A Sad Sight

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connie2

There’s nothing sadder in the world than the sight of a once proud aircraft dying. This is the last remaining Lockheed Super Constellation in Canada. Registered as CF-TGE the Super Connie began life in the colors of Trans Canada Airlines (now Air Canada) in May 1954 where she flew until 1963 before being sold to Radio Industries and then Montreal Air Services in 1964. She continued to fly until August of 1965 and was then put in storage until 1968.

Unable to fly and stripped of all her parts, the Connie made the first of her strange journeys down the road to St-Marc des Carrieres, Quebec where the owner, unable to get the necessary permits to convert her to a bar/restaurant, stored her until 1985. Down the road again to St-Jean Port Joli where she went on display.

In 1995, she was sold once again and moved to the Regal Constellation Hotel across from Pearson International Airport outside Toronto where she saw service first as a conference facility and then a cocktail lounge and delicatessen. 1998 saw her moved once again to the north end of the airport where she sits today. Another attempt was made to use her as a restaurant which closed in 2002.

An attempt to sell her on eBay failed when the minimum bid of $200,000 was not met. The Connie sat empty and neglected until last month when the owners began dismantling her. The future is unclear for the Super G. The Seattle Museum of Flight says that they plan to move the Connie and put her back on display but the Toronto Aerospace Museum and other concerned Canadians are attempting to keep her here and restore the glory that once was.

Additional pictures are available over on my Flickr page. The Air Canada Pionairs have a site that shows pictures of the Connie in better days. You can also sign a petition to keep the aircraft in Canada.

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