Korean Air has
brought a Constellation aircraft, the type that used to
fly here in the 1950s-60s, from the United States to
Korean Air chairman and CEO Cho
Yang-ho, third from left, shakes hands with U.S.
pilot Lang Clyde in front of a Constellation
aircraft at Incheon International Airport,
Saturday. The airline company brought in a
57-year-old Constellation, a star plane in the
1950s-60s, for display at its flying school on
Cheju Island. / Courtesy of Korean Air
The airplane, made by Lockheed Martin, was used as
the nation's first aircraft exclusively for the
president, as well as led an early development of Hanjin
Group, which owns the airline.
The airplane arrived at Inchon on Saturday after
flying for 37 hours and 25 minutes over nine days from
Arizona via Oakland, Anchorage, Cold Bay and Hakodate in
Korean Air has been searching for a Constellation
plane since 2003 to add to its collection of historical
material. The airline's long-term partner Pratt &
Whitney, an aircraft engine producer, donated a
57-year-old Constellation to Korean Air.
Because of the airplane's age, the pilots able to
operate the plane are also older. Seven veteran pilots
flew the Constellation to Korea, including 83-year-old
pilot Lang Clyde.
The plane was sent to Korean Air's plant in Pusan
Sunday, and will be restored to look as it did when it
was used in Korea. After it is painted, it will be
displayed at the airline's flying school on Cheju
The Constellation is a 60-90 seat-propeller airplane
with that led the world's aviation market from the late
1930s to the 1960s. Only 55 of the 856 aircrafts
produced still remain, and only about five of them are
still able to operate.
In Korea, Korean National Airlines, the nation's
first carrier, adopted the aircraft in July 1959, and
operated for several international routes such as to
Seattle and Hong Kong.
In 1961, then-President Park Chung-hee took a
Constellation as the code one, a plane exclusively for
the president, for his visit to the U.S. It was the
first time that the country introduced a presidential
Hanjin Group operated two Constellations to transport
manpower and war supplies to Vietnam at the end of the
1960s. The profits gained at that time led the group's