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In January 1955, an industry-wide call from American Airlines for a new aircraft resulted in Lockheed’s newest creation – the L-188 Electra. American ordered 35 straight from the drawing board, and this was quickly followed by Eastern Air Lines’ order for 40 aircraft. Despite being a turboprop in an increasingly jet world, the Electra continued to be used by US airlines across the country, and the US military also used a prototype as the basis for the P-3 Orion anti-submarine aircraft. While the Electra found success in both North and South America, the sales to Europe were much more limited, with only KLM placing an order for the aircraft. The final iteration was the L-188C, which boasted increased fuel capacity and seating for up to 99 passengers. Owing to some serious accidents and speed restrictions in the late 1950s and early 1960s, newer Electras underwent strengthening of their nacelle and wing structure.
There were 170 Electras built in total, and, incredibly, a few are still in service today. With over 180 images, this book details the L-188 Electra across the globe, showing the different variants and liveries throughout the years.
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