|USA and Canada 1980s - LOCKHEED CONSTELLATION
Few Constellations were flying by the 1980s, due high engine maintenance costs and discontinued production of the correct octane Avgas.
A selection of my photogaphs from the decade
|Aircraft Specialties Inc's wide-acerage sprayer VC-121B Constellations N611AS (closest) and N608AS were retired at
home base Mesa, Arizona by November 1981
|VC-121B N608AS at Mesa, Arizona November 1981
|Also retired at Mesa, Arizona in November 1981 was Aircraft Specialties Inc Lockheed 1049H N6937C
|L1049H Super Constellation N1007C at Miami, Florida in October 1981 was still transporting live cattle when owner
Air Cargo Support could arrange suuitable fuel in Caribbean or South America
|L.1049H N6922C was one of the last flying Constellations at Miami, but it had been retired in this September 1981 picture.
It was auctioned a few months later and later ended up with AMSA in the Dominican Republic
|The last bastion of Constellation operations was Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Aerotours Dominicana's L.1049 HI-228
flew a daily freight schedule to San Juan, Puerto Rico, where it is seen on several services during October 1981
|Aerolineas Mundo SA C-121C HI-515CT at Miami, Florida loading cattle in August 1989
|Aerochago SA C-121C HI-548CT taxies at Miami in an early evening tropical rain shower, heading home to Santo Domingo
|Remarkable sight in August 1989 in rural Auburn, Maine: two former TWA L.1649 Starliners had been saved from scrapping
by Constellation enthusiast Maurice Roundy, who had them flown to his home on the boundary of Lewiston Airport.
|L.1649A N8083H parked in front of Maurice Roundy's house on the edge of Lewiston Airport.
Maurice maintained the aircraft and its Wright Turbo Compound engines were run on occasions
|L.1649A N7316C was delivered new to TWA in 1957 and later had an eventful freighter career in Alaska.
|Conifair Aviation of Montreal, Quebec used three C-54s and two VC-121A Constellations on Government contracts to spray
pesticides on Canadian conifer forests to control budworm infestations. The spraying was conducted at dawn in low altitude
formations. The fleet was parked between spray seasons at St Jean Airport near Montreal in October 1981
|Conifair's VC-121As C-GXKO and C-GKXR had been operated on the same Canadian forest spraying by their previous
American owner Christler Flying Service of Wyoming
|Conifair's C-GXKO was purchased in August 1984 by John Travolta, movie actor and aviation enthusiast who wanted to save
the classic "short" Constellation. It was registered N494TW and ferried to Tucson-Ryan Field, Arizona for storage.
Seen parked at Ryan Field in August 1989, owned by then by warbird restorer Vern Raburn
|L.049 Constellation N864H ended its days at the "Village Place" Bar in the Metairie nightclub district of New Orleans.
Seen there in the harsh light of day in November 1981
|The excellent Pima Air and Space Museum at Tucson, Arizona displays a range of Constellation military models.
Civil airliners are represented by this L.749 N90831 which had been delivered new to TWA in October 1948
|USAF Airborne Early Warning EC-121D 53-546 at Pima Air and Space Museum Novermber 1981
|USAF Airborne Early Warning EC-121T 53-554 at Pima Air and Space Museum in November 1981
|In the Pima museum storage yard in November 1981 was USAF C-121A 48-614. This was delivered to USAF in 1949 and
had been General Eisenhower's personal aircraft "Columbine"(the first) based in Paris 1950-1952.
During 1981 Davis Monthan AFB, Arizona had acres of C-121s at the Military Aircraft Storage and Disposition Centre
(MASDC) storage grounds. Here's AEW EC-121T 52-3424 which had been in USAF service until 1976.
|Davis Monthan AFB November 1981: the first two in this row are Air National Guard C-121Cs in a distinctive blue scheme.
| Air National Guard C-121C 55-96 was sold by MASDC auction in 1981 to aircraft dealer Ascher Ward, who ferried it to
his home base Van Nuys, California in August 1981 as N1104W. Seen on his cluttered ramp a few weeks later.
Ascher's optimistic plans to operate it on 105 seat passenger charters did not happen and it was later traded it to the NASM
|The town rubbish tip at Kotzebue, Alaska in the Arctic Circle in 1981 was the final resting place for Alaska Airlines L.1049H
N7777C, formerly Qantas' VH-EAN Southern Tide. The inverted tailplane is at centre and cabin sections on the land behind.
The Super Constellation with 60 passengers made a belly landing in a snow storm at Kotzebue Airport in April 1967. The
stripped airframe remained at the airport well into the 1970s mounted on an earth bank with plans to convert it into a bar.