The design of the Lockheed L-188
Electra began in 1954, and in the following year the company received a launching order from American Airlines. The prototype, first flown on 6 December 1957, was a low-wing monoplane of conventional configuration with retractable tricycle landing gear and powered by four Allison 501D-13, 501D-13A or 501D-15 turboprop engines. Standard accommodation was for 66 to 80 passengers, but a high-density arrangement was available optionally to seat 98. Built initially as the L-188 A the Electra became available also as the longer-range L-188C with increased fuel capacity and operating at a higher gross weight. A total of 170 had been built when production ended unexpectedly early as a result of passenger loss of confidence in the type after two had disintegrated in flight, and by the time remedial modifications had been, incorporated customer airlines were interested in turbojet- rather than turboprop-powered aircraft. About half of the total built remained in service in 1992, many of them converted by Lockheed Aircraft Service for convertible passenger/cargo or all-cargo use.
| MODEL||L-188A "Electra"|
| ENGINE||4 x Allison 501D-13, 2796kW|
| Take-off weight||51256 kg||113001 lb|
| Empty weight||26036 kg||57400 lb|
| Wingspan||30.18 m||99 ft 0 in|
| Length||31.85 m||105 ft 6 in|
| Height||10.01 m||33 ft 10 in|
| Wing area||120.77 m2||1299.96 sq ft|
| Cruise speed||652 km/h||405 mph|
| Ceiling||8655 m||28400 ft|
| Range||3541 km||2200 miles|
|Tom Smithers, 07.09.2010|
I flew the L-188 for about a year and a half for National Airlines. Jan. 1967 to July 1968. Great airplane to fly. You could hit the outer marker at 1500 feet or 3000 and still have a good approach and landing. However, systems wise it was a typical Lockheed. Way over engineered. After that I flew the Boeing 727, Airbus A-310 Boeing 767, 757, Lockheed L-1011(way over engineered), MD-11 (best airplane I've eve flown next to a 727) Must be something about those three engine airplanes. Like a lot of guys, I flew for three different airlines-National(by far my favorite), Pan Am and Delta.
|Schmitt Josef, 06.08.2010|
pls can anybody help ? I need exact technical drawings of the original L-188 Electra II for an autentic flyable model of the Electra (copies of blueprints etx ...) - thank you in advance !
|John W BLAND, 19.07.2010|
I did my initial command with Ansett Airlines on their L188AF's. These a/c. were extremely well maintained and a delight to fly/operate. They were complicated but perfectly logical. After engine start, the captain could almost fly it single pilot. I also flew, F-27,DC-9,B737/200/300's. L188 a gorgeous aircraft. Think about it everyday.
|Jim Popa, 05.04.2010|
Flew the L-188 for PSA into Lake Tahoe, CA for 3 years in the mid 70's. For a high elevation airport, near 6400', and icy in the winter, it was the perfect bird. Pull the 13.5' dia. props in beta (revers) and watch airspeed unwind. It didn't have anti-skid, so brakes were useless on an icy runway. Turn off the runway, go to the gate, and stop, all with the props.
It was a maintenance nightmare due to many complex systems. Was my only chance to fly a large prop bird, so I took it and had no regrets.
|Tony Vasko, 15.02.2009|
The rigid plank construction of the wings plus the engine vibration resulted in more structural cracking than any any aircraft I have seen. Repairs were stacked up like wedding cakes. Saw a Zantop at EWR with crack completely severing one wing plank. it was found when they were fueling it. Internally too the milled risers in the wing planks seperated and Lockheed reported some riser cracks lengths measuring in feet. Gear attach trusses inside dry bay also had interesting cracks requiring some filler blocks that had to be specially machined. Most complicated air conditioning system ever with air cycle AND freon cooling and electric heaters. Control system for it was loaded with sensors inputting into mag amps. Real bear to troubleshoot. However Pilots loved it for its performance and handling.
|Mickson Daelani, 11.02.2009|
p'se email me when need Crew Part time
|Mickson Daelani, 11.02.2009|
I was flown 9 years with this L !88 C , This Acft Very2Good Performance If one Engine Fail speed Is Like Four .
Tq . Mickson Daelani( Flight Enginee )
|Tom Brennison, 02.07.2008|
With the exception of the two aircraft that came apart due to gyroscopic whirlmode, all other accidents in this plane were caused by pilot error. I flew the L-188C freighter for Saturn Airways back in the 70's. I truly loved the way this aircraft flew and had complete confidence in them. I have flown many commercial airliners, being a retired pilot for Delta Air Lines ( DC-8/ DC-9/ B-727/ 757/ 767 & L1011's )and I can honestly say this was one of my favorites.
|Pete Mesmer, 09.06.2008|
I flew this a/c for 3 years as a co-pilot for Eastern Airlines during the late 60's. The airplane got a bad reputation after a few came apart in the air. The problem was in the way the engines were mounted. They created more than one frequency which was transfered to the airframe. When two or more frequencies collide, you create a harmonic. If you don't satisfy the harmonic, the a/c comes apart. Eastern beefed up the wings and made them more ridged. This made the airplane ride like a buckboard in turbulance. I got my brains beat out on more than one occasion in bad weather. Eastern also limited the speed to 300 knots. This solved the problem and we had no more accidents. The torque and P-factor on takeoff required a lot of right rudder or it would put you in the boondocks.
The airplane was capable of incredible performance. I witnessed a single engine approach on an outboard engine and watched it climb out of a deep stall. I once landed in a 60 knot cross wind at JAX with no problems. The unexpected wind was caused by a micro-burst from an approaching thunderstorm to the west of the field which hit us just prior to touchdown. The airplane seemed to be cabable of anything. It had great short field capability and we hardly ever had to use the brakes. The air conditioning kept the a/c comfortable even on the hottest days. It was one of my favorite airplanes. I would fly one to Hell and back if necessary. The Navy still flys these birds. They solved the harmonic problem by mounting the engines inverted. To my knowledge, they never had to beef up the wings or limit the speed. I have never talked to a Navy pilot with time in this equipment that did not have a love affair with it.
|Jack H. Olsen, 21.05.2008|
I have a couple of thousand hours in the Electra both as a co-pilot and Capt. It was not the greatest A/C from a passenger vewpoint, but one of the finest for a pilot; particularly in the frozen North of our country. Many a time I was asked by the tower after landing for a braking report and replied "didn't use the brakes". It was my favotite A/C until the DC10.
|Jim Hart, 04.05.2008|
Flew F/O on these at Zantop in the 70's-80's. I'm still alive after almost 5000 hrs in them. Lost several comrads from Zantop. I was never comfortable in this airplane. Killed too many people. Took the Navy version P-3 to de-rate the rudder with flaps to help keep the tail on when it happens to go upside down. Too many Boiler Plate patches on the wing bottoms to suit me. Glad I lived thru it!
|Billy Webber, 01.05.2008|
Since Eastern Air Lines was the largest operator of the L188 as a passenger airplane and later Zantop International Airlines in the all cargo configuration, how about some pictures of them? (Billy Webber, former Eastern and Zantop Flight Engineer and flight crew ground instructor.)
Do you have any comments about this aircraft ?