TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Kansas City museum plans to fly 'Connie'

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Associated Press
Saturday, May 18, 2013, 5:51 p.m.
 

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

Most-Read Nation

  1. Fewer adults smoking, U.S. survey finds
  2. Test vaccine to fight Ebola promising
  3. Many older people silently harbor gene mutation that could start path to blood cancer
  4. Surge in small drones making airline pilots nervous
  5. In Ferguson, demonstrations over black youth’s slaying by police officer peter out
  6. Rookie Cleveland police officer acted within 2 seconds to shoot 12-year-old boy
  7. Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg has stent placed in heart artery
  8. Boston airport’s ‘naked man’ remains behind bars
  9. Supreme Court will hear challenge to EPA’s power-plant rules
  10. Former Va. Sen. Webb launches presidential exploratory committee
  11. Panel on Benghazi debunks theories
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.