careers, many flying for 40 years.

I was thinking, more or less, that it was good timing for those that didn't want to acquire the Electras. We'll never know if DL would have been successful with the Electras or not, but we do know that they were successful with the DC-8s, 880s and DC-9s.
"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
 
doulasc
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RE: US Airlines That Did Not Order Lockheed Electra

Mon Aug 31, 2015 12:19 am

Its hard to imagine TWA with Lockheed Electras. In the twin stripe where would the big TWA titles go in the rear toward
the tail.No room because of the windows takinf up space. The twin globe would work better but the red dart would be
under the windows like their 749A connies.
 
Viscount724
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RE: US Airlines That Did Not Order Lockheed Electra

Mon Aug 31, 2015 2:01 am

Quoting superjeff (Reply 3):
In the U.S., American, Braniff, Eastern, National, Northwest, PSA, and Western were the original Electra buyers in the U.S. KLM was the only European buyer (they bought the L188-C model, which had a slightly higher gross weight), and TEAL (which later became Air New Zealand), QANTAS, Trans Australia, and Ansett-ANA in Australia/New Zealand) in the South Pacific.

You missed one original Electra customer - Garuda had the last 3 Electras built. One crashed on landing in 1967 with 22 fatalities of the 92 aboard.
http://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=19670216-1

This was the last Electra built, PK-GLC at Garuda, delivered early 1961.
http://www.aussieairliners.org/electra-inter/cathay/pkglc.html
 
whatusaid
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RE: US Airlines That Did Not Order Lockheed Electra

Mon Aug 31, 2015 4:05 am

Air California had Electra's on SNA-FAT-Tahoe, some Bay Area - Tahoe, and for a short-time, on FAT-OAK. Had the opportunity to fly WA's to West Yellowstone on a milk-can run from SLC. It was a great plane from this passenger's perspective, just a little too late to the market.
 
factsonly
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RE: US Airlines That Did Not Order Lockheed Electra

Mon Aug 31, 2015 8:05 am

Quoting superjeff (Reply 3):
KLM was the only European buyer

But not the only European operator as Martinair also operated L-188 Electra - leased from KLM.


KLM in both diagonal and horizontal tail stripes:


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © R.A.Scholefield
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Lars Söderström



The Martinair L-188 Electra leased from KLM:


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Ralf Manteufel
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © HansAir

 
Gemuser
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RE: US Airlines That Did Not Order Lockheed Electra

Mon Aug 31, 2015 8:32 am

Quoting superjeff (Reply 3):
In the U.S., American, Braniff, Eastern, National, Northwest, PSA, and Western were the original Electra buyers in the U.S. KLM was the only European buyer (they bought the L188-C model, which had a slightly higher gross weight), and TEAL (which later became Air New Zealand), QANTAS, Trans Australia, and Ansett-ANA in Australia/New Zealand) in the South Pacific

Did not VARIG order L188 directly from Lockheed, or did they acquire them second hand?

Gemuser
DC23468910;B72172273373G73873H74374475275376377L77W;A319 320321332333343;BAe146;C402;DHC6;F27;L188;MD80MD85
 
BoeingGuy
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RE: US Airlines That Did Not Order Lockheed Electra

Mon Aug 31, 2015 8:52 pm

Quoting superjeff (Reply 3):
and both PSA and Air California used them into Lake Tahoe which couldn't handle jets.

It's true that PSA and Air California used Electras to TVL until 1979, but it's not correct that South Lake Tahoe couldn't handle jets. Jet's were not allowed at TVL for noise and pollution reasons. With the event of Stage 3 jets, that rule was relaxed and Air California reinstated served to TVL with 733s and MD-80s. Air Tahoe and Reno Air later flew in there with jets.

PSA did apply to serve TVL with 727s in the late 1970s and was denied.

A little known interstate airline called Holiday Airlines flew to TVL from SJC, OAK, BUR and LAX with Electras until about 1974-75. When they went out of business PSA and Air California started those routes.

Hughes Airwest served TVL with an F27, interestingly on a SFO-SCK-TVL routing at one time.

Quoting WhatUsaid (Reply 12):
Air California had Electra's on SNA-FAT-Tahoe, some Bay Area - Tahoe, and for a short-time, on FAT-OAK.

Other way around. If Air California even did FAT-TVL, it was for a short time. Bay Area - TVL wasn't "some" it was pretty much all of their TVL service.

Air California did SJC-OAK-TVL; SJC-TVL; and SFO-SJC-TVL. I think they also sometimes did SNA-SJC-TVL. IIRC, I did see one schedule with SNA-TVL so it might have been done non-stop at some point.

PSA did LAX-TVL and BUR-TVL.

For awhile there was no SFO-TVL non-stop, interestingly. PSA later added SFO-TVL in addition to LAX and BUR. I have a vague recollection that Air California might have done SFO-TVL later also, but usually it was SFO-OAK-TVL.

