The Lockheed C-85 was the designation given to a single Model 9 Orion that was impressed into the USAAF in 1942-44.
The Lockheed Model 9 Orion was very much a transitional aircraft when it was first produced in 1931. It’s basic layout as a low wing monoplane with an enclosed passenger cabin for six and a NACA cowling for the air cooled engine were advanced for the time, but it was of wooden construction. The first Orion made its maiden flight early in 1931
The Orion was produced in a number of versions. The C-85 was originally built as the Orion 9D-2. This was built for the Evening News Association, and had broadcasting equipment and a camera pod in the leading edge of the wing.
The Orion 9D-2 was impressed by the Defense Supplies Corps in 1942 and entered the USAAF as the UC-85. It was used as a utility transport, before being returned to civilian ownership in 1944. The aircraft had three civilian owners before it was written off after a crash at Los Angeles in November 1947.
Engines: Wasp S1D1
Wing span: 42dfr 9.25in
Length: 27ft 8in
Height: 9ft 8in
Empty weight: 3,420lb
Loaded weight: 5,200lb
Maximum speed: 220mph at sea level
Cruising speed: 175mpg
Rate of climb: 1,450ft/ min
Service ceiling: 22,000ft
Normal range: 750 miles
Lockheed Aircraft Since 1913, René J Francillon