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LOGAIR-Saturn Airways Lockheed L-188 Electra II


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H. Davidson

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historical significance

First Albuquerque Visit:    1972

SKU: Model-0386 Categories: , ,

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The Lockheed L-188 Electra is an American turboprop airliner built by Lockheed. First flown in 1957, it was the first large turboprop airliner built in the United States. The airplane had airfield performance capabilities unmatched by many jet transport aircraft particularly on short runways and high field elevations. The Model 188 Electra is a low-wing cantilever monoplane powered by four wing-mounted Allison 501-D13 turboprops. It has a retractable tricycle landing gear and a conventional tail. It has a cockpit crew of three and can carry 66 to 80 passengers in a mixed-class arrangement. When jet airliners began replacing turboprops, many of the Electras were modified into freighters. To this day, there are Electras still being used in various roles well into the 21st century.

Saturn Airways was a US charter airline that operated from 1948 until 1976. Its headquarters were located on the grounds of Oakland International Airport, Oakland, California. The airline began as the All American Airways based at the Oakland Airport and used the Curtiss C-46 Commando aircraft. In 1959 the name was changed to Saturn Airways and the company began operating Douglas DC-6C aircraft. In 1963, the larger Douglas DC-7C aircraft were purchased from BOAC and were operated on transatlantic passenger charter flights. In 1965 Saturn acquired AAXICO Airlines.

In December of 1967 and January of 1968, respectively, Saturn took delivery of two Douglas DC-8 Super 61CF jets which allowed it to operate transcontinental cargo and charter flights which included military flights to South Vietnam. Between 1968 and 1974 Saturn had two DC-8 Series 50 planes in its inventory and added a third Super 61CF in 1972. After absorbing the assets of the defunct Universal Airlines in May 1972, Saturn added nine Lockheed L-188 Electra aircraft to its fleet. Saturn also operated nineteen Lockheed Hercules aircraft. Saturn Airways received a contract for the military’s Logistics Air Transportation System (LOGAIR) program. The LOGAIR program was a contracted priority cargo airlift service operated by the United States Air Force. Saturn was finally absorbed by Trans International Airlines in December 1976, making Trans International the largest air cargo operation at the time.

Saturn Airways received a LOGAIR contract for the US Air Force to provide military air freight service to Kirtland Air Force Base beginning on May 5, 1972. Saturn used this Lockheed L-188 Electra, N858U, aircraft and replaced the previous LOGAIR contractor, Universal Airlines.