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.


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.

[Photo 1: D D Smith Collection, Northern Territory Library PH0323/0022]
[Photo 2: John Hopton Collection]
[Photo 3: CAHS Terry Martin]

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
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]

[Photo: 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 However, the entry was evidently withdrawn before the race commenced.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.

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


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]

[Photo: Lockheed]

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.

[Photo: Lockheed via John Hopton & Trevor Boughton]


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]

[Photo 1&2: Lockheed Martin via Pete Clukey]
[Photo 3: Ron Cuskelly Collection]
Rolling Stones' Connie

Read the full story of the Stones' Connie here

[Photo: Ron Cuskelly]
Project Magnet Connie

Although military Super Constellations were not uncommon visitors to Australia, one particular Connie which always drew a lot of attention was the U.S. Navy's "Project Magnet" NC-121K Bu No 145925 (msn 5506). Finished in a glorious white and orange colour scheme and carrying the "Road Runner" cartoon character on the nose, the aeroplane was named "Paisano Dos" (Friend No 2). Project Magnet began in 1951 with the objective of mapping the earth's magnetic field. The aeroplane entered service with Project Magnet in November 1962 and was retired in May 1973. Sadly, this distinctive aeroplane was subsequently scrapped at the famous Davis Monthan "boneyard" on 28th May 1976.

[Photo: Geoff Goodall]

Read more about the NASA Super Constellations here.

[Photo: Geoff Goodall]

Itinerant Orions
This page in the P-3 Orion section shows several special Orions which have visited Australia.

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.

[Photos: 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.

[Photo: Lockheed Martin via Pete Clukey]

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.

[Photo: Lockheed Martin via Carl Yelverton]


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.

[Photo: 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.

[Photo: Ron Cuskelly Collection]

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.

Return to The Lockheed File