With her long legs and her shapely curves, Connie (the Lockheed Constellation) is one of the most beautiful and one of the most recognisable airliners ever built. The “long legs” were metaphorical as well as literal – she was the first Transatlantic airliner to be able to fly non-stop from New York to London. She was the first airliner to have a pressurised cabin and cruise at 250 knots, and she changed the face of commercial aviation forever.
There were 856 Connies built. Queen of the Skies and hard-working skivvy, Amazon Warrior and mercenaries' moll, she undertook all sorts of roles – from Presidential Flyer to crop-duster; from Airborne Early Warning to gun-runner.
This thread is a tribute to Connie. If you come across her in your travels, drop me a placemark, either in this thread or as a standalone. I’ll do the research and find the images, you get the credit. Just click on the GE placemark to find the story.
I am indebted to Mr Ralph M Pettersen, owner and compiler of the excellent Constellation website Constellation Survivors for his kind permission to quote his text and display images from his website.
I am equally indebted to Mr David Morrell of Avid Creations for his generous permission to use the above image of the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society's Connie taxying at night, perhaps the most beautiful image of the most beautiful airliner in the world.
As it's a new start on a new board, I thought I would just post my entire Connie collection and let you pick through it at your leisure. It has 50 place marks. A handful of those are for aircraft hidden in museums, but all the rest are for complete or partial aircraft.
It's been a few months since I checked all of them, but hopefully they are up to date and have accurate type and registration information.
EDIT: Updated with my latest collection. Includes the finds noted by Willi1 in later posts. Now 47 aircraft in the collection
Found another one that I had been hunting for a while. Always knew there was one in Santo Domingo, but kept looking at San Isidro AB, not the De Las Americas International Airport 15 miles East of the city. This is a VC-121A c/n 2603
Engines are missing and the lack of weight has caused her to sit down on her tail, but she's in better shape than some others.
Was never been a plane expert or fan of aircraft, but this first touch of visual experience combined with Frank's introduction have done the effect! Never happened before, I would felt right to speak about a plane as: Really, she looks so good! (Anyhow it is dubbed Connie.)
The Super Constellation "Star of Switzerland" was part of the Super Constellation Flyer Association (SCFA) until 2019. Under the aircraft registration HB-RSC, the club operated the Lockheed Super-Constellation L-1049, which was handed over to the Military Air Transport Service (MATS) in 1956 as a military cargo version, C-121C. In 1972 the machine was taken out of service and bought by Aviation Specialties with the intention of converting the machine into a fire-fighting aircraft. However, this was never implemented and the L-1049, meanwhile with the civilian registration number N73544, was seen with interruptions afterwards at air shows in the USA. In December 2003 the board of directors of SCFA and the owner of the aircraft signed a lease / purchase agreement. In April / May 2004 the aircraft, now named "Star of Switzerland", was flown over several stages from Camarillo to Basel and registered with the Federal Office of Civil Aviation as a historic aircraft in Switzerland. After that, the HB-RSC flew regularly as the only still airworthy Super Constellation in Europe. Severe corrosion was found in the wing spars and a landing gear fire occurred during a brake test, the HB-RSC was mothballed in 2017. The association was unable to bring the cost of over 20 million Swiss francs for the repair. In July 2019 the aircraft was sold to a new owner in Germany. The aircraft was dismantled and transported to Bremgarten in November 2019, where the necessary repairs should be made so that the aircraft could fly again in the future. This plan has now apparently suffered a damper, because the Bernese Federal Office for Civil Aviation (Bazl) is considering deleting the Super Connie from the Swiss aviation register. The constellation “German owner, German owner, Swiss registration” is not permitted. Now the German Federal Aviation Office in Braunschweig could theoretically take over the Super Connie and allow it to be used in German. But it's not that simple: in Germany, registering the HB-RSC would be very difficult, if not impossible, as the Connie had a special license as a club aircraft in Switzerland. New certification procedures would have to be run through for German approval, which are extremely time-consuming and expensive, and it would also be uncertain whether the elderly Connie would pass them. Since November 2019, the HB-RSC has been dismantled in a hangar at the southern Baden airfield Eschbach-Bremgarten near Freiburg, waiting for better times. In GE she can be seen at the Zurich-Kloten airport in preparing for dismantling.