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March 25, 2016, Columbine II has arrived at Bridgeater, VA!
See update here!
Lockheed C-121A Constellation, Columbine II,
President Dwight D. Eisenhower's "Air Force One"


Last revised 3/25/16

Columbine II is a Lockheed Constellation, msn 2602, USAF model C-121A sn 48-610, and is identified as a model 749-79 in FAA Aircraft Specification A-763 (III, on page 4)

It has a Special Airworthiness Certificate in Experimental Category for the Purpose of Exhibition, dated June 1, 1990, for Unlimited duration.
Registered as a Lockheed C-121A, sn 2602, N9463.
This is a "short Connie" similar to the 049 and 649. Many of their parts would interchange but most parts from the "Super Connies" would not.
I did a two-day preliminary inspection on the aircraft in November, 2014 and found it to be essentially corrosion free and in remarkably good condition considering its age. A more serious pre-purchase inspection will be performed before final purchase if the buyers are convinced that the needed parts and technical support are available and that this is a viable project..
Engines are Curtiss-Wright/Marquette R-3350 "Double Row Cyclone" model 749C18BD-1, covered by FAA Engine Spec E-218. This is a direct-fuel-injection engine and is not a turbo-compound.
#1 sn 76086 - #2 sn W82623 - #3 sn 186690 - #4 sn W82649, all say 749C18BD-1
The military R-3350-75 is said to be equivalent, although I don't see that confirmed in any of the FAA aircraft or engine specs.
Engines were run several months ago. It is hoped that they would be ferryable but it is known that if the airplane is to be operated after that, they would need to be overhauled or replaced with serviceable, lower time engines.
  Props are Curtiss-Wright with hollow, steel blades.
I didn’t get prop info except for a photo of the numbers on one blade, which shows an 830-26-C4-0 blade. (Lettering is actually yellow)
The blades are an "830" series, which per Item 1F in Aircraft spec A-763 would make them a C634S prop. However, it calls for 21C4 blades and this photo shows 26C4. I did not find any prop spec that listed a 26C4 blade and we need to sort that out. .
The Curtiss-Wright C634S is covered by FAA Spec. P-825.
I was told that the blades would need to be x-rayed but I don't know if that requires removal and disassembly - - or if it would be done before ferry or only later when being licensed.
Because of the scarcity of the Connie blades it is possible that, at least for the long run, Columbine II would need to be converted to Hamilton Standard props.
The success of this effort hinges on many persons helping in the way they can, and one need is for certain parts. Some must be obtained before a final decision is made to proceed with the purchase and preservation of Columbine II.
LOWER COWLING - One lower cowling is missing and the others are heavily dented on the front. Finding one (or recovering the missing one) is crucial to preserving Columbine II. Note that there were several styles of cowling used on Connies and it needs to be this type.
MAIN WHEELS/BRAKES - 17:00-20 Main wheels and brakes. These are a six-puck Goodyear single disk brake and were probably only used on Connies. See details here: Goodyear Brake (scroll down) - Goodyear Wheel Drawing - Goodyear Wheel PN
NOSE WHEELS - Nose wheels
EXHAUST - Three engines now have the short stacks and one the original type with one outlet on each side. The original type is desired but at the very minimum they all need to be the same.
ENGINES - We'll need several Wright R-3350-749C18BD, or military R-3350-75 engines for overhaul and spare parts. Airworthy engines with some time remaining would be ideal.
We need leads on Connie-related parts anywhere in the world, i.e. airframe, engines, propellers and more - - plus contact info for people who have skills that will be helpful in getting Columbine II back in the air.
Various models of the Constellation series and number made, at
"Constellation Survivors" article by Ralph M. Pettersen, 2010
Ralph M. Pettersen's Constellation Survivors Website, Incredible - - tons of info and details. Also his 2003 version of that.
Constellation Survivors on
Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft, World's Greatest Aircraft series, Lockheed Constellation:
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