Up-Close Aircraft Day
Saturday, October 12, 2019
Lockheed R50-5 Lodestar
March Field Air Museum is proud to announce the latest installment of “Up-Close Aircraft Days” for 2019. Saturday, October 12th., guests will see the museum’s World War II U.S. Navy R50-5 Lockheed Lodestar. Originally designed as a Lockheed Model 18 17-passenger civilian airliner, this low wing, double-tail, twin-engine, all metal aircraft was state of the art for civilian passenger transport in 1941. By late 1941, when the United States entered the war, all "Lodestars" flying with the United States military were former airliners that had been conscripted into service. These aircraft received different numerical designations depending on engine type.
By mid-1942, Lockheed introduced the C-60 variant of the "Lodestar". Designed specifically for military use, the C-60 was used as a troop and cargo carrier, flew anti-submarine patrols, and performed Search and Rescue duties around the world.
The museum’s Lodestar BUNO 12473 was built for the U.S. Navy in 1942, as a model R50-5 (U.S. Navy designation for the Army Air Force C-60). It performed its duties as a personnel transport throughout the conflict. After the war, it was converted for civilian use as an executive transport.
The museum's R50-5, flew into the March Field Museum on August 31, 1983. In 1999, it was restored and painted in its original blue and white U.S. Navy colors.