The historic TWA terminal and the Lockheed Consellation at JFK


When I walked past the convertible and entered the doors of the TWA terminal designed by Eero Saarinen with its winged, flight-like roof at JFK International Airport, as I noticed, nothing changed on a day from mid-September except the Passenger Check-in counters on both sides were refreshing with no lines. Maybe that should have been a clue.

I climbed the dozen steps and then lowered the steps that led to the familiar Sunken Lounge and looked at the Solari's arrival and departure boards. The boards rattled and rattled at regular intervals like stacking poker chips, but they only revealed empty squares. There were no flight numbers, no times and no destinations.

However, due to the view of the vintage passenger aircraft on the ramp through the floor-to-ceiling angled glass that shows the red and white paint from TWA, but without a single engine, my today's destination could only be called "history" or history is even referred to as "aviation." Perhaps that was appropriate for the "luggage" I brought with me: hand luggage consisting of a clipboard and a pen.

The scene in front of me was suspended. The period music and the announcements that echoed through my head brought me to the one I wasn't in.

"TWA Starstream flight 802 to Paris, which is now boarding at gate one," they said.

With my eyes wandering over the location of the once famous and well-known Brass Rail Restaurant to the main connecting pipes to the departure area covered with chilli-pepper carpets, I expected to take one or more Boeing 707-320B with their bluntly pointed radome noses around 35 degree swept wings and the low bypass ratio Pratt and Whitney JT3D-3B turbofans.

However, the star constellation of Lockheed L-1649A, which is the tip of the piston, showed that the era preserved and depicted "out there" was not the one I was trying to convince that "here" still existed. Instead, it was two decades earlier, in the 1960s, and I had entered a preserved pocket of time.


As the expression, representation and development of the technology-supported commercial aviation industry after the Second World War and the then Idlewild International Airport, the development of which resulted from this, the TWA Terminal was and is an architecturally aesthetic symbol for all of them. It captures the feeling of flying with its wing-like shell and the liquid underneath.

Unlike many of today's one-building, multi-airline facilities, it dates back to 1954 when the New York City Harbor Authority drafted its concept for the Terminal City. In anticipation of the need for infrastructure to meet the growing demand for travel, the company implemented a plan in which each major airline designs, builds, and operates its own terminal while promoting brand identity. Although the TWA facility was the architectural response to the port authority's master plan, its airline was one of its intentions from the start, as the project commission explained, which initially aimed to provide an efficient ground operations infrastructure, but secondly wanted to provide TWA with advertising and attention "with it.

The fact that the chosen location was at the apex of the airport's access road, cemented the intention almost as strongly as the hardened substance that formed it, and that this is still the case despite the gap of two decades since the airline's death for post carrier purpose.

Eero Saarinen, a Finnish-American architect and designer who was sometimes considered a mid-century master, was selected in 1955 to translate the Idlewild and TWA vision into concrete reality. His own genealogical roots go back to his father, the architect Eliel Saarinen, and his mother, Loja Saarinien, a textile artist, was able to claim that the talent ran as freely through his veins as his blood when he was born in 1910. After studying sculpture in Paris, architecture at Yale University and design at Cranbrook at the Michigan art academy, he transformed material into aesthetic function in creations such as the St. Louis Gateway Arch and Washington-Dulles International Airport.

Although Eero Saarinen had achieved his goal of creating an abstract representation of the flight in the TWA terminal, his inspiration was never clearly determined. Some indicated that a thumb recess in a hollowed-out grapefruit bowl led to the finally curved, concrete, symmetrically arranged roof parts, which ran seamlessly from the pillars that supported them and were only separated by narrow skylights. The four met at a circular center.

The curvature or curvature of the roof surface continued in the crimson and white interior through the upper walk-on pillars, which merged into both the floor and the ceiling as if they were integral with them. The lack of squareness was also evident in the other features. The stairs were curved, for example, and the connecting corridors between the terminal and the departure lounge were more like cylindrical tubes.

Its overall expression was one of the 1960s neo-futurism and space googie architecture.

