G-AFTL


Type: L-12A Electra Junior
MSN: 1203
Previous Identities: NC16077
Subsequent Identities: NX21707
VP-TAI
N1161V
N12EJ
Owner: TBA (France)

History:

Although it is policy to include on this site only aeroplanes which took up an Australian identity, an exception has been made in the case of this aeroplane as it was owned and made famous by an Australian identity, Sidney Cotton.
This history was researched and written by Vic Smith on whose website it appeared previously. Vic has kindly given his permission for it to be hosted on "The Lockheed File" as his own site is now closed. The following chronology is copied verbatim from Vic's file with the only change being the reformatting of the dates. It should be noted that not all wartime flights are known.

01OCT36
Became NC16077 to Lockheed Aircraft Corp., Burbank, CA two 450hp P&W Wasp Junior SB2 engines, s/ns 505 and 506
03OCT36
Continental Oil Co., Ponca City, OK
31OCT36
Accident near Hunt, TX, repaired by makers, total flying time (f/t) 70.50 hours
MAR37
Repaired by Spartan School of Aeronautics, Tulsa, OK
APR37
RCA radio compass installed by Booth-Henning Inc, Love Field, Dallas, TX
18JUN37
Inspected at Tulsa, OK, 151.20 hours f/t
09AUG38
Inspected, 518.05 hours f/t, engine s/ns 491, 520,
(Reportedly owned by Herschbach Drilling Co. - not in FAA file)
24APR39
U.S. marks cancelled, sold by Gillies Aviation Corp. to F. Sidney Cotton, London, England, U.S. Export CofA E.4978, 658.49 hours f/t
28APR39
Shipped from U.S.A. on S.S. "Aquitania"
Assembled by Cunliffe-Owen Aircraft Ltd., Eastleigh, Southampton, painted light green for camouflage reasons
11MAY39
Local flight at Southampton, Cotton, R.H. Niven (also all other pre-war flights unless shown), to Heston same day
15MAY39
Became G-AFTL, Certificate of Registration No.9098 to British Airways Ltd. as a cover
Returned to Cunliffe-Owen for installation of two 70 gallon tanks, work completed by Airwork Ltd., Heston, AUW 11,300lb., range 1,600 miles, fuselage hatches for F.24 cameras fitted
08JUN39
Aeronautical Research & Sales Corporation Ltd., Heston
11JUN39
Certificate of Validation No. V.195 issued
14JUN39
08.57 left Heston for Malta
15JUN39
Photo sortie over Sicily from Malta
16JUN39
Malta-Cairo via photo sortie over Dodecanese Islands
19JUN39
Cairo-Kamaran Island via photo sortie over Massawa, to Aden same day
20JUN39
Photo sortie over Italian Somaliland, second abortive sortie same day
21JUN39
Aden-Kamaran via photo sortie over Eritrea
22JUN39
Kamaran-Atbara via photo sortie over Massawa, to Almaza, Cairo same day, then
to Heliopolis, Cairo
24JUN39
Heliopolis-Malta via photo sortie over Libyan coast
25JUN39
Malta-Lyon-Heston
08JUL39
Le Bourget-Heston-Birmingham-Heston
12JUL39
Heston-Brussels-Heston
15JUL39
Local flight at Heston, to Ramsgate next day
At this period fitted with Leica cameras in the wings
26JUL39
Heston-Templehof, Berlin, returned next day, photo sorties on both flights
28JUL39
Heston-Brussels, Cotton, with C.G. Grey ("Aeroplane" editor), then to Frankfurt, with Niven, Margaret Gilruth
29JUL39
Local flight from Frankfurt, Cotton, with Commandent of Templehof Aerodrome, used to photograph Mannheim area
31JUL39
Frankfurt-Brussels, to Heston with Cotton only
05AUG39
Heston-Lempme (possibly Lympne ?)-Heston
13AUG39
Heston photo sortie over Jever aerodrome and Wangeroog, then Heston- Le Touquet-Heston
17AUG39
Heston-Templehof, returned on 19th, photo sorties on both flights
19AUG39
Heston-White Waltham-Heston, Niven
22AUG39
Heston-Berlin, photo sortie
24AUG39
Berlin-Heston, the last private British aircraft to leave Germany, photo sortie
26AUG39
Heston-Paris-Dinard-Heston
27AUG39
Photo sortie over Nordeney, Heliogoland and Sylt, Cotton, Niven and Miss Pat Martin
29AUG39
Photo sortie over Wilhelmshaven and Schillig Roads
04SEP39
Heston-Shoreham-Paris and return, Cotton and Winterbothom
12SEP39
Photo sortie to west coast of Ireland
15SEP39
Photo sortie to Flushing and Ymuiden, landed at Farnborough for photo processing
20SEP39
Heston-Farnborough-Heston, Cotton, also on 22nd, 23rd, 25th, 27th and 30th
OCT39
Attached to Photographic Development Unit, Heston, retained it's civil status
02OCT39
Heston-Farnborough-Heston, F/Lt Niven
07OCT39
Heston-Farnborough-Heston, Cotton
12OCT39
Heston-Farnborough-Heston, Wing Commander Cotton, had photographed the Belgian coast
16OCT39
Eastleigh-Farnborough-Heston, Cotton
18OCT39
Heston-Farnborough-Heston, Cotton, also on 20th
09NOV39
France-Farnborough-Heston, Cotton
13NOV39
Heston-Farnborough-Heston, Cotton
20NOV39
Heston-Challerange, France
24NOV39
