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Gates Learstar
Shortly after World War II, Bill Lear bought a fleet of Lodestars. In 1953, Gordon Israel signed on with William Lear to redesign the Lockheed Lodestar into the Learstar executive transport. Lear tinkered with their noses and streamlined the fuselages. He added ferrings to the landing gear and beefed up the horsepower. Lear’s new plane was one of the first truly executive aircraft, and Lear guaranteed a 300 mph cruise speed for businessmen who were in a hurry.
When the Learstar was finished, it was 52 knots faster than the stock Lockheed, and Lear eventually sold 72 of the big long range twins, one of them going to the Krupps of Germany on a delivery flight that went from Santa Monica to Dosseldorf, Germany with only one stop, at Frobisher.

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