Visiting L-188 Electras


The L-188 Electra II was a common sight in Australia from 1959 until 1983 as the aeroplane served with all three Australian airlines, QANTAS, TAA and ANSETT-ANA. Additionally, TEAL/Air New Zealand operated a total of five Electras and these were regular visitors to Australia. Two of the Air New Zealand Electras were acquired from Qantas so their histories are already documented in great detail here. The other three Air New Zealand Electras are covered on this page along with other Electra visitors to Australia.


Regular visitors to Australia were the Electras of Tasman Empire Airways Limited (TEAL) which became Air New Zealand on 1 April 1965. In all, the company operated five Electras. Pictured is their first L-188C Electra ZK-TEA (MSN 2005) Aotearoa during test flying off the Californian coast. As well as its New Zealand registration, the aircraft also carries the test registration 9724C but without the N prefix.Picture: Peter Gates Collection
ZK-TEA at Eagle Farm, Brisbane on 6 June 1971. After Qantas retired its Electras it did not have an aircraft that could serve Wellington so the two carriers came to an arrangement whereby Air New Zealand painted its Electras with dual titles for pooled services. The aircraft was broken up at Coventry, UK in June 2006 but the nose section is preserved at the Ferrymead Museum in Christchurch.Picture: Ron Cuskelly (C130)
Electra ZK-TEB (MSN 2010) Atarau in TEAL markings at Essendon on 7 March 1964.
Picture: Bob Neate
Electra ZK-TEB (MSN 2010) Atarau at Tullamarine in January 1971.
Picture: Peter Gates Collection
Electra ZK-TEB (MSN 2010) is still active in Canada as C-FIJX Tanker 416 with Buffalo Airways. The aircraft is named In Memory of Mr Forbes to honour Buffalo Airways' long serving accountant. Buffalo have two Electra tankers, the other being the former VH-RMA, so it might be appropriate to think of them as the ANZAC Tankers.
Picture: Peter Gates Collection
Electra ZK-TEC (MSN 2011) Akaroa in TEAL livery at Sydney circa 1960. This aircraft was written off in a training accident at Whenuapai on 27 March 1965.
Picture: Peter Gates Collection
L-188C N308D (MSN 1130) of the National Science Foundation at Brisbane on 11 January 1987. The aircraft was engaged on the Stratosphere-Troposphere Exchange Project out of Darwin along with ER-2 NASA 706, NOAA WP-3D N43RF and CSIRO F27 VH-CAT. This aircraft is still active in Canada with Air Spray as C-FLXT Tanker 481.
Picture: Ron Cuskelly (AB488)
L-188C N42FM (MSN 1077) at Melbourne, Tullamarine in August 1973. The aircraft was owned by FM Productions Inc and used to transport legendary guitarist Carlos Santana on a tour of the Orient, Australia and New Zealand. Click on the image for the full story of the Santana Electra. Picture: Mike Madden (M156)
L-188C Electra N8LG (MSN 1112) of the Rex Humbard Foundation (Cathedral of Tomorrow) arrived in Brisbane on 14 June 1977 and also visited Melbourne and other Australian cities. This photograph was taken at Fort Lauderdale Executive, Florida on 31 October 1981. Rex Humbard was an early televangelist. One of his claims to fame was that he officiated at the funeral of Elvis Presley. This aircraft returned to Australia with Charrak Air who intended to register it as VH-CHM but the registration was not taken up. Click on the image for the full story of this Electra. Picture: Geoff Goodall
Although this photograph was taken in Hong Kong, Cathay Pacific's L-188A VR-HFN (MSN 1002) was a regular visitor to Australia. This aeroplane operated the inaugural service from Hong Kong to Sydney via Manila and Darwin on 23 July 1959. Earlier, the same aircraft had operated a proving flight on 17 July, returning to Hong Kong on 19 July. The aircraft was broken up in Ecuador in 1981.Picture: Peter Gates Collection
Although it did not visit Australia in this guise, L-188A N7144C (MSN 1004) later became a regular visitor to Australia after it was delivered to Cathay Pacific as their second Electra VR-HFO on 1 April 1959. The aircraft is pictured at Geneva while on a world sales tour which departed from Burbank on 5 October 1958. The tour did not include Australasia because by then all four airlines had committed to the Electra with an order for eleven aircraft (QEA 4, TEAL 3, TAA 2, ANSETT-ANA 2) which was announced in Australia on 22 May 1958. The aircraft was broken up in Ecuador in 1981. Picture: Peter Gates Collection
L-188A N7144C (MSN 1004) wears the emblems of Electra customers at Geneva while on a world sales tour in 1958. Included are the emblems of Qantas, TAA, ANSETT-ANA and TEAL. The tour, which departed from Burbank on 5 October 1958, did not include Australasia because by then all four airlines had committed to the Electra with an order for eleven aircraft (QEA 4, TEAL 3, TAA 2, ANSETT-ANA 2) which was announced in Australia on 22 May 1958.
Picture: Peter Gates Collection

 

 

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03OCT19
Original issue.



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