Heston-Farnborough-Heston, Cotton, last Farnborough logged movement
27MAR40
At 16.00, Heston via Shoreham to Dieppe (log of Observer Corps, No.19 Centre, Bromley)
12APR40
Photo sortie from Heston along English south coast to test efficiency of aircraft reporting system
18APR40
Heston-France
09MAY40
Coulommiers-Heston
11MAY40
Meaux-Le Luc
12MAY40
Le Luc-Corsica-Le Luc
15MAY40
Le Luc-Coulommiers-Tigreaux-Heston
06JUN40
Flown to Le Luc, to Hyeres and Ajaccio, Corsica next day
08JUN40
Ajaccio-Le Luc-Coulommiers
09JUN40
Coulommiers-Chateauneuf, Orleans
11JUN40
Chateauneuf-Marseilles
14JUN40
Marseilles-Chateauneuf-Poitiers-Heston
15JUN40
Heston-Poitiers
16JUN40
Poitiers to Fontenoy-le-Conte, to La Rochelle, Le Luc, Poitiers and Fontenoy
17JUN40
Fontenoy-Chateaurroux-Bordeaux-Fontenoy-Jersey
18JUN40
Jersey-Heston
25AUG40
Certificate of Validation expired
19SEP40
At 22.55, badly damaged when a parachuted mine hit the hangar at Heston
Shipped to Lockheed, Burbank for rebuilding, sold
21NOV42
Became NX21707 to Lowell Yerex, 9 Rockefeller Plaza, NYC for a ferry flight
21NOV42
Flown from Burbank to Brownsville, TX
24NOV42
U.K. registration changed to Lowell Yerex, Tegucigalpa, Honduras
05JAN43
Became VP-TAI to British West Indian Airways, U.K. marks cancelled on the same date
DEC44
Withdrawn from service for major overhaul in USA
30JAN45
Weighed at Lockheed factory for Balance Report
10APR48
Sold to Dan Hartman Airways Inc, Harrisonburg, VA, became N1161V
20APR48
Dan Hartman and W. Clayton Lemon, Roanoke, VA
c. MAY48
Trinidad marks cancelled
21OCT48
Morrison Drilling Co. Inc., El Dorado, KS for $20,000
12JUL50
Old Dominion Box Co. Inc., Charlotte, NC
06DEC52
CofA renewed, 4,286.15 hours f/t
04DEC53
CofA renewed, 4,396.00 hours f/t
08FEB55
CofA renewed, 4,446.10 hours f/t
15MAR55
Gregory-Poole Equipment Co., Raleigh, NC
12SEP55
W. Clayton Lemon, Roanoke, VA
26OCT55
The Babb Co. Inc., Newark, NJ
01MAR56
CofA renewed, 4,546.50 hours f/t
29MAY58
M.M. Sundt Construction Co., Tucson, AZ (registered 23JUL59)
14JUN60
Hudgin Airservice, Tucson, AZ
21OCT60
Place & Place, Architects, Tucson, AZ
23MAR63
Arthur Eugene Magee, Tucson, AZ
24FEB64
Smyer Aircraft Co. Inc., Arkansas City, KS
19SEP65
Landed wheels up in California
25MAY69
George D. Rice and Dolores A. Rice, Corona, CA, approved for dropping skydivers
10JAN74
Arthur E. "Art" Scholl, dba Art Scholl Aviation, Riverside, CA
Fitted with 3-bladed Hartzell propellers, approved 18APR74
Used in Warner Bros film "Doc Savage", also in a NBC film on Amelia Earhart,
CBS "Spencer's Pilots" series and an EMI TV Howard Hughes film
19JAN78
Transferred to Special Purposes CofA, 5,994.5 hours f/t (possibly for testing Nav Flite II autopilot installation)
27APR78
Reverted to Standard CofA, 6,011.2 hours f/t
by MAY80
Based at Rialto, CA
JAN83
Wind damage to tail section repaired
24APR87
Judith A. Scholl, dba Art Scholl Aviation, Rialto, CA (after Art Scholl's death while filming for "Top Gun")
13MAR90
Blackacre Land Co., Livingston, MT
10JUL90
Steve R. Oliver and Suzanne Asbury-Oliver, Forest Grove, OR
29OCT90
Became N12EJ, same owners
11MAR91
Seen at Space Centre Executive Airport, Titusville, FL, still marked N1161V
APR92
Seen at Bartow, FL as N12EJ
JUL01
Seen at Oshkosh, WI
DEC03
Purchased by Sally Runyan as a present for her husband Ben Runyan, a retired Delta Airlines pilot who delivered it from Georgia to their private airstrip, Green Mountain Airport in Clark County WA. The aircraft was known to the Runyan family as "Sidney" in honour of Sidney Cotton. (Source: The Columbian, Clark County, Washington of 31MAR16)
03MAY04
"Sale Reported", Vancouver, WA, sold to Ben Runyan.
AUG15
Sold by Sally Runyan to a private collector in France. (Ben Runyan and his son Ben Jr were killed in the crash of a Yak-52 in MAY08). (Source: The Columbian, Clark County, Washington of 31MAR16)
01APR16
Due to be delivered by air to the new owner in France. (Source: The Columbian, Clark County, Washington of 31MAR16)

Sources:
"Aviator Extraordinary" by Ralph Barker
"Yerex of TACA" by David Yerex, 1985
Federal Aviation Authority (USA) archives
Civil Aviation Authority (UK) archives
RAF Museum archives
Public Record Office files
Sidney Cotton owned several Lockheed 12As and one his lesser-known aircraft did come to Australia. See VH-FMS.

 

Issue Date Date
3 14APR16
Added details of a change of ownership, Thanks to Pete Clukey.
2 03APR16
Refreshed page layout with no change to data.
1 12JAN05
Original issue. Researched and written by Vic Smith. Thanks Vic!




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