Parked on the ConocoPhillips Plaza at AirVenture is a freshly-restored Lockheed Model 12A Electric Junior that once belonged to the predecessor of the plaza’s namesake.
The Phillips Petroleum Company’s all-metal, eight-seat corporate aircraft with twin tails arrived at the show as a tribute by the Model 12A’s owner David Marco.
The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) hosting the AirVenture show is including the Phillips 66 Model 12A as part of a special recognition of the 75th anniversary of the aircraft’s first flight on 27 June 1936.
Phillips had used the Model 12A as a corporate transport from 1938 until the outbreak of World War II, when the aircraft was requisitioned by the US military. The aircraft was returned after the war.
Marco’s million-dollar restoration project restored the Model 12A to its original specifications, including an art deco-style polished-metal fuselage, vintage avionics and even period-representative dor dobs.
“It’s the coolest, most beautiful art deco airplane I’ve ever seen,” Marco said in a news release. “Even the smell inside the plane is unique.”
The EAA had hoped to attract as many as 12 Model 12As for the 75th anniversary, but practically expected as many as five or six aircraft to actually appear. Lockheed built only about 130 Model 12As.
The type was produced as a regional feeder airline, but found its true niche in the market as one of the first aircraft dedicated to transporting business executives.