Despite the architectural achievements of Saarinen, it also became his legacy because he passed away one year after inspecting the structure in 1961 at the age of 52 without having seen his finished product.

While it was designed for small piston planes whose capacity never exceeded 100, it was not suitable for the narrow jets from TWA like the 707 and 727, let alone for the wide-body jets like the 747, the L-1011 TriStar. and the 767, which requires the addition of Jetbridge-connected entry-level satellites.

After the airline's death in 2001, its signature terminal was waiting for its purpose or maintenance. At least the demolition had already been spared. In 1994 it was named a New York City landmark. At that time, Larie Beckelman, chair of the Landmark Preservation Commission, commented in the New York Times: "This is perhaps the quintessence of the modern form that expresses movement and the whole concept of the flight."

Eleven years later, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places. With his presence assured at least, it was still waiting for the two "P" preservation and purpose.


Preservation and purpose were in this case on two sides of the same coin – that is, the 392,000-square-meter terminal was restored to restore the glamor of the 1960s, and it serves as an anchor and lobby for two more sides – in this case, two rectangular buildings black glass with 512 hotel rooms developed by MCR / MORSE and four architectural firms for more than $ 250 million.

Architect Richard Southwick, who oversaw the restoration of the project, described the TWA Flight Center as "the perfect symbol of post-war optimism, the magic of flying, and the elegance of mid-century modern architecture."

The first guests were accepted in May 2019.

As a "lobby" it contains the Sunken Lounge with the Solari Flight Board; a cocktail bar; a Sundries shop with vintage copies of the magazines "Life", "Time", "Good Housekeeping" and "Family Circle"; an old-fashioned shoe cleaning station in the corner (of course); a TWA gift shop that displays the airline logo in any manner; a 10,000-square-foot fitness center with a bike studio, treadmills, cross trainers, a spa, and personal trainers; and Jean-Georges' Parisian café, which takes up the floor space of the original on one of the two mezzanines next to the Lisbon lounge and serves dishes inspired by TWA menus during the flight. There is also 50,000 square feet of meeting and event space.

The two cylindrical tubes, the "Saarinen" on the left and the "Hughes" on the right, lead halfway, originally non-existent cutouts, to be free of charge to the two required seven-story hotel buildings made of glass, metal and concrete, but distinguishable from the landmark Terminal.

Seven layers of triple-glazed, 740-pound, insulated glass that stretches from floor to ceiling keep the room quiet, even though planes with tarmacs are only a few meters away.

Rooms that overlook either this scene or the terminal are rented for $ 250 a night. Cheaper intervals can be booked for transit passengers who are only looking for a short sleep and a shower.

The infinity edge pool and observation deck and a bar are located on the roof.

Only the "Saarinen" tube, which is located on the main level, leads outwards or in the opposite direction into this preserved time pocket, which is expressed by the two floor names – or epochs – on which the elevator ends up: "1960s TWA Hotel" and "Present Day JetBlue", depending on the two buttons that the passenger can press to get there.


While the terminal designed by Eero Saarinen can be seen as a collective, retro, but still lively arena, several areas serve to highlight it in the form of a museum.

"The exhibits are located at various locations in the former TWA terminal – the heart of our hotel – as well as in the event center and in the areas that connect our tubes to JetBlues Terminal 5 (curated by the New York Historical Society) Experience the jet age through authentic artifacts, interactive displays and personal stories, "says the TWA Hotel website.

The 2,000 items come from the TWA Museum in Kansas City and from former airline employees who donated them.

"The exhibitions focus on the history of TWA, including Howard Hughes' tenure as owner, TWA uniforms from 1945 to 2001, and Saarinen's development of the terminal at Idlewild Airport," the website said.

Mike Thornton, curator of the New York Historical Society, emphasized its importance: "The Saarinen Terminal is a memorial to the optimism and vision of the jet age. These exhibitions invite people to the splendor and fun of the Saarinen and TWA worked so hard to create and promote. "

For example, a desk, an old-fashioned typewriter, and a system timetable placed next to the elevator replicate a TWA headquarters, while wall displays tell the story of the airline along with the influence of Howard Hughes and his historic aircraft.

