An eclectic collection of Lockheed aeroplanes which would not normally qualify for inclusion in The Lockheed File because they did not take up an Australian identity. It comprises itinerants, might-have-beens, some that came to Australia to die and some that were just simply irresistable.


L-9 Orion
NC12229 Spirit of Fun
L-12A Electra Junior
Sidney Cotton's Kolossal Lockheeds
Hudstar Part Hudson Part Lodestar
L-18 Lodestar
AeroNord of Sweden
L-18 Learstar
N5056 Mobile Home
L-75 Saturn
Aircrafts Pty Ltd
L-749 Constellation
British Commonwealth Pacific Airlines
L-749 Constellation
The Rolling Stones
L-1049 Super Constellation
L-749 & L-1049 Connies
Visiting Constellations and Super Constellations
F-104 Starfighter
Proposed RAAF Sabre Replacement
L-1329 JetStar Executive Visitors
U-2 Operations in Australia
P-2 Neptune
Aeronavale Visitors
C-130 Hercules
Hercules Visitors
L-188 Electra
Electra Visitors
L-188 Electra
The Santana Electra
P-3 Orion
Special Visitors
US-3A Viking
Viking Visitor
L-300 StarLifter
Lockheed demonstrator and NASA Observatory
L-1011 TriStar
Australian Demonstration Tour JA8506
L-1011 TriStar
L-1011 TriStar
L-1011 TriStar
L-1011 TriStar
Cathay Pacific VR-HOF Scrapped in Australia
L-1011 TriStar
Australian Airlines/Ansett Charter N763BE
F-22A Raptor
First USAF Visitors
F-35B Lightning II
First US Marines Visitors


Constructor's Number v Manufacturer's Serial Number

L-9 Orion

Orion 9A Special NC12229 (msn 187) The Spirit of Fun arrived in Sydney on the S.S. Monterey on 13th October 1932. The following day the Orion was taken by barge to Anderson Park at Neutral Bay from where it was flown to Mascot. The aircraft was undertaking a round-world tour by Arthur M. Loew of MGM Studios and Joseph Rosthal. The pilot was Captain J.P. Dickson. The Orion departed for Melbourne on 15th October from where it flew to Wyndham W.A., eventually departing Australia on 17th October bound for Bali. The aircraft later crashed after hitting a tree on take-off from Victoria Falls, Rhodesia on 17th November, killing Capt Dickson and injuring Loew and Rosthal.

[Picture 1: D D Smith Collection, Northern Territory Library PH0323/0022]
[Picture 2: John Hopton Collection]
[Picture 3: CAHS Terry Martin]
[Picture 4:]
Sidney Cotton's Electra Junior

Although it never came to Australia, this aeroplane once belonged to a very famous Australian. Electra Junior N12EJ (msn 1203), formerly G-AFTL, was used for espionage flights over Germany and the Meditterranean in 1939 by Sidney Cotton.
This aeroplane now has its own page. Please see G-AFTL
See also Sidney Cotton's Kolossal Lockheeds
Swedish Lodestar
In 1951 a Lodestar of the Swedish company AeroNord visited Brisbane while en route to New Zealand with a consignment of Electrolux vacuum cleaner parts which were urgently required because of a shipping strike. The Lodestar in question, SE-BTI (msn 2492) departed Sweden on 17th September 1951 and arrived at Whenuapai, New Zealand on 3rd October 1951. The Lodestar was flown by Captain Bertil Krokstedt. The aircraft returned to Sweden on 26th October 1951.

[Historical notes from the Aviation Historical Society of New Zealand Journal]

[Picture: Grulke Collection via Peter Gates]
The Hudstar

One very interesting type which is thought to have been headed for Australia was the unique Rausch Super 18 "Hudstar" which was principally a Hudson with a Lodestar rear fuselage and tail group grafted on. It is believed that this aircraft was the "Lodestar" which had been entered by Rausch Aviation (USA) in the 1953 London to Christchurch air race. However, the entry was evidently withdrawn before the race commenced. The conversion was based on AT-18 Hudson NC33367 (msn 7463) with the rear fuselage of Lodestar N94538 (msn 2095). The resultant aircraft was 25.5 inches longer than a standard Lodestar. The Hudstar flew for the first time on 8th October 1952 as NX367. It was destroyed in a fatal crash in 1977.

[Picture 1: Barry Admans via Queensland Air Museum]
[Picture 2: Ron Cuskelly Collection]


Built as a Lockheed 18-56 Lodestar with the MSN 2500, the aircraft was delivered to the USAAF as a C-60A serial 42-56027 on 25JUN43. Postwar the aircraft was passed on to several civil operators under the registrations NC88744, N88744 and N14M. Between 26OCT56 and 14FEB57 the aircraft was converted to an executive aircraft by Bill Lear (later famous for the LearJet). Now known as a Learstar II the aircraft was sold to American Can Company on 03DEC57 as N14M. After being flown by several corporate operators as N1414, N505S and N5056, the aircraft was acquired by Merryl D. Schulke, an orthodontist of Orlando, Florida on 29MAR73 as N5056. Fitted out inside as a mobile home and named Air Challenger, the aircraft was used to take the Schulke family on a round-world trip. Known sectors were: Fiji-Auckland on 06APR74, Auckland-Christchurch on 11APR74, Auckland-Melbourne on 04APR74 and Shannon-Blackbushe-Munich on 15AUG74. Schulke sold the aircraft on 22NOV74 and it was subsequently impounded on several occasions for drug smuggling. When last heard of, the aircraft was registered CP-2046 and stored impounded at El Trompillo, Bolivia where it was most likely broken up.

