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An IRIAF JetStar in service with Government of Iran
Role Transport
National origin United States
Manufacturer Lockheed Corporation
First flight 4 September 1957
Retired United States Air Force 1990s
Status Active
Primary users Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force
Mexican Air Force
Produced 1957-1978
Number built 204

The Lockheed JetStar (company designations L-329 and L-1329; designated C-140 in USAF service) is a business jet produced from the early 1960s to the 1970s. The JetStar was the first dedicated business jet to enter service. It was also one of the largest aircraft in the class for many years, seating ten plus two crew. It is distinguishable from other small jets by its four engines, mounted on the rear of the fuselage in a similar layout to the larger Vickers VC10 airliner that first flew several years later, and the "slipper"-style fuel tanks fixed to the wings.


The JetStar originated as a private project within Lockheed, with an eye to winning a USAF requirement that was later dropped due to budget cuts. Lockheed decided to continue the project on their own for the business market.[1]

The first two prototypes were equipped with two Bristol Siddeley Orpheus engines, the first of these flying on 4 September 1957. The second of these was also equipped with the wing-mounted "slipper tanks", which was originally to be an option. Lockheed attempted to arrange a contract to produce the Orpheus in the US, but when these negotiations failed they re-engined the second prototype, N329K, with four Pratt & Whitney JT12 in 1959. The slipper tanks were removed and placed on the first prototype, N329J. N329J served as Clarence Johnson's personal transport for some time. The JT12 fit proved successful and was selected for the production versions, the first of which flew in mid 1960.[2] These versions entered commercial service in 1961.

The Dryden C-140 JetStar during testing of advanced propfan designs

Sixteen JetStars were produced for the United States Air Force. Five C-140A Flight Inspection aircraft to perform airborne testing of airport navigational aids in 1962. They began service during the Vietnam War and remained in service until the early 1990s. The "Flight Check" C-140A were a combat-coded aircraft that could be distinguished from the VIP transport version by their distinctive camouflage paint scheme. The last C-140A to be retired was placed on static display at Scott AFB, Illinois.

An additional 11 airframes were designated C-140B, although the first of these predated the C-140As when it was delivered in 1961. The C-140Bs were used to transport personnel by the Military Airlift Command. Six of the aircraft were operated as VIP transports by the 89th Military Airlift Wing at Andrews Air Force Base. These VIP aircraft were designated as VC-140Bs. The VIP transport fleet occasionally served as Air Force One during the 1970s and 1980s. Several other countries, such as Germany and Canada, have used military JetStars as transports for their heads of state, heads of government, and other VIPs.

Noise regulations in the United States and high fuel consumption led to the development of the 731 JetStar, a modification program which added new Garrett AiResearch TFE731 turbofan engines and redesigned external fuel tanks to original JetStars. The 731 JetStar modification program was so successful that Lockheed produced 40 new JetStars, designated the JetStar II, from 1976 through 1979. The JetStar IIs were factory-new aircraft with the turbofan engines and revised external fuel tanks. Both 731 JetStars and JetStar IIs have greatly increased range, reduced noise, and better runway performance compared to the original JetStars.

JetStar production totaled 204 aircraft by final delivery in 1978.[3] Most original JetStars have been retired, but many 731 JetStars and JetStar IIs are still flying in various roles, mainly as corporate and private jets.


Lockheed VC-140B. The bare metal on the fin at the trim hinge is easily visible here.

The JetStar has a fairly typical business jet layout, with a swept wing and a cruciform tail. The wing has a 30° sweepback and features large fuel tanks at about half-span, extending some distance in front and behind the wing. The wings hold 10,000 pounds of fuel, and each slipper tank holds 4,000 pounds of fuel for a total fuel load when topped off of 18,000 pounds. The wing also includes slats along the front of the wing outboard of the tanks (these leading edge slats reduces the stalling speed by an additional three knots), while double-slotted trailing-edge flaps span the entire rear surface, inboard of the ailerons. The wing incorporates inflateable rubber de-icing boots for the removal of accumulated in-flight ice. The horizontal stabilizer is mounted about half way up the vertical stabilizer to keep it clear of the jetwash. One feature is that trim is provided by pivoting the entire vertical stabilizer, which leaves a distinctive unpainted area at that base of the fin that is noticeable in most pictures. This arrangement, called a flying stabilizer, is now standard on most larger airplanes. The Jetstar does not have any tail deicing capability, nor was it required for certification. A speed brake is located on the underside of the fuselage to aid deceleration for landing. The original prototypes used a tricycle landing gear with one wheel per leg, but after an accident in 1962 the nose gear was modified with two tires.[3]

The JetStar is a relatively heavy aircraft for its class, at 42,500 lb (19,278 kg). Maximum cruising speed is Mach 0.8, or 567 mph (912 km/h) at 21,000 ft (6,401 m). Range is typically quoted as 2,500 mi (4,023 km) with a 3,500 lb (1,588 kg) payload. Typically interiors feature seating for eight with a full-sized lavatory, or a slightly denser arrangement for ten. The JetStar is one of the few aircraft of its class that allowed a person to walk upright in the cabin, although to do this the aisle was sunk slightly so that the seats were raised on either side.[4] The windows are relatively large.

