Great Big Beautiful Connie

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Great Big Beautiful Connie Frank_McVey 10/25/05 12:26 PM
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.

Image awaiting creator's permission

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-running.

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.
Crunched Connie at Aguadillo, Puerto Rico Frank_McVey 10/25/05 12:31 PM
This poor old girl was Queen of Miami. Now, with a broken main spar, she lies rotting in the hot, humid salt-laden air of Puerto Rico, the worst kind of climate for an unprotected aeroplane. Click on the GE placemark for the story.

Alas, poor Connie.
Re: Great Big Beautiful Connie Clorius 10/25/05 12:38 PM
Hi Frank

I wrote this post a couple of days ago, about a Connie I found at Greenwood Lake Airport.

"The secret of success is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake those, you've got it made."
G. Marx
Re: Great Big Beautiful Connie Frank_McVey 10/25/05 12:41 PM
I saw it, Clorius, and it's half-written up already!


Re: Great Big Beautiful Connie skycaptain 10/25/05 1:01 PM
I think I have found one of the four still-flying Connies. She is based at Camarillo, CA. This web page has some info (near the bottom).
Re: Great Big Beautiful Connie Frank_McVey 10/25/05 1:05 PM
Can we try that one again, Cap'n - your placemark takes me to the Shetlands!


Classroom Connie at Greenwood Lake NJ Frank_McVey 10/25/05 1:14 PM
This Connie was Queen of Air France's fleet, and is now a flight school office. She's reported to be fairly corrosion-free, but the fact that the conversion to a restaurant meant cutting large doors in her front and rear fuselage makes it unlikely that she'll ever be airworthy again. Click on the GE placemark to see the story.

The Sat picture is obviously more recent than the pictures in the placemark. It tickles me how they've re-surfaced the hard-top around her, rather than moving her and doing a proper job!

Thanks to Clorius for this one.


Continental Connie at Munich Frank_McVey 10/25/05 2:19 PM
This old girl was in a pretty sorry state and need most of her underside re-skinning as well as other extensive restoration. And they haven't learned, have they? They've still got her parked on grass.

She's been subjected to Vandal attacks a couple of times. Funny, I though they were further north, between the Elbe and the Vistula...
Cloggie Connie at Schipol, Holland Frank_McVey 10/25/05 7:03 PM
This is a heartwarming tale. For more than 8 years, Dutch Connie lay unloved in a corner in Avra Valley, next to the D-M boneyard. At last a Dutch museum came up with the money to restore her to airworthy condition. It wasn't easy, but they got there, and she made the long haul across the Atlantic to Europe, where she was fully restored to KLM fit.

She flew again as the Flying Dutchman on 2 Jul 2004, hopefully to delight millions of Europeans for a long time to come.
Re: Great Big Beautiful Connie RAG55555 10/25/05 7:20 PM
Gorgeous pic. I flew 1400 in the Navy WV2 version. 63-65.
Re: Great Big Beautiful Connie Frank_McVey 10/25/05 7:32 PM
Good to hear from you RAG. Find me a Willy-Victor in GE!


Re: Great Big Beautiful Connie, Polk City,FL bebop 10/26/05 2:51 AM

EDIT: Placemark removed, this nice Lady now appears HERE

Located in an Aircraft Museum at Polk City, FL, here is the N974R.

More pics here.

Nice thread indeed!

Re: Great Big Beautiful Connie, at Pima, AZ bebop 10/26/05 4:01 AM


Delta102 posted Connies at Pima and I didn't check!

Delta's post #1: here
Delta's post #2: here.

My apologies to Delta102 and Frank.

Sneaky-Beaky Connie at Camarillo Frank_McVey 10/26/05 9:44 AM
The EC-121T Warning Star was effectively a Super Constellation with a suite of sophisticated (for those days!) electronic surveillance equipment, a forerunner to elements of today's AWACS role.

This Sneaky Connie has recently been made airworthy. As usual click on the GE placemark to see the story.

Thanks to Delta102 and Skycaptain for this one.


