Constellation News

Constellation News

The 2022 edition of the Propliner Annual was published on April 30, 2022. As its title implies, Propliner Magazine is totally dedicated to Propliner aircraft and is a “must-have” for any aviation enthusiast and especially Propliner enthusiasts. Orders for this bumper 160-page publication can be placed at

Lufthansa to Place Starliner and Ju-52 on Static Display In Celebration of its Centennial – October 20, 2022

An article published recently on the Simply Flying News website announced that Lufthansa will be placing L1649A Starliner N7316C and Ju-52 D-AQUI on permanent display to celebrate the airline’s 100th anniversary in 2026. Both aircraft are currently stored at Paderborn-Lippstadt Airport in Germany with the process of reassembling them scheduled to begin by the end of 2022. While the Ju-52 is almost completely assembled, the Starliner is almost totally disassembled and will required a considerable amount of work to get it back together for display. During a staff event, Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr announced that the two airplanes will be placed in a new home in either Frankfurt or Munich.
While we would all like to see both aircraft in an airworthy condition and flying, this is a better outcome that many, including myself, expected.

French Constellation Awaiting Restoration – October 19, 2022

Paul Rushton recently photographed former Air France L749 Constellation F-ZVMV, which has been stored at the Musee de l'Air, Le Bourget Airport near Paris, France since July 1975. After retirement from Air France in 1960, the aircraft was modified and used as a flying engine test bed from 1963 to 1974. It went to the museum in July 1975 and has been parked in the museum’s storage area ever since. The engine test equipment attached to the top of the fuselage was removed in June 2002 when the museum announced plans to restore it as Air France F-BAZR. Restoration began during the summer of 2003 but very little progress has been made due to the lack of funds. It was painted in quasi Air France colors in December 2006 with the false registration F-JAZ for use on a movie project. As can be seen in Paul’s photos, the paint has been removed along with the outboard vertical stabilizers so perhaps there is some hope that the restoration will be completed soon and it will be placed on display. Many thanks to Paul for sharing his photos.

National Airline History Museum Threatened with Closure – September 17, 2022

While Kansas City’s National Airline History Museum has been on perilous footing for some time, I heard yesterday that it had been closed. I reached out to AHM President John Roper to confirm the report and he responded telling me that the museum is still fighting Signature Flight Support and hasn’t given up yet. The museum has been in a prolonged legal battle with Signature, which was attempting to have it evicted from its longtime home at the airport's Hangar 9. The problem started in September 2019 when Kansas City amended its lease with Signature for management of the Downtown Airport. The change deleted all financial benefits for the museum, which meant the city would start charging Signature $3,256 per month rent for the hangar. Signature notified the museum of the change, which was effective December 2019 and a series of legal battles ensued. Apparently the museum is running out of legal options but is still fighting not to get evicted.
What will become of the museum’s collection of restored aircraft if it is evicted is anyone’s guess. To park the museums beautifully restored Super Constellation outdoors would be criminal. The museum’s collection also includes a Martin 404 and a DC-3 that has been under restoration for many years and is nearly complete. A jet-age engineless L1011 is also part of the collection and has been parked outside the hangar since arriving at the museum a few years back. This is absolutely horrible news and, I hate to say so, but it’s probably a sign of things to come. The country has seems to lost its appreciation of aviation history…plenty of money for illegal immigrants and the such but little allocated for the preservation of our aviation legacy. For more information about what led to this unfortunate situation, check out this May 27th article titled The Sad State of the Airline History Museum in Kansas City, Missouri

Combat Air Museum EC-121T Gets Facelift – August 20, 2022

The Combat Air Museum in Topeka, Kansas recently had their EC-121T 52-3418/N4257U painted and posted the following August 19th report on Facebook. "Gray and Company finished painting our EC-121 yesterday! The top photo shows our Lockheed as it appeared before painting; the bottom is its new look. The painting is complete but the job isn't done yet. Mike is installing netting to keep the starlings out. We must add some additional markings, replace the fabric on the rudders with sheet metal, install the rudders, and make some minor repairs. Come out and see our Warning Star for yourself!"

HARS Super Connie Spreads Her Wings – August 4, 2022

Australia’s Historical Aircraft Restoration Society (HARS) Super Constellation VH-EAG made two flights on August 3rd. The aircraft hadn’t flown for quite a while and was the aircraft’s first flights after undergoing required maintenance and inspections. Two flights were completed for pilot requalifying and apparently all went well. The aircraft is the only airworthy Constellation in the world. Many thanks to Howard Mitchell, who captured the event with these fabulous photos!

Super Connie Engine Cowling For Sale on ebay – June 25, 2022

Volker Pickenpack recently emailed me with the news that there was a Super Constellation engine cowling for sale on German ebay under the listing "Super Constellation Cowling Complete." Sure enough, I checked the site and the cowling is advertised for sale at 1,250 euros with the note "Cowling is not cleaned! More pictures on request." If you’re interested in this type of thing, check out this ebay link.

French Super Connie Continues to Deteriorate – June 15, 2022

Han de Ridder recently visited former Air France L1049G Super Constellation F-BHBG in Quimper, France and sent the following report and photos. "On June 13 I visited the Constellation c/n 4626 F-BHBG standing for many years now on the premises of Discotheque Le Moulin in Le Juch, Bretagne, France. The aircraft is in a really rough state and, looking at the warning signs, too dangerous to enter. Yes, looking bad, it should be under cover, but at least she is not broken up…yet."
It’s sad to see this once magnificent aircraft in its current condition but at least she continues to elude the scrapman. With the current price of scrap aluminum, perhaps she will continue to retain her status as a “survivor” for the foreseeable future. Many thanks to Han for sharing his report and photos.

Portuguese Super Connie Exhibit – April 15, 2022

There’s not a whole lot of Constellation news these days so it was great to hear that the Super Constellation exhibit at the Museu do Ar in Sintra, Portugal remains on display. Antti Hyvärinen visited the museum on April 13, 2022 and posted some very nice photos on Facebook. The exhibit includes the forward fuselage of former Biafran Airlift veteran L1049G 5T-TAK, which was delivered new to Lufthansa in March 1956 D-ALEC. The exhibit includes at least one cowled R3350 engine and a fully restored cockpit.

Constellation Restoration Project Nearing Completion – March 3, 2022

It appears that the multi-year restoration of VC-121A N422NA/48-613 Bataan is nearing completion. Tony Dann visited the restoration hangar on February 11, 2022 and provided the following report. "I was in Los Angeles in February and visited Chino Airport where had a pre-arranged tour of the Threshold Aviation facility in the south eastern corner of the airfield. I was only expecting to see their hangars full of executive jets but was very surprised when I went into their hangar number 1 to be greeted by the site of a Constellation being worked on. I certainly wasn’t expecting to see that and was told it’s being put back into flying condition for corporate flights and we should see it airborne again this year. Here are a few photos I took in the hangar on February 11th." Many thanks to Tony for the report and photos.

See Constellation News Archive - 2021 For Additional News

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----Created 31 January 2004------Updated 20 October 2022----