Now Boarding: Restored Super "Connie"

 

Attention, Avgeeks! The Qantas Founders Museum (yes, you'll have to get to Australia to visit) has put its lovingly-restored 1953 Lockheed Super Constellation on display, and starting in April, visitors will be able to climb aboard and step back into aviation history.

The Connie was one of the first post-World War II long-distance airliners, and the first to feature a pressurized cabin, which made it the first passenger plane able to fly above the weather for longer, safer flights. For Qantas, it was the plane that made possible many otherwise impossible routes. The first 200 or so Connies were built during the war as troop transports.

Qantas's Constellation was originally owned by the U.S. Navy; when the museum decided to find and rebuild one, it was found in an aircraft graveyard in Manila. The renovation started in 2015 and required a lot of hunting for parts and fabricating others. Among the volunteer restorers was a retired Qantas 747 and 767 pilot whose father had flown Qantas Constellations.

Before and after views of the cockpit

There are believed to be about 20 Constellations surviving out of 856 built. One is in use as a cocktail bar at the TWA Hotel at  New York's JFK; another is being restored to flight condition by Lufthansa.

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

Add Comment

Comments (0)

Post
×
×
×
×
Link copied to your clipboard.
×