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Lockheed EC-121 Constellation (N422NA)
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Lockheed EC-121 Constellation (N422NA)



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Harry Ellett
Memories; crossed the Pacific several times as a passenger in one of these. Travis to Hickman to Midway to Tachikawa. Also the other direction. Always liked landing at Midway. It was very entertaining to watch the Goonie birds on Midway. The birds were beautiful in flight but the take-off and landings by the Goonie birds would keep you laughing. The birds would be on their nest near a building and if it decided it wanted to go fly, it would stand up and walk on the side walk out to the aircraft ramp. When on the ramp it would start running and flapping it's wings for a pretty long run and finally it would get airborne. It didn't seem to be able to just leap into flight like most birds. When they decided to land, it was always a crash landing tumbling to a stop. Once saw one fly into the side of a building while trying to land. It never seemed to hurt them. They are very large birds and you could walk right up to them and stand beside them but you should never try to touch one of them, you might get bitten. Those birds made Midway my favorite stop for aircraft servicing.
Harry Ellett
Oh, my flights were on a C-121 not the EC-121.
ken kemper
Great pic Ryan.....

Wish the Connie gave us just one pass after take-off.
John Giambone
Great Shot Ryan!
Lovely Aeroplane.
Michael Corcoran
Stunning looking aircraft.
Tom Williams
I flew on one of the Connies in i965 from Ft. jackson, SC to Chicago. A great airplane. This is a great picture.
Al Miller
Interesting juxtaposition with the Super Guppy photo. The two airplanes couldn't be further apart aesthetically, but both follow the rule of "Form follows Function"
Tommy Evans
Magnific !
Chuck Masirovits
Hands down, the most beautiful aircraft at Oshkosh this year!
Robert Mack
When I was a kid living in JAX, my parents would send me to NYC on Eastern Air Lines to visit my grandparents every now and then. Eastern was flying the Constellation at the time and I loved the aircraft. One time they had to book me on another airline and NOT a Constellation. I was terrified because it did not have 3 'tails' and in my young mind was therefore NOT a safe airplane. Probably one of the most beautiful aircraft ever designed.
George Leaf
Not an EC, no radomes bottom and top, no wire antennas. They didn’t get the nick name Lockheed Flying Speedbrake for nothing.
George Leaf
Looks like a plane jane early connie.EC would have upper and lower ray-domes and wire antennas. They didn’t get the nickname of Lockheed Flying Speedbrake for nothing. Navy’s were Super Connies with wingtip tanks as well.
Gunnar Hanson
Beautiful shot of a beautiful machine!
Rusty Campos
When I was 16, I was a passenger in a small Cessna waiting behind a Connie that was departing. The tower clear us for takeoff right away. That's when I learned about "prop wash".
Bruce Clayman
http://www.conniesurvivors.com/N422NA.htm tells the story
Bruce Clayman
"Restoration First Flight" at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFMGPsbdz6k
rbt schaffer
It certainly is the most beautiful TRIMOTOR ever built... It is a piece of ART with cranky engines
Greg Byington
That's a great shot, Ryan! And CONI is the correct ICAO Aircraft Type Designator for ALL versions of the Constellation. Entering the ICAO code is all we, as FA members/contributors, can do. After that FA displays whatever name of whatever version of the aircraft they feel like. So, we all know it isn't an EC version, but it isn't Ryan's fault that the incorrect version name is showing.

If anyone wants to see a pic of an actual EC version, see my photo on FA here:

