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48-0613 —
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48-0613 —



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Alan Brown
Is this the restored Presidential Connie? Looks like it is being flown by the Confederate Air Force out of Texas.
Still one of the most beautiful aircraft ever to grace the skies.
I don't think this is one of Eisenhower's Constellations. Columbine I, the first one he used (SN: 48-0614) before he was president, is currently at the Pima Air and Space Museum in Tucson, AZ. I have a picture of it here:


The second one, Columbine II (SN: 48-0610), and the first to be "Air Force One," is currently at KAVQ and can be seen in the background of this picture:


Columbine III is currently (as far as I can determine) at the National
Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton, OH. I don't know if it is airworthy.
More to the point..."When do we get to fly in it!???!"
Columbine II call sign 8610, untill she had a near miss over NYC and became "Ike's "USAF/I now sits in AWAKS Bone Yard with all sorts of impediments. The least of which is engine cowling missing and weeds up to her a--. She is so far from Air Worthy you'll be a nice shade of blue before she even taxis. Sorry Allan, no cigar. Agree with Mike, she still, being a dowager, has her pride, but has lost a lot of her looks. There are no AF/I air worthy birds even approaching V1 let alone V2...........C
the 1 thing which has always fascinated me about this lady is how does she put all nosewheel away,beautiful girl.
Bill A
What an amazing design -- still beautiful after all these years!
Colin Seftel
It's Douglas MacArthur's plane! From wikipedia.com:
C-121A serial number 48-0613 (Bataan) is on display at Planes of Fame in Valle, Arizona. This Constellation is in flying condition. According to the Museum's website, this aircraft was used as a personal transport by General Douglas MacArthur during the Korean War, and later by other Army general officers until 1966, when it was retired and transferred to the U.S. space agency NASA. After its acquisition by Planes of Fame, it was restored to its original configuration with a "VIP interior."
Sounds corny but; "They Don't Make Them Like That Anymore!" I understand she's in Chino for a multiple year restoration.

Those of us at Chino are glad to have her. I spent about 30 minutes with this lady Sunday and what's not to like? Few airports have a flyable Connie, now Chino has two.
Chas DeVine
Super Connie's and Airstreams - America can put aluminum to good use.
Anyone know the reason the Texas symbol is on the rudder?
I live outside of Basel, Switzerland and Breitling's Connie flies over a few times per year. I hear the sound from inside the house and run outside to see if I can spot her. Aint nothing sounds like that Connie!
Sure would like to see a 1649 Connie up and flying again, That plane was the real Queen of the piston era!
"Bataan" was purchased by Lewis Air Legends of Texas. Plans are to make it airworthy and work the airshow circuit.
Mick Green
The Connies were REALLY beautiful in the air but on the ground with all the undercart (especially the nose wheel) hanging out the best you can say is that it was beautiful in the eye of the beholder!
First of all it's 8613 (not 0813) and still one of the most beautiful aircraft ever built. Also this is an excellent photograph. Congratulations to whomever took it!
Hugh Somsen
The ultimate in US design. Thank you Howard Hughes. Brilliant! I was 8 when I first saw one flying for TWA out of LAX. Loved them ever since.
Ted Sollivan
From 1958 thru 1960 I flew on Air Force RC-121 radar early warning aircraft, a version of the Super Connie. Accumulated over 2000 hours air time. Great aircraft. Last RC 121 I saw fly was at Miramar Marine Air in San Diego about 12 years ago..
Greg Zelna
What a beaut ! My father flew Connies for many years in the Navy, "72 pistons trying to swap places" as he used to refer to it........ Flew Willie Victors out of Argentia as part of the DEW, our Cold War airborne eyes and ears. Deployed to Antarctica (Operation Deep Freeze) a couple times flying the Phoenix 6 , BUNO 131624. Even flew one around Cuba probing the perimeter as they call it, gathering electronic intel on the Russian deployments during the '62 Missile Crisis. He shared some great stories of flying that beautiful old airplane, the pinnacle of reciprocating engine aircraft technology, cut a bit short with the advent of the jet.
jack ogle
The Bataan was at Fort Rucker during the 70's 80's. We used to sit in the cockpit and wish we were flying it when I was in flight school.
ERNST LINNEMANN for some reason all these C-121s some of which went on to become VC-121 for VIP usage bear tail number starting with 8610 but in reality they were S/N 80610.
In the early 70's I caught a hop on one, that was being used for the Capital Flyer route on the east coast from Andrews to Charleston. A very memorable ride.
Art Troutman
Gentlemen! Thank you for your kind words about my 'baby'! I started my 37-year Lockheed career - fresh out of the Engineering College of the University of Detroit - in July of '51 - as an Avionics Design Engineer in the Radio Group of the Connie Engineering Design Project. I had the privilege of heading up the avionics design aspects of the Columbine III -and of the electrical & avionics design aspects of the bailed TWA Super Connie for the personal use of Howard Hughes. BTW We used it as a test-bed to develop prop synchrophasing - now an industry standard. I spent my last 22 years in the SkunkWorks.
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