The JetStar II is generally similar, with a number of detail changes. The cockpit area has somewhat more "modern" looking nose and window arrangement, larger engines, and most notably, the fuel tanks are larger and sit with their upper surfaces flush with the wing, rather than being centered on it.


JetStar I
Business, executive transport aircraft, with accommodation for a crew of two and ten passengers, powered by four 3,300 lbf (14.7 kN) thrust Pratt & Whitney JT12A-8 turbojet engines.
JetStar II
New production version, powered by four 3,700 lbf (16.5 kN) thrust Garrett TFE731-3 turbofan engines, and fitted with revised external fuel tanks, 40 built.
JetStar 731
Modified version, fitted with four Garrett TFE731-1 turbofan engines, and equipped with redesigned external fuel tanks.
Flight inspection aircraft for the US Air Force, similar to the JetStar I, five built.
Passenger, cargo transport aircraft for the US Air Force, similar to the C-140A, five built.
VIP transport aircraft for the US Air Force, similar to the C-140B, six built.
Two JetStar 6s were ordered by the United States Navy, originally designated UV-1, but not delivered.
US military designation for a proposed trainer version of the C-140 for evaluation, not built.
AAI FanStar
Conversion by American Aviation Industries with two General Electric CF34 engines in place of the four JT12 turbojets or TFE731 turbofans which first flew on 5 September 1986.[5] Only one aircraft was converted.


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Former civil operators

  • Department of Transport
  • Iraqi Airways
United States
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Current military operators


Former military operators

United States
 Saudi Arabia

Accidents and incidents

Aircraft on display

Elvis Presley's Lockheed JetStar.

  • A JetStar owned by Elvis Presley in his later years, named Hound Dog II, is on display at Graceland.
  • President Lyndon Johnson's JetStar is on display in his Texas ranch.[6]
  • The Museum of Aviation next to Robins Air Force Base has a VC-140B in its collection.
  • The Athens Scuba Park in Athens, Texas has a sunken C-140 for exploration by scuba divers.[7]
  • The Canada Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa, has a Lockheed L-1329 Jetstar 6 that the Department of Transport used to carry government officials and foreign dignitaries.
  • The Jimmy Doolittle Air & Space Museum, Travis Air Force Base, Fairfield, California, has a VC-140 on display
  • The Hill Aerospace Museum, Hill Air Force Base, Ogden, Utah has a VC-140B on display with a fully restored interior and a fully painted exterior. This exact model was confirmed by former members of the 89th SAM from Andrews Air Force Base to have carried President Johnson and his wife, Ladybird.
  • On pylon display near Base Operations and the AMC Air Terminal at Andrews AFB, Maryland.
  • Adjacent to Headquarters, Air Mobility Command, at Scott AFB, Illinois.
  • In the collection of the Pima Air and Space Museum, adjacent to Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson, Arizona.
  • In the Presidential Aircraft collection of the National Museum of the United States Air Force, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio.[8]
  • The Dirgantara Mandala Museum in Yogyakarta that placed near Adisucipto International Airport also have one ex-Indonesian Air Force VVIP Squadron C-140 JetStar on Display Hangar. Original nosename is "Sapta Marga" but now has changed to "Pancasila".

Specifications (JetStar II)

Lockheed Jetstar 3-view.jpg

Data from Lockheed Aircraft since 1913[9]

General characteristics

  • Crew: two pilots & typically one flight attendant
  • Capacity: 8-10 passengers
  • Length: 60 ft 5 in (18.41 m)
  • Wingspan: 54 ft 5 in (16.59 m)
  • Height: 20 ft 5 in (6.22 m)
  • Wing area: 542.5 ft² (50.4 m²)
  • Empty weight: 24,750 lb (11,226 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 41,535 lb (18,840 kg)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 44,500 lb (20,185 kg)
  • Powerplant: 4 × Garrett TFE731-3[10] turbofan, 3,700 lbf (16.5 kN) each


  • Maximum speed: 547 mph (476 knots, 883 km/h) at 30,000 ft (9,145 m)
  • Cruise speed: 504 mph (438 knots, 811 km/h)
  • Range: 2,995 mi (2,604 nmi, 4,820 km)
  • Service ceiling: 43,000 ft (13,105 m)
  • Rate of climb: 4,150 ft/min (21.1 m/s)

See also


  • Taylor, John W.R. (ed) Jane's All the World's Aircraft 1989-90. London:Jane's Yearbooks, 1989. ISBN 0-7106-0896-9
  • Francillon, René J. Lockheed Aircraft since 1913. London:Putnam, 1982. ISBN 0-370-30329-6.

External links

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