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


Last revised 3/25/16

Here's more photos of Columbine II for your enjoyment. Click to enlarge

  lockheed_c-121a_constellation_photo lockheed_c-121a_constellation_photo lockheed_c-121a_constellation_photo lockheed_c-121a_constellation_photo
Comments on photos are from left to right
The Columbine is the State Flower of Colorado, the adopted home state of First Lady Mamie Eisenhower. Some photos show it with a stem, others, like here, don't. Do you know the period for each?
That's a long nose gear and I can easily walk under the fuselage without ducking.
Columbine II has four 2500-hp Curtiss Wright R-3350 engines, and Curtiss Electric propellers.
The Eisenhowers and their entourage went in and out through that cabin entrance door, which is part of the larger cargo door on the C-121A's. I believe the cargo door was sealed shut. If you see photos of them at a forward entrance door on the left side it would be Columbine III, the VC-121E Super Constellation which assumed the Air Force One role in Nov. 1954.
  eisenhower_air_force_one eisenhower_air_force_one eisenhower_air_force_one eisenhower_air_force_one
The crew door at the front swings in and you enter the Flight Engineer area just behind the pilots.
The Lockheed Constellation is one of the most aesthetic airplanes ever built! The "short Connie" with the radome is wonderfully balanced. The DC-4's behind Columbine are great, functional airplanes, but they don't have the "lines" of the Connie. Sort of like comparing a pickup truck and a Corvette.
  lockheed_constellation_air_force_one lockheed_constellation_air_force_one  
The sun is setting on Columbine II. The question is, will it be preserved or will it just "go away" and become a million beer cans?
The success of the preservation effort that is being researched depends hugely on the help of others to find parts that are needed.
Pilot and Flight Engineer Stations
  eisenhower_columbine_cockpit eisenhower_columbine_cockpit  
Lots of "dials and buttons" there! Four of everything. The cockpit is very complete but will need a little "dusting!"
A competent Flight Engineer is crucial to flying a Connie. The have their own rating, i.e. it needs both an F.E. and two pilots, but many crew members would only be certified as one or the other.
  lockheed_constellation_flight_engineer lockheed_constellation_flight_engineer lockheed_constellation_flight_engineer
Passenger Cabin
Columbine was never modified into cargo configuration or used as a sprayer, but after it's Air Force One days it served in other VIP transport. We don't know how much of this interior is the original from President Eisenhower's days. Any information is welcomed.
  eisenhower_columbine_interior eisenhower_columbine_interior eisenhower_columbine_interior eisenhower_columbine_interior
When you enter through the passenger door (part of the cargo door) you come into an eight foot bay which leads into this 24' passenger cabin. I believe it was formerly divided into a 16' and 8' sections. The first photo shows you looking forward, and the second one, looking aft. Some Connie parts are obviously stored there.
The third and fourth photos show the next cabin forward, which is eight feet fore and aft with eight passenger seats.
Thank you for your interest!
Please contact me if you can help in any way, and
I will pass your info on to those who lead this effort!
Last revised 2/4/15
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