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Photo ID:
click image to enlarge
Model: 18-56 Lodestar, C-60A-5-LO Registration: N56LH
Year: 1942 Serial Number: 42-55951, c/n 18-2388
Engine(s): Wright R1820 Owner: Atorie Air Cargo
El Paso, TX
Location: El Paso, TX Photographer: From Chuck Ott collection
Date: 1985 Present Registration: VH-XUS Present Owner (FAA info):
Notes: 2/27/04 - Chuck Ott, an air tanker pilot from out west sent me this photo, along with B-17G N207EV and Curtiss C-46, N800FA. Chuck was flying this Lodestar on an air mail contract out of El Paso, TX in 1985. I'll bet it took someone a few hours to do that fancy number on the exterior!

N56LH was built for the USAAF as a C-60A-5-LO, s/n 42-55951, Lockheed c/n 18-2388. After the war it was civilian registered as N17615. It subsequently went to Mexico where it was known as XA-SAX, but wound up being used as a chicken coop. It was eventually brought back to the U.S. and obviously restored before Chuck flew it for Atorie Air Cargo in 1985.

See the guys there with the little cart and the 55-gal. drum? They're refueling it, right? No-no-no, they are "oiling" it. Yeah, we did it that way too for the TBMs and Chases. And with the DC-3s we'd use 5-gal. jugs. These babies use - - and drip - - oil. Chuck burned about 80-gph of gas, so the fuel truck there would probably put in a couple of hundred gallons after a night run.

N56LH then went to Wings of Yesterday in Santa Fe, NM, and both the 1989 and '91 FAA aircraft registries show it there. I believe they restored it to military configuration. In late 1992 N56LH went to Aus Ex, Inc. of San Marcos, TX, and was exported to Australia. It is registered there as VH-XUS and you can see more recent photos here

Thanks, Chuck, for this interesting shot of a wonderful old airplane!
 
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