The Lockheed Constellation, affectionately referred to as “Connie”, first flew on 9 January 1943. The aircraft initially entered service with the military, before starting regular passenger service on 6 February 1946 with TWA.

Seating between 62 and 95 passengers, the sleek Constellation was the first pressurised aircraft in regular service. A total of 856 were produced, with the last one rolling off the production line in 1958.

Lockheed Constellation Video

Following on from last weeks video about the Boeing 707, this week it’s off to Lockheed to see a promotional film from 1955 about building the aircraft. This runs for around 16 minutes.

With its distinctive triple tail and curved fuselage, the Lockheed Constellation opened up the world for many airlines. In Qantas service, it opened up the route from Sydney to London, the longest single aircraft service in the world.

Lockheed’s film shows the production line, the tooling and many things that needed to be done to manufacture the aircraft. It is an interesting look into how things were done back in the 1950s.

Virtually all major airlines in the west operated the Connie. The film shows some happy passengers wiling away their flight playing cards, which is what you’d do back then, before the advent of video entertainment.

The HARS Connie Today

The Historical Aircraft Restoration Society in Australia operates a Lockheed Constellation in flyable condition today. This is one of just two in the entire world that still takes flight. Below is a video from a night flight at a show in 2017.

Flames coming from the engines operating at high power was a thing with piston engines at take-off thrust. The short video runs about four minutes, showing take-off, a couple of flybys and landing. Extremely cool to see!

Overall Thoughts

Famous in the aviation industry, the Lockheed Constellation is a truly beautiful machine to behold. This was the way that you flew long distances, regularly operating translatlantic routes as easily as domestic sectors in the United States.

The fact there are two still flying is pretty amazing when you consider how old the aircraft is. Did you ever fly in a Connie? What was it like? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

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Featured image by Qantas via The Lockheed Files.