Constellation News Archive - 2008
Recent Internet “Finds” Regarding L049 N9412H – December 28, 2008
While not exactly current news, a couple of interesting items have recently surfaced on the internet regarding the Greenwood Lake L049 Constellation. The first is a comprehensive, history of the aircraft created by John W. Rosa. John includes many interesting photos, some of which I had never seen before. The second is a recent YouTube addition which consists of an 8 minute 33 second amateur film clip of the aircraft landing on the 2,700 foot runway at the Greenwood Lake Airport in West Milford, NJ. While the quality of the video is not very good, it shows the airplane landing and then taxiing to the ramp, where it was greeted by a small crowd of enthusiasts. The tape does narrow down the arrival date of the Connie at Greenwood Lake Airport to the winter of 1976-77 since it was purchased by Frank Lembo, Jr. in May 1976 and was first noted at Greenwood Lake in July 1977. The Connie was part of the deal when the airport was sold to the State of New Jersey in 2000 and has been occupied off and on in the years by a pilots shop, flight school and who knows what else. While there have been a number of inquiries over the years about purchasing the aircraft, none have come to fruition and it appears that this classic aircraft will spend her remaining days parked at this small general aviation airport. Many thanks to the ever vigilant Dan West for sniffing out these two most interesting internet postings!
Helena EC-121T Update – December 26, 2008
The response to my November 8th news article about SMSgt Blair McAnally's effort to find a new home for EC-121T 52-3217 has been very gratifying. The aircraft, which has been a fixture at the University of Montana – Helena College of Technology facility since 1981, was recently declared surplus to the school’s needs and is in danger of being scrapped unless a new home can be found. As a result of the article, I have received over a dozen emails from organizations expressing an interest in the aircraft. In addition, a number of other websites have gotten the word out, including the big-time Warbirds Information Exchange (WIX) website. I recently received an email from SMSgt Blair McAnally with an update on the situation. Blair is Production Superintendent at the 120th FW of the Montana ANG in Great Falls and says in the email that there are five organizations seriously interested in the aircraft.
(1) Hanscom AFB, MA (Otis ANGB) – They are doing a memorial for the “50 Fallen Stars” and would like to have this aircraft as part of the memorial. The USAF has indicated they do not have the funding to move the aircraft, but there is a private party trying to work with the base to fund the project.
(2) Castle Air Museum – The museum is very interested in adding this aircraft to their large collection of military aircraft at the former Castle AFB in Atwater/Merced, California.
(3) Aerospace Museum of California – The museum, located at the former McClellan AFB in Sacramento, would like to get the interior to finish out EC-121K BuN 141309, which is currently on display at the museum . This aircraft was last assigned to the Pacific Missile Test Range at Point Mugu and does not have a standard EC-121 interior.
(4) The Commemorative Air Force (CAF) has shown an interest and they have indicated they would like to restore it to flying condition. There was a lot of chatter on the WIX website about this airplane thus the interest from the CAF.
(5) The Historical Aircraft Restoration Society (HARS) and Qantas Foundation are two organizations in Australia that have shown interest. One of them would like to keep it stateside and restore it to flying condition and the other would like to take it home for an addition to their museum.
Blair goes on to say in his email. “In all cases funding will be an issue. The school will be working with Montana state agencies and determine the best course of action. I will be sending letters to the interested parties to confirm interest and ability to move the aircraft. It would be wonderful too see this aircraft in the air again, but we have no idea if there is any wing corrosion. This aircraft spent most its life over the ocean so I suspect it has some. In addition it hasn’t moved from its present location since 1981. Struts were serviced up 4 weeks ago, the mains are still holding and the nose strut went flat after about an hour. All tires still hold air.”
"The school would prefer that the whole plane find a good home, not just the interior. It would be a shame to take the interior out of this beautiful aircraft. I personally only care this aircraft goes to a good home and it upsets me a little when people only want to take part of the aircraft. I would be surprised if there is another EC-121 out there in such nice condition. In today’s economy when everyone is short a funds I hope that the money is available to give it a good home.”
I asked Blair if the aircraft was still owned by the National Museum of the USAF (NMUSAF) as are many former USAF aircraft on display in museums throughout the country. He said this was not the case with the EC-121T. “Normally you would be correct, but in this case NMUSAF does not own this aircraft. In the early 1980s, the Department of Defense had a program where state and some private agencies (museums) could acquire obsolete aircraft from Davis Mothan AFB. I believe the school paid $10,000.00 to acquire this aircraft, which covered the cost de-preserving it after storage; fuel for the ferry flight from Davis Monthan to Helena; and a flight crew for the ferry flight. I believe the Combat Air Museum in Topeka Kansas has the sister ship, 52-3418, to this aircraft and they acquired theirs the same year and through the same program (this is true – RMP).”
Blair goes on to say. “With all that said, the State of Montana owns this aircraft, with Montana State University Vo-Tech as actual owners. To transfer ownership from the State of Montana to another museum or private organization will require the school contact the State Government GSA office and declare it surplus with a stipulation to where the school wants the aircraft to go. The State GSA would then contact the Regional GSA and they in turn would contact the Federal GSA to get everyone's blessing/approval. The easiest way for someone to get the EC-121 is if they are affiliated with and/or recognized by the NMUSAF. The museums at Castle AFB, McClellan AFB and Otis AFB would fit that category. The GSA would then transfer the aircraft to the NMUSAF and they, in turn, would loan it to what ever museum has the funds to maintain it. I hope this is as clear as mud, it sounds more complicated then it is. The process just takes a little time. The school also has an F-89 that is also available, if you hear of a museum looking for one.” (12/30 Update: The museums at Travis AFB and the former McClellan AFB along with the Combat Air Museum have expressed interest in the F-89...you gotta love it when a plan comes together! RMP)
Blair deserves a lot of credit for leading the charge on finding a new home for this veteran aircraft. Without folks like him, these priceless artifacts of our military aviation heritage would be lost forever!
