Constellation by Martyn Chorlton

By Martyn Chorlton

The Lockheed Constellation was once an plane that broke the mildew whilst it got here to early airliner layout. the traditional process of a directly, tubular fuselage and a traditional tail and wing association remains to be the attempted and validated confi guration of all airliners to this present day. operating to a suite of specifi cations provided by means of enterprise rich person Howard Hughes for using TWA, Lockheed’s leader fashion designer ‘Kelly’ Johnson created a piece of paintings with curves all through which had by no means been designed into an plane, under no circumstances an airliner, sooner than, or due to the fact. Lockheed’s layout technique might fee them in the end their major rivals, Douglas, might move down the extra conventional airliner layout direction and attain a lot better revenues for that reason. The contract with Hughes over the plane may additionally prevent household revenues as an important caveat used to be that no Constellations will be bought to airways within the united states till years after the airliner had entered provider with TWA. Understandably, a few operators regarded in other places for his or her post-war wishes and Douglas benefi tted for this reason.

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Unpressurised, the Speedpak had a thick rubber seal which ensured a tight fit against the fuselage. Fitted with four small wheels on the bottom, the unit was fairly manoeuvrable and could be loaded and unloaded away from the aircraft. It had its own integral lift system, making raising and lowering relatively easy and was fitted with its own fire-detection and firefighting systems which were linked to the cockpit via electrical connections. The Speedpak could be fitted to the L-049 through to the L-749A series and the biggest user was Eastern Air Lines.

Operating with Navy Squadron VW-4, these weather-seeking Super Constellations flew from the US Naval Air Station at Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico, and from Jacksonville, Florida. The world’s fastest propellerdriven transport Meanwhile, the proposed fitting of four turboprop engines to a Super Constellation certainly interested the US Navy. It was decided, at Burbank, in 1952, to produce a Super Constellation powered by four 5,500ehp Pratt & Whitney YT34-P-12A turboprop engines, driving Hamilton Standard Turbo Hydromatic propellers, of 15ft in diameter, featuring three paddle-type blades, each 2ft wide.

The Lockheed-built sentry ‘sees’ half again as far as any current radar plane, has vertical coverage from sea level to 100,000ft. Looking like a flying saucer riding piggy-back on an airplane, the big radome houses antenna for a super-vision electronic eye able to do the work of dozens of ground radar stations. (Lockheed News Bureau period caption dated 1956) MILITARY 79th AEWS (Homestead, Florida), Lockheed EC-121T Warning Star, 54-2301 at the RAF Mildenhall Air Fete on August 27, 1978. One of the last Warning Stars in USAF service, this aircraft was originally built as a RC-121, re-designated as a EC-121D in 1962 before being converted into a EC-121T.

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