Lockheed L-188 Electra
The interior of the Lockheed Electra, as designed by Jean Friedkin. (PSA/San Diego Air & Space Museum)
In 1958, Kenny realized that PSA would need new equipment to remain competitive, as the DC-4s were aging rapidly. After looking at the Caravelle, and failing to arrange financing, Friedkin turned to the Lockheed Electra and placed an order for three new aircraft.
Financing was still a problem, as Friedkin could pay for the initial deposit but nothing else. After much searching, he found Barron Hilton (of the hotel fame) was willing to finance the first three aircraft and engines under a lease arrangement. Hilton formed ElectraHilt corporation as the financing vehicle, lending PSA more credibility.
First flight airmail sleeve. (Webmaster collection)
Electra deliveries happened late in 1959, with the DC-4s rapidly pulled out of service. The Electra was the perfect aircraft for PSA, and cut flight times dramatically over the three-city network. PSA was now even more competitive with arch-rivals United and Western.
After the tragic Electra crashes, a meeting between FAA administrator Elwood "Pete" Quesada and operating airlines occurred. The meeting was quite boisterous, with Northwest's Don Nyrop advocating a grounding. All the argument ceased when a female voice was heard, saying "We're opposed to the grounding". Quesada said only airlines operating the Electra were allowed to attend, with a reply "I'm the Vice President of PSA, and we oppose the grounding." It was Jean Friedkin. Quesada apologized, and the meeting continued. Jean Friedkin was the only female vice-president of an airline at the time.
As PSA's traffic grew, they could afford additional aircraft. The fourth aircraft was the first prototype, refurbished by Lockheed. It was the only A-model in the fleet. The fifth and sixth aircraft were repossessed from their original owner by Lockheed, and sold to PSA after overhaul.
In 1975, PSA started service to Lake Tahoe airport. To do this, they bought/leased 4 Electras (again!), but kept them in service only when needed to serve Tahoe, which is unsuitable for 727s. Service to Lake Tahoe directly ended in 1979, and the Electras were retired permanently.
The fleet statistics listed below are from PSA archives. They do not correspond with what I have seen in production list books. In this case, I have elected to use PSA data over the production list data.
|72||N6130A||L-188-A||1121||American 'Flagship San Francisco' 02/12/1960 - 04/23/1969|
PSA 'Toto' 10/29/1975 - 03/19/1979
Evergreen Intl N5532 3/19/79-4/23/81
Galaxy Airlines 8/83
CR Reno, NV 1/21/85
|73||N6118A||L-188-A||1072||American 'Flaghsip Hartford' 07/25/1959 - 05/15/1968|
McCulloch 05/15/1968 - 11/17/1977
PSA 'Prince' 11/17/1977 - 02/07/1979
Evergreen Intl N5534 2/7/79-9/9/83
Argentine Navy 6-P-104 9/9/83-
|74||N6106A||L-188-A||1028||American 'Flagship Dallas' 01/27/1959 - 01/18/1968|
McCulloch 01/18/1968 - 01/18/1978
LT PSA 04/01/1975 - 06/01/1975
PSA 1/18/78-5/1/79 'Annie' 01/18/1978
Honduran Air Force HR-EMA 8/1/79, Stored 08/01/1979 - 10/04/2011
Air Spray Canada C-GNPB 10/04/2011
|171||N171PS||L-188-C||1091||PSA 11/06/1959 - 08/29/1968|
Holiday N971HA 10/16/68-6/75
PSA (FLN 071, 'Cindy') 08/26/1975 - 02/15/1979
Evergreen Intl N5539 3/1/79-/84
Channel Express G-CEXS 10/90-3/03, for sale
Air Spray C-GZCF 5/6/03 "90"
|172||N172PS||L-188-C||1109||PSA 11/30/1959 - 03/07/1969|
Bill Murphy Buick 5/20/70 LT Holiday Flamingo
Bluegrass Ventures LT Flamingo 12/28/1973 - 05/01/1974
MCA Leasing 6/19/74-5/75 LT Guyana
LACSA TI-LRN 'Cocon' 12/76-7/6/77
Hawaiian N340HA 8/7/78-9/2/80
Zantop 9/2/80-, BU YIP 6/08
|173||N173PS||L-188-C||1110||PSA 12/09/1959 - 05/14/1968|
Universal Airlines N862U 5/14/68-5/5/72
ONA N289F 06/28/1972 - 04/19/1974
Lynden Air Cargo /95-/98
Renown Aviation /98, WFU ROW
Segers Avtn SA 4/02, not seen since
|174||N174PS||L-188-A||1001||Lockheed 12/06/1957 - 05/11/1961|
PSA 05/11/1961 - 10/22/1968
Holiday 10/22/68-/75 10/22/1968 - 01/01/1975
BU Oakland 1975
|175||N175PS||L-188-C||1130||Capital N181H NTU |
US Navy 7/60-1/26/61
PSA 01/31/1962 - 02/29/1968
King Resources N595KR 2/29/68-5/5/72
Omni AC sales 5/15/72 LT NCAR 5/18/73
NCAR N308D 12/1/75-2/01, Neptune Aviation 2/04-11/06
Air Spray C-FLXT 11/06-, still in NCAR c/s
|376||N376PS||L-188-C||1133||Capital N182H NTU |
Sports Aloft N181H 1/31/62-12/27/62 (repo)
PSA 05/17/1963 - 05/24/1968
Universal N863U 5/24/68-5/5/72
ONA N290F 5/28/72-4/26/74
Zantop 4/26/74-, WFU YIP
LT Hawaiian 4/26/77-10/78