We are over the moon to bring you an often-requested, much-respected plane - the Lockheed C-121G Super Constellation. This isn’t just any Super Connie; it’s NASA’s N420NA - an instrument of science and a symbol of technical innovation from the amazing Lockheed designers.
Its career began in 1953 as BuNo 131642 when it was delivered to the U.S. Navy as an R7V-1. By 1959, it was one of 32 R7V-1s transferred to the USAF, reclassified as a C-121G, and registered S/N 54-4065. In 1963, it was loaned to NASA with another Super Connie, 54-4076, or NASA 421, as it became known. The two were used to calibrate ground-based tracking stations for the Mercury, Apollo, Gemini, and Agena space programs. After spending many years with NASA, N420NA was later used to test explosives before being sold by the DOD in 1978.
The Lockheed Super Constellation, a four-engine, prop-driven airliner, was designed to fly long distances and was equipped with powerful engines and state-of-the-art avionics, making it one of the most technologically advanced airliners of its time. Airlines such as TWA and Pan Am found it well-suited for long-haul flights due to its fuel efficiency, capacity, and range. Passengers appreciated its spacious cabins and luxurious touches. It was adapted for military use to transport troops/cargo, surveillance, and search and rescue missions in the Korean War, Vietnam War, and throughout the Cold War years.