Besides the shuttle, I recall seeing that Eastern had an Electra on MIA-Vero Beach-TPA too in the early 1970s.
 
Viscount724
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RE: US Airlines That Did Not Order Lockheed Electra

Mon Aug 31, 2015 9:08 pm

Quoting gemuser (Reply 14):
Did not VARIG order L188 directly from Lockheed, or did they acquire them second hand?

All of RG's were second-hand. One fleet list shows 15 L-188s operated by RG.

Original operators:
AA - 12
NW - 2
Braniff - 1

A few aircraft had other operators before being acquired by Varig.
 
L-188
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RE: US Airlines That Did Not Order Lockheed Electra

Wed Sep 02, 2015 5:46 am

Quoting superjeff (Reply 3):
Reeve Aleutian flew them successfully up til the mid 1990's as well

Actually they where flying them until they went out of business in December 2000.

One 68R went to Airspray in Canada for conversion to a water bomber.

44C and 78R went to Coventry England, where 44C was allowed to rot, but both where saved by Buffalo Airways in Canada and I think are slated to be converted to tankers.
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mayor
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RE: US Airlines That Did Not Order Lockheed Electra

Wed Sep 02, 2015 6:03 pm

Quoting L-188 (Reply 17):
Actually they where flying them until they went out of business in December 2000.

Weren't they flying 727s at that time, also?



When I was stationed on Shemya, Reeve was flying DC-6s.
"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
 
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macsog6
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RE: US Airlines That Did Not Order Lockheed Electra

Wed Sep 02, 2015 7:03 pm

Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 15):
Air Tahoe and Reno Air later flew in there with jets.

TVL on an MD-80 of QQ was a favorite route of mine. No carrier now flies to TVL even in a regional jet or a turbo-prop, but I still lots of general aviation traffic during the tourist season, which is virtually year round.
Sixty Plus Years of Flying! "I fly because it releases my mind from the tyranny of petty things." - Saint Ex
 
maxpower1954
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RE: US Airlines That Did Not Order Lockheed Electra

Wed Sep 02, 2015 10:28 pm

Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 15):
It's true that PSA and Air California used Electras to TVL until 1979, but it's not correct that South Lake Tahoe couldn't handle jets. Jet's were not allowed at TVL for noise and pollution reasons. With the event of Stage 3 jets, that rule was relaxed and Air California reinstated served to TVL with 733s and MD-80s. Air Tahoe and Reno Air later flew in there with jets.

I believe Pacific Airlines served TVL 1966-67 with the 727-100 from LAX. I've seen a few pictures somewhere. Here's a Wikipedia reference.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Tahoe_Airport
 
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NWAROOSTER
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RE: US Airlines That Did Not Order Lockheed Electra

Fri Sep 04, 2015 2:29 am

Of the 18 Electras Northwest bought, three are still operating in Canada. Canada seemed to be where the Electras found a home as they were tough and got the job done.   
Spelling error

[Edited 2015-09-03 19:30:56]
Procrastination Is The Theft Of Time.......
 
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mayor
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RE: US Airlines That Did Not Order Lockheed Electra

Fri Sep 04, 2015 3:36 am

Quoting NWAROOSTER (Reply 21):
Of the 18 Electras Northwest bought, three are still operating in Canada. Canada seemed to be where the Electras found a home as they were tough and got the job done.

Any of them end up with Buffalo?
"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
 
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NWAROOSTER
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RE: US Airlines That Did Not Order Lockheed Electra

Fri Sep 04, 2015 1:30 pm

Quoting mayor (Reply 22):

Quoting NWAROOSTER (Reply 21):
Of the 18 Electras Northwest bought, three are still operating in Canada. Canada seemed to be where the Electras found a home as they were tough and got the job done.

Any of them end up with Buffalo?
Quoting mayor (Reply 22):

Quoting NWAROOSTER (Reply 21):
Of the 18 Electras Northwest bought, three are still operating in Canada. Canada seemed to be where the Electras found a home as they were tough and got the job done.

Any of them end up with Buffalo?

Yes one. N138US which is now C-GZFE along with a couple that Western Airlines ordered along with one from American Airlines. Buffalo now has six Electras.   
Procrastination Is The Theft Of Time.......
 
Viscount724
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RE: US Airlines That Did Not Order Lockheed Electra

Sat Sep 05, 2015 1:57 am

Quoting NWAROOSTER (Reply 23):
Quoting NWAROOSTER (Reply 21):
Of the 18 Electras Northwest bought, three are still operating in Canada. Canada seemed to be where the Electras found a home as they were tough and got the job done.

Any of them end up with Buffalo?

Yes one. N138US which is now C-GZFE along with a couple that Western Airlines ordered along with one from American Airlines. Buffalo now has six Electras.

Airspray has 14 Electras, no doubt the world's largest remaining operator, and Conair has 2. Between Airspray, Buffalo and Conair, that's 22 L-188s currently registered in Canada, 13% of all Electras built.

Over the years, 9 Canadian operators have operated 36 of the 170 Electras built.

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