(Source: Marson, Peter J., The Lockheed Twins, Air-Britain, 2001)

[Picture 1: Nigel Daw]
[Picture 2 & 3: Roger McDonald]

One of the more obscure Lockheeds almost came to Australia with an order for the Saturn from Ron Adair of Brisbane-based Aircrafts Pty Ltd as a Lodestar replacement. Import Licences Nos. 250, 251 and 252, each for one Saturn, were issued on 7th June 1945 but subsequently cancelled. In the event, only two Saturns were built and the type never went into production owing to the ready availability of cheap DC-3s and similar aircraft post-war.

[Thanks to John Hopton for this previously unknown fact]

[Picture: Lockheed]
BCPA Connie
Although British Commonwealth Pacific Airlines ultimately chose the Douglas DC-6, the Constellation had been under consideration, as evidenced by this artist's impression of a Connie in BCPA livery. BCPA was registered in New South Wales in June 1946 with headquarters in Sydney. Capital was subscribed by the Australian government (50%), the New Zealand government (30%) and the U.K. government (20%). Services were operated to San Francisco and Vancouver, initially with DC-4s and finally with DC-6s. The airline was placed in liquidation in May 1954 and its services taken over by Qantas.

[Picture: Lockheed via John Hopton & Trevor Boughton]
Rolling Stones' Connie
Read the full story of the Stones' Connie here

[Picture: Ron Cuskelly]
Constellation Visitors
View a selection of photos of Connies that visited Australia here.

[Picture: Eric Allen]
NASA Connies

Read more about the NASA Super Constellations here.

[Picture: Geoff Goodall]


For a time, the F-104G Starfighter was under consideration by the Royal Australian Air Force as a Sabre replacement. In the event, the French Mirage III was selected and built under licence in Australia.

"The F-104G was considered unsuitable for a number of important reasons; the principal objection being that the F-104 required airfields of a standard which did not, at the time, exist in sufficient number in the Australian area of interest. Other reasons included; aircraft handling qualities, engine reliability, ferry range and cost."

["The RAAF Mirage Story" by Wing Commander M.R. Susans]

[Picture 1&2: Lockheed Martin via Pete Clukey]
[Picture 3: Ron Cuskelly Collection]
U-2 Operations in Australia

On 26 October 1960, three Lockheed U-2 arrived at RAAF Base East Sale in Victoria to commence Operation Crowflight VI as part of a U.S. Department of Defence High Altitude Sampling Program (HASP). This was the first recorded presence of the U-2 in Australia. Read more here.

[Picture: Eric Allen]

JetStar Visitors

Read more about JetStar visitors here.

[Picture: Ron Cuskelly]

Aeronavale Neptunes

Read more about Aeronavale Neptune visitors here.

[Picture: Ron Cuskelly]

Hercules Visitors

Read more about Hercules visitors here.

[Picture: Ron Cuskelly]

The Santana Electra

Read more about the Santana Electra here.

[Picture: Mike Madden]

Itinerant Orions

Read more about special P-3 Orion visitors here.

[Picture: Ron Cuskelly]


Read more about S-3A Viking visits here.

[Picture: Ron Cuskelly]

Civil StarLifter



The sole civil StarLifter visited Australia in March 1977 as the Lockheed demonstrator. The same aircraft visited again in 1994 as a NASA airborne observatory. Read more here.

[Pictures: Eric Allen and Peter Gates Collection]

TriStar Australian Demonstration Tour

The first TriStar to visit Australia was All Nippon Airways' JA8506 which arrived at Eagle Farm, Brisbane from Nadi, Fiji on 20 May 1974 at the start of a demonstration tour for the benefit of the Australian airlines. Soon after arriving in Brisbane, the aircraft acquired a Qantas "zap" marking on the starboard nosewheel door. The TriStar operated a local demonstration flight on 21 May and departed for Melbourne the same day. The aircraft operated Melbourne-Canberra-Melbourne on 23 May before departing for Sydney the same day.

[Pictures: Ron Cuskelly]

[Additional notes by Gordon Reid]
Qantas TriStar
It is common practice for aircraft manufacturers to court potential customers with models of their aircraft in the customer's livery. This model of the L-1011 TriStar has been painted in a Qantas livery which never saw the light of day. It has been claimed that Qantas was on the verge of ordering TriStars when Lockheed terminated production.

