Lockheed (Model 18) C-60 Lodestar


The RNZAF operated nine Lodestars (NZ3507-3515) in the period 1943 to 1949 as transport aircraft. Lacking a true 'cargo' door, they were primarily used for passenger and mail transport, particularly between New Zealand and Norfolk Island, and the Solomons. From 1945, most of the aircraft were released to Union Airways for passenger service. One aircraft (NZ3511) was written off in an accident during delivery to Union Airways at Palmerston North. (A further aircraft ZK-ALZ (c/n2104, ex VH-ARY), was destroyed by fire in Australia while being converted to passenger use). The last RNZAF Lodestar operated as a VIP transport until 1949, after which it was scrapped. Several of the aircraft were operated in the United States as executive aircraft after their service with NAC.

The Lodestar has also played an important role in New Zealand's civil aviation. The military aircraft which joined Union Airways (and subsequently the National Airways Corporation in 1947), continued to operate until 1952. These were supplemented by aircraft purchased for the aerial top-dressing industry, with Lodestars being operated by Airland, Fieldair, and James Aviation. Some of these were ex-RAAF aircraft, while others sourced from the USA also had previous military service. In this role the aircraft could carry a load of 3.5 tons of fertiliser.

Three Lodestars are on display in New Zealand

As recently as 1992, three Lodestars which have operated in New Zealand were reported airworthy in the US. These are the former NZ3509 (c/n2383, ex 42-55946, ZK-ANB), NZ3512 (c/n 2554, ex 42-56061, ZK-AIQ) and ZK-ANA (c/n2102, ex VH-ARZ). The latter had been built in April 1941 for the Netherlands Indies Air Force, and subsequently escaped to Australia. where it saw service with the RAAF.

Last Update:- 19 September, 1998

Technical Data


nose - starboard side starboard rear quarter view port rear quarter view nose - port side

Close Up

A few images from around the aircraft. Remember to let me know if you have a request for an image of a particular part of the aircraft!

rear fuselage port engine wheel bay starboard gear flap tracks hopper exit

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