Aircraft By Type

Aircraft Make & Model:
Lockheed L-100
155,000 lb.
1,800 miles
361 mph
not applicable (all-cargo plane)
112 ft.
132 ft.
38 ft.
4 Allison 501-D22 turboprop
HP or Thrust:
4,050 hp
No. flown by DL:
3 owned by Delta; 5 more leased very short term
First Delivery:
August 18, 1966
First Scheduled Service:
September 15, 1966, world's first commercial L-100 service
Reason Aquired:
Much greater payload and speed than the Curtiss C-46.
Last Retirement:
September 1, 1973
Reason Disposed:
Replaced by new widebody passenger jets (Boeing 747, Douglas DC-10) with large underfloor cargo capacity.

Narrative:  Lockheed L-100 1966-1973

All-Cargo Flying
Commercial version of the military Lockheed C-130 Hercules that could land on unimproved short strips, yet carry bulky loads and military vehicles. Built by the Lockheed Georgia Company based in Marietta, Georgia, in the north Atlanta area.

The Hercules was suited to Delta's relatively short haul, small shipment operation in the 1960s. With this plane, Delta offered the first single-carrier cargo service between California and the Southeast, filling a big gap between the aerospace industries in those regions.

Model -20
After two years of service, Delta started returning its L-100-10 fleet to Lockheed Georgia for a fuselage stretch of 8.3 feet. These aircraft were re-designated model L-100-20. Delta was the first airline to use the stretched L-100-20. Delta leased several L-100s from Lockheed while its own aircraft were out of service during the modification.

When Delta's first widebody passenger jets—the Boeing 747 and Douglas DC-10—arrived with their speed and large underfloor "belly bin" capacity, Delta did not need a fleet of specialized cargo aircraft any longer.

Delta operated its last L-100 flight on September 1, 1973.

More Information
  • 1966 Delta L-100 Brochure: Promotes the L-100's freight capacity and Delta's customized transporter loading system; also includes freight routes and pricing.
  • L-100
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