Lockheed L-188 Electra - Price, Specs, Photo Gallery, History - Aero Corner (2024)

The Lockheed L-188 Electra is a four-engine, turboprop airliner manufactured by Lockheed Corporation. It is smaller, quieter, faster, and more economical to operate than the then current four-engine aircraft. The Electra is capable to take off fully loaded and make multiple flights without the need to refuel.

L-188 Electra Production and Development

In 1954, the L-188 Electra was developed to meet the need of American Airlines for a domestic aircraft with a short to medium range that can transport from 75 to 100 passengers. In June 1955, the airline placed an order of 35 aircraft.

On December 6 1957, the first prototype of L-188 Electra took its maiden flight from Lockheed Air Terminal in Burbank, California. It was a low wing aircraft with conventional setting, retractable tricycle type landing gear, and powered by four turboprop engines.

On August 22 1958, it received its Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) type certification.

On October 8 1958, the aircraft was first delivered to Eastern Air Lines with Manufacturer Serial Number 1007, then on January 12 1959, it entered into service.

Production took place from 1957 to 1961. In 1961, L-188 Electra production ended with a total of 170 aircraft built.

L-188 Electra Design

The L-188 Electra has a short and low wing with a wingspan of 30.18 meters and wing area of 120 square meters that resulted in the majority of the wingspan being covered in spiral slipstream. It has big fowler flaps that remarkably increased the effective wing area while being extended.

The aircraft has an external length of 31.85 meters, tail height of 10.01 meters and fuselage diameter of 3.2 meters.

Even though the landing gear is hydraulically operated, it has a safety feature the permits free fall extension of the gears without the need to use hydraulic or electrical power. The nose gear and the main gear retract ahead towards the aircraft’s nose. The aircraft has a wheelbase of 11.27 meters.

L-188 Electra Cabin

The cabin of the aircraft initially came in three distinct configurations. The conventional layout was for 66 passengers in a four abreast seating, the standard configuration was for 85 passengers in a five abreast seating plus a six-passenger lounge, and the high density configuration can seat up to 99 passengers. The cabin has a length of 20.02 meters, width of 2.74 meters and height of 1.93 meters.

Huge cargo compartments were positioned in the aircraft’s belly; the carry-on baggage space was in the cabin on each side of the aisle.

During the later years of the aircraft, several L-188 Electra were converted to all cargo aircraft or combination passenger-cargo transport.

188 Electra Engine and Performance

The L-188 Electra is powered by four Allison 501-D13 turboprop engines. The engines compose of a gas turbine power section, torque meter assembly, and a reduction gear assembly. It has a maximum thrust of 3,750 shaft horsepower each.

The aircraft was designed for short take off and landing distances, to drive out of 5,000 runways and has the speed range for maximum adaptability in the pattern of air traffic. Landing rolls of lower than 300 meters were displayed without using the reverse thrust.

The L-188 Electra was initially equipped with speed brakes to provide appropriate descent control characteristics, however flight test work showed that the speed brakes were unessential with the high drag available from the propellers.

The L-188 Electra has a maximum take off weight of 51,256 kg and a maximum landing weight of 44,499 kg. It has a maximum payload of 15,300 kg and a fuel tank capacity of 5,520 US Gal. It can fly up to 28,400 feet, has a climb rate of 1,970 feet per minute, and a cruising speed of 350 knots.

L-188 Electra Notable Accidents

On February 3 1959, an American Airlines flight 320 from Midway International Airport crashed into the East River in New York during an attempt to have an instrument approach at La Guardia Airport. Among seventy-three people on board, sixty-five people died in the accident and it has been recorded as the first crash of the L-188 Electra.

On March 17 1960, a Northwest Orient flight 710 from Chicago Midway Airport to Miami International Airport crashed out of control. The said aircraft disintegrated in-flight and broke into two pieces; the right wing fell in one piece and the other half descended close to Cannelton, Indiana. There were fifty-seven passengers and six crew on board; none of them survived the accident.

All Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Aircraft

  • Lockheed C-141 Starlifter
  • |
  • Lockheed C-5M Super Galaxy
  • |
  • Lockheed EC-121 Warning Star
  • |
  • Lockheed EC-130H Compass Call
  • |
  • Lockheed F-104 Starfighter
  • |
  • Lockheed F-94 Starfire
  • |
  • Lockheed JetStar C-140
  • |
  • Lockheed L-1011 TriStar 200
  • |
  • Lockheed L-1011 TriStar 500
  • |
  • Lockheed L-1011 Tristar 1
  • |
  • Lockheed L-1011 Tristar 100
  • |
  • Lockheed L-1049 Super Constellation
  • |
  • Lockheed L-188 Electra
  • |
  • Lockheed L-749 Constellation
  • |
  • Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules
  • |
  • Lockheed Martin C5 Galaxy
  • |
  • Lockheed Martin F-117 Nighthawk
  • |
  • Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon
  • |
  • Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor
  • |
  • Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II
  • |
  • Lockheed Martin P-3 Orion
  • |
  • Lockheed Martin T50 Golden Eagle
  • |
  • Lockheed P-38 Lightning
  • |
  • Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star
  • |
  • Lockheed R6V Constitution
  • |
  • Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird
  • |
  • Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star
  • |
  • Lockheed U-2 Dragon Lady
  • |
  • Lockheed YF-12
  • |
Lockheed L-188 Electra - Price, Specs, Photo Gallery, History - Aero Corner (2024)


What was the flaw in the Lockheed L-188 Electra design? ›

The Electra suffered a troubled start. Passengers of early aircraft complained of noise in the cabin forward of the wings, caused by propeller resonance. Lockheed redesigned the engine nacelles, tilting the engines upwards 3°.

