Recognized by its distinctive triple-tail design and dolphin-shaped fuselage, the Lockheed Constellation “Connie” continues to capture the interest of aviation buffs. Built by Lockheed between 1943 and 1958, the Constellation was used for both a commercial airliner and U.S. military air transport. Most notably, the only VC-121E built was the personal aircraft for President Dwight Eisenhower. After World War II, the Constellation began its history as a commercial airliner with Trans World Airlines receiving its first aircraft in 1945.
The National Airline History Museum located in Kansas City, Missouri is currently restoring its Lockheed Constellation, an L-1049G which was one of Lockheed’s last Constellations and now painted in Trans World Airlines colors. The museum’s restoration efforts are in preparation to fly the Lockheed Constellation “Connie” on April 17, 2014 to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the 1944 inaugural flight piloted by Howard Hughes and TWA president Jack Frye. This flight set a record for coast-to-coast, non-stop flight from Burbank, California to Washington, D.C. in 6 hours and 58 minutes. On the return flight, the aircraft gave Orville Wright his last flight when it stopped at Wright Field.
The museum is planning to use the Lockheed Super Constellation, Super Connie, as an ambassador to Kansas City and to promote the history of commercial aviation during its more elegant and unique time.