The Aviation Art of Richard Louis Newman



"Morning Electra!"


Though the Electra was one of the most tested airliners of its day, two unexplainable crashes shortly after it began service in the late 1950's gave the airliner a very bad name. The cause of the crashes was eventually determined, and Lockheed launched a massive recall program through which all Electras underwent extensive wing and engine nacelle modifications to ward off a deadly force known as "whirlmode". Eastern Airlines was the last major US airline to operate the Electra in regular passenger service. On November 1, 1977, Eastern retired its last L-188 from the Washington - New York Shuttle.

Morning Electra's featured aircraft, N5520, was ordered by Eastern on February 9th, 1956, (seven months before my birth!) and was delivered on February 28th, 1959 with a Manufacturer Serial Number of 1030. At that time she was painted in the early Eastern livery with red letters reading "Fly Eastern's Prop Jet Electra" running the length of her fuselage, the familiar red Eastern eagle gracing her bright white tail. N5520 flew with Eastern until November 25, 1971 at which time she was sold to SAM Columbia as HK-1275 "Pluton". Many years later, in February of 1977, she returned to Eastern and was repainted in the blue "hockey stick" stripes that adorned all of Eastern's aircraft until, sadly, the airline went out of business. While many aging Electras made the transition from passenger liners to cargo freighters and are still flying today, this was not the case for N5520. Sadly, she was scrapped many years ago. But now, she flies again! And with this in mind, I dedicate Morning Electra to all former Eastern Airline flight crews and employees. Your airline may be gone, but you will never be forgotten.

Acknowledgements: Rarely is any artistic endeavour the result of just one individual. While I am soley responsible for applying paint onto the canvas, (and soley responsible for any shortcomings), there are many others who have lent their support and talents to bring "Morning Electra" to life. Special thanks go to: Ann Morris, who launched me onto the web. Peter Clukey, with L-188 Field Service, (Lockheed Martin Aeronautical Systems Support Company) who supplied me with historical data about N5520, as well as much needed (and hard to find) photographic scans of Electra's wing fillets. (Pete, I hope the frame went back together OK!) Eagle Photographics of Tampa, who did a super job photographing the original painting for print reproduction. Steve & Patty and their group of pros at King Graphics & Printing in Brandon. And all of you who have written letters of encouragement during this project. THANKS!!!

Original Painting: 20" X 24" Acrylic on Canvas. Original Painting For Sale: $600.00

Print: Available.
Image: 10" X 13" Overall: 11" X 14"
Edition: Open. Signed by the Artist.
Printed on 100 LB archivel stock, 4-color-process, offset.
Cost: $25.00 + S&H

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