C-60 Lodestar Transport Aircraft
History of the Lockheed C-60 Lodestar
Lockheed C-60A S/N 43-16445 at the Museum of the U.S. Air Force
The C-60A is a twin-engine transport airplane based on the Lockheed Model 18, a civilian airliner, developed as a competitor to the Douglas DC-3. Slightly smaller and faster than the DC-3, the plane saw service with many airlines around the world.
At the beginning of the war, 102 Model 18's in service with U.S. airlines or under construction were pressed into military service; these aircraft were designated C-56, C-57, C-59 or C-60 depending on their configuration and engines.
The C-60A was the first "Lodestar" which was built specifically for military service. It was used as a cargo aircraft, VIP transport and paratroop transport. C-60A's also served with the Royal Air Force, Royal Australian Air Force, Royal Canadian Air Force, Royal New Zealand Air Force, South African Air Force and Netherlands East Indies Air Force.
Lockheed also developed the Ventura medium bomber for the British using the same basic airframe. The Ventura was armed with up to eight .303 and two .50 caliber machine guns, and could carry 2,500 pounds of bombs. Although initially flown in attacks against land targets, it was primarily used as a patrol bomber in an anti-submarine and anti-shipping role.
A total of 625 Lodestars of all variants were built. Lockheed built more C-60As for the AAF (325) than any other version of the military Lodestar.
After the war, many military Lodestars were declared surplus and sold to private operators for use as cargo or executive transports.
C-60A "Goodtime Gal": A Finely Restored Survivor
The C-60A "Goodtime Gal" was restored over an 8-year period by the Houston Wing of the Commemorative Air Force, and made its first flight after restoration in August of 2011. The aircraft was built in 1943, and is configured as a paratroop transport plane, complete with jump lights and a static line hookup. This is the same role in which she served during her military service.
"Goodtime Gal" is based in Houston, but is on a regular tour around the country.
C-60 Lodestar Specifications
Lockheed C-60A Lodestar, 42-55918, "Classy Chassy" Robins Air Force Base, Georgia
Engines: Two Wright R-1820-87s of 1,200 hp each
Crew: Four (plus 17 passengers)
Maximum speed: 257 mph
Cruising speed: 232 mph
Range: 1,700 miles
Service ceiling: 25,000 ft.
Span: 65 ft. 6 in.
Length: 49 ft. 10 in.
Height: 11 ft. 1 in.
Weight: 18,500 lbs. maximum
Original C-60 Lodestar Photos from the Airplanes Online Archive
Lockheed C-60A Lodestar, 258005, "Goodtime Gal", restored and owned by the Houston Wing of the Commemorative Air Force (CAF)
Lockheed C-60A Lodestar, 258005, "Goodtime Gal", parked at Pounds Regional Airport in Tyler, Texas
Nose art on "Goodtime Gal", a Lockheed C-60A Lodestar owned by the Houston Wing of the CAF
Lockheed C-60A Lodestar 258005 of the Commemorative Air Force (CAF)
Lockheed C-60A Lodestar 258005 of the Houston Wing of the Commemorative Air Force
Lockheed C-60A Lodestar, 42-55918, "Classy Chassy", restored at the Museum of Aviation, Robins Air Force Base, Georgia
Nose art on Lockheed C-60A Lodestar, 42-55918, "Classy Chassy"
For More Information on "Goodtime Gal"
We've toured "Goodtime Gal" and highly recommend a visit to see this expertly restored aircraft. For more information and for the aircraft's tour schedule, please visit the website of the Houston Wing of the Commemorative Air Force.