DescriptionThe Lockheed Constellation ("Connie") is a propeller-driven, four-engine airliner built by Lockheed Corporation between 1943 and 1958.
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.
- Crew: 5 flight crew, varying cabin crew Capacity: typically 62–95 passengers (109 in high-density configuration)
- 116 ft 2 in (35.41 m)
- 126 ft 2 in (38.46 m)
- 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)
- 137,500 lb (62,369 kg)
- 4 × Wright R-3350-DA3 Duplex-Cyclone 18 cylinder air-cooled radial piston engines, 3,250 hp (2,420 kW) each
- 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)
- 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)