Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Lockheed Constellation

▫ Super Constellation ▫

Considered by many aviation buffs to be the most stylish and memorable airliner ever built, the Lockheed L-049 Constellation, also known as the Starliner, was originally conceived by Howard Hughs in the late 1930s, and designed by noted engineers Kelly Johnson and Hall Hibbard. Its maiden flight was January 9th, 1943, and it saw brief service as a military cargo transport near the end of WW II. But its claim to fame was its service as a commercial passenger airplane. Operated primarily by TWA airlines, the Constellation represented the ultimate in airline performance and luxury well into the 1950s, and was a popular choice for transatlantic travelers. It was the last of the great propeller-driven airliners... being displaced from service during the 1960's by faster, more reliable jet airliners. Of the 856 Constellations built, only five remain in service to this day. The 1953 advertisement pictured above features the L-1049 'Super-Constellation,' a stretched cargo version.

▫ Queen of the Skies ▫

The Constellation was notable for its unmistakable triple-tail design and dolphin-shaped fuselage. With the first pressurized cabin in widespread use, the Constellation, or "Connie", helped to usher in affordable and comfortable air travel for the masses.

TWA used its Starliners in premier long-distance runs, including its San Francisco to London "over the pole" service.

▫ The Leader to Paris ▫

TWA launched the first European flights, to Paris, in February 1946. This original 1946 ad from Time Magazine marked the occasion with a bit of poetry...

'swiftly your Constellation soars outward, swiftly over the rim of the North Atlantic, now racing with the turn of the earth - St. Malo off the starboard wingtip and Paris - proud Paris - on the horizon!'

This lovely image of
a Parisian flower maid, with the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel in the background and a Starliner cruising high overhead, will make a unique gift for your Francophile friends!

▫ The Leader to California ▫

Here's a wonderful ad featuring a Starliner above the coast of California...

'Westward slips your Constellation, its shadow fleeting on the nation's snowbound farms, humbling the great divide, gliding down Pacific slopes to find the suns and color of the Golden State!... Fly Lockheed Constellation... World Leader in Speed, Comfort, Safety.'

This stunning image featuring green palms and brightly colored Hispanic revelers against the blue of the Pacific will make a wonderful framed gift!

▫ The Joy's in the Journey ▫

Boulder dam as seen from the perspective of a Constellation!

'Here's where you enjoy the going as much as the getting there. Where the eye ranges far and the mind is free of earth-bound cares!'

To travel once in a great, swift Starliner is to know for all time why flying is the way to travel, and TWA the way to fly!'

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