The creation of a legend
The Lockheed Constellation – the story of this legend in air travel began on a hot summer's day in 1939, when the charismatic entrepreneur, Howard Hughes, unveiled his plan for a fast passenger aircraft at the Lockheed aircraft works. The "Connie– would enable his TWA airline to fly non-stop between the east and west coasts of the USA for the first time.
Lockheed took the bait, and from the first rough sketches produced by Howard Hughes, it created what was probably the most elegant and most famous passenger aircraft of all time. As the final model of the long Constellation series which went into production in 1956, the L-1649A Super Star is the technological high point while at the same time signifying the grand finale of the era of long-range, piston-powered air travel.
At a time which was to prove the verge of the dawn of the jet era, the full technological wisdom of aircraft construction of the day flowed into it. And Super Star pilots confirmed it: if ever the industry saying that aircraft with a beautiful form also fly well, applied to any aircraft type, then it was the Lockheed L-1649A!
Earlier models in the Constellation series may already have been pioneers in world air travel, but the 44 L-1649A's that were built opened up new horizons with their extreme range of up to 11,300 km. With these aircraft it was now possible for the first time to fly long distances, such as Hamburg to New York, with a full payload, yet without having to make the refueling stop which had been so essential up to then.