The Real Story Behind TCA Super Connie CF-TGE

As the Museum of Flight in Seattle has gone about first acquiring, then dismantling, and ultimately moving this airplane to Seattle, websites have appeared, petition drives have begun, newspaper articles have been written, speculation has run rampant, and, in general, much misinformation has been  promulgated.

As the (Volunteer)  Project Manager for acquiring, dismantling, repainting, moving, repairing, reassembling, and ultimately displaying this fine aircraft, I have been in the eye of the storm, so to speak, and know what is really happening.  So, this is, as they say, The Rest of the Story.

Disclaimer:  This website is the personal website of Robert Bogash.  It is not the Official website of the Museum of Flight.  All content , text, and opinions are my own.  Oh so great to be retired!

Update:  On 7 Jun 2007, the airplane was exported from Canada to the United States.  Thus, some of the information on this page has become dated.  Nevertheless, I intend to leave the content "as is", portraying the situation as it existed during the spring of 2006.  Current activities can be found on other sections of this website.  Click here for the latest.

Who owns this airplane?

The Museum of Flight in Seattle, Washington is the Legal Owner of this airplane.  It is owned free and clear with no liens and no encumbrances.

When did the Museum acquire this airplane?

The Museum arrived at a deal for the purchase of this airplane in 2001.  The Bill of Sale was finalized in the spring of 2005, however, Ms. Catherine Scott, the Seller, is adament about the actual deal having been consummated in 2001.

What did the Museum pay for the airplane, and what is it worth?

It's no one else's business what the Museum paid for the airplane!

As for what it's worth, we've had it appraised by a reputable Aircraft Appraiser.  It's been appraised at well over $1 million.

If the Museum wanted the airplane, why was it offered for sale on eBay as some have reported?

The appraiser decided to offer the airplane for sale on eBay as part of his valuation process.  It was offered at a starting bid of $200,000, with a high Reserve.  Contrary to some speculation, there were several bids received - in fact, there was some nervousness that the Reserve had not been set high enough and someone might actually buy the airplane!  There were no bids received from Canada.

What's the story on this Cultural Heritage business?

In February 2006, the Museum received a letter from the Cultural Property Office of the Department of Canadian Heritage in Ottawa declaring the Connie to be a piece of movable Canadian Cultural Property requiring an Export Permit before transport out of Canada.  The Museum intends to comply with all applicable Canadian laws and regulations and has prepared and submitted an Application for Export.

UPDATE: An Export Permit has been issued.  See here.

The Connie - a Canadian Cultural Heritage Item?

Hardly, in my humble opinion.  The Connie did not have the widespread use, or long years of service, or indigenous origins that other aircraft had in Canada, -- aircraft such as the Northstar, Beaver, Otter, Norseman, Dash 8, Canadair CL-215 and 415, Challenger, RJ, or even DC-3s and DC-4s.

When it comes to Connies, TCA was late to the party, and early to the exit.  The Constellation was produced for about 19 years, and was in significant service for about 35. The airplane was conceived in 1938, definitized in April 1939, and the program was kicked off in early 1940 with orders for 84 airplanes - 40 each from TWA and Pan Am, and 4 from KLM.  The first Connie flew Jan 9, 1943, but by then, the Army Air Force had taken over all deliveries.  At war's end in 1945 and 1946, commercial deliveries resumed to major Connie operators like TWA, Eastern and Air France.  All these operators continued ordering new models over the next 14 years, and flew the airplane, for up to 30 years.  When the jets arrived, the Connies were relegated to minor routes or soldiered on as freighters.  In the case of Eastern, a whole fleet of Super Connies (32 airplanes) was assigned to the New York - Boston - Washington Air Shuttle and remained in passenger service until April 1968.

By contrast, TCA acquired their first airplanes about 1954 and by 1960, they were withdrawn from Mainline service.  By 1962, after just 8 years, they were all gone.  Unlike the Vanguard, there were no freighter days ahead in her waning years, at least not with Air Canada.  When compared to the Viscount, Vanguard, DC-8, DC-9, 767, and Tristar, the Constellation's sojourn in the TCA fleet was brief - very brief indeed.  Connies, in general, did not have a big, nor lasting presence in Canada.  Besides TCA,  Nordair, and 
World Wide both flew a very small number of them for a few years.  Much later, some were used in the west for spraying and fire fighting. Northstars, DC-6s, and Britannias (with Canadian Pacific) were the other four-engined equipment in service.

