Friday, April 8, 2016

The Friday Flyby - April 2016

Lockheed Constellation - C-69 (military version) prototype, 1943 (Source)
Tuna's post on Thursday was interesting in many respects. I like lakes and I like boats but what really piqued my interest were those Connies of Lake Havasu Airpark.

The Lockheed Constellation was one of the prettiest aircraft to ever fly. The graceful curve of the fuselage, that triple tail, and those four powerful Wright R-3350 Duplex-Cyclone engines make quite a combination. I have photos of the Connie they have in the museum at Udvar-Hazy out at Dulles but they're on the old computer. The computer that I haven't pulled stuff off of yet. We'll get there, but for now, here's Connie.

The Air Force used them - College Eye EC-121D (AF Serial No. 53-0555) at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (Source)

As did the Navy - An Atlantic barrier WV-2 of VW-15 overflies USS Sellstrom off Newfoundland in 1957. (Source)

The view from the flight deck. (Source)

Last "Connie" to serve the Navy, on its last flight to Davis-Monthan AFB for retirement in April 1982. VAQ-33 (GD 12) NC-121K (BuNo 141292). (Source)

They served in Southeast Asia - A "College Eye" EC-121D takes off from Korat RTAFB. (Source)

Old school - Radar operators in an USAF EC-121D/H/T. (Source)
Hey, is that Old NFO back there?

Check out those gauges! - Flight engineer station on board Lockheed Constellation N749NL. (Source

Trans Canada Air Lockheed Constellation, tail number CF-TGE, sitting on the ramp in Rome, NY (KRME). (Source)

VAQ-33 NC-121K in 1973, flanked by an F-4B Phantom and an EA-4F Skyhawk. (Source)

The USAF RC-121D 53-0128 with two F-104 Starfighters. (Source)

The Breitling Super Constellation from the Swiss Super Constellation Flyers Association: It is the last Super Constellation in flying condition in Europe. (Source)

Isn't she a beauty?

I think so.




26 comments:

  1. Now that's the way to start the weekend, with a big smile! Great post. "Oh Boy!, this is the life!"

    I know a fellow who crewed Navy Connies bitd. He's one of the first U.S. wounded from Vietnam, having been hit by shrapnel on the ramp at Hai Phong in 1954. One of the most enjoyable things I did while serving as VSO was helping him get his Purple Heart 60 years after the fact.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Shaun.

      Nice work helping to get that veteran his PH.

      Delete
  2. First impressions.
    Furry seat covers?
    Yes, that is OldNFO.
    Man, look at the AOA on the F-4!
    Look at the lack of AOA on the 104s, must be a fly by pic.
    Something (or two) is missing on the Trans Canada bird.
    Nice looking Airplane.

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I liked the seat covers too.

      The inboard engines were removed to satisfy the EPA's mandate to cut back on emissions. So TCA managed to do that by 50%. Which is also probably why the aircraft is sitting on the ramp.

      (I can't believe I didn't notice the engines missing.)

      Delete
  3. There is another at the national airline museum, in KC. At MCI. Also a few other acft.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are a few still around, only two are still flying from what I understand.

      Delete
  4. This must be Constellations week, huh?
    They are a pretty bird that looks only slightly awkward when the landing gear is extended during takeoff or landing.
    I found it just a little amazing that there've been no photos of the TWA or Eastern birds.
    That's the airlines I associate with most.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh there are a number of TWA and Eastern Connie photos out there, I focused on the military variants and the pretty photos for which I could find a valid source. (I don't want to tread on any copyright toes, been there, done that, no fun.)

      Delete
  5. The prettiest airliner of them all.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Too bad they weren't repowered with Allison T56s.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Columbine II, the first C-121 to use the call sign "Air Force One" just made a ferry flight for further restoration to Virginia. She's a real beauty.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awesome, thanks for the tip XBradTC, I see a couple of articles on the web talking about that bird.

      She is a beauty!

      Delete
  8. Beautiful old planes, always been one of my favorites. The only ones I've
    ever actually seen were the "EC's" that they flew in Vietnam.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Love 'em. I've never seen a flyable example in person. Based on XBradTC's comment above, maybe I will get to see that one of these days.

      Delete
  9. Loves me some Connie stuff. My first Navy squadron was VR-7 Det A at Tachikawa, flying the Air Force's last 4 C-121C models. We flew Med Evac mostly, staging out of Clark AFB, going into Bien Hoa, Tan Son Nhat, and on to Don Muang in Bangkok. The occasional trip was up to northern bases bringing a plane load of pregnant dependent wives to the Tachi hospital for their OB checkups. Those were especially fun in rough weather, what with the rows of filled barf bags in the back.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great stuff Flugelman! If you ever get the urge to share a story or two in these spaces, let me know.

      Delete
  10. Great pics. Glad I was able to be inspirational!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, like c w said, seeing all those Connies parked at the Air Park got me all excited.

      Thanks for the inspiration!

      Delete
  11. The Daily Timewaster had THIS over at his blog the other day.
    That's in case you wanna see Columbine up close and airborne.

    Just for grins I will tell you that I refrain from using the nickname of that aircraft for personal reasons.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How did I miss THAT?

      I must have been snoozing that day.

      Delete
  12. Thanks for the pics of a great aircraft. WV-2Q in flight electrician, cook, firefighter, VQ-2 63-65.

    ReplyDelete
  13. There is an ABSOLUTELY HILARIOUS Vietnam-era "EC-121 tape" made by one of the aircrews from SEA ("T.O speed 120kts, climb to alt 120kts, cruise speed 120kts, approach to land 120kts, taxi speed 120kts"--al spoken in absolutely laid-back dry tone, like that thru the whole tape) that, if you can find it is a MUST listen. Unfortunately I've lost mine and have not been able to locate one since. You seem to be a better man than me at that sort of thing Sarg, so give it a shot--well worth the effort.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That sounds hilarious. I did a quick search of my usual "go to" places, found nothing.

      I'll keep looking!

      Delete

Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)