Black and white photographs on the walls opposite the hotel check-in counter show TWA's early picture of the "Airline of the Stars", including Jimmy Durante, Marilyn Monroe, Lucille Ball, Elizabeth Taylor, Bob Hope and Frank Sinatra Beatles and Mary Tyler Moore board planes as diverse as the Ford Trimotor and Boeing 707.

A TWA flight crew uniform and a luggage exhibition are located on the second of the two mezzanines.

"The splendor of aviation in the jet age catapulted TWA pilots into the star category. Many of them celebrated both for their dashing appearance and for their ability to control a transatlantic flight," the exhibition said. "Pilot uniforms with gold epaulettes, lapel pins and brisk hats have underpinned their admirable role as those who were able to fly through the clouds with the new 1960s jets."

The development of flight attendant uniforms on mannequin bodies shows the five designers who created them: Don Loper (1960-1965), Dalton of America (1968-1971), Valentino (1971-1975), Stan Herman (1975-1978)) and Ralph Lauren (1978-2001).


While waiting for my flight in the Sunken Lounge, I found myself immersed in the world of Saarinen, which was bedded by uterine chairs at tulip tables, both of which he designed.

The board kept clicking and clicking, sometimes displaying departures from airlines like Pan Am. Even it had risen one last time and was deposited in that dimension known as "history".

Bodenwächter – I think the counterpart to the "stewardess" on board was an acceptable, if sexist title in those days – took drinks orders.

Subconsciously, subconsciously and emotionally, I suddenly knew that it was time to board my flight. Nobody called it. History did it – the charm and love of aviation history. When I answered, I rose from my sunken lounge seat, walked down the corridor, past the reading room with library and bookstore, and finally opened the door to the asphalt. There were no lines. Nobody stopped me. Nobody asked me for a boarding pass. Flights that were intended for past times apparently did not require them. What was going on in the past was free and available to anyone who wanted to recreate it or relive it.

As I walked along the lines that were painted to represent the fake 04-Right / 22-Left runway, I approached the airliner that was on the ramp in the 1960s. If I could have stood on a ladder, I would have been able to face it from nose to nose. With a technological interval of six decades, its propellers have done nothing to keep it from its sleek design profile.

From the long, angled, retractable nose gear strut that touched the tarmac with its double, evenly angled tires to save rubber in tight turns, my eyes wandered to the black bow cone and the windshield of the seven-pane cockpit. The fuselage, modeled on a wing, tilted gently up and down behind the cockpit, just before the triple vertical stabilizers, a technical solution for hangars with a low ceiling. The straight but tapered wings, which were mounted at a seven-degree angle and lined with de-icing boots on their leading edges, had Wright turbo compound engines with four three-bladed propellers. The aircraft with the number N8083H "Star of America" ​​had returned "home" and was in many ways Trans World Airlines.

I eagerly awaited the renovated cabin, climbed the steps that proclaimed "Up, up and away with TWA", and entered. "Way" I would.


Like the terminal designed by Eero Saarinen, the Lockheed Constellation was a product of growing post-war demand, with the exception that the commercial aircraft, which embody advanced technology, also had to compete with other airlines that operated competing designs.

However, TWA had an additional urgency for modern fleet replacement. The central continent has disadvantaged the United States compared to the United States' northern and southern routes.

What was needed (by all three airlines) was greater capacity, greater range and a more comfortable counterpart to the ubiquitous twin-engine DC-3 on transcontinental one-stop routes.