The Cultural / Heritage criteria begins at 50 years. (See note below).  While there's no doubt that the Connies time in TCA service is worthy of nostalgia and reminiscing, six to eight years does not a Heritage make.  From 1954 to 2006, this Connie spent 8 years in service and more than 40 years derelict.  From the perspective of passengers, maintenance staff, and air crew, all likely flew other types before and after.  Certainly, none could lay claim, as they perhaps can with say a 737 or DC-9, or even perhaps DC-3s and DC-4s, to having flown a single type for an entire 35 career, before retiring.  In fact, DC-4s have been in service in Canada for  60 years.  Now, that's a Heritage!

There is, as well, one other little fly in the ointment, and perhaps we need to get it on the table.  This airplane, along with its engines, propellers, and other equipment, was designed and manufactured in the United States, and assembled in Burbank, California.  As Canadians are fond of discerning, in the case of say, the media, there was, outside of the name painted on the side, NO CANADIAN CONTENT.

Canadians want this airplane to remain in Canada

Well, they sure haven't shown it!

First,  I have lived and worked many years in Canada, and have been more places in Canada than most Canadians.  My wife is Canadian and so is her huge family.  I have in-laws throughout Canada  We live only 35 miles from the Canadian border now, and get all the latest Canadian news by listening regularly to Canadian TV and radio stations.  I am not anti-Canadian.

Canadians have not treated this 'grand old lady' very well over a period of  more than 40 years.  Believe me, if we get her down here, she will be in seventh heaven, sitting next to the Concorde, the first Air Force One, the first 747!  With a great fresh TCA paint job, she will be a wonderful tribute to Canadian aviation.  See the real condition here.

Here is an interesting factoid about this airplane.  I worked on, in the early days of my career,  two of the Museum's airplanes -E1, the 727 Prototype, and PA099 (NASA 515), the 737 Prototype, only to find myself working on them again 35-40 years later after we all were retired.  Curiously, the same applies, in a way, to this Constellation.

In  1968, I arrived in Montreal to assist Nordair introduce their new 737 airplanes.  I was a Boeing Tech Rep.  As the first airplane didn't arrive for several months, I spent the time training people, getting tooling and maintenance plans set up, visiting line stations, etc in preparation.  At the time, Nordair operated four L-1049H Super Connies, an airplane I had earlier gotten a Flight Engineer license in (but that's another story.).  At the north end of the hangar line at Dorval Airport was the World Wide hangar.  World Wide was a short lived airline that had gone out of business several years earlier.  Parked on the ramp outside their shuttered hangar was a Super Connie - THIS Super Connie!  It was, at that time, derelict  For some time, Nordair had been making visits to obtain parts to support their in-service airplanes.  I was never sure if this was a legal situation, or merely 'midnight requisitions.'  In any event, I recall riding up to the airplane a number of times to watch Nordair mechanics remove this or that piece of hardware needed at the time.

The point of all this?  Well, at the time, I was 24 years old  And this airplane had already been withdrawn from active Air Canada flying for about six years.  After just  a  year or two kicking around with second tier back-water operators, it had arrived at its then present state - derelict.  In 1968, it had been abandoned for about 3 years.  I actually got to watch the buzzards pick her bones.  And, pretty much so she has remained for the past 42 years.  Except for a few bursts of revival activity that came to naught, it's been an unwanted and unwelcome fixture in various airport ramps, farmer's fields, a hotel parking lot, and lastly, on Toronto Airport property.  Now, I'm pushing 62.  And Canadian aviation fans have had literally a man's lifetime to step up to the plate and do something about this flying machine.  Of course, they haven't.  That's a powerful commentary on their real view of this bit of Canadian aviation culture.

