In November 1991, HARS started what was to become a major project when 54-0157 was placed in our care for restoration and delivery to Australia. Relying solely on volunteer labour and aiming at a high standard of restoration and serviceability, the project was to take five years. The restoration work commenced in May 1992 at Pima Air & Space Museum and in September 1994 the Super Constellation took to the air after nearly eighteen years on the ground. Another solid year of work was required to prepare the aircraft for the Pacific crossing and in late 1995 final flight training was undertaken. On 3 February 1996 the Super Constellation VH-EAG arrived in Sydney after an incident free crossing of 39.5 hours flying time. Stops on the delivery flight to Australia were made at Oakland, Honolulu, Pago Pago and Nadi.
Absolutely beautiful plane. Reverse thrust was powerful enough that it was common to see them roll backwards slightly on the runway after landing.
Eisenhower's presidential transport was one of these.
The gear was so tall that they could fit an underbelly cargo hold to the outside of the aircraft
I remember a video of propeller balancing for one of these aircraft. It's massive, something like a 10-12 foot diameter, variable pitch blades. Using a buffing wheel, they polish the blades until they balance perfectly and placing a matchbook on one of the blades is enough weight to start them rotating.
I grew up with the "Save a Connie" plane and organization in my back yard, so to speak -- we lived about 6 miles from the KC downtown airport. I remember dad taking me down to the airport to sit on the river levee and watch the it arrive when they ferried it to KC. After that, I think I attended every public event they hosted between the plane's arrival and the change to the Airline History Museum.
I think I still have a bunch of their airshow flyers and other give-aways squirreled away in the basement somewhere.
I thought this looked familiar, and my suspicions were correct. The wreck of Pegasus near the posthumously named "Pegasus Airfield" at McMurdo Station, Antarctica was a Connie.
Crashed in 1970 with no deaths, the aircraft still lies partially buried in snow on the iceshelf about 5-10 miles from the station. People stationed at McMurdo still make little field trips out to the wreckage to take pictures and walk ontop of it, etc.