"Howard (Hughes) had the idea that if we had a super-luxury airliner that could fly nonstop LA to New York, or even a stopover via Chicago, he could isolate much of the Hollywood business from the other colleagues. " According to Jack Frye, TWA's Vice President of Operations in Douglas J. Ingells & # 39; Book "L-1011 TriStar and the Lockheed Story" (Arco Publishers, 1973, p. 73). "He talked eight to nine hours of flight from coast to coast about a sleek club car-like interior in a day plane and Pullman-style berths for night trips. It all sounded far out there, but Hughes was." deadly serious. "

Three new-generation four-engine aircraft were proposed by the three competing aircraft manufacturers at that time: the DC-4E from Douglas, the B-307 Stratoliner from Boeing, and the L-44 Excalibur from Lockheed, which entered service in April 2005 In 1939, the Constellation served as an early foundation, with a triple vertical stern, a 36-passenger complement in a pressurized cabin, a fuel volume of 1,200 US gallons and a gross figure of 40,000 pounds.

As a major development of the Excalibur, the L-49, which was to be the first in a series of more sophisticated versions, was powered by four Wright Duplex Cyclone engines with 2,200 horsepower and could carry a payload of 6,000 pounds between 250 and 250 kg at 300 mph 20,000 feet cruise altitude. The air range was 3,500 miles. The most unique for the design, however, was the hull.

"… The fuselage of the Constellation with a circular cross-section over the entire length was provided with a curved center line in order to give it a wing profile when viewed from the side," said MJ Hardy in his book "The Lockheed Constellation" (Arco Publishing Company, 1973 ) 12-14). "This served both to increase the maximum width of the flat floor, especially in the bow and stern area, and to shorten the nose wheel leg by tilting the front fuselage downwards …"

After reviewing the design specifications and making his own corrections, Hughes initially ordered the Nine, but later 40. Because TWA could not afford the expense, he had no choice but to pay for the aircraft himself. "Send the bill to Hughes Tool Company," he ordered.

The first prototype flight on January 9, 1943 proved that all design goals had been achieved or exceeded. The maximum speed (not cruising speed) was 347 miles per hour and the gross weight was gradually increased from the initial 68,000 to the final maximum of 86,250 pounds.

However, the intended commercial application has been suspended. The Pearl Harbor attack on December 7, 1941, which opened the war in the Pacific region, directed the luxury aircraft to transport troops and supplies. The L-49s that rolled off the line and were modified for military service were designated the C-69 instead to the U.S. Army Air Force. On April 17, 1944, a TWA-colored aircraft, piloted by Hughes in the first half of its transcontinental sector and Frye in the second half, covered the 2,400-mile Burbank-Washington route in record time. The potential of the design becomes clear.

"We didn't consciously set a new transcontinental record," Frye later said. "The trip took six hours and 58 minutes just because the Constellation was designed and built to fly at such remarkable speeds."

The first production constellation, now called L-049 to distinguish it from the original pre-war variants, was certified by the Civil Aeronautics Board on December 11, 1945, and TWA added the type to the transatlantic service between New York and Paris-Orly Three months later, on February 5th. Powered by R-3350 engines with 15.2-foot, three-bladed propellers with reversible incline, the appropriately named "Star of Paris" carried 35 passengers via Gander to the City of Light and Shannon.

Ten days later, he placed the guy on the transcontinental route between New York and Los Angeles and completed the leg east in 9.45 hours and the west west in 11 hours Constellation offered a clear competitive advantage.

The story of Lockheed's "Of Men and Stars" says: "In the five months after the introduction of the 049 model in scheduled air travel in February 1946, the majestic three-tail transports set new standards in terms of speed, comfort and safety. They reached 300 -mph plans a reality (and) everyday ocean-to-ocean flight. "

While the 92.5-foot length and 123-foot wingspan of the type initially stayed the same, two Subversions introduced greater range and improved performance.

The L-749, designed for intercontinental flights, carried 565 additional US gallons of fuel for a new total of 5,820 gallons, increasing its range by around 1,000 miles. The maximum takeoff and landing weight has been increased to £ 102,000 and £ 87,500 respectively.

In both versions new propellers were introduced, the deflection of the flaps increased and the heating, cooling and ventilation of the cabin improved.

TWA, a major Constellation operator, had 12 L-749 and 25 modified L-749As in its fleet that went beyond the original L-049. This enabled him to serve transatlantic routes to London, Paris, Rome and the then Bombay.