HARS Super Connie Participates in Annual Lawrence Hargrave Celebration – November 29, 2008
Stanwell Park is a picturesque costal village located about 30 miles south of Sydney, Australia along the Princes Highway. On top of Bald Hill at the Stanwell Park Reserve is a memorial to aviation pioneer Lawrence Hargrave. Stanwell Park is where Hargrave carried out many of his experiments and every year there is a celebration to commemorate his pioneering work in the field of aeronautics. On Wednesday November 12, 2008, three Historical Aviation Restoration Society (HARS)
aircraft participated in the annual Lawrence Hargrave Memorial Day. They flew up the south coast beaches to Stanwell Park and arrived at the festivities at 1:15pm. The best viewing points were Stanwell Tops, on the northern beaches as the aircraft turned over Stanwell Park, and on the city beaches as the aircraft returned to Albion Park. The three aircraft involved in the flyover were Super Constellation VH-EAG, C-47 VH-EAE and C-47 VH-EAF. Thanks to Dick Simpson for providing photographs of the event. Additional photos can be found on this link.
Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at Lufthansa Restoration Hangar at Auburn-Lewiston Airport – November 23, 2008
Thursday November 20, 2008 was a big day at the Auburn-Lewiston Airport where local officials and Lufthansa Technik Chairman of the Board August Henningsen cut a ceremonial ribbon and dedicated a new $3,000,000/50,000 square foot hangar. The hangar, built by the airport authority, will be used for the restoration of one of three L1649A Starliners purchased by Lufthansa a year ago. The hangar went from concept to completion in nine months and was completed none too soon as the outside temperature during the ceremony was 15 degrees Fahrenheit. The new hangar will allow restoration crews to work unimpeded by the famously cold Maine winter weather.
I received an invitation in October from Lufthansa and this was one event that I wasn't going to miss. I arrived at Maurice Roundy’s airport home on Thursday morning and was disappointed to hear that L1649A N7316C had been towed to the restoration hangar across the airport the day before. I sure would have liked a couple more outside photos before she entered the hangar! N8083H was still parked on Maurice’s property and I took the opportunity to take a few photos of her. She has shed more than a few parts since my last visit to Maine in August 2006. Maurice had invited a number of aviation friends to his house that morning and we enjoyed good conversation and hot coffee before heading across the airport to the dedication ceremony.
Upon arriving at the restoration hangar, it was obvious that this was going to be a first class event with N7316C being the centerpiece. The Starliners are actually owned by Deutsche Lufthansa Berlin-Stiftung (DLBS), a non-profit subsidiary of Lufthansa. DLBS is organized like an airline and they currently fly a JU-52 on the European airshow circuit. N7316C is being restored by Lufthansa Technik, which has 26,000 worldwide employees and provides aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services to 630 customers.
Lufthansa Technik employee Michael Austermeier arrived in Maine in April 2008 and is heading up the restoration team, which includes five retired Lufthansa mechanics, five current Lufthansa Technik mechanics and twelve recently hired local mechanics. Since the small team arrived in April from Germany, quite a bit of work has been accomplished. The engines have been removed and sent to Anderson Aeromotive for overhaul, the interior and cockpit have been stripped, and the horizontal stabilizer sent to Lufthansa Technik subsidiary Bizjet in Tulsa, Oklahoma for restoration. It’s interesting to note that the new cockpit will feature the newest glass cockpit technology! The aircraft was open and available to those wishing to take a look inside. Now that the aircraft is under cover and out of the weather, the real work can begin on the restoration, which is estimated take 2-3 years.
The ceremony included speeches by Lufthansa Technik Chairman of the Board August Henningsen, DLBS Chairman of the Board Bernhard Conrad, the mayor of Auburn, Maurice Roundy and representatives of the governor and local congressman. Maurice Roundy was recognized for his contribution in saving the three Starliners and was presented with a gorgeous L1649A Starliner Constellation painted in Lufthansa colors. The model had been specially made by Atlantic Models along with the large banner of a Lufthansa Starliner which was hung on one of the hangar walls. Maurice gave a moving speech and the crowd of 250 guests and media folks gave him a standing ovation. Following the speeches, the ceremonial ribbon was cut and it was time to enjoy the white wine and food that Lufthansa had so generously provided for the occasion.
The event was covered by a multitude of media outlets including Portland television station WLBZ and NECN.com. Both produced news reports on the event and posted videos on their websites. Thanks to the efforts of Ed and Dan, these have now been captured on YouTube.
The Museum of Flight's Super Connie Emerges From the Restoration Hangar – November 16, 2008
On Wednesday November 12, 2008, 16 months after arriving from Toronto, Canada by truck caravan, the Museum of Flight’s L1049G CF-TGE (formerly CF-RNR) rolled out of an Empire Aero Center hangar in Rome, New York. While some finishing touches, such as installation of the #2 and #3 props, needs to be completed, the results are stunning. What a gorgeous aircraft! She looks like she’s ready to go on line and start flying passengers.
Congratulations to Randy Buol, Kevin Lacey and the team at Empire Aero Center for the incredible feat of transforming this former basket case to a beauty queen. The final details regarding the move west to Seattle have yet to be worked out by Bob Bogash, the Museum of Flight’s project manager, and at this time the move is scheduled for next spring. Additional photos and information on the restoration project can be found on Bob's website.
Exterior Restoration of Udvar-Hazy C-121C Completed – November 9, 2008
Since my last report on January 19, 2008, the exterior restoration of the National Air and Space Museum’s C-121C 54-0177 (N1104W) at Udvar-Hazy has been completed. West Virginia ANG crews, which had started installation of USAF/WVANG decals in January, finished up a few months later. In the meantime, NASM crews completed the restoration of the props and rudders and these were installed during the spring of 2008. A formal dedication ceremony was held on June 26, 2008 marking the official acceptance of the aircraft into the Udvar-Hazy facility.
The museum plans on restoring the interior of the aircraft, which is currently configured for cargo. The cockpit is essentially complete but needs cosmetic restoration. Once the interior is complete, the museum is considering opening up the aircraft to museum visitors. Congratulations to the United Airlines volunteers and NASM staff for a great restoration effort!
Montana EC-121T in Danger of Being Scrapped – November 8, 2008
I received an email from Bob Bogash informing me that he had received an email from Blair McAnally saying that the State of Montana is looking for a home for EC-121T 52-3417 (N4257L). The aircraft, owned by the state, has been used for training students at the University of Montana – Helena College of Technology since July 1981 and is no longer needed. Blair’s email says that the aircraft be scrapped if a new home is not found for it. Originally the school was hoping to trade it for a more modern aircraft but the situation has changed and the aircraft now must be disposed of. It was delivered directly from Davis Monthan AFB and all or most of the electronics gear is intact. If anyone knows of an organization that has the resources to take on this project please email me and I will pass the message on to Mr. McAnally.
