Boeing Saves Lockheed Constellation

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A Lockheed Constellation whose history includes flying in Canada, life as a restaurant in Toronto and twenty years in the elements has found salvation and a new life at Boeing Field's Museum of Flight in Seattle, Wash. Currently, the Connie is undergoing restoration at Boeing's Plant 2 building thanks in part to a large financial contribution from an anonymous donor but also because of a bureaucratic victory. The restoration prompted a two-year bureaucratic fight over ownership of the aircraft. At that time, the project was in the U.S., but Canada stepped forward to claim the much-neglected Connie as "a priceless piece of Canada's heritage," according to the Seattle Times. Ultimately, however, no Canadian institution stepped forward to buy the plane and the restoration project was kicked into high gear. The aircraft is set to go on display at the Museum of Flight later this year.

The plane has been repainted in its original Trans-Canada Air Lines colors. It has had skin replaced on its belly, new window frames installed in the cockpit and more. The project has been the baby of former Boeing executive Bob Bogash and the final product will reflect the work of hundreds of people -- both professionals and volunteers. Bogash intends to make his next obsession the resurrection of the Boeing B-314 Flying Boat dubbed the "Honolulu Clipper," which currently rests at the bottom of the Pacific somewhere near Hawaii.