June 19, 2014 - It’s always great to see a freshly polished Lockheed Model 12 Electra Junior on the flightline at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, and some years you’ll be lucky to see two. But this year visitors to the World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration could see seven of the iconic golden age executive transport airplanes parked together in the Vintage area, and there’s a chance as many as eight or nine could show up. That could set some sort of modern day record for the number of Lockheed 12s together at one time, says one of plane’s owners trying to make it happen.
“In 2007 we were able to gather three L-12s in one place on the West Coast,” said Les Whittlesey of Coto de Caza, California, EAA 409631/Vintage 20553. Whittlesey is the proud owner of NC18906, SN 1277 - an airplane manufactured in 1939 that won a Gold Lindy in 2006. The airplane was also featured in the August 2007 EAA Vintage Airplane magazine.
“But we could never get more than three together at a time,” he said. “The last time there were this many together was probably at the factory.” Worldwide there are about two dozen surviving Lockheed 12s out of the 126 built in the late 1930s and early 1940s, so being able to assemble this many at one time is quite an achievement.
First owner of Whittlesey’s airplane was EL Cord, who used to own Stinson, Lycoming, and the Cord Automobile Company. The airplane served in the lend-lease program with the British out of Hendon, England, in World War II. He acquired the airplane in 2002 and after a three-year restoration won the Lindy, the Paul E. Garber Trophy at Reno in 2006, and the 2007 Sun ’n Fun Antique Grand Champion.
The other Lockheed 12s planning to be in Oshkosh this year include:
David Marco, EAA 267503/Vintage 721330, from Atlantic Beach, Florida, owns NC18097, SN 1270, which was built in 1938 and won the 2012 Antique Gold Lindy. The airplane was first owned by Phillips Petroleum Company where it served as a corporate aircraft for a couple of decades.
- Peter Ramm, EAA 661969/Vintage 719271, plans to fly in from St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada, with his CF-LKD, SN 1222, built in 1937. First owner was Varney Transport, which became Continental Airlines and this airplane was one of its first airliners. Was used by the Canadian military during WWII, after which was sold to Texaco and then to Noble Corporation, where it remained through 1966 until it was acquired by C.W. Darden III for $15,000. Ramm became the owner in 2007.
- Joe Shepherd, EAA 386618/Vintage 17106, of Fayetteville, Georgia, owns N2072, SN 1208, that was built it 1936 and won the 2007 Antique Outstanding Transport award. Shepherd acquired the airplane in 1988. Along with the 2007 EAA award, it was Grand Champion-Classic at the 2007 AAA/APM Fly-In, Blakesburg, Iowa.
Three other confirmed attendees are Patrick Donovan of Seattle, Washington, with his N14999, SN 1252; Uwanna Perras of Morrisville, Vermont, with N2633, SN 1281, built in 1940; and John O’Keefe’s 1940 Lockheed N25628, SN 1286, coming from Winthrop, Washington.
Stay tuned for more details as they’re finalized.