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Model 18 Lodestar

The Lodestar received its Type certificate on March 30, 1940, allowing it to enter service with the first customer, Mid-Continent Airlines that month. As hoped, the extra seats greatly improved the Model 18’s economics, reducing its seat-mile costs to a similar level to that of the DC-3, while retaining superior performance. Despite this, sales to US domestic customers were relatively slow as most US airlines were already committed to the DC-3, with only 31 Lodestars going to US airlines. When the United States started to build up its military air strength in 1940–41, many American-operated Lodestars were impressed as the C-56. This was followed by the construction of many new-build Lodestars which were flown by the U.S. Army Air Forces as the C-60 and by the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps as the R5O. Lend-lease aircraft were used by the RNZAF as transports. – Source