Lockheed 18-08 Lodestar    N25635                              (c/n  2027)

                                  

                                      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 C-57s, C-60As
                                      and R5O-5s) were used by the nation's corporations.  This one was an ex Continental Air Lines
                                      machine 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 Corporation (AiReseach)
                                      at their facility on the south side of Los Angeles International Airport.  The conversions consisted
                                      of basically gutting the airframe and installing plush settees, lounge chairs, executive bathrooms
                                      and galleys.     AiResearch were pioneers in developing aircraft for the "big wheels" of industry.
                                      Today this 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
                                      and B-25.    Note, no high rise buildings, hotels, theme restaurant, etc. in those days.  I worked
                                      at 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 the two
                                      right most arms (looking from the front).   I believe we also shared the No 2 gates with United.