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United States' Lockheed C-69 Constellation transport, Nickname: "Connie"

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Lockheed C-69 Constellation transport:
United States' Lockheed C-69 Constellation transport
Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook
Lockheed C-69 Constellation transport:
United States' Lockheed C-69 Constellation transport
Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook
Lockheed C-69 Constellation transport:
United States' Lockheed C-69 Constellation transport

Design

The Lockheed Constellation was designed to meet a Trans World Airlines (TWA) airliner requirement for an intercontinental aircraft in 1939.

Landing Gear

The Constellation had a tricycle landing gear.

Tail

The tail was composed of three fins.

Cabin

The cabin was pressurized.

Engines

The engines had problems. They were so bad that C-69 flights outside the United States was prohibited.

Prototype

The first L-049 / C-69 flew on January 9, 1943, by Eddie Allen, a Boeing test pilot.

Production

TWA ordered 9 in 1940. Pan American and KLM ordered 75. Before any were flown the project was turned over the the United States Army Air Corps.

The USAAC ordered 180 / 260 by late 1941. Only 14 C-69s and the C-69C was delivered during the war. The first being in July 1943. The rest were turned over to BOAC and TWA after VJ Day.

  • Lockheed L-049: 1
  • Lockheed C-69: 21
  • Lockheed C-69C: 1
  • Total: 22
    • Manufacturer: Lockheed Aircraft Company
  • Postwar: 856

Variants

  • Lockheed L-049: Prototype.
  • Lockheed C-69: Originally the TWA and Pan Am order.
  • Lockheed C-69A: 30 were ordered. Could carry 100 troops. Never built.
  • Lockheed C-69B: 180 were ordered. Could carry 94 troops. Never built.
  • Lockheed C-69C: VIP 43 passenger transport.
  • Lockheed C-69D: Could carry 57. Never built.

Usage

Record Flight

On April 16, 1944, a C-69 flew from Burbank, California to Washington, D.C. in 6 hours, 57 minutes, 51 seconds. There was even bad weather along the journey.

After World War II

In 1948 an improved Constellation, the C-121 was constructed. One of them was General Eisenhower's aircraft, the "Columbine I" when he commanded NATO forces. General MacArthur had one called the "Bataan."

In 1951 the design was upgraded to the C-121C with 3,500 HP engines. One was the "Columbine III" which was President Eisenhower's aircraft.

1960s

The Lockheed Constellations were used into the 1960s by airlines.

Specifications

  Lockheed C-69 Constellation
Type Transport
Crew 4 or 5, 5, 4 - 6
Passengers 47, 60, 64
Engine (Type) 4: Wright Cyclone
4: Wright R-3350 Cyclone
4: Wright R-3350-35 Cyclone
Cylinders Radial 18
Cooling Air
HP 2,200 each
Propeller blades 3 each
Dimensions  
Span 123'
37.49 m
Length 95' 2"
29 m
Height 23' 8"
7.21 m
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty 50,500 lb
22,907 kg
Loaded 72,000 lb
32,659 kg
Performance  
Speed 330 mph
Speed @ 16,000' /
4,877 m
330 mph
531 kph
Cruising speed  
Climb to 10,000 ' /
3,048 m
7.1 minutes
Service ceiling 25,000'
7,620 m
Range 2,400 miles
3,862 km

Sources:

  1. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
  2. World War II Airplanes Volume 2, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
  3. Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook, Ensign L. C. Guthman, 1943
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site