Accommodation varied depending on the market. For example, the "London Ambassador" service, inaugurated on April 8, 1951, was equipped with 18 berths. "Sleeper Flights" carried 32 passengers. Five transatlantic buses that seat 60 and 81 US domestic flights.

TWA retired its last L-049 in late 1961.


Technological advances and the increase in speed, safety and comfort introduced in the five years after the end of the Second World War led to unprecedented demand for domestic and international flight services for which Lockheed with its three base aircraft L-049, L-649- and L-749 variants made a significant contribution. Although later updates to the L-749B and L-849 designations would have provided even higher performance with increased-power piston and Napier-Eland turboprop engines, however, passenger demand indicated that higher capacity was required instead, by stretching the existing one Hull was reached. Since flight tests with the L-749 showed that its gross weight with its original wing could reach 137,000 pounds, no major design changes were required.

Based on studies for an earlier L-949 with 100 passengers, but which was never built, the L-1049A Super Constellation included a new windshield and an 18.5-foot fuselage insert for the first and, in the case of the stretched version, new rectangular ones A total length of 113.4 feet of passenger windows that replaced the previous oval windows and the provision of 730 additional gallons of fuel in a new tank in the center section.

Equipped with four 2,700 HP R-3350-956C18 CA-1 engines to counteract the added weight, 728 cubic feet of underfloor baggage and cargo and an improved 5,000-foot, 20,000-foot pressure system, 6,550 US fuel capacity -Gallons and a maximum weight of 120,000 pounds.

Certification took place on November 29, 1951, although initially only grossing £ 100,000, and TWA, which ordered ten of the 24 L-1049As produced (Eastern operated the remaining 14), put them into operation on September 10 of the following year Year.

"The Model 1049 is a stretched version of the Army Air Corps' original cargo shipments," said Ingells (op. Cit., Pp. 80-82). "In its original form, Connie was designed to carry 65 passengers. The 1049 could carry 99."

"Connie was a lady who just had to keep up with the latest styles," he continued (p. 83).

The new version allowed TWA to open the transcontinental Ambassador Service on October 19, 1953, in which the Chicago stopover was maintained in the west but was omitted in the east. These were completed in less than eight hours. Despite the competitive promise it promised against the American DC-6B, it only took six weeks. After that, the DC-7 could cover the distance in both directions without a break.

The Super Constellation series culminated with two other versions. The performance matched the payload and performance, and the introduction of Wright Turbo-Compound R-3350-972TC18 DA-3 with 3,250 hp and the optional installation of two 600-US-gallon top tanks delivered a total of 7,750 US-gallons a 4,620-mile range with reserves. Ninety-nine single-class passengers could be comfortably accommodated in the 92-foot, highly soundproof cabin. Northwest Orient, first customer for the resulting L-1049G, received the type on January 22, 1955.

TWA ordered 12 and then eight L-1049Gs in October 1953 and November 1955. The aircraft had weather radar, two wing-tip tanks, 700 pound cabin insulation, and two General Electric air circulating ovens that could heat 60 pre-cooked meals at the same time.


If an aircraft or a version of that aircraft was a symbol of Trans World Airlines, it was the Lockheed L-1649A Starliner. It seemed to make this statement today.

As always, the need set the direction and indicated the goal. The latter were the long-haul airlines that had to be served without wind, seasonal and payload restrictions, and Douglas, who soon introduced the intercontinental version of his DC-7C. "Seven Seas", with its three-meter wingspan, gave Lockheed new impetus if it wanted to remain competitive, and although the resulting L-1649A was a technical success, the year it took for its significant redesign unfortunately came too late for it anything but poor sales to the market.

A modified wing, which was the key to its improved performance, served as the basis for being able to power an L-1449 with turboprops from the United States or the United Kingdom, which in this case, however, had neither proven to be suitable nor certifiable. Nevertheless, 37-foot-long, one-piece stiffened outer panels, continuous tank end ribs for a new four-tank fuel system, closely spaced ribs as well as a revised rear edge and Fowler flaps were installed.

