Lockheed 10A Electra VH-MMD - c.1954
This aircraft was constructed by Lockheed at Burbank, California, in October 1938 and shipped to Port Adelaide, Australia (together with L10A VH-ABW) on board the Tolken. On arrival it was towed to Parafield for assembly under the supervision of Capt H.C. 'Horrie' Miller, Managing Director of MacRobertson Miller Aviation Co. (MMA) and F. Colquhoun, Chief Engineer of MMA. The Chief Pilot of MMA, Capt James 'Jimmy' Woods arrived from Perth via Darwin on the scheduled Guinea Airways Electra for familiarisation.
for registration to MacRobertson Miller Aviation Co., Perth, W.A. was
made on 15 December 1938, however on 17 December while running up the
engines at Parafield before departing for Perth, the undercarriage collapsed.
There were no injuries but the aircraft was damaged. While it was being
repaired, VH-ABW was prepared for delivery in its place.
entered service in February 1939 on MMA's Perth-Darwin route (2,300
miles with 12 stops!). This was relatively uneventful until 16 January
1942 when the aircraft suffered a forced landing 70 miles north east
of Derby, W.A. due engine failure. There were no injuries to the five
passengers and crew but there was minor damage to the aeroplane. The
1942 MMA's two Electras were flown to Melbourne to operate essential
airline services on the east coast, replacing aircraft participating
in the Buna (New Guinea) campaign. By this time the aeroplane was painted
in camouflage. On 24 March 1943 VH-ABV was
badly damaged on take-off from Port Hedland, W.A. when it ran off the
runway and struck piles of gravel and other anti-invasion obstructions.
There were no injuries to the five passengers.
was ferried to Perth on 10 April after temporary repairs with parts
supplied by Guinea Airways. It was test flown at Perth on 18 August
by Capt Jimmy Woods after repairs and subsequently returned to MMA service.
On 5 november 1945 it suffered further damage to the port wing, tailplane
and undercarriage at Halls Creek, W.A.
On 26 June
1949 VH-MMD made a forced landing in scrub on Napier Downs Station due
to failure of the port engine while en route Derby-Wyndham. The pilot
was Capt Syd Goddard and there was no damage. On 6 October 1952 the
port undercarriage collapsed on landing at Nookenbah, W.A. and the port
wing and propeller were damaged.
VH-MMD's service in Australia came to an end when on 7 February 1954 it was sold to Phelan Aircraft Materials Co., Burbank, California. The aircraft departed Perth for Sydney where it was dismantled by Kingsford Smith Aviation Services and on 25 February it departed Sydney for Los Angeles as deck cargo on the Sonomia. The aircraft was struck off the Australian Register the same day.
USA the aircraft passed through a succession of owners, wearing the
registrations N4886V and later N19HL. As of 1999 the aircraft is owned
National Museum of Naval Aviation at Pensacola, Florida, and is stored,
disassembled pending availability of funds for a
(Photo: Colin Hayes/Geoff Goodall collection)