Airworthy and "Near" Airworthy Constellations – November 1, 2008
I received an email from Dan West last week suggesting that I add a feature to my website listing all the airworthy and "near" airworthy Constellations and Super Constellations. On a very regular basis I get questions about this subject so I decided to take Dan's suggestion and run with it. I've added an "Airworthy and Near Airworthy Constellations" page to the website with information on these aircraft. I also created a link to this page on the main page under the "SURVIVORS" heading. Thanks Dan for the suggestion!
Big Night at the Aviodrome – October 20, 2008
On Saturday October 18, 2008 the Dutch Aviodrome hosted a special event for the "Friends of the Aviodrome". The event, named "Draaivond", involved the nighttime engine startup of three of the museum's classic prop aircraft including the L749A Constellation, PB5YA Catalina and the US-2N Tracker. The evening began at 7pm with coffee and tea for the invited guests followed by a briefing on the progress of the Constellation project. The Constellation is currently airworthy and the Aviodrome is working through the bureaucratic requirements with Dutch and US aviation authorities. KLM celebrates its 90th anniversary in 2009 and it is hoped that the DC-2, DC-3 and Constellations will all be able
to partake in a flying celebration of that event.
After completion of the briefing, the 300 participants were invited outdoors to witness the engine starts. Each aircraft was well lit with spotlights, which allowed enthusiasts to photograph the three aircraft in dramatic fashion. First on the agenda was the Tracker, which started its engines and folded its wings. This was followed by the Catalina and finally the Constellation. The engines of each aircraft started up with a wonderful display of smoke and ran for about 15 minutes before being shut down. The only glitch of the night was a recalcitrant #3 engine on the Constellation that refused to start. As an extra treat for the crowd, the three running engines on the Constellation were put into reverse thrust. The lovely sound of radial engines was music to the crowd's ears and, from all accounts, the evening was a huge success. Sure wish I would have been there to witness the event! Thanks to
Michael S. Prophet for the report and photos.
Remains of L1049G Languish at the Malta Aviation Museum – October 15, 2008
Marc Lehmann visited the Malta Aviation Museum on September 16, 2008 and emailed a report and some photos of the remains of L1049G 5T-TAF. Marc noted that the wings and four engines are still stored outside next to the main hangar. There was additional wreckage at the museum that appeared to be from the Super Connie but Marc was not able to confirm whether it was from the aircraft.
L1049G CS-TLC made TAP’s final Constellation flight on September 13, 1967. The aircraft was bought by Hank Wharton and given the false registration 5T-TAF for use on the Biafran Airlift. Impounded at the airport at Luga, Malta in February 1968, it was sold in November 1972 for use as a restaurant/bar near the small town of Kirkop where it was in operation until the early 1990’s. Most of the aircraft was destroyed by fire on January 30, 1997 when vandals set it ablaze. The remains of the aircraft went to the Malta Aviation Museum shortly thereafter. Thanks to Marc for the report and photos!
End of the Line for C-121G N105CF? – October 13, 2008
I recently received an email from Del Mitchell, a U.S. based member of the Super Constellation Flyers Association (SCFA) who has been involved in salvaging parts from C-121G N105CF at Avra Valley Airport. This aircraft is owned by SCFA and the parts are being sent back to Lahr, Germany in support of the group’s airworthy C-121C HB-RSC. In her prior life, HB-RSC was N73544 and flew the US west coast airshow circuit from 1994 to 2003 with the Constellation Historical Society (CHS). The aircraft was flown to Switzerland in April 2004 and operated jointly by the SCFA and CHS until April 2007, when it was purchased outright by the SCFA and re-registered HB-RSC. Del was a long time member of the CHS and was the group’s information officer as well as crew chief on the aircraft so he is very familiar with Super Connies.
In June 2008 he and John Arp, another SCFA member, were asked to travel to Avra Valley Airport on a salvage mission. They spent a week at the airport removing flap actuator motors, relays, capacitors, hydraulic motors from the tail section, fuel filter housings from the wheel wells, brake de-boosters, a hydraulic reservoir from the nose as well as many other parts. Most of the parts came from the forward and aft baggage compartments and the nose section. Previous to this, the aircraft’s nose radome had been removed and sent to Europe as a spare for HB-RSC. This was a very visible and ominous sign that the future of the aircraft was not looking good. At this point it appears that the SCFA has no future plans for N105CF other than harvesting parts to support HB-RSC. The best that can be hoped for is that the aircraft goes to a museum for static display but there is a very real possibility that she may be broken up at Avra Valley if no suitable buyer is found. This would be a sad end to a proud aircraft. Thanks very much to Del for the update.
Photos From Maine – September 14, 2008
Work appears to be going full swing at the Auburn-Lewiston Airport on the restoration of L1649A N7316C and construction of a hangar. Jack Linnell recently sent me some photos of the hangar and aircraft taken on September 8th. From the photos it appears that work is progressing nicely on the
restoration hangar and it should be complete before the onset of the Maine winter. As reported on August 13th the radome and props have been removed from spares aircraft N8083H and many components, including engines and the empennage are obviously missing from the photo of N7316C. Many thanks to Jack for providing the photos.
Airworthy Dutch Constellation Needs a Flight Crew – September 9, 2008
The Dutch Aviodrome held a Dakota/DC-3 Fly-in at their Lelystad theme park on Saturday and Sunday September 6/7. While the weather was cooperating in Lelystad, it wasn’t so nice in other parts of Europe and many of the invited DC-3’s were unable attend. Luckily the DDA DC-3 made it in along with the Lufthansa Traditionsflug JU-52 and the Scandinavian Historic Flight A-26B Invader. Joined by the Aviodrome’s DC-2, these aircraft flew during the event and gave the crowd quite a show!
In addition to the flying exhibition, the Aviodrome fired up all four engines on their Constellation. Visitors were allowed to get up close to the aircraft during the engine run and the event was enjoyed by all. The aircraft is airworthy but, as I reported on September 5th, there are FAA bureaucratic hurdles involving air crew certification that must first be resolved. The aircraft has a US registration and therefore must have an FAA certified crew. At this point, none of the pilots or flight engineers are FAA certified on the Constellation nor do they have a way to get certified. The FAA requires that each member of the flight crew hold a US FAA license and have had a currency flight check within the previous 12 months. Since most of these folks fly with the Swiss Super Connie, this was not a problem when that aircraft had a US registration. When it was registered in Switzerland its operation, including crew certification, fell under the European Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA)/Joint Aviation Regulations (JAR’s). Bottom line is that while the flight crews are JAA certified, they are not FAA certified and there appears to be no easy way for them to receive this certification. Perhaps the FAA will relent and recognize the JAA certification but, until then, the saga continues!
