The Lockheed L-188 Electra was first flown in 1957. It was the first large turboprop airliner built in tUnited States. The four-engined design had airfield performance capabilities unmatched by many jettransport aircraft even today—particularly on short runways and high field elevations. Lockheed hadestablished a strong position in commercial airliner production with its piston-engined Constellation series. The final design was launched as the Model 188 with an order for 35 byAmerican Airlines on June 8, 1955, followed by an Eastern Airlines order for 40 on September 27, 1955. The first aircraft took 26months to complete and by that time Lockheed had orders for 129. The prototype, a Model 188A, firstflew on December 6, 1957 Turboprops were soon replaced by turbojets and many Electras were modified as freighters. SomeElectras are still being used in various roles into the 21st century. The airframe was also used as the basis for the Lockheed P-3 Orion maritime patrol aircraft.