The Golden Age of Aviation relived
In August 2023, I organized a photo shoot for the second time with this time the iconic Lockheed Model 12 Electra Junior aircraft and accompanying reenactors. This event took place at a private hangar at the Zwartberg Airfield in Belgium (EBZW) which is home to a Lockheed Model 12 Electra Junior with registration N14999. This beautiful restored aircraft was built in 1938 and was delivered to the Continental Oil Company which used the aircraft until 1950. After this, the plane was owned by several other oil, gas and real estate companies after which it also served as a plane for sky-divers. After the plane was discovered in a hangar in Texas in 1989, it underwent an intensive restoration before returning to the air in 1992. In 2003, the owner along with his aircraft moved to New Zealand before returning to the USA in 2010 with his aircraft. Finally, in 2018, this aircraft was flown from the USA to Belgium where it is now owned by a private owner. With this photo shoot, both I and the reenactors wanted to relive and portray the famous 'Golden Age of Aviation' as well as pay tribute to America's legendary pilot Amelia Earhart.
After Lockheed had introduced its 10-passenger Model 10 Electra, the aviation company decided to develop a smaller version which would be better suited as corporate executive transport. The Lockheed Model 12 Electra Junior is an eight-seat, six passenger twin-engine transport aircraft equipped with two 450 hp Pratt & Whitney R-985 Wasp Junior SB engines. The Model 12 made its first flight in June 1936 and shortly thereafter this aircraft was selected as an official transport aircraft for the U.S. Bureau of Air Commerce. It was not popular as a commercial airliner but this airplane was widely used as a corporate and governmental transport aircraft. The main military user of the Lockheed 12 was the Royal Netherlands East Indies Army Air Force, which bought 36 of these airplanes. Other military operators who flew the Model 12 were The U.S. Marine Corps, the U.S. Navy and the Royal Canadian Air Force. Altogether, 130 of these planes were built of which only about a dozen still fly today. In 1941, production of the Model 12 ended and during World War II many of these aircraft were requisitioned by U.S. and British military services.
The author and photographer would like to thank everyone who made this fantastic photo shoot possible!
Text & photos: Kris Christiaens