View Full Version : Lockheed L 188 Electra

wombat four
4th Dec 2007, 11:07
Dec. 6, 1957, this MAGIC Pilots Aeroplane, first flew.

It had some problems early on, but these were fixed. It went on to be the, P3, Orion.

The L-188, was a pilots airplane.

As a pilot, I loved it.

Wombat 4

4th Dec 2007, 15:34
I'm sure it was fun to fly.

However it missed its market in the usual Lockheed way (L1649, Electra, Tristar all did in turn) and was a prop when the market wanted jets. It was the only mainstream turboprop a US manufacturer ever designed. Got relegated to decidedly short routes early on which it was really too large for. Made a good freighter afterwards but there were more frames around than takers.

the ideal aircraft of the 1950s-60s would have been :

- designed by Lockheed
- assembled by Boeing
- sales and marketing by Douglas

4th Dec 2007, 20:32
Good spot Wombat,

I spent many a happy hour in the electra.

I also spent a few hours crXpping myself when everything was falling apart.

20th Jul 2008, 20:06
TPI International airways bought three L-188 electras for Ansett and one of the three first flew by three of us in November 1984 and the other two followed. These three had the wombat on their nose of the aircraft. N 358Q, N365Q, N357Q. N357Q crashed in Kansas City downtown killing all three on board. H McCollum

24th Jul 2008, 14:53
Although in cargo config, I flew many a sector with Atlantic Air Cargo on their Electra runs.

All I can say is Magnificent Machine and a wonderful bird!

PS - Lockheed carried this trait on, with the L1011! :ok:

wombat four
26th Jul 2008, 09:58

I have no idea which Wombat, that is, 1,2,3 or ,4 became the ones mentioned by you from memory but I have the info. in my shed.

VH-RMA was, Wombat 1, RMB was W2, RMC was W3 and RMG was WOMBAT FOUR.

W1,2 and 3 were bought new by Ansett, W4 was bought in about 1975 from a US Airline, all of them were converted to freighters in the US by a company somewhere in the middle to southern middle US.

I will be back on line in about 1 hour, ( dinner calls ), and give you the serial no's of the aircraft, plus a few funny stories I was involved in , in flight, also the reason why we were known as , the " WOMBAT SQUADRON "



wombat four
26th Jul 2008, 12:22

Having had dinner tonight and it was 11/10, my lovely Wife cooked up, mud crabs in black bean and chilli sauce, with, of course a bottle of good Oz chardy.

Please excuse any sPElling erRorS.

RMA, W1, S/N 1039 became N356Q

RMB, W2, S/N 1047 became N358Q

RMC, W3, S/N 1044, I don't know what happened to this wombat, but it was used before delivery to ANSETT, by Lockheed for avionics testing as N1883 from Nov.59 to Feb. 60. Delivered to ANSETT, 5 Feb 60.

RMG, WOMBAT FOUR, S/N 1123, started out as, N6132A, "Flagship Richmond", with American Airlines, converted to a freighter and sold to ANSETT on the 23 Aug. 1975 as VH-RMG.

ALL i KNOW is that this Electra was sold to the Argentine Navy

WilL Get bacK to yuo later, the Missus has just opEned another CharDy

The beauTy of beinG, retired is that I do not have to worrY about 12 hours bottle to throttLE rule any more.

TypEd One hour lateR, will give you some funny stories tomorrow.


WoMbAt Four.


28th Jul 2008, 04:44
The three Wombats that I was talking about was bout by James Qualley and the N numbers had Q at the last part of the number. Like the one I first took out of Mia. in Nov N 358Q. They were all the light weight ones of 113,000 lbs. They were the only ones in the world that I knew of that had combuster starters. They did not have the bottles in the outboard engines.

tail wheel
28th Jul 2008, 11:17
Wombat Four. I'm not that far away - next time Mum cooks Muddies in black bean and chilli sauce with a chilled Oz chardy, give me a call and I'll be right over! :ok:

Used to travel in the 'Lectra in my early days in PNG, when the inboard engines were throttled back in the cruise due to the wing problem.

A wonderful passengers aircraft in the days of real airlines.

30th Jul 2008, 18:01
The "problem" it had early on was one wing or large section of it departing the rest of the sructure in flight resulting in 3 or more fatal crashes which is a pretty significant problem. I believe it was the last US airliner built without being put through a static fatigue test which should have shown up the flaws in the wing and nacelle design. Given the relatively low number built and the cost of the fix for the "problem" Lockheed probably lost money on the program as they did with the L1011.

2nd Aug 2008, 06:41
Did you operate the CV880?

2nd Aug 2008, 12:43
...resulting in 3 or more fatal crashes...

Two, actually.

...static fatigue test which should have shown up the flaws in the wing and nacelle design.

Not so.
Only dynamic testing would have shown the problem, and not just the usual flight test procedures for certification, either.

The L188 lead directly to the P3 program for the US Navy (and several other countries) so Lockheed definitely made a profit with the design.

3rd Aug 2008, 10:54
411A is right about the cause of the crashes. It is known as "whirl mode". A Google search will give you all you need to know about this little nasty. No amount of static testing can find it - it is a dynamic phenomenon.

3rd Aug 2008, 14:37
I remember the rainy morning in EINN when the Electra kissed the runway with 3 engines and no gear, threw one engine into a field.
Went around at 900 ft.
The ops officer said ' You did well to miss woodcock hill (1000 ft by a couple of hundred feet distance)'
'Where the hell is woodcock hill ?' said the captain.

3rd Aug 2008, 20:08
Went around at 900 ft.

Must have been mighty long gear on that there Electra...:}