A selection of my pictures of Lockheed's twin-engined transport and patrol bomber series, seen on visits to USA during the decade

Lockheed L.18 Lodestar N1940S at Mesa-Falcon Field, Arizona in November 1981 was a Dallaero executive modification
by Dallas Aero Service.  Obvious changes are the lengthened nose and raised saddle for the tailplane.

For comparison, here is unmodified Lodestar N117G at Detroit-Willow Run in August 1989. It had just been moved here from
a Detroit trade school. My surprise at finding a previously unknown Lodestar was captured by fellow traveller John Chapman.

Lodestar N1515V at Opa Locka, Florida October 1981 has had the full Howard 250 treatment by Dee Howard Co in Texas.
These upgrades were offered as up to 20 individual modifications, to allow the customer to choose which improvements were
important and within budget and have them done in stages rather than have their Lodestar out of action for a long period.

N315F at Fort Lauderdale, Florida October 1981 had most Howard 250 mods, without the redesigned cockpit windows

N33A at Fort Lauderdale October 1981 was also a Howard 250. These high performance Lockheeds had been replaced by
exec jets and a number met their end on clandestine drug runs to the Caribbean and South America.  N33A had a shady
past in these activities and was to be impounded again in 1984 at Nassau, Bahamas, where it sat until scrapped.

Lodestar N202H at Opa Locka October 1981 was a Dallaero upgrade.

Lodestar N5088 at Chino California September 1981 was a Howard 250 upgrade. This view shows the redesigned rear
fuselage and raised tailplane to give improved performance.

The other successful Lodestar upgrade was the Learstar series by Lear Inc. Learstar N403T at Ft Lauderdale October 1979.

Lodestar N880V with Hawkins & Powers Aviation at Greybull, Wyoming August 1989 was a Howard 250.

Hawkins & Powers Aviation also used this Lodestar N505R, which has some Howard mods, as a crew transport.
It was among ex-military aircraft in the H&P fleet which the fire bombing company traded to the USAF Museum.

N505R (see previous picture) in the USAF Museum collection at March AFB California August 1989 in spurious WWII markings.

N9060 was a Lockheed PV-1 Ventura rebuilt by Howard Aero at San Antonio Texas in 1957 as a Howard Super Ventura.
In November 1981 it was parked at rural Yukon Oklahoma with an aircraft dealer who specialised in Lockheed twins.
Behind the curtained vista windows was the executive cabin in which Howard Hughes had once been flown to London.

Another Ventura at Yukon OK in November 1981 was this hard-worked retired Texas crop-duster N165H.
This former US Navy PV-1 had been modified in 1953 by Spartan Aero at Tulsa OK as a corporate Spartan Ventura before
before relegated to agricultural work in 1968. The hopper was still in the fuselage and the roof loading hatch can be seen.

N1000X at Fort Lauderdale FL August 1989 had the Spartan Ventura upgrades by Spartan Aero between 1958-1960.
The rough black finish is not from a night drug run, but a protective coating while stored in the tropical climate.
Owner Jim Ricketts of Aero Nostalgia Inc at Stockton CA traded it to the US Naval Aviation Museum at Pensacola.

The ultimate PV-1 Ventura executive development was the mighty Howard 500, with more powerful engines and pressurised
cabin for up to 14 passengers. By the 1980s only a few survived, mainly used as fast night freighters. These two Canadian
Howard 500s were at Opa Locka, Florida in October 1981 awaiting resale after cargo work with Soundair Corp, Toronto.

C-GTIP at Opa Locka October 1981 had been first been a Howard Super Ventura, rebuilt in 1964 as a Howard 500.

C-GLOM at Opa Locka FL October 1981. The Canadian pair went on to murky careers in Mexico and Netherlands Antilles.

Howard 500 N130P was parked waiting sale at Yukon, Oklahoma in November 1981.

Eight years later, now at Chandler Arizona August 1989.  It was no longer flying and ended its days here.

Howard 500 freighter N896JB was retired with faded paintwork at Tamiami, Florida August 1989.

Surplus US Navy and US Marines Lockheed PV-2 Harpoons were used in large numbers for aerial application of insecticides.
By the 1980s increasingly restrictive environmental regulations ended past methods of aerial spraying and dusting of pests.
N7261C at Chander, Arizona November 1981 was one of a large fleet of PV-2 sprayers with Ralph S. Johnson's RALCO.

Another RALCO sprayer at Chandler AZ November 1981. Ralph Johnson purchased thirty surplus PV-2s.

RALCO PV-2s were based at Bainbridge, Georgia for many years on large scale contracts to dust annual fire-ant plagues.
PV-2D N86493 at Bainbridge in October 1981 has a belly granular-bait dispenser and wing leading edge pneumatic
dispenser tube protruding from the wing tips to also spread bait granules to prevent ant and grass hopper plagues.

Among the RALCO PV-2 fire-ant dusters at Bainbridge GA in October 1981 was N7250C, another late model PV-2D.
The propeller for the wind-driven ant-bait granular dispenser can be seen under the belly, fed by an crew member in the cabin.

RALCO PV-2 fire bomber N7080C tanker #C39 at Chandler AZ in August 1989 had a 1,200 US gallon belly tank.

RALCO PV-2 fire bomber N7086C tanker #112 at Chandler AZ August 1989

N6857C at Mesa-Falcon Field AZ August 1981 was with the fleet of PV-2 sprayers based here with Aircraft Specialities Inc.

These two stripped PV-2s N3247G and N83L at Wheeless Airport, Dothan Alabama in October 1981 were left after
Dothan Aviation shut down here a few years earlier, selling their pest-dusting B-17s, PV-2s and Martin 404s.

After ten years in the open weather at Dothan, PV-2D N83L was restored by warbird enthusiast Neil Rose to fly in US Navy
wartime markings with name Rose's Raiders, complete with 8 gun nose.

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