Sadly, I do not think she will be so well primped and pampered, nor be in such exalted company, if she winds up over in Downsview.  I can assure you she has not been 'cut up' or 'scavenged', as reported in one website.  She has been disassembled.  My job, as Project Manager, has been to acquire the airplane, disassemble it, move it off GTAA property, get it repaired and re-painted, get the proper Export certificates, transport it across the continent,  and then re-assemble it.  All under a strict budget!   I have done the first three; I have four more to go!  (The budget part has been a fight!)

This is certainly a mega-project, and mega-projects are what I love to get my teeth into.  When everyone throws up their hands and says "it's impossible", that's when I like to make it happen.  This is actually the third Super Connie I've tried to save.  Although this one is a fight to get in the boat, I don't intend to let it get off my hook!

Has Paul Cabot and the Toronto Aerospace Museum been trying to get this airplane for years?

That's what Paul says.  In the Toronto Star of Feb. 7, 2006, Cabot is quoted:

"The Toronto Aerospace Museum has been trying to acquire this aircraft for several years", says Manager / curator Paul Cabot.  "We've been rebuffed at every turn."  He's said the same in all of his Museum Press Releases.

However, it's not clear who has "rebuffed" him.  Mr. Cabot has NEVER been rebuffed by the Museum of Flight, nor according to a vehement profession by Catherine Scott, has he EVER contacted her.  Paul DID contact one of our contractors in Toronto around New Years, January, 2006,  who advised Ms. Scott.  It was Ms. Scott who first contacted Mr. Cabot shortly thereafter during which phone call he said  they had spoken on the matter many times previously.  Ms. Scott is not one to mince words, and told him that was most assuredly UNTRUE!

If Paul was talking to the GTAA, he was, as they say, "Barking up the wrong tree."  The GTAA has never owned this airplane, and although they may have thought they did for a while, a court case settled the ownership question definitively, some time ago.  If you want to buy something, you need to talk to the owner.  Duh!

What Paul HAS done for the past few months, is make regular calls to the media, contacted the Air Canada retiree association, set up a web-site to solicit petition signatures, and visited the Canadian Cultural / Heritage people.  It is, as they say, a free country.

It is a fact, that despite the years the Museum spent  negotiating the purchase and permitting for the movement of this airplane, Mr. Cabot  took absolutely no tangible actions, until our contractors were on-site and disassembly was well underway.  It was at this time that he undertook his letter writing, media calling, and petition drives.  (Disassembly began Jan. 11, 2006.)  In his News Release, dated Feb 5, 2006 ( I had already been in Toronto for a week, and the airplane was half disassembled,)  he stated
"The Toronto Aerospace Museum at Downsview Park announced today that it is vigorously opposed to efforts to export the last postwar, trans-Atlantic, piston-engine airliner remaining in Canada."  Note the use of the word "TODAY"! (Feb 5, 2006)  In addition, he created a "Sign Our Petition" website.  Public records show this website (domain -, administered by 'Real Magic Online' in Surrey, B.C.,  was, likewise, not created until Feb. 2, 2006.

( At that very time, Mr. Cabot was visiting Wayne Millard at Millardair.  Wayne had suggested the TAM acquire a DC-4 he owned, for their Museum.  To get to Millardair, you have to drive by the (former) Super Connie site - Mr. Cabot never stopped by for a chat.  I was there, all day, every day.  No lunch breaks when you're just a volunteer!  No DC-4 for the TAM either.  We may beat him to it!)

Paul Cabot seems in love with this story, since it was repeated again in the Toronto Sun on May 7, 2006, with a new wrinkle:  "
The Toronto Aerospace Museum tried to acquire the plane in 2001, but the owner was hard to contact, Cabot said. "She wanted $1 million."  It's getting harder and harder to reconcile Paul's stories.  If he couldn't contact the owner, how does he know she wanted $1 million?  Plus, on another occasion, he said he talked to her and complained she was selling it "too cheap."  Catherine Scott says Mr. Cabot is lying.  Actually, if Mr. Cabot wanted the airplane in 2001, he could have bought it from the bank......for $100,000 !   Click here to see what the real interest has been in this airplane.

