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Lockheed Electra Junior

This beautifully polished Lockheed 12, owned by Robert Borrius-Broek of Wanaka, will make its New Zealand airshow debut at Classic Fighters in 2023. The aircraft was built in 1937 and served in the US Army Air Corps from 1939 until 1943. After which time, it joined the civil register.

The Lockheed 12 arrived in Australia in 1982 and was purchased by well-known Australian-based Warbird pilot Doug Hamilton in 2007. It was based at Wangaratta for the next 15 years with several other Warbirds that Doug owns.

During this period in 2014, the aircraft was painted in USAAC markings for an appearance in the true-life tale of Louis Zamperini, the Olympic track star who survived a plane crash, 47 days adrift at sea and then as a prisoner of war in Japan during WW2 in the Angelina Jolie-directed movie, Unbroken.

On the 8th of May 2022, Doug Hamilton and Steve Death flew the aircraft from Australia to New Zealand via Lord Howe and Norfolk Islands. Two days later, they delivered the Lockheed 12 into the hands of new owner Robert Borrius-Broek in Wanaka. We look forward to welcoming Robert, this magnificent machine and his crew to Omaka for Classic Fighters in 2023.

Image: Lockheed Electra Junior - Photo by Gavin Conroy

If you are interested in the Lockheed 12 in general, please read on! The first of Lockheed’s all-metal aeroplanes was the twin-engine, twin-tail Model 10 Electra which was large enough to carry up to 18 passengers to fill its intended role of feeder airliner. The subsequent Model 12 Electra Junior was a smaller and faster version, featuring innovations such as an engine fire suppression system, an emergency exit and a fuel dump system.

Available in both airline and executive interior configurations, the Junior found little employment with the former due to the poor economics of having less than half the passenger capacity. However, it became popular as a company aircraft, particularly for those in the oil and steel business, as the L-12 was well-suited to unimproved airstrips.

During WWII, many L-12s were taken over by the US and British military, whilst the Dutch operated a number of armed examples in the East Indies, mainly in a reconnaissance role. Similarly, one of the most famous uses of the type was that of a spy plane.

In early 1939, Australian pilot Sidney Cotton made several photographic flights over Germany, Italy and North Africa using two secretly modified civilian 12As on behalf of French and British intelligence agencies. Post-war, the L-12s returned to regular duties as corporate aircraft and operated into the 1960s.

Image: Lockheed Electra Junior - Photo by Gavin Conroy

Image: Lockheed Electra Junior - Photo by Gavin Conroy

About Marlborough Lines Classic Fighters Omaka:
The airshow is the main fundraising event for the Omaka Aviation Heritage Museum, located in Blenheim, Marlborough NZ.


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