Lockheed 10 Electra
To-gether with Stearman and a young designer, Hall Hibbard, Gross supervised development of the Lockheed 10 - the original Electra. If the project failed, the company would surely collapse. Midway through the development, wind-tunnel tests revealed that the plane had insufficient rudder control. Working in a wind tunnel at the University of Michigan, a young graduate student modified the design and added a twin tail. It solved the problem, and Gross, recognizing talent, immediately hired the student. His name was Clarence "Kelly" Johnson.
On 23 February 1934, the Lockheed 10 Electra flew. On its maiden flight, one landing gear remained retracted as the plane approached for a landing, and test pilot Marshall Headle had to bring it in on one wheel. His touchdown and rollout limited the damage to just one wing tip and a propeller.
Providing accommodation for 10 passengers, the Electra was a cantilever low-wing monoplane of all-metal construction, with retractable tailwheel landing gear and a tail unit incorporating twin fins and rudders. Powered by two Pratt & Whitney Wasp Junior SBs.
The prototype was followed by 148 production aircraft. The Electra entered service during 1934, initially with Northwest Airlines, and in the late 1930s was used by eight American operators. By the time that the USA became involved in World War II, however, few remained in national airline service for the rapid growth in air travel had already shown these small-capacity aircraft to be uneconomical. In addition to those built for the home market, Electras were exported to Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Japan, New Zealand, Poland, Romania, USSR, UK, Venezuela and Yugoslavia. In 1936 several were purchased by British Airways for use on its European routes, particularly to Scandinavia. Small numbers also saw service in the Spanish Civil War and with the outbreak of World War II the type was impressed for service with the Royal Air Force and Royal Canadian Air Force. Use of the Electra by small civil operators continued after the war, as it was cheap to buy and operate, but few remained in service after the late 1960s.
The Electra could carry 10 passengers and two crew at 185 mph on a total of 900 bhp. The two Pratt and Whitney radials used 39 gallons per hour.
Production ceased in 1941.
A model 10E Lockheed Electra vanished along with Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan in 1937.
Engines: 2 x Wright.
Engines: 2 x Pratt & Whitney R-985-13 Wasp Junior SB radial, 336kW / 450 hp
Max take-off weight: 4672 kg / 10300 lb
Empty weight: 2927 kg / 6453 lb
Wingspan: 16.76 m / 55 ft 0 in
Length: 11.76 m / 38 ft 7 in
Height: 3.07 m / 10 ft 1 in
Wing area: 42.59 sq.m / 458.43 sq ft
Max. speed: 325 km/h / 202 mph
Max cruise: 165 kt
Econ Cruise: 140-145 kt
Ceiling: 5915 m / 19400 ft
Range: 1305 km / 811 miles
Pax seats: 10
Engine: 2 x Pratt & Whitney R985, 450 hp
Pax seats: 10