From Maine To Germany — So Long, Connies
The distinctive Lockheed Constellation, with its graceful curves and triple tail, represents a golden age of flight to many aviators, but now the U.S. will lose three of the remaining fleet to a buyer in Europe, The Associated Press reported on Wednesday. Maurice Roundy, of Auburn, Maine, tried for years to restore at least one of the Starliners to airworthiness. He kept two of them on his property near the airport and the third was kept at Fantasy of Flight, Kermit Weeks' aviation museum in Polk City, Fla. The airplanes were sold Tuesday at auction for $748,000, the AP said. The buyer was a division of the German airline Lufthansa, which once flew the Connies. Intentions for the aircraft were not announced but the group has restored aircraft to airworthy status in the past.
Over 800 Lockheed Constellations were built in the 1940s and 1950s, but few exist today.