Kansas City museum plans to fly 'Connie'
KANSAS CITY — The National Airline History Museum is trying to raise $3.2 million to restore its Lockheed Constellation propeller-driven aircraft and retrace multimillionaire aviator Howard Hughes' record-setting cross-country flight in the airplane that transformed commercial air travel.
The Kansas City museum's Constellation, or “Connie,” is one of only a handful of the 856 that were built and is still airworthy — with a little work.
The museum is planning to fly it on April 17, 2014 — the 70th anniversary of the 1944 inaugural flight piloted by Hughes and TWA president and co-founder Jack Frye. The nonstop flight took 6 hours and 58 minutes, cutting the time of previous coast-to-coast flights in half.
“It was a major leap forward, which is why we want to do the flight because it was so significant in the development of the airline industry,” said John Roper, the museum's vice president of operations. “It was more than national travel; it ushered in global travel.”
The advent of jet airliners made the plane obsolete, and it stopped transporting passengers in the late 1960s.
The museum will make Hughes' journey with the aid of a copy of the original flight log, beginning in Burbank, Calif., and ending in Washington. Along the way, it will pass over the states of Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky and the Virginias.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Cantor to leave House early
- CIA chief’s job could be at risk over Senate probe
- Law enforcement, intelligence agencies want to ‘like’ you on social media
- Stoned volunteers test drug, alcohol effect on driving
- Museum sleepover for adults sells out
- House’s vote to sue Obama is historic foray into checks, balances
- FDA will regulate labs’ ‘high-risk’ test devices
- National Gallery, Uffizi collaborate on Piero di Cosimo exhibit
- 6 narcotics officers charged with racketeering
- CIA admits Senate was spied on
- Congress considers dangers of driving high