Fantastic Connie in Florida Frank_McVey 10/26/05 11:51 AM
One way and another, this beautiful Starliner spent 21 years in restoration. Still potentially airworthy, she is on loan to the Fantasy Of Flight Museum in Polk City FL.

Click on the GE placemark to see her story.

Thanks to Bebop for this one.

Edit 5 Apr 08 - placemark moved to correspond to new imagery
Capital Connie at Washington Dulles Frank_McVey 10/27/05 9:56 AM
Things can only get better! In this shot, Connie looks rather forlorn - up on jacks with her rudders, props and mainwheels missing, and her paint peeling.

In reality, she has been carefully cocooned to protect her from the elements and is awaiting restoration to take her place in the new National Air and Space Museum at Dulles.

I assume the pipework is dehumidification equipment.
Re: Connie at McClellan Aviation Museum bebop 10/27/05 11:35 AM

Here is a Navy Connie at MCClellan Aviation Museum, Sacramento CA:

Navy Bu.No. 141309 is a Navy WV-2 built by Lockheed Aircraft in Burbank, California and delivered to the Navy in August, 1956. It served with VW-13, VW-15, and VW-2 at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland; and in November, 1961 it was sent to the Pacific Missile Range, NAS Point Mugu, California. It was retired to Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona in March, 1978, and was flown to the museum in April, 1983.

The museum's 'Warning Star' was given the USAF S/N 53-552 in honor of the 552nd Airborne Early Warning and Control Wing which was stationed at McClellan from 1953 to 1977

Re: Connie at Anfa Airport, Casablanca bebop 10/27/05 1:06 PM

Here is a Constellation at Anfa Airport GMMC-CAS, in Casablanca, Morocco.
This aicraft, formerly owned by Air France, was delivered to Royal Air Maroc in 1960 and retired in 1970:

She's currently under restoration:

Connie in Johannesburg SA Frank_McVey 10/28/05 11:27 AM
This beautiful old ex-Lufthansa girl was destined to become a cafe in Warmbaths SA. Fortunately the cafe plan fell through, and she's preserved and on display at Johannesburg International Airport.

WIth Lufthansa:

Final Flight:

Click on the GE placemark for her story.

Thanks to Genehil for this one.
Re: Great Big Beautiful Connie - Columbine genehil 10/28/05 6:25 PM
Frank... Is the Sante Fe Connie in your thread yet?;Main=164785
Re: Great Big Beautiful Connie - Lackland AFB, TX genehil 10/28/05 6:42 PM
Re: Great Big Beautiful Connie - Helena, MT genehil 10/28/05 6:55 PM
Final registration - N4257L
Delivered to USAF September 1954 as RC-121D 52-3417
Redesignated EC-121D 1962
Converted to EC-121T but upper radome not removed
To USAF Reserves at Homestead AFB, FL by July 1974
Retired and flown to Davis Monthan AFB for storage March 26, 1976
To Helena Vocational Tech Center, Helena, MT March 1981 as N4257L
Ferried to Helena, MT June 1981 with Frank Lang in command
Used for training at the Helena College of Technology's Department of Aviation Maintenance Technology...engines and systems were run in 2002

See :Beautifui Connie At Helena Montana Delta102 10/28/05 8:17 PM
Sorry See this post I know how you feel it happed to me to
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Re: Great Big Beautiful Connie firefysh 10/28/05 9:52 PM
You obviously think a lot of these aircraft, Frank. And why not - they are rather splendid.

A positive attitude may not solve your problems, but the number of people it will annoy makes it worth while.
Re: Cloggie Connie at Schipol, Holland Scuderia 10/30/05 6:51 AM
The Cloggie Connie is currently at the Aviodrome museum at Lelystad Airport in the Netherlands (Holland), every month they start up the engines to let the props turn....

To Finish First, First You Have To Finish
Re: Great Big Beautiful Connie at Tinker AFB, OK bebop 10/30/05 9:49 AM

This aircraft, delivered to US Navy, was in service from 1955 to 1978.
Now she's on static display at Connie Park, wearing an USAF livery.