[Picture: Lockheed Martin via Pete Clukey]
TAA TriStar
Another Australian operator which was courted by Lockheed's TriStar team was Trans-Australia Airlines. This model of the L-1011 TriStar has been painted in TAA's "look of the seventies" livery.

[Picture: Lockheed Martin via Carl Yelverton]
Ansett TriStar

This completes the triumvirate. Ansett too was courted by Lockheed's TriStar team as evidenced by this model of a TriStar in Ansett Airlines livery. This model featured in the auction of Sir Reginald Ansett's memorabilia on 3 May 2006.

[Picture: Charles Leski Auctions]
An Australian TriStar?
Although no Australian airline ever operated TriStars, components for the L-1011 were produced by Australian industry under offset contracts. One TriStar did come to Australia but sadly it came to die! Cathay Pacific Airways L-1011-1 TriStar VR-HOF (msn 1027) was broken up for parts by ASTAAS at Avalon, Victoria. The aircraft had previously served with Air Canada as C-FTNE and Air Lanka as 4R-ULK. Although it has been reported that the aircraft departed Hong Kong on 5th November 1994, Curt Johnston, who was the First Officer on the ferry flight to Avalon, states that the date was 8th November 1994. His logbook records that the flight took 8hr 19min. It will be noted from the photos that the aeroplane arrived at Avalon in full Cathay Pacific livery and titles although these were removed before the dismantling process began. During an airshow at Avalon in March 1995, VR-HOF was sighted in a hangar. By 24th September 1995, the aircraft had been stripped and moved outside. By 7th October 1995, the aeroplane had been moved near to the control tower. By 14th October, a scrapper's guillotine had arrived on site and on 16th October 1995 VR-HOF was reduced to scrap.

[Thanks to Peter O'Connell and Curt Johnston for these notes.]

The link at left leads to a page depicting the scrapping of VR-HOF.
It contains explicit images which may offend some viewers.

Another Australian TriStar?

During the pilots dispute of 1989, Ansett Airlines and Australian Airlines combined to charter the Hawaiian Air L-1011 TriStar N763BE "Maui" (msn 1082). It is believed that the aircraft operated only one Australian domestic service and that was Sydney to Perth and return on 9th September 1989. This would have been during the aircraft's normal layover in Sydney.

[Picture: Ron Cuskelly Collection]

F-22A Raptor

The first F-22A Raptors to visit Australia were displayed at the Australian International Airshow at Avalon on 1-6 March 2011 but the aircraft did not fly during the airshow because of the lack of an authorised display pilot. Raptor attendances at the Avalon airshow are summarised in the following table.

01-06MAR11 06-4108, 06-4115 (static only)
26FEB-03MAR13 09-4173, 10-4194 (both flew)
24FEB-01MAR15 03-4060, 03-4051
28FEB-05MAR17 05-4090, 07-4139, 07-4151

On 10FEB17 a squadron of twelve F-22A deployed to Tindal, NT for combined exercises. Three of these aircraft later positioned to Avalon for the biennial airshow. Raptors also deployed to RAAF Amberley for Exercise Talisman Sabre in July 2019.

[Picture: Robert Frola]

F-35B Lightning II

The first F-35Bs to visit Australia arrived in Sydney onboard the USS Wasp on 18JUN19. It was reported that the ship carried at least ten USMC F-35B. The USS Wasp later participated in Exercise Talisman Sabre off the Queensland coast. Aircraft photographed were:

Code BuNo Unit
05/VK 169169 VMFA-121
06/VK 169292 31st MEU
08/VK 169294 VMFA-121

Other serials reported by observers in Sydney were: 168309, 169164 and 169412 (13/VK).

[Pictures: Eric Allen]

Added a new section on C/N v MSN.
Added a new section on Electra visitors.
Added a new section on Hercules visitors.
Added another photo of the L-9 Orion NC12229.
Added a new section on Connie visitors.
Added a new section on the Learstar N5056.
Added a new section on the JetStar and Viking.
Added new sections on the F-22A and F-35B for the purpose of recording first visits to Australia.
Revised the layout and added a contents table. Also added a new section on Aeronavale Neptunes.
Added U-2 visits to Australia.
Added the NASA Super Constellations.
Added a photo of TriStar N763BE.
Added a photo of a model of a TriStar in Ansett Airlines livery.
Added a reference to the 1974 TriStar demonstration tour of Australia.
Retired Lockheed employee Carl Yelverton has unearthed a photo of a TriStar model in TAA colours.
Sidney Cotton's famous Electra Junior G-AFTL has been moved to a separate page.
Added another photo of Orion NC12229. Thanks to John Hopton.
Added another series of photos of the scrapping of TriStar VR-HOF. Thanks to David Campbell.
Also added a section on the unique Hudstar.
Added a photo of Orion NC12229 thanks to Tim Kalina and the Northern Territory Library.
Also added a reference to Ansett Airlines having chartered a TriStar from Hawaiian Air.
Added a link to a page of images of the scrapping of TriStar VR-HOF.

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