If you read the newspaper letters to the editors, and visit the active aviation message boards discussing this subject, you'll find there are a remarkable number of Canadians who agree with Mike Heron, (see his letter here) -- that the airplane should be preserved properly and go to Seattle.  As Mike said, "the Pionairs  have their hearts in the right place, but if they chase the (Museum) away, .... they will possibly sign this aircraft's death notice."  Mike should know, - he tried to get all major Canadian aviation museums to save this aircraft from the scrapyard --  including the Toronto Aerospace Museum -- in the end, he was unsuccessful.  He has created a "Don't Sign the Petition" counter website, which you can find here:

I have received many comments about this situation,  many from Canadians who feel a twinge at loss of this aircraft --  still, most of them think it should come to Seattle:
You can read some of their their comments here.

Who is Catherine Scott?

Catherine Scott is a native born Canadian, self taught in the legal, medical, and construction fields.  She has been, as they say, around the block a few times.  In her 60's, she's old enough to be impatient with bureaucrats, the Press, and B.S., and not shy about letting them have both barrels when she thinks they need it.  She's a very sensitive person, who can surprise you one moment with heartfelt tears, and shock you the next with language a sailor might blush over.  She's blunt and says what's on her mind.  In short, she's my kind of person.  No beating around the bush.

When you first meet Catherine, she can come on rather strong, and take your breath away. Some think she is crazy.  Her problem is she has been jerked around by the bureaucracy on this subject rather unmercifully for many years.  So, when she meets you, and you start talking about the history, you're liable to get a drink of water from a fire hose!

Whether the airplane comes to Seattle, or stays in Canada, one thing needs to be made perfectly clear.  Catherine Scott is the savior of this airplane.  Without being an aviation buff or anything else, she has bull-doggedly persevered to keep this airplane in one piece.  To this end, she has spent several hundred thousand dollars of her own money, sold her house and a precious antique collection, to fund the legal battles thrown her way.  In the end, she prevailed.  Without Catherine, this airplane would be beer cans.

How did Catherine Scott come to own this airplane?

After a series of moves and sojourns in farmer's fields, etc, this airplane wound up refurbished in front of the Regal Constellation Hotel on Dixon Road by the airport.  It was a restaurant and bar, and business wasn't bad.  When the hotel changed ownership, the new owners discovered the airplane bar was doing a better business than the hotel bar, and ordered it off the property.  It was disassembled yet one more time and moved to the Derry Road location.

   Click here to see the Guide to Canadian Roadside Attractions

Catherine Scott was the contractor who prepared the site on GTAA property where the airplane has been the past few years.  She erected a restaurant service building and installed electric, water, and air conditioning utilities, and a septic tank.  The new location was terrible from a clientele standpoint, and the owner soon failed, leaving a lot of unpaid bills.  Some of these bills were to Catherine Scott.  The airplane/bar was listed with a Realtor, who found no buyers around. The bank then suggested Ms. Scott  buy the airplane/restaurant/bar and try to run it to recoup her losses, with the idea of eventually selling it.  So Catherine ran the bar for a while, but with few customers, eventually also closed it, and began looking for buyers.  None could be found, until eventually she connected with the Museum of Flight in Seattle, which happened to be looking for a Super Connie.  Eventually, Catherine came to Seattle to see if the Museum was a real institution or just a voice from a phone booth.  The rest, as they say, is history. 

What does Seattle have to do with Canadian aviation?

Well, actually, I'm glad you asked.  Quite a bit as it turns out.

Trans-Canada Airlines (TCA), was created as a subsidiary of Canadian National Railway (CNR) on April 10, 1937.  It began operations using a Model 10A Electra (also built by Lockheed), on September 1, 1937 carrying two passengers and mail from Vancouver to Seattle. (The name was changed to Air Canada,  effective from January 1, 1965.)   So, you see, TCA's very first revenue departure was to Seattle, very first revenue flight arrival was at Seattle, very first ever line station departure was from Seattle.  TCA / Air Canada have continued to serve Seattle (with breaks), ever since.  (This is a good bit of aviation trivia for airline fans - guaranteed to win you a beer down at the tavern.)

