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In 1939, competitors TWA and Pan Am encouraged Lockheed to design and build the L049 a 40-passenger airliner. However, the attack on Pearl Harbor drew the U.S. into WWII, halting the production of commercial aircraft. Consequently, all "Connie's" on the assembly line were re-designated C-69's and accepted by the USAAF.
The Connie had a long and glorious career, during an era of affordable, elegant air travel. Her unique features included a dolphin like fuselage, her huge size (a larger wingspan than a 737) and a triple tail design that allowed her to fit into existing hangers.
She is more powerful than 8 diesel locomotives and holds the 1957 record for a non-stop passenger flight of 23 hours 19 minutes. The fuel burned on this flight would supply the average family car for ten years.
On April 17, 1944 Howard Hughes and TWA President Jack Frye, flew from Burbank, California to Washington, D.C. in 6 hours and 57 min. On the return trip, they stopped at Wright Field to give Orville Wright his last flight.
Pan Am continued the first regularly scheduled round-the-world air service "Flight #101" for the next fifty years (1947-1997).
Before satellites, we relied on the EC-121T's on-board radar and surveillance systems to detect hostile aircraft, monitor telemetry for satellites, missile and space shots, and gather weather, communications and radar signals. She carried a crew of 31 men, the largest crew the Navy ever flew aboard an aircraft.
|MFG: Lockheed Aircraft Corp.
First Produced: 1951
Powerplant: (4) Wright R-3350-34s
Horsepower: 3,400 each
Service Ceiling: 25,000 ft
Cruise: 225 mph
Top Speed: 299 mph
Range: 4,250 miles
Empty Weight: 69,210 lbs
Gross Weight: 143,000 lbs
Wing Span: 123’
Wing Area: 1,650 sq. ft
Number Built: 856 C-121s