Re: Great Big Beautiful Connie - Puerto Rico genehil 11/2/05 4:08 AM
The "City of Miami" Lockheed L-1049G Super Constellation (formerly operated by AMSA), pictured at Rafael Hernandez Airport in 2003 after a C-54 collided with it.

Re: Classroom Connie at Greenwood Lake NJ genehil 11/9/05 3:20 PM
N9412H She's screaming ... "Please rescue me now before it's to late!" Whenever I'm in the area I always stop by to check on the status of this beautiful Connie. Unfortunately years of neglect are taking its toll and she's beginning to fall apart. What a sad sight to see. (Howard Chaloner on

Re: Great Big Beautiful Connie - Charleston AFB genehil 11/15/05 2:42 PM
Re: Fantastic Connie in Florida Barnstormer66 12/4/05 4:34 PM

Thought you and the others might appreciate this pic. This is the beautiful Old Gal just as she sits today [12-4-05] here in the Florida Sunshine at Fantasy of Flight near Polk City, FL.


Re: Fantastic Connie in Florida Frank_McVey 12/5/05 5:55 AM
Thanks Barnstormer - great pic. I just wish they wouldn't store aircraft on grass though - they deteriorate more quickly than on concrete.


Re: Great Big Beautiful Connie - Pete Field, CO genehil 12/14/05 12:17 PM
EC-121T SN 52-3425
Re: Great Big Beautiful Connie - Pete Field, CO Frank_McVey 12/14/05 12:30 PM
Good find, Gene. What on earth have they done to her tail - it looks OK in your pic!


Re: Great Big Beautiful Connie - Pete Field, CO genehil 12/14/05 1:09 PM
The website talks about restoration - here are the tail pics

The satellite must have snapped during mid-tail restoration...
Re: Great Big Beautiful Connie Frank4 4/9/06 7:08 AM
Hey Frank, I really like this thread on Connie. So, I wrote up a story on it at Google Earth Blog.

Check out the story here.
Frank Taylor - Author of Google Earth Blog
All about Google Earth news, features, tips, technologies, and applications. Also read:
(If you have story ideas, please send me a private message.)
Re: Great Big Beautiful Connie jjbird 6/8/06 6:23 AM
alas there is not currently high resolution imagery for it yet but there is a connie at the salina, ks airport (at least it was there last time I was), I believe that it is currently undergoing restoration, but if high-res imagery for salina ever becomes avaliable then it should be visible.
Re: Great Big Beautiful Connie Hill 6/8/06 10:09 AM
This looks like a Connie from our good friends Windows Live Local. Zoom in as far as you can. Someday we'll do better.
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Great Big Beautiful Connie In the Philippines Delta102 6/9/06 8:46 PM
The Constellation's unique 123-foot wing span, four radial engines, triple-tail design and graceful dolphin shaped fuselage make it an unforgettable aircraft. Lockheed designed the Constellation in the early 1940s. The design was in response to a specification supplied by Howard Hughes for a commercial airliner for TransWorld Airlines. In its day, the Constellation reigned as Queen of the Skies. It was the first aircraft to fly coast-to-coast non-stop and was pressurized. The "Connie" set new records for size and speed. In April 1944, a C-69 Constellation made world headlines when Howard Hughes and Jack Frye of TWA shattered the transcontinental commercial record, piloting the largest land transport plane ever built from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C., in 7 hours 3 minutes. Military use of the "Connie" spanned three wars: World War II, Korea and Vietnam. At total of 856 "Connies" were built 1943 and 1958. They were used extensively by both military and civilian airlines until the early 1960s.
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The Connie Twins at Sao Tome Salazer Delta102 6/15/06 2:28 PM
These two Constellations were flown into Sao Tome Salazer in 1969 to take part in emergency relief operations in the Biafran conflict in Nigeria. After the conflict ended, they were placed in storage at Sao Tome awaiting a future sale which fell through. No other buyers were found and they now lie derelict beside an equally unlucky DC-3.

