The Long Journey Of The Lockheed Super G Constellation





The Long Journey Of The Lockheed Super G Constellation

By Mike Mitchell
The Long Journey Of The Lockheed Super G Constellation  

December 28, 2009 - With its curvaceous fuselage and triple tail, the Lockheed Super-G Constellation is one of the most distinctive airliners in history. The Museum of Flight took delivery of its rare "Connie" in September 2009. The story of this aircraft will be told in a January 9th program by Bob Bogash, Museum volunteer and retired Boeing engineer, who was instrumental in the plane's acquisition, restoration and transportation to the Museum.  

The presentation will be illustrated with previously unpublished photographs. Randomly-selected members of the audience will be chosen for an exclusive tour of the aircraft on January 16th. The program is at 2 p.m. in the William M. Allen Theater and is free with admission to the Museum. Bogash retired after more than 30 years with the Boeing Commercial Airplane Group, spending the last nine years of his career as the Director of Quality Assurance for the Materiel Division. 

The Museum of Flight's Super-G Constellation airliner. Photo credit Janet Detz.

Bogash has helped The Museum of Flight with the acquisition of its Boeing 727, 737 and 747 prototypes, a de Havilland Comet 4C, a NASA F-104, a Boeing B-52 bomber, a Douglas A-4 Skyhawk flown by the Blue Angels, and a British Airways Concorde. 

An icon of the days of piston-powered luxury transportation, the Super-G Constellation is one of the crown jewels in the Museum's collection of commercial airplanes. It was built in 1954 and delivered that year to Air Canada's predecessor, Trans-Canada Air Lines. Remaining in Canada and retired from service in 1965, the Constellation's arrival at the Museum is the culmination of over four years of work by an extensive network of people, from those who have disassembled, trucked and restored the aircraft, to the more than 1000 donors who have made the possession of this aircraft a reality. Air Canada Airlines also played a significant role in the plane's restoration. 

Design of the Constellation began in 1939 for Trans World Airlines, under the leadership of TWA president Jack Frye and financier Howard Hughes. The Constellation design team at Lockheed included the legendary engineer, Clarence "Kelly" Johnson. Johnson played key roles designing over 40 aircraft, including some significant planes in Museum's collection--the P-38 Lightning, F-104 Starfighter, Jetstar and Blackbird. 

The revolutionary, pressurized airliner was diverted for military service during World War II, and entered the civilian transportation business after the War. Over 800 of the sleek aircraft were built until production ended in 1958. With Trans-Canada Air Lines livery, the Museum's Constellation is slated to be on permanent, public display in 2010.  


The Museum of Flight is located at 9404 E. Marginal Way S., Seattle, Exit 158 off Interstate 5 (on Boeing Field between downtown Seattle and SeaTac Airport.) The Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $14 for adults, $13 for seniors 65 and older, $10 for active military, $7.50 for youth 5 to 17, and free for children under 5. Group rates are available. Admission on the first Thursday of the month is free from 5 to 9 p.m. courtesy of Wells Fargo.

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