Actually, TCA's roots run far deeper into Seattle, and the inaugural flights to Seattle were likely more than just chance.  Philip G. Johnson joined the then one year old Boeing Airplane Company in 1917 as a new engineering graduate from the University of Washington.  By
1926, at only 31 years old, Johnson had been named President of  Boeing.   He later went on to run the new United Air Lines (which was originally part of Boeing).   In 1933, after the government broke up the Boeing / United combination, Johnson went to Canada and helped create Trans Canada Airlines.  He became the airline's first Vice President of Operations.   In 1939, he returned from his 6 year stint with TCA in Canada,  and resumed working for Boeing - again as President of the company.   (More details here.)

Of course, Seattle is in close proximity to two major Canadian cities - Vancouver and Victoria, and the Museum draws large numbers of visitors from B.C.  I'm sure seeing this Super Connie in fresh TCA colors (or should I say colours), in the Air Park, will swell more than a few Canadian visitors' chests.

Aren't you glad you asked?

Why a Lockheed airplane in The Boeing Museum?

No, this ain't the Boeing Museum, although lots of people call it that, even in Seattle.  Yes, Boeing has had a lot to do with the Museum and contributed funds and services - more so in the past than the present perhaps, but a lot just the same.  And Boeing's first factory - The Red Barn - is a centerpiece of the Museum.  And there are a lot of historic Boeing airplanes in the collection.  Nevertheless, the Museum has lots of airplanes and artifacts from many manufacturers and many countries, including for example the only surviving deHavilland Comet 4 airliner in the Western Hemisphere, a Concorde, and a DC-3        ( from before the Boeing/Douglas merger).

One of the  significant facts many people  may be unaware of is  that most of the wind tunnel testing for the Constellation design was carried out at the University of Washington, right here in Seattle.  Furthermore, the test pilot for the very first, and, in fact, all early test flights, was Boeing's legendary test pilot Eddie Allen.  Allen, who was later tragically killed at Boeing Field during the crash of the experimental B-29, had been requested specifically by Lockheed, and his services had been agreed to by Boeing.

Why does the Museum want a Lockheed Constellation?

The Lockheed Super Constellation, especially the Super G model, has been widely admired by airplane fans for many years.  Witness the number of websites and books that cover the Connie, as well as restoration activities for the few surviving airframes.  The Constellation was added to the Museum's acquisition wish-list back in 1984.  I know, I was the Chairman of the Aircraft Acquisition Committee.  It has been on the list ever since.  Various candidate airplanes have been investigated over the years.  The Toronto airplane gradually emerged as the front-runner.

The Museum's transport collection is truly world-class, extending from the Boeing Model 80A, 247, DC-2, DC-3, 707, Comet, 727, 737, 747, and Concorde.  (The 247, DC-2, 727, and 737 are all airworthy.)  The Constellation will fill a time gap between the DC-3 and the 707.  We're also interested in another fill-in airplane - say a DC-4, for the 1945 - 1952 time period.

Three great Lockheed airplanes grace the main collection - a P-38 Lightning, F-104 Starfighter, and SR-71 Blackbird. ( We also have a  D-21B ramjet drone on the back of the SR-71 (actually an M-21) Blackbird, and a F-80C Shooting Star at the Restoration Center.)   What could be finer than to add a magnificent Super Constellation to round out the amazing legacy that came from the drafting board of one of the world's greatest aircraft designers - Kelly Johnson.

See some of Kelly's airplanes here
A Kelly Johnson photo album
Read about Kelly's life here. 

Note:  On 28 April 2006, the Museum acquired yet another Lockheed airplane, the Prototype of the Jetstar.  This airplane was also a  Kelly Johnson design, and especially  historic, in that it became Kelly's personal airplane.  More details here.

It was obtained from the British Columbia Institute of Technology, one of the many fine Canadian aviation institutions with which the Museum has an on-going relationship.  With this acquisition, the Museum has further demonstrated that it is not the "Boeing Museum."  Rather, its Lockheed collection has grown to be one of the most pre-eminent in the world.

Will the Museum display the airplane inside or outside?  If outside, that's no better than Toronto.

