Lockheed 18-08 Lodestar
First flown in 1939, the Model 18 was originally designed as a successor to the Lockheed Model 14 and the earlier Model 10 Electra. Most US airlines were by then committed to purchasing the Douglas DC-3, and Lockheed found the Lodestar difficult to sell at home. However, several overseas airlines from South Africa, Canada and Britain ordered the Lodestar. The Army began ordering military versions of the Model 18 in 1941.
A total of 625 Lodestars of all variants were built with a variety of engines from Pratt & Whitney, and Wright.
The museum’s aircraft, CF-TCY, was purchased by Trans-Canada Airlines (TCA) to replace the Lockheed Super Electra that had originally commenced the trans-continental airmail service in 1939. The Lockheed Lodestar was the flagship of the TCA fleet from 1941 to 1947. It was once the primary wartime transport flying between Victoria and Newfoundland. Fifteen of these aircraft were operated by TCA on the trans-continental service and Canadian Pacific Airlines operated a further nine. It was not until after the war that surplus DC-3’s finally became available and TCA began replacing their Lockheed fleet. Since the DC-3 did not have sufficient single engine performance above 11,000 feet, the minimum enroute altitude between Vancouver and Lethbridge, Alberta, TCA maintained Lodestars for the BC portion of their transcontinental route.
Lodestar CF-TCY was sold to the Department of Transport in March of 1948 and was converted to the Club Executive Model for use by Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent, Cabinet Ministers, and visiting Heads of State. Little is known of CF-TCY’s history until it was found abandoned at the Chicago Midway Airport where the airport authority had slated it for scrap.
The aircraft was purchased by the Museum in 1987 and moved to the Museum’s site at Crescent Beach. It was moved to Delta Heritage Air Park when the Museum moved in 1996 and it was moved again in 2007 to Abbotsford, BC for repair and refurbishment. The Canadian Museum of Flight in partnership with the University of the Fraser Valley at Abbotsford will be preserving an icon of Canadian aviation history.
For the operational history of this aircraft see our History section. Lodestar CF-TCY