Super Constellation.

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by tony_lockerbie, Jun 22, 2013.

  1. I'm guessing that most people here on CMC can remember the days when flying was glamorous and aircraft were much more than cattle trucks. The Super Constellation is a great example of that era, they were, and still are..a great aircraft.
    This one, Connie, was bought by an Australian consortium and restored then flown back from the US to be a flying museum. The 'plane has been doing the rounds of regional airports as a fund raiser to complete the restoration, I gladly gave a contribution!
    I showed up with a period correct Rolleiflex Automat and a roll of my newly acquired Verichrome Pan. Turned out I should have used Tri-X as the day got late and the skies were gray...had to open up the Rollei and drop the speed to 1/25th in the gloom.
    First up the camera:
    00blYp-540943584.jpg
     
  2. Now for a few pics.
    00blYq-540943684.jpg
     
  3. As mentioned these were on old Verichrome Pan, developed in ID11 at 1:1
     
  4. Great pictures Tony! The Super Connie was one of the truly great aviation engineering masterpieces.
    Mike : D
     
  5. I had a ride in a Connie once. It was about 5,000 miles long and it was the military version
    which meant all the fancy interior stuff was ripped out and replaced with exposed insulation.
    Fortunately they kept the original seats, which were still a wine red instead of OD. Totally
    mismatched with the rest of the decor.
     
  6. I love the looks of that Verichrome Pan! So smooth. You might mistake the shots from actually being from the plane's era until you look at the extra weight everyone is carrying. Shoot, I remember when planes had ashtrays in them and polite stewardesses. We go by train these days. Good stuff Tony.
     
  7. Beautiful photos and aircraft. Thanks for posting these Tony. I don't remember where but I saw a documentary about this Connie. I think they went to the storage facility in Arizona for old military aircraft to get the parts to restore the aircraft to flyable condition. I remember that they had a hard time getting permission from the FAA to fly the plane to the west coast to take it back to Australia.
     
  8. When I was a kid growing up in the 1950s, we used to see the TWA Constellations flying low over our house, since we lived near Wold-Chamberlain Field (now MSP) in Minneapolis. Impressive aircraft, we were always fascinated by that triple tail and four engines. I also used to have one of those Automats, though with the Schneider Xenar.
     
  9. Nice, Tony; the old Verichrome is sorely missed; I used it commercially, in preference to FP3 and Plus-X, much to the consternation of my fellow pros. Fine images; funnily enough, I re-watched the movie "The Aviator" last night, the saga of Howard Hughes and the birth of the Constellation.
     
  10. Thanks all, I do love old aircraft nearly as muck as old cameras! Rick, the same applies to me with Verichrome. I believe that it has a dual layer emulsion that makes it handle extremes in exposure, designed for the amateur (read Box Brownie) market.
    The thing is, like all thick emulsion films, it is capable of really nice tonality albeit at the expense of some sharpness. I processed these in ID11, but I'm told that it responds really well to Pyro developers so I will try that next. Nothing quite like the noise of four Wright radial engines at full noise!
     
  11. Those were the days. I flew a lot of commuter prop flights and while they were louder thant the big living rooms in the sky, I liked them much more becasue you had the sensation of flying! I really think if we start a petition, Kodak will bring back VP.. Who's with me?
     
  12. Back in the late 50's and early 60's my father in law (a pilot for Cubana before he landed his Brittannia in Gander and walked away for asylum in 1962) flew Super Constellations between Havana and Spain. Glad to see there's at least one still flying.
     
  13. Great shots. The Connie was the first aircraft I ever flew on.
    There are actually quite a few of them around and several in flying condition.
     
  14. I remember flying on a Connie towards the end of its life wi TWA when it was relegated to domestic routes. It was a very smooth riding aircraft. Somewhere I Have pictures of Clay Lacy flying one in the Reno Air Races.
     
  15. It was a fabulous aircraft. I flew from Sydney to Fiji and back as a 6 year old in a Qantas Super Constellation. Each passenger was given a Qantas carry-on bag, had a choice of menu that you selected prior to boarding. All the kids got sweets and the service was the very best. We have gone a long way down since those days.
    Crossing the Pacific in those days meant two stops for fuel. Fiji and Hawaii. It was only eclipsed by PanAm with the SuperClipper which was a two deck version of the B29 bomber converted to civilian use. It also needed two fuel stops.
     
  16. Excellent that this post jogged a few fond memories. My first commercial flight was in a DC3, had to walk uphill to get to your seat!
    Good luck with the petition for the remake of VP, we are lucky that Kodak still makes film at all! Still, they tried to discontinue Tri-X, but loud cries of protest kept it alive...so you never know!
     
  17. A beautiful airplane, one of the prettiest made.

    Wish they had flown it into the Udvar Hazy for Pilot's day!

    Thankyou for posting the images. Verichrome Pan is also missed, as is Panatomic-X.
     
  18. For more on the Connies, see Lufthansa's website, they are rebuilding one of the last 1649 Lockheed Starliners, the 150' straight wing ultra long range trans Atlantic NYC to Europe Connie built to compete with the Douglas DC-7C Seven Seas airliner. I've been in Auburn, Maine to see the project and it isn't a restoration at all, it is a complete rebuild from freighter back to passenger configuration and systems updating so Lufthansa can actually fly passengers in the restored cabin. Target completion is 2014.
     

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