The Museum will display the airplane outside - in front of the 747 Prototype and to the right of the first jet Air Force One (707.)
   From the Connie's proposed parking spot
Can the Toronto Aerospace Museum beat this?  I think not !

You can see more details of the spot here.   Whether the climate in Seattle is more or less benign than Toronto is problematic.  The Museum has a large airplane collection that is outside and is not happy about that situation.  Covering that collection is a high priority, but it will be expensive.  Having said that, the Museum is a non-profit organization, and like most people, businesses, and organizations, could always use more money than it has!  But this Museum moves on its plans, sometimes fast and sometimes slow.  But if you don't think it moves forward, you haven't been watching!

I first became involved with the Museum in 1965 when it was PNHAF - the Pacific Northwest Aviation Historical Foundation.  We had a book/magazine/picture collection and a flyable Boeing 247.  The Museum came later.  First with the Red Barn, barged to the present site from its original location.  Then the Great Gallery, then the large transport Air Park across East Marginal Way (on 6 acres donated by Boeing), most recently the Fighter Wing with two floors of WW I  and WW II fighter airplanes.  (The official name is Personal Courage Wing -  gag !  - too politically correct for me!)  There's also a two hangar facility at Paine Field to the north in Everett where most restoration work takes place, and airworthy aircraft are maintained.

Some chat room comments allude to those "rich Americans" having all this money to throw around and buy what they want.  Cheap talk.  If it were only so!  The Museum is anything but awash with money and is always on the lookout for more.  It counts its pennies very carefully.  Nevertheless, as the above brief history points out, it has moved steadily along the path of creating plans and then executing them.  It has truly become a World Class aviation museum, worthy of more than one day to visit.  Sooner or later, the Connie, and the other large airplanes, will be inside.  If you want to contribute, or become a member, you can do so here.

If the Museum doesn't have an Export Permit, why did they take it apart?

The Museum has received a series of letters and phone calls over the years from the GTAA (Greater Toronto Airport Authority) demanding the airplane be removed from GTAA property by this or that deadline, or it would be "disposed of."  Dire consequences for the airplane were always stated or implied.  After free and clear title was obtained, and funds were raised to support the dismantling and moving operations, the Museum asked me to oversee its removal.  (I'm a volunteer; that's why I make the big bucks!  I'm also the volunteer with the passion for both the project and the airplane.)  So that's what I've done, despite Canadian winter weather, and yards (or is it meters) of red-tape, the airplane has been dismantled and is off airport property.  We own it, and it's safe.  You can see the disassembly pictures here.

What are the plans for the airplane?  Why is it sitting in a storage yard?

Our first priority was to get it off GTAA property, lest something "untoward" occur.  This we have done.  It has been moved to a trailer storage yard, on private property, close to the airport.  Our next steps are to get an Export Permit, find an open slot in the Air Canada Paint Hangar schedule, transport it across the continent, and finally reassemble it in the Museum's Air Park.  We now have the time available to accomplish these tasks in a methodical way, without threats continually being held over our heads.  An added bonus is not having to fight our way across Canada and the Rockies with a huge oversize load in the winter.
Pictures of the airplane in storage can be seen here.

Is Air Canada supporting this effort?

Yes.   Air Canada's parent company President Robert Milton was enthused by this project from the moment he heard about it, and volunteered to have it repainted in its original TCA colors. 

What happens if the Museum doesn't receive an Export Permit?

Good question!  Answer: We don't know.

Maybe we'll store it.  Maybe we'll sell it to Canadian interests ( they'll need a lot of money! ) Maybe we'll sell it to the highest bidder, and let them try to get an Export Permit.  Maybe we'll re-apply for a Permit.  Or Appeal.

Here are a couple of important facts:

First, if Export is denied, the Museum is not required to sell the airplane.  No Canadian individuals or institutions are guaranteed ownership.  The Cultural people can set a so-called fair price and bids can be made.  Some may even exceed the fair price set by the authorities.  But the owner is not obligated to sell the artifact.  He just can't export it from Canada.  In 2 years, he can re-apply for export and the process repeats.

