This venerable Lockheed workhorse was built originally as a Lockheed Model 18, a 17 passenger civilian airliner. In late 1941, when America entered the war, all “Lodestars” flying with the United States military were former airliners conscripted into service. These aircraft received different numerical designations depending on engine type.
In mid-1942, Lockheed introduced the C-60 variant of the “Lodestar”. Designed specifically for military use, the C-60 was used as a troop and cargo carrier, flew anti-submarine patrols, and performed Search and Rescue duties.
Our “Lodestar” was built for the U.S. Navy in 1942, as a model R50-5 (U.S. Navy designation for the Army Air Force C-60). After the war, it was converted for civilian use. Used primarily as an executive transport, the museum’s R50-5, BUNO 12473, flew in to the March Field Museum on August 31, 1983, from Castle AFB, CA. (another source indicates it flew in from Wyoming). Note: we had identified the aircraft in the past as serial number 43-3538. This aircraft is on loan from the USAF.
By kjfitz @ 2007-03-17 00:05:04