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  25 Votes (4.64 Average) and 6,677 Views  

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Lockheed EC-121 Constellation (48-0614)


Pima Air & Space Museum, Tucson, AZ, 21 Apr 18. More from their website:

Manufacturer: LOCKHEED
Markings: 7167th Special Air Missions Squadron, Wiesbaden Air Base, Germany, 1951
Designation: C-121A
Serial Number: 48-0614

After the commercial success of the L-049 Constellation, Lockheed produced a slightly improved version designated L-749. This aircraft attracted the attention of the U.S. Air Force, which bought ten of them for long-range VIP transports and designated them VC-121A. The new transports proved to be very popular and regularly carried high-ranking Generals and Presidents.

Dwight D. Eisenhower had two different VC-121As assigned as his personal transports at different times. This aircraft was the first. It served him during his time as the SHAPE commander in the early 1950s. All of Eisenhower's Connies were called "Columbine" after the state flower of Colorado. The second VC-121A served "Ike" when he was President of the United States. Eisenhower also used one of the larger L-1079 (VC-121E) Connies as his third "Columbine" during his second term as President.


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Greg - there's a lot of history in your photo capture!!! Thanks for sharing this one with us!
Greg ByingtonPhoto Uploader
You're welcome, Cliff! Glad you liked it. And here is a little more info more the placard in front of the aircraft:

C-121A "Columbine 1"
Assigned to Gen. Eisenhower December 1950 to 1952. Next assignment was to General Gruenther. This is the first of three "COLUMBINES." Delivered to the USAF on February 4, 1949. Retired from operational service June, 1967.
Greg - you betcha!!!

I sure did like it and also those USAF EC-121 Connie photos you have uploaded!!! :-)

Thanks much for sharing these photos with us!!!
Michael Rogers
Thanks for the info... heading to Wright Patterson next week for my first ever visit. Thanks to good friends for the birthday present.
Ken Hardy
I think the C-121's all had Pratt 3350's not 100% sure, but the aircraft was a beauty a real pilots aircraft with a great sound
Robert Wolff
I love Connie. She's my best girl.
Greg ByingtonPhoto Uploader
Ken, here is more info from the PASM website:


Wingspan: 123 ft
Length: 95 ft 2 in
Height: 23 ft 8 in
Weight: 72,000 lbs (loaded)
Max. Speed: 330 mph
Service Ceiling: 25,000
Range: 2,400 miles
Engines: 4 Wright R-3350 radials, 2,200 hp each
Crew: 4, 60passengers
Greg ByingtonPhoto Uploader
And thanks to everyone! I'm glad you liked this shot. While this Connie has seen better days, it is still a pretty neat little piece of history. Even a dirty Connie still has its charm!
Brian Derx
I was stationed in Germany in the early '70s and could swear that I saw a Connie
with Gen Haig's flag on it as SHAPE commander. That would have been around 1975.
I just wonder about the "Retired from operational service June, 1967. Of course,
Haig may have requested it as his own choice.
Greg ByingtonPhoto Uploader
Brian, I wonder if you might be right. That is pretty interesting. Thanks!
Greg ByingtonPhoto Uploader
3,000+ views! Thanks everyone!
Dave Sheehy
Greg, you did a great job composing these shots. It is difficult to frame an airplane when it is surrounded by other aircraft but you have it down to a science! Well done and thanks for sharing them.
Greg ByingtonPhoto Uploader
Thanks, Dave! And thanks for the extra info, jobeard!
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