Jetstar History


Jetstar Prototype, N329J, in its final Lockheed color scheme

Herewith, some Jetstar historical photos, courtesy of Jim Goodall and his friends at the Lockheed Skunk Works

The Prototype Jetstar under construction at Burbank, with Kelly Johnson in the foreground, facing camera.  Note the production crew, breaking for lunch, under the airplane!

The first two airplanes, N329J and N329K, were built in Burbank.  All the remaining airplanes were built at Lockheed's Marietta, Georgia plant.

Kelly Johnson    Kelly, and his new airplane

Historic Photo - taken at Edwards AFB before First Flight  - 4 Sept 1957
Crew for the First Flight:  Ray Goudey - Captain - Left Seat
Bob Schumacher - Copilot - Right Seat
Ernie Joiner - Flight Test Engineer

More about Ray here

 Close-up of participants
Bob Schumacher - Co-Pilot for First Flight
Ernie Joiner - Flight Test Engineer
Kelly Johnson - Designer and Head of Lockheed Skunk Works
Jim Wood - Edwards AFB Flight Test (USAF)
Tony LeVier - Pilot of P-80 Chase Plane

See the original Data Plates and Certificate of Airworthiness here

I was operating the radio ground station for the first flight. The flite was made from the main base at EAFB where we were operating from the weight hangar.Take off was at precisely 0900 which Kelly had specified about 9 months previously and later admitted that he shorted us on the time.
         The chase plane pilot may have been Ray Crandall, I forget after 49 years.
                                                                               Bob Klinger  via Jim Goodall
   Flying Magazine - October 1958
 An early photo

Note:  Single nose and main gear wheels, no slipper tank, new color scheme - one of several (quite a number, actually) used on the airplane.

   Classic takeoff from Burbank, Connies in the background

   Flying over Southern California mountains

   First two Prototypes in flight

Note:  Both with twin engine Bristol Orpheus installations.  There were only four Orpheus engines ever made - all four flying in this photo (see below.)  N329J Prototype in forground, wing slats extended, no slipper tanks.  N329K - second airplane in back, slats up, slipper tanks installed.  Second airplane later retrofitted with standard JT12 four engine installation.  First airplane retained its twin configuration throughout its life.  Slipper tanks from No. 2 were retrofitted to No. 1 when No. 2 got the four engine installation, along with a new, larger slipper tank configuration.  Ultimately, there were three slipper tank configurations.  Paint scheme # 3, of many.  See some of the paint schemes here.

   The standard 4 engine configuration - P&W JT12 engines

   The final production configuration

Marketed as the Jetstar II, with four Garrett TFE-731 turbofan engines.  Many similar after-market conversions.

   An Ooops!

This photo of the aircraft being craned is obviously at an off airport location. I'm unable to find any records of this in the NTSB accident database, which extends back only to 1 Jan 1973.. (Perhaps we can get some Lockheed old-timers to shed some light on this.)

I was able to locate engine teardown reports from Bristol; they pinpointed the accident date as 28 April 1962. The airplane had been flying about 90 minutes at 40,000 feet. During descent and approach to Burbank, only 50% thrust could be obtained, and the fuel boost pump pressures were noted as zero. Unable to make the field, the airplane was force landed in an open area. The engines continued to run at idle power throughout the landing.

 The teardown reports can be seen here.

The above picture has generated quite a lot of fascinating emails.  They discuss who the pilot was that was flying, as well as the exact location of the accident:


I saw the aircraft flame out and land in a field near Burbank.

Herman "Fish" Salmon, Lockheed test pilot and friend of mine, came by my house and we went together over to the aircraft. The airplane ran out of fuel or lost power just short of Burbank. The emergency landing, off airport, in 1962, was actually due to a design problem. The fuel supply froze. The pilot of that flight was Vern Peterson. He broke his back in the accident. After returning to flight status, he continued in flight test including the test program for the C-130 and C-141.

