|In 1954 American Air Lines was in the market for a 75 to 100 passenger aircraft for its
short to medium range domestic routes. In response Lockheed developed the low wing L-
188 Electra powered by four sleek turboprops instead of the usual large radial
engines or jet turbines. The combination of engine and the Hamilton Standard propeller
offered a much more reliable and fuel efficient aircraft that could travel at 375 mph for
2000 miles at an altitude of 20,000 – 25,000 feet. When production ended in 1961 there
had been 170 Electras completed.
In 1928 the Braniff brothers started a small airline that was bought out but they started
Braniff Airways in 1930. The company lasted until 1982 when it was financially forced to
close. Braniff was the first U.S. air carrier to fly between north and South America. This is
when “International “ was added to the company name. Another first was the fact that
Braniff was the first airline to offer “Hostess” service to tend to the passengers comfort.
Over the years Braniff flew numerous aircraft with one being the Lockheed L-188 Electra.
They promoted the aircraft as a Prop-Jet and used its speed and comforts as large
selling features. Braniff purchased 9 L-188A aircraft configured for 75 passengers plus a
six-place lounge and five crew members. The 9 Electras had tail numbers N9701C –
N9709C. The first aircraft to be delivered was N9701C and it arrived on April 29, 1958
and began regular scheduled service on June 15, 1959. After many years with Braniff
N9701C was sold and over the years owned by 4 or 5 other companies. The last owner
was Air Spray in Canada and in July 2003 it was destroyed while fighting a forest fire.
Specifications Lockheed L-188 variants A & C
Cockpit Crew – 3
Engines – (4) Allison 501-D13 @ 3,750 hp at take-off
Propellers – 13.5 ft (4.15 m) diameter propellers – made by either Aeroproducts or
Variant A - 5,520 gallons (20,900 l)
Variant C - 6,940 gallons (26,270 l)
Maximum Speed – 448 mph (720.1 km/h)
Cruise Speed – 373 mph (600.29 km/h)
Maximum Altitude - 28,400 ft (8,656.3 m)
Variant A - 2,200 miles (3,540.6 km)
Variant C - 2,500 miles (4,023 km)
Variant A - 59,338 lb (26,920 kg)
Variant C – 61,500 lb (27,895 kg)
Variant A - 113,000 lbs (51,256 kg)
Variant C - 116,000 lbs (52,620 kg)
Length – 104 ft 6 ins (31.85 m)
Wingspan – 99 ft (30.18 m)
Production – 170 Electras built 55 were C variants.
Lockheed L-188 Electra
Braniff International Airways "N9701C"
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