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Lockheed C-60A Lodestar

  • Armament: None
  • Engines: Two Wright R-1820-87s of 1,200 hp each
  • Crew: Four (plus 17 passengers)
  • Maximum speed: 257 mph
  • Cruising speed: 232 mph
  • Range: 1,700 miles
    Service ceiling: 25,000 ft.
  • Span: 65 ft. 6 in.
  • Length: 49 ft. 10 in.
  • Height: 11 ft. 1 in.
  • Weight: 18,500 lbs. maximum

During WWII the military bought or pressed into service all kinds of transport aircraft that could be useful. Lockheed Lodestars were smaller and faster than the Douglas DC-3 aircraft that had become the industry standard. 

Most Lodestars were used for crew training, moving freight and VIP passengers, and for paratroop training.

The aircraft’s long range and large payload made it a favorite among high-ranking officers. As its reputation grew, aircraft were delivered to the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. The Royal Air Force received 10 C-60s, which it used throughout the Middle East as air ambulances and for other transport functions.

As a fast medium-range transport they served adequately well, but most were retired from military service before the end of the war. Afterwards, many were converted and became plush civilian executive transports.

A total of 625 Lodestars of all variants were built. Lockheed built more C-60As for the AAF (325) than any other version of the military Lodestar.

After the war, many military Lodestars were declared surplus and sold to private operators for use as cargo or executive transports.