The L649 and L749 were the first true commercial Constellations and received their type certificate in March 1947. Essentially an iterative development of the L049, the type certificate was an “add-on” to the L049 certificate. Delivery of the first L649 went to Eastern Airlines in May 1947 with Air France receiving the first L749 a month earlier in April 1947. Pan American operated the first L749 service in June 1947 when it inaugurated its “Round the World” service using a leased L749 (NC86520 c/n 2503). The L749 was essentially a L649 with an additional 1,130 gallons of fuel for longer range. Only fourteen L649’s and six L649A’s were produced for Eastern and Chicago and Southern. Most aircraft were upgraded to L749A standards sometime during their lifetime.
An interesting note is that in 1947, with orders for the Constellation at low ebb, Lockheed was considering canceling the project. The US Air Force placed an order in September 1947 for ten C-121A/B’s, essentially L-749’s, which kept the production line going until more civilian orders were forthcoming.
F-ZVMV c/n 2503--->On display Musee de l'Air, Le Bourget Airport, Paris, France
N7777G c/n 2553--->On display Science Museum at Wroughton, England
N494TW c/n 2601--->On static display at Jeju Island, South Korea in 1950's Air Korea colors
N9463 c/n 2602--->Stored Avra Valley Airport, AZ as "Columbine II"
HI-393 c/n 2603--->Stored Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
N749NL c/n 2604--->On display in airworthy condition at the National Aviation Theme Park Aviodrome at Lelystad Airport, The Netherlands
N422NA c/n 2605--->On display Planes of Fame Museum, Valle, AZ
48-614 c/n 2606--->On display Pima Air and Space Museum, Tucson, AZ as "Columbine I"
N1206 c/n 2613--->Stored Salina Municipal Airport, Salina, KS
CN-CCN c/n 2675--->Stored Anfa Airport, Casablanca, Morocco
CREDITS AND SOURCES
The Lockheed Constellation Series, Peter J. Marson, Air-Britain Publication, 1982
Piston Engine Airiner Production List, A.B. Eastwood and J. Roach, TAHS, October 2002
Lockheed Constellation, Stewart Wilson, Notebook Publications, 2001
Propliner Aviation Magazine
----Created 15 January 2004------Updated 27 November 2008----