Northwest Airlines  Lockheed L-188C Electra   N122US    (c/n  1077)


                                        This shot was taken at Wold Chamberlin Field, Minneapolis in the winter of 1959.    N122US had
                                        been delivered the previous July and was one of 18 ordered by the airline.   By this time the airline
                                        had gained rights to serve Miami from Chicago.   On 17 Mar 1960, N121US, NWA's first Electra
                                        was operating a flight from Chicago to Miami when the starboard wing separated (i.e. fell off) over
                                        Tell City, Indiana, during violent thunderstorm activity.   All 63 passengers and crew were killed.
                                        This was the fourth serious problem of this nature with the Electra and the FAA immediately grounded
                                        the type.  Design faults were found in the wing and engine installation.  Services were allowed to
                                        continue until the fixes were made, but at greatly reduced speeds.  (The cruising speed was lowered
                                        from 400 mph to 295 mph).   These problems ultimately hurt the sales of Electras although once fixed,
                                        it turned out to be an excellent aircraft.   The accident did account for NWA's decision to hold off
                                        delivery of the final eight of its18 until the modifications could be built into the new aircraft.  The
                                        airline also went out and replaced the publicity shots it had had of N121US with ones showing the
                                        last of the first batch, N130US (below).
                                        Lockheed L-188C Electra  N130US    (c/n  1113)