Dutch Aviodrome L749A Update – September 5, 2008
While it really looked promising earlier in the year that the Aviodrome’s L749A N749NL would once again be flying this summer, it hasn’t happened. I recently received an email from Eelco Groenenberg with an explanation of what’s happening with the aircraft. Eelco had received an email from Raymond Oostergo of the Aviodrome on September 1st and he provided a quick and dirty translation of Raymond’s email. ”Just received the next mail from Raymond. A quick translation: he told me the Aviodrome is facing some non-technical problems to get the Connie into the air. Main problem is that there is no flight engineer with a 'US current' status available. The problem gets worse because there are no US engineers anymore who may conduct a "proficiency check". It looks like we are facing administrative difficulties again. However Raymond stays positive and said he is discussing the issues with the US authorities and might get her up in the air later this year. Once in the air the insurance starts at that moment and is valid for one year and will thus cover most of the flying season next year. Let's all be patient.”
Five Connies in Two Days - September 3, 2008
While planning my trip to Travis AFB to witness the final C-133 flight I decided to tack on a few days to check on the status of a few Constellation survivors. C-133A 56-1999 (N199AB) arrived safely at Travis AFB on Saturday August 30th after a 3 hour flight from McCord AFB and unofficially kicked off the Travis Air Expo being held that weekend. The next morning I headed east on Interstate 80 for the 50 mile drive to the Aerospace Museum of California, which is located at the former McClellan AFB. The base was home to the 552 AEW & C Wing from 1953 to 1976 and saw extensive EC-121 operations during that time. It’s only fitting that the museum has an EC-121 in its collection and former US Navy EC-121K BuN 141309 is on display in USAF markings. The museum has a nice collection of aircraft and the EC-121K is in reasonable shape, although it desperately needs a new left nose wheel tire. While the museum recently moved into a very nice new facility, the outside display area is limited in size with aircraft packed together making it impossible to get an unobstructed photo of the EC-121.
Next stop on my agenda was the Oakland Aviation Museum located at Oakland International Airport’s historic North Field. Graham Robson photographed the forward fuselage of Super Connie N6903C at the airport dump in October 1999 and I had emailed the curator at the museum a week before asking if she knew if it still existed. The fuselage section had been used for a number of years by Trans International Airlines as a cabin attendant trainer at Oakland Airport. Sadly, she informed me that she had checked with the airport authorities and they confirmed that the fuselage had been scrapped some years ago. The museum is home to a Short Solent Mk III with the British registration G-AKNP. The Solent, plus two others, were stored across the bay in Richmond, CA from 1967 until November 1976, when it was purchased by two brothers, Rick and Randy Grant. The other two aircraft were scrapped at Richmond prior to 1976. In August 1987, she was barged from Richmond to Oakland and towed to North Field where she was put on display. In 1990 she was towed to her present location at the Oakland Aviation Museum. The aircraft was used in a scene from "Raiders of the Lost Ark", which starred Harrison Ford and was filmed in Richmond in 1981.
I arrived at Phoenix Sunday evening and after a good night’s sleep I headed south for the 90 minute drive to Avra Valley Airport (now officially called Marana Northwest Regional Airport) to check out VC-121A N9463 “Columbine II” and C-121G N105CF. Both have been stored at Avra Valley for a number of years and N105CF continues to shed parts, presumably in support of her flying sister C-121C HB-RSC (formerly N73544) in Switzerland. The most noticeable difference since my April 2007 visit was the removal of the Super Connie’s nose radome. While the physical condition of the airplane continues to be good, the continuing removal of components is not a good sign. Columbine II appeared exactly as it had during my last visit, which is not good news. Some of the engine cowls had been removed a few years ago in anticipation of a sale but this never happened and it appears that the work stopped mid-job and has never been completed. While the new gate assures some security for the aircraft, parts lying on the ground have a way of disappearing and the aircraft should be put back together.
Last, but not least on my schedule, was EC-121H N51006 (53-535) which was moved in June 2008 from the Allied scrap yard to the storage/restoration area at the Pima Air and Space Museum. Due to the unpleasant and uncooperative folks at the scrap yard, photographing this aircraft has eluded me for many years. The aircraft is owned by HARS and is destined to be shipped to Australia some time in the future. With the permission of the HARS and museum folks I was able to finally photograph the aircraft. While it has been picked pretty much clean to support other restoration efforts, there was enough of it left to be considered a “survivor” and Ben Fisher, a Pima docent, has promised to keep me current with the status of the aircraft. The museum is working on the restoration of B-36J 52-2827, the final B-36 off the production line. There has been quite a bit of progress made since my visit in April 2007 and I’m looking forward to the seeing the finished product.
It was a good trip and I'd like to thank Bob de la Hunty, Scott Marchand, Ben Fisher and Tim Coons for helping to make it all possible.
Restoration of Lufthansa Technik Starliner Underway in Maine - August 13, 2008
The Lufthansa folks are taking advantage of summer weather and moving forward with the restoration of Starliner N7316C at Auburn-Lewiston Airport. I received an email last week from Jack Linnell who noted "there appears to be a site for a large new hangar near the FBO on the west side of the field with a large ramp in front of it". He also said that "parts seem to be flying off the Roundy airliners". I contacted Maurice Roundy, the former owner of the Starliners, and he confirmed that work had indeed begun on the project. Maurice reported that the vertical and horizontal stablilizers had been removed from N7316C along with all the fairings, flooring, ailerons, flaps, elevators and radome. In addition, the radome, propellers and instrument panels have been removed from N8083H. The engines from N7316C and N974R (currently on display at the Fantasy of Flight Museum) have been removed and sent to Ray Anderson's overhaul shop in Idaho along with the spare engines. Maurice and his wife Jane currently manage Silver Wings Aviation, an FBO located on the east side of the airport, and Maurice has not been involved in the project. Work is being performed by employees of Tulsa, Oklahoma based BizJet International, a subsidiary of Lufthansa Technik AG. If the construction that Jack noted is indeed the Lufthansa hangar, chances are good it will be completed before the onset of the cold Maine winter weather. Thanks to Jack and Maurice for their reports.
