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  • Lockheed Constellation and Super Constellation

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    Description

    The Lockheed Constellation ("Connie") is a propeller-driven, four-engine airliner built by Lockheed Corporation between 1943 and 1958.

    General Information

    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 civilian air transport, seeing service in the Berlin and the Biafran airlifts. The Constellation series was the first pressurized-cabin civil airliner series to go into widespread use. Its pressurized cabin enabled large numbers of commercial passengers to fly well above most bad weather for the first time, thus significantly improving the general safety and ease of air travel. Three of them served as the presidential aircraft for Dwight D. Eisenhower.

     

    In 1939, Trans World Airlines (TWA), at the instigation of major stockholder Howard Hughes, requested a 40-passenger transcontinental airliner with a range of 3,500 mi (5,600 km). TWA's requirements led to the L-049 Constellation, designed by Lockheed engineers including Kelly Johnson and Hall Hibbard. The Super Constellation has a longer fuselage.

     

    There are currently only two airworthy Super Constellations in existance. One is sponsored by the Swiss watchmaker Breitling, and the other is operated by the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society (HARS), out of Illawarra Regional Airport near Wollongong, Australia. Following its restoration, it was painted in pseudo-Qantas livery including the Qantas logo on the tail, (with the usual Qantas lettering along the fuselage and on the wing-end fuel tanks replaced with the word "CONNIE") and registered as VH-EAG. It appears at airshows around Australia. "Connie" was originally a military C-121 model before restoration.

     

    For more information on the Constellation, and civillian and miltary variants, click here.

     

    The specifications below are for the L-1049 Super Constellation.

     

     

     

     

    Lockheed Constellation Breitling.jpg

    Lockheed Constellation TWA N6937C.jpg

    Lockheed Constellation VH-EAG HARS Connie.jpg

    Lockheed Constellation VH-EAG YMAV 25-03-2007.jpg

    Specifications

    Seats:
    Crew: 5 flight crew, varying cabin crew Capacity: typically 62–95 passengers (109 in high-density configuration)
    Length:
    116 ft 2 in (35.41 m)
    Wingspan:
    126 ft 2 in (38.46 m)
    Height:
    24 ft 9 in (7.54 m)
    Wing Area:
    1,654 sq ft (153.7 sq m)
    Wing Loading:
    87.7 lb/sq ft (428 kg/sq m)
    Empty Weight:
    79,700 lb (36,151 kg)
    MTOW:
    137,500 lb (62,369 kg)
    Powerplant:
    4 × Wright R-3350-DA3 Duplex-Cyclone 18 cylinder air-cooled radial piston engines, 3,250 hp (2,420 kW) each
    Vne:
    Maximum speed: 377 mph (607 km/h, 328 kn)
    Cruise Speed:
    340 mph (550 km/h, 300 kn) at 22,600 ft (6,888 m)
    Stall Speed:
    100 mph (160 km/h, 87 kn)
    Range:
    5,400 mi (8,700 km, 4,700 nmi)
    Rate of Climb:
    1,620 ft/min (8.2 m/s)
    Service Ceiling:
    24,000 ft (7,300 m)

    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments

    Very beautiful aircraft: I remember seeing them at London Airport as a kid.

    Must have been robust too: I seem to remember one was used as a storm chaser, used for studying hurricanes......

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    Lovely........)

    I don't remember the wing tanks on the ones at Heathrow.

    I do remember that long nose gear set forward at just the right angle.

    Whoever designed that aircraft made something very special.

     

    Wasn't there a freight version with a reinforced floor...popular latterly in S America for various naughty activities???

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    Qantas came terribly close to losing their fatality-free status when the Constellation VH-EAC crashed on takeoff in August 1960, at Port Louis, Mauritius, on a scheduled International flight to Cocos-Keeling Islands.

     

    Engine No.3 failed just as V1 was reached, the crew tried to stop the aircraft, but failed, and the aircraft ran off the end of the runway, bounced over a low embankment, and then fell into a gully.

     

    Everyone was quickly evacuated, but one woman passenger broke her ankle during the evacuation. The aircraft, being fully loaded with 29,000 litres of high-octane avgas, promptly caught fire, and was totally destroyed. Only pure luck meant any fatalities were avoided. There were a total of 20 pax and 4 crew reported with injuries, but these were all relatively minor injuries. One child had a fractured arm.

     

    The cause of the crash was the flight engineers slight delay in assessing No. 3 engines failure to produce full power, and a slight delay by the Captain in applying full reverse thrust and braking. In addition, the runway was wet. All the factors combined to produce the disaster.

     

    https://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=19600824-1

     

    https://www.baaa-acro.com/crash/crash-lockheed-l-1049g-super-constellation-port-louis

     

     

    The full story, by Macarthur Job - https://web.archive.org/web/20070203225636/http://www.casa.gov.au/fsa/2000/jan/page49.pdf

    Edited by onetrack
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    13 hours ago, IBob said:

    Lovely........)

    I don't remember the wing tanks on the ones at Heathrow.

    I do remember that long nose gear set forward at just the right angle.

    Whoever designed that aircraft made something very special.

     

    Wasn't there a freight version with a reinforced floor...popular latterly in S America for various naughty activities???


    I remember them too as a kid in the 60’s at LHR . I think the TWA examples without the wing tanks were L1649 Starliners , the last example of the Connie / Super Connie ever built , and a larger aeroplane all round . Oh happy days .

     

    David 

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