The Air Mobility Command (AMC) Museum has recently begun the restoration of L1049E Super Constellation N1005C (c/n 4557) at Dover AFB, Delaware. This grand old lady arrived at the museum via a flatbed truck convoy on October 25, 1997 after sitting atop a restaurant for almost thirty years. The airplane was originally delivered to Cubana in 1954 and later sold to Seaboard and Western Airlines, who leased it out to a number of airlines before selling it to Capitol Airways in March 1966. After being withdrawn from service by Capitol in mid-1967, it was sold to Jim Flannery on August 20, 1967 for use as a cocktail lounge above his restaurant on Route 1 in Pendell, Pennsylvania. The restaurant went through a number of owners until 1996 when the Amoco Oil Company bought the site for a gas station. Amoco solicited over thirty organizations and finally donated the airplane to the AMC Museum. It was removed from the roof of the restaurant on July 9, 1997, disassembled and stored on an adjacent property for a few months until final arrangements were made for transporting it to the museum at Dover AFB.
For five years, the Super Connie patiently waited its turn in the restoration queue while the museum focused its efforts on its C-133B and KC-97L projects. With these projects essentially complete, it was now Connie's turn. A small crew of museum volunteers recently began the restoration by removing the hideous cocktail lounge interior, which included shag carpeting on the walls. Worldwide Aircraft Recovery was contracted in late 2002 to reassemble the aircraft and this work is scheduled to begin in early 2003. Since the engines and landing gear had been disposed of when the aircraft was converted into a cocktail lounge, these items were salvaged from an ex-Navy NC-121K Super Constellation, BuN 141292. This aircraft had been abandoned at the Florence Air and Missile Museum when it closed in 1996 and was the last Constellation operated by the US military when it was flow to Florence, SC on June 25, 1982. According to Michael Leister, the AMC Museum's director, the plan is to get the aircraft reassembled and back on itís "legs" and then complete the restoration over the next two years, as resources permit. It's interesting to note that this civilian aircraft will be restored to represent a military C-121C transport. This is opposite to the trend of recent years where ex-military Constellations have been restored to represent civilian airliners. For additional information about this project and the AMC Museum, visit their website at www.amcmuseum.org.
Ralph M. Pettersen
Photo Credits: Harry Heist, Andy Martin, Jim Leech, Ralph M. Pettersen
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----Created 15 February 2004------Updated 6 March 2004----