AIRCRAFT SHOWCASE

C-121

C-121 "Constellation"

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C-121 Constellation

The C-121, so designated by the USAF in 1948, was developed from the C-69 military transport that had originated as a commercial transport for Transworld and Pan American Airlines. The C-69s were assigned to Air Transport Command during the last stages of WWII and thereafter were resold to the airlines as surplus. Massive modifications were made to the “Super Connie” beginning in 1962 and extending into the seventies. The long-range transport C-121C (Model 1049) became the standard for all succeeding Constellation models. Some were modified to include radomes, topside, and beneath the fuselage, for Air Force and Navy aircraft, EC-121C and WV-2, respectively, for radar and reconnaissance missions. Early in the C-121 series, Military Air Transport Service was equipped with the Constellation for V.I.P. missions. The most famous of these aircraft were Columbine I (48-614), used by General Eisenhower while NATO Commander; Columbine II (48-610), used by Eisenhower as a presidential transport; and Columbine III, used by General MacArthur. A later version of the Constellation, VC-121E, known as the Columbine III, was also added to the presidential fleet.

TECHNICAL NOTES:

Manufacturer: Lockheed
Wing Span: 123 ft
Length: 116 ft 2 in
Height: 24 ft 8 in
Empty Weight: 72,815 lbs
Gross Weight: 133,000 lbs
Quantity Produced (All Models): 182
Speed: 275 mph
Range (Combat): 1,810 miles
Altitude: 32,800 ft – 36,000 ft
Power Plant: Four Wright R-3350-34 engines, 3,250 hp
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