Lockheed Super Constellation Returns to Flight

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Jul 28, 2003
Chino, California, U.S.A.
The Lockheed Super Constellation named "Bataan," formerly the personal transport of General Douglas MacArthur returned to flight recently at Chino, CA. It was restored by Fighter Rebuilders. Steve Hinton ran the project. Thought you folks might like to see this recent post-restoration test flight and tour when Kermit Weeks recently visited. Stu Dawson and Steve Hinton were doing the flying. Not completely sure who the flight engineer was for this flight.

And the Kermit tour:

I have a few personal videos which I have not downloaded from my cell phone yet. If the file size is acceptable, I'll post when I do download it.

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I've been watching it fly for about a week now. It IS beautiful and the R-3350s are very similar to the units flying in the B-29 "Doc." They'll put a few more hours on it and then likely depart to have some temporary seats install before flying it to Oshkosh.

The engines were rebuilt by Mike Nixon and are running like new units. The aircraft currently has no interior and no passengers, so it is rather sprightly when taking off and climbing out. The sound is right out of nostalgia central.

They did something unusual.

This will be a private aircraft and they cannot expect airline personnel to be ready when they land, so Fighter Rebuilders built a custom hydraulic folding stair set and installed it in the aircraft. So, they don't need any assistance to board or depart the aircraft. It's all self-contained.

Cool to watch.
Still one of the most beautiful multi-engine designs. Wow.

I used to date the daughter of a Navy ace who volunteered for "Willie Victors) WC-121"Hurricane Hunters" so he could get back on flight status. He'd been shot down and escaped in the Philippines but said penetrating a major storm scared him more than combat ever did.

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