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  L-14-H2 "Inlander" Constructors Number 1034 Registration VH-AEC
Qantas Empire Airways

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Qantas 1942

Aircraft History
Built by Lockheed at Burbank, CA. Lockheed L-14-H2 Electra constructors number 1034.

Delivered to Mesta Machine Co in Pittsburgh, PA and registered in the United States as NC14947. Later, to G. Archer in New York. Next to Lorenz Iverson in New York. Then, Brayer Brothers Construction Co. of Buffalo, NY. Then, Arthur Kudner in New York. One of these owners nicknamed the aircraft "Que Sera Sera".

During May 1941, sold to Qantas Empire Airways (QEA) for $41,250. Disassembed and shipped as cargo across the Pacific to Sydney arriving in June 1941. Transported to Mascot Airfield near Sydney and reassembled by Qantas and test flown on June 30, 1941 for use on the company's weekly Brisbane to Darwin service.

This was the first non-British aircraft operated by Qantas. Registered in Australia as VH-AEC and nicknamed "Inlander". First flight was July 3, 1941 piloted by S. K. Howard from Archerfield to Darwin.

Wartime History
During 1942, painted in camouflage and operated from Archerfield to Darwin under charter to the U.S. Army, but sufered recurrent engine problems resulted in many forced landings.

On December 11, 1942 arrived at Port Moresby to join the "Special Transport Flight" carrying troops and supplies for the Buna campaign. This aircraft made 31 trips from Port Moresby to Dobodura Airfield carrying 209 troops and 13.5 tons of supplies. It also evacuated wounded to Townsville. On January 11, 1943 returned to Australia. During 1943, also operated from Townsville to Horn Island AIrfield.

During September 1943, Qantas report indicates that VH-AEC had flown 70 return trips Archerfield-Darwin in the prior year carrying 1,065 passengers and 17 tons of cargo.

Postwar
Continued flying until retired in 1946, but continued to fly charter flights.

Mission HIstory
On February 12, 1948 took off from Brisbane piloted by D. A. Tennent and R. Crabbe on a on a flight bound for Roma, but crashed near Condamine, Queensland with only minor crew injuries but the aircraft was written off.

References
VH-AEC - The Lockheed File

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Last Updated
September 24, 2018

 

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