Constellation News

Constellation News

The 2023 edition of the Propliner Annual was published the week of 24 April 2023. 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 172-page publication can be placed at

C-121G Forward Fuselage Destroyed - May 9, 2023

The forward fuselage of former U.S. Navy and NASA C-121G/R7V-1 N420NA was destroyed when the folks from MOTORART harvested its skin for the latest addition to their PLANETAGS product line. I had no idea that this cockpit existed in Wade's Salvage Yard in Atco, New Jersey and, when NEWS surfaced of its existence in late 2021, I naively hoped that some organization would see fit to save it. Sad news, but at least the aircraft will continue on as a "survivor"...even if it's in the form of many thousands of small trinkets for the enthusiast community.

Bataan Completes Initial Engine Testing - May 6, 2023

Lewis Air Legends VC-121A 48-613 "Bataan" got one step closer to its first post-restoration flight when initial engine testing was completed at Chino Airport yesterday. Vintage Radials of Tehachapi, California rebuilt the aircraft's R3350 engines and owner Mike Nixon was on hand to witness yesterday's testing. The Connie was acquired from The Planes of Fame Museum in April 2015 and ferried from Valle, Arizona to Chino on January 14, 2016. Restoration began almost immediately thereafter and kicked into high gear last summer when the aircraft was moved into a hangar. Rumor is that the Connie will be heading to AirVenture for its debut and if true, it will be the first Constellation to attend in many years. For more information about the aircraft and project, check out the April 6, 2023 and other linked posts on this website.

Lockout of Airline History Museum Continues - April 14, 2023

Kansas City's Airline History Museum is involved in a continuing legal battle with Signature Aviation over the lease of its longtime home in Hangar 9 at Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport. The situation has escalated to the point where the museum has been locked out of the hangar since July 2022. The museum issued a press release on April 12, 2023 titled "LONGTIME TOURIST ATTRACTION ENDANGERED BY LOCKOUT", which summarizes the situation. The museum's aircraft collection includes a Lockheed Super Constellation, Martin 404, Douglas DC-3, Northrop Delta and a Lockheed L1011. With the exception of the L1011, all of the aircraft are housed inside the hangar and none are currently airworthy. If the museum loses its battle with Signature, these iconic aircraft will most certainly be evicted from the hangar and be relegated to outdoor storage or even possible scrapping. Kansas City TV stations KMBC-TV and WDAF-TV have both recently aired reports regarding the situation. For more information about the situation, check out the AHM website and a September 17th news item on this website.

"Bataan" Restoration Nearing Completion - April 6, 2023

An amazing restoration project is nearing completion at Chino Airport in California. VC-121A 48-613/N422NA "Bataan" was acquired by Rod Lewis in April 2015 and was made airworthy for a ferry flight from Valle, Arizona to Chino Airport, which occurred on January 14, 2016. Work on the aircraft began on an outdoor ramp soon after arrival at Chino but the pace accelerated when it was moved to a hangar during the summer of 2021. Tony Dann forwarded photos taken of the aircraft in February 2022 showing that much progress had been made since the move indoors. Kermit Weeks visited the hangar in January 2023 and posted a 24-minute YouTube video yesterday, which clearly shows the amazing scope of the project. If a placard on the entry stairway can be believed, there's a good chance we'll see the Connie at AirVenture 2023. Lewis Air Legends also created a very nice 45-minute YouTube video documenting the January 2016 ferry flight from Valle to Chino.

Super Constellation For Sale - April 4, 2023

Former Super Constellation Flyers Association (SCFA) C-121C HB-RSC was recently advertised for sale on the AvBUYER website. "DIAG Aviation is please to offer a very special and historical Lockheed L-1049 Super Constellation Aircraft. The aircraft was last flown in October 2016 on the Swiss Registration. HB-RSC was professionally disassembled and can be transported world wide. Aircraft is professionally stored. Call or email for more details."
The aircraft was sold to a German investment group in 2019, disassembled in Zurich and shipped to Eschbach-Bremgarten, Germany, where it was stored in a warehouse. While it was widely reported that the new owners intended to restore the aircraft to an airworthy condition, this never happened and it remained disassembled. One can only surmise that the daunting scope of the necessary repairs and the prospect of dealing with European aviation authorities was enough for the new owners to abandon the project and offer the aircraft for sale. For more information about the 2019 disassembly and sale of the aircraft, check out the Constellation News Archive - 2019 page.

USAF Standard Aircraft Characteristics Documents - March 15, 2023

Noah Stegman Rechtin is the Collections Manager at the Tri-State Warbird Museum in Batavia, Ohio. He recently sent me PDFs of some interesting documents that he found in the museum's collection including USAF Standard Aircraft Characteristics data sheets for the C-121A, C-121C and RC-121D aircraft. The documents date from the mid- to late-1950s and provide a treasure trove of interesting information regarding the three Constellation models in use by the USAF at the time. Many thanks to Noah for passing along these interesting documents.

"Avion Pirata" Constellation Update - January 22, 2023

On his recent South American trip, Bo-G ran Lundkvist visited Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia where he photographed Constellation N2520B in a public park where it has been on display since the early 1970's. He reports on his January 15, 2023 visit to the park. "Fun experience today! Lockheed 049-46 Constellation ex N2520B (c/n 2081) was built in 1946 and is in a public park off Av. Uruguay in central Santa Cruz de la Sierra. In the early 1960s it was used for smuggling activities, and on July 30, 1961 it was forced by Bolivian Air Force P-51 Mustangs to land at Santa Cruz El Trompillo Airport and impounded. It was later moved via road to its present location a few miles away. It is considered a "symbol" of Santa Cruz city. Locals get together in the shade to cook and sell food. Very few Constellations are still around these days so it was great to see this one in nice fresh white and green paint. Quite easy to get to. In the Uber Search just type in "Avion Pirata" ("Pirate Airplane") and it comes right up! It s well cared for with a fairly recent paint job. BTW I m actually posing with the Constellation in the first photo!"

It s great to see that the aircraft is being so well cared for, even after all these years. Many thanks to Bo-G ran for his report and photos.

See Constellation News Archive - 2022 For Additional News

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----Created 31 January 2004------Updated 9 May 2023----