Saturday, August 26, 2017

Well that was quick...but airplanes!

So Wednesday I flew up to Michigan to see family. But then as soon as I leave...Hurricane. So I had to call the airline up and turn around and come back on Friday. I need to be here for work and my friends and my stuff.

But while I was there, I saw THIS at Willow Run Airport.
Out on the ramp by the FBO--A Super Constellation!!

This Lockheed Constellation was the Navy variant of the old EC-121D "Warning Star" Early Warning aircraft, known in Navy talk as a WV-2 (because they always gotta rename everything). They were the military version of the Lockheed L-1049, a mediocre airliner that became a military classic.

Of course I had to go through the FBO and sweet-talk them into ramp access to go see it up close. Just to see if Old NFO's name was written on it somewhere, of course.

Looking a bit worse for the wear back here, but certainly fixable easily enough. I didn't know those control surfaces were fabric.

Super Connie nose. So sleek and tall. If planes were dogs, the Connie would be a greyhound.

Engines looking good. Pratt and Whitney R3550 powerplants and from where I stood I could see nothing missing on any of them. Love to try to spin one up.

Another engine view, with the dorsal radar antenna visible on top of the fuselage.

Big radome underneath too.
These things could monitor all sorts of radio communications, track numerous other flying aircraft (and missiles) and do all sorts of Secret Squirrel stuff back in their Cold War days.

Needs a little work, but the Yankee air Museum plans to make it fly again and put it on the airshow circuit in the next year or two!!

They just got this one here in July. Looks like it's last flight was back in 1983 though, and that one apparently didn't go too well.

History of BuN 141311

Can't wait to see it fly again. I'll support the Yankee Air Museum just for this!


  1. Damn but that's one gorgeous airframe. (Yeah, I'm partial to Connies.)

    1. One of my all time favorite aircraft. It's sex, speed and function balanced perfectly and deserves to be restored.

  2. Lufthansa is restoring one of the airliner versions.

  3. And they rode nicely... :-) One I worked on is in the museum in Pensacola, and the other, sadly burned in Florence, SC when a grass fire got out of control. 141292 was a one of one acft.

  4. Hey Murphy;

    Thanks for the pics of the Connie and of course Old NFO flew her and many other fabric based airplanes. Lol.

  5. Connies are my favorite prop airliner. Very sleek and beautiful.

    I'll kick a few $$ to the Yankee Air Museum to help them.

    I spent a bunch of time on the Pacific Missile Test Range when I worked for Hughes on the Phoenix/F-14 programs. Great bunch of folks there!

  6. I'd love to get my grubby hands on one of this big ole radial engines!

  7. Yanks Air Museum has one that was at Camarillo. It was flying for a bit some years ago, before maintenance and corrosion issues sidelined it. Yanks got it on good enough shape to ferry to Chino.