Lockheed C-60 Lodestar

The Lockheed C-60 was the designation given to a mix of impressed Model 18 Lodestars and versions of the aircraft that were ordered specifically for the USAAF, and was by far the most numerous military version of the Lodestar.

The Lodestar was similar in layout to most Lockheed transport aircraft of the inter-war years. It had low mounted tapered wings, with a moderate dihedral. The fuselage had flat sides, and a rather more pointed nose than earlier models. It had a high mounted tail, with twin vertical control surfaces at the ends. The standard version had a row of small cockpit windows on both sides, and a cabin door towards the rear of the left side of the aircraft.

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Front view of
Lockheed C-60 Lodestar

The C-60 saw widespread service, operating as a general transport in the Continental United States, the Southwest Pacific, the Caribbean, the Panama Canal area and South America. It was also used as a training aircraft and as a staff transport.

The 21st and 22nd Troop Carrier Squadrons used the C-60 in Australia in 1942.

The 54th Troop Carrier Squadron used the C-60 in 1942-44, when it was based in South Carolina and then Alaska.

The 101st Bombardment Photographic Squadron used the C-60 in 1943, when it was based on Trinidad.

The C-60 was the designation given to thirty-six impressed Model 18-56s, powered by the 1,200hp Wright R-1820-87 Cyclone engine. Of these aircraft sixteen went to the RAF, where they became the Lodestar Mk.II. The remaining twenty aircraft were kept by the USAAF, with one later going to TWA for use as a flight-research laboratory.

The C-60A was the designation given to those Lodestars that were purpose built for the USAAF under military contracts. The C-60A was an eighteen seat paratroop transport, powered by 1,200hp Wright R-1820-87 engines.

Lockheed C-60 Lodestar from front-right
Lockheed C-60 Lodestar from front-right

A total of 324 C-60As were built, split into three blocks.

The first 52 aircraft were completed as the C-60A-LO.

This was followed by 45 aircraft completed as the C-60A-1-LO.

The final 227 aircraft were completed as the C-60A-5-LO, built in two batches (42-55891 to 42-56084 and 43-15433 to 43-16465).

Thirty-five aircraft of the C-60A-5 type went to the US Navy, as the R5O-6.

The XC-60B was the designation given to a single C-60A-5 that was modified during construction (and not included in the totals for the C-60A). It was used to test a hot-air de-icing system, and survived the war to go onto the US Civil Register.

The C-60C-LO was the designation for a long range transport capable of carrying 21 troops. Lockheed first submitted the specifications to the USAAF in February 1943, when it was designated as the C-104A. The designation was later changed to C-60C, but no prototype was built. 

Lockheed C-60 Lodestar from below
Lockheed C-60 Lodestar from below

C-60A-5
Engines: Two Wright R-1820-87 Cyclone nine cylinder single row radial engines.
Power: 1,200hp each
Wing span: 65ft 6in
Length: 49ft 10in
Height: 11ft 10in
Empty weight: 12,500lb
Loaded weight: 17,500lb
Maximum weight: 21,000lb
Maximum speed: 266mph at 17,150ft
Cruising speed: 200mph
Climb: 10,000ft in 6.6 min
Service ceiling: 30,100ft
Normal range: 950 miles
Maximum range: 2,500 miles

Lockheed Aircraft Since 1913, René J Francillon

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (20 June 2018), Lockheed C-60 Lodestar , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_lockheed_C-60_lodestar.html

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