Lockheed L10 Electra
|L10 Electra NC5171N was acquired by the Science Museum in the late 1970s. It then lay hidden from view in store at Wroughton before finally going on display in London.|
developed its Model 10 Electra to compete with the Boeing 247 and
Douglas DC2 and was the company's first all-metal design.
The prototype first flew on February 23, 1934 and the initial
production model, the 10A, was powered by two Pratt and Whitney
R-985-13 radial engines.
Several of these saw US military service as the C-36A, while others were designated XR20-1 or R20-1 and C-37 or UC-37. A total of 101 10As were built before production switched to the 10B, with 18 built. Seven of these were impressed into USAAF service as the C-36C, later UC-36C.
The other marks were the 10C, eight of which were built for Pan American, and the 10E, of which 15 were built. One 10E became infamous as the aircraft in which aviatrix Amelia Earhart attempted a round-the-world flight in 1937. After flying 22,000 miles (35,000km) and with 7,000 miles (11,000km) to fly, mostly across the Pacific Ocean, her plane disappeared after take-off from Lae, New Guinea, the wreck never being discovered.
Another Electra owned by British Airways was the aircraft which flew British prime minister Neville Chamberlain to a meeting with German chancellor Adolf Hitler in September 1938, and which he is famously pictured in front of delivering his utterly naive 'peace in our time' speech.
The XC-35 was an experimental pressurised model powered by 550hp supercharged Pratt and Whitney XR-1340-43 engines which was tested by the War Department.
Total production of all Electras reached 149. Several survive both in flying condition and in museums.
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