Peter Fuller
Memories, vivid from age 5. Traveled on Eastern Air Lines from Orlando (ORL not MCO) to Boston and back, to visit grandparents, some of the segments on the Connie: “That’s the one with three tails!” Got to trade for a window seat, since my little sister was afraid of the “fire” coming out of the engines at night. Good times, but when I next travelled by airliner years later they were all gone.
jesse kyzer
Rob Lamb
As a youngster flew in Connies on Western (that dates me) from Reno to LA a number of times, also LA to Seattle. Always a great flight. In the 1960's flew on Connies with Varig from Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo to Buenos Aires, Montevideo and also Lima several times. Varig was very good at making passengers comfortable. We would fly first class, and I mean to tell you, it was quite a ride for a teenager.
Gene Bell
Flew 2000 hours as a Flight Radioman on a C-121G during '58-'60 on Western Pacific routes including the route Mr. Ellet described below. We also serviced the Embassies (Saigon. Bangkok, Calcutta, New Delhi, Karachi, and Dhahran, Saudi Arabia) on weekly trips. Navy crew out of Moffett Field flying planes with Air Force markings. Loved the aircraft but were treated to some harrowing times. Our squadron was VR-7; we were supported by our maintenance squadron, VR-8.
Thanks Greg, for clarifying why these A/C are designated EC-121s. Mystery Solved.
Matt Bixby
My grandfather flew Connies for TWA... flying certainly was a different experience back then.
Del Dengate
Spent many an hour onboard as well as the other 2 Connie's N420NA. N421NA. Best time of my life
Carlyle Swofford
The Connie is a beautiful, graceful looking aircraft. I flew on the civilian versions.
In the 60's, Lockheed 'Skunk Works' operated 3 Connies of various vintages on shuttle flights from BUR to 'neverland'. Always a fun trip, but where were we going??
sal derosa
So many memories it makes my chest hurt! Great memories wiping oil and exhaust trails! She is and will be a beautiful girl!!
Bob Haggard
Flow on military Constellation 1959 from Philippines, Clark AFB, to USA. Lost engine power in one engine, detour to Midway. Three things I remember the most. One, seeing gooney birds do their ballet, two watching the gooney birds taking off and three on the Constellation got to go to the cockpit. May have been a long time ago, but these our the things I remember happening when I was 9 year old. Now I'm 73, remember like almost yesterday.
Harry Ellett
A memory of a close call on a C-121 MATS (Military Air Transport Service). The flight crew was Navy. It was a flight back to the US departing Tachikawa Japan. We all boarded in the late afternoon. Once we were all aboard and ready to go, the flight crew started all four engines. The crew was running up the engines but they did not taxi. Three of the engines were running well in idle but engine number four, the crew kept running it up. Mean time we were not taxing. After awhile they shut the engines down and told us there was an engine problem that had to be fixed. So, we all returned to the terminal. After a couple of hours they called all of us to re-broad the aircraft. As I was approaching the steps to board, there was a maintains guy standing under the right wing and I heard him tell one of the flight stewards that we were never going to make it to Midway. I thought WHAT? But I boarded with everyone else. As soon as we were all seated and buckled up the crew started engines ran them up once and then taxied to the runway for take-off. The engines were already warm because they had been working on one and running up the engines. So the crew taxied and turned immediately onto the runway and fire-walled the engines and we were on the roll. By this time it was early evening and getting dark. I was seated on the right side of the aircraft looking straight down the wing. Right at lift-off, the right outboard engine just spit and sputtered and stopped running. Very critical time for an engine failure. Long flight to Midway and we had a very heavy fuel load and full load of passengers. The aircraft went into a sharp right bank. It looked to me like the right wing was just about touching the tree tops. I was puckering trying to get that right wing back up. I would guess that I was not the only one puckering. We were so low I actually saw one old Japanese gentleman looking out his door right up the right wing. The Navy crew had a real struggle getting the aircraft straight and level. When it was straight and level we were right at roof tops as we flew right over downtown Tokyo. Out over Tokyo Bay we went into orbit to burn off or possibly dump some of the fuel on-board. The aircraft was just to heavy to land at that time. After flying in orbit over Tokyo Bay for awhile we finally turned back in toward Tachikawa AB. We landed safely and all deplaned and stayed overnight and took another C-121 aircraft to Midway the next day. That Navy flight crew did an excellent job. If I could have, I would have given them a metal.
Harry Ellett
I forgot one segment of this story. After the first engine run ups and multiple run ups of number four engine, we took the active and attempted a take-off and aborted take-off on the runway. Then they taxied in and sent us to the terminal. After they had worked on that engine for a couple of hours then they called us to re-board the aircraft.

The rest of the story is the same as originally written.
Want a full history search for N422NA dating back to 1998? Buy now. Get it within one hour.
Date Aircraft Origin Destination Departure Arrival Duration
13-Apr-2024 UnknownNear Rocksprings, TXAurora State () 01:02PM CDT 04:55PM PDT 5:52
12-Apr-2024 UnknownLakeland Linder Intl ()Near Hondo, TX 01:36PM EDT Last seen 04:49PM CDT 4:12
10-Apr-2024 UnknownLakeland Linder Intl ()Lakeland Linder Intl () 02:37PM EDT 03:03PM EDT 0:25
09-Apr-2024 UnknownNear Hondo, TXLakeland Linder Intl () 12:57PM CDT 06:28PM EDT 4:31
08-Apr-2024 UnknownNear Hondo, TXRancho Sabino Grande () First seen 01:08PM CDT Last seen 01:54PM CDT 0:46
07-Apr-2024 UnknownRandolph Afb ()Waresville () 05:07PM CDT 06:34PM EDT (?) 0:27
04-Apr-2024 UnknownSan Antonio Intl ()Randolph Afb () 02:28PM CDT 03:02PM CDT 0:34
03-Apr-2024 UnknownChino ()San Antonio Intl () 01:33PM PDT 07:45PM CDT 4:11
02-Apr-2024 UnknownAurora State ()Chino () 12:45PM PDT 04:05PM PDT (?) 3:19
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