Lockheed L14 Super Electra/Hudson
|Hudson IIIa G-BEOX carries Royal Australian Air Force markings at the RAF Museum, Hendon|
|Lockheed intended its L14 Super Electra as a big brother to its L10
Electra design and it flew for the first time on July 29,
However, a year later the British Purchasing Commission was set up in Washington to evaluate US aircraft that could be bought with minimal modifications to supplement British production efforts. Britain had an urgent requirement for a long range reconnaissance and navigation trainer. Lockheed quickly saw an opportunity and hastily built a mock-up of the L14 with a dorsal turret to prove its suitability.
Britain ordered 200 aircraft, by far the biggest contract Lockheed had handled, and followed that up many times as Europe descended into the Second World War.
On October 9, 1939 , a Hudson - as the RAF called the type - was the first of its aircraft to shoot down a German aircraft, over Jutland. The type found many uses, including delivering spies into occupied France, carrying a lifeboat underneath for air sea rescue and being armed with rocket launchers.
The total production run came to 2,584, including 490 armed versions for the US Army, 20 PBOs for the US Navy and 300 AT-18 crew trainers. The type was then developed into the larger Ventura and Harpoon.
Today, a few aircraft survive in museums although none are airworthy.
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