By Martyn Chorlton
The Lockheed Constellation was once an plane that broke the mold whilst it got here to early airliner layout. the normal process of a immediately, tubular fuselage and a standard tail and wing association remains to be the attempted and proven confi guration of all airliners to this present day. operating to a suite of specifi cations awarded via company rich person Howard Hughes for using TWA, Lockheed’s leader dressmaker ‘Kelly’ Johnson created a piece of paintings with curves all through which had by no means been designed into an plane, in no way an airliner, earlier than, or when you consider that. Lockheed’s layout method may fee them ultimately their major rivals, Douglas, might cross down the extra conventional airliner layout course and attain a lot higher revenues for this reason. The contract with Hughes over the airplane might additionally prevent household revenues as a big caveat used to be that no Constellations will be bought to airways within the united states till years after the airliner had entered provider with TWA. Understandably, a couple of operators regarded somewhere else for his or her post-war wishes and Douglas benefi tted for this reason.
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When TWA’s management had learned that Pan Am had approached Douglas about designing a variant of the DC-7 capable of regular non-stop Atlantic operation, they went to Lockheed to see how the Connie could be stretched to meet the threat. Lockheed and TWA knew that even the extended-range L-1049G could not make non-stop crossings when winds were unfavourable so the stretch to produce the required range would have to be in the wing. 17:1) and a reduced thickness (15% at the root and 11% at the tip, compared with 18% and 12%).
Varig (6); Air India (5); Northwest (4); TCA (4); Cubana (3); TAP (3); Thai Airways International (3); Iberia (2); LAV (2); QANTAS (2) and Avianca (1). L-1049H By the time that the final variant of the Super Constellation family, the L1049H, had arrived, airlines were already in the middle of jet fever as the Boeing 707 and the Douglas DC-8 were available. Despite the stacked odds, the L-1049H was a success, 59 of them were sold to 15 different airlines. The L-1049H was a freighter variant of the ‘Super G’ which had the same over-engineered features as the L1049D.
The specially chosen crew of eight, led by the pilot, Maj. G. Draper, clocked up approximately 50 hours in the air each month. After its replacement in 1950 by a VC-121E, ‘Columbine II’ was allocated to Washington DC for VIP duties, returning to Europe in 1954 as Gen. Gunther’s personal machine. It then returned to Washington for another spell of VIP duty before finally being declared redundant by the USAF. TWA soon purchased 48-610 for their Constellation fleet but later sold it to Ethiopian Airlines, in 1957, as ET-T-35, when it became the personal aeroplane of Ethiopia’s Emperor, Haile Selassie.
Constellation by Martyn Chorlton