What makes the Lockheed Super Constellation so special?
(CNN) — The Lockheed Super Constellation is a beautiful aircraft — a classic US model from the 1950s that’s all smooth curves and powerful propellers leading out to an elegant triple tail fin.
When was the Lockheed Constellation moved to Seattle?
Following extensive restoration to its original appearance in TCA colors in Rome, New York, it was trucked to the Museum’s main campus in Seattle in 2009. The elegant Lockheed Constellation was born from requirements put forth in 1939 by Howard Hughes for Transcontinental and Western Air (TWA) Lines.
Can Lockheed Build America’s first coast-to-coast non-stop shuttle?
The customer’s request had been ambitious. He hoped to hire Lockheed to design a revolutionary aircraft capable of comfortably shuttling 20 passengers and 6,000 pounds of cargo across the United States, offering commercial aviation’s first coast-to-coast, non-stop service.
Why did Lockheed Martin want to build a plane?
But the Lockheed team had come to express even grander ambitions. They wanted to build the company’s first large transport, one that “would carry more people farther and faster than ever before, and economically enough to broaden the acceptance of flying as an alternative to train, ship and automobile,” said Johnson.
What is a super G?
The 1049G "Super G" was the most successful version of the Super Constellations and one of the last great piston-engine airliners. For long range operations, the Super G could be fitted with extra wingtip tanks, increasing the fuel capacity by two-thirds more than the original Connie models. The first flight of the G-model Constellation was on December 7, 1954, and it was introduced to commercial service by Northwest Airlines on July 1, 1955. The Super G was a popular choice among the airlines, with 42 being flown by domestic carriers and 59 by foreign airlines. However, soon after the plane’s introduction, it became clear that jet airliners were the future.
What is the 1049G?
The 1049G "Super G" was the most successful version of the Super Constellations and one of the last great piston-engine airliners. For long range operations, the Super G could be fitted with extra wingtip tanks, increasing the fuel capacity by two-thirds more than the original Connie models.
When was the Lockheed Constellation made?
The elegant Lockheed Constellation was born from requirements put forth in 1939 by Howard Hughes for Transcontinental and Western Air (TWA) Lines. The first version, Model 49, flew in January 1943 with Eddie Allen (on loan from Boeing) at the controls.
When did the TCA aircraft come to the museum?
The Museum eventually acquired the aircraft in 2005. Following extensive restoration to its original appearance in TCA colors in Rome, New York, it was trucked to the Museum’s main campus in Seattle in 2009.
When was the first flight of the G model constellation?
The first flight of the G-model Constellation was on December 7, 1954, and it was introduced to commercial service by Northwest Airlines on July 1, 1955. The Super G was a popular choice among the airlines, with 42 being flown by domestic carriers and 59 by foreign airlines.
What was the secret weapon of TWA?
The Secret Weapon. Having purchased a majority stake in TWA airlines earlier that year, Hughes saw the Constellation as his secret weapon in stealing market share from his competitors. He treated the project with all the subterfuge that secret weapons require.
Why were the Connies used in the Vietnam War?
During the Vietnam War, Connies were flown in elliptical orbit near enemy territory to collect and transmit information on air activity. Constellations were also the first planes to carry rotating radomes, saucer-shaped domes used to protect radar antennas, a technology that is still in use with modern aircraft controlling the skies over the Middle East and with US Customs and Border Protection P-3 s running drug interception missions in the Caribbean today.
What was the Connie designed to do?
As the Connie was designed to change the face of commercial flight —it was as experimental, in some ways, as the early commercial aircraft of the late 1920s—there were issues during its infancy. Lockheed was flexing the limits of piston-engine technology, and the engine’s complex design required maintenance, and sometimes replacement parts, at rates that would be considered unacceptable with the forthcoming introduction of jet airplanes.
How fast was the Connie?
The Connie averaged 331 mph, flying nonstop in six hours, 57 minutes, and 51 seconds on this flight.
What was the Navy’s nickname for the Connies?
By 1948, the Navy was calling in orders for Connies to act as long-range patrol aircraft , nicknamed Po-Boys from the PO-1 designation then in use. In time, Constellations would be used for everything from rescue missions and VIP transports to airborne early warning missions and the mapping of the earth’s magnetic field.
How many passengers can a Lockheed airplane carry?
He hoped to hire Lockheed to design a revolutionary aircraft capable of comfortably shuttling 20 passengers and 6,000 pounds of cargo across the United States, offering commercial aviation’s first coast-to-coast, non-stop service. But the Lockheed team had come to express even grander ambitions.
How fast would the Constellation go?
It would be faster than most World War II fighters at 350 mph.
Why was the Constellation so groundbreaking?
The Constellation would have the first hydraulically boosted power controls , would be faster than the majority of WWII fighter jets and would feature a pressurized cabin to allow the plane to fly above most of the weather disturbances.
What was the impact of the L-1049 Super Constellation on the transatlantic market?
As the development of the Constellation moved forwards, the aircraft got larger and generally slower. However, range improvements and massive jumps in the MTOW made the larger variants popular with airlines. Both the L-1049 Super Constellation and the L-1649 Starliner were instrumental in the development of the transatlantic market, used by carriers on both sides of the pond to make connections between the continents.
What was the Lockheed Constellation?
The Lockheed Constellation – The Plane That Changed The World. The Lockheed Constellation was a groundbreaking aircraft in so many ways. It put the otherwise small player Lockheed on the commercial aviation map and played an important role in WWII as well. Aside of its unique design and attractive curves, the Connie brought us something which has …
What aircraft had a pressurized cabin?
Photo: Wikimedia. There was one other aircraft that brought with it a pressurized cabin, and that was the Boeing 307. However, when it returned to commercial service after the war, its pressurization systems were disabled.
How many people were sucked out of the Connie?
During the first two years of operation, two people were sucked out of the Connie in flight, and there are numerous tales of people becoming glued to the toilet when pressurization failed. But passengers continued to board Connie.
How many planes were built for the constellation?
At the height of her popularity, airlines all over the world operated the Constellation. More than 800 aircraft were built in total, with operators including Pan Am, Air France, BOAC, KLM, Qantas, Lufthansa and TAP Portugal. A Lufthansa Super Constellation. Photo: Wikimedia.
When was the Connie plane introduced?
For many years following introduction with TWA in 1949, Connie was the only passenger aircraft that offered the pressurization needed to fly at high altitudes. But bringing such new technology to pass wasn’t always easy, or safe.
What was the purpose of the Qantas founders museum?
This involved the removal of all residual paint and corrosion through wet glass bead blasting, followed by body filling to restore the body surface of the aircraft. A primer and top coat of paint was then applied in order to protect the surfaces from corrosion.
What aircraft does Qantas use?
The Super Connie will then be ready to join other iconic Qantas aircraft on display, such as a Boeing 747, a Boeing 707, a Douglas DC-3 and a Catalina flying boat.
How much did it cost to restore the Super Connie?
The airplane cost US $545,000 to restore. Courtesy Qantas Founders Museum. The Super Connie is expected to become a major attraction at the Qantas Founders Museum. By drawing additional visitors, the Super Connie will be contributing to the economy of Longreach and this off-the-beaten-path corner of Western Queensland.
What is a super connie plane?
Super Connie plane: Rebirth of an Australian legend. (CNN) — The Lockheed Super Constellation is a beautiful aircraft — a classic US model from the 1950s that’s all smooth curves and powerful propellers leading out to an elegant triple tail fin.
What was the first thing to do when the Super Connie was buried?
First thing to do was to get it out of the mud. Layer upon layer of silt had buried the aircraft’s undercarriage. It had to be dug out and new wheels brought in from the US for the aircraft to be rolled to firmer ground by the Qantas Engineering Aircraft Recovery Team. The tail of the Super Connie.
What is the Lockheed Super Constellation?
Besides being the last long-haul piston-engined airliner to dominate the skies before the advent of the jet era of travel, the Lockheed Super Constellation has a special place in the history of Australia ‘s flag carrier airline, Qantas, and, by extension, of Australian aviation.
How long did Super Connie live in a muddy field?
So it’s little wonder that, even when one particular "Super Connie" was left to rot in a muddy field in Southeast Asia for 25 years, that wasn’t the end of the story.
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From the Manufacturer
On April 7, 1967, Trans World Airlines (TWA) became one of the world’s first all-jet airlines with the retirement of their last Lockheed L-1049G Super Constellation and L-1649 Starliner aircraft.
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How did Qantas help the restoration project?
Qantas helped the restoration project by sending teams to Arizona for its restoration. Over the two-year period:
Where is the Lockheed Super Constellation?
An Airworthy Lockheed Super Constellation Lives In Australia. By 2019, there were only two “Connies” that were still airworthy, one owned by Breitling and based in Switzerland and another with the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society (HARS) in Australia.
What Boeing is John Travolta’s?
Later this year, the museum plans to welcome John Travolta’s Boeing 707.
Where was the super constellation discarded?
It was originally a military aircraft and discarded for scrap metal at Davis Monthan Air Base in Tucson, Arizona in 1977.
Is Lockheed still airworthy?
While the Lockheed Constellation there doesn’t takeoff very often, it is allegedly still airworthy. Aviation vlogger Paul Stewart recently visited Shellharbour Regional Airport (YSHL), about an hour south of Sydney, and captured the following video:
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How long was the HARS flight?
The aircraft stopped at Oakland, Honolulu, Pago Pago, and Nadi on the way, totaling a flight time of 39.5 hours.
When was the L-1049 Super Constellation introduced?
The Lockheed L-1049 Super Constellation was a considerably influential aircraft following its introduction in December 1951. The plane had a range of 4,480 NM (5,150 mi), and it was at least twice as fuel-efficient as the preliminary jets that were around during the time. With 70 years passing since the type’s first flight, are there any units still flying?
When was the last time the L-1049 was used?
The L-1049 Super Constellation last flew commercially in the United States in February 1968, with Eastern putting the plane to rest in the country. It wouldn’t be until 1993 for the final commercial L-1049 to be conducted. This was when the FAA banned all airlines from the Dominican Republic. Those operating in this nation were the last to commercially fly the family.
Who made the XC-69 Constellation?
Lockheed eventually reacquired the XC-69 Constellation prototype model from the Hughes Tool Company. The company stretched it by 18 ft (5.5 m) to create the basis for the L-1049 Super Constellation. TWA was once again another primary user of this type. Eastern, Air France, KLM, TCA, Qantas, PIA, and Avianca were some additional key operators.
Who inspired the constellation?
The legendary Howard Hughes had inspired the Constellation series. The aviator was keen to increase his presence in the industry and met with important Lockheed Corporation personnel, including Chief engineer Hall Hibbard, chief research engineer Kelly Johnson, and president Robert Gross. The trio listened to Hughes’ desires, and the Constellation program was born.
Who is the deputy editor of Simple Flying?
Deputy Editor – Sumit comes to Simple Flying with more than eight years’ experience as a professional journalist. Having written for The Independent, Evening Standard, and others, his role here allows him to explore his enthusiasm for aviation and travel. Having built strong relationships with Qatar Airways, United Airlines, Aeroflot, and more, Sumit excels in both aviation history and market analysis. Based in London, UK.
Was the TWA a success?
The project was a success. The USAAF and TWA were two operators that debuted family in the 1940s, ensuring it covered good ground across commercial and military services.