Lockheed Constellation L1049H #CF-NAL

More Info.

Lockheed Constellation L1049H #CF-NAM

More Info

Discovered by Delta102

With thanks to for images and info. What an outstanding website!
Great Big Beautiful Connie at Hermeskeil Museum Delta102 6/15/06 10:44 PM
Great Big Beautiful Connie at Warner - Robins AFB Delta102 7/5/06 7:50 PM
C-121 At Warner-Robins AFB
Re: Great Big Beautiful Connie rodneydd 9/20/06 10:39 AM
Here are two Lockheed L-1649 Starliners at Auburn/Lewiston Municipal Airport in Maine. According to Wikipedia, this model was the final version of the Constellation series.

These two aircraft are privately owned and apparently the owner is in the process of repairing them to be flight worthy.

More info as well as photos at this link:
Great Big Beautiful Connie Valle Arizona Delta102 10/3/06 7:39 PM


In 1948, the U.S. Air Force ordered from Lockheed ten Model L-749 Constellations and designated them C-121As. The type had a strengthened floor and a large cargo door fitted to the aft fuselage, but could also be fitted with a removable 44-seat passenger cabin, or house 20 stretchers for medevac missions. The ten aircraft (AF serial #s 48-0608 through 0617) were delivered between December 1948 and the first part of 1949 and were based at Westover AFB as part of the Atlantic Division of the Military Air Transport Service (MATS).

This one is at The Planes of fame Valle AZ
Re: Great Big Beautiful Connie myclmote 4/5/07 9:48 AM
Its 'Shetland' or 'the Shetland Islands' NOT 'the Shetlands'!!!!!!
Re: Great Big Beautiful Connie Valle Arizona dgt 4/5/07 5:08 PM
Years ago when the Camarillo connie was just starting restoration, a friend and I were invited aboard. They didn't even have a boarding stair yet, we had to climb up a rickety old extension ladder. The landing gear was sunk into the asphalt, birds were living in every opening. They had gutted the interior, just a long hollow aluminum tube with a deck sloping up slightly to clear the main spar then sloping down again heading aft. In the very aft someone had set up a full frame of bowling pins. I wish I had my camera with me.
Re: Great Big Beautiful Connie Valle Arizona dgt 4/12/07 9:45 PM
Driving by Planes of Fame in Valle, Az. , one assumes the Connie is a static gate guard. Surprisingly it is listed in flying condition at their website. I've been aboard 2 of em, but have never flown in one. One was "Save A Connie" that flew in to an airshow I attended.

web page

I also got to sit in the left seat of the Camarillo Connie. Us old fat guys would never be able to fly those planes!
Re: Great Big Beautiful Connie spitfire_mkv 8/27/07 11:13 AM
Can't see this one listed here:

CF-RNR (cn 4544), which at one time was used as a restaurant and is undergoing restoration.

more info here:

and after an attempt to keep it in the country, it's found it's way to the US where it's new home will be in the Museum of Flight in Seattle.
exterminate! exterminate!
Re: Great Big Beautiful Connie ploppy 3/26/10 2:17 PM
Hi Frank,

I found this aircraft at Basel-Mulhouse Euro Airport, Switzerland that looks like a Constellation.
I think this must be new to Google Earth as I can not find a placemark for it.
Could it be the Super Constellation Flyers Associations, Lockheed C-121C Super Constellation.

Here is a photo by Steve Rod that shows an aircraft with the same paintwork.

Alll the best

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Re: Great Big Beautiful Connie Valle Arizona Gregory 2Hs339 4/7/10 10:24 PM
My Dad used to take photos for a Insurance company, I found this in his collection years ago.

N7121C TWA. This Connie was damaged beyond repair during a pressurization leak test in a hangar at Idlewild airport, (now KJFK) New York at 11.45 hrs (local time) on 25 June 1959. Severe damage to front fuselage before wing. Note other connies awate there turn at the skies.

Re: Great Big Beautiful Connie - TAM Museum, Brazi genehil 2/3/11 9:11 AM
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