Second, this is an airplane in need of a lot of work.  There is corrosion, and handling damage inflicted by people who moved houses, not airplanes.  There is a great deal of sheet metal work required.  The landing gears have been welded and are corroded.  They need attention, perhaps complete replacement.  And, we need four engines.   See here for the job ahead.

The Museum has over 1200 volunteers.  Many are extremely dedicated.  They have a track record of restoring old airplanes - not  just for display, but for flight (but not this one!)  
 Here are some examples.

Third, as a backup, the Museum has secured a suitable location in Canada less than 100 miles away from our Restoration Facility where the airplane can be moved, stored, and, most importantly worked on.  Air Canada is exploring the possibility of doing their TCA repaint either at that location, or after reassembly in Seattle.  This option would offer us the advantage of performing the various repairs BEFORE the repaint - a distinct advantage for the end result.

In this regard, it is extremely important to realize that when you are in the airplane restoration business, you have to have a lot of patience.  Most projects take place using volunteers, but even when paid individuals are used, the job usually takes years.  The second restoration of the Boeing 307 Stratoliner, performed after the airplane was ditched in the bay, despite a full effort by Boeing, still took several years.  (The first restoration, using volunteers, took even longer.)

The B-247 was under restoration for about 13 years.  The B-17 for half a dozen.  The 727 Prototype that I have been working on, has been in-work for over 10 years.  And the 737 Prototype required 6 years ( and one day! ) before it could make it's final flight.  And it was stored in Moses Lake, Washington, requiring a round trip drive, over the mountains, of over 400 miles.  I made over 100 trips.

Another airplane I worked on was the overhaul of the Confederate Air Force B-29 Fi Fi - the only flying B-29 left in the world.  This was done over a 6-8 month period at Boeing Field.  Most of the volunteers were retired old codgers who didn't even live in the Seattle area; many were retired in Arizona.  How did they do it?  The parking lot at the hangar was filled for six months with campers, and travel trailers, and motor homes.  It not only looked like an RV Park, it WAS an RV Park.  The comeraderie was a sight to see.  Maybe that kind of RV Park might reappear in B.C., with volunteers cleaning, and drilling, and riveting, and bringing the old girl back to her former glory.

The Bottom Line:  The Museum has a lot of experience restoring old airplanes, and is prepared to work through the restoration and Export process, even if it takes years!

UPDATE:  An Export Permit was issued 15 March 2007.  See here.

As an unpaid volunteer, why are you doing this?

I like Constellations !

Why do you like Constellations?

Ha, that's an easy one!  I like, no, make that --  LOVE,  -- airplanes, and Super Connies are the foldout centerfold of aviation Playboy magazines!  Especially Super G's.  Why Super G's?  Because, compared to the plain old L-049s, L-649 / 749s, L-1049s or L-1049C models, Super G's, with their three foot longer radar nose, and their tip tanks, they are sooooo sexy!

I've loved Super Connies since I was a kid; I took my first airplane ride in one (December 24, 1957); and eventually I became a Flight Engineer in one.  See here for more details, if you wish.

Note:  It could well be argued that even the 50 year continuously Canadian criteria is not met in this instance.  The airplane was delivered in 1954 and sold to the Museum in 2001, well short of the 50 year mark.  In addition, in the 1962-1964 time period, the airplane was sold to American interests and carried a U.S. registration (N8742R) for some period of time.

Back to Connie Page

Copyright 2006-2007 by  Robert A. Bogash.  All Rights Reserved.

Disclaimer:  This website is the personal website of Robert Bogash.  It is not the Official website of the Museum of Flight.  All content , text, and opinions are my own.

Revised 10 Mar 2006
Revised 27 Mar 2006
Revised 30 Mar 2006
Revised 31 Mar 2006
Revised  3 Apr 2006
Revised 4 Apr 2006
Revised 10 Apr 2006
Revised 17 Apr 2006
Revised 19 Apr 2006
Revised 20 Apr 2006
Revised 24 Apr 2006
Revised 29 Apr 2006
Revised 7 May 2006
Revised 9 May 2001
Revised 13 May 2006
Revised 8 Jun 2006
Revised 14 Jun 2006
Revised 17 Jun 2006
Revised 31 Mar 2007
Revised 14 Jun 2007