Aviation 101    

    Lockheed L-188 Electra               


     A design proposal by Lockheed in 1954 resulted in orders for 129 aircraft by 1955 by two US airlines. The prototype first flew in Dec 1957 and the Electra entered commercial service in Jan. 1959. Production ended in 1961 after 170 had been built.

      Three aircraft had been lost in fatal accidents between Feb. 1959 and Mar. 1960. After an extensive investigation, mechanical defects in the aircraft were found to be the cause. Lockheed began an expensive modification program on all existing Electras and incorporated the changes into the aircraft in production. In spite of this, no further orders were received for the L-188; the public had lost confidence in the Electra.                                                             

     As of Jan. 2014 about 22 Electras remained in service, mainly in Canada, as freighters and firefighting air tankers.                               



Three-view of L-188 Electra 


Specifications (Model 188A)

Data from Lockheed Aircraft since 1913


General characteristics


  • Maximum speed: 390 knots (448 mph, 721 km/h) at 12,000 ft (3,660 m)
  • Cruise speed: 324 knots (373 mph, 600 km/h)
  • Range: 1,913 nmi (2,200 mi, 3,540 km) with maximum payload, 2,409 nmi, 2,770 mi, 4,455 km with 17,500 lb (7,938 kg) payload
  • Service ceiling: 32,000 ft (9,753 m)
  • Rate of climb: 1,970 ft/min (10 m/s)



LAB Lockheed L-188 Electra --

Detailed history and photos of one aircraft








This is one of my photos taken on 13 Mar 1973 at El Alto, La Paz  

Lockheed L-188A Electra                                                         c/n 1125                                            




Lockheed Aircraft Corp                                                                              First flight:  22 Feb 1960


American Airlines                                            N6134A                                                 25 Feb 1960

                                           - named "Flagship Memphis"                                                                  

                                           - incident                                                                                8 Jun 1963  

LAB                                                                  CP-853                                                 12 Aug 1968  


FAB - Fuerza Aerea Boliviana                    TAM-69                                                     30 Jan 1973

                                           - overhauled in Great Britain                                             1974 or 1975

TAM - Transporte Aereo Militar                TAM-01                                                        May 1975

                                           - used as Presidential aircraft ?                                                                                                                  - scheduled passenger and charter flights                                                

                                           - transport for National Football team                                                

                                           - wfu                                                                                      about 1997

                                           - stored at El Alto La Paz, derelict, parts removed                as of 2013



Incident: I couldn't find the complete NTSB report # CH163AO182, but a summary said that on 8 Jun 1963 the aircraft encountered unexpected severe turbulence while descending. No fatalities and no damage to the aircraft. (Some injuries ?)




Personal note: I flew on the LAB Electra once on 13 Mar 1973 from Cochabamba to La Paz. Then several days later on 22 Mar I flew on an Ecuatoriana Lockheed L-188A Electra from Lima to Guayaquil, then Quito on my way home to the USA. A noisy but elegant aircraft.




Un buen sitio en espanol sobre el CP-853 de LAB









Photo taken by Gary Schenauer in Buffalo, NY in 1962 - FlightAware 








Photo taken by Bob Garrard at Columbus, OH in Jan 1967 - airliners.net 







Another of my photos taken 13 Mar 1973 at Cochabamba 




TAM-01  Photo taken by Richard Vandervord at El Alto, La Paz in Mar 1992 - airliners.net 






A sad sight ! Photo taken by Michael Blank at El Alto, La Paz on 28 May 2008 - jetphotos.net 








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