While work on this version was discontinued in early 1955, technical resources were allocated to the final, long-range version, the L-1649, which was later referred to as the L-1649A Starliner. The overall length remained the same as the Super Constellation series, but a tapered 150 foot thinner wing with a higher aspect ratio was attached further back to the fuselage and four Wright R-3350-988TC18 EA-1 turbochargers with 3,400 hp. Compound engines were installed further outside to reduce the decibel values ​​in the cabin. The synchronized, larger diameter, lower speed, standard Hamilton propellers and 900 pounds of additional cabin insulation cemented the quiet interior.

Its maximum takeoff weight was 156,000 pounds.

The first of two flying prototypes in its three-plane test program went up from Burbank on October 11, 1956, and TWA received the first of 25 L-1649As the following April.

Equipped for 30 seats in the first and 34 in the coach and with a sleeping compartment for the first class with eight beds, the company operated the "Nonstop Ambassador" service from New York to Los Angeles and San Francisco and later carried out the concept from Boston and Washington on. The transatlantic service "The Jetstream" served London with 74 passenger cabins from July 1, 1957 and was subsequently expanded to Paris, Frankfurt and Rome. Transpolar flights from Los Angeles to London with a stopover in San Francisco started on October 2nd. The following year, in March, the London-San Francisco sector was covered in 19 hours and 5 minutes, exceeding the previous record. All-coach "Golden Barron" transcontinental services were also operated with the type.

Compared to the original military transporter C-69, the L-1649A Starliner had an increase in weight, performance and capacity of 44.5, 47 and 72 percent.

"Robust, reliable, easy to fly, clearly styled and naturally graceful," described TWA captain Dave Richwine of the aircraft (Morgan, op. Cit., Pp. 8-9). "The Lockheed Constellation was a star performer … and is certainly a candidate for one of the best commercial transports ever … She was born out of a love of aviation and hoping to improve the future of commercial aviation Born in the last years of World War II and initially serving as a military air carrier for her country, she took her place in the commercial air transportation industry after her strenuous baptism as a £ 93,000 boy who started her life without a steerable nose wheel and reversible props Since then, it has probably gone through more stages of development than any other commercial air transportation in history, to finally take first place as a member of the 1649A Jetstream piston regal with 160,000 pounds. "

Insgesamt wurden 856 militärische und kommerzielle Konstellationen aller Versionen gebaut, die nur zwei Rumpflängen und zwei Flügelspannweiten aufwiesen. Bevor TWA am 11. Mai 1967 die letzte, wenn auch in frachterischer Form, durch die Boeing 707-120 ersetzte Constellation-Flotte in Betrieb nahm, beförderte sie zwischen 1946 und 1967 schätzungsweise 50 Millionen Passagiere und zählte 1959 die Spitze des Typs 32 L-049s, 12 L-749s, 27 L-749As, 9 L-1049As, 28 L-1049Gs und 29 L-1649As in seinem Inventar. Ich war heute in einem der letzteren.


Die Constellation, die an diesem Tag Mitte September bereit war, Passagiere im restaurierten TWA-Terminal aufzunehmen, N8083H, war 1958 von der Produktionslinie in Burbank in Lockheed ausgestiegen und flog unter den Farben der Fluggesellschaft, zuerst als Passagierflugzeug, dann als Frachter. für nur vier Jahre.

Als ich die Kabine betrat, dachte ich an die Worte von M. J. Hardy. "Das Constellation ist ein herausragendes Beispiel für das Design von Kolbenflugzeugen in seiner Blütezeit und passt gut zu der Definition seines Namens im Wörterbuch als 'eine Gruppe von Fixsternen oder eine Ansammlung von Prachtstücken oder Exzellenz'", sagte er (Hardy, op. Cit ., S. 7).

Während "Star of America" ​​als Cocktail-Lounge konfiguriert war, gab es genug von seinem Design als Verkehrsflugzeug, um es zu inspizieren.

