With its curvaceous fuselage and triple tail, the Lockheed Super-G Constellation is one of the most distinctive airliners in history. The Museum of Flight in Seattle took delivery of its rare “Connie” in September 2009. The story of this aircraft will be told in a Jan. 9 program by Bob Bogash, a museum volunteer and retired Boeing engineer, who was instrumental in the plane’s acquisition, restoration and transportation to the museum. The presentation will be illustrated with previously unpublished photographs. Randomly-selected members of the audience will be chosen for an exclusive tour of the aircraft on Jan. 16. The program is at 2 p.m. in the William M. Allen Theater and is free with admission to the museum.
Bogash retired after more than 30 years with the Boeing Commercial Airplane Group, spending the last nine years of his career as the Director of Quality Assurance for the Materiel Division. Bogash has helped The Museum of Flight with the acquisition of its Boeing 727, 737 and 747 prototypes, a de Havilland Comet 4C, a NASA F-104, a Boeing B-52 bomber, a Douglas A-4 Skyhawk flown by the Blue Angels, and a British Airways Concorde.
An icon of the days of piston-powered luxury transportation, the Super-G Constellation is one of the crown jewels in the museum’s collection of commercial airplanes, according to officials. It was built in 1954 and delivered that year to Air Canada’s predecessor, Trans-Canada Air Lines. Remaining in Canada and retired from service in 1965, the Constellation’s arrival at the museum is the culmination of over four years of work by an extensive network of people, from those who have disassembled, trucked and restored the aircraft, to the more than 1000 donors who have made the possession of this aircraft a reality. Air Canada Airlines also played a significant role in the plane’s restoration.
Design of the Constellation began in 1939 for Trans World Airlines, under the leadership of TWA president Jack Frye and financier Howard Hughes. The Constellation design team at Lockheed included the legendary engineer Clarence “Kelly” Johnson. Johnson played key roles designing more than 40 aircraft, including some significant planes in museum’s collection such as the P-38 Lightning, F-104 Starfighter, Jetstar and Blackbird. With Trans-Canada Air Lines livery, the museum’s Constellation is slated to be on permanent, public display in 2010.
For more information: 206-764-5720 or MuseumOfFlight.org.