August 15th Update – I received an email from Eelco Groenenberg today informing me that the Auburn-Lewiston Airport website had the following announcement. "The Lufthansa Hangar is currently under construction and is located adjacent to the terminal building. Once completed Lufthansa Technik North American Holding Corp workers will begin reconstructing one of the three Constellations that were recently purchased."
EC-121H 53-535 Moved From Tucson Scrapyard – July 29, 2008
As reported on the HARS website, EC-121H 53-535 was towed from her longtime home at the old Allied Sales Yard to a storage area adjacent to the Pima Air and Space Museum. A crew from HARS arrived at Tucson in February 2008 and installed a nosegear assembly, engine cowlings and whatever else they found in the immediate area belonging to the aircraft. She was towed across Valencia Road in June 2008 and, while HARS is exploring
the possibility of moving the entire fuselage to Australia, they may ultimately only move the cockpit section. The HARS website goes on to say that the project is being sponsored by the local company Thomas & Coffey and the aircraft is marked with their logo. The Pima Air & Space Museum has no plans on displaying the aircraft and it is not visible from the public aircraft display areas.
August 22th Update – I recently received some additional photos of the EC-121H. The photos were taken by Ben Fisher on July 1st and forwarded to me by Ernie Newman.
Swiss Super Connie Cockpit Simulator Nearing Completion – July 21, 2008
C-121C serial number 54-0183 was delivered to USAF at Charleston AFB in April 1956. She flew with the MATS Atlantic Division and Pennsylvania Air National Guard for over 21 years until being sent to the desert for storage in 1977. Sold at auction in 1983, the aircraft wound up flying for Aerochago as HI-548CT for a number of years before being retired at Santo Domingo, DR in late 1991. During that time she was a frequent visitor to the old Miami “Corrosion Corner” hauling cargo between the United States and the Caribbean. HI-548CT was severely damaged in September 1998 during Hurricane George when it was struck by C-46 HI-503CT. The remains were scrapped in 1999 and Francisco Agullo, of Super Constellation Flyers Association fame, salvaged the cockpit section and shipped it to Switzerland.
In early 2006 Christian Müller began work on restoring the cockpit section as a simulator and he recently sent me some photos of his handiwork. Christian described the photo of the interior of the cockpit. “It is starting to look like a real cockpit now since the seats are installed. Some parts are still missing and others have to be cleaned but the end of the work is coming in sight. The rack in the lower left corner is where the computers will be installed. This is the only "not original" part in the cockpit.”
He also sent a photo of the exterior of the cockpit section and it is starting to look like an aircraft again. Christian reports: “Here is an exterior picture I made right after painting. In the foreground you can see the F/E desk before restoration. This is how all parts were before I restored them. The window section is a part of the original airplane while the rest is made by myself. The simulator is mounted on wheels because it is intended to be transported to airshows and other events. So people can try to fly the Connie themselves after they made a round trip with the real bird. But there is still a lot of work to do... I'm now in the third year of building.” Many thanks to Christian for sharing the photos and providing an update on this very exciting project. Hopefully it will be out on the airshow circuit with Super Connie HB-RSC in the near future.
AMC Museum Super Connie Restoration Project Update – July 18, 2008
The Air Mobility Command Museum at Dover AFB is finishing up the restoration of its “faux” C-121C Super Constellation. This aircraft is a civilian L1049E and bucks the trend of recent years in being a civilian aircraft that was restored to represent a military aircraft. The aircraft was originally delivered to Cubana in November 1954 but was soon sold to Seaboard & Western Airlines as N1005C. The Super Connie was leased out to a number of airlines until being sold to Capitol International Airways in mid-1966. Only in service with Capitol for a little more than a year, she was placed in storage at Wilmington, Delaware and sold shortly thereafter to Jim Flannery who disassembled the aircraft and placed it atop his restaurant in Penndel, Pennsylvania. There the aircraft stood for almost 30 years until July 1997 when it was removed to make way for a new Amoco gas station and donated to the AMC Museum. The old girl arrived at Dover AFB in October 1997 where it was stored in pieces until the summer of 2003 when it was reassembled by a crew from
World Aircraft Recovery, Ltd. Both internal and external restoration continued at a steady pace until the aircraft was finally painted in period MATS colors in the summer of 2007 with the false military serial number 40315. During the past year, forty passenger seats were obtained, refurbished with authentic military upholstery and installed. The museum plans to use the aircraft as a classroom for their summer Aviation Camps and other educational activities. A much needed front radome has recently been located and purchased. The museum has been unable to locate an extension plug to mate with the radome so one will be fabricated and hopefully by this time next year the aircraft will look like a true C-121C. The folks at the museum deserve a lot of credit for having transformed a derelict airframe into a credible representation of a military C-121C transport aircraft. It was an outstanding effort by all involved!
Museum of Flight Super Connie Ready for the Paint Shop – July 16, 2008
Bob Bogash updated his website this week on the restoration of CF-RNR/CF-TGE at Empire Aero Center (EAC) in Rome, New York. This aircraft has been undergoing restoration for about a year at EAC and was recently rolled out into the bright sunshine to wait its turn in the paint shop queue, where it will be painted in 1950’s era Trans Canada Airlines colors. Reassembly and restoration of the aircraft is essentially complete and after the aircraft is painted she will be disassembled and shipped to the Museum of Flight in Seattle for reassembly and display. Considering what they started with, the folks at EAC deserve a lot of credit for the job they've done. For additional information about the restoration of this classic aircraft, Bob’s website contains a multitude of photos and text tracing the restoration project from disassembly at Toronto in January 2006 to its rollout two weeks ago at EAC.
Constellation News Update – June 30, 2008
There is encouraging news from the folks at the Airline History Museum in Kansas City about their Super Connie N6937C. Since suffering a #2 engine failure in July 2005 the aircraft has been grounded. The engine has been replaced and Larry Lillge, the Museum’s Director, reports that recently all engines have been successfully ground tested. The museum is in the process of hiring a new maintenance director who will be charged with maintaining the aircraft. He is a retired TWA/AA senior mechanic and it is hoped that all of the maintenance checks can be completed this summer in preparation for FAA certification. Next on the agenda is flight crew certification, which will involve check rides in the aircraft. Anyone who flies these days is feeling pain at the gas pump and with the Super Connie burning 500 gallons per hour, at $6.00 per gallon, the museum faces a major challenge in keeping the thirsty airliner fed with gas and oil. The museum has set a goal to get the aircraft back in the air later this year and to rejoin the airshow circuit in 2009. She will make an appearance at the Kansas City Air Show on August 23-24 but this only involves towing her across the field, where she will be joined by the museum’s M404 and DC-3. The Airline History Museum is a volunteer not-for-profit organization and depends on contributions from its members and the public to keep its operations going. If you would like to make a contribution to the museum, please contact them via their fundraising email address.