Ein Blick in das metallgrüne Cockpit, in dem die JFK-Turmfrequenz ununterbrochen Anweisungen für aktive Flüge erteilte, gab einen Einblick in das, was die Piloten sahen – vom Himmel durch die drei vorderen und vier seitlichen Fensterscheiben zum Halbmond Joche, Motoranzeigen auf der Mittelkonsole, die vier Drosseln auf dem Sockel und die Flugingenieurstation, auf deren Tisch sowohl eine normale als auch eine Notfall-Checkliste abgelegt war. Abgesehen von seinem eigenen Panel mit unzähligen Anzeigen gab es auch Drosseln, Motorlader, Gemischregler und Kraftstoffabsperrventile.

Hinter und links vom Cockpit befand sich die separate Navigator-Station, deren Besatzungsmitglied den Standort des Flugzeugs bestimmte, indem es Sternenkorrekturen durch das auf dem Dach installierte Astrodom durchführte.

Die in eine Kabine umgebaute Cocktail-Lounge war sowohl mit polierten, gepolsterten Goldbanketten als auch mit traditionellen Vierersitzen mit TWA-Kopfstützenbezügen ausgestattet, und der Teppichboden war in leuchtendem Rot gehalten.

Da keine Bordkarte die mir zugewiesene anzeigte, entschied ich mich für ein Fenster auf der Backbordseite, das sich in die Dimension der 1960er Jahre einfügt und die obere Flügeloberfläche und die beiden Hubkolbenmotoren studiert. Propeller haben sie sicherlich sportlich!

In einem Menü des Royal Ambassador wurde aufgeführt, was hätte serviert werden können, wenn ich zu dieser Zeit geflogen wäre: Vorspeisen mit amerikanischem Kaviar und eine Auswahl an Delikatessen aus dem Einkaufswagen; Spargelcremesuppe; einen Gartensalat mit Blauschimmelkäse oder französischen Vinaigrette-Dressings; Vorspeisen wie Chateaubriand, Hühnchampagner, Lammrippenbraten und Hummerthermidor; eine Käseplatte mit einer Auswahl an frischem Obst; cassata siciliana; und Kaffee nach dem Abendessen. Vintage-Weine strömten natürlich durch die Mahlzeit.

Auf der Cocktailkarte der Constellation standen heute käufliche Artikel wie "Cocktails 316", Spirituosen, Wein und Champagner, Bier, alkoholfreie Getränke und Snacks wie Wurstwaren, marinierte Oliven, Hummus und eine Käseplatte.

Ein Ausschnitt bot einen Blick auf das Flugzeuggerüst, also die Außenhaut und die Längsseiten des Rumpfes.

Die von Mario Zamparelli entworfenen Repliken von Paris- und Hollywood-Wandgemälden an den hinteren Seitenwänden zeigten 25 von TWA bediente Ziele von Boston bis Bangkok in den Starlight Lounges seiner Sternbilder.

As I deplaned through the aft, left door and descended its boarding stairs, I thought of Douglas J. Ingells' concluding words about the airliner.

"Her sleek lines, the shark-like profile of her fuselage, her distinctive triple tail, and the many advanced features she pioneered, left a high heritage in the annals of commercial aviation. She had class, grace, and beauty. And of all the so-called 'Sky Queens,' her reign will never be forgotten," (Ingells, op. cit., p. 83).


I spent some three hours immersed in the Eero Saarinen created era, and it took far less time than that to walk down the Constellation's aisle, from its forward to its rear door. Yet as my feet once again made contact with the ground-and, perhaps, the 21st century-I realized that I had just completed a six-decade journey into history, not of motion, but of mind.


Hardy, M. J. "The Lockheed Constellation." New York: Arco Publishing Company, 1973.

Ingells, Douglas J. "L-1011- TriStar and the Lockheed Story." Fallbrook, California: Aero Publishers, Inc., 1973.

Morgan, Terry. "The Lockheed Constellation." New York: Arco Publishing Company, 1967.

Source by Robert Waldvogel

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *