The Lodestar was a much favored
executive ship in the halcyon years between 1946 and 1956.
It was somewhat faster than the
DC-3. Well over 100 of them (including ex
and R5O-5s) were used by the nation's corporations. This one was
an ex Continental
which was sold to Mississippi River Fuel Corporation in the early
1950s. It is seen here
just after having been converted to executive standard by The Garrett
facility on the south side of Los Angeles International Airport.
The conversions consisted
basically gutting the airframe and installing plush settees, lounge
chairs, executive bathrooms
galleys. AiResearch were pioneers in developing
aircraft for the "big wheels" of industry.
company is part of the Honeywell Group. Later, in the
mid 1950s, many Lodestars
were converted to Learstars (as
my example under the Ex-Military Section illustrates).
The above shot, taken looking over the field, shows the open terminal
beyond the C-47, AT-6
B-25. Note, no high rise buildings, hotels, theme
restaurant, etc. in those days. I worked
Western Air Lines at the time and the terminal consisted of seven
boarding arms with about
seven or eight gates on each. i.e. 50 odd gates for the entire airport! Western had
right most arms (looking from the front). I believe we also
shared the No 2 gates with United.