News from the Dutch Aviodrome is not as encouraging. After successfully testing all four engines in early June, there were high hopes of getting Constellation N749NL out on the European airshow circuit this summer. Her coming out event was to be the RAF Waddington International Airshow on July 5th and 6th but news regarding the cancellation of her appearance was posted on the airshow's website on June 23rd. “It is regretted that we have had to withdraw the Lockheed Constellation from the flying display. The Dutch engineers are having problems bring her to a flying condition and are unable to make the Waddington International Air Show. We keep our fingers crossed for next year.” Hopefully the problems are temporary and the aircraft will be flying later this summer.
Until a June 16, 2008 Wall Street Journal article, there had been little recent information regarding Lufthansa’s L1649A Starliner restoration project. Not much new was reported in the article other than the the Germans are planning to install a glass cockpit in the aircraft. Wow…what a cockpit upgrade that will be! Maurice Roundy reports that a hangar will be built at the Auburn-Lewiston Airport after which restoration of L1649A N7316C will begin in earnest. Lufthansa plans on performing what is essentially a heavy check of the airframe including the possibility of removing the cargo doors and re-installing passenger doors! The engines from Fantasy of Flight based L1649A N974R have been removed and sent to Ray Anderson for overhaul. This makes sense since these engines were last run during the ferry flight from Sanford to Fantasy of Flight in October 2001 and represent the best of the remaining engines. Good luck to the folks at Lufthansa on this fascinating project.
Dutch Aviodrome Successfully Tests All Four Connie Engines Today - June 7, 2008
I received an email from Michael S. Prophet today informing me that the Aviodrome Museum successfully tested all four engines today on their L749A Constellation N749NL. Michael reports “I went to the Aviodrome Museum today to watch the first public viewing of the C-121A Constellation. Under a scorching sun (26 degrees C) and beautiful sunshine all engines were successfully test run. The Connie ran for about 30 minutes and performed all the necessary test on engines and prop reverse.” Congratulations to the Aviodrome and I’m looking forward to news of a test flight in the near future. Thanks Michael for sharing the good news.
Dutch Aviodrome Connie One Step Closer to Flight? - May 19, 2008
I received an email today from Raymond Oostergo of the Dutch Aviodrome with some photos of the organization's Constellation N749NL being moved out of the hangar at Lelystad Airport. Raymond reports that the engines are just about ready to be run and from the photos its obvious that the aircraft is in great condition. Can a first flight be far off? Thanks to Raymond for the update and Klaas for the photos.
NARF Volunteers Restoring EC-121K/WV-2 BuNo 141297 at Museum of Aviation in Warner Robins, GA - May 16, 2008
I visited the Museum of Aviation at Robins AFB on 10-11 May 2008 and met with a group of volunteers from the Naval Aircraft Restoration Foundation (NARF). The group meets at the museum every year during the last three weeks of May and the first three weeks of October to work on the museum’s EC-121K and P2V-7. Dr. Gerald Durbin, the group’s Secretary-Treasurer expects 30 volunteers to contribute 2,000 man-hours towards the restoration of these two aircraft during this year’s May get-together. May 10th was the first day of this year's May event and a number of NARF members had already arrived and parked their RV's and campers in the museum's restoration area next to the EC-121K and P2V-7. Its a nice setup and its a win-win for all involved.
EC-121K BuNo 141297 was delivered to the US Navy as a stock WV-2 in February 1956. The aircraft only spent a few years in regular Navy service before being transferred to the Naval Research Lab and based at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland. Most of the standard electronic gear aft of the navigator’s station was removed and the aircraft was extensively modified during its service with NRL. The aircraft was retired after 23 years of service and flown to Davis Monthan AFB for storage in August 1979. After 8+ years stored at Davis Monthan, she was made airworthy for one last flight and was flown to Robins AFB on November 20, 1987 for display at the Museum of Aviation.
A few years ago Gerald Durbin and a group of dedicated US Navy veterans calling themselves the Willy Victory Group approached the museum with a proposal to help restore the EC-121K. The museum gave its approval and has provided the group enthusiastic support ever since. Much has been accomplished on the aircraft including cleaning and bird screening the engines, installation of 115V electricity throughout the aircraft, window replacement, installation of new carpeting, replacement of all six landing gear tires and placement of the aircraft on stands. Since the rear of the aircraft is essentially devoid of the consoles typically installed on WV-2’s/EC-121’s, there is much still to do. None of the consoles are available and the group is building authentic replicas for installation. Dr. Durbin has visited the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola three times and has spent many hours meticulously documenting the location and dimensions of components, switches and gauges on the consoles of EC-121K BuNo 143221. His sketches fill three notebooks. Fabrication of the console frames and sheet metal is almost complete after which work will move forward on replicating many of the knobs, switches and other components. A number of electronic components, common to both EC-121 and P2V aircraft, were salvaged from the P2V’s stored at Greybull, Wyoming and will used on the faux consoles. In addition to the consoles, the group will attempt to unfreeze the #1 engine, clean and oil the remaining engines and give the old girl a good bath. Restoration should be completed in about 3 years and the aircraft will be painted in white over gray USAF colors. The museum plans on moving the aircraft closer to the museum's main building and hard-wire it for electricity before opening it up for public display. The museum just completed its WWII hangar and a long term goal is to build hangars for all of the museum’s aircraft.
The groups other project at the museum is completing the restoration of the P2V-7 (SP-2H) that is currently displayed as a USAF RB-69A. The USAF operated 7 of these aircraft for a short time on electronic eavesdropping missions and the museum’s aircraft is BuNo 147954. NARF has salvaged needed parts from a number of P2V’s stored at Greybull, Wyoming and has all the components on hand necessary to bring the aircraft back to its original configuration. Dr. Durbin expects that their work on this aircraft to be completed in about a year. The aircraft is currently painted black and it would also be nice if the museum could paint the aircraft in the authentic Navy seaplane dark blue colors carried by the RB-69A’s. Time permitting, NARF has also volunteered to wash the exterior of the C-54 parked next to the Super Connie. The removal of many years of accumulated mildew would do wonders for the appearance of this aircraft.