Are any Lockheed Electra still flying? ›

There are currently only eight Electra aircraft flying worldwide, by just two companies in different segments. The largest operator is Air Spray, which is based in Canada and specializes in firefighting, founded in 1967. Air Spray Its fleet is mostly made up of Lockheed L-188s, but converted to be tanker aircraft.

Was the Lockheed Electra pressurized? ›

In 1935, the U.S. Army Air Corps established requirements for a pressurized cabin airplane. This aircraft was intended as an experimental flying laboratory to test new equipment and engineering practices involved in high altitude flying.

What is the range of the Electra aircraft? ›

Built by the American Lockheed Corporation, the Electra came in response to requests, particularly from Capitol Airlines and American Airlines, for a short/medium haul airliner carrying 60-70 passengers over an average range of 700 miles (1300 km).

Why did the Lockheed Electra crash? ›

The Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) determined that: “…the probable cause of this accident was the unique and critical sequence of the loss and recovery of engine power following bird ingestion, resulting in loss of airspeed and control during takeoff.”

What is the top speed of the Lockheed L-188 Electra? ›

L-188C - Max cruising speed 652km/h (352kt), economical cruising speed 602km/h (325kt). Service ceiling 27,000ft. Range with max payload 3450km (1910nm), with max fuel 4023km (2180nm).

What is the loudest jet engine ever made? ›

The XF-84H was almost certainly the loudest aircraft ever built, earning the nickname "Thunderscreech" as well as the "Mighty Ear Banger". On the ground "run ups", the prototypes could reportedly be heard 25 miles (40 km) away.

What engine did the Lockheed Electra use? ›

The Electra was produced in several variants, for both civilian and military customers. Lockheed built a total of 149 Electras. Powered by two Pratt & Whitney R-985 Wasp Junior SB, 450 hp (336 kW) each; 101 produced.

Why did Lockheed stop making planes? ›

Lockheed needed to sell 500 airliners to break even, but in 1981, the company announced production would end with the delivery of the 250th and last L-1011 on order in 1984. The TriStar's failure to achieve profitability caused Lockheed to withdraw from the civilian aircraft business.

How fast is an Electra? ›

With a 14.8mph average speed, the test took an hour and 39 minutes to complete. Considering how little effort we put into pedaling during the test, we feel this represents the low end of the Electra's range.

Where is Electra Aero headquartered? ›

Our world-class team of engineers isn't afraid to disrupt the status quo and we plan to change the world with modern ideas that challenge conventional thinking. Electra is headquartered in Northern Virginia with operations in Cambridge, MA, and Switzerland and growing quickly.

How many passengers did the Lockheed Electra carry? ›

The “Electra” was the first all-metal multi-engine plane produced by Lockheed and was designed to compete with planes such as the Boeing 247 and Douglas DC-2. It carried 10 passengers and a crew of two or three and had a range of 810 miles.

What is the flaw in the 737 Max airframe design? ›

After about six minutes of flight, while climbing through 16,000 feet altitude at close to 450 mph, the Boeing 737 MAX left rear door plug reportedly failed under cabin pressurization and flew out into the atmosphere, instantly depressurizing the airplane and subjecting all passengers to extreme cold temperatures and ...

What is the most problematic Boeing aircraft? ›

Just over five years ago, 346 people were killed in two plane crashes that happened five months apart in Indonesia and Ethiopia. Both were Boeing 737 Max 8 planes.

How many Lockheed Electras crashed? ›

Within months after the four-engine turboprop began service with several airlines, two planes crashed because the wings fell off due to engine vibration, a blow to the plane's reputation that Lockheed was never able to overcome. Production of the aircraft was discontinued in 1961, after only 170 were built.

Why was the l1011 a failure? ›

Lockheed discovered fairly early on that the TriStar suffered from higher than estimated structural weight, engine weight, and specific fuel consumption.


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Tuan Roob DDS

Last Updated:

Views: 6243

Rating: 4.1 / 5 (62 voted)

Reviews: 93% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Tuan Roob DDS

Birthday: 1999-11-20

Address: Suite 592 642 Pfannerstill Island, South Keila, LA 74970-3076

Phone: +9617721773649

Job: Marketing Producer

Hobby: Skydiving, Flag Football, Knitting, Running, Lego building, Hunting, Juggling

Introduction: My name is Tuan Roob DDS, I am a friendly, good, energetic, faithful, fantastic, gentle, enchanting person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.