Graceland To 86 Elvis's Jets
Currently on display at Graceland, Elvis Presley’s preserved Lockheed JetStar 6 and Convair 880—one of only three known to exist in the world—may have stepped on someone’s blue suede shoes as they’re being given the boot. According to The Associated Press, Elvis Presley Enterprises, which operates the Graceland tourist attraction, has written to the owner of the airplanes, OKC Partnership, exercising its option to end the agreement that brought the jets to their current site—they are to be removed and the site restored “on or about April 26, 2015." For 30 years Elvis fans have enjoyed touring the 880 “Lisa Marie” and JetStar “Hound Dog II” as part of their connection to the “King of Rock and Roll.” According to the report, Elvis fans are not happy about the news. Elvis Presley Enterprises changed ownership in November of last year and the new owners have announced plans to build a 450-room hotel, theater and restaurant.
Only 65 of the four-engine, over 600-MPH Convair 880s (named for its speed in feet per second) were built. With five-abreast seating and less efficient engines than its other 1960’s era competition, the Boeing 707 and Douglas DC-8, the 880 did not catch on with the airlines. None of the three remaining are airworthy. First flown in 1957, the Lockheed Jetstar has four tail-mounted engines. One of the first bizjets, Jetstars have been used throughout the world by civilian and government owners. As technology developed, the high cost of operating JetStars has meant that most have been scrapped.