NARF is also attempting to move donated P2V-7 fuselage N125HP (former BuNo 135588) from Greybull to the museum, where it will be put on display inside one of the exhibition hangars. Many P2V spare parts were transported from Greybull a few years ago but the group needs to raise $20,000 to move the fuselage to Georgia. NARF is in the final stages of receiving its tax exempt 503(3)(c) status and would appreciate any and every donation. If you are interested in making a tax-exempt donation to this worthy cause, please contact Dr. Gerald Durbin via email and he will be in touch with you.
Museum of Flight Super Connie Restoration Project Update – May 6, 2008
I visited Empire Aero Center at the former Griffiss AFB on May 5, 2008 to check on the progress of the Museum of Flight's Super Connie restoration project. As usual, the folks at EAC were most accommodating and the highlight of my visit was a birds-eye view of the aircraft from a cherry picker!
After two months stored outside on the EAC ramp, CF-RNR/CF-TGE was back in the hangar. She had been towed inside the morning of my visit and work had resumed in earnest. The main event for the day was the installation of the empennage. Four bolts hold it in place and they were resisting the work crew’s best efforts to get them lined up. After a bit of a struggle, the crew finessed the large triple tail into place and it was secured. Workers were also busy preparing the outer wings panels for installation, which was scheduled for Tuesday May 6th. Many road trips and years of neglect had taken its toll on the old girl and quite a few sheet metal patches were evident. Where sheet metal fairing and cowling parts were missing or damaged, the EAC crew fabricated replacements many times using the damaged part as a guide or finding a twin on the other side of the aircraft.
The aircraft has been stripped of most paint and once all the pieces are back into place, the aircraft will be painted in its original Trans Canada Airlines markings. Even after stripping the many layers of paint, remnants of the original TCA markings survive and these will be used as a guide by the paint shop at EAC. Air Canada is covering the cost of the paint job, which ought to be spectacular when completed. Once completed, the aircraft will be disassembled and shipped back to Seattle for reassembly and display at the Museum of Flight at Boeing Field. Museum volunteers, headed by project manager Bob Bogash, will reassemble the aircraft including the installation of engines, which have not been installed on the aircraft for many years. Getting the aircraft back to Seattle is another challenge for Bob. A number of options are being considered and I’m confident that Bob will have something worked out in July when the restoration will be complete.
I’d like to thank the folks at EAC, including Kevin Lacey and Randy Buol, for their hospitality. I’d also like to thank Bob Bogash for allowing me to be part of this very exciting project. Look for an article on this restoration project in one of your favorite aviation mags in the fall!
Good News from the Chanute Air Museum – April 25, 2008
Some very welcome news from the Chanute Air Museum in Rantoul, Illinois was recently posted on the organization’s website.
“Thanks to the outpouring of support that the Chanute Air Museum has received in the last two months, we are able to keep the museum in operation. We are not totally healthy in a financial state, but we are able to pay our operating costs in the near future. There is a new board in place that will concentrate on the sustained support that we need. Again, the support shown by our members and friends has been outstanding, and we thank you for your generous contributions. If you would still like to help us financially, your membership and donations are important. Our address is Chanute Air Museum, 1011 Pacesetter Dr., Rantoul, IL 61866. Please include your name and full address with your donation.”
Good luck to the museum in their effort to keep the doors open!
Yanks Air Museum Needs EC-121 Tech Manuals - April 24, 2008
The Yanks Air Museum is in need of aircraft specific manuals (flight, maintenance, etc) pertaining to their EC-121T aircraft serial number 53-0548. In addition, the museum also needs the following tech orders:
TO 1C-121(R) D-4 Manual, Illustrated Parts Breakdown
TO 1C-121(R) D-6 Manual, Technical Manual of Aircraft Inspection Requirements
This aircraft is currently parked, in good condition, at Camarillo Airport in California awaiting a ferry flight to the museum’s home base in Chino, California. If you have a copy of any of these documents, Enrico Bottieri would very much like to hear from you. Please email him or telephone him at 714-964-4864.
Dutch Aviodrome Hoping to Fly N749NL This Summer - April 7, 2008
I received an update yesterday from Raymond Oostergo of the Dutch Aviodrome regarding the status of the organization's gorgeous Connie. The aircraft hasn't flown since July 5, 2004 when it's #3 engine suffered a failure during a test flight. While a serviceable replacement engine was salvaged from the former MATS Connie in April 2006, high insurance costs have kept the aircraft grounded. Raymond reported that the museum is hoping to have the airplane back in the air sometime in June in time to participate in the European airshow circuit this summer. In fact, the RAF Waddington International Airshow has already booked the Connie for its show on July 5th and 6th.
The Aviodrome recently received funding in the form of a lottery five-year grant and some of these funds will be used to cover part of the exorbitant insurance costs. They have also initiated a fundraising campaign which is currently soliciting donations from individuals and from corporate sponsors. In the meantime, the maintenance crew has been very busy preparing N749NL for her upcoming flight. The four props were removed this winter and the scheduled AD inspections completed. Flap bearings have been replaced and a new hydraulic test stand completed. The stand will be used to test the aircraft's entire hydraulic system. All three landing gear assemblies have been painted white and a new Mode S transponder has been installed to comply with European regulations. After the props have been installed, the aircraft will be moved out of the hangar so that engine tests and a gear swing can be completed. If you'd like to contribute the museum's effort to get the Connie flying again, log on to their website. Good luck to Raymond and all of the folks at the Aviodrome.
More Bad News from Rantoul – March 4, 2008
More news about EC-121K BuNo 141311 and it’s not good. The National Museum of Naval Aviation (NMNA) in Pensacola received word last week that the Chanute Aerospace Museum in Rantoul, IL was experiencing financial problems and could possibly be declaring bankruptcy as early as April 2008. The US Navy (NMNA) owns the Super Connie, which has been on loan to the Rantoul museum for many years. NMNA has decided that, in light of recent developments, a new home must be found for the veteran aircraft. They will only loan it to a legitimate 501.c.3 corporation acting as a museum and the museum is responsible for moving it to a new location. They have also ruled out leaving the aircraft at Rantoul in the care of a volunteer group like the Willy Victor Group. They are considering moving it to another museum even if the Chanute museum somehow manages to stay open since officials feel that the aircraft is not being properly maintained. This was not the case during my 2005 and 2006 visits when the aircraft was very well maintained by museum volunteers. Obviously, disassembling and moving an aircraft this size is not an easy or inexpensive task but it can be done. Worldwide Aircraft Recovery make a living disassembling, assembling and moving large aircraft including the AMC Museum’s Super Connie and C-133B,the Air Force Museum’s C-99, a number of C-97's and many others. A very sad tale about a very proud aircraft…let’s hope for better news in the coming weeks.
