L-1049G Super Constellation “CONNIE” VH-EAG, 1-6 March 2011 “Feel the Power!”
The Lockheed Constellation ("Connie") was a propeller-driven, four-engined airliner that was built by Lockheed Corporation between 1943 and 1958 at Burbank, California.
Lockheed built 856 in numerous models—all with the same triple-tail design and dolphin-shaped fuselage. Most were powered by four 18-cylinder Wright R-3350 Duplex-Cyclones. The Constellation was used as a civil airliner and as a military and civil air transport, seeing service in the Berlin Airlift and the Biafran airlift. It was the presidential aircraft for Dwight D. Eisenhower.
With the onset of World War II, the TWA aircraft entering production were converted to an order for C-69 Constellation military transport aircraft, with 202 aircraft intended for the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF). The first prototype (civil registration NX25600) flew on January 9, 1943, a short ferry hop from Burbank to Muroc Field for testing. Edmund T. "Eddie" Allen, on loan from Boeing, flew left seat, with Lockheed's own Milo Burcham as copilot. Rudy Thoren and Kelly Johnson were also on board.
Lockheed proposed the model L-249 as a long-range bomber. It received the military designation XB-30 but the aircraft was not developed. A plan for a very long-range troop transport, the C-69B (L-349, ordered by Pan Am in 1940 as the L-149), was canceled. A single C-69C (L-549), a 43-seat VIP transport, was built in 1945 at the Lockheed-Burbank plant.
The C-69 was mostly used as a high-speed, long-distance troop transport during the war. A total of 22 C-69s were completed before the end of hostilities, but not all of these entered military service. The USAAF cancelled the remainder of the order in 1945. However, some aircraft remained in USAF service into the 1960s, serving as passenger ferries for the airline that relocated military personnel, and carrying the livery of MATS (the Military Air Transport System). At least one of these airplanes had passenger seats installed backward, with occupants facing toward the rear of the direction of travel during flight.
TWA L-749A Constellation at Heathrow in 1954 with an under fuselage "Speedpack" freight container
Super Constellation (C-121C) during pilot training in Epinal - Mirecourt, France
After World War II the Constellation came into its own as a fast civil airliner. Aircraft already in production for the USAAF as C-69 transports were finished as civil airliners, with TWA receiving the first on 1 October 1945. TWA's first transatlantic proving flight departed Washington, DC, on December 3, 1945, arriving in Paris on December 4 via Gander and Shannon.
Trans World Airlines transatlantic service started on February 6, 1946 with a New York-Paris flight in a Constellation. On June 17, 1947 Pan American World Airways opened the first ever scheduled round-the-world service with their L-749 Clipper America. The famous flight "Pan Am 1" operated until 1982.
As the first pressurized airliner in widespread use, the Constellation helped to usher in affordable and comfortable air travel. Operators of Constellations included TWA, Eastern Air Lines, Pan American World Airways, Air France, BOAC, KLM, Qantas, Lufthansa, Iberia Airlines, Panair do Brasil, TAP Portugal, Trans-Canada Air Lines (later renamed Air Canada), Aer Lingus, VARIG, Cubana de Aviación and Línea Aeropostal Venezolana.
2011AirshowAvalonAviationConnieGeelongHistoricalL1049G Super ConstellationPropellorRestorationJames Rolevink, from
Avalon Airshow, Friday Mar 4, 2011 - Feel the Power!