Hi Bob,

 I enjoyed your website.  My name is Michael B; I'm a dentist in Los Angeles, CA.  My father was Charles I. B MD,  who was medical director at Lockheed in Burbank from about 1950 on for over thirty five years.  He was very active in aerospace medicne and of course was intimately involved with all of Lockheed's test pilots during the development of its many aircraft designed by Kelly Johnson.  I have always been interested in flying and the history of flight.  I have a private license but have not been an active pilot in a number of years but I do have great interest in anything flight related.
I'm contacting you because I came across a webpage from you regarding the Lockheed Jetstar.  You show a picture of the aircraft being craned out of a field from an off airport landing in 1962 stating that it was near the Burbank Airport.  I was in 11th grade at the time and was working in our backyard in our family home in Northridge, CA.  I saw the aircrft fly in from the West over our house flying very low heading toward Van Nuys.  Of course I recognized it as a Jetstar.  The plane turned South and then back West (South of our house) and went down below my visible horizon. I quickly got my dad out of the house and we drove to the crash site.  The pilot had landed in a plowed field (developed shopping center today).  I'll never forget seeing the length and depth of the furrows that the main gear left in the field (I think that he did have the gear down). What irony that one of the first people at the crash site was Lockheed's medical director who also happened to be an expert in aircraft accident investigation!  I also recall that the pilot, Vern Peterson, lived in our area. Maybe he had prior knowledge of the condition of the plowed field.  Interesting that you think that the NTSB has no record of this incident.
I enlarged the photo of the Jetstar crash and I recognize the Santa Suzana hills in the background verifying that this was the same Northridge crash that I witnessed from my house.  It was not near Burbank or Sunland but actually west of the Van Nuys airport.  Fish Salmon probably did visit the crash site as his house was also in Northridge close to ours.  I spent many hours with him in his garage rebuilding my old Matchless motorcycle.
Please let me know if you received my email; I'm a real fan of aviation history, especially regarding Lockheed.  Via my dad I had the honor of meeting Tony Levier, Fish Salmon, and even Col. John Stapp of the rocket sled fame.

Michael B. DDS

Hi Bob,
I was examining the picture of the Jetstar being loaded at the forced
landing site in 1962.  I remember it well; my 12 year old son witnessed
the landing and was interviewed by newsman Dick Spangler who
was reporting for K G I L Radio in the San Fernando Valley.
The landing site was a recently cleared grapefruit orchard owned
by Richard Mulholland (Brother to the famous Bill Mulholland
who engineered the LOS ANGELES AQUADUCT #1)
The site is Between NORDHOFF (North), the RAIROAD TRACK (South),
TAMPA Street (East), and CORBIN St.(West) in NORTHRIDGE.
I do not remember the approach heading, but the 'plane as it is being
loaded is heading WEST.
We lived at the point off the tail of the 'plane where you can see a
Hedge-Row of Eucalyptus trees on the North side of NORDHOFF Street.
Hope this bit of history helps.
Steve S.
This location today is a big shopping center - the result would have been disaster.
You can see the location here.

Hi Bob,

As I was a good friend of Bob Schumacher’s son (Paul), I can tell you that Bob S. was flying the JetStar that made the Sunland ‘off field’ landing.  Bob is the one who broke his back, effectively limiting and ending his ‘company’ flying (U2 and SR-71).  Bob Schumacher ended up flying a Convair 240 that went from Burbank  to Beale AFB to Tonopah everyday (with the SR-71 Technicians). I ended up being stationed at Beale (KC135Q) and I would hop a ride home with Mr. Schumacher every Friday.  If my brain can think of more stories I will be glad to email you.

More information:

Following the accident, Fred Cavanaugh, Advanced Development Projects engineer, authorized installation of the production (dual wheel) nose gear. The landing took place with the gear down, with the resultant failure of the original nose gear. (The Jetstar originally had single wheels on all landing gears. The production airplanes had dual wheels on each landing gear. After the accident, the Prototype wound up with the unique configuration of duals on the NLG and singles on the MLG.)

   Kelly and crew    This photo is labeled "Last Day of Senior Bowl".  Kelly is seventh from left, and a lot older.   Senior Bowl refers to the Skunk Works D21 ramjet drone program.  See:     (Thanks to Eric Toler for this info.)


 N329J in her final (and current) paint scheme Note the dual nose wheels and the slipper tank off No. 2 airplane.  See N329J today

Comments and more photos or information? - write me.

Some interesting factoids:

The pilot of the first flight, 
Ray Goudey, was also the pilot for the last.

The following directly from Ray, to Jim Goodall, in response to this webpage:
Jetstar first flight -- pilot - Ray Goudey; second seat - Bob Schumacher;  flight engineer - Ernie Joiner
Final flight to BC --  pilot - Ray Goudey;  second seat - Ralph Kelly;  crew chief - Don Bailey;  passengers Kelly Johnson and others (Bill Park may have been with us, but I don't remember).
Failed engine -- After take off from Burbank, the left engine failed (sudden stoppage - later found the engine came apart inside).  The safest landing option was Van Nuys.  The brakes were OK.  We landed at Van Nuys with no further problems.
Final flight info --  We landed at Abbottsford for the air show.   After the air show, we flew to BC.  On the way to BC, I had a little fun and did an aileron slow roll.  I several times demonstrated in the Jetstar a slow roll with positive G's that allowed someone to pour coffee without spilling a drop.
I will try to locate the data I have on the last flight as well as any other information I have on the Jetstar and forward to anyone interested. 
Ray Goudey

See Ray's revisit to the Jetstar Prototype airplane on May 18, 2006 here.

From Alan Brown, Director of Stealth Technology while at the Lockheed Skunk Works to Jim Goodall:
The reason is that I was on the last flight of the Jetstar as a Lockheed business jet when it lost the port engine on take-off. Ray Goudy, an ex-Lockheed test pilot, was in charge of the airplane, and the passenger list was something of a Who's Who of military aviation, all seated in order of importance from front to back. Up front were Kelly Johnson and 4-star General Al Slay, head of Systems Command. Then came Ben Rich with another four-star, Bob Dixon, who was head of TAC. Norm Nelson, our then program manager for Have Blue was on board, and I believe Col. Ken Staten. I know that the list was finalized by Captain Jack Twigg, the Air Force program manager for the Have Blue, and myself sitting in the two back seats.
We were at about 100 feet altitude, having taken off heading south from Burbank airport, when there was a god-almighty bang just to the left of Jack Twigg's ear. We were still in a state of shock when Kelly came bounding down the aisle, recognizing that we had blown a turbine wheel, and anxious to see if any of the hydraulic lines to the rudder and elevator had been severed. At the same time Ray Goudy put the airplane into what seemed like a right-turning knife edge, obviously recognizing that he had to land as quickly as possible, and that the Burbank runway probably wasn't long enough for an emergency landing. Kelly was satisfied, and went back to his seat, while I was looking down at houses and swimming pools in North Hollywood, having just passed over the Burbank cemetery!
It's interesting to note what passes through your mind at times like these. My first thought was that with my luck I'd probably pitch into the deep end of one of those swimming pools, and I'm not a very good swimmer! My next thought was that at least I'd make the front page of the L.A. Times. The paragraph would start, "Famous airplane designer killed in air crash over Burbank together with senior Air Force Generals" and finish with "among the other passengers were Captain Jack Twigg and Lockheed engineer Alan Brown"! Anyway, while this brief reverie was going through my mind, Ray had got the airplane flying right side up, and heading for Van Nuys airport. Kelly reminded Ray that as this was the prototype airplane, it probably still had the anti-spin parachute fitted from flight test days, and he might want to use it as an aircraft brake on landing. The reason for this thought was that the hydraulic brakes were normally actuated from the port engine auxiliary gearbox, and of course that was now lost.
So Ray brought the airplane into the north end of the main Van Nuys runway, deployed the spin chute as we crossed the end of the field, and brought the airplane to rest just in front of the main general aviation arrival station. Then we all sauntered out, all casual, as if we did this sort of thing every day! 
As a postscript, Ray's girlfriend, Sue, ran the dispatch office for Lockheed's business aircraft, and was standing outside with one of the other pilots when she saw the huge puff of black smoke coming pouring out of the port engine. She was suitably scared to death, but the pilot standing next to her assured her that was quite normal and not to worry!
Hope this little bit of history is of interest.
Alan Brown.
According to correspondence found in the records we received from BCIT, from Bristol Siddley to Lockheed in 1963, they remind Lockheed that they had the only four Bristol 810D engines in existence! Serial numbers 130001, through 130004. Thus, they were cautioned, due notice was needed by the factory when overhaul times were close as they may have to manufacture components for the engines. At the Museum, we have three of these, the fourth (004) being the one that came apart on takeoff from Burbank.

Tom Cathcart

See more engine information here (pending)

© Copyright 2006 - 2010  Robert A. Bogash.  All Rights Reserved

Comments and more photos or information? - write me.

Ray Goudey and Alan Brown comments via Jim Goodall.

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Revised  1 May 2006
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