Museum’s Financial Problems Cloud EC-121’s Future – March 2, 2008
When I visited the Chanute Air Museum back in August 2005 the future seemed secure for the museum’s EC-121K BuNo 141311. The aircraft is actually owned by the National Museum of Naval Aviation in Pensacola and is on loan to the Chanute Aerospace Museum for display. A team of dedicated volunteers had restored her back from near-derelict condition and they were providing the regular TLC needed to keep her looking good. Portable air conditioning had been installed and the aircraft was open for tours on a regular basis. Rol Barger, a museum volunteer, gave me a personal tour of the Super Connie that day and we have kept in touch since. He contacted me last week with the distressing news that the museum was in dire financial straits and that it could very well be closing in the near future. A few days later he sent me a newspaper article, which detailed the sad state of affairs at the museum. The museum has appealed for donations on its website and is apparently having some success in acquiring funds to cover immediate needs. Rol said that members of the Willy Victor Group are exploring alternatives to ensure that the Super Connie is protected from vandals and receives regular maintenance if the museum does, in fact, close its doors. In addition to the EC-121K, the museum has a number of interesting aircraft in its collection including the prototype B-47, a C-97G, VC-47D and C-133A.
Al-Jaber AFB Super Connie N11SR Photos – Feburary 2, 2008
Ray Romero recently sent me a batch of photos of the remains of L1049G N11SR taken at the Al-Jaber AFB in Kuwait on January 27, 2008. The aircraft was originally delivered to Qantas in March 1955 as VH-EAB “Southern Horizon”. It was traded-in to Boeing in March 1963 for Boeing 707’s and went through many owners before being impounded at Kuwait International Airport in June 1976. The Kuwaiti Ministry of Defense bought the aircraft in June 1983 and the aircraft was moved to Al-Jaber AFB for firefighting
practice. What was left of the aircraft was just about destroyed during the 1991 Gulf War. The aircraft is easily recognizable as a Connie and LAV markings still adorn one of the tip tanks! Ray, who appears in the first photo next to the vertical stabilizer, was a contractor at the air base and has just recently returned to the US. Welcome home Ray and many thanks for sharing the photos.
French Military Authorities Turn Down Restoration Group’s Request – January 27, 2008
I received a distressing email on January 23rd from Pierre Biron, who is a volunteer with the “Amicale du Super Constellation” organization. This organization is restoring L1049G F-BRAD/F-BGNJ at Nantes Airport and, as reported by this website on January 17, 2008, their restoration hangar is located within a restricted military area of the airport. The group had hoped to receive a “Temporary Occupation Authorization” from the military authorities allowing them continued access to the hangar and their aircraft but disappointing news came last week. Apparently the military wants to demolish the hangar and has demanded that the Constellation be removed the hangar and moved elsewhere on the airport. In addition, an AN-2 and Nortalas parked outside the hangar must be moved. This decision has the organization scrambling for a place to store the three aircraft and to complete restoration of the Super Connie. Good luck to Pierre and the group in their quest to find a suitable home for the three aircraft and a big thumbs down to the French military authorities for making life so difficult for these dedicated aircraft enthusiasts.
Starliner Restoration Update – January 21, 2008
Lufthansa made it official on January 10, 2008 when it announced, on the Lufthansa Technik Group website, that the Hamburg based aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) company would be spearheading the Starliner restoration effort. The restoration will be performed in the United States at the Auburn-Lewiston Airport by current and former Lufthansa employees and local “experts”. Acceptance flights and training of flight crew will also be performed in the United States with the ferry flight to Germany tentatively planned for 2010. I spoke to Maurice Roundy on January 20th and asked him if he knew which aircraft the Germans planned on restoring. He said it was his understanding that N7316C, currently stored at Auburn-Lewiston Airport, would be restored. He said that Lufthansa was anxious to start the restoration as soon as possible and he confirmed that they would be building a hangar at the Maine airport. The restoration will be extensive and will involve essentially doing a D-Check on the aircraft. A D-Check normally involves removing everything from the aircraft that can be removed and replacing with new or rebuilt components. I asked him about the possibility of moving N974R from Florida to Maine and he said he was unaware of any plans to do so. He said that, between the three aircraft, there were enough parts to restore two of them to an airworthy condition. Maurice is currently in discussion with Lufthansa regarding his involvement in the restoration project and should know more in the near future. Having participated in the restoration of all three aircraft during the past twenty-five years, Maurice Roundy is an encyclopedia of knowledge regarding L1649A Starliner aircraft. Hopefully he will be part of this very exciting restoration. I’ve attached some photos of the three aircraft from the past. The photos of N7316C and N8083H are from a visit a made to Maine right after a severe ice storm in January 1998. The photo of N974R was taken at Sanford Airport a few minutes prior to the October 19, 2001 flight from Sanford to Fantasy of Flight Museum in Polk, Florida.
NASM C-121C 54-0177 (N1104W) Restoration Update – January 19, 2008
I received an email from Barry Smith on Monday January 14th saying that members of the West Virginia Air National Guard unit at Martinsburg, WV would be at Udvar-Hazy on Wednesday and Thursday installing decals on the museum's C-121C. I gave Barry a call and told him that I was most definitely interesting coming out to the museum to witness the event. I arrived 1pm on Wednesday afternoon and the crew was getting ready to install the "US Air Force" decals on the left front fuselage. Using official USAF
drawings as guidance, the crew had used a laser level to align the decals and by the end of the day the task was well underway. I stopped by the museum on Saturday morning and all of the markings were in place except the upper fuselage "West Virginia Air National Guard" markings. The museum has two of the four propellers ready for installation and is waiting for all four to be completed before installing them. Work is also progressing on the rudders and elevators and restoration of the exterior should be completed in the next